Military Wiki
.17 Mach IV
Left to right: .17 HMR, .17 Mach IV, .243 Win
Type Rifle
Place of origin United States
Production history
Designer Vern O Brien
Designed 1962
Parent cartridge .221 Remington Fireball
Bullet diameter .172 in (4.4 mm)
Neck diameter .206 in (5.2 mm)
Shoulder diameter .361 in (9.2 mm)
Base diameter .378 in (9.6 mm)
Rim diameter .378 in (9.6 mm)
Rim thickness .045 in (1.1 mm)
Case length 1.400 in (35.6 mm)
Rifling twist 1 in 10"
Primer type Small Rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
25 gr (2 g) HP 3,680 ft/s (1,120 m/s) 797 ft·lbf (1,081 J)
25 gr (2 g) HP 3,890 ft/s (1,190 m/s) 849 ft·lbf (1,151 J)

Source(s): 6mmBR [1]

Hodgdon [1]

The .17 Mach IV is a wildcat centerfire rifle cartridge, based on the .221 Remington Fireball case, necked down to fire a .172 bullet. The cartridge was introduced in 1962 by Vern O’Brien.[2] The cartridge offered an easy case conversion and good ballistics, but could not compete against the .17 Remington.[3]

The name, Mach IV, comes from the claim that the bullets can reach 4,000 ft/s.[4] Due to the relatively small case capacity, even small variations in powder of 0.5 gr (0.032 g) can lead to the difference between a safe and dangerously over pressure load.

The .17 Mach IV became very popular with varmint hunters, so much so that in 2007, Remington introduced its own very similar version, the .17 Remington Fireball.

See also


  1. Hodgdon Online Reloading Data
  2. 6mmBR 17 Caliber Wildcats
  3. Barnes, Frank C., Cartridges of the World, 7th Edition, p171
  4. Which .17? by Jim Saubier

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