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Gun Review: Marlin 917VS-CF

I managed to get the Marlin rifle I won at a Friends of the NRA dinner out to the range.  It’s a 917VS-CF in .17HMR.  This is the first rifle I have ever shot in .17HMR, and I have to say, I’m impressed with the round.  I threw a halfway decent Bushnell rimfire scope on it before I left, and once I got zeroed, I was able to punch out the X ring at 50 yards off the bench.  If I had used a sandbag to prop up the rifle instead of a wobbly piece of wood, I think the rifle would have punched a single hole in the A23 target.  Report was louder than I would have expected for something that shoots like a pellet gun.  Of course, no pellet gun could send a round downrange at 2500fps.  I tried shooting a bit offhand, and managed to get everything inside the black on the A23 target at 50 yards.  Not too bad.  Trigger pull is six pounds, but it’s a nice single stage trigger.  Marlin’s T-900 trigger is a lot better out of the box than a Ruger 10/22.

Three drawbacks to the rifle, all of which are my problem, not Marlin’s.  One is that I won a gun that’s a different variant of the 917 than I would have bought.  It’s meant to be a scoped gun and I shoot iron sights pretty much exclusively.  Second drawback is the .17HMR is expensive compared to the .22LR.  At about a quarter per trigger pull, it’s still cheaper than most center fire rounds, and it shoots very flat.  Third drawback is I can’t shoot it indoors, because our indoor range backstops can’t handle magnum rounds.  Not useful for silhouette either, because the .17HMR would destroy the animals.  I’ll admit, it’s not a rifle I would have bought if I hadn’t won, because I just don’t have too much use for .17HMR, but if needed something for varminting, or an accurate scoped rimfire rifle for target shooting, it’s a great gun for the price.  My main use for this gun will be for new shooters.

One Response to “Gun Review: Marlin 917VS-CF”

  1. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    The .17HMR round is a beautiful round. I bought one of the very first ones that CZ ever made. With the Hornady polymer tipped rounds, I shoot sub MOA groups at 100 yds. Back before the price of copper and lead went up, I used to get 500 round bricks of this ammo for $80.00. That would be my go-to gun for rabbit and squirrel hunting. Head shots would prevent damage to the meat.

    Different guns like different ammo. My CZ shoots the Hornady rounds real well. CCI and Remington manufactured bullets didn’t group as well.

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