Trading Trials &
Tribulations …

How I Discovered the .17 HMR Rimfire
14

The Ruger American in .17 HMR is a dandy varmint gun for urban settings.
That’s “Dexter” peeking over the gun, shot by Tank’s daughter several years ago.

So “Buckshot” wanted “The Neck’s” old Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special, along with my WWII-era Randall Made #1, with pinned stag handle. Knowing the value of both, he plays it cool. The Neck wants Buckshot’s battered CZ 7.62X39 model 527 and my original Brill holster.

We were at a standstill. This was typical, as we’ve been trading since elementary school. We were in the cafeteria swapping lunches. I wasn’t much of a trader, even back then. I usually ended up with a stomachache trading into spoiled liverwurst or a bad egg salad sandwich, while my friends devoured my Little Debbie Swiss rolls and Fritos. Some things never change …

The question now is who will make the game-breaking offer, opening the floodgates of smaller, more intricate trades, leaving everyone happy? Well, almost everyone …

The Names

Buckshot, his nickname since enduring a severe bout of acne in junior high, and The Neck, named for the crooked way he held his head from shooting his first big-bore rifle, and myself, have known each other since 2nd grade.

They came up with “Tank” after I shot a paper clip by rubber band, narrowly missing Buckshot by mere inches and cracking the aquarium in home room. The ensuing flood dumped 50-gallons of water and several flopping fish on the floor.

I don’t feel sorry for them! These guys would trade you out of your last pair of jeans, all while laughing at the indecency of it all. Buckshot ends up with the .44 Bulldog, along with my Randall, while The Neck somehow walks away with Buckshot’s CZ, my Brill holster and my 4″ Ruger Service Six. I never saw it coming!

Me? I’m left with a cap pistol and some boxes of .17 HMR ammo. I don’t even own a gun in 17 HMR, let alone a roll of caps! I’d been hoodwinked again, which is par for the course when trading with thieves. My compadres leave, laughing, while I feel somewhat dazed.
Now to try and find a 17 HMR gun so I don’t feel totally snookered.

The gun’s tang safety is a nice feature and the Picatinny base makes for easy scope mounting.

The Box

I head upstairs after hearing the door close when they leave. I notice a long, narrow white box, with a red bow, sitting on the kitchen table. What the hell? Below the bow is a scribbled note I can barely read. “Tank, here’s something to shoot those 17 HMRs with.” Those darned guys! I’d been set up. Maybe the guilt finally got to them?

The raised stock comb provides nice cheek purchase for high mounted scopes.
The American is extremely accurate.

Ruger American Rimfire

Inside is a Ruger American stainless steel, black synthetic bolt-rifle, with target knob. The barrel is 18″ and threaded, should I want to suppress it, and it has a Picatinny base for easy scope mounting. The Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger is nice, with a crisp, creep-free 3.5-lb. pull.

It comes with a 10- shot rotary magazine with easy release. The 60-degree bolt throw easily clears the Bushnell Banner 4-12X44 scope those clowns mounted on it. They even added a Harris bipod for me. I was starting to get kind of choked up, feeling guilty with all the expletives going through my head earlier.

I did what any shooter would do and went to the range. It only took a few shots zeroing the rifle in, the Bushnell Banner scope tracking perfectly. At 50 yards, the gun shoots 0.4″ 5-shot groups. At 100 yards, 0.9″ is the average. Plenty accurate, while not being too loud, for such a flat shooting rimfire. Velocity is listed at over 2,550 FPS with a 17-grain bullet, perfect for ventilating suburban vermin.

Keepin’ Secrets

I really like this rifle! It’s short, handy and one of the most accurate rimfires I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting. So, if you ever run across some guys at a gun show, pawn shop, or gun store and one holds his head kinda’ funny, and the other has a ruddy complexion, don’t tell them how great my Ruger American 17 HMR shoots!

It’s probably The Neck and Buckshot, and those desperados would surely trade me out of it in a nanosecond! I need a few good guns for myself … and some rolls of caps.

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