.17 Mach IV

.17 Mach IV
Left to right: .17 HMR, .17 Mach IV, .243 Win
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerVern O Brien
Parent case.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 length1.400 in (35.6 mm)
Rifling twist1 in 10"
Primer typeSmall Rifle
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/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 0.172 inches (4.4 mm) 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 (1,200 m/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". Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  2. ^ 6mmBR 17 Caliber Wildcats
  3. ^ Barnes, Frank C., Cartridges of the World, 7th Edition, p171
  4. ^ Which .17? by Jim Saubier