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4.6 x 30

New drawing Coming

Introduced in 2001, the 4.6×30mm H&K is an 18-caliber submachine-pistol cartridge with precisely the same purpose as the 5.7×28mm FN. Ballistically, it is similarly anemic. But, it works at much higher pressure and can launch lighter bullets to generate more energy with similar recoil, which matters in submachinegun use.

With the limitations of components, it is hard to imagine much interest in this chambering. I was surprised to discover Lee makes the dies. Proves what little I know! Obviously, someone is handloading it. Obviously, they have good reasons for doing so.

As a personal aside, this is the case John Anderson discovered to create a 17-caliber minimalist varminting round that has all the advantages of the 17-Hornet in a smaller case that is easier to work with. The 17 JAV is a fantastic minimalist chambering for the serious varmint hunter.


The history of that might be of interest. Through many years of varmint hunting together, John and I had often discussed the reality that was the absence of a good case upon which to build a 17-caliber, minimalist varminting round.

We agreed that if we got a room full of ballistic geniuses together to discuss the matter for a month, we, as a group, could not come up with a worse case design than the 22 Hornet, which was the only option we had! We both appreciated the Hornet for the nostalgic aspect but it had everything going against it: Thin case wall and neck, limited shoulder area, a useless rim, and limited working pressure because primer pocket diameter was so close to head diameter.

Then, one day, John was at an Industry event where the H&K folks were demonstrating their submachinegun that was scattering the cutest little cases on the ground. These had exactly the needed capacity, a strong case head, thick case wall and neck, and a thoroughly modern design.

John picked up a handful of fired cases and called me! Within weeks we had a reamer from Pacific Tool &Gauge, two 17 HMR carbine barrels from Thompson/Center (T/C), which easily rechambered to this centerfire round and several sets of custom dies from Lee Precision. The ideal minimalist varminting round was born.

John originally named it the 17 VHA, in honor of the Varmint Hunter’s Association. After thoroughly dishonest folks took over and bankrupted that outfit, I renamed John’s invention, in honor of a good man and my friend as the 17 JAV (John Anderson Varminter). Others have nicknamed it, The Mighty Cricket. I believe John would approve.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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