Scope Suggestions for Marlin 917V .17 HMR


September 12, 2005, 09:45 PM
Just picked up a Marlin .17 HMR bolt action. I am looking for an inexpensive but good quality scope, if such a thing exists? I understand I get exactly what I pay for however, I don't want to pay 200 bucks for a scope on a 180 dollar gun. I am leaning toward something in the Wal-Mart inventory possibly a Simmons? Specific model suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

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September 12, 2005, 11:02 PM
Spend as much as you can on optics. You really need something like a 4-12x for the 17HMR to be happy. The Bushnell Banner 4-12 x 40AO is about $100 and is a pretty good cheap scope.

September 12, 2005, 11:15 PM (SWFA closeouts) has the Simmons Whitetail Classic 6.5-20x50mm w/AO for $99.95 - that's a good economy choice.

As is the Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm w/AO, $112 here:

But to me, a good rifle like a Marlin (I'm not kidding), and most rifles in fact, deserve a scope that costs *at least* as much as the rifle itself, as a general rule of thumb. I have a Bushnell Scopechief (Bushnell's old topline) 6-20x40mm w/AO on my .17 HMR. I have this one on my precision .223:

It's twice as much as the Simmons, but has a nice micro illum dot, and fully multi-coated glass, and is still in the economy realm, in the big picture.

Lotta other choices as well.

Here is a pic of my Eradicator on my Handi .223, in post #7 of this thread:

September 13, 2005, 02:50 PM
So Bushnell and Simmons are good to go?

September 13, 2005, 03:05 PM
I understand the rationale of what you are trying to do, but with that gun being the shooter that it is I would really consider putting some better glass on top of it (Leupold, Sightron SII, Bushnell Elite, etc.) than what you are currently considering. If you really must go lower end, take a look at a Swift Premiere ( or a Mueller ( Both are under $200 and get very favorable reviews over at (

September 13, 2005, 08:00 PM
I had recently purchased a 917V last week (along with a CZ 452) to try out from reading the posts on Ihad ordered a Simmons 6.5-20X44 mag scope (Mildot/AO but not SF) for the gun but ordered it from Natchez too late for a get-together with other RC posters in NE OH. It went for $100 as a closeout to make room for Simmons' new line of scopes. To scope the rifle for the meet, I bought a Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14X40 (Mildot/AO but not SF) at a gun show the day before. Unfortunately, it was $270 after tax so out of your price range. The Nokin did perform very well with sharp undistorted images. Target turrets were well defined and had very little play (no more than 1/4 hashmark) and was very easy to re-zero, although doing so required a slotted screwdriver. (I hate the need for slotted screwdrivers for any scope. Much prefer hex.)

Having received the Simmons today, the scope does seem to work fine for its price. I am able to read the lettering on the side of a van ~130-140 yards away on low light on high magnification. It is ~7:50 PM here. The target turrets are well defined also but have a little more play, about 1/4-1/3 of a hashmark before the next click. Not too bad considering it was $100. To compare, I've got a POS BSA 8-24X40 AO and the play on the turrets are almost 3/4.

I liked the performance of the Nikon on the 917V so have decided to leave it there. It was suppose to go on the CZ. When shooting the CZ, I used a Sightron SIII SS 6-24X50 (Mildot/SFAO). That scope was destined to be put atop another 10/22M/.17HMR I'm building (waiting for some components) but really liked the way it performed and looks on the CZ so will keep that there too. Now looking for another scope for the build-up gun. I'll put the Simmons on top of my dad's 25N and see how it does.

September 13, 2005, 08:37 PM
So Bushnell and Simmons are good to go?

No. Not just ANY simmons or bushnell. Only certain lines are quality enough in my book to be put on any rifle, let alone a good shooter. My recommendations go no further than the specific make, LINE, and MODEL which I suggested as being a good value. Ask more questions if I can be of more help, but there's so many hundreds of makes and models out there, I can't try to help without more info. First, what is your MAX budget? Can you rise to the $200, or are you stuck at 100, 125, 150, 175, what? Second, does said budget include rings, or do you have another budget for getting rings. Third, will you be shooting in low light or not (i.e. hunting/varminting, or solely fun/range gun)? Fourth, will you be shooting at very short ranges (like 10-20 yards), or only longer ranges (because for the former, you would want an AO scope)? Next, what magnif range do you think you want? Because you can get into a better-quality, lower power scope for the same money as a lesser-quality, higher power scope. And I second the opinion of looking at Swift Premier scopes (at ), or at Muellers (at ), for an pretty decent economy choice. But better scopes will have better features, better repeatability, and clearer optics than cheaper ones. If you can possibly go up to $300, then I'd seriously consider getting the Tasco Super Sniper (fixed 16 for that varmint/precision rifle) from .

September 13, 2005, 09:10 PM
I like the Bushnell Trophy 4-12 with AO for 22's. Its not too big and can be had for under $160. :rolleyes:

And yes, these guys are right. I used to work at a gunshop and we all agreed that the guy that bought the cheapest Savage bolt action rifle with a nice Leupold scope was far better off than the guy that bought a top of the line rifle and then put a junk scope on it. :)

September 13, 2005, 09:27 PM
First, what is your MAX budget? Can you rise to the $200, or are you stuck at 100, 125, 150, 175, what?

I am seeing the light, I'd be willing to do $250

Second, does said budget include rings, or do you have another budget for getting rings.

No, those are done, both Leupold.

Third, will you be shooting in low light or not (i.e. hunting/varminting, or solely fun/range gun)?

90% Hunting / Varminting and 10 % Range.

Fourth, will you be shooting at very short ranges (like 10-20 yards), or only longer ranges (because for the former, you would want an AO scope)?

Mostly 50 - 200 yards, I consider that long?

Next, what magnif range do you think you want?

Iíve never owned any thing other than a 3x9 on a rifle. I shoot handguns about 80% percent of the time, and use iron sights only. However, with this gun I want to step out of that box.

Let me say again, as with all other hobbies I do believe you get what you pay for. I am seeing that's it's hard to find good quality optics for under $200. But again I know that there is a happy medium. I have been shooting long enough to know most guns outshoot the owner. I say that to say this. I understand there are optics out there that will allow you to adjust valve clearances on a car from 200 meters. I don't need that. I just want a good quality scope that compliments the gun and does NOT HINDER the shooter. So hit me with all the suggestion you have. Specific model numbers are great, that limits my research time. It obliviously has been years since I purchased a scope, so keep the help flowing. Thank you, Thank You guys!

After this I have a barrel bedding question for this gun.

September 13, 2005, 10:36 PM
Yes, as you say, I think there is a 'sweet spot', or happy medium of quality/price. OK, with your answers in mind, I'd recommend you get at least a 4-16, 5-15 or 6-18, but not much more. Why? Because you said hunting which could include low light. For low light, quality scopes 'shine' (no pun intended) - in bright light you don't really need much quality of resolution/clarity. And if you go to higher mag than that, you'd be compromising your quality on the given budget. So probably a max mag of 6-18, but possibly a 6.5-20x or 6-24x. And you don't need an adjustable objective since you won't be hosing stuff under 50 yards, so that is good, because AOs add expense, so without that requirement we can go higher on quality for the same magnif without AO on the given budget. Still, the budget doesn't allow the Super Sniper unfortunately ($250 vs. $300). And for low light and high magnif shooting, you want a large objective lens, preferably 44mm or more IMO, to maximize exit pupil. So, we're looking for a 6ish-18ishx44ish, Not-necessarily-AO, highest quality for $250, or a very good value less than that. Some specific ones you might look at then, IMO (some are redundant with my prior posts):

1. Bushnell Banner 6-18x50mm $112:
2. although just over the budget limit, the Bushnell Elite 3200, 5-15x50mm is $269:
3. also a smidge over the buget as well at $269, the Weaver V-series 4-16x42mm:
4. Mueller Sport Dot 4-16x50mm, illum center dot, $180 :
5. Mueller Eradicator 8.5-25x50mm, also illum dot, $200
6. Simmons scopes are being cleared out to make way for their new improved lines, so the older decent Simmons ones are cheap. The 44Mag series or Whitetail Classic (WTC) series are pretty good economy scopes, like the Simmons WTC 6.5-20x50mm AO (as mentioned) at $99:
7. The Swift Premier 6-18x44mm AO, about $180:
8. Swift Premier 6-18x50mm, $195:
9. Swift Premier 6-24x50mm, $215:
10. If you want to go economy plus (minus?), then I've heard the Tasco world class are not too shabby either, this one at $89:
11. Another possibly real good choice is the Millett 'Buck Gold' series Varmint 4-16x56mm AO, with 30mm tube, at $247 (just slides in under the budget limit):
12. Or though out of the budget a bit, at $289, the Millett Buck Gold Varmint 6-25x56mm AO, 30mm tube:
13. Finally, although it might be difficult to actually find a dealer for this one, it certainly looks appealing for the price - it's the Nikko-Stirling "Gold Crown Tactical" illum. mildot reticle, 6-24x50mm w/ saddle focus and 30mm tube - with an MSRP of $324, it should come in around $250 actual price, maybe a little more. Go here, then click on "Nikko-Stirling Optics", then click on "Click here for spec sheets" at the bottom of the page:

Mind you, #s 2 and 3 above are a definite step up in quality from the others and naturally, have the best warranties as well. And of course, options 11, 12, and 13 would require different (30mm) rings. Some of these can be had for less on ebay and other places if you shop around too. There's a lot of other pretty good scopes just beyond this range, so your options would open up greatly if you'd go up to $300 or $325, notably the Super Sniper fixed 10, 16, or 20, as mentioned: , as well as some Burrises, Nikons, and others. I'd steer clear of Simmons Blazer, Simmons 8-point, Simmons Deerfield, Bushnell Sportsman, Bushnell Sportview, other Tascos besides World Class and Super Sniper, and ANY BSA scopes (with the *possible* exception of the "Cat's Eye" line of BSAs).

Now what I'd *really* like to see is for you to put this one on there:

the SN-9, 10-42x80mm - it's only $5K. :D

Edit: See additions to my list...

September 13, 2005, 10:57 PM

I'll keep you updated.

September 14, 2005, 07:18 AM

I have come to the throne of knowledge once again.

I have two possibilities that I would like to submit for review:

Simmons Pro Hunter Master 4-14x44mm W/smart Reticle

Leopold Rifleman 4-12x40mm

Bushnell 6-18x50mm Banner Dusk & Dawn
**I love the smart Reticle on the Simmons.


September 14, 2005, 12:12 PM
I would second the suggestions made by gbran and jet...
I have Bushnells on two of my rifles and they have worked out great. Originally I was going to suggest the 4-12X40 AO in the Banner line, but since you raised your original budget, I would say go with at least the Bushnell Trophy 4-12X40 AO or possibly go to their Elite 3200 series if the budget permits. I wouldn't go beyond the 12X because target acquisition can be difficult beyond that while hunting and I would definitely stay with an AO model. Shooting at varying ranges is SO much better with an AO scope. I had non AO models on my rifles previously and I replaced them with AO models later. Don't waste your money, go AO from the beginning.

September 14, 2005, 01:10 PM
Good Stuff! Thanks.

September 14, 2005, 01:44 PM
You may also want to consider one of the Nikon Pro Staff models. I have one of these on a muzzleloader I got last year, and I'm very pleased with the clarity and low light perfprmance. In the 150-200 $ range at Gander Mountain.

September 14, 2005, 04:13 PM
Since you have decided to increase your budget, I would definitely consider taking a look at a Sightron SII. If you look around, you may even find one with an adjustable objective in your price range. Here ( is a fixed objective 3.5x10 for 199.95 on (and no, I am not the seller).

September 17, 2005, 06:10 PM
I'm more like the intermittent trickle of knowledge than a throne, but.....

I've heard very good about the new lines of Master Pro Simmons, but no personal experience. I'd bet they are a very good value, so I'd get that since you like the reticle. Then report to us. :)

As for the Leupold Rifleman, you get the Leupold lifetime warranty on the one hand, but OTOH, they seemed to be overpriced for what you get, and have heard *some* negative about them. Due to the warranty, I doubt you can go wrong, but personally, I'd step up to at least a VX-1 in a Loopy - they are good stuff.

February 24, 2008, 01:58 AM
I recently put a Burris Fullfield II on a Marlin .45-70 . Only shot it once , But think I am going to like it . It is in the $ 150 -200 price range .

God bless

February 24, 2008, 01:00 PM
+1 on the Burris. amazing scope for the price.

February 24, 2008, 01:51 PM
first off, you need the highest magnification you can get. at least 18 power, I use mostly 24 power, and have one that is 32 power. The Tasco varmint series is the best bang for the buck; it is a 6 x 24 power, and is clear, and can take recoil- as if the 17 recoils. it will be somewhere in the area of 100 bucks.
Also , if you can find a Weaver fixed power, used say 32 or 36 fixed power, i would jump all over that.

December 1, 2009, 11:02 PM
I have an additional question for you scope experts. I recently purchased a Browning Tbolt 17 HMR that came equipped with a Bushnell Trophy 4-9 x 40 scope. Based on your posts and from experience, it seems a little underpowered for the gun. The guy I purchased from shot a deer with this gun and so maybe it was fine for sighting that, but I am mainly plan to target shoot and do some gopher/small game hunting in the Alberta parries. I have no problem with spending up to $600, can you give me some suggestions. I am really new to the sport and have only shot about a 100 rounds. However, I canít imagine shooting much beyond a 100 yards for small game with the current scope.

December 2, 2009, 12:34 AM
If you are hunting with it at 100 yards you don't need more than 9x. 9x is roughly like moving the target 9x closer to you. This isn't exact and is a bit over simplified but it isn't too far off. That said how well can you see a gopher at 11 yards? If you can't see them at that distance with no magnification then you may need more scope.

Hunting and target works basically require opposite style scopes. On a hunting scope you want enough magnification to make out what you are shooting and where on the target you are shooting but you also want enough field of view to find the little guys. You don't need to tell which hair you are aimed between. Finding the guy is much more important. This is why you really don't want any more magnification that needed. More magnification tends to kill field of view. You really need to balance the two.

A scope for paper punching needs very little field of view. Paper tends to be stapled still and isn't running around. When you get to the point where you are trying to cut the last tenths, hundredths, and even thousandths off your groups then being able to see which fiber you are aiming at really matters. You will see many serious target shooters, especially in the rimfire game, buy fixed magnification scopes in either 36 or 45x magnification. That is darn near impossible to hunt with.

So you have to pick what you think is important. I find 3-9x to be as much scope as I want on a hunting rimfire. Most of my shots are within 50 yards. I hunt mostly woods so clear lanes aren't as long as you may see. I almost never move the scope over 3-4x hunting and I certainly wouldn't want to not be able to dial down that low.

I do have some rimfires that only see the bench/range, my 17hmr included. These range guns all have either fixed magnification scopes with high magnification or variable magnification scopes starting in the 6-8x range and going up to the 20-32x range. Like I said though I'm not trying to find a target, I know right where I stapled it.

If you are on a $600 budget there are MANY good options.

My first suggestion would be to not spend anything on a new scope. Buy $600 worth of ammo. Learn the rifle and learn how to shoot. Many new shooters think a higher magnification scope will make them shoot better but it isn't that simple. You need to learn the mechanics before the equipment really means much. I can tell you from personally experience learning how to shoot well means SO MUCH more than the magnification of your scope. Heck look at the guys shooting competitively in the service rifle matches. They shoot better groups using irons sights standing up freehand than a lot of guys can shoot with a huge scope off a bench. Give that scope a try. Read on proper shooting technique. See if things don't improve with a little practice. In fact the best thing to do may be to buy a rifle in .22lr to practice with. I have gotten decent results with the Federal Champion .22lr which cost about $1.50 a box of 50. You can practice all day and not spend $20. That .17HMR, while nasty on game, is an expensive habit. Locally I am getting mine from $13-$17 for a box of 50. If you plan on shooting even just a couple thousand rounds you could have bought a decent .22lr with the cost of .17hmr ammo.

So with that out of the way, once scopes cross from the dirt cheap spectrum (read mainly China made) into the $200+ range (read Japan, USA, Europe, Philippine made) you are to the point of deminishing returns. Most of these scopes are built to last a good while and most will be fairly repeatable and dependable. The more you spend, the more you get, but being new it is often hard to see or appreciate the benefits of a much more expensive scope. I will say that while I can see a slight difference between my Nikon Buckmaster and a Nikon Monarch or Leupold VX-III I can't see enough difference to justify the price. While I could have afforded the nicer Monarch or VX-III they weren't that much better to my eyes and I don't abuse scopes enough to warrant any added durability of the more expensive scopes. The base model Japan made scopes have all been fairly impressive for the money of late and would be what I suggest to a newer shooter looking for a good scope. Brands such as Sightron, Weaver, Bushnell Elite 3200 and 4200, Leupold, Burris, Nikon, and Zeiss are good options. You basically get what you pay for from these lines. Scopes comparable in price from these manufacturers are all pretty similar and really a coin toss to chose from. If you were to spend on a new scope I would do so from one of these manufacturers. First though shoot a bit and tell us what you don't like about the current scope. You may find it suits your needs well. If you find it doesn't do something well we can point you towards a scope that will improve this deficiency. As is though its kinda hard to pick one scope that does absolutely everything

December 2, 2009, 04:36 AM
Some of the less than expensive scope work just fine. As long as you treat them with respect. Altho, I wouldn't put one on a big-bore centerfire rifle, most will work fine on a rimfire rifle.

Here's a pic of my Savage 93R17-BV, which is also a .17HMR (like yours). The scope is a tried & true Tasco 6-24x42 Varmint scope that I've used on several different rifles. This is not a brush-gun, it's a sit down & make yourself comfortable until the ground-squirrels/prairie-dogs stick their little heads out of their holes.

This one's a keeper.

Good luck,


Savage 93R17-BV

December 2, 2009, 04:58 AM

December 2, 2009, 05:08 AM
Kingmt and CH47gunner, are you suggesting this to the OP or the person who revived this thread? The person who brought this back has a $600 budget and you are suggesting a $60 scope?

December 2, 2009, 08:14 PM
Kingmt and CH47gunner, are you suggesting this to the OP or the person who revived this thread? The person who brought this back has a $600 budget and you are suggesting a $60 scope?
Sorry. I was posting to the OP & didn't realize it was a 5 year old post. I actually read the new postings & I would still suggest the same scope or similar.

I don't believe you always get what you pay for. Just because you spend more for junk doesn't make it anything else. While you have mentioned some good names in scopes & I have a Bushnell that had a tag of $200 & I really like it but this $60 scope has as good of optics & a few bells & whistles to boot.

If your not shooting over 100 yards or competing then the scope I suggested should make you happy & you will still have money to buy another gun.

I just bought a $200 Savage 17HMR & while there was some things I didn't like about it I keep reminding myself it was a $200 gun. After some adjustments though I had a gun I was very happy with. There is a lot of junk for sell from cheep to expensive but you can still find good stuff at a low price.

December 2, 2009, 11:14 PM
Thanks for the information. I think benzy2 hit the nail on the head with the suggestion to use the gun for a while, learn how to shoot properly and from that, choices will become apparent. Nice looking gun CH47, almost bought one but Iím a lefty and itís more difficult to find.

Good point on application benzy2, I have a stronger preference towards the hunting aspect rather than just strictly target shooting, so the field of view is of greater importance. Donít get me wrong, even with the limited shooting I have done, this thing is deadly within 50 yards and I can hit the bullseye with ease as Iím sure all you can. However, it gets pretty dicey at 100 yards and given the gunís capability, I would like to be able to shoot and hunt out to 150 yards with some confidence. I read up on a ballistics program and the MPBR is around 160 yards, so I was thinking that my scope should have at least that capability. I even read of some folks shooting ground squirrels out past 230 yards which kind of blows my mind but that won't be me. Even if you had a couple of scopes that would be of your highest recommendation for future consideration, I will make a note of it and just go buy one, thereís so much info I got lost. Sounds like you get what you pay for so around the $500-$700 range canít go too far wrong. You guys are going to be a great source of info, any links as to good shooting technique?

Anyway, Iíll go do some more shooting, too bad itís going to 20 below zero, puts a damper on things.

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