Best Rimfire Caliber


March 9, 2006, 09:40 AM
What caliber is best in terms of distance and power?
I guess .17hmr shoots farther but .22mag has more power?
What about the .17 Mach2?

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March 9, 2006, 10:03 AM
Just has to be the 17HMR. No other rimfire caliber can touch it for velocity, accuracy, and range.

March 9, 2006, 10:05 AM
i believe the 17 mach 2 is a 22 long rifle necked down. if that is the case, it can't compete w/ the 17 hmr.

March 9, 2006, 10:59 AM
17HMR = slightly smaller, faster, flatter, more accurate .22mag

17Mach2 = slightly smaller, faster, flatter, more accurate .22lr

overall..ballistically speaking, the 17HMR will give you the best combination of distance and power.

Not exactly cheap for rimfire ammunition though.


March 9, 2006, 11:17 AM
I am still stuck on .22 WMR as the best all around rimfire cartridge for hunting if you are thinking about anything larger than squirrels or rabbits. For putting holes in paper as close together as you can get them and if the paper is very far away from the end of the barrel, then .17 HMR. Chuck Hawks did a detailed comparison of the .17 HMR and the .22 WMR and basically concluded that up to 100 yards, .22 WMR is slightly more powerful but the .17 is more accurate. Somehow, I just can't get past the idea if a 17 grain bullet for hunting though, so I'm sticking with the .22 WMR.

March 9, 2006, 02:20 PM
Hey, you didn't mention the 5mm Remington! :D

I am wondering whether one of those .17 loads will go the same way... :confused:

Heh, edit to make that .17" not 17mm! :what:

March 9, 2006, 03:57 PM
The 17HMR is here to stay. Not sure of the other one.

March 9, 2006, 09:57 PM
They're all great for what they do and I'm glad we have the 17's now too. My favorite rifle rimfire is the 17m2 because I hunt and eat small game. The 17m2 isn't as destructive as the 17HMR which will ruin most small game. It's flatter than a 22lr and extremely accurate. It's much cheaper than the 17HMR. If I want to shoot farther and at bigger game than the 17m2, I use my .223 Thompson G2 rifle.

My second favorite rimfire is the 22 wmr, which I shoot out of a handgun. It gives me .22lr or better performance out of a handgun. It too shoots pretty flat and doesn't ruin meat (as it would in a rifle).

I haven't used my 22lr's since getting the 17m2.

March 9, 2006, 10:13 PM
yeah, but...

since we are headed down that road: how much accuracy do you really need for small game hunting? i use a 22 lr for cats and rabbits. have my gun zeroed at 100 yards, and can reliably and cleanly kill both out to 125-ish yards... at first, i thought the mid-range might be a problem. turns out it isn't. and i have shot for groups on paper, and even at 100, my lowly 22 bolt gun ain't that bad 2 - 3" (going from memory). but, like i said, cats and rabbits fall on shot one, even at 100...

so, i fail to see where the supposed accuracy increases of the 17's benefit the small game hunter.

if youare just wanting a fun new toy, cool, get it and play. myself... i refuse to pay that much money for non-reloadable ammunition. for the money, i'll load 223 and get even more accuracy, power, and range...

March 9, 2006, 10:29 PM
The 17m2 zero'd at 100 yds has a mid-range rise of .7" compared to a standard 22lr with a mid-range rise of close to 3". My TC 17m2 easily does sub moa 100 yd groups. It's great for squirrel head shots and I don't have to compensate with the scope for any shots between 25 to about 115 yds. Flat is good.

Car Knocker
March 9, 2006, 10:41 PM
I am wondering whether one of those 17mm loads will go the same way

Those .67 rimfires are a bear to shoot! :neener:

March 9, 2006, 10:45 PM
Cats??? :what: Got any good recipes??:D

Alaska Dave
March 10, 2006, 08:16 AM
Heres 1 recipe that all seem to enjoy. Kitty Fajitas:neener:

Bwana John
March 10, 2006, 09:11 AM
.22 lr:)

If I want distance and power I'll use a center-fire.:cool:

March 10, 2006, 12:09 PM
i believe the 17 mach 2 is a 22 long rifle necked down.

It is my understanding that the .17 HM2 is necked down from a .22 lr CCI Stinger case (which is very slightly longer than a regular .22 lr case).

March 10, 2006, 02:30 PM
Those .67 rimfires are a bear to shoot!

Touche! :D

Don't Tread On Me
March 10, 2006, 03:23 PM
Without a doubt, the .17HMR. It is faster, more accurate, and more powerful. It has a laser-like trajectory within its effective range.

It is the cheapest way to get an MOA rifle. I have an NEF that is MOA shooter, consistantly, not miracle groups. $130. It's not floated, no trigger job, and it even has a crappy transfer bar safety feature that makes primer strikes inconsistent.

Others do better and buy the Marlin 17v, under $200, most are MOA guns, and many of them 1/2moa. People produce scary accuracy with such a budget rifle.

Ammo is not cheap. It is cheaper than premium centerfire, but about the same, to a little more expensive than handloading .223.

The key to the .17hmr's accuracy is that no junk ammo exists for it. Every single ammo out there is premium. Also, every brand of ammo is virtually identical, which is great for manufacturers to stick with a nice tight chamber that works for it. Less, if any compromises have to be made overall.

March 10, 2006, 04:55 PM
i would say that it is the 17mach2 17hmr but the price for ammo is rediculous for rimfire it cant cost more to put a smaller bullet in the same case. ill stick with my .22lr for now

March 10, 2006, 05:05 PM
without a doubt .22LR or .22MAG... popular, cheap, and proven, quiet...

the .17 is like a .223 in microcosm. there's not enough meat there in that bullet to do enough damage to make me happy.


March 10, 2006, 08:40 PM
17Mach2 = slightly smaller, faster, flatter, more accurate .22lr
Smaller, faster, flatter, I agree with, but I find it hard to belive it is more accurate than a good RWS R50, Eley 10x, Federal Gold Medal Match, or any other high end target .22 round from a quality rifle. My Walther UIT Supermatch can put RWS R50 in .37 inch groups at 100 yards from a bench when I do my job correctly.

March 10, 2006, 10:19 PM
I think the .17m2 is kind of stupid, unless you want to just target shoot or plink. I read Chuck Hawk's review of the .22mag and .17hmr. He found the .22mag better for game under 100yds and the .17hmr more effective for game over 100yds. I am going to be buying a .17hmr CZ 452 Varmint. At, there are some thorough reviews and I gained more appreciation for the .17hmr after seeing pictures of coyotes that were killed with the tiny bullet. Basically, the round you choose orbits around what it will be used for.

March 11, 2006, 06:13 PM
Proven, accurate, effective.

I remember the 5mm Remington Magnum Rimfire. That's about where I figure the current crop of .17 caliber rimfires will be soon enough.

March 11, 2006, 07:25 PM
I remember the 5mm Remington Magnum Rimfire. That's about where I figure the current crop of .17 caliber rimfires will be soon enough.

Eh, we'll see. (For the .17 HMR, that is.)

March 11, 2006, 09:05 PM
I'll stick with .22LR as well.

The .17's look like fun, but not at the prices they charge for the ammo. If I was thinking about a .17, I'd liklier get a .22 Hornet.

March 12, 2006, 04:11 AM
inside of 100 yards, the 17m2 is better than 22lr. inside of 130 yards, the 17hmr is better than 22 mag. after that the 17's lose to much energy respectivley, because the 22 are basically twice the weight.

March 12, 2006, 08:17 AM

I had a Remington 591 5mm magnum. It was great, but Remington didn't support it with proper marketing. Then they didn't support it by continuing to make ammunition. Consequently, I'm not supporting Remington with my money.

The .17's are essentially the same thing as the 5mm with a lighter bullet. But, once bitten, etc. etc. I'd say that it seems like the .17's are being properly marketed & supported. It also seems as though Remington is very thin on the .17 ground.

However, to get to the issue at hand, I'm not in the .17 camp. I do a lot of hunting with the .22lr & am content with my results. I too sight my guns in at 100 yards & use mil-dot scopes for both mid-range and distance corrections. If I want more than the .22lr can give, I go to the .223.


March 12, 2006, 11:08 AM
The .17 HMR is just awesome. It hits hard and is flat shooting, but I think it has narrow applications.

The .22 lr still rules the roost for general rimfire applications.

March 12, 2006, 02:20 PM
The .17's are not so much small game hunting cartridges as they are small varmint cartridges. The .22 LR and .22 mag are much more suitable if eating the animal is in order. However, the .17's are far superior for simply dispatching little critters. I have .22 rimfires and .17 rimfires, and I enjoy all of them. My personal favorite is my Marlin 917M2 in .17 HM2. Why? It shoots .6 MOA cosistently @ 100 yards, has a MPBR far greater than .22 LR but with comparable Db's, and hits harder at all ranges than .22 LR. My furthest shot on a cottontail weighing roughly 3 lbs was 137 yards and he was dead instantly, his entrails spilling out of a wound roughly one-third his circumference. A 137 yard shot with .22 LR is somewhat of a lob, and even at close range the .22 LR tends to leave exit wounds on bunnies measuring around 1 to 1-1/2 inches.

It really comes down to the bullets employed. The highest quality .22 LR ammo still uses a copper-washed, heeled lead bullet. The HM2 uses a jacketed, polymer tipped boat tail spitzer. Of course, when I'm just plinking .22LR is FAR more economical.;)

March 12, 2006, 02:32 PM
The 17HM2 was a nice idea, but it is way too powerful.

The whole idea of making a 17 the same OAL as the 22LR was so that many guns in 22LR could be easily converted to 17HM2 with just a barrel swap. But the pressure curve of the 17HM2 is too long for a simple semiauto barrel swap--and most of the guns that use stacking magazines are semiautos. So if you want people to burn lots of ammo, they need inexpensive semiautos with high-capacity magazines.
And because of the problems of conversion, those guns don't exist.
Volquartsen makes some nice models for ~$800, but that's too expensive.
Nobody else makes a cheap rifle in HM2 that can take 10/22 mags.
Kimber is the only company making a 17HM2 pistol.

You can convert a 10/22 to 17HM2, sort of. It's a liability minefield, only one company will sell the kit (which includes a heavier bolt handle). A few of the companies that began making barrels stopped, as there was no way to ensure that the customer was using a proper heavier bolt with it. Without a heavier bolt, you tend to get bulged, split and stuck cases.

I think that copper-jacketed spitzer bullets for rimfires are a great idea, but the HM2 is bombing as we speak. The ideal solution would be for Hornady to drop the HM2 power down until a 22 semiauto can be safely converted with just a barrel swap. Then people could get cheap barrels for the 10/22's everyone already has and start burning ammo up. A lower-power HM2 might shoot slower than it does now, but it would still shoot faster than a Stinger, it would still feed better (spitzer bullets) and it would still be more accurate (copper-jacketed bullets).

March 12, 2006, 02:53 PM
Anything other than 22lr is just silly. Forget reloading, .223 can be had CHEAPER than either 17HMR or 22mag: ~$.18 per round for magnum rimfires, and ~$.13 for wolf 223, or ~$.20 for WWB 223.

22lr is the best rimfire, due to its utility, and sheer economy.

March 12, 2006, 03:56 PM
I just bought a 17HMR in a Savage 93R17-GLV (lefty) yesterday. I have yet to shoot it. Yeah, that ammo is expensive. I'm hoping the thing is accurate enough to shoot little ones at 100 yards and thus, make me feel like it's worth what I spend to shoot it. I got one of those BSA Sweet 17 scopes in a 3-12X zoom to go with it. Very clear; very sharp. I was mounting the scope onto the gun and was looking through it at a stucco wall about 60 yards away. I could see an ant on that wall. I know it was an ant because he moved very slowly and was long and thin, not fat and stubby like a fly. Not a bad scope for $133, eh? My friend, who loves to shoot squirrels and jackrabbits, says the 17HMR is the bee's knees when it comes to rimfires today. The 22LR is dated anymore, but it's still Number One for cheap shootin' fun. I have two 22LR firerarms and won't be getting rid of them in lieu of the 17 any time soon.

March 12, 2006, 06:05 PM
~$.13 for wolf 223,

Huh, never had Wolf .223 give me 0.8-1.0" groups at 100yds.

March 12, 2006, 09:43 PM
Huh, never had Wolf .223 give me 0.8-1.0" groups at 100yds.

My M77 MKII shoots MOA with 55gr Wolf and a 10 year old Tasco scope. Extraction is kinda rough though.

And we all KNOW how crapy Ruger barrels, and Tasco scopes are. ;)

March 13, 2006, 12:20 PM
...M77 MKII ...

Mmm, not a semi.

March 13, 2006, 02:23 PM
This is still a .22 WMR chambering but with some pretty impressive statistics :what: that are included in a thread over on Rimfire Central. I think I need to have a box to try. Definitely not the cheapest and definitely a special purpose round. No, it's not .223, but the question was for best RIMFIRE.

March 13, 2006, 08:20 PM
Mmm, not a semi.

Didn't see any references to semi-autos by the thread's author. Maybe I'm missing something. :scrutiny:

March 13, 2006, 08:45 PM
What caliber is best in terms of distance and power?Strictly answering the question, I'd say 22WMR. But since I have three 22LR rifles and four 223 rifles, I think it's safe to say that I see little use for the 22WMR....

March 13, 2006, 10:25 PM
Hello, Im new to THR, I found this site while looking for how to make a sandbag to shoot from.

Anyways, I recently bought a ruger heavy barrel 17m2. Which Im TOTALLY satisfied with. Amazing groups. Ive gotten groups at 50 yards with all 3 shots touching eachother. Not to mention the damage it did to a gourd shot at 50 yards. Entirely blew the back off it, which makes me anxious to see what it will do to a squirell next hunting season.
Its a lot of fun to shoot, but for 5.80 for 50 rounds, its a bit more costly to shoot than a 22lr, but with groups like that its still alot of fun to shoot.

As far as plinking and having fun with a group of people, I think the 22lr is the best, but with 1 or 2 or 3 other people shooting together and taking your time and not wasting ammo, I definitely think the 17m2 is the best rimfire caliber.

March 13, 2006, 10:39 PM
Hello, Im new to THR, I found this site while looking for how to make a sandbag to shoot from.

Welcome. :)

And for sandbags, I cut the legs off old pants... tie at one end, fill with sand, tie at the other end. Works very well.


johnny blaze
March 13, 2006, 11:39 PM
I have had a problem with ground hogs the last 2 years trying to get under the concrete in my barn.
I have got rid on 59 already. I have caught most of them in traps. Seems like they just keep coming.
I have shot many of them. The problem is, when I shoot then with the 22 rifle, they usually run away. Then I catch them a week or two later and they still have the bullet hole through them.
With my 17 HMR, they do not run away. The 17 HMR is superior for take down power.
That is what i have found.

March 14, 2006, 04:28 AM
Didn't see any references to semi-autos by the thread's author. Maybe I'm missing something.
-Ummm, , , sort-of.
It's called "the reason Remington doesn't make 5mm rimfire anymore". In that if the ammo manufacturer cannot sell enough to produce a reasonable profit, they will stop making it entirely.

Knocking the HM2 power down a bit would do much towards getting gun companies to make guns/barrels for it, and for people to burn up a lot more of it.

March 14, 2006, 12:41 PM
Didn't see any references to semi-autos by the thread's author. Maybe I'm missing something.

No reference. Can't get any of my ARs (including varmint and CMP models) to shoot Wolf under 1 MOA. No problem with my 10/22M - .17HMR.

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