.17 HMR or a .22 lr?


October 19, 2008, 12:51 PM
Hi all,
Just began a search for a new squirrel rifle/plinker, and i was wondering about the benefits of a .17 HMR over a .22LR (or vise versa?). Anyways, i know that .22's are much cheaper both to start off with as well as to buy ammo for but does the performance of a .17 HMR outweight that? or should i be looking at .17 mach 2? I would be looking at either a marlin model 60 or a 10/22 if i bought a .22 and if i were to buy a .17 hmr it would be the marlin 917 (one of the models).

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October 19, 2008, 01:01 PM
I'm not all too familiar with .17 HMR other than it's much more expensive but if you are going to go with the .22, you can do much better for yourself accuracy wise than a 10/22. If you're into modding guns then go for it but its out of the box accuracy lags behind others and takes some money to make them equal. You'll get a lot of recommendations for better .22 rifles if you ask.

October 19, 2008, 01:16 PM
With a .17HMR youíll have much greater accuracy at distances over 100 yards compared to a .22. I would recommend a bolt .17HMR like my CZ 452. Mine was accurate out of the box and that would be true with other brands as well. .17HMR was designed with longer range varmint hunting. Itís also an excellent long-distance target round. The only issue other than price would he shooting in high wind conditions. Otherwise itís an excellent round I enjoy and can recommend it.

October 19, 2008, 01:43 PM
If you get a 22 , go with the ruger 10/22, shoots great at 50 to 100 yards ,and you have tons of differant ways to set up your 10/22 ,but the .17hmr will be better past a 100 yrds http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm10/natesyz250/natespics033.jpg http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm10/natesyz250/natespics036.jpg

October 19, 2008, 01:47 PM
get a .17HMR, you will not regret it!

Ive owned two, a marlin, and a savage. they are both wonderful varmint guns out to 150+, and yes, they will kill a yote.


October 19, 2008, 01:53 PM
At what distance do you plan on shooting? How many rounds do you plan on shooting? What type of shooting will you be doing?
The 22LR is the best buy for the money, accurate, super cheap to shoot, while the HMR outdistances it by about quadruple in safe hunting distances, it also costs 4 times as much for decent ammo, not high end target ammo.
In hunting applications if your shots are consistently past 125 yards then the HMR is the best way to go, if all your shots are from 50-125 then the HM2 is the best way to go, at 3.90 shipped online, much cheaper than decent 22LR even, if bought in bulk, at distances under that, the 22 will be fine.
In target applications nothing can beat a quality 22LR, at respected ranges, out past 75 the 17's rule supreme.

I have all three and for my personal applications, small game hunting, I have found the HM2 to be the best, it is super accurate, kills much quicker than 22LR, and costs 1/3-1/4 the cost of HMR, however, my shots are all around 50 yards.
But for target shooting and plinking I still use the 22. But when I am gonna be shooting a bit longer then I break out the HMR.

October 19, 2008, 02:16 PM
for those of us with real world experience, you would be better off with a mach 2. the 17hmr is way too destructive, and ammo is 3 times the cost of mach 2 ammo. Also , with a mach 2, you can fire the 17 aguila bullet, with comes in 2 flavors, a boat tail fmj, and a hollow point.
the only reason to get a 17 hmr, is if you wanna bust coyotes out to 150 yards, or take pdog , or target shots out to 200.
the aggie bullet is a 20 grainer, that is fired from an actual 22 lr case, not a stinger case, like the mach 2. it leaves the muzzle at about 2000 fps.

eleymach 2 ammo can be had for 4 bucks a box off of internet sites,
especially our boys at ammotogo.com, it is even less.
Most guys who at one time or another , had 2 or 4 17 hmrs, have ditched them all, or just kept 1, in order to get 1 or more 17mach 2.
Just go over to rimfirecentral.com, and look for yourself.
Also , here are a couple of good sites for comparison.
I myself had 3 17hmrs, i ditched them all; and have now had or have;
All in mach 2.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 19, 2008, 03:48 PM
I don't consider a .17 Hummer to be a "squirrel rifle" or a plinker.

It's not a squirrel rifle, it's a squirrel/varmint eradicator - the round is so explosive that there's no meat left (non-bloodshot) or very little.

It's not a plinker because it's too expensive and the .22 is the classic plinker with just enough power for that.

What the .17 HMR *IS* is fun defined, a fantastic precision target rifle and a great varmint eliminator at short and medium ranges. For that reason, I have several and you should too. But everyone should get a .22 first and foremost. No recoil, super cheap ammo, plenty enough power to kill small game. You must get a .22 soon, and you must get a .17 HMR (IMO) at some point.

October 19, 2008, 04:40 PM
Thanks guys. I already have a henry .22 lever gun and i love it. however, the sights were somehow bent and even after being clamped for a week they still are somewhat crooked. i plan to take it to a gunsmith sometime soon but right now i have a scope on it.
point is, i definantly won't be ditching my .22 its just now a question of wether its worth it to buy another .22 or to get a whole different caliber for a slightly different purpose. .17hmr looks good because i might hunt coyotes later this season but if 17m2 can kill a coyote than that is probably a better choice.

October 19, 2008, 05:20 PM
.22 are you really going to shoot squirrls past 100 yards, hell ever further then 50?

if you want something that you can tactacool out and modify to make it accurate then get the 10/22

want something that is reliable as the day is long and then some out of the box, get a marlin.

October 20, 2008, 12:31 PM
Though I don't like to squirrel hunt in the wind, it does come up (no pun). Where 17s might be great trajectory-wise, someone cuts one a mile away and the 17 is blown a mile downwind.

I realize that's an exaggeration, but wind does really effect a 17's drift. Shooting at the range yesterday, the wind was blowing my 36 grain .22LR about 1.5 inches from POA. My buddy with the 17 was experiencing 2 inch drift. This was at 40 yards. I don't know how fast the wind was blowing, I'm not that kind of shooter.

Now, let's say you take a shot at a squirrell head in the wind. A, you could miss him. B, you could hit him in the shoulder. Whatever you shoot makes a mess in the shoulder, but the 17 far worse. As has been said in this post, it's a varmint round, not a meat round.

If you're truly interested in a hunting round that delivers a better trajectory than .22LR, I highly recommend .22 WMR. It suffered the least at the range yesterday. We were shooting cans at 125 with our .22LR (less wind). That's actually doable but still a challenge. The guy witht he 22 mag was quickly banned as there was no challenge for him to hit a beer can at that yardage.

The guy with the 17 . . . he had already put up his rifle because of the wind.

I hunt with a .22LR, and many squirrels lost their lives before my 10/22. I have since moved to bolts for accuracy, but still .22LR. I simply don't shoot over 50 yards. If you do, I recommend the .22WMR both for it's heavier weight and wind resistance and because it doesn't "blowup" what you're shooting. .22 WMR also cost less than 17s per 50.

October 20, 2008, 12:54 PM
Everybody should have a least one 10/22 and Marlin 60. After that then consider a .17.
BTW, plinking and .17 aren't an economically prudent mix!


October 20, 2008, 01:20 PM
Consider what range you will shoot most.

What kind of accuracy do you want?

Match ammo?

Look at the ammo price differences.

I choose the 22. But I also have a 22WMR for longer ranges.

My 2 cents

October 20, 2008, 03:15 PM
If you're truly looking for a squirrel rifle - with intent to use the meat - then a .22 is the hands-down favorite (also for short-medium low cost plinking). I would recommend a nicely done bolt rifle with scope...then take your scope off the Henry when it is fixed. Then you'll have both a great hunting rifle and a great (and fun) plinker. If you intend to shoot longer than 100yds, and/or want to blow up vermin, then the .17's bear consideration.

October 20, 2008, 03:18 PM
Squirrel rifle? .17HMR.

Plinker? .22LR

If you want a plinker, you might as well get a centerfire if you don't get a .22LR. You can't reload rimfires, and the HMR's aren't cheap. It's cheaper to reload centerfires.

October 20, 2008, 03:44 PM
If you want a plinker, you might as well get a centerfire if you don't get a .22LR. You can't reload rimfires, and the HMR's aren't cheap. It's cheaper to reload centerfires.

My thoughts too ArmedBear, I have a very accurate 17HMR NEF that goes unused now because the cost of ammo is crazy. I can load my 222 or 223 up or down and do it as cheap or cheaper than the 17.
I have 3 different 22 rimfire rifles if I want to shoot real cheap.


October 20, 2008, 04:08 PM
You can never go wrong with a 22lr. There is no reason in my opinion to obliterate a squirrel at 120-150 yards. Takes the sporting chance out of it. Squirrels abound as it is. IMHO you will never meet starvation with a good 22lr rifle.

October 20, 2008, 04:16 PM
NC- CDNN has Remington .17HMR ammo for $3.69/box of 50 right now. Might be worth grabbing some.

ds92- I wouldn't count on getting it for near that price, though, so I wouldn't buy a rifle with the intent of plinking with it.

October 20, 2008, 04:29 PM
I have plinked and hunted with both. I have found that I was never really able to take advantage of the range of the mach 2 or hmr when I was hunting squirrels. Also I had more missed shots due to deflection. I also found unless I got a headshot in the squirrels were not salvageable. For my squirrel gun I went back to 22LR. Now for paper punching I shoot mach 2 almost exclusively. I find that the mach 2's improved range is great for shooting 100 yards and then challenging me at 150. This is great practice for judging wind for when I jump up to my centerfires at long ranges. The cost of ammo was not a concern for me, under 4 bucks a box if buying in bulk, since I am used to feeding my centerfires (45LC, 30-06 and .308). Since you already have a .22 that will work for squirrels I would get an hmr or the mach 2. Another thought you mentioned coyote hunting you might want to consider one of the centerfire varmint rounds. More choice of ammo and as mentioned above you can load your own down the line.

October 20, 2008, 07:06 PM
NC- CDNN has Remington .17HMR ammo for $3.69/box of 50 right now. Might be worth grabbing some.

ArmedBear, are you sure it's HMR and not Mach2 ammo? Is that CDNN sports?


October 20, 2008, 07:17 PM
Squirrel rifle? .17HMR.
No no no if you are talking tree squirrels. Which you should eat. A .17 will blow them apart. If your talking ground squirrels, then the .17 is perfect under 150 yards.

October 20, 2008, 08:39 PM
I would go with the HMR
Its a great groundhog gun from 70-80 yards.

October 20, 2008, 09:33 PM
a couple of you obviously havent shot any game with FMJ's from the HMR...
shure anything ballistic tip at 2550fps will explode small animals.. there is such a thing as ammo selection tho, I suggest those of you who think a .17 HMR is overkill, look into that ;)

but then again, I havent had much "real world Experience" with the .17 HMR, just been shooting them for a lil over 3 years, easily about 10k+rds... 9 cyotes, countless bunnies n gopers, couple squirrels, and a few crows....... lots and LOTS of paper.. so mabey Ive had "real woods experience" instead..

btw, if you become proficient with a .17... you can shoot a squirrel in the HEAD.. again, if yer after meat, use 20gr FMJ, it dosent do as much damage as folks think..

wind is not too much of a factor unless yer dealing with gusty 15+ out to 100yds.. brush is much more of a concern tho..

but thats just my experience.....


October 21, 2008, 01:20 AM
Exactly. The FMJ is far better on meat than even the HM2. Wind drift on a 17hmr is LESS than a .22lr from both the experiences I have and the ballistics programs I have entered it in.

That said I see no point in the .17hmr beyond a little bit of fun. You really don't step up the size of the animal I feel the round is capable of humanly killing. You only stretch the effective distance out to maybe 125-150 yards, which I have never had the chance to hunt squirrels at. I pay $13 locally for 50 rounds. I might as well be shooting cheap .223 if I want the fun factor. I reload so handloaded 22 hornet would be world cheaper and good .223 would be about even. From a hunting point I like going from .22lr to either 22 hornet or .223 much more than I like moving to .17hmr. I just don't see what gap the hmr really fits. I have one and I fell for the speed rush. I thought ammo prices would fall to the $5-6 range when it all but killed sales of the hm2. Prices went opposite and now it sits. If it was cheap to shoot, pushing prices of better bulk .22lr ammo, I would shoot it all the time. Being more than I crank out centerfire for I just don't see a point personally. I would either get a good .22lr or a good centerfire in a smaller .22 chambering. Not many 22 hornet owners say bad things about them for a reason.

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