22 mag vs 17 for 100yd rodent control


Bull Nutria
February 6, 2012, 05:11 PM
What are the pluses and minuses of these 2 calibers?

what are the best reasonably priced rifles for each particular caliber?



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February 6, 2012, 05:13 PM
Pretty much any rifle made in .17HMR is an accurate gun, 1 to 0.5 MOA. Ammo is also all high quality, just more expensive than .22WMR. If you intend on getting anything from the rodents, go with .22WMR. The .17 will pretty much explode them.

R H Clark
February 6, 2012, 05:16 PM
.17 hands down for rodent control. Accuracy and trajectory both go to the 17.I would only go 22mag if considering larger varmits.

Savage for cheap accuracy.

February 6, 2012, 06:37 PM
30 grain HPs from a .22WMR will explode critters, too...

February 6, 2012, 08:09 PM
The .17 HMR is awesome in the accuracy department. It starts running out of steam pretty quickly after about 150 yards, but it's pretty darn flat out to there. It's deadly on prairie dogs within that range. However, bigger vermin in the 10-15 pound range may be better controlled inside of 100 yards with the little .17.

The .22 WMR will have a little more thump at the 100-150 range, but it's not as flat shooting, and arguably not as accurate as the .17 HMR.

Both have good choices in bullets. The .17 HMR can be had with hollowpoints, V-Max's, soft points, and FMJ's in the 17-20 grain range. Each will offer a little different penetration/expansion.

Same goes for the .22 WMR. Bullet weights range from 30-50 grains. Penetration will always be better with the WMR (with the possible exception being the .17 FMJ loads).

February 6, 2012, 08:20 PM
the 17 is a little more precise out a little farther. Thats all it amounts to. So for example it would be better on a gopher at 150-200 yds whereas a 22 mag would be better for a bigger critter out to 150.

February 6, 2012, 08:23 PM
I really like the standard weight barrel Savage R9317, 17 hmr. Mine is black laminate I don't think they make that one anymore, but I glass bed the rifle and put a sharp shooter trigger in it and it really shoots good. You DONT need the heavy barrel in a 17 there's already a disproportionate amount of steel surrounding that little bore in a sporter weight barrel.

February 6, 2012, 08:46 PM
You DONT need the heavy barrel in a 17 there's already a disproportionate amount of steel surrounding that little bore in a sporter weight barrel.


February 6, 2012, 08:58 PM
My dad had mid to late '80 marlin bolt .22 mag that he could punch quarter sized targets with at 100 yards with a cheap scope, and I wouldn't believe it either if I hadn't seen it. that said, I have never owned a .17 or even shot one, but in one summer I had the same rifle down to a grapefruit sized pattern and have yet to touch a rifle of small caliber that could come close!

February 7, 2012, 12:51 AM
The 17HMR kills way out there compared to the 22LR, but the 22LR is much cheaper.
17 HMR costs more than 223 costs to reload, and the 223 reaches much further.

I have killed a lot of rodents with all three.

All I have ever done with 22 mag is shoot a hole in a piece of wood and say, "gee whiz".

What does it all mean?
Skip the 22 mag and the 17HMR, and use the 22LR and the 223.

February 7, 2012, 01:10 AM
I've used .22lr for almost everything from rats, coons, possums, skunks, dogs, coyotes, bobcats, and grandpa used one to shoot hogs for butchering. Yes it was at point blank range. I even heard a rumor of a guy who shot a large doe with one years ago when he was young and foolish.

I just bought a .22 mag the other day because sometimes you just like a little more. I asked this same question a year ago and the average answer was

Targets, superior accuracy a little farther out and a little critter getting.....get a .17hmr

Mainly critter gettin....go with the .22 mag

.223 I hear can be downloaded if you reload and you could probably get it down close to either but that's if u reload.

February 7, 2012, 07:53 AM
I recently had the same decision in that I wanted something between my CZ .22 & Sako 22-250 for hunting/ pest control. I went with the .17hmr Sako & this has been a fun new toy.
The .17hmr is very accurate to 150 yards & is deadly on rabbits. I also use the .17 for head shooting feral goats & any head/ upper neck shot drops a goat instantly. The little .17 bullet is however sadly lacking in power for chest shots on goat sized game, where I know the 50 grain .22 magnum bullet works.
Same goes for small pigs, the .17hmr is fine for behind ear shots, but forget chest shots on even trotters, where a .22 magnum would suffice.
The .17hmr is no good for shooting through light foliage & even high grass can fragment bullets, where a .22 magnum would perform better.
If all you were going to shoot was rodents, then I think the .17hmr would be perfect.

February 7, 2012, 08:19 AM
IMHO, within its effective range of 150yds, the .22Mag is more effective. The .17 shoots flatter and can be effective up to 250yds. If all you're gonna shoot is rodents out to 100yds, you might want to consider the .17HMII.

Skip the 22 mag and the 17HMR, and use the 22LR and the 223.
1. Rimfire magnum rifles can be had A LOT cheaper than .223's. Show me a .223 for $250-$350 that shoots MOA out of the box and I will buy it.

2. Some folks value their time. I would much rather buy a few boxes of .17HMR or .22Mag, which lasts me a couple years, than spend the time at the bench developing loads for a .223. Not to mention stocking more bullets, brass, primers and powder.

3. That's quite the performance gap between the .22LR and .223. There's plenty of room for more in between.

Art Eatman
February 7, 2012, 09:31 AM
I watched Justin zap prairie dogs to 100 yards, quite easily, with his .17 Mach II. After he figured out wind and holdover, he was hitting cleanly out to a lasered 200 yards.

The .17 HMR would do even better, with its advantage in muzzle velociity.

February 7, 2012, 09:38 AM
I much prefer the 22WMR over the 17. From my experience, the ammo is cheaper, it kills better at longer distances, and it kills bigger animals much better.


February 7, 2012, 10:56 AM
With all this said, and all the varied opinions, the answer became very clear to me: you must get both! That way, you, too can develop an opinion or three!

February 7, 2012, 05:02 PM
I have two .17HMRs, but have never owned a .22 mag. I have a Ruger 77 and an Anschutz 1517 MPR with a heavy barrel. The Anschutz is hands down much more accurate. I can shoot one hole groups at 50 yards and quarter size at 100...on a calm day. I have killed 100s of prairie dogs, lots of squirrels, and a few coons with both of my .17HMRs. That caliber definitely has killing power. The Ruger has a sport barrel and heats up after a few shots and begins to lose it's accuracy, which has been a problem shooting prairie dogs, but not when shooting squirrels since the barrel never gets hot. No such concern with the Anschutz. I've killed PDs with it out to about a 100 yards. OK. About .22 mags. My brother in law bought a .22 mag to take on his infestation of coons. It gave me a chance to see what a .22 mag would do to coons, compared to my .17 HMR. I killed 3 before he got his rifle and he killed 14 coons over a 2-3 week period and it does a great job. Every coon I shot was either a head or neck shot and they were dead before they hit the ground. I didn't see all of his, but he says it really whacks them hard. My next purchase is going to be a .22 mag, just because I want one. Read some ballistics on them and see which one meets your needs.

May 8, 2012, 05:36 PM
Get the 22 mag more knock down power, 17 hmr is about 14 bucks for 50 rounds. 22 mag is 12 bucks for 50 rounds.

May 8, 2012, 05:38 PM
22 mag is cheeper and better:)

May 8, 2012, 06:07 PM
For your stated purpose and range, from what I've seen, the 17HMR is more accurate; but as a practical matter, just choose one, if you have some subjective reason to choose one over the other.

Personally, I'd get the 17HMR, for all of the reasons stated above. As far as which rifle to get, find either a Marlin or Savage in a model that you like and roll with it.

I have a friend that has a Savage (bull barrel with thumbhole stock) in 17HMR and he can regularly pop holes through .223 brass at 100 yards with it. Funny thing is that I don't think he has $500 in the whole rig.

May 8, 2012, 06:12 PM
.17 costs more in the fact that not only is the ammo more expensive you need specialized cleaning rod, jags and patches. It's still a neat little cartridge. You have the advantage of true sptizer bullets in 17, over roundnose in 22 mag.

Wind blows 17 around more than 22 mag, but both are prone to drift in any amount of wind.

I'd say at 100 yards there's just not a lot of difference accuracy wise, I think the .17 breaks up in just about anything it hits with the .22 mag tends to penetrate farther.

May 8, 2012, 06:17 PM
.22 WMR is $8/50 isn't it? I think the .22 WMR will have better penetration, easier to find, and cheaper to buy.

May 8, 2012, 06:54 PM
i picked up a marlin 925m in .22 mag a few years back for around $200 and topped it with a 3-9x32 bushnell. it will easily shoot sub-MOA 5 shot groups at 100 yards (furthest i have tried it on paper) with cci fmj or hp. mine is my go-to squirrel rifle but head shots are almost required, especially with hp bullets, fmj dosnt make near as much mess.

May 8, 2012, 07:09 PM
Savage in .17hmr IMO. Mine holds sub 1/2 MOA groups at 100yrds with the V-MAX and will turn crows into feather puffs out to 200 yrds. Ground squirrels and muskrats don't stand a chance and the one bobcat I shot didn't even have an exit wound so pelt damage was nill. If you use it for squirrel hunting head shot them cause if you catch them in the shoulder you only get half a squirrel. The .22 mag wouldn't be a bad choice for what you want either especially if some of your vermin is yotes. The .17hmr doesn't do as well on critters over 30lbs or so not enough penatration.

May 8, 2012, 10:55 PM
I took my 17 HMR at 100 yds shooting 17 gr ammo and punched holes though a steel pot at 100 yds. Clean holes. Somewhat cheap pot. I vote 17 HMR.

May 9, 2012, 12:54 AM
100 yards isn't a problem for either. If you shoot small varmints further out then I would go with the .17. If you shoot bigger varmints I would go with the 22 mag. Savage, Marlin and CZ all make decent or better rifles for these rounds.

May 9, 2012, 08:48 AM
I'd say at 100 yards there's just not a lot of difference accuracy wise, I think the .17 breaks up in just about anything it hits with the .22 mag tends to penetrate farther.
The accuracy difference can be huge! A great many budget priced .17's will shoot well under MOA. Savages and CZ's quite often shoot half-MOA. With the .22Mag, you're lucky to get much under 2MOA.

The 20gr XTP penetrates very well and is quite effective, even on coyotes.

May 9, 2012, 12:52 PM
My friend hunts coyotes near his property with his father in law. His father in law uses a Savage 17HMR and hasnt had any problems with it taking down coyotes. Just like any other caliber you have to buy the correct bullet for the game.

May 9, 2012, 09:14 PM
For slaughtering farm animals a .22 mag works pretty good point blank. But for most rim fire shooting the .17 is top dog.

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