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17hmr or 22mag for turkey

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by gotmoretools, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. gotmoretools

    gotmoretools Member

    I am going to buy a Marlin in one of these rounds. Which one for Florida Osceola? My shots distance will be 60-130 yards.
  2. Grizfire

    Grizfire Well-Known Member

    I can't use rifles where I'm from, but if its legal for you I would go for the .17. It will probably damage less and still do a good job.
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    .17 will give you flatter trajectory. I group 1.5" 100 yards with my .22 mag, but it's not as flat as a .17 and either will do the job once it hits. I don't have a place to hunt 'em and the time I did hunt 'em, the ranch required shotguns. Shame, cause I'd much rather use the rifle. It's a better tool for the job IMHO and it's legal in Texas. I managed to bag a turkey, anyway.
  4. gotmoretools

    gotmoretools Member

    My concern with the 17hmr is if I hit the body a little lower than I would like, will it penetrate a lot of feathers and make a good kill. I know it is accurate, but I really don't think head shots are reasonable with turkeys, because of all that head jiving they do. I am caught between the two calibers.
  5. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member

    given the speeds you are working with (2300-2500 FPS)... I would not be worried about the feathers being much of an obstacle...

    then again, screw kevlar.. give me some feathers...
  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    the 17HMR shoots so flat and is so accurate head and neck shots would be a cinch out to 75yds and the little bullets are so explosive I'll wager such a shot would pop their head clean off. Out past that the bullet has bled off enough velocity to allow for body shots without excessive meat damage This is how I hunted squirrels back when I had a 17 using 20grn gamepoint ammo
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    So, turkey, you just gotta ask yourself....do I feel lucky....

    Don't they offer various bullets, solids, in 17? I'd think a solid with a flat point would kill just fine with a body hit and not mess up much meat.
  8. gotmoretools

    gotmoretools Member

    I shot a bearded hen last year (7-1/4") with my 325WSM 180gr. Both breast were not worth straining for meat. So I need something smaller, but I have never shot the 17 or 22mag and I don't want to go to the other extreme and get to small of a round. Has anyone ever shot a bobcat or coyote with the 17 and noted how much penetration. Did it pass through? This might help with my decision. By the way, was that bearded hen a freak or is that common? I see about 50 Osceolas a year and have never seen one with a beard.
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Well, I KNOW you can get a flat point solid in .22 mag and the larger diameter might make it worth getting instead. I was just thinkin' of the .17s flat trajectory. I can tell ya, at 100 yards, dead turkey with my 597 Mag. It shoots 1.5" at 100 yards and I could stretch it to 130 yards with some practice, probably. I haven't shot it beyond 100, shoots flat enough to that range. I have a box of flat nosed CCI Maximag solids in my ammo box for the rifle.
  10. Kurt S.

    Kurt S. Well-Known Member

    The .17 might be fun.

    Every turkey I've ever shot has been with a rifle. You can hunt Rio Grande turkeys down here in TX pretty much with any firearm. Eastern turkeys are shotgun only.

    I've yet to get an Eastern turkey with a shotgun, no matter how much I try to sound like an ear of corn. :D

    I took my first turkey in TX with a neck shot with a .243. All the others have been with a .22 mag hollowpoint.
  11. jbkebert

    jbkebert Well-Known Member

    I wish we could hunt them little pest with a rifle here in Kansas. I used to think that Turkerys were great now I have as much like for them as people do for ferral hogs. The field behind the house has on average 40-50 turkeys in a group per night. The most I have counted was approx 85 at one time. Now there is a large group of chicks about the size of crows running around the place. I would love to use my 22-250 or my .17 and treat them as pasture poodles for a couple days.:cuss:
  12. I'd go .22 mag definitely, as it would be better for body shots - more penetration and less explosiveness to ruin the breast meat. The .17 would be fine for head shots, but the .22 mag is good for both head and body shots. Besides, it's hard to hit that head a-bobbin and a-weavin and a-peckin.
  13. blackops

    blackops Well-Known Member

    17 HMR hands down, i couldn't even tell you the last time I touched a 22. I have a heavy barrel on my HMR and its just scary at 100yds. You want some real fun get a 17 Fireball and blast 4000fps!
  14. bang_bang

    bang_bang Well-Known Member

    I've used a 22 Mag to down a pretty decent bird...I believe his beard was around the 10 inch mark and weighed a little over 20 pounds. One shot, DRT.

    IF you can get one sighted in at shotgun ranges...take the head shot.

    With high-powered rifles, get within your comfort range and take either a head shot or neck shot. That way, you won't have to strain the breast meat.
  15. ricebasher302

    ricebasher302 Well-Known Member

    I neck shot a turkey with a v-max .17. Their neck is so thin that the even that v-max failed to expand. The hole out the skin on the other side didn't even bleed. Basically, all it did was paralize him, and I had to shoot him again. Yea, birds always flop around a lot, but this critter was still alive. Anyhow, I think a CCI Gampoint 20 gr. would be well suited for a body shot on a turkey. I like those bullets a lot for anything. They just holt togeter like a tiny game bullet.

    Anyhow, either a .22 mag or .17 is probably fine, the .17 does lose energy pretty fast after 150 yds or so.
  16. wleggart

    wleggart Well-Known Member

    careful if you shoot broadside. the wingbone will stop a .22 round! Ask me how I know! I was just lucky that it stunned the bird enough to cause it to squat down and I got a head shot! I never shot at a turkey again with a rimfire!
  17. And a .17 would be even worse (explosive). Which is why I said .22 mag, without any question, as the better choice. You're talking about a .22lr right wleggart?
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    A .22 mag solid will not be stopped by any bone in a turkey to 100 yards. I really would doubt if a hollow point could be stopped.
  19. Exactamundo. Nor will it ruin as much meat as either .17 cal rimfire.
  20. bpl

    bpl Well-Known Member

    22mag - much better choice for a large bird like a turkey. Think large bird, heavy feathers, thick body. You want good penetration, not rapid fragmentation. .17HMR is not a good choice for this application, especially since you intend to eat the turkey. Too much of a chance of damaged meat, and/or superficial flesh wounds allowing said turkey to escape to die slowly somewhere else. Leave the .17HMR for the ground squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits.

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