Best Rimfire Caliber

Not open for further replies.

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.

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.;)
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).
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.
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.
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. ;)
Another contender for BEST (not cheapest) RIMFIRE round

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.
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....
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.
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.

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.
Gewehr98 said:
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.
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.
Not open for further replies.