In this article you will learn how to choose the best .17 HMR rifle from those available on the market. This guide will discuss what these rifles are best used for and how to choose one that has features that will meet your needs. Also, several .17 HMR rifles will be discussed.
What is a .17 HMR Rifle?
Created in the 1920’s, the .17 HMR rifle is a rifle that is perfect for those who like to hunt smaller game, such as varmint, rodents, squirrels, rabbits, etc. The size of the round, coupled with the gun’s ability to fire them without much recoil make them ideal for hunting, pest control, and even target shooting.
The .17 HMR rifle fires a small round in comparison to other rifles. While it is only recommended for smaller game, this rifle can fire quite accurately, especially at shorter distances. While this rifle might not have as much power as some other calipers of rifles on the market, it is great for the jobs it was intended to do, and therefore is quite popular with those who enjoy target shooting and small game hunting.
What is a .17 HMR Rifle Used For?
Unlike rifles that fire a larger caliber ammunition, the .17 HMR rifle will fire a small, .17 caliber round, which is best used for hunting small game or target practice. Those who enjoy target shooting might enjoy the small round of the .17 HMR rifle, as it can be fun for those who enjoy plinking away at targets.
The .17 HMR rifle can also be used for hunting small game, such as rabbits, squirrels, and other varmint.
- Prairie dog, and maybe ‘yotes
Some who live in farm areas might also choose a rifle with a .17 caliber ammo for pest control around their farm.
Brands of .17 HMR Rifles
As with all firearms, there are several different popular brands on the market that make and carry .17 HMR rifles. Popular brands of .17 HMR rifles include:
- Alexander Arms
although there are other brands on the market, as well.
Most of these brands can be found at sporting goods stores or firearms retailers, although if you are looking for specific model, you might need to check with a larger retail chain or have it special ordered from the manufacturer for you. While some swear by a certain brand, what it really comes down to is a matter of personal preference.
What is .17 Caliber Rifle Ammunition?
When thinking about purchasing a rifle, another thing you might want to take into consideration is the ammunition for the rifle. The .17 HMR rifle ammunition, which is abbreviated for .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire, is becoming increasingly popular, and with it, so is the .17 HMR rifle.
While this ammunition is more expensive than other rimfire ammunition, such as .22 ammunition, it also has a faster flight path and longer range capabilities when firing. Slightly louder than it’s cousin, the .22 ammunition, it also tends to be more accurate and have a flatter trajectory when fired. It is also a bit more destructive when fired up close.
Because of these points, the round is ideal for hunting at longer distances. It can be a bit too damaging to use up close on small game, but for larger game up close it can be useful, such as for coyote and foxes. Though the ammunition for the rifle is a bit more expensive, it doesn’t stop the rifle from gaining more and more in popularity!
What Accessories are Available for the .17 HMR Rifle?
When thinking of purchasing a .17 HMR rifle, it is important to look at what types of accessories you might want to purchase for it in the future. For example, if the rifle you are looking at does not already come with a scope, or if you want to purchase a better scope for it, you might want to look into which types of scopes are compatible and work well with your new rifle.
- Since scopes are the most sought after rifle accessory, it is a great idea to have an idea of what you might want.
Another accessory that you might find yourself looking for when you purchase your new .17 HMR rifle is a case for the rifle, as well as gun cleaning supplies or a kit. While most rifle cases are built to hold a variety of rifles, gun cleaning kits can be universal to many different guns or specifically designed for your rifle, so it is best to make sure what you are buying before making that purchase.
For example, some gun cleaning kits might have cleaning supplies that will fit a .22 rifle, .17 rifle, and a .308 rifle in the same kit, while others are more tailored to a specific caliber.
Top .17 HMR Rifle Reviews
1. Alexander Arms .17 HMR Rifle
The Alexander Arms .17 HMR rifle is not your average, run of the mill .17 bolt action rifle. In fact, if you’ve always been fond of the AR-15 rifle, then you are in for a real treat with this one of a kind rifle! The rifle has plenty of features, including the ability to fire .17 HMR ammo or even .223 caliber ammo if you so choose.
The design of this one makes it different from other .17 HMR rifles, and it’s something to behold – it has the style of an AR-15 and the functionality of one, as well. The Alexander Arms .17 HMR Rifle has an eighteen inch fluted barrel as well as a collapsible stock that you can store. The rifle features a monotholic magazine.
Some pros of the Alexander Arms .17 HMR Rifle include:
- Interesting appearance
- Ability to use .17 HMR ammo or .223 ammo
- Eighteen inch fluted barrel
- Collapsible stock
Some cons of the Alexander Arms .17 HMR Rifle include:
- Rounds tend to get jammed
- After a while on use, the gun begins to slow down a bit, causing the rounds to fire one at a time
- Rifle heats up quickly
2. Browning T – Bolt Rifle
The Browning T- Bolt is a fast repeating bolt action style .17 HMR rifle that is stylish, easy to fire, and is designed for those looking to hunt small game. For those looking for a fast action .17 caliber rifle, this is the perfect rifle that will help you get the job done! This rifle has a twenty-two inch barrel that is great for varmint hunting, and the trigger is easily adjustable, allowing it to be customized in a variety of ways to make it easy to use.
The rifle also features a semi-match chamber for ammunition, which helps to greatly improve accuracy while firing. With a ten round capacity magazine, you can fire repeatedly and easily. If you are looking for a rifle for hunting small game, this might be one of your better choices, especially if you are new to the .17 caliber rifle.
Some pros of the Browning T- Bolt Rifle include:
- Fast firing bolt action
- Adjustable trigger
- Semi-match chamber for ammunition
A few cons of the Browning T – Bolt Rifle:
- Ammunition tends to jam more often than other rifles
- Rounds can have feeding issues
3. CZ 455 American Rifle
The CZ 455 American rifle is a .17 caliber rifle that is ideal for hunting small game or varmint. Many hunters who are looking for a rifle for short distance hunting feel that this really adds to their firearm choices, especially when hunting small game, as this can definitely help make that shot with ease. This rifle is designed specifically for the .17 shooting experience, and really allows for the hunter to get a feel for hunting with this type of ammunition.
The rifle is a bolt action rimfire, and the sleek design allows it to be a firearm that you can be proud to own. This rifle has a hammered forged barrel and an adjustable trigger. You can also shoot .22L ammo from this rifle in addition to .17 HMR.
A few pros of the CZ 455 American include:
- Adjustable trigger
- Ability to fire both .22L and .17 HMR ammo
- Sleek design
As usual, every rifle does have its drawbacks and problems. Some of the cons of the CZ 455 American are:
- Not as accurate as other .17 caliber rifles
- Feeding issues when rifle is used for long periods of time
4. Marlin Model XT-17R Rifle
The Marlin Model XT-17R is a rifle that, surprisingly enough, is known for its ability to take down bears – in fact, it has been used in Canada for many years for this purpose – giving it a name as a powerful rifle that can be used close range for taking down bigger game in addition to smaller game at longer distances.
This flexibility and the fact that the rifle has a higher accuracy rate than others on the market make this model quite popular for hunting. The bolt action rifle features a twenty-two inch barrel that is stainless steel, and the synthetic stock allows for a comfortable and easy hold during long sessions of hunting or target shooting. The rifle also has detachable magazines, so that you never have to worry about not being fully prepared while out in the woods!
Several pros for the Marlin Model XT-17R include the following:
- Flexible shooting – you can use this at long range for smaller game or close range for bigger game
- Adjustable trigger
- Detachable magazines
- Stainless steel barrel
- Highly accurate
Some of the noted problems and cons of this particular rifle include:
- Ammunition jamming
- Bolt on rifle gets stuck more often than other models
5. Savage B-Mag Rifle
The Savage B-Mag Rifle is a .17 caliber rifle that is created by one of the larger names in the industry – Savage Firearms. This reputable brand name rifle is definitely a favorite among those who hunt or are target shooters, and a great introductory .17 caliber rifle for those looking to purchase one.
The twenty-two inch barrel is a barrel that is very easy to adjust and clean, and the fact that the rifle is more lightweight than some of its competitors allows it to be used for longer periods of time without fatigue. This rifle has plenty of rail options for including accessories such as a scope, and has a crossed-slot design. The magazine for the rifle comes with a rotary design that can offer eight calibers per round when shooting.
Several of the pros of the Savage B-Mag are:
- Lightweight design
- Reputable and popular brand
- Room for accessories
- Rotary design magazine
- Easy to clean
- Adjustability options to help improve your shooting experience
A few cons of the Savage B-Mag include:
- Adjustability options can cause issues with accuracy
- Depending on .17 HMR ammo purchased, can lead to feeding issues
The .17 HMR rifle is a rifle that is increasing in population today, and while it has been used for years, more and more hunters are seeking this rifle out for hunting small game. Best used at longer distances for smaller game, this rifle is often known as a varmint rifle, and the .17 HMR rounds are relatively close in size to its cousin, the .22. When choosing a .17 HMR rifle, it is important to remember to take into consideration what you plan on using it for.
While used primarily for hunting small game or target shooting, these rifles have a small amount of recoil and tend to be fairly accurate. Remember to keep in mind any accessories, such as a scope, that you may wish to purchase. Planning your purchase out properly is important, so that you know what you can later add to your rifle. Once you choose your .17 HMR rifle, keeping it cleaned and well maintained will add to the lifespan of the firearm, and if treated well, it will last you for years to come.