The .17 HMR rifle is the smallest caliber that is currently under production and being used worldwide. Due to its small size and impressive ballistics, the round is quite popular among small game hunters and vermin hunters. Having a .17 HMR rifle in with you in your inventory becomes a necessity sometimes, mostly because you need different calibers for different resolutions.
Here we will try to explain in-depth on the uses and effectiveness of a .17 HMR cartridge. Following this review, we will be reviewing some of the best .17 HMR rifles that are currently on the market. Hence, you will know what is the difference between 17.HMR and other rifles. Therefore, you should focus on what you are really looking for in a rifle as we delve into one of the smallest cartridge on the planet.
Its obvious birth of the 17 HMR rimfire craze started with the expansion of the ever-famous 22 WMR back in the year 1959. Over many years, the hot 40 to 50-grain rimfire rifle has a solid place in the small case sub caliber community. However, the 22 WMRs are in for some unbending rivalry.
Hornady, the well-known bullet and cartridge maker, has taken a fresh hard look at an auxiliary. He has at least hoped to create something that is equivalent with the Winchester 22 WMR. Introduce the 17 HMR. Later in 2002, it came on the gun community as the new super speed rimfire rifle cartridge. The HMR 17 rifle was light in terms of grain weight projectiles, however, it was more accurate and even cut flight.
Along with the expansion of the necked down 17-caliber cartridge announced the arrival of bolt rifles. Those were the direct result of a coupled design from both Marlin and Ruger. This novelty allowed the 17-caliber rimfire cartridge to burst into the scene.
Characteristically, finding 17 HMR rifles have never been an issue for a lot of gun owners. As a matter of fact, there is quite a comprehensive selection on the firearms market. The main matter to consider when buying a 17-caliber is what you are going to do with it.
The .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR) has been described by a lot of gun owners as the “perfect varmint hunting caliber”. The .17 HMR may be small in size, but it still packs plenty of punch for the minutest rifle caliber in production in 2020.
Just a level down from the .22 caliber, the .17 HMR was 1st introduced back in 2002 as an effort to replace the ever famous .22 WMR. It is lighter in weight than anything else similar on the market, but still delivers excellent accuracy. That precision is ideal for varmint hunters and gunners with small game rounds requirements. The .17 HMR rifle remains a fan-favorite among serious varmint hunters and target shooting fanatics alike as it can bring rounds at more than 2000 feet per second out to more than 100 yards.
The Criteria: Factors for a Great 17 HMR Rifle
Before you decide to get the best 17 HMR Rifle, you’ll definitely need to consider the factors and criteria before getting one.
Operation Type: Single, Semi, or Lever
Since the .17 HMR rifles are a good varmint and small game hunting rifle, you may want to have a look at its type of operation and maneuver. These rifles come in bolt action, semi auto and lever action representations. Since this is going to affect your rate of fire and accuracy while you are out on the shooting range.
A good .17 HMR must be able to receive customization, at least to the extent of mounting a good solid scope. These rifles are not very prevalent for home defense, however, having a few upgrades does not hurt either.
You will have to assess your intended use with the rifle before choosing one for yourself. Whether you want it for hunting activities, plinking, target practice or camping/survival activity. Different kinds of rifles have their own specific uses and effectiveness under specific situations.
Reloading Time and Magazine Capacity
The kind of rifle you choose will regulate the reloading time. Bolt action rifles take some time to reload, whereas mag fed rifles need just a quick swap of mags. On top of all that has been said, each rifle has its own ammo capacity, which should match your intent and solicitation.
The Best 17 HMR Rifles on Our List – Analyzed
Here are the list of 17 HMR Rifles that we think are the best.
1. Chiappa Little Badger 17 HMR Break Action Rifle
Most buyers regularly use this Chiappa Little Badger 17 HMR Rifle as a camping, survival, recreational shooting and truck rifle. This rifle is very simple and stress-free to maintain. Furthermore, the double set trigger offers extra safety for the rifle handler. The rifle folds downwards and has a lightweight chassis. Plus, the rifle is quite precise considering its design.
The rifle has been accurately designed considering it is a single shot break barrel model. The rifle receives a scope ring/red dot and has additional space over its stock for carrying ammunition. The receiver has pre-packed rails that allow you to mount a bipod. The muzzle is also threaded so to allow you to mount muzzle expedients.
This rifle has been solely designed for camping and survival purposes. It can be folded down and be kept inside a backpack without occupying too much space. On top of that, it can also be used to hunt small game by mounting a scope for long distance shots. Most recreational and small game shooters will also find the design aesthetically pleasing to look at and fun to shoot.
The rifle does have factory installed sights, but most gun handlers have known to have gotten them changed with a fresher pair. This is mostly because of its material and quality. Other than that, there is nothing much to be enhanced and amended with this single shot rifle.
The Chiappa Badger is an exclusive single shot break barrel action rifle that can be used for camping or survival activities, where storage space is relatively limited. The rifle takes scopes, lights and bipods and works like a regular rifle. Except for the fact that it is still considered as a single shot weapon.
2. Ruger Precision Rimfire Rifle
The features that are most popular among rifle handlers are its accuracy, compatibility, and its aesthetics. The adjustable length of pull (LOP) and cheek height are also accommodating for a lot of rifle shooters who have long arms. Furthermore, the QD and M Lok slots also assist with attributing slings and bipods. The rifle is quite easy and comfortable to hold and shoots with extraordinary accuracy.
The Ruger Precision Rimfire is an efficacious rifle, especially for the .22LR caliber. Furthermore, it can be customized in every other way as Assault Rifles. The barrel has threads to receive muzzle devices, since the .17 HMR is a very flashy round. The high capacity mag allows you to fire more rounds, and the tactical design makes it useful for every conceivable situation.
.17 HMR is not really a home defense round, so with all its tactical capabilities the Ruger Precision Rimfire rifles are best suited for hunting activities and range shooting. Rifle handlers can also use it for competitions because of its precision and gigantic bolt. It also works as a show-off rifle if you wish to have a single .17 HMR rifle in your inventory.
Had Ruger decided the make of this rifle semi auto, it will have been an AR type rifle chambered in .17 HMR. It is almost flawless and has limited room for enhancement, but you may still consider keeping a set of back-up iron sights in case your scope gets wrecked.
The Ruger Precision Rimfire is a remarkably accurate tactical .17 HMR rifle that can be coupled with multiple fittings. It gives you the feel of an AR while shooting; furthermore, the stock modifications also help different gun owners with different physical builds.
3. Henry Repeating Arms Goldenboy 20 Inches 17 HMR Open Rifle Sights
Most buyers seem captivated by the finish and build quality of the rifle. It is one of the primogenital models of rifles so it has some history committed to it. The rifle has a nice and smooth action, and is also widely acclaimed for its accuracy. Another more familiar feature is the ammo capacity.
The bolt action rifle can fire several rounds in a matter of seconds. On top of it, the 12 round capacity is more than sufficient to take down multiple targets on a single fill. The shooting speed of the rifle is analogous with semi auto weapons, and it has a pre-installed weaver base to take on scopes (and possibly scope rings too).
The bolt action rifle is a great use for hunting vermin and small sized game. It can be used to kill rapidly moving targets because of the quick reloading time. The rifle is also a great use for self defense since it carries more rounds and shoots really fast. The gun is quite well-loved and well-received to recreational shooters as well.
The Henry Golden Boy .17 HMR has unconditionally no room for development. However, one drawback of using the rifle is its loud noise and the absence of muzzle threads. Therefore, you’ll just have to make sure to use ear muffs while you are using it to shoot.
The Henry Golden Boy bolt action rifle has a history connected with it. On top of that, it offers quick consecutive shots compared to any bolt action rifle. It has a smooth lever operation and transmits more rounds. The rifle is also a brilliant option for people who love to use classic rifles.
4. CZ 455 American Rifle
The CZ 455 rifle is denoted as the next generation of C2 bolt action rimfire rifle, which replaces the older version, CZ 452 for greater and improved accuracy as well as slicker operation. This latest generation bolt action rifle is entirely machined from bar stock. Its Boyd stock fundamentally and essentially utilizes the thumbhole right hand configuration. With that being said, the thumbhole stock comes in useful to provide a tranquil grip for the wrist.
In addition to all of that, it comes with an adjustable trigger where you are allowed to modify the pull weight according to what you prefer. The lowest pull weight is 3.5 pounds, which outlines how hard is it for you to pull the rifle’s trigger before firing your shot. Not only that, but this rifle also comes with a thick and free-floated barrel measuring up to 20.5 inches. At the same time, the full length of rifle measures 38.2 inches.
With all that being said, the barrel is of huge diameter (thickness), therefore contributing to lesser shuddering when the rifle is fired because the large barrel has the ability and capability to absorb the shock. Not only that, the barrel is also a cold hammer forged.
At the same time, the stock comes with a Turkish walnut stock, which is really aesthetically pleasing in its appearance. Also, it weighs 5.85 pounds and is able to house ammo with a capacity of up to 5+1 round.
A standard 11mm dovetail rifle is pulverized into the receiver. Nevertheless, it is a little difficult to get the suitable scope rings to lodge the dovetail mount style. If you cannot obtain the right scope rings, we suggest that you get an adaptor (sold by CZ itself) that permits the 11mm dovetail to be mounted by means of the weaver-style. Hence, this gives way to easier mounting as well as better go-ahead on the bolt handle.
Moreover, this rifle has 3 sling studs. The sling studs come in handy to be operated with bipod and sling. The pistol grip-style scheme, on the other hand, provides fantastic grip, thus providing the precision of the shot. Another advantage is that it has tiny recoil once the firearm is fired.
Deemed adaptable, you can either utilize a .22 LR or .17 HMR caliber in a single rifle. Having said that, it is rather simple and quick to swap barrels to put in diverse caliber cartridges. You just need to eliminate the inserts which make way for the supplement of bigger magazines.
5. Ruger M 77
Over the past few years, up to the summer of 2017, some gun owners were involved in some all-encompassing testing of the 17 HMR as applied to the Ruger M-77. If you are searching for a 17 caliber with the feel of a “big rifle”, you need not look any further than this Ruger M 77 model.
My first Ruger M 77 was put to work and was tested against the Rocky Mountains of central Wyoming. Gun handlers hunted at The Silver Spur Ranch for over 10 years using numerous kinds of ammunition and optics manufacturers. During that time, gun owners have evaluated each product and learned about the 17 HMR as well as the Ruger turnbolt rifle.
Why choose a Ruger rifle, you might ask? This rifle brand was first to come out with a 17 HMR. As a result, this firearms company has the most experience regarding the cartridge’s history and performance principles. Ruger has built a very top-notch rifle chambered in this similarly fine cartridge.
The Ruger M 77 is not made as a working “tractor” rifle, but instead preserves an element of elegance that should be looked up to. It comes with a metal bottom, deep blue polished barrels and actions, and American walnut fittings.
A couple of years ago, Ruger stop making the M 77 as a factory offering and introduced the newer Ruger American to fill the gap as a replacement. Now in the current year, the Ruger M 77 is offered in the newer 17 WSM. Contentedly, the 17 HMR has already shown up in the company’s American Series rifle listing.
The Ruger M 77 makes use of the ever famous Ruger rotary magazine, a solid receiver minced from a single block of steel. It also comes with the usual hammer forged and accurate barrel. Tack on the manufacturer’s special base rings and mounts, and you have a one of its kind rifle.
The only real disadvantage is that it can be hard to find an M 77 in 17 HMR. However, with quick research, gun owners have little to no trouble finding a lot of it. Guns America and similar outfits stand are leaders in this sales game.
It is a bit bizarre to feature a rifle that is no longer being manufactured on our list of preferred rifles. Be that as it may, this is considered one of the best rifles in this chambering. At the same time, you should be advised that the M 77 in a 17 HMR was being sold as of 2016, so the whole marketing change is quite fresh.
6. Savage Arms 93R17 BVSS Rifle
The BVSS is made by a popular firearm establishment, which is the Savage Arms company. It is very well known for its solid products and it does not flop in its bidding, with this .17 HMR rifle as its proof. In our humble opinion, it is worthy of your time and financial investment, if not ours in the least.
First and foremost, the BVSS rifle is armed with a built-in adjustable Accu Trigger. The AccuTrigger is tremendously useful as it provides a crisp and rich trigger pull, therefore making it a lot more convenient for you to pull the trigger when open firing at your target, which further backs the precision of your shot.
In other words, the rifle is tailored with a key-like trigger that has a great design, in all honesty. The trigger comes pre-adjusted from the manufacturer and gives you a smooth and crisp relief. You can adjust it according to what you like, however you should abstain from making the pull weight too light, or it will go into a failsafe position and needs to be re-modified.
Apart from all of that, this product is basically a 17 series bolt action rifle that improves rimfire shooting. With that being said, it provides excellent accuracy and is powerful enough to beget small games and varmints. The gun employs a turn bolt system, where it is equipped with sealed thumbhole stock. As a result of it, the brilliant thumbhole configuration gives a real pleasant and steady position for improved grip on the weapon.
The safety catch, on the other hand, involves of a simple 2-position rolling lever. The gun usage is rather simple; the red being visible lets you open fire the rifle meanwhile the red covered makes sure that your weapon is in a safe position. All in all, it is flawless to use with tiny recoil, for your added expediency.
In addition to all of that, this product comes with a separable box magazine as well as a stainless steel heavy varmint rifle barrel embedded in a gray wood-grained laminate stock that is fortified with a Monte Carlo style comb together with cut checkering to offer you with the best shooting experience. Also, the rifle’s magazine includes 5 rounds.
In other words, it is generally a stainless steel barreled action with a wood laminate stock. Weighing 6 pounds, the barrel processes 21 inches in terms of lengths. The ammo rounds on the other hand features a capacity of 5+1 round.
Our verdict and the bottom line is that there are plenty of the best 17 HMR Rifles that you can find on the market that comes with accuracy, detachable magazine, and whatnot. Find yourself the 17 HMR Rifle so you won’t have to spend a day fretting and stressing over how to use your rifles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may have about the best 17 HMR rifles.
Q: What is the effective accuracy range of 17 HMR rifles?
While many shooters claim the best effective range of 17 HMR rifles to be about somewhere from 100 yards to 200 yards. Gun handlers also claim the best shooting down targets in the 400 yard range under perfect conditions. To conclude, the best bet is to go with 200 yards as your effective range, which can be exceeded and surprise your expectations.