OK, so here are my thoughts on this subject. I bought a brand new 17HMR a few months ago after years of resisting this calibre. All my buddies think it is a "must have".
I think it is a useless piece of junk.
1. It is completely under powered for shooting foxes and should never be used for such large game. I have made good chest hits on cubs recently only to have them run on requiring several more shots. I will never use it on foxes again.
2. It is completely over powered for rabbits, blows them into crap and renders them inedible. This may not be an issue if you shoot rabbits and throw them in the ditch, but I really like eating rabbit.
3. It is relatively noisy, even with a mod there is a significant crack. A 22LR can be completed silenced and is a much better rabbit tool.
4. It is expensive to feed, nearly £18 per 50. Choice of ammo is poor. If your gun won't shoot 17gr BT types or 20gr HP, you are stuffed. I am assured that the various 17gr BT's are all made in the same factory and are identical other than the colour of the tip.
I could go on, but you get the drift. I have a 22 wmr also, a much better fox round under limited circumstances, but still expensive, and ultimately, it is not up to the job much beyond 100m.
I reckon I could reload a Hornet or a 20 Tac for very little more than the cost of factory HMR ammo.
I think this junk will go up the road and be replaced before I am much older.... There is an Anshutz Hornet in the classifieds that I really, really want.
What say ye lads???