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Thread: Choice between .17 HMR and .22 LR

  1. #1

    Choice between .17 HMR and .22 LR

    I need some advice from the good people of the Stalking Directory. I am after a rifle for some rabbit and hare shooting. I have read the comparisons between .17 HMR and .22 LR, I have seen the videos, I think I understand the main differences between the two, as well as their advantages and limitations. Being the inquisitive type I am, I would still like to hear from you with regards to which of the two calibres you would recommend to me, and why. Please be as exhaustive in your argument as you want, I really need to hear as much detail as possible. Did I mention I am terribly indecisive when it comes to that sort of thing?

    Some facts about where I will be shooting:

    1. Noise is not a problem, so the fact that the .17 HMR is 'snappier' than the .22 LR is not a disadvantage.

    2. Ranges I am hoping to be shooting them are between 20 yards and 150 yards (off a bipod or a rest, I have this luxury in this ground)

    3. The terrain varies between a hill with quite a slope on it, to a long, long flat plain.

    4. There are corvids I might want to shoot too.

    5. Wind can be an issue sometimes, and I am aware that the .17 HMR does suffer from this. I doubt it will put me off getting one though.

    6. Soft ground everywhere, so no problem with the .22 LR being quite problematic with ricochet.

    7. I want to eat what I will shoot, so meat damage is an issue. I was told that with the .17HMR I will get more meat damage but I can more reliably head shoot the rabbits/hares.

    I am kind of convinced that I want/need a .17 HMR as everyone I spoke to said they are the better calibre, flatter, safer etc. Is there any reason that I should chose a .22 LR instead? What do you use? I am aware that there are people who will say 'get them both' but neither do I need them both, nor can I afford to buy them both. I just want a rifle that will do the job reliably and I will enjoy. I already own a .22 LR, but it is an Anschutz target rifle, so not much comparison to what I want the new rifle to do. I have never fired a .17 HMR before.

    I am thinking of a bolt action CZ 452/455 (in .22 LR or .17 HMR) just so you get an idea of where my research has taken me so far.

    Any suggestions gratefully appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Whichever you get, get the 452, not the 455. My personal opinion based on an assessment of the construction, not accuracy.

    The 17HMR will limit you on ammunition choices but if you are shooting at 150 yrds then you do NOT want the 22LR. I don't care much for the HMR. After shooting it since it's debut I have become bored with the hype and lack of performance on the game I shoot. I would not be without my Brno .22 bolt gun. If I was given a choice between a Brno/CZ in 22LR or 17HMR, I'd live with the shorter range of the .22LR to have the versatility of bullet weights between 20 grains and 60 grains, and velocities of 400 fps to 1750 fps.

    Shooting 22LR is like having a keys to a banquet hall. Shooting the HMR is the restaurant that just sells burgers and french fries: the variety just isn't there.~Muir

    (Why not the 22WMR?)

  3. #3
    I have a sako quad in .22lr and .17hmr. My barrel of choice is the .17hmr for rabbits and crows etc. I use Hornady 17gr vmax, you occasionally get a split case upon firing but, as you're never going to use them again, its not an issue and certainly doesnt seem to affect accuracy or bolt action for extraction.
    I will soon be selling the .22 barrel in order to get a dedicated .22...which will probably be an old brno or a 452 which will get the trigger treatment.
    I do like how quiet a .22 is but, in my experience, as I use subsonic rounds rabbits etc seem more able to home in on where the noise comes from than the supersonic crack of a .17hmr.

    Forgot to add...its you thats safe...not the bullet
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  4. #4
    Thank you very much guys. Valuable advice there, I appreciate it.

    @Muir, what do you mean you have become bored with the hype and lack of performance on the game you shoot? Can you please elaborate? As I said, i am interested in rabbit and hare shooting on open ground, are you saying that I would need different bulet weights and velocities? In my mind (maybe I am oversimplifying things) I just need a bullet that will shoot straight and achieve a humane and instant kill. Why do I need to worry about different bullet weights and velocities? Would one bullet not do? I am only thinking of my .308 where my 150 grain soft point does as I need it to do in a variety of settings. I never worry about any other bullets offering me different weights or velocities. Is my logic flawed?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by limulus View Post
    or a 452 which will get the trigger treatment.
    I have read the thing about the triggers with Czs. What exactly does it change, and is the .17HMR affected by it?

    Quote Originally Posted by limulus View Post
    Forgot to add...its you thats safe...not the bullet
    Absolutely...

  6. #6
    I think most cz's benefit from new springs and collets to give a crisper, lighter, trigger
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by limulus View Post
    I think most cz's benefit from new springs and collets to give a crisper, lighter, trigger
    I understand. Many thanks for that. It helps to know what after market modifications I need to make so I can plan my budget accordingly!

  8. #8
    Spring kits are only about 15
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by limulus View Post
    Spring kits are only about 15
    Oh, if that is all then it is not a problem. i was worried it was going to be much more than that...

    Thanks for the info!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyxologos View Post
    Thank you very much guys. Valuable advice there, I appreciate it.

    @Muir, what do you mean you have become bored with the hype and lack of performance on the game you shoot? Can you please elaborate? As I said, i am interested in rabbit and hare shooting on open ground, are you saying that I would need different bulet weights and velocities? In my mind (maybe I am oversimplifying things) I just need a bullet that will shoot straight and achieve a humane and instant kill. Why do I need to worry about different bullet weights and velocities? Would one bullet not do? I am only thinking of my .308 where my 150 grain soft point does as I need it to do in a variety of settings. I never worry about any other bullets offering me different weights or velocities. Is my logic flawed?
    I shoot mostly varmints over wind swept prairies. I have been shooting the HMR since before it was on the market and, while it once was a devastating cartridge, it was never the "true rimfire varminter" it was hyped to be. During or after the third production run the quality tanked; that wonderful sub MOA ammo became only the occasional sub MOA ammo. Bullets that used to blow up rabbits and groundsquirrels now passed through as often as not. I currently use( or used) the 17HMR mostly for prairiedogs and I have seen too many run around in circles after a hit at a reasonable range and eventually make it back down it's hole. I find the ammo inconsistent in quality (read some of the posts here on this forum) and as I mentioned, very limited in choice. If your distributor has a bad LOT of .22LR it's easy enough to switch brands. Not so with HMR. Only Winchester -from what I've heard- makes their own HMR. All other 'brands' are made at the same plant, on the same machinery.

    I have a couple of fabulous 17HMR's in my gunroom but I take a 22LR with me 90% of the time. Five Millimeter Magnum the rest of the time with the 22WMR filling in the gaps when I want something different.

    It doesn't matter though. You already said you expect to shoot at 150 yards on game so you've answered your own question. If you aren't worried/curious about different weight bullets and velocities then you aren't seeking any kind of versatility and again, you've answered your own question. You seem pretty dead set on the 17HMR so, why the post?? ~Muir
    Last edited by Muir; 28-02-2013 at 04:37.

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