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Old January 3, 2013, 06:45 PM   #1
BerdanSS
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The survival .17?

Would a 17.hmr take down a small white tail? 7 and 1/2" barreled single six hunter. Seems like it would be a good survival gun. Small (compared to a rifle) and could easily fit in a back back. Rugged, weather proof, tack driving accurate, won't waist meat on small to medium game.

Just a crazy musing of mine this particular evening sparked by an earlier conversation. Not talking making a Carlos Hathcock shot here....but could this dinky little fast mover really do it in a pinch? (dead on heart shot or head shot)
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Old January 3, 2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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It will take it down if you hit it in the brain... I don't know if that's enough gun to do the spinal column.. Id take a 22 over the 17 just because ammos so plentiful and cheap.
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Old January 3, 2013, 09:28 PM   #3
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I kinda figured a .22 mag would be better but this became a topic at work (not really sure how it came up), but myself and a couple of the other guys have .17s. I wish .22 was plentiful right now...that same work buddy and I were going to go out for rabbits tomorrow. Tried two Wal marts, two Mijers a dick's sporting goods and three gun shops for .22LR for the 10/22. All it produced was an over priced 330 round bulk box of CCI mini mags. The shelves were otherwise COMPLETELY bare at all 8 locations I visited

My Ruger seems to like the Winchester Supreme 17gr ballistic tips. It goes from dime sized 50 yard groups off a sandbag, to 2-3" with CCI TNT, 17 or 22gr. It shoots hornady okay...but not great. The Winchesters do a number on a tree rat or rabbit I tell you what But I was kind doubting it's ability to penetrate a deer skull, but I do know a farmer that puts down hogs for the processor with a .17 pistol. Otherwise if you got stranded in the middle of no-place, I think it would be a dandy little piece to have to protect/feed yourself with.

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Old January 4, 2013, 01:57 AM   #4
jason_iowa
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22mag will reach out further but 22lr will kill most anything you would want to eat. It would not be my first choice from an ethical standpoint to great a chance of wounding a larger animal.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:52 AM   #5
bamaranger
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survival

Most of us cannot shoot a handgun as well as some type of smallish long gun.

If I had to pot animals to try and survive, some type of midget rifle would get my vote. The Henry Survival .22 comes to mind, as does the singe shot .22 Cricket, Chipmunk and the .22 Scout (?) These kid rifles dissassemble with one screw and would stow and pack easily, and allow easier hits if it came down to plugging squirrels and rabbits to eat.

If space were not an issue, one of the Savage Combo guns, .22/410 would work, but ammo is heavier and the guns larger. It might do in a vehicle if I didn't have to pack it.

The .17 is an interesting round, but .22lr is far more common (well, till recently!)
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Old January 4, 2013, 03:54 AM   #6
idek
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While the 17hmr does impressive damage to cans and prairie dogs, I wouldn't have much faith in its penetrating ability on deer. The 22lr, on the other hand, tends to make simple little holes but actually penetrates fairly well. I suspect it would not only damage less meat on small critters than the more explosive 17hmr, but it would be more likely to reach something vital on bigger game.

As others have said, I'd be leery of a handgun as my means of getting food if my life depended on it. A takedown rifle like others have mentioned might be good, or maybe a carbine with a folding stock.

Last edited by idek; January 4, 2013 at 04:05 AM.
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Old January 4, 2013, 06:50 AM   #7
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I don't believe I'd use a .17 HMR on small game I'd like to eat. Those little bullets come apart pretty easily and I don't want to pick bullet jacket out of my teeth. I don't think I'd shoot a deer with one either, it just doesn't seem right.

I've seen the .22LR used on deer and if you get close and place your bullet, it does okay. They penetrate well, and those little bullets would get into the vitals.

However, having said that, one of the reality shows, Swamp People, show Jay Paul Molinere killing alligators with the .17 HMR. I don't know that I'd use that caliber for alligator, preferring to use a larger centerfire. The few gators I've had to shoot have seemed a lot tougher than the .17 caliber, yet I watch that young man kill them with a .17 almost every week. Disclaimer: I'm not an alligator fisherman, but I live in Louisiana. I've had to kill gators for self-defense, and defense of livestock. I like to eat gator, but I don't like skinning them.
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:01 AM   #8
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I use the 17HMR for bunnys, must shoot them in the head if you whish to eat them. Dosnt seem to work too well for coyotes. I'm sure the 17HMR could kill a deer with a well placed shot, but feel its way to small for deer.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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I think a 17WSM would be a decent enough survival round, what with the potential 3000fps and about 400 foot pounds at the muzzle. The faster and stronger than 9mm!
Not first choice for shooting game over like 75lbs in my opinion but certainly do-able.
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Old January 4, 2013, 07:16 PM   #10
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Accuracy defiantly would not be an issue for me with this little gun. I hunt rabbit and squirrel with it. Peg tree rats from the top of swaying shag-bark hickorys regularly. Head shoot stopped rabbits around 20-25 yards.

The reason the .17 was the focus was we (the three of us that started this madness) already have them...I have the pistol the other guys have bolt action rifles in .17 I would NEVER try to take anything bigger than a ground hog with a .17hmr single six...under normal conditions (for not only legal, but also moral reasons). This was more of a "if you tossed it in you back pack for a JIC scenario, and in the event of a small plain crash in nowhere (or grid fail) and it was all you had, could it be used so as not to need to harvest 28 squirrels and 9 rabbits to feed three people for a week. I feel after the comments here that the little underdog could.

And while not ideal...It would take care of you in the wilderness if in direr need of dinner. FYI here in Indiana .17hmr has always seem to be just as, if not more common than .22 everywhere I've been...Even right now I could walk in anywhere that sells ammunition and get .17....sitting right next to massive void where the .22 was
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Old January 4, 2013, 07:31 PM   #11
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If you have enough ammo to last a while, it might get you by.

I would prefer at least .22 WMR.

And... something to consider:
All US-manufactured .17 HMR comes from CCI. -Remington, Winchester, CCI, Federal, Hornady, Fiocchi... all of it. If anything happens to their production capabilities, you're hosed.
Keep enough on hand to be comfortable, or you could find yourself facing a rather unpleasant shortage and a useless 'survival' gun.
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:16 PM   #12
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I do not know all the laws of various States, but I believe most have a size restriction on the weapon caliber for deer. A .22 or .17 would be illegal in my State and I think most others.
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Old January 4, 2013, 08:35 PM   #13
warningshot
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Quote:
Would a 17.hmr take down a small white tail? 7 and 1/2" barreled single six hunter. Seems like it would be a good survival gun.
Are you asking what we think the survivability of the deer will be after being shot with a .17 hmr?
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Old January 5, 2013, 01:25 AM   #14
BerdanSS
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warningshot Har Har but seriously I got an audible laugh out of that.....good one sir That put in my head a picture of a deer laughing then going oww...wa'd ya do that for....then bounding off into the woods.



lamarw You missed to point entirely....someplace between half reading the OP and then not reading anything after that one at all
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:02 AM   #15
idek
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I wonder the definition of "survival situation" really is. I suppose it can vary.

But I wonder how valid the "availability of ammo" concern really is. I mean, if you're lost out in the wilderness, the only ammo you have is what you brought along. It doesn't matter if it's 22lr or .25-20 Winchester. Even the most common ammo in the world isn't going to be laying around under bushes.

...And if you can somehow get to a store that sells ammo...uh...you've probably reached some form of civilization and maybe don't need to worry about needing ammo to stave off starvation anymore.

Now I can understand if you are someone who purposely lives in or visits the boonies, the nearest shops might have limited ammo selection, so choosing a common caliber makes sense, but again, is that really a "survival situation?"

Last edited by idek; January 5, 2013 at 02:11 AM.
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:42 AM   #16
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buddy of mine was going through some hard times a yr or so back and with 3kids and wife to feed he took down sevaral deer with a 17...he shot them through the eye no walk just instance fold up.....so yeah it will take a deer down
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:52 AM   #17
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
But I wonder how valid the "availability of ammo" concern really is. I mean, if you're lost out in the wilderness, the only ammo you have is what you brought along. It doesn't matter if it's 22lr or .25-20 Winchester. Even the most common ammo in the world isn't going to be laying around under bushes.
But....
If you can't get ammo before you leave home, you aren't going to have that wonderful 'survival' piece with you, at all. -It isn't about finding ammo while lost in the woods; it's about having the firearm with you, at all.

If you want to look at it as a survival weapon, you need to look at how external variables may influence its usefulness.
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:58 AM   #18
idek
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Quote:
But I wonder how valid the "availability of ammo" concern really is. I mean, if you're lost out in the wilderness, the only ammo you have is what you brought along. It doesn't matter if it's 22lr or .25-20 Winchester. Even the most common ammo in the world isn't going to be laying around under bushes.
Quote:
But....
If you can't get ammo before you leave home, you aren't going to have that wonderful 'survival' piece with you, at all. -It isn't about finding ammo while lost in the woods; it's about having the firearm with you, at all.
True, but as long as you can plan in advance and/or keep a good supply at home, there are many, many kinds of ammo that are not hard to come by, so I don't know how important it is that a person select one of the absolutely most common cartridges.
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Old January 5, 2013, 03:11 AM   #19
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True, but as long as you can plan in advance and/or keep a good supply at home, there are many, many kinds of ammo that are not hard to come by, so I don't know how important it is that a person select one of the absolutely most common cartridges.
That was the point of my first post:
Stock up, and keep a decent supply on hand. Otherwise, any potential shortage of a cartridge only being produced by one company could really handicap the 'survival' weapon.
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:25 PM   #20
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The idea of long term wilderness survival is laughable for anyone outside the most remote areas of North America. You don't have to worry about shooting a deer for EM food, you don't have to worry about edible plants, you don't have to know how to rub 2 sticks together for fire, etc, etc.

.17hmr for deer is a worse idea than worrying about long term wilderness survival. In a handgun no less. Good thinkin.

Even IF by some hand of god you are thrust into a situation why if the world would you want to TRY to kill something with a vastly underpowered gun. OK, a rimfire will kill a deer. Been done. I'd rather shoot something with more gun than I need to get the best possible odds of DRT instead of chasing some wounded critter all over gods green earth burning energy I wouldn't be able to spare.
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Old January 5, 2013, 08:44 PM   #21
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One good shot to through the ear into the brain would probably do the job on a small deer. I would want to be 70 yards or less from the animal as you want as much umph as the little .17 is capable of.

At those ranges I can shoot the symbols off of playing cards.

Its probably not the best rifle for a deer, but the thing about it is that your hoping that it will take it instead of knowing that it will take it.

All of this being said, I have taken so much small game with my .17 HMR, that I am confident I could feed myself for a long time with it if i had to.


All of this had been in reference to a rifle. But I also own a .17hmr revolver, and as far as its ability to take down game is concerned. I would be even less sure of myself than using a rifle, the v-max bullets expand less violently but I think they would still have enough energy behind them to punch through a skull without problem.

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Old January 5, 2013, 09:10 PM   #22
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Quote:
The idea of long term wilderness survival is laughable for anyone outside the most remote areas of North America. You don't have to worry about shooting a deer for EM food, you don't have to worry about edible plants, you don't have to know how to rub 2 sticks together for fire, etc, etc.
You might not have to worry about taking a deer but you better have a way to make fire, even for an over-niter.

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Old January 5, 2013, 09:38 PM   #23
BerdanSS
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Kenny:

Your an idiot that didn't do more than skim this thread and comment. Your attitude is not needed nor wanted here....stop trolling and don't post garbage like that in here again.

Everyone else...Good points made....all of them...from both sides. And made in a respectful, objective manner no less.
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Old January 6, 2013, 10:41 AM   #24
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http://www.noslerreloading.com/phpBB...hp?f=5&t=11650

Deer taken down by .17 HMR. Legal in Montana...

This is the story of a deer, told by the hunter on himself, and it's funny.
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Old January 6, 2013, 11:41 AM   #25
BerdanSS
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John...sounds similar to a story involving my buddy and his brother. Except with no irresponsible shooting involved.

Buddy in a tree stand 50 yards from the brother, who is on the ground 20 feet from his own latter stand putting up sent tags...shotgun leaning on the stand latter.

The brother is holding doe estrous and urine soaked tags in his left hand, when a big angry buck pops over the hill 30 feet in front of him.

Buddy sees brother quickly backing up twards stand with his right hand reaching for the shotgun...tags still in his left. Buck quickly advancing while my buddy is screaming "DROP THE TAGS!...DROP THE TAGS! DROP THE.....

You can guess at what happened next...

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