View Full Version : .17 HMR for Bobcat

March 28, 2009, 03:55 AM
I'm just looking for input on the effectiveness of the tiny .17 HMR on bobcats.

Feel free to mix and match your answers; ie- any shot, but with a 20gr bullet under 75 yards; any bullet out to 100 yards, but only perfect broadside vital shot, etc

March 28, 2009, 04:41 AM
Depends on the shot i think, the .17hmr will reach 100 yards easily, and be reasonably accurate with a good rifle, i have take mine rabbit hunting a few times, i tried different rounds.. the "polymer tiped" rounds like Winchesters V-max and Federal V-shok seem to just explode once they enter the target... kills a rabbit, but in an unnecessary way at closer range, i would not trust its penetration on any larger game, i always use the CCI "TNT" hollow point when i hunt with my .17hmr, just seems to penetrate better, tiny hole in.. big hole out

as for bobcat, i have only been out in the bush for them twice, both times i carried a ruger 77/22, which is of course a bolt action .22lr, worked like a charm, though no shots were ever over 60/70 yards, personally, i would load up with the 20 grain "XTP" from Hornady, and feel confident that a decent shot will put em in the dirt, under 100 yards, possibly more but i don't have enough experience to tell

March 28, 2009, 08:00 AM
A lot is going to depend on the shot.

For me, I'd use the 20 grain bullets, and I'd keep the shots within 50 yards. Not that they can't be hit with a .17 HMR at longer ranges, but I doubt the effectiveness of the tiny bullets on larger critters when they start losing a bit of velocity. Smaller cats probably wouldn't present a problem, but some Arizona bobcats can be on the larger side. I know one ol boy who shot several coons with a .17 HMR, and had some trouble making them dead forever a time or three.

Actually, I'd prefer a .22 mag, or better yet, a .17 centerfire, but that's just me.


March 28, 2009, 12:39 PM
azsixshooter, At tree top range, many bobcats have been taken by coon hunters armed with a .22 rifle. orchidhunter

March 29, 2009, 01:05 AM
At tree top range, many bobcats have been taken by coon hunters armed with a .22 rifle.

I've been told they aren't terribly hard to kill, however I have a pred-hunting video of South Texas Bobcat hunting and even though they're using .223, .22-250 and archery, some of the cats jump about 10 feet in the air, do a flip-twist and run off! I figured if they can sometimes run after getting drilled spot-on with a centerfire .22 I better be damn sure I'm using the proper bullet weight and construction and keeping my shots within an ethical range when I'm out calling for them with my .17HMR. I'd prefer something bigger like a .223 or .22-250, but for now I have the .17HMR, 6.5x55 or M1 Garand :eek: I just don't want to destroy the pelts. I've actually been told I could use 140 grain soft points in my Swede and that they'd zip right through and just leave a couple of small holes. Maybe I should go that route. Any thoughts?

As a side note, a rabid bobcat attacked patrons yesterday in a bar in Cottonwood, AZ...pretty funny story except for the people who got scratched and have to undergo the rabies treatment.


March 29, 2009, 10:18 AM
Even a big bobcat is not hard to put down, as with anything else it all comes down to shot placement. I knew a guy when I lived in Idaho who used a Gamo .177 air rifle for bobs and a Ruger single six with .22 mags for lions. He also carried a 1911 "just in case".

March 29, 2009, 10:22 AM
call me crazy but i dont think a 22-250 or a .223 is needed, nor is it going to keep a hide in good shape by any means. you see what these rounds do to coyotes....

the .17 non centerfire rounds IMO are for blowing up pests like ground squirrels. small animals that you do not want to eat(meat damage) at 150 yards or less kind of thing. i'd prefer a heavier round, people are going to definitely disagree with me on this but i'd rather blast one sub 75 yards with a .22lr with a CCI velociter vs a high speed, high fragmenting, low penetration round. .22 mag would be good too.

I'm one more for slow and big vs light and fast.

March 29, 2009, 03:44 PM
I don't own a .17HMR, but have hunted with a couple people who do, who have allowed me to hunt with their rifles. It seems to me that while the .17 definitely is a (relatively speaking) powerful little round, there are just too many variables that can make a shot turn sour. The tiniest mistake can send those little teeny bullets all over the place.

Me personally? I probably wouldn't take the shot past 75 yards, though if their was absolutely no wind I might be more comfortable going on out to 100 or so. I'd likely steer away from the polymer tipped rounds, for the same reason other posters have noted. They definitely work well on groundhogs, I can say that.....but I'd like a bit more penetration for a bobcat at 75-100 yards.

March 29, 2009, 05:50 PM
.22 Magnum is a superior cartridge to the /17HMR. velocity is not epitome of effective game getting.Bigger and slower is better.

March 29, 2009, 07:05 PM
Small and fast, or slow and large will kill critters.

The thing with a .17 hmr is, it's small, but not quite fast enough to put a big bobcat down reliably. Sure, it'll kill one quickly...sometimes. Then the next time, it won't.

A 22-250 isn't going to be any more fur friendly than a .243, which is to say "it isn't".

A .22 mag or .22 hornet is just about right; better yet, a .17 ackley hornet, .17 fireball, or .17 remington does the job nicely with a good shot.

With the .17 fireball or .17 Remington, you'll probably need to shoot through the close side shoulder blade to keep it from exiting.


March 29, 2009, 10:19 PM
I found a guy who specializes in pred-hunting here in AZ and he said the .17 Rem is the most perfect cartridge for bobcat. One tiny hole in, no exit. I've heard that from others at predatormasters.com too. I guess I'll have all summer to think about getting one of those, bobcat season ends in a couple days here in AZ and doesn't start back up until August. I might go out for one last hurrah on Tuesday morning, last day.

March 30, 2009, 01:35 AM
I wouldn't hesitate to use it on a lynx broadsides.

March 30, 2009, 02:37 AM
Personally i would not use it on a bobcat. Im not sure of the size of them but i did see a .17 hmr take out a fox once. Not a pretty sight, the bullet blew up on the hide and the fox went off its head. Needed a finishing shot.

Not nice even if it is a vermon species. A .222 would be perfect i think, like i said i would not know the size of a bobcat, but can imagine it would be bigger than the old red fox.

March 30, 2009, 04:04 AM
I found a guy who specializes in pred-hunting here in AZ and he said the .17 Rem is the most perfect cartridge for bobcat. One tiny hole in, no exit.

That's what you'll get if you hit 'em right with the right bullet from a .17 Rem. Too far back and you'll still have a mess.

I probably know the guy who told you that, although it's been many years since I posted on PM. J-H knows his stuff when it comes to the .17's and what to expect from them, if that's who you talked with. We've had a few adventures together over the last several years, and he convinced me to go to a .17 Rem after I damaged a bobcat with a .223.

I haven't regretted it.