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Old April 13, 2012, 08:08 PM   #1
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17 HMR vs 22 WMR For My Particular Uses?

To start off, my aim isn't to start WWIII. I've been researching the difference between these two calibers for a while now and am just stuck in between. I'm leaning a little towards the 22 WMR, but let's get started. My friend and I have been taking off to his deer lease lately and all we've really seen that we had interest in shooting were rabbits lately. I think we've seen two further than 200 yards, other than that, we're in small areas at a maximum range of 75 yards when rabbit hunting. He also has feeders and a deer stand and a few blinds. The distance from stand to feeder is right around 125 yards. If we're at that distance, we'll likely be shooting raccoons, coyotes and possibly small to medium sized hogs, and I know shot placement is key in these situations, however not as much when using a larger round such as the 22 WMR. I'm also aware that hog hunting is best done with a .223 or bigger but that's out of the question for now. Besides, I'm going for more power than a .22 lr to have a "just in case rifle" in the event that we stumble upon an animal like this. I'm mostly set on a savage model 93, the caliber is all I have left to decide. Basically, I'm looking for an all around rifle that will be a good carry weapon around areas like this. What're your guys' thoughts? Thanks for your help and sorry for the somewhat long and scatter-brained post
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Old April 13, 2012, 08:53 PM   #2
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Between the two calibers the .17HMR is going to be more accurate at distances out to 200 yds. The light bullet however is going to be more affected by wind than the .22wmr. The .22wmr has more impact power and would penetrated deeper (due to increased mass) but is less accurate out beyond 75yds.

Really for rabbit and raccoon I'd say either or is sufficient out to 200yds so long as you are a good shot. Personally I wouldn't take a shot on an animal with either beyond 100yds but that's just my personal limitation.

As for hogs I've dropped a 400lb. hog with a single shot to the head from a .17HMR pistol. Of course the hog was a domestic hog and was standing still as I walked up to it, put the muzzle of the pistol to the top of the hog's head and squeezed the trigger. Aside from that I seriously would question the ethics of anyone who shot an animal that size with either a .22WMR or a .17HMR in an actual hunting scenario.

So the answer to your question regarding your situation and particular uses - since you mentioned hogs too - an AR 15 in .223/5.56. If you were not going to be shooting hogs I'd go with the .22WMR personally - but I've always liked bigger slower bullets vs. lighter faster bullets.
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Old April 13, 2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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I'm going to say right up front the you're way under gunned for hogs at 100+ yards with either. I've used the 22 mag on coyotes in the 80's out to maybe 150 yards and it was quite unremarkable(using 1985 ammo). Most shot in the boiler room ran off to be found by blood trailing or were bayed by the hounds and finished off. I wouldn't even consider shooting a hog with a 22mag unless at very close range and hitting the brain.
The 17HMR peaks out at coyote sized game at less than 150 yards. I've killed some good sized groundhogs around 100 yards with a single shot in the body. The only coyote I shot with the 17 was around 200 yards and ran off wounded. This little round is a laser beam out to 150 yards compared to a 22lr but is way below the threshold of being a hog gun. It's relatively cheap to shoot and usually very accurate but just doesn't have the bullet weight to be effective on animals over 40#.
Of the two, I prefer the 17HMR as an "in between" round filling the gap between 22lr and .223. Preference based on the fact that, on average, the 17 is more accurate than the 22mag.
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Old April 14, 2012, 06:43 AM   #4
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The 17hmr should shoot flatter and have less wind drift than the best of the 22wmr rounds, the 22 only having the advantage in energy.
That being said the higher speed of the 17 with the ballistic tip can still do a good kill.

Whether or not either is good enough for coyotes or hogs is a different story.
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:16 AM   #5
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I like my 17HMR out to 175-200 yards when shooting small furry critters. I use my .22WMR out to 100 yards when shooting heavier small furry critters. I don't recommend either for coyote, or hogs. Just not an ethical shot in my book. That's why I have a .223, or .308. With the new .22WMR from Hornady 100 yard shots on raccoon, nutria, rabbit and such is much easier than it used to be. The 17HMR is great on ground squirrel, p-dogs and rabbit out to 200 depending on the wind.
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Old April 14, 2012, 10:47 AM   #6
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Neither is a reasonable 200yd shooter. A 17grn .17HMR bullet is going to be blown 13.5" (over a foot) off line with a 10mph crosswind out at 200yds while a 40grn .22WMR is going to be blown 22.5" (almost two feet) off line with the same 10mph crosswind. The ME at 200yds for the 22WMR is only 96ft/lbs and the .17HMR a paltry 81ft/lbs so, for anything larger than a small rodent, neither is an ethical hunting round at distances longer than feet from the muzzle.

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Old April 14, 2012, 11:40 AM   #7
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If your gonna eat them the 17hmr is a head shot only caliber. Massive meat damage with body shots. Chuck Hawks list the zero for a 17hmr zero a 1.5" high at 100 yards for a zero range of 145 yards, 0.9" high at 50 yards, 0.3" low at 150 yards, and 5.5" low at 200 yards, maximum point blank range (+/- 1.5") of 165 yards.
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Old April 14, 2012, 12:09 PM   #8
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I know you say a .223 is out of the question and I'm sure you have your reasons for saying that. However, a new or used .223 in a single shot like an H&R or Rossi, or bolt action like the Stevens 200 and Savage Axis isn't going to be anymore expensive than some new rifles in the rimfire choices mentioned. Just be patient and wait for the right deal to come along and you can step into a centerfire cheap.

Ammunition for the rimfires can cost your around $13-18 for 50 rounds of premium loads. I realize that .22 WMR can still be had for less than $10 a box of 50 rounds but that is for plain old TMJ rounds and 40-50 grain plated and unplated lead bullets of either the RN or HP variety which wouldn't get you much more usable range than the .22 LR. You can get .223 ammunition suitble for your shooting needs for around $6 for 20 rounds so in my eyes the cost of shooting is a wash.
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Old April 14, 2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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we sighted in my .17 HMR Savage with a Weaver 44/40 3x9x40 scope at 25 yards an im still hitting dead on out to 75 with no hold over. i use the Hornaday 17 grain V-Max.
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Old April 14, 2012, 04:36 PM   #10
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AT close range either one will work head or neck shots .Have shot pigs with 22mag around 50 lbs @ 50yds & DRT was the result Coyotes also. Both are fun guns.I do like the 22mag a little better but it has no real gain just personal choice.
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Old April 14, 2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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I bought a .17hmr to fill the gap between my .22lr & my 22-250. The .17hmr excels at taking small varmits at around 150 yards, which is what it was designed to do. I have been extremely impressed with the accuracy of the .17hmr, & it is significantly quieter to shoot than my 22-250.
I have used the .17hmr to take rabbits & foxes, no problems whatsoever, however the .17hmr lacks power for chest shots on goats & mid size pigs, even at 100 yards. If you can brain shoot game the size of goats & mid size pigs it will work, but the .17hmr is best suited to smaller varmits.
I would probably choose the .22 magnum over the .17hmr for your purpose, however as others have said a .223 would be more suited.
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Old April 14, 2012, 05:45 PM   #12
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neither is an ethical hunting round at distances longer than feet from the muzzle.
LOL! That actually made me laugh. Seriously you've never actually shot anything with either cartridge huh?
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Old April 14, 2012, 05:52 PM   #13
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In reference to the ethical hunting round. I bought a 17hmr barrel for my contender for small game, (rabbits, squirrel, varmints...) I have found the 17 grain vmax to cause extensive damage to the animal and ruins meat. So much so that I tried the 20 grain round for awhile and then decided to do head shot only. I cannot believe you don't think it's adequate. What have you shot with it. In my area we are limited to rimfire only for coyote and guys are wacking 35lb coyotes with the 17hmr.
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Old April 14, 2012, 09:19 PM   #14
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I agree about the .17 buffering up meat. I have an old Marlin 22 wmr with a second hand Swift scope from swfa. Inside of 125 yards it's no problem bagging squirrels and rabbits with cheapo ammunition. The .17 is definitely flatter shooting, but better suited for punching paper and varmint control.

I'd trust a 22 wmr to put down a cuyote inside of 75 yards or so but no further.
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Old April 14, 2012, 11:23 PM   #15
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I love the 17HMR (I have a few of them including the new marlin XT-17VSFL) but if I am going to be 100% honest I think the 22mag is a better hunting round.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old April 15, 2012, 07:50 AM   #16
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.17HMR vs .22 mag

Longer than feet from the barrel??????????????????????????? ! Cliff
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Old January 10, 2013, 01:57 PM   #17
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17 HMR (Her Majesty Rules)

...many, many, many feet!
I watched my buddy pop a 22 lb. gobbler at 210 yds ranged by laser with a 17 HMR from a 14" scoped contender and that bird fell over dead! POW! If I had not been there I would have called him a liar. In the right hands that little tic-tac can and will wreak havoc on medium sized game.
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Old January 11, 2013, 08:24 AM   #18
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Update on my post re:17HMR
I'm a lot less happy with the 17 HMR than I was a few weeks back. After shooting coyote twice in the chest at 30-50 yards and having it fall both times only to see it escape, I'm going to pull my recommendation for use on coyote.
As for rabbits, I see no problem shooting them out to 125 yards as long as the wind is calm. The 17 has the accuracy and flat trajectory for this use but suffers in the wind regardless of some of the comments about little wind drift.
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Old January 13, 2013, 09:50 PM   #19
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22 magnum is more reliable in terminal performance across the entire spectrum of tissues the slug will encounter.
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Old January 14, 2013, 03:50 PM   #20
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And now you can add the .17 WSM (Winchester Super Magnum) into the mix
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:24 PM   #21
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Zombie thread!
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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hmr , savage , wmr

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