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Developed almost 2 decades ago by Hornady, the .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR) quickly came to be known by hunters over the world as the ideal varmint hunting caliber. The reputation is still intact today.
With its small size and impressive ballistics, the .17 caliber packs a punch that is unparalleled. If you hunt varmint or any other small game, you will no doubt appreciate having a .17 HMR rifle in your inventory.
If you’re just now learning of this amazing rifle, you’ll be needing some help with finding the best 17 HMR rifles. Worry not, because that’s what we’re here to provide!
Find below our reviews of the best 10 rifles, alongside all relevant information in our buying guide.
Best .17 HMR Rifles Comparison in 2021
|RUGER – 77/17||9+1-ROUND||22″||41.25″||Check Price|
|CZ USA – 455 AMERICAN||5+1-ROUND||20.5″||38.2″||Check Price|
|SAVAGE ARMS – B17 F||10+1-ROUND||21″||39″||Check Price|
|BROWNING – T-BOLT||10+1-ROUND||22″||40.25″||Check Price|
|WINCHESTER – 1885 HUNTER||1-ROUND||24″||40″||Check Price|
|CZ USA – 550 AMERICAN||3+1-ROUND||25″||46.5″||Check Price|
|SAVAGE ARMS – A17||10+1-ROUND||22″||41.5″||Check Price|
|CZ USA – 455 AMERICAN||5+1-ROUND||20.5″||38.2″||Check Price|
|SAVAGE ARMS – 93R17 BVSS||5+1-ROUND||21″||39.5″||Check Price|
|CZ USA – 455 VARMINT||5+1-ROUND||20.5″||42.6″||Check Price|
How Accurate Is a .17 HMR?
That’s a great question. The .17 HMR rifle is undoubtedly one of the most accurate rifles you can find as a hunter of small game, with dependable accuracy from 100 yards to up to 200 yards at the least, and 300 yards at most.
Given that you’re shooting the perfect conditions, i.e. no wind, efficient ammo and a well-adjusted ammo, you can expect high accuracy from a .17 HMR rifle. Of course, it also depends on the manufacturer and the ammo you use.
For most rifles, you can expect the 17-grain Hornady V-MAX to run at 2500 to 2600 fps. Meanwhile, if you want something faster, the 15.5-grain Hornady load is a good option.
While the 20-grain bullet isn’t the most heavy-duty, at 2350 to 2400 fps you can expect higher penetration. But if flat shooting and precision are what you prioritize, the .17 HMR will appeal to you.
Ultimately, however, it depends on your target and the range at which you are shooting. The .17 HMR will typically allow you to hit at greater ranges than it will promise a faster kill.
Best Uses for a .17 HMR
The .17 HMR is most popular for hunting varmint and small game such as chipmunks and squirrels. This is thanks in no small part to its high muzzle energy and, of course, its flat trajectory.
Moreover, the bullet’s precision and velocity also make it perfect for hunting possum, raccoon and rabbit from up to 200 yards. And if you’re shooting from 100 yards, there’s no question of hitting your target.
Another good use of the .17 HMR is plinking, because it provides a good combination of accuracy, speed and affordability. Plus, in comparison to larger ammo, it’s also pretty quiet.
Furthermore, because it’s an almost-recoilless cartridge, it’s a good rifle to use if you’re teaching someone how to shoot. Ruger is a good brand if you want these qualities.
10 Top .17 HMR Rifles Review
We know you’re busy, so we present our reviews first. If you’ve got a little bit more time, though, we would recommend scrolling down to our buying guide and supplementary sections.
RUGER – 77/17 22″ 17 HRM Ruger
With over 7 decades of experience in producing top-notch firearms, Ruger is a brand to be contended with, and our first pick is from them! With a bolt-action operation, this Ruger rifle has a capacity of 9+1 rounds.
This rifle is undoubtedly built for long-term use as its action is built from robust stainless steel and heat-treated alloy. The barrel has been cold-hammer forged, which as you may know greatly enhances precision and accuracy. Ruger really knows what they’re doing!
Furthermore, Ruger has made this gun’s removable rotary magazine (made from durable tough nylon polymer) mount perfectly with the stock and eliminates the possibility of protrusions at the balance point. The result?
Unparalleled ease in shooting. Plus, it comes with a scope mount right on the solid steel receiver which makes for a stable mounting surface for your scope rings (Ruger or otherwise).
Furthermore, the bullet used with this rifle, the .17 WSM, is capable of firing at speeds from 2600 to up to 3000 feet per second. That undoubtedly makes for an accurate, powerful shot, sometimes up to 300 yards. It’s easy to see why Ruger is a leader in 17 HMR rifles.
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CZ USA – 455 AMERICAN 20.5IN 17 HMR
As a true-blue American rifle, the CZ 455 Rimfire Rifle is one of the most highly sought after 17 HMR rifles for accuracy. Promising durability and performance in equal measure, this rifle has justly earned its place on our list.
Being a bolt-action rifle, this firearm has been upgraded in its construction to provide you with higher accuracy and smoother shooting. It has an adjustable trigger, which will allow you to effortlessly manipulate the weight of pull.
The action of this rifle has been constructed fully from a bar stock. It has a capacity of 5+1 rounds and has a removable magazine. Its muzzle is plain, and its stock has been crafted from high-quality walnut.
Unfortunately, mounting a scope on this rifle may prove to be difficult, but we find that to be a low price to pay in order to enjoy all the rifle has to offer.
SAVAGE ARMS – B17 F 17HMR 21″ BOLT SYNTHETIC
Next we have chosen for you a rifle from Savage Arms, who have been producing high-quality guns and ammo for well over a century. The B17 is extremely fast and extremely well-made.
This bolt-action rifle, with its removable magazine, is equipped with a unique button-rifled barrel which can only be found in Savage Arms guns. This barrel has a sporter profile and has a traditional blued finish that you’re bound to love.
Another reason why we like this rifle is its pistol-grip composite stock, which has been designed to be ergonomic and comfortable, and it also has a high comb. And don’t worry about scopes; the B17 is tapped to accept scope mounts.
Furthermore, you’ll experience barely any recoil when you’re using this gun. The range at which you can expect to use this rifle can extend up to 300 yards or even more, without losing too much accuracy. So whether it’s plinking or varmint hunting, this is a good rifle to go with.
Related Guide: Ruger 10/22 Stocks Review
BROWNING – T-BOLT .17HMR COMP SPORTER
When it comes to the top rimfire rifles to practice with, you’ll typically find a lot of options. But the Browning T-Bolt is in another class entirely. With a rapid straight-pull bolt-action operation, this rifle is able to provide a number of indispensable benefits.
The magazine of this rifle is removable, with a quick and easy release mechanism. And it’s easy to feed: all you have to do is slightly remove some weight from the spring. Plus, its visible ammo chamber allows you to keep track of how many rounds you’re getting through. Its capacity is 10+1 rounds.
And this gun has the feature that we in particular look for: an adjustable trigger! If you need to adjust the pull weight, then worry not, as you can do that effortlessly. A precise shot is promised almost every time as the trigger pull weight of this rifle is 3.5 pounds.
WINCHESTER – 1885 HUNTER RIMFIRE 24IN 17 HMR
With more than a century and a half of producing some of the finest firearms, Winchester is an American brand whose name is instantly recognizable to lovers of guns and ammo. With its traditional aesthetic appeal and single shot mechanism, the 1885 Hunter Rimfire delights with its modern-day functionality.
So what does this rifle have to offer? It has a single shot action, which means it can hold only one round of ammunition. Its plain muzzle and satin stock together add to the 1885’s classic, Wild-West appeal.
On the whole, the Winchester 1885 Rimfire Rifle is still recognized as the strongest and most reliable single shot rifle. Its accuracy is nearly unmatched, so it’s perfect if you’re teaching a beginner the basics.
However, it’s worth noting that the 1885 is less practical to buy if you’re interested in varmint hunting or are low on cash, because these guys are definitely expensive.
Related Guide: Best .30-06 Rifles Reviews
CZ USA – 550 AMERICAN 416 RIGBY
For our next pick, we have another rifle from CZ USA. This bolt-action rifle with its fixed magazine has been built on the brand’s existing 550 Magnum action. This rifle is meant to be used with magnified optics, but it also comes with iron sights if that’s not your thing.
With a capacity of 3+1 rounds, this rifle has a stock made from wood and has a classic look that you’re bound to appreciate. Plus, its high and flat comb also allows you to remove optics and still use the rifle with ease.
Another thing we like about this rifle is its butt pad, made from thick, durable rubber, which helps to lessen recoil. The rifle features 3-leaf express sights, with 2 folding and 1 standing.
This 17 hmr rifle comes with a barrel that has been hammer-forged, and it has been treated with a classic blue finish. The trigger is a single-set, while its fixed ejector together with the controlled round feed allows for intense varmint hunting sessions.
SAVAGE ARMS – A17 22IN 17 HMR
With a capacity of 10+1 rounds comes our second pick from Savage Arms, an affordable yet highly efficient rifle which will appeal to serious varmint hunters and lovers of 17 HMR rifles. Let’s start with some specs; this rifle operates on a blow back action, has a removable magazine, and comes with a traditional blue finish.
What stands out about the A17 is undoubtedly its unparalleled accuracy. This owes to its delayed-blowback action; at the same time, the rifle is suitable for use with every kind of .17 HMR round you can use with it.
Weighing only 5 pounds, this is one of the most lightweight .17 HMR rifles we have come across during our extensive research. Its barrel measures 22 inches and facilitates accuracy in both hunting and plinking purposes, so it’s best for multipurpose use.
Finally, this rifle is also endowed with Savage Arms’ renowned and unique AccuTrigger technology, which means it has a two-stage trigger. This means you’ll be able to adjust the trigger’s pull weight with ease.
CZ USA – 455 AMERICAN COMBO 20.5IN 22 LR
Our next pick puts a spin on the CZ 455 American rifle that we previously reviewed above. With a bolt action system and a capacity of 5+1 rounds, this rifle comes with a barrel measuring 20.5 inches and is furnished with a blue finish. Its stock is made from walnut, giving it a classic appeal.
So what do we like about this rifle? It is able to accept both .17 HMR and .22 WMR cartridges, so if you usually like to work with both types (for plinking and hunting purposes alike), this rifle is a godsent. All you need to do is take out the stock and loosen the two set screws attached to the barrel. The best 17 hmr rifle looks like this!
Equipped with an ability for tight tolerance, this rifle is able to offer a smoother performance and a highly accurate shooting experience. Its removable magazine is another plus.
SAVAGE ARMS – 93R17 BVSS 21IN 17 HMR
Our third pick from Savage Arms is also one of the best ones from the brand to date. It combines the thrill of rimfire shooting with the modern, high-quality craftsmanship that Savage has come to be associated with.
Featuring a bolt action operation, this rifle has a barrel measuring 21 inches, a removable magazine and a capacity of 1×5 rounds. This rifle integrates AccuTrigger, which means you get to enjoy the safety and convenience of an adjustable trigger.
And speaking of the trigger, you will no doubt enjoy the clean and smooth trigger pull, which goes a long way in enhancing shooting accuracy. And no doubt the heavy stainless steel barrel is best to use for any serious varmint hunter.
The magazine, which as we mentioned is removable, is placed within a stock made of gray wood-grained laminate. This stock has been furnished with cut checkering and comes with a comb in the Monte-Carlo style, together producing a classic look.
CZ USA – 455 VARMINT EVOLUTION 20.5IN 17 HMR
Our final pick is from the brand that, by now, you will recognize as one of our absolute favorites: CZ USA. This spin on the classic 455 is made specifically to facilitate varmint hunting, so this is going to appeal to all the hunters reading this article.
With a bolt action operation, this rifle has a capacity of 5+1 rounds, comes with a blue finish, and has a detachable magazine. Even with a bolt on the right-hand side, the stock is designed such that left-handed users will have no difficulty operating the rifle. With a barrel measuring 20.5″ in length, this rifle has an overall length of 42.6″.
This rifle comes with an Evolution stock, which offers an extreme free float. This means that you won’t have to worry about stock-to-barrel contact, thereby leaving the way clear for a harmonious aim. When it comes down to it, we think that this is undoubtedly one of the best 17 HMR rimfire rifles you can find for the price.
What to Look for Before Buying
17 HMR rifles come in many different forms and price. So what’s the right one for you? Well, keeping the following factors in mind will help you with your purchase.
The accuracy and rate of fire that you can expect from your rifle will depend upon its operation type. When it comes to .17 HMR rifles, you have three options to choose from: semi auto, bolt action, and lever action.
As you may already know, a semi auto (or semi automatic) firearm is able to prepare itself for re-firing. A bolt action rifle is operated manually via a bolt handle. And a lever action rifle makes use of a lever to load fresh cartridges. You know better than anyone which type suits you, although semi auto rifles are preferred by most hunters.
Purpose of Use
What are you going to be using your rifle for? This is a question you need to answer before finding the right one. Is it varmint hunting, survival or plinking that you’re interested in?
Each kind of rifle is suitable for different uses, so it’s a good idea to pay close attention to reviews and finding out what the best rifle is for you before you make your purchase.
If you’re an experienced hunter looking to shoot larger game besides varmint, then the best idea is to choose a rifle that accepts customization. At the very least, your chosen rifle should allow you to mount a scope, which many Ruger rifles do.
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out with .17 HMR rifles, or you don’t want to pay too high a price, then you can choose a more basic model. Once again, do your research closely!
The barrel makes up about half of the overall length of your rifle, so you have to decide what measurements are suitable for you. Furthermore, it’s best to go with a rifle whose barrel has been forged and hammered for higher durability.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can expect your .17 HMR rifle to shoot accurately up to 200 yards. In calmer weather conditions, this can even go up to 300 yards.
Due to its lightweight build and small body, rimfire rifles for .17 HMR is susceptible to strong wind. In the event of a crosswind of 10 MPH, a 17 gr .17 HMR bullet will likely drift up to 3 inches at 100 yards.
Your skills as a marksman would have to be quite high for you to be able to achieve that, but it’s not impossible at a range within 50 yards. Higher than that, and it probably won’t work.
Unfortunately, due to its susceptibility to rough wind, even the best 17 HMR is not suitable for competitive purposes.
If you’re shooting under perfect conditions, you might be able to manage a range of up to 400 yards with a 17 caliber rifle like Ruger. However, maintaining a range of 200 yards is best.
With so many options on the market, it can understandably be quite difficult to choose just one from the long list of best 17 HMR rimfire rifles. That being said, we do have a special liking for the CZ 455 series for both varmint hunting and plinking purposes, and it comes at a good price point. The Ruger is also a good deal.
Whichever one you choose as the best 17 hmr rifle, though, make sure to do adequate research first. Good luck, and may your shots always land with accuracy!
Meta: In the world of hunting small game, few guns stand out as much as the best 17 HMR rifles. Check out our top picks and a comprehensive buying guide.