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As I look over what's available in my local gun shop, I am drawn to a savage bolt action with a laminated stock that seems very affordable.

But I tend to buy firearms to fill certain uses, and I use what I purchase, as opposed to just collecting firearms.

So with that in mind, what hunting uses are well suited to the .17HMR?

(give me a good excuse to add this one to my collection!) :D
 

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My wife and I bought several .17HRM’s just for fun. Our Marlin 917V is good for shooting very small groups - puts a smile on your face every time.
The 17HMR is a very good cartridge for picket pin squirrels, rats and trash birds - such as cowbirds. We use the 917V as a walk around varminter and have ours equipped with a straight 4X scope.
We have found the 17HMR to be light for raccoon and skunk size critters except for headshots - we avoid headshots as a rule. For these size critters, we suggest the heavy bullets.
We enjoy shooting the 17HMR and the 17 Mach II but we don’t put a lot of emphasis on its filling a specific role. We prefer the 22 Magnum for that.

We were just e-mailing ENGLANDER in Scotland, he uses very sophisticated 17 caliber, suppressed air rifles for the majority of his small game hunting. Englander is a head shooter and has related some wonderful shots on a variety of game we consider large for the caliber.
ENGLANDER also hunt feral pigeons as a food source for his ferrets. The 17 air rifles are well suited for this work.
 

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Lots of squirrels up there in Wisconsin...and that's pretty much all the 17HMR is good for, unless you maybe sneak up on some cottontails and take them with a head shot.

If you already own a 22LR or 22WMR, as well as a centerfire 22, like the 223 or 22-250, then there is certainly no "need" to pick up the 17HMR. It's a specialty round with relatively little in the way of practical application.
 

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Gee, Broom. why not tell us what you think?

Now I don't have to sound so curmudgeonly about it, but I do agree with that thinking, and haven't bought one. I just can't find a good use for it.
 

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LOL, I'm of the opinion that the REALLY only reason for this round was to #1) increase Hornady sales, and #2) to ignite the passions of the shooting community. You know how the boys like a new toy to play with. :D
 

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You need to see what the 17-grain CCI TNT does to an adult rat. Hit in the chest, the tail, backbone and head, along with some flapping skin is all that remains. Cowbirds disintegrate. The .17 HRM rifles encourage you to hunt in a different way from the 22 Magnum.
We use the 22 Magnum loaded with the 50-grain Federal JHP for “targets of opportunity.” We go out looking with the 17’s.
 

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After hunting a fresh-prairie dog town last summer I came to appreciate the .17HMR. I'd fire off a round or two with the .223 and everything closer thana couple hundred yards went down.My buddy had his 17HMR in another town and he was popping away for a couple hours. I went over to see what he was shooting at and I couldn't believe it. Those dogs were almost oblivious to him and the report didn't spook em. I watched for several minutes while he shot everything 150 yards and closer.

That was the excuse I used for buying one!
 

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I think it's a great gopher gun and picked up a laminated savage in .17hmr recently myself. I often feel my .22 lr has too much drop-off for gophers (ground squirrels, actually) in that 75 to 150 yard range. And that seems to be the range of most gophers I spy when driving the dirt roads as the gophers less than 50 yards all pop back down their holes...except some of the young ones. My hope is too add more hits at those ranges with the 17hmr.
 

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then there is certainly no "need" to pick up the 17HMR. It's a specialty round with relatively little in the way of practical application.


Geeze, I am speechless! Bonnie & I have been shooting 17HMR in NRA matches at 200 yards for years. Our best scores include a 499/500 from Bonnie, a 499/500 and 500/500 from me. I shoot prone from a bipod with an inexpensive scope. The rifle has fired 1" groups at 200 yards and is a total winner.

One of our clubs has just opened a 600 yard range and the requirement for an entry permit into the long range is to shoot measured groups at 200 yards. The Marlin 917V in .17HMR is the rifle I'll use for that test.

Hate to disagree with you but that .17 HMR is in a class by itself and there is just nothing that will run with it. It is totally amazing and scary accurate!

Flash
 

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OK, so it's good for squirrels and paper. I never said they weren't accurate, just that if a person already had a 22LR and .223, there was nothing the 17HMR would do that those two won't. You can certainly shoot 1" groups at 200 yards with a .223, so what exactly does the 17 do better?

The only real positive to the 17HMR that I can see is that it takes rimfire performance to a much higher level and greater range. And that makes it good for squirrels and paper targets, both of which are a lot of fun. It's not like the 17HMR could ever be called a versatile round, but what it does, it does well enough. I've just never seen a need to go smaller than 22 (rimfire or centerfire) for any kind of shooting.
 

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I use the 17 HMR for **** hunting. Works nice. Will knock them out of the tree.
Not my first choice because of the crack it makes. Sound carries good at 1 AM with little leaves on the trees.
 

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My Marlin 917 is a tack-driver right out of the box. I put a Leupold 3-9x40 on top of it, and it makes a fantastic varmint gun. The first gray digger I hit with it was actually filleted and launched like a Frisbee into a nearby tree. The round still has sufficient energy and velocity to explode 1 gallon milk jugs at 100+ yards. They are just a ton of fun to shoot, what more can you ask for? :)
 

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I haven't seen a spectacular display of flipping prairie dogs.They generally just flop over and twitch a little. The ones I examined for damage, they looked like they musta died of old age.... or lead poisoning...:D
 

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I use mine for fox hunting. Not as load as the .22-250 but is still strong enough to kill foxes. My cousin shot a **** with it last year and it dropped on the spot. Good caliber for hunting at night because it is not as load as a centerfire.
 

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I have two 17 HMR's that I haven't used much, and I'm not fond of the ammo cost. My son on the other hand thinks it's the only thing there is to use on squirrels and small game. He shot a coyote that died instantly, and has killed many ground hogs. It is his squirrel gun of choice. His rifle is a single shot Contender with a rifle barrel and scope sight. This caliber is much better for long range (200 + yards) than a 22 magnum. I have both, and I still use a 22 LR.
 

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I got a .17 HMR only because its the most powerful rifle allowed in CT state forests.

I read above that it will "knock a racoon out of a tree" and another got a coyote with one shot. Good.

On another forum some said the .17 HMR was too small for coyotes.
 

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My brother sure loves his HMR. He has a Savage with synthetic stock and heavy barrel.

It's the only rifle he carries when hunting coyote. Hits them in the heart/lungs and down they go.
 

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Rockchucks,magpies,ground squirrels,skunks,porcupines,rabbits,blue & ruffed grouse,coyotes and plenty of pigeons have all succumbed to my savage 17.
 
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