Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

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Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby Bergie on Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:16 pm

I'm thinking of adding a rifle to the collection and take it out for plinking and occasional varmint control/camp rifle. I've read good things about the accuracy of the Marlin 22MN rifle. But the Ruger 77 in .17HMR is intriguing. Any thoughts on the pros and cons that would sway a decision? (I'm trying to think of accuracy, reliability, ammo availability and cost,)
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby Holland&Holland on Sat Jan 27, 2018 11:00 pm

I am thinking you are six of one half a dozen of the other with this question

All I can tell you is I have a .17 hmr and really like how it performs at the range. Have not taken anything with it yet.
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby Bergie on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:08 am

Holland&Holland wrote:I am thinking you are six of one half a dozen of the other with this question


I thought as much, but wanted to see if there was an overwhelming census on one over the other. Seeing as I have a Single Six w/22mag cylinder, might just be easier to go that route and not crowd the cabinet with too many ammo variants.
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby xd ED on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:02 am

A CZ 455 has swap barrel options; shoots any .22 or .17 rimfire.
Never priced them against the Ruger, but I'd bet it out-shoots the Ruger.
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby Ghost on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:13 am

My Ruger American Rimfire in 22LR works very well. It's quite potent running suppressor and thermal (in non anti thermal states that is).
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby LarryFlew on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:59 am

My Volguartsen 17HMR is my favorite rifle for plinking. Good to 100 yards, shoots very flat etc. Only draw back is you may have to compensate for a gopher fart pushing the bullet left or right as the wind really affect 17HMR. BIL has a Savage in 17HMR which is also one of his favorites. Runs well suppressed also but your suppressor has to be rated for it and most 22 suppressors are not.
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby Sigfan220 on Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:03 pm

I absolutely love the 17hmr for prairie dog on a calm day. I've used it for Red Squirrel and sage rats too. Like stated above it doesn't take much wind to blow it around. I only hunt with it on the calm days. I think the ammo availability was better during the ammo craze, you couldn't find much 22mag, but this shouldn't be an issue now. If you are shooting small critter's I'd go 17, bigger I'd go 22mag. From what I hear the 17 is much more accurate that 22 mag but I have never owned a 22 mag. My Ruger american's in 17 shoot about 1/2 MOA. My newer savage shot about 1.5 MOA, my pre accutrigger Savage shot about 1/2 MOA. I shoot is pretty much exlusevly suppressed now. The prairie dogs are not bothered by the report as much as a suppressed 223. Out of all of the 17's I've owned the Rugers have been the best. I have the Ruger American Sports South Exlusive, they have a similar one now that has a black stock ans stainless barrel. But I'd get a target next time. I think the 77's are overpriced for a rimfire. That's my $0.02
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby crbutler on Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:23 pm

For plinking, neither would be my choice...the ammo is too expensive compared to .22 LR.

For range accuracy work, a .17 or a .22 mag take your pick.

For varminting I’d use the . 17, mainly due to while the .22 wmr has more energy at distance, if it’s out a modest ways I use my .22 hornet or a bigger cased .22 centerfire.
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby Holland&Holland on Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:56 pm

crbutler wrote:For plinking, neither would be my choice...the ammo is too expensive compared to .22 LR.

For range accuracy work, a .17 or a .22 mag take your pick.

For varminting I’d use the . 17, mainly due to while the .22 wmr has more energy at distance, if it’s out a modest ways I use my .22 hornet or a bigger cased .22 centerfire.


Who makes a good .22 hornet these days?
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby crbutler on Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:02 pm

Mines a CZ, but good is debatable. I spent more fixing it than I paid for it...
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Re: Plinking/Varmint Rifle: .22 mag or .17 HMR ?

Postby aht_six on Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:09 pm

I had a 77/17 Ruger 17 HMR, the accuracy on a calm day was excellent. However, in my opinion, the terminal ballistics sucks. I like to see some splat when I hit a prairie dog. If your sold on a rimfire, I'd say 17 HMR for plinking, but give me the .22 mag for varmints.

I don't own either them anymore. I have a couple .22 Hornets I use for close in prairie dog work. Both are Ruger 77/22's, one standard and one stainless heavy barrel.
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