When making an attempt to resolve between the 17 HMR (left) and the 22 LR (proper), first resolve what you’ll probably be utilizing your rimfire rifle or pistol for. Richard Mann, Discipline & Stream

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Editor’s Word: Deer camp, fish camp, the taking pictures vary, or the gun store—regardless of the place hunters and anglers get collectively, they’ll discover one thing to disagree on. And why not? There’s nothing like a very good argument to get your blood pumping. So, to that finish, day by day this week we’ll be posting tales designed to stir issues up round searching and fishing’s most urgent debates. And for selection’s sake, we’ll make some critters, cartridges, and weapons go head-to-head, too. Right here’s what F&S taking pictures editor Richard Mann has to say in regards to the 17 HMR vs 22 LR.

In an ideal world, there could be a rheostat on the aspect of our rifles that allow us dial within the ballistic efficiency we would have liked. Like a Star Trek phaser, if we would have liked to pop a bunny at 30 steps, we’d go together with setting #1. If we would have liked to succeed in out to 150 yards to whack a rock chuck, setting #3 may be good. After all, that’s not attainable, so we’re caught selecting a cartridge and sticking with it. It’s why we should ponder comparisons just like the 308 vs 30-06 and the 17 HMR vs 22 LR.

There may be an countless assortment of centerfire rifle cartridges to select from however with rimfires, there are solely 5. The 22 LR is essentially the most prolific and reasonably priced. The 17 Winchester Tremendous Magnum is essentially the most highly effective however the most costly to shoot. Filling the center floor, we now have the 22 Magnum and the 17 HMR. There’s additionally the 17 Mach 2, however it isn’t and by no means has been extremely popular. Evidently most struggling to pick a rimfire cartridge debate the 17 HMR vs 22 LR. Listed below are the similarities and variations between the 2 that may assist you choose the perfect spherical for you. 

The 22 Lengthy Rifle

The 17 HMR vs The 22 LR
The 22 LR is essentially the most versatile in terms of the completely different masses provided. Richard Mann

This cartridge has been with us for greater than 130 years. Over that point, it has been chambered in each sort of firearm you may think about, from derringers to tack-driving precision rifles. It’s the cartridge most of us realized to shoot with and many people first hunted with.

There are lots of various kinds of 22 LR ammunition, with bullet weights starting from 20 to 60 grains. With normal masses, it is going to launch a 40-grain bullet to about 1200 fps. However there’s additionally high-performance 22 LR ammo just like the CCI Stinger. The Stinger has a barely longer cartridge case, however the total cartridge size is similar. It can push a 32-grain bullet sooner than 1600 fps. After which there are subsonic 22 LR masses which can be as quiet as a whisper and even quieter when used with a suppressor.

The flexibility of the 22 LR, mixed with how reasonably priced it’s to shoot, is why it’s so in style. It has an efficient vary of about 100 yards, and inside that distance, it’s perfect for plinking and good for searching small sport. Relying on the ammunition you select, each time you ship a .22-caliber bullet downrange, it is going to price you between 10 and 50 cents. Moreover, there’s a wider collection of firearms out there in 22 LR than for another rimfire and even centerfire cartridge.

The 17 HMR

The 17 HMR vs The 22 LR
If small sport searching at prolonged distances is your factor, then the 17 HMR is one in every of your greatest choices. Richard Mann

In 2002 Hornady shocked the world with the introduction of the 17 HMR (Hornady Rimfire Magnum). This rimfire cartridge, which fires a 17-caliber bullet, took the rimfire world by a storm. Bullets weighing 17 grains will depart the barrel of a 17 HMR rifle with velocities as excessive as 2600 fps and the 20-grain masses are a tad bit slower. This excessive velocity, mixed with the light-weight bullets, signifies that by rimfire requirements the 17 HMR shoots extremely flat. If a 17 HMR rifle is zeroed dead-on at 100 yards, the bullet will solely drop about 10 inches at 200 yards. With the identical zero, the flattest taking pictures 22 LR ammunition will drop 3 times that a lot at 200 yards.

Nevertheless, with this excessive efficiency comes added price. The least costly 17 HMR ammo will price about 38 cents per shot. Additionally, there’s not all kinds of 17 HMR ammo to select from. The .17-caliber bullets loaded in 17 HMR ammo differ from solely 16 to twenty grains. Nevertheless, the cartridge could be very in style and there’s a wide selection of rifles and some handguns out there.

17 HMR vs 22 LR: Goal Capturing

The 17 HMR vs The 22 LR
The 22 LR might be exceptionally correct, particularly inside 100 yards. Richard Mann

The first enchantment of rimfire cartridges is affordability and enjoyable. Rimfires are cheaper to shoot than centerfires, and since they’re quieter with minimal recoil, they’re extra enjoyable to shoot. Anytime cartridge comparisons are made, enjoyable ought to be considered as a result of having enjoyable is on the coronary heart of pulling triggers. For goal taking pictures and plinking, the 22 LR is difficult to beat due to its affordability and low report. With the 22 LR, you may blast away 500 rounds for about $50.00. Should you shoot 500 rounds of 17 HMR ammo you’re going to must throw down greater than 3 times that a lot money.

Matched with the best 22 LR rifle, the 22 LR can even ship excessive ranges of precision. With the perfect 22 LR ammo, you may count on 50-yard teams of a half-inch or much less. The 17 HMR nonetheless can ship that very same degree of precision at 100 yards, usually with extra reasonably priced rifles. And, for those who like plinking or goal taking pictures at prolonged ranges, it’s a lot simpler to do with the 17 HMR. One cause for it is because 17 HMR bullets stay supersonic out to almost 250 yards. The quickest taking pictures 22 LR masses go subsonic at about 100 yards. This transition between supersonic and subsonic flight can negatively influence bullet stability and accuracy.

Nevertheless, in terms of plinking, most shooters need to have the ability to do quite a lot of it for as little as attainable. Let’s say you need to shoot 1000 rounds a yr punching paper, busting balloons, and making holes in pop cans. Should you try this for 10 years with a 22 LR you’ll spend about $1,000. Should you try this with a 17 HMR you’ll spend about $3,800. For that a lot cash, you may shoot nearly 40,000 rounds by way of a 22 LR. Even for those who miss the goal half the time, that’s quite a lot of enjoyable on the vary for not some huge cash.

Learn Subsequent: 6.5 Grendel vs 6.5 Creedmoor

17 HMR vs 22 LR: Searching

The 17 HMR vs The 22 LR
For squirrel searching, the 22 LR may be the very best cartridge. Pictures are usually lower than 50 yards and the 22 LR won’t harm extreme quantities of edible meat. Richard Mann

Downrange precision carries over to searching; you might want to put bullets in the best spot to get your critter. The 17 HMR handily beats the 22 LR in terms of attain and precision at prolonged distances. I as soon as killed a prairie canine at 500 yards with a 17 HMR. It did take nearly a half-box of ammo to get the primary hit, and a pair extra photographs to get the second hit, however that’s one thing I might have by no means performed with a 22 LR.

Nevertheless, in terms of searching, it’s not all about long-range precision. For small, edible sport like squirrels, you need to get the kill whereas damaging the least quantity of meat attainable. Any well-placed 22 LR hole level bullet will deal with any tree squirrel and never destroy extreme quantities of protein. Additionally, when searching tree squirrels within the timber, photographs sometimes don’t exceed 50 yards. The 17 HMR will provide you with much more attain, but it surely additionally delivers a devastating influence. Shoot a typical gray squirrel within the shoulder with a 17 HMR and none of that shoulder meat will make it to the plate.

When used inside 50 yards the 22 LR is greater than able to coping with small sport like squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, and such. It can be efficient on bigger sport like coyotes. When he was solely six years previous my son hammered a coyote along with his Ruger 10-22, however the vary was solely about 25 yards, and his rifle was loaded with CCI Stingers. Additionally, throughout a prairie canine hunt, I as soon as fired a brick—500 rounds—of twenty-two LR ammunition in a single afternoon. I killed most likely 350 prairie canines and it solely price me about $60.00. Had I been utilizing a 17 HMR I’d have spent about $200.00.

Nonetheless, the attain and energy of the 17 HMR can’t be neglected by the hunter. Most masses will carry greater than 100 foot-pounds of kinetic vitality to 100 yards. The quickest 22 LR masses will probably be fortunate to hit with 80 foot-pounds at that distance. Whereas foot-pounds don’t instantly correlate with lethality, that vitality is used to get the perfect terminal efficiency out of the bullets we shoot. Something you may ethically kill at a sure distance with a 22 LR, you may ethically kill at twice that distance with the 17 HMR.

If high-performance ballistics is all that issues to you, the 17 HMR is the clear selection. On the subject of downrange velocity, vitality, trajectory, and accuracy, the 22 LR can’t evaluate. If however cash issues extra to you than the power to kill a fox at 200 yards, the 22 LR reigns supreme. You would possibly must get nearer to make a deadly shot, however over the course of a lifetime, you’ll save some huge cash and possibly even have extra enjoyable.

What Are Some Different Choices?

Shortly after the 17 HMR was launched, some started predicting the top of the 22 Magnum. At the moment there have been solely a handful of masses provided for the 22 Magnum, and most have been loaded with a 40-grain hole level or FMJ bullet. However ammunition producers stepped up and started providing new and higher performing 22 Magnum ammunition. As we speak there are twice as many 22 Mangum masses to select from as there are 17 HMR masses, and bullet weights vary from 25 to 50 grains.

CCI’s 22 Magnum Maxi-Magazine ammunition, which is loaded with a 30-grain polymer-tipped bullet, received’t shoot fairly as flat however it is going to hit tougher at 100 yards than the 17 HMR. The bullet may even stay supersonic out to about 225 yards. And the price per spherical fired is about the identical because the 17 HMR. If quite a lot of plinking is what you need to do, you may also discover 22 Magnum ammunition for as little as 28 cents per shot. That’s not as reasonably priced as 22 LR ammo, but it surely’s 10 cents much less per shot than 17 HMR ammo.

Don’t restrict your self to the 17 HMR vs 22 LR query, particularly for those who’re searching for a rimfire cartridge with general-purpose software. The 22 LR gives essentially the most versatile array of ammunition and is the least costly to shoot, however for searching it’s greatest restricted to about 50 yards. The 17 HMR shoots the flattest and is taken into account essentially the most correct, however it’s costly and ammunition choices are restricted. The 22 Magnum however gives a very good steadiness of every part the 22 LR and the 17 HMR have to supply.


Q: What does rimfire imply?

A rimfire cartridge is a self-contained, metallic-cased cartridge that doesn’t have a separate primer. With a rimfire cartridge, the priming compound is within the rim of the cartridge case.

Q: Is the 22 LR deadly?

Lethality, because it pertains to ammunition, is a tough phrase to outline. The 22 LR has been used to kill very massive animals and even people. Nevertheless, for moral use when searching, the 22 LR is usually solely thought of deadly for small sport.

Q: Is the 17 HMR good for squirrels?

Squirrels aren’t laborious to kill and the 17 HMR is greater than ample for searching them, even out to 200 yards. Nevertheless, for those who’re searching squirrels and need to eat them, the 17 HMR can harm quite a lot of meat.

The submit The 17 HMR vs The 22 LR appeared first on Discipline & Stream.

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