.17 hmr or .22mag bolt action

GlockZ

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hey looking into getting a bolt action rimfire. i already have a 22lr semi, but to be honest, i like my rifles to be bolt action. to top that off most states i hunt small game in allow either a shotgun or a rimfire bolt gun to be used. mostly to be used for small game,(rabbits,squirrels,woodchucks), and maybe an occasional coyote. the 17hmr is intriguing because of the range you can squeeze out of them, plus ammo is plentiful,(same with the 22lr & 22mag), i briefly looked at the 17hm2, but ammo is difficult to find most times. thoughts?
this thread is kind of funny compared to other threads, mostly everyone is asking about deer/elk calibers, and here i am asking about a good big game squirrel caliber!
 

VAspeedgoat

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Obviously the lr would be great for rabbits ann squirrels but out towards 100 yards it's losing energy fast for a groundhog much less a coyote. Personally im a 22mag guy. The only drawback is the noise in the squirrel woods. It takes a while for the woods to calm back down.

The fact that you mention coyotes makes me thing magnum. Having a little more lead in your pencil will be beneficial. If coyotes are rare for you, the .17 may be a little flatter shooting for groundhogs. I think I'd let that make my decision.

What gun are you thinking?
 

GlockZ

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while hunting small game, I've run into an occasional coyote, but as usual they are just out of range,( the usual "damn if i had my 223 that coyote would be done"), so having a dual purpose rifle would be key!
 

marksjeep

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If you want any rabbit or squirrel left to eat, you need to shoot them in the head with the 17HMR. HMR's don't leave much intact on small game like that.
 

VAspeedgoat

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40 grain soft points in the mag would be perfect for bushytails and yotes. I would suggest an adjustable objective scope. Paralax could be a problem at both ends of your range. My son just bought a 77/22. Its more expensive than most but darn if it doesn't handle and feel like a centerfire rifle. I assume the magnum is identical.
 

MJE2083

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I have a 17HMR and love it. 300yards on groundhogs no problem. I would say its too much gun for squirrels unless you take headshots but the rifle is certainly accurate enough to do that. I've never shot a coyote with one but I would imagine it would do alright with the heavier 20gr bullets at under 100yards. I can tell you one thing, there probably will not be an exit hole. I think 17HMR is perfect medicine for fox too. Probably not the best round for coyote but neither is 22mag. Both will do the job in a pinch I think.
 
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jeffraines

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.17HMR all day long. Flat shooting, DRT on pretty much all small game.

Meat damage is going to be a consideration with both of these options. I haven't looked into the 22 mag, but the 17 has JSP and FMJ options to reduce meat damage... you're still going to want to use head/neck shots only, but these will minimize the damage if the shot is a little off.

As far as coyotes are concerned, I think both are lacking in energy if you're concerned about making an ethical kill... maybe consider the 17WSM if you really must have something capable of taking a coyote, but that round isn't going to leave any meat if you happen to make a slightly off shot.

Obligatory edit - 17HMR is more available in more options that 22WMR(at least from what I've seen).
 

huntin24/7

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Buy a 17 hmr. it is probably the most fun rifle I have. Great for gophers, rabbits, coyotes, fox. It's especially awesome for gopher to rabbits size game. if you get one, buy a heavy barrel version too.
 

sbhooper

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I have had both. Both will destroy meat. Both will kill the occasional coyote in reasonable range. I have a 17 and would sure as heck not take back my .22 mag after having it.
 

macnshana

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.17 all the way. I picked one up by chance when a guy I knew lost his job and needed money. I haven't touched my .22 since. A blast to shoot and deadly on everything from prairie dogs to coyotes. Range is great. Meat damage is a little worse than .22 but if you head shoot you will do fine. And they are accurate enough to take head shots. Ammo is a bit pricier but in my book its worth it.
 

TheSurveyor

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17HMR here. Look at price of ammo vs performance. For the money 17Hmr wins over 22mag every time in my book. It is a head shot round for small game or not much meat will be left.
 

Mthuntinfool

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Another vote for the 17 HMR, I have one in a bull barreled Marlin and it is deadly on everything out to 300 yards. Wind drift really affects it though is the only downfall. It is a little light for coyotes, but I have killed a few with it out to 100 yards if you hit them right. Ammo is much easier to find than 22lr around here as well. Put it in the head and the squirrels and rabbits will never know what hit em.
 
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JohnCushman

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Another vote for the .17 HMR. I take mine out in the grasslands when I'm hunting antelope for prairie dogs out to 250-300 yards and I have shot 2 coyotes with it and killed them. I have a Savage 93 bolt action with a 3-9x40 scope with the bull barrel and it's a flat out shooter. Ammo is also really easy to find and has always been on the shelf when I wanted it. I shoot the Hornady V-Max.
 

elkduds

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Allow me to disagree w the consensus opinion. :mad: Never mind, can't do it. Even a devil's advocate would choose the .17, and I would as well.
 
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