This is a discussion on 17HMR for self defense? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; No....
Think of this round as a laser beam because that is exactly what its going to do. Fly very fast, very straight, and burn a hole right through pretty much everything within reason... including your BG leaving a small hole with little to non-existent expansion which means no wound cavity which means BG keeps coming and the bullet will over penetrate into the little 'ol lady crossing the street. 17HMR for defense, a no go. Use it for target practice and varmint hunting, nothing else.
Find yourself a nice .38 and work up from there.OMO
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I've seen and heard horror stories of perps being shot multiple times with good SD guns and ammo and act like they aren't even hit til they finally drop from blood loss etc.If your being attacked by mighty mouse then maybe the 17 hmr,but human sized targets need manstoppers,For HD get a 12 gauge with buckshot
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.17 HMR specs show a 20gr bullet at 2350 fps and 250 ft·lbf.
That's roughly similar "force" as a .380 ACP, though at over twice the velocity and with a smaller hole. Uncertain what the difference would be in terms of the shock/cavity impacts. I'd bet it would cause a real mess, internally, but it would also likely take quite a bit of time for a violent attacker to stop being violent ... which is the point of the exercise.
Unless clearer data becomes available, I wouldn't use it for my own defense, no.
Chambered in .327 Federal Magnum, the 6rd Ruger .327 mag seems a reasonable option for self defense, if you're considering revolvers. Though, if .327 catches your eye, why not simply do .357 mag? It's available, well understood, and has a long and proven track record of good performance when it matters. If doing a revolver, a .357 mag would be my choice.
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The .17HMR is a nasty round, most people don't even realize that it is a .17 caliber bullet harnessed on a 22 magnum cartridge! All that power pushing a round 2400-2600 fps has a devastating effect on targets. Not to mention the TNT rounds readily available for the .17 and the tumbling effect the bullet has upon impact. Is it a good SD round? Yes, in my opinion! A few shots at a quarter inch grouping of this nasty round would stop anything short of a Horse after unloading all your rounds. Plus you can have more accuracy from further away to make crucial shots if thats the scenario. But don't get me wrong my first choice of hand gun would be a 10mm or F&N 5-7 loaded with elite ammunition!
in a handgun/revolver, i'd rather have a 22LR high velocity. in a rifle, i'd take the 17 HMR.
claybreaker0, if you want a 17 HMR revolver to play w/, then go ahead and buy it. BUT, DON'T try and make it into a self defense gun. A few months ago I went on a ground squirrel hunt in northern CA. The majority of the shots taken by our party of 4 was done w/ the 17 HMR. We went through probably close to 1500 rounds. My observation....... it is a FINE small game, rodent round, but I wouldn't recommend using it for SD except as a last resort. In a rifle, I'd expect the wound on a person to be superficial without significant penetration. In a pistol, the round would lose a lot of velocity, so it might penetrate slightly deeper, but would probably still make on a superficial wound. The jackets on these rounds are very thin. Someone mentioned that CCI makes w/ the Speer TNT bullet. You can guess what the abbreviation stands for, and it ain't deep penetration. Of course, a FMJ 17 HMR would probably penetrate a little deeper than the other bullets, but I doubt it would be much deeper. Plus, we haven't even mentioned that rimfire ammo is not normally as reliable ignition wise as is centerfire ammo.