.17 hmr or .22 lr

This is a discussion on .17 hmr or .22 lr within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Looking to buy a rifle and don't know what is better deal. Mainly gonna use for plinking...

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Thread: .17 hmr or .22 lr

  1. #1
    Member Array chepo06's Avatar
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    .17 hmr or .22 lr

    Looking to buy a rifle and don't know what is better deal. Mainly gonna use for plinking
    Dont mistake Kindness for Weakness!!!
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array RubenZ's Avatar
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    .17hmr is very expensive. Go with the .22lr. If you want to do some accurate varmint hunting at SHORT distances the .17hmr is awesome. But its such a light weight bullet wind plays a very important factor in its accuracy.
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    The .17 HMR is a .22 magnum necked down to .17 cal, launching a lightweight bullet at a much higher velocity than the .22 LR (like double), with obviously a much flatter trajectory.

    There's a big difference in price of ammo (assuming ammo supplies return to normal someday), you'll never see .17 HMR offered in bulk packs, and the variety of loads is nowhere the range available in .22 LR. I'd say you're better off with a .22 LR until you have a specific need to shoot the more specialized .17.
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  5. #4
    Member Array chepo06's Avatar
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    Hummm interesting
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  6. #5
    Member Array Wolfiesden's Avatar
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    Here is my take on it. I own a 1963 Browning 22 Long Rifle. Just added a 2-7x30 Nikon scope to it. It was the first gun I fired as a kid. It will be the first gun each of my granddaughters fire. I have spent 4 weeks trying to get 22LR rounds to fire with it. I netted some but it damn sure wasn't easy and some of it cost more than the .17HMR. I am assuming since you are asking about buying the gun, you are like me and have no ammo in your stockpile.

    If you buy the 22, you are going to have to enter the fray online to try to get ammo for it. It is not easy and can be very time consuming as well as frustrating to say the least. In the 4 week search, I managed to net 6000 rounds roughly. The cost ranged from .30/pr to .05/pr. Average was about .15/pr. But, I had to be wondering about the websites online, forums, and gunbot nearly all day for 4 weeks. If you have a job that won't let you do that, your success will be substantially less. When this ammo mess calms down, yes, the 22 will be a better gun to own. But, until then, the 17 is a good alternative and the ammo for it is easy and conveniently on shelves at your local stores.

    This week, I bought a Savage Model 93R17 from Cabela's. $259 with Bushnel scope and rings. $239 bare, no scope or rings. I walked over to the ammo shelf and picked up 200 rounds of .17HMR Winchester in 50rd boxes. Do you remember the last time you walked over and bought .22LR off the shelf? Last time I did that was last November. I haven't seen a .22 round on the shelf since.

    I bought the .17 because I can walk into any Gander Mountain, Cabela's, Walmart, or other sports store and pick up boxes of ammo right off the shelf. And, if after a couple years this ammo nightmare BS ends, I can sell off the Savage for $50 somewhere, I can die happy.

    Now, that said, here is what my research turned up. And I note this is internet research and I have tried to verify things from multiple sources. Tonight will be my first trigger pull on my .17 Savage.

    .17 has a flatter trajectory due to higher muzzle velocity than typical .22LR, more than double the MV in fact. Also due to the higher MV, there are fewer ricochet issues with the .17. The .17 is noticeably louder than the .22. The .17 is a smaller bullet than .22. The .17 comes in 17 and 20 grain sizes, about half what the 40grain LRN or 36 grain HP .22. This will result in more widage issues than with .22 rounds. But, indoors, issue is moot. With .17 pistols, the shorter barrel discharges unburnt powder because the projectile exits the barrel before the powder charge is completely spent.

    Also note that there are many reported issues with .17 in semi-auto rifles and I believe most manufactures have recalled all their semi-auto rifles from market. Bolt action and pistols are not affected by the issue.

    Now, some will say that .17HMR is more expensive than .22LR. Under NORMAL circumstances, yes, that would be true. The current time is not NORMAL. If you asked this question last fall, there would be 100% agreement that .22 would be the winner. How times changed. Currently 22LR is scarce as hen's teeth. As I am writing this, 22LR is $0.28/rd limit ONE box and there is shipping to account for which pushes the pr above $0.30. Gander mountain just down the street from work (went there at lunch to get a cleaning snake) had Hornady 17 at $14.99 a box ($0.29/rd), no limit, shelf full. So, yea, its a penny more base price but I can buy all I want and there is zero shipping. The net cost of .17 and .22 is close and once you factor shipping, .17 is cheaper. Yes, you can get .22LR cheaper than a quarter a round, but you have to really hunt hard and be damn fast checking out or you got squat. I will be at the range shooting my .17 while you are grazing on the net for 22 ammo to shoot.

    So here is what it boils down to...

    .17:
    Ammo easy to get, usually in stock at local stores
    No limit on ammo purchasing, easy to buy lots of it
    Current prices put it not much different than 22LR ammo
    Rifles are not much different in price from 22's
    Flatter trajectory
    Higher muzzle velocity
    Rifles will be manual or bolt action, no semi-auto
    Less ricochet issues
    Longer range
    Short term, .17 may be better

    .22
    Ammo very hard to come by right now, extremely unlikely to find any at local stores
    Internet ammo prices all over the board, price gouging is rampant, +$0.60/pr in some places
    Very limited quantities when purchasing (usually 1 box at a time)
    Current prices about the same as .17HMR
    Long term, prices will likely resume to normal zone of $0.05/pr which makes 22 way cheaper than 17 (1-3 years down the road is my guess)
    Larger variety in types of ammo (hollow point, copper jacketed, FMJ, subsonic, etc)
    Larger variety in rifles and handguns available
    Safe for semi-auto rifles unlike 17
    Long term, the .22 may be better


    So, I have both. I won't buy an expensive .17 rifle. The Savage I got reviews very well for reliability and accuracy. And it was cheap. For now I consider it a throwaway in a few years. If/when the ammo scare calms down, the .17 will be considered expensive to shoot and I will favor my .22 again. But, until that time comes, I will likely shoot both but carefully watch my ammo stock on the 22. I can't easily replenish the 22 ammo but I can easily replenish the 17 ammo.

    In the end, you will have to weigh the reasons you are buying the gun. Perhaps a cheap 17 now and then save up for a really good 22 for when the ammo economy returns to fairly normal levels. Or, you could just get the 22 and skip the whole 17 thing and starve for ammo for the time being. Kinda up to you how you want to play the game.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    I love my .17 hmr, but it is a very different round than the .22 lr. When comparing prices, a 500 count of .22 lr is about $20. A 50 count of .17 hmr is about $15 give or take. Unless you are plinking at distances over 100 yards, the .22 is great. If you want to reach out farther, the .17 is a viable option. But Rubenz is right, the wind will move that small bullet a bit if it isn't a calm day. For small game, either round is fine. For predator hunting, you will want the .17 hmr.

    For fun factor, the .17 will literally explode a water bottle or can. So, you may want to consider that, lol.

    The ammo craze will die down and .22 will be back on the shelves - so don't worry about that. When it is on the shelves it is much cheaper to stock up on. But Wolf is right. If you want to shoot right now, the .17 is easy to find.

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    I just got a Savage 17 HMR yes the ammo is on the sheves but it is very expensive for what it is. they are all bolt action rifles. If you want a semi auto then the 22 is the way to go. Ruger 10/22 the best ever plinking gun. If you Purchase at Gander Mt they will sell you 22lr ammo from the back room with the purchase of the rifle.
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  9. #8
    Member Array chepo06's Avatar
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    I was just curious looking into both I have some 22 Long rifle ammo in the safe but dont have a pistol or rifle. I got a email yesterday from j n g sales for use 17 HMRs for $149 And you're right we see the .17 hmr ammo everywhere. I'm kind of hesitant to add another caliber of ammo but I have GAS. I guess it's just now a matter of me waiting or wanting to wait for 22 LR prices to come down
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  10. #9
    Member Array Wolfiesden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBuckwheat View Post
    I just got a Savage 17 HMR yes the ammo is on the sheves but it is very expensive for what it is. they are all bolt action rifles. If you want a semi auto then the 22 is the way to go. Ruger 10/22 the best ever plinking gun. If you Purchase at Gander Mt they will sell you 22lr ammo from the back room with the purchase of the rifle.
    Yes, they are bolt action due to the issues with semi-auto rifles and .17HMR.

    I checked at the Waukesha Gander a few weeks ago. They have zero .22 in the "back room", buying a gun or not. I was looking at buying another .22 LR so I wouldn't be putting so many rounds through my family rifle hand-me-down. I asked about the ammo when I was about to buy the rifle. They had none to sell with the gun. I didn't buy the gun. That is when I started looking at the .17 as an alternative that was small enough for my granddaughters to potentially handle and I could get virtually unlimited ammo supply.

  11. #10
    Member Array chepo06's Avatar
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    Or availability
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  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I got a flyer a day or so ago and they .17 for $170 I think they were Savage check out J&Gsales

  13. #12
    Member Array chepo06's Avatar
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    Mossburg .17 hmr used $149
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    Gun world Germantown just offered me 22lr and 9mm when I purchased a new 45acp sig two days ago!
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.
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  15. #14
    Member Array Wolfiesden's Avatar
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    Hehe, thats not Gander Mountain is it :)

    Been meaning to stop in there on my way to Cabela's one of these trips. Maybe I will see what they got for 10/22's in there next trip.

  16. #15
    Member Array Wolfiesden's Avatar
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    I liked the Mossberg. Looked at it at a FleetFarm here locally. Was a bit heavy but solid.

    Not a bad thing normally but I was looking for something a smallish 9yr old and 12yr girls could manage. The savage was very highly recommended by many reviews and customer feedback. The guy at Cabela's had one himeself and pointed out some little fine tuning on the mags (theirs and also the high cap from 30rd mags) to make the feed smoother. Maybe a 10minute bit of work with common tools/supplies.

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