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17 calibre HMR Rimfire rifle

Thinking about one on Trademe for target shooting/amusement. Any comments of this calibre - accuracy, wind blowing, cost, barrel life etc? Thanks

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Awesome cartridge.

I have a Savage B17 and it is a tack driving, varmint buster. Hard to go back to a .22LR once you’ve spent some time behind the .17HMR.

Wind will knock the projectile around but for the most part it’s pretty good.

Ammo cost you mean?!

Unsure on barrel life but it’d be several thousand rounds before you need to consider a new barrel.

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Hi Stuart, I bought a Sako Quad in 2005 in .17HMR. I zeroed it for 150yds.
I consider this distance as far out as I can consistently kill Hares…this is a fair old distance for a rimfire. My longest shot was 198yds and that Hare took a while to die, so I limit my shots to 150yds.
Even though those 17gn projectiles (never tried the 20gns) start out at 2500 they just do not retain much energy past 150yds. I have never really had an issue with the wind. If you use the rifle enough, experience will soon teach you how far to hold into the wind.
As far as accuracy goes that’s really dependent on the rifle…but this caliber does seem to be inherently very accurate.
I have fired over a thousand rounds through my Sako and it still shoots under 1MOA.
One thing to consider, the .17 HMR fires a jacketed bullet…this means you need to clean the barrel as you would clean a centrefire rifle and after every use. If you neglect to do this, pitting in the barrel will have a greater effect on the barrel life than the number of rounds you fire.

This is an absolutely awesome caliber for hunting small game and I can’t recommend it highly enough. But for “target shooting/amusement” I would consider the ammo too expensive and the fact that you have to clean the barrel…you might be better off with a .22 Long rifle.


I use a CZ varmint model which shoots fantastic and has shoot between 2000 and 3000 rounds so far. A few things you may want to know.
1 You need to clean after each use as they use a center fire bullet which means they can foul the bore with copper and you start getting flyers, a one piece carbon fiber cleaning rod is a must three piece ones always break.
2 The best scope I have found is the Vortex Diamond 4-12x 40 with BDC, sighted in at 100 meters the BDC marks work at 50 meter increments and I have shot rabbits out to 225 meters. I also use the windage turret to dial in for cross winds and use the zero to dial back to.
3 The .17HMR is like a laser compared to a .22 LR, when you pull the trigger the rabbit is dead.
4 With no recoil you can spot the hits on the rabbits and make allowance for any cross winds.
5 At 35.00 a box for ammo you will find that it’s not to expensive to shoot even in Central Otago where you can go through 3 to 4 boxes in a day rabbit shooting.
6 Put a suppressor on it is a lot easier on your and your mates ears.


@Wayne_Winskill @Kimber_84M Great posts guys!

Thanks for all your replies. Maybe not!

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My friend bought a Savage thumbhole laminated stock stainless heavy barrel as soon as they were available in NZ, many years ago now.
After a short time he realised that it was very front heavy so I took it to Allen Carr, gunsmith, and had the barrel fluted
Fluting removed 14 ounces from the truck axle barrel and improved the balance.
My friend owns a farm and has shot his 17 HMR probably over 300 days per year and has documented over 5000 rounds fired
No visible wear to barrel and it shoots well under MOA
My friend has now bought another Savage, the plastic stock blued vanilla model, I think its the 93F model
the gun is considerably lighter than his thumbhole stock model and is still a real tack driver
Ammo is not too bad if you shop around
A 17 HMR or a 17WSM is next on my gun bucket list

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