17HMR - Past Meets Present

  • 17HMR - Past Meets Present
    by Greg Dykstra, 7-10-2018
    © Primal Rights, Inc


    It's hard to believe that 16 years have gone by since Hornady released the .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire in 2002. The release of the 17HMR was received with excitement by some shooters. Other shooters viewed it as a total joke. Even today there is a large segment of the population that views the cartridge as entirely worthless. If you want to generate a over 10+ pages of heated argument and fierce debate on a shooting forum, start a thread asking about using a 17HMR on coyotes. As someone who's killed hundreds of coyotes, reading these threads is both comical and infuriating. You'd think that a decade and a half would be long enough for the dust to settle regarding a cartridge, but the 17HMR still creates debate wherever it's mentioned. Some shooters still love it. Others still hate it.

    I've been shooting 17HMR since around 2005, and it keeps its place among my rifles. It is a truly unique cartridge that fills its niche quite effectively. My issue has never been with the cartridge itself, but rather with the available rifle selection. If you're unfamiliar with the 17HMR and it's capabilities, or simply enjoy the cartridge, this article is for you!

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  • Great write up!

  • Thank you for the thoughtful evaluation of the cartridge.

    While I realize the article isn’t about 17 caliber centerfire options, in your opinion is there a centerfire option equivalent to the 17 HMR? I’m uninitiated on the topic but that seems like that would offer the ability to tune the round to the gun and eliminate more SD and ES.

  • There is a centerfire equivalent, but it certainly isn't easy to achieve.


    The 17squirrel can be down loaded to match 17HMR velocities.

    The 17 Hornady Hornet (updated K-hornet) is significantly greater than the 17HMR.

  • Very well written !!!

    If you get bored with shooting (haha) ... you will still be able to be a writer ... I read things you've written before and this one was still impressive ... very well organized ... and following the "Tell 'em Tell 'em Tell 'em"" methodology !!!


  • I had some negative experiences with my first 17HMR unfortunately. My first rifle had a bad firing pin and wouldn't fire every time but that was resolved and I carried it for many years and always had a really cheap scope on it. It was my dedicated Polaris varmint gun, even downed a pig with it. I don't know how many rounds I fired through it but I had 1750 rounds on hand at one time and dang near depleted my stash during the shortage. I'm stocked up now. It still rides with me.The other experience I had was cases splitting. I had three 17's at one time and it happened in all three so I put the blame on the ammo. I even found un-fired rounds with splits and all Hornady. I sent pictures to Hornady and they said my ammunition had expired and dispose of it. Thank goodness I quit seeing this and I have had similar problems with 22 Magnum but only the Winchester silver box. They never replied to my e-mails. I bought a CZ thumb hole stocked 17 and honestly haven't done much more than sight it in one time, doesn't even have a scope on it now. I robbed the Vortex Viper 6.5 x 20 off of it for another gun. So basically it's brand new. I did screw my 30 caliber suppressor on it one time to see what it sounded like. Still had a good pop but that little projectile makes a strange buzzing sound. My rimfire suppressor isn't rated for .17 so that's out. I stopped in a gun store this week and the owner told me he has several of the new Tikka rifles on order and 17's as well as the 22 versions so that's something to think about. When all this ammunition bs took place I cringed thinking about the chance they would stop producing the HMR and the shorter version of the 17 almost disappeared but it's showing up again. I'm hanging on to mine for sure, even bought one for a friend of mines son for Christmas. Hated to see that young man without one.