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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to make anyone mad, but despite the accuracy, trajectory, and popularity of the 17HMR, I probably will never buy one because...

I like to hunt small edible game, rabbits and squirrels to be exact.

I use iron sights exclusively because that is what I prefer for the close, quick shots I often encounter when hunting such game. A scope is actually a hinderance if you are trying to hit a squirrel moving at even moderate speed.

Although it would be nice to always have perfect side view head shots on small game, I often encounter critters that may be very close to me in range, but are turned one way or another so that if I do head shoot them, the bullet will still go through the head and into the body, or maybe I have to take a shot that will go through a shoulder or hindquarter first and then on toward the head.

So, if I use a highly destructive caliber (like say 17 HMR or .22 magnum hollow points) there would be times when I would waste most of the meat on the critter I am shooting. I could just use a scope and try to make perfect head shots on all the game I shoot, but I would end up passing on many shots that would be no problem with a less destructive caliber.

So in the end, I guess I don't want to handicap myself with a 17 HMR, when subsonic .22 HP's, or the old 22 WRF, or even 32-20 loaded correctly all destroy far less meat than the 17 HMR. Other than shooting praire dogs and targets, I don't really know what use there is for the 17HMR, and indeed the .223 would reach much farther out than a .17 for praire dogs, with similar ammo costs even if you don't reload. You can plink with the .17 and just shoot it for fun, but .22 LR, 22 mag, and even 22 WRF would be cheaper for that task by far. I just keep wondering, was there a need for this caliber, or was it just a case where companies could use most of their existing .22 mag tooling, along with new 17 caliber barrels, to turn a quick profit on something that sells simply because it is new. To top it all off, some of the new .22 mag high speed loadings are close to the 17 HMR's 2550 fps, but with far heavier bullets that will hold their velocity better. Not trying to make anyone mad, but I just got to thinking about all this 17 stuff.
 

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well here's my take on it. i luv my nef.17, also love my 22 mag & all my long rifles. i choose to hunt with a rimfire for the challenge.if i really wanted to fill the skillet with least amount of damage guiess what id use a shotgun thats rite most time you get less damage & shootem coming going jumping.for the most part i use my marlin7000 or a target barreled 10/22 but to really put the pressure on myself the single shot nef fills the need.now my 22 mag gets the pic if i know there are yotes in the area.now if we had prairedogs here i'd prob buy a nef in that new .204 cal besides if i have a unlucky day hunting kroger allways has something to keep me fat er i mean full :) VARITY THE SPICE OF LIFE thats rite put some hot sauce on it ,diffrent is good sometimes but not allways.sometimes ya feel like a nut sometimes ya dont :lol: mike
 

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I love the HMR for pur-d-accuracy. It is flat shooting (for a rimfire) but it has a fairly narrow scope of usage - and small edible game isn't in it! Stick with the .22LR. There is such a variety of ammunition available today that you can't go wrong. I own a boat load of rimfires but the old Brno #1 22LR always get's the nod when things get serious. ~Andrew
 

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For small game hunting in general a 22LR or short, or 22mag might be better. HOWEVER.....if you are dead set on head shots, can do it, and can wait on your shot a 17 will work just fine. You can even extend the range some. Of course if you hit the body..........potted meat, raw, with hair.....mmmmmm good. :lol:

Seriously.....I always at least TRY for a head shot on small game, and when I squirrel hunt I sometimes go home with less tree rats than I could if I settled for body shots. As a result at least 90% of my hits on squirrel are head shots. The 17 is a VERY accurate round. Small game is doable with it. Just my opinion.
 

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I cut my teeth hunting grey squirrels back east with a .22lr.I also hunted a lot of cottontails .Even with .22LR solids I was always brought up that if your REALLY wanted to not ruin meat on a small edible critter,you take head shots,period.

And the ULTIMATE rimfire "head shot" rifle is pretty much the 17hmr.It's not even a contest,gents.Also,with slugs like the 17g Vmax loadings the 17HMR is the SAFEST small game and varmint rimfire round made as any contact with a solid object and the bullet breaks up-ricochets are pretty much elimintated.That is pretty darned important when one is shooting into the tops of trees at an elevated angle on squirrels

I have been pretty darned amused by those who dismiss the 17HMR rifles as lacking the awsome power of the .22mag and then on the other hand claim that the .22 mag is less destructive of meat.Can't have it both ways guys..ANY .22mag load will tear up meat JUST as badly as a 17HMR will with a porr hit.So will a 32-20 with cast bullets if you don't hit them in the right place.

The only downsides to the 17HMR are noise and cost of ammo.
The cost of ammo I can justify because I pretty much get MATCH GRADE accuracy from my Marlin 17VS when I plunk down $9 bucks or so for shells. With its favorite ammo it will average right at 1/2"
at 100 yards for 5 shot groups in calm conditions.I would LIKE to see any lot of Eley Tenex @ $10 per box AVERAGE less than 5/8" groups at 100 yards in a bone stock $300 .22lr-not likely to happen.

As to the noise,any round that breaks the sound barrier is for all intents and purposes TOO loud.Which is why back when folks were truly serious(as in no squirrels in the pot means no supper tonight) they used .22shorts as they TRULY are quiet.The 32-20,25-20 .22WRF .22 mag and 17M2 etc etc are ALL too load if you are truly worried about spooking game in the squirrel woods.Any real difference between the report of the rounds is a matter of degrees which the squirrels frankly don't give a fig about.

That's why I see no excuse NOT to use my 17HMR on small game and take head shots.
 

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Not everyone is good enough to take only head shots on tree squirrels. If I limited myself to head shots, I probably wouldn't eat much stew. Most of the time, I use a .22 Long Rifle HP in my Remington 582 with good results on a chest hit. Occassionally, I'll use my Marlin 883 with .22 magnum FMJs also with good results. Sure, you can hunt them with a .17 but, with the presently available loads, it's more for varmints than edible small game.
 

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Headshots? If you're close enough to make standing headshots on a rabbit then why not stick with a 22LR? If you miss it doesn't cost nearly as much -in meat OR hard earned pennies! I have been shooting the 17HMR since it before it was on the market and the grease I see most applied to the rails of logic is, "Just take headshots." A lot of people have talked themselves into the 17 HMR using that arguement but it hasn't always panned out. The HMR is about TEN times more expensive than the 22LR cheap stuff so a less-than-affluent shooter will shoot less. Shooting less is no way to instill confidence in making headshots. The way I look at it is like this: If you are shooting out to 75 yards and want to do a LOT of shooting, forget the HMR. It's a great cartridge but it has a very narrow scope of usage. It was never intended as an edible game round.~Andrew
 

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Andrew,

I guess I missed all of the devolpemnt work you did on the 17HMR.

For the first year the 17HMR was outr,onMAlrinb talk you claimed to neoit have ever owned a 17HMR and said you had not worked with one enough to pass judgment on it.


But you alwasy said you doubted it's used because you love the .22magnum so much.Good for you.Ignorance is bliss,right Dude?

I have been astounded that because your friends at Agulla give you free ammo to shoot in THAT caliber it is worthy and the yet 17HMR which has sold TENS OF MILLIONS of rounds of ammo in the last three years "has a narrow scope of usage"?

***??

As to the 17HMR's" narrow scope of usage" thats HORSE MANURE and you know it.

If the 17HMR has a narrow scope of usage then the 17m2 and 17Aguila have NO scope of usage.

And given the 17HMRs greater range and accuracy,then the .22mganum is useless as well..

It's not 1973 anymore...
 

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Jim: What is your Problem?

I did no development on the 17HMR cartidge -never said I did. I did do development on some barrel configurations for Green Muntain Rifle Barrel Co. and had some pre-production ammo to shoot, well before the ammo was on the shelf. I got my first HMR last year and I do like it. My rifle is a mesmerizing, tack driving S-O-B that I will not part with. That being said, I still like my 22WMR better with regard to versatility.

As for the 17 Aguila. Well, I shoot rabbits with it all the time and there's plenty for the pot even after a brisket hit. Is it more useful than the 22LR? Nope. Just in the same class but with less trajectory to deal with. More useful than the HMR? Only if I intend to eat what I shoot.

I have an M2 barrel for a 77/22 also. It's accurate -about the same as the Aguila, actually. I haven't hunted with it yet beyond a few groundsquirrels so I can't say one way or the other how it will work on edible game. I suspect it will be Ok with judicious shooting. We are talking about shooting edible game, right? The HMR was not designed for that class of game. The advice of taking "head shots" to get around that is getting tedious.

You really ought not to take this all so personally. I don't know why you are so upset. I think the 17HMR is limited in it's usage; you don't. A difference of opinion. So what? There are enough things out there to be tense about. Our pasttime shouldn't be one of them.~Andrew
 

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Andrew......I don't want to get into this arguement between you and Jim but I would like to take issue with one of your statements, namely, the one about "using head-shots to get around this".


I think that is a little unfair. I don't attempt head-shots to get around anything.....I do it because thats the way I was taught to hunt small game. I do it whether I'm using 22 short, 22LR, 22Mag, or any of the 17's. I've had good luck with it, and am pretty darn good at it(chalk it up to years of practice). With a sweet 17 scope at max mag I can hit a squirrel in the head CONSISTENTLY at farther range than I ever could a 22LR. I just don't see what I'm "getting around" by doing this exept maybe lack of squirrels in the freezer.

I understand that lots of folks don't see it this way but, to me, a very accurate, flat-shooting rimfire is there to improve taking head-shots on small game at a greater variety of ranges.


????????????????????????
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh heck with all this controversy, after reading everyone's opinions I have decided that NONE of the calibers discussed is ideal, so I better try one for squirrels that no one mentioned, 32 long colt! No one had anything bad to say about it, so maybe it is the ideal small game caliber! :lol: It would appear to be excellent except:

No brass made for the last 15 years

No new Marlin 92's made in this caliber for 90 years

Rainbow trajectory due to pathetic speed of bullet

Rounding up custom dies, mould, and trimmer pilot has taken me 8 months (mostly waiting for the mould)

Now, on the good side...

I get to shoot a finely crafted 1892 Marlin with no plastic, aluminum, or pot metal parts

I get to reload these cute little shells with heel bullets, which I have to admit is kinda fun once you have all the stuff you need. They look like big 22LR shells when done.

Accuracy is excellent and the round is pretty quiet as it doesn't exceed the speed of sound. 90grs of lead should kill squirrels with a well placed shot despite the subsonic speed.

I get the satisfaction of knowing that due to my efforts, my 100 year old Marlin will get to be used again for small game hunting, as I am sure the first owner did so many years ago. :D
 

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Marlinaholic said:
Oh heck with all this controversy, after reading everyone's opinions I have decided that NONE of the calibers discussed is ideal, so I better try one for squirrels that no one mentioned, 32 long colt! No one had anything bad to say about it, so maybe it is the ideal small game caliber! :lol: It would appear to be excellent except:

No brass made for the last 15 years

No new Marlin 92's made in this caliber for 90 years

Rainbow trajectory due to pathetic speed of bullet

Rounding up custom dies, mould, and trimmer pilot has taken me 8 months (mostly waiting for the mould)

Now, on the good side...

I get to shoot a finely crafted 1892 Marlin with no plastic, aluminum, or pot metal parts

I get to reload these cute little shells with heel bullets, which I have to admit is kinda fun once you have all the stuff you need. They look like big 22LR shells when done.

Accuracy is excellent and the round is pretty quiet as it doesn't exceed the speed of sound. 90grs of lead should kill squirrels with a well placed shot despite the subsonic speed.

I get the satisfaction of knowing that due to my efforts, my 100 year old Marlin will get to be used again for small game hunting, as I am sure the first owner did so many years ago. :D


Is it ok if I use my 30 carbine???????
 

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If you shoot small game with the 17 HMR, it will be so ground up by the bullet, that you can skip all of the intermediate steps and throw it in the skillet, right off of the tree.

Thats how blown up the game will be, unless you use head shots only. But, look at it this way, you won't have to spend any time dressing it. LOL!

Bill
 
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