The .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR) has been described by many as the perfect varmint hunting caliber. The .17 HMR might be small, but it still packs in plenty of punch for the smallest rifle caliber in production right now…
These are the 5 best .17 HMR Rifles
- Savage Arms A17
- Henry Octagon-Frontier
- Winchester 1885 Hunter Rimfire
- Browning T-Bolt Sporter
- Ruger M-77
Just a step down from the .22 caliber, the .17 HMR was first introduced in 2002 as an attempt to replace the famed .22 WMR. It is lighter than anything on the market, but still delivers superb accuracy, which is ideal for varmint hunters and small game needs.
The .17 HMR rifle remains a favorite among serious varmint hunters and target shooting enthusiasts alike as it can deliver rounds at more than 2,000 feet per second out to more than 100 yards.
If you’re in the market for a good .17 HMR rifle, we’ve done the research for you to compile this list of the best .17 HMR rifles available in 2021
Best .17 HMR Rifles
Starting with the popular Savage Arms A17.
Savage Arms A17
Savage recently introduced their delayed-bolt system rifle model for the .17 HMR in 2017 with the A17. A favorite among varmint and small game hunters, the A17 offers superior accuracy that you might expect with a bolt-action rifle while also being compatible with every brand of .17 HMR round you’ll find on the market today.
The gun is much lighter than most other .17 HMR brands and features a 22-inch barrel which provides great accuracy for both target shooting or hunting purposes. The A17 features Savage’s well-known AccuTrigger technology, making this an easy addition to our list of the best .17 HMR rifles.
- Superior accuracy
- Affordable price
- Variations in accuracy at long distance depending on the type of cartridge used
If it’s a reliable .17 HMR rifle that you’re after, look no further. The Savage A17 might just be the best of its kind and gives us little reason to think otherwise.
Henry Repeating Arms created a rifle that became a symbol of the American West. The classic, lever-action style rifle helped law and order conquer the wild, unruly bandits that roamed the countryside and the rifles still have a foothold in today’s market. Believe it or not, the Henry Octagon-Frontier rifle might just be the most fun-to-shoot .17 HMR rifle on our list.
This rifle still offers all the main reasons why people love Henry lever-actions while chambering a .17 HMR cartridge that makes it the ideal gun for ranchers looking to thin out the prairie dogs on their land or just about any other varmint that can be found. There is plenty to love about this rifle.
- Affordable price
- Classic look and feel
- High capacity (11+1)
- Less accurate than other models
- Limited options for scopes
If you’re looking for a great varmint-eradication rifle with the classic look and feel of the old Henry’s, this one delivers. For iron-sight lovers, this rifle is tough to beat for plinking targets on the range, or picking off critters without having to get too close.
Winchester 1885 Hunter Rimfire
Keeping with the traditional look and feel, the Winchester 1885 Hunter Rimfire actually delivers surprising accuracy and functionality. This one might look like it’s straight out of the Wild West, but it’s in the running with the best .17 HMR rifles available in 2021.
In 1885, single-shot target shooting was as popular as the NFL or any other professional sport, and would often see crowds of thousands gather to witness a competition. The Winchester 1885 Hunter Rimfire is a throwback version of an American classic that values looks and craftsmanship over the ability to rapidly fire 10 rounds downrange.
- Classic look and feel
- Supreme craftsmanship
- Highly accurate
- Not ideal for actual hunting
As far as looks go, the Winchester 1885 Hunter Rimfire is a beauty. However, this gun is not much on overall capability when it comes to being able to take out varmints or game animals.
Related: Best Rimfire Scopes
Browning T-Bolt Sporter
Browning has been at the top of the rifle manufacturing game for a while, and the Browning T-Bolt Sporter is another one of our top picks among the top .17 HMR rifles you’ll find in 2021. This straight-pull bolt-action rifle is not short on functionality and is effective when it comes to hitting targets or hunting.
The Browning T-Bolt Sporter offers the accuracy we’ve come to expect in a bolt-action rifle with the ability the .17 HMR offers. This one isn’t short on looks as it features a beautiful walnut stock and 22-inch barrel. With an overall length of just 33 inches, this gun is actually a perfect starter rifle for youngsters or it can also function as a small caliber rifle for veteran shooters.
- Compact design
- Can easily mount a scope
- Straight-pull bolt action means superior accuracy
- Adjustable trigger settings
- Slightly more expensive than other models
There is a lot to love about the Browning T-Bolt Sporter. It is made with the same high standards of craftsmanship that Browning has become known for and delivers one of the most accurate shots for a .17 HMR rifle.
Related: Best Scopes For The .17 WSM
The Ruger M-77 is built for functionality and it absolutely delivers. Built around reliability and accuracy, Ruger’s version of the .17 HMR is hard to beat. With a barrel length of 24 inches, the M-77 has the ability to hit a target at greater distances than the other guns listed among our top picks for .17 HMR rifles.
With a machined aluminum receiver and threaded barrel, you can hit just about anything within a reasonable distance for a .17 HMR. One of the most attractive things about the Ruger M-77 is Ruger’s trademark balance and comfort. This rifle has the feel of a full-sized big game rifle, which makes it a favorite among hunters looking for performance over everything else.
- Superior durability
- Great balance and comfortable fit
- Affordably priced
- Attractive looks
- No longer manufactured
It might seem strange to feature a rifle that is no longer manufactured on our list of the best .17 HMR rifles, but owners of the Ruger M-77 will attest to this gun’s ability to outmatch the competition.
See also: Best Lever Action Rifles Ever Built
Overall, getting yourself a new .17 HMR is very exciting. They are fun weapons to shoot and can count for endless hours of entertainment whether you are target shooting or hunting small game. We hope this post has helped you in your pursuit of a new rifle! Good luck!