The .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) rifle is among one of the most popular competition rifles for its ability to hit targets at extremely long distances. Developed in the early 2000’s, the .17 HMR is considered to be ballistically superior to its .22 caliber counterpart.
The caliber was developed the reach a higher velocity and flatter trajectory than the .22 rifle, which is why competitive shooters and hunters alike typically prefer the .17 HMR.
Here are the 5 best scopes for 17 HMR
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II
- Nikon ProStaff 3-9×40
- BSA 3-12×40 Sweet 17
- BARSKA 6-18×40 AO Hot Magnum .17
- Burris Timberline 4.5-14×32
As a distance gun, the .17 HMR’s accuracy heavily relies on which scope is used with it. Being a smaller caliber the scope isn’t subjected to the massive amounts of shock that are found in higher calibers made for big game hunting.
For anyone sniping out coyotes, picking off prairie dogs or just trying to hit other types of critters at long distances, the .17 HMR is one of the most fun rifles to use when trying to reach out and hit targets at a surprising distance.
The Best Scopes for 17 HMR
We’ve done the research and checked the reviews to find out exactly which scopes are the best to use with the .17 HMR. Whether you’re target shooting or using this rifle for hunting purposes, here are our favorite scopes for this popular weapon.
Vortex is a common choice among most of our list of the top riflescopes, but there are more than enough reasons to justify having them in our top spots. While most shooters and hunters might shy away from Vortex because the products are made in China, the overall products are some of the best on the market.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II offers magnification up to 7x, which makes this one more suited for hunting than for target practice at very long distances. With four inches of eye relief, multi-coated lens and plenty of other features, the Crossfire II is perfect for hunters looking to get a solid scope for their .17 HMR without breaking the bank.
- Adjustable reticles
- Illuminated V-Brite reticle
- Four inches of eye relief
- Affordable cost
Less durable than other premium models
Takeaway: The Vortex Optics Crossfire II offers just about everything you need in a scope equipped for a .17HMR. While there is a little to be desired in the form of rugged durability for most, this one is a solid pick, especially for hunters.
Next on our list is yet another scope that is ideal for those to turn to the .17 HMR for a hunting rifle. The Nikon Prostaff 3-9×40 has everything a hunter needs to pull of consistent, accurate shots with their .17 HMR.
Featuring a quick-adjust eyepiece, this scope is perfect for anyone that might need to adjust the magnification to reach out a bit farther. The ProStaff 3-9×40 also offers Nikon’s patented Nikoplex Duplex reticle, as well as a nitrogen-filled and sealed O-ring for maximum durability.
- Good overall durability
- Quick adjust eyepiece
- Nikoplex Duplex reticle
- Affordable Price
Here’s what we would change..
- Limited magnification compared to similar models
Takeaway: Nikon is well-known in the hunting and outdoor optic market for producing top-notch products for less than the premium competitors. This scope offers everything you need for a successful hunt with a .17 HMR, but there is a little to be desired regarding some of the features.
As the name indicates, this BSA-manufactured scope is made especially for the .17 HMR. Known among both target shooters and hunters, BSA produces some of the best scopes on the market with more desirable prices than other top brands.
Featuring four inches of eye relief, a multi-colored illuminated glass-etched reticle, multi-coated lens and plenty of other features, the BSA 3-12×40 Sweet 17 is a favorite choice among .17 HMR lovers for plenty of reasons.
The Sweet 17 features a sleek, modern design that offers more in the form of looks than other scopes, but this scope’s magnification abilities are slightly less functional than other scopes on our list.
- Four inches of eye relief
- Multi-colored reticle
- Illuminated glass-etched reticle
- Multi-coated lens
- Affordable price
- Tougher to adjust out to the max magnification setting
Takeaway: This one is a great choice for both competition shooting and hunting with a .17 HMR. It has the capabilities to reach greater magnification, but the features are not quite as polished as those offered by other premium brands.
Another one of the scopes designed specifically for the .17 HMR is the BARSKA 6-18×40 AO Hot Magnum .17. As one of the most affordable scopes on our list, don’t let the price fool you into thinking this one is lacking in quality and functionality.
The scope is fully waterproof and fogproof, making it ideal for hunting. Featuring shockproof construction, and an extremely clear sight picture, we would put this scope as one of our clear top choices for anyone looking for a hunting scope for a .17 HMR.
The BARSKA is a little on the heavy side as it checks in at 20 ounces. With higher magnification than others on our list, the BARSKA is a great choice for anyone needing a distance rifle for hunting with both a .17 or .22 caliber rifle.
- Waterproof / Fogproof
- Shockproof design
- Better for distance
- Affordable price
- Poor matte black finish
Takeaway: This scope is one of the best for the value and offers plenty of great features that make it the ideal hunting scope for a .17 HMR.
The Burris brand has been around since 1971 and has worked hard to make a name for itself among the top outdoor optics available. The Burris Timberline 4.5-14×32 is our clear top choice for the best scope for a .17 HMR and there are plenty of reasons to back that up.
The Burris Timberline offers the highest magnification of any on our list, making it an automatic favorite for those looking for a great competition scope for their .17 HMR. There is more to love than just distance with this one as all of the components are put together for extremely reliable durability.
It doesn’t offer the widest objective, but the multi-coated design is intended to allow for better light absorption for low-light situations. The Burris Timberline is unmatched when it comes to sight picture clarity.
- Great for distance
- Extremely durable
- Multi-coated design
- Supreme clarity
- Expensive cost
Takeaway: The Burris Timberline 4.5-14×32 offers a number of reasons as to why it could be a favorite for both target shooting or hunting. With superior craftsmanship and overall optical clarity, there are enough reasons for serious shooters and hunters to justify spending the extra money to get this scope.
Keep these things in mind when buying a scope
Finding a great rifle scope doesn’t have to be about spending the most money on the block. Remember, as we always mention, buy near the top end of your budget and don’t go overboard.