What is the best rifle

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by cturner41314, May 23, 2016.

  1. cturner41314

    cturner41314 6 pointer

    Feb 15, 2003
    Booneville, KY, USA.
    What 17.cal rifle is the best to varmint hunt with for accuracy?
  2. jtb94

    jtb94 Fawn

    Aug 5, 2010
    kirksey ky.
    just bought a ruger American rimfire and am more then happy with it.

    2014 trail T4R
  3. Jacobhwrd

    Jacobhwrd 6 pointer

    Jan 26, 2014
    Richmond, Ky
    My brother has a savage and it shoots great. I will be getting a ruger American though. I want a 17 fireball though and I don't know who makes the rifles in that version

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    I use to have a .17 caliber rifle (.17 Remington) built using a Sako L-461 action, by Harry McGowen. Very accurate rifle. Also use to have a .17 Ackley Bee built using a Martini single shot action.
    mwezell likes this.
  5. richief

    richief 10 pointer

    Jun 20, 2012
    down a holler SE KY
    I have a ruger 77/22 magnum. A barrel change and it shoots .177 hmr with same magazines. I also have a smooth bore barrel for shooting 22mag shotshells, twice the effective range of shooting shotshells from a rifled barrel, works good on wood bees and dragonflies. Just another option to think about, pretty cool kit gun that not many know about, although the green mountain smooth bore barrels are scarce now.
  6. I have two Savages. The 17hmr and the 17WSM in the B-Mag rifle. I put the Bmag into a laminated Boyds stock and fit it with a 6-24x scope. Both are accurate. I have routinely grouped them at about 1.5in at 200y. But, the Bmag is lighter, handier, and has an effective range that is nearly 2x that of the HMR. Neither are better than my 700Rem varmint in 223 but they make a light weight option when the hunting is in woods and the shots are going to be closer anyway. I can hit ground hogs at 400y with the 17WSM but while I could hit a yote from that far out, I think I would want to let it get closer to insure a clean kill. However, inside of about 250y it is getting smoked. I like the 17 so much that it has been the only varmint rifle I have used over the last 2yrs. The B-Mag is far better and more accurate than many have reported. The problem with all the fast 17's is copper fouling in the bore. Clean your bore well and often and it will reward you with great results.

    I did a cold bore shot test of the 17WSM and four of my best 22 rimfire rifles by shooting one cold shot per day for 5 days to see which would be best for squirrel hunting. I was amazed to see the 17 WSM beat out two great Anschutz rifles, and a Win Mod 52. If I had not seen it, I would not believe it. The 17 is hard on squirrels but they never get away. It will give a yote a bad day too. But take care and place your shots well. My 2 cents.

    mwezell likes this.
  7. Gioacchino

    Gioacchino 6 pointer

    Jan 20, 2016
    A buddy of mine has a Savage .17 HMR and absolutely loves it. He's killed countless squirrels with it. Yotes too. Actually killed a fox with it this past year.
  8. The only issue that I have had with the 17's HMR/WSM is that most of the available ammo for them is of the ballistic tip variety and is super frangible. This is great up to a point. They make a wound cavity that is about the size of a golfball or a little larger but it is only about 1" to 1.5" deep. For example you cannot shoot a yote in the rear end and hope for a clean kill. You need a clean broad side shoulder shot or a good hit to the head or neck. There are some hollow point ammo options for the HMR but from what I have seen, they often do not expand at all and just punch a needle sized hole into the animal. Not good. I head shot a squirrel with mine using federal 17g HP's. The bullet went in in front of the right eye and exited the rear of the scull. Lobotomized the poor little fellow and I had to finish him as he was walking around in a circle. He would have died but that is not the way to do it. The 17g ballistic tips with the HMR are just about as destructive as the 25g ballistic tips in the WSM. No wonder they are about the same velocity 2500/2650 fps. At close range there is little difference but let it get out past 100y and it starts to show. Now the 20g BT's in the WSM are another matter. They are running about 3100 fps at the muzzle. That is hot. Too hot to use on squirrel in my opinion but OK for bigger varmints. Just keep in mind that most of the damage will be in the first 3 inches. If the animal is bigger than that, place the shot well or use more gun. I have not found any soft points or HP's for WSM but I hear they make em. Those would be perfect for yotes. Until I do, I will stick with head shootin em.

    Jarhead likes this.
  9. davers

    davers 12 pointer

    Jul 14, 2014
    Irish, I think they make a FMJ load for the .17 HMR.
  10. They do, but I would not use FMJ bullets for hunting except in a survival situation. I see those as target shooting ammo only. Plus, I do not use my HMR for most varmints or game animals larger than squirrel and rats, since I also have the WSM rifle, which is better in every way from what I can see. I do use the HMR for small game and plinking. It is great for both. I have heard of others using it for coyote but I have not made a habit of doing so. The 17WSM and my 223 are both better for this application. If a 17 HP is not working well due to not expanding, the 17 FMJ is not likely to do better. The 17HMR HP should?? work better (i.e. expand some) on game larger than squirrel such as rabbit, groundhog, etc but I have not had opportunity to test that theory and likely won't since I voluntarily limit its use to smaller critters. Perhaps others on the forum have used it more often and will share their experiences with the various loads and bullets. One advantage of the HMR is its broader range of higher quality rifles such as those from Ruger, Anschutz, etc.

  11. kyoutdoorsman

    kyoutdoorsman 12 pointer

    Jan 19, 2016
    What would a 17hmr cost ?what is a good brand
  12. My Savage M93 cost me about $400 a few years ago but it was one of the fancier laminated stock, varmint bbl models. The B-mag was $299. They range from about $300-500 depending on the bells and whistles. Personally, I wish I had bought the lighter profile bbl to help make it easier to pack around all day. Savage is one of the cheaper models but they shoot pretty good. You can get very nice, very pricey options for lots more money. The Anschutz is reported to be a tack drive but for the price, you can get a Sav 17HMR, a Sav Bmag in 17WSM, two scopes and a load of ammo. For field use, it is hard to justify the Annie. That said, I have two Annie 22's and would still consider buying the HMR if I could find one.

    I do credit the Savage for getting me back into rimfire shooting and hunting. It is a nice low cost rifle. Both have adjustable triggers. My only suggestion is to avoid the flimsy plastic stock models. They are pretty cheap looking. The Boyd's stock on my B-mag totally transformed that rifle. It looks and feels like a $1000 gun for half that price. Now Savage offers it with the Boyds stock from the factory. Well worth the extra dough.

  13. Greenwilly

    Greenwilly 6 pointer

    Feb 17, 2006
    Shelby Co.
    I own two Savage 17hmr. One heavy, long barrel and one lightweight 16" barrel. I would highly reccomend either. But... I shot at and missed a coyote at 250 yards and stopped using the 17. If your shooting past 150y, get another caliber. The round starts to drop drastically and it has a horrible B.C. I've been using a Savage .233 (hog hunter) since and haven't missed again.
  14. kyoutdoorsman

    kyoutdoorsman 12 pointer

    Jan 19, 2016
    Any 22 mag guys on here. What do you prefer
  15. Rossi

    Rossi 6 pointer

    Oct 19, 2009
    Montgomery Co. , KY
    I have a Ruger 77/22 Magnum and it shoots ok but nothing great and the trigger sucks don't know if I would recommend one or it could be me I'm not as good of a shoot as I once was .

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