Rimfire - .22LR or .17HMR Which is best?

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by Kent Detective, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Kent Detective

    Kent Detective New Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    Hello Guys and Gals,

    Greetings to our Christian North American Cousins across the BIG pond. Nice to see our brave soldiers fighting side by side in Afghanistan with their American brothers in arms. So far we (the UK) have lost 320 men and it's going up almost daily! :eek:

    Thats the protocol out the way -

    I thought I would ask you all this question which is causing me some difficulty -

    Which calibre is best for Bunnies (European Rabbit)

    1. .22LR
    2. .17 HMR

    I have had a look at most rimfire rifles available in the UK and have narrowed it down to these three (2 of which are excellent Yank made guns) -

    1. CZ 452
    2. Ruger 10/22 SS
    3. Marlin 795 SS

    I think all these guns are sold in both .22LR and .17HMR calibre.

    I understand that the Ruger 10/22 is the worlds most popular rimfire therefore it follows this is a good choice. Same can be said for the European made CZ. I'm not so sure about the little Marlin model... Marlin is not the first make to spring to mind in the UK. It's recently been introduced into the UK market. I must say I like the look of the 795 in Stainless Steel and it is very cheap compared to the other two guns (above). At only £235 new it seems a remarkable bargain BUT is this so? Bearing in mind it's an American made rifle I thought you could help me out here?

    I have just searched online for the Marlin 795 and see it's being sold in the USA for only $135!!!!! That's nearly half the price here (£235)! I can't understand why you guys should get it for half the UK price (maybe I should move to the USA) lol...

    I will be using the rimfire mainly for Bunnies between 30 and 150 yards max. I understand this is well within the limits of a good .22 LR however would a .17HMR be more useful?

    I will be using a moderator with the gun as sound is vital - I want to try and limit rabbits bolting after a shot. I have been told a .22LR is much much quieter than a .17HMR?

    I already have a scope in mind - Leapers compact 3-12 x 50 which is a spare scope I use on my airguns from time to time (Diana 48, Winerack HW97K, Webley Exocet). I'm a great fan of this scope for airguns but is it advisable to use one for rimfire? A friend of mine uses a cheap Hawke scope but I think a Leapers is a step up from this.

    If I get a new scope I want to limit my spend to about £125.

    As you probably already know the UK firearms laws are probably the most stringent in the whole world. I am currently waiting for my FAC to be granted together with a Shotgun Certificate. For the past few years I have been using UK limt airguns to shoot rabbits. Our airguns are limited to only 12ftlb which gives a max range of about 40 yards.

    I would appreciate some sensible advice here...

    Thanking you all in anticipation...

  2. firelegs22

    firelegs22 New Member

    May 24, 2010
    i have found that the 17 hmr is less acurate in the wind than a 22lr. plus the 22 ammo will be cheaper, and that means more practice and more good shots at peter rabbit.

  3. big steve

    big steve New Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Yeah .22 bullet is a bit bigger and heavier and will easily kill the rabbit you dont need something like a .17. .22 rifles are cheaper and the ammo is cheaper.
  4. Old Grump

    Old Grump New Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Little hut in the woods near Blue River Wisconsin
    Both are good, 22 is cheaper and dead is dead. Easy choice for me.
  5. Kent Detective

    Kent Detective New Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    The only advantage I can see is that with a .17HMR I can shoot foxes (which I won't do as I enjoy seeing them alive). The quarry I intend to kill is limited to:

    1. Rabbits
    2. Pigeon (Wood Pigeon, Collard Dove etc..)
    3. Corvids (Crow, Jay, Magpie, Rook)
    4. Rats (although airgun is best for this)
    5. Grey Squirrals (imported from USA in 1800's)
    6. Game birds (Pheasant, Partridge etc..)
    7. Hare (although these are having a hard time in the UK and I won't shoot one for now)

    It would be helpful to know your advise regarding the guns I am considering -

    1. CZ 452
    2. Ruger 10/22
    3. Marlin 795

    I like the look of the CZ, the popularity of the Ruger and the price of the Marlin. But which one do I get?
  6. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    NorthWest Florida
    I have to correct this.

    The Ruger 10/22 has only sold 7 million rifles worldwide since it's inception in 1964.
    The Marlin Model 60 has sold over 12 million rifles worldwide since it became available in 1960.

    Ruger therefore isn't even close to being the most popular, or prolific, .22lr rifle.

    The temptation to shout "RUGER LIES" like the congressman said about Obama is high ;)

    Now if they wanted to change their statement to say "Most popular to replace almost every original part.",
    THEN, they would be correct.

    That's where Ruger leads...because almost every part on a Ruger is made better by someone in the aftermarket.
    That's just the facts.

    Just so you also know, the Marlin 795 is based on the most recent model 60 action, so it gives you the same quality & even more precision, due to the 795's Medium-Weight Tapered Target Barrel. It resists the heat produced by rapid-fire longer than the thinner stock barrels of the 60 & 10/22.

    The UK is quite silly on their anti-gun laws, it's not like folks use a .22lr rifle to go around killing people with.

    On the upside, the UK has the most intelligent surpressor laws. Probably because they don't want other people to hear the people that are shooting, it might make them want guns too ;)
  7. big steve

    big steve New Member

    Aug 8, 2009
    Just keep in mind Ruger is quite small for a full size man if not customized but it definetly a great gun and good choice. I would also definetly consider the marlin.
  8. retired grunt

    retired grunt New Member

    Mar 30, 2009
    Northern NY
    I have a 10/22 and a savage 17hmr. I like them both. If you truly need to shoot 150 meters get the 17. If most of your shots will be under a 100 meters get the 10/22 you can even buy the subsonic ammo to really quiet it down. The one overwhelming factor for the 10/22 is that you can truly "have it your way" right down to each and every part,color and style
  9. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    I'd go 22 over 17. Mostly for the price difference. Two dollars a box versus ten can get expensive over time.

    I'd take the CZ over the Ruger in a heartbeat. I don't know the Marlin, so can't give you an opinion either way.

    If you're going to silence it, then the 22 will be a better choice because subsonic is available. All 17 is supersonic. Can't quite down that sonic boom. 'Course, if all you want from your silencer is to modulate the sound, so it's not immediately recognizable as a gunshot, then either will work.

    When a rifle recoils, it kicks backward. My understanding is that air guns kick forward. Scopes need to be built to accept the different recoil. I've been told that you can take a good quality rifle scope and put it on an air gun and shake it to pieces. I don't know if you would have the same problems with an air gun scope on a firearm, and 22s have hardly any kick anyway. But if it was me, I'd use air gun scopes on my air guns and firearms scopes on my firearms.

    235 pounds is 360 dollars, so that Marlin's only about a third of the price here. :p
  10. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    I'd side with the .22

    There are a LOT of people that spend as much on a 10/22 as I have on an AR15.:eek: The 10/22 is like a boat. You can throw as much money at it as you want.

    The CZ would be my choice.
  11. pawn

    pawn Active Member

    Jan 31, 2007
    Crossville, TN
    I am in the 22lr camp and also vote CZ as I own many. Per $$$ spent, BRNO/CZ are as good as you can get IMHO. (I also own a Marlin 75c and Ruger 10/22)

    Edit: Don't overlook BSA, formerly produced in Birmingham, England. I own a Sportsman Model 15 and it is a fine bolt action rifle as well.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  12. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    I don't think you can get any .17 HMR in semi-auto now since Hornady has announced that the round isn't intended for semi-auto firearms due to case pressure/thickness concerns. With that said, the 10/22 in .17 HMR is out. If I had to have one firearm for bunnies and noise was a concern I'd get the .22 LR CZ. I do prefer the .17 HMR in a Savage bolt action rifle if noise and cost of ammo isn't as much of a concern. The .17 HMR is an awesome round but .22 LR fits your bill perfectly. The .17 HMR is a VERY loud rimfire round as well.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  13. old semperfi

    old semperfi Active Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    any of the three are good choices,like i have always said if it feels good in your hand,it will shoot good.as far as the caliber if you expect to shoot 150 yards then you must choose the 17 hmr.if under 100 then the 22. old semperfi
  14. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010

    I'm in Australia, we are overrun by european rabbits


    they are much smaller that the US jack rabbit

    .17 is over kill for meat

    i use a subsonic round for most bunny hunting here

    i head shoot to preserve meat and skin with .22 subsonic ammo 40 grn projectiles

    .17 for goats yeah!

    but not if you wanna eat or get a decent hide off them bunnies
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  15. user

    user Active Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Northern piedmont of Va. and Middle of Nowhere, We
    CZ 452, no question; you pay a bit more, but it's really worth it. If you want to reliably hit what you're aiming at, a semiauto like the 10/22 isn't the best choice. With the standard five round magazine in the bolt action CZ 452, you have plenty of bullets for bunny hunting. I reckon they don't hang around long if you miss with the first shot anyway, and you'll have at most two or three chances. So five is enough. I'd get it chambered in .22LR, and while I'm pontificating, I recommend the 452FS, which has the Mannlicher style stock. Super accurate, well balanced, and with a decent 4x scope, you can put bullet after bullet in the same hole at fifty yards, and within a half-inch at a hundred yards (or, using the American Standard Unit of Linear Measure, one football field). I would echo the sentiments of those who recommend the subsonic rounds for bunny hunting, particularly in the heavier bullet weights, up to about fifty gr. or so.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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