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.22 LR vs .17HMR for squirrel hunting?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by rome2240sw, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. rome2240sw

    rome2240sw GLOCKIN4LIFE

    Jun 5, 2010
    columbia, SC
    I know squirrel season isnt until winter but i wanted to find out information on a new riffle. I currently shoot a Winchester Model 67 bolt action .22LR for squirrels but someone had a .17HMR semi auto for sale and i was wondering does it shoot better and is it more affective than the .22? Is it a good round for squirrels, rabbits and other small game? possibly critters like possums, coons, and foxes?
  2. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999

  3. rallyrs01


    Apr 10, 2008
    IMO .17hmr is far superior to .22lr in every aspect. I have a Savage .17 bolt action and have shot a couple squirrels and they do not stand a chance. As far as a .17hmr semi-auto goes I would do some more research if I were you because I know a couple manufacturers of .17hmr ammo have warning labels saying not for use in semi-auto. Just get a bolt action .17hmr and go to town.
  4. RedHaze

    RedHaze Handgunner

    Aug 23, 2009
    SE WA
    .17HMR flat at smokes small critters.

    It's more expensive to shoot though.
  5. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    First of all, I agree with the above, you should probably stay away from a semi auto .17HMR. They had a lot of issues to the point where I believe they were all discontinued.

    As far as the hunting aspect, I have both the .22LR and the .17HMR. I have bagged plenty of squirrels with the .22LR, but have yet to kill one with the .17HMR. Just never spotted one long enough to get a good shot with the .17HMR. But in general shooting, the .17HMR is pretty awesome. Very flat shooting, accurate, and in my testing the bullets do some pretty amazing damage for their size.

    Personally I think the decision comes down to whether or not you want to spend the extra money on a new rifle and slightly more expensive ammo. It should be no suprise the .17HMR is more than enough to take down the little critters, and does so with great precision.

    BTW I have a Savage and love it. :wavey:
  6. at_liberty


    Jun 19, 2010
    Upstate SC
    The .22LR is a 50 yard gun, the .22 Magnum a 100 yard gun, and the .17 HMR as a 200 yard gun. I have had and used all three on ground hogs. For squirrels I would be thinking close range and pick a 22. Unless I had a ground shot, I would have no business firing a .17 HMR up into the trees, to land who knows where.
  7. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    Think if you plan on eating the tree-rats...the the .22 is the way to go. If you want to nuke them, go with the .17.:wow:

    I've used both to help keep the squirrel population in check around me. (little nasty red-squirrels) and the .17 is overkill...but fun. I'd go with the .22 as ammo is much cheaper and has been doing the job for a long, long time...more selection in rifles, quieter, and doesn't dismember the rodents.
  8. Njanear

    Njanear Nagant-ophile

    Jul 20, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Now if you want a GREAT squirrel caliber, get a .17 Hornady Mach 2. It is accurate, relatively inexpensive, and won't explode your target into smithereens - it will readily knock down squirrels with head shots at a pretty good distance. You might have to look a while to find one but they are indeed worth it. :cool:
  9. Great Googly Moogly

    Great Googly Moogly Shiek Yerbouti

    Jul 15, 2010
    Uncle Bernies Farm
  10. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    If you only take head shots, it doesn't matter what caliber you use, you won't ruin any meat.

    The 17 allows more accurate shots at longer distances and works fantastic.

    22lr works great too especially if you have hollow point ammo that is very accurate in your rifle. However, most 22's simply are not accurate enough to make consistent head shots past 25 yards or so.
  11. rome2240sw

    rome2240sw GLOCKIN4LIFE

    Jun 5, 2010
    columbia, SC
    Thanks for all the great info. And i was kinda looking to go from bolt action to something that packs a few more rounds. So a Ruger 10/22 with a scope doesnt seem to bad. Thought about going after the squirrels with a break down for 10 but all im looking to do with that is frighten the other big squirrels feeding and scurriging the grounds and trees.

    any problems with a Ruger 10/22 with mabye a folding stock?
  12. rome2240sw

    rome2240sw GLOCKIN4LIFE

    Jun 5, 2010
    columbia, SC
    No one could have said it better. Had me laughing with the nuke them part. But i dont believe the .22 is bad. Has been getting me great results so far just wanted to know about the .17HMR since i see the ammo in walmart alot.

    As far as hunting squirrels go I usually go with the Winchester Super Sonic HP rounds or the CCI mini mag .22LR ammo. NEITHER is a bad choice if your looking for 1 or 2 shot kills as well as you can see where the bullet expanded. They both work great for knocking squirrels from 30 to 40 ft in the tree with the wincheter model 67.
  13. srt-4_jon


    Jan 14, 2010
    +1 to HM2.

    Same price as decent .22lr ammo and flat shooting like the 17HMR. I love my 17HMR but the 17HM2 is my next bolt action. Savage makes their MK2 in 17HM2. The only thing the HMR has over the HM2 for squirrel hunting is distance.
  14. txgunguy


    Dec 14, 2007
    DFW, Texas
    My HM2 has been awesome. I've never shot any squirrels with it but it is a powerful little round. Alot louder than a .22 and still pretty cheap ammo. It's around 6 or 7 dollars a box. Even cheaper online.
  15. 1985 4Runner

    1985 4Runner Agitator

    May 27, 2006
    Gulf Coast MS
    My 22lr Marlins have killed many squirrels.

    Never had the need for a 17HMR. But I would get one if I had the extra money.




    22lr is plenty effective for larger game as well. It's all about shot placement & ammo.

    I use CCI Segmented Subsonic.



  16. I use a .17 HMR on squirrels.

    It's superior accuracy makes head shots easy. No meat wasted with a head shot.

    Now if you do take body shots with the .17 gr ballistic tips you will have a small mess on your hands.
  17. cmspeedy


    Apr 24, 2007
    here, now
    As much as i love my savage .17 tackdriver, it just shreds squirrels. I use it when hunting my buddies farm and we have lots of ground shots at distance. Rips them in half. Most of the time i would prefer a 22. Especially if eating the tree rats.
  18. marvin

    marvin sci-fi nut

    Mar 26, 2001
    greentown ind.
    just how much more accurate is the .17? just about any .22 i've ever owned shot pretty darn good, i've never had a problem hitting the head of a squirrel while hunting.
    not saying don't get a 17, heck any excuse to buy a new gun is a good one as far as i'm concrened.

    good hunting
  19. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

    Jun 20, 2002
    I don't know what 22LR you've been shooting, but my old Springfield semi is more then accurate enough to take head shots at or beyond 100 yards at Squirrels! I've killed hundreds of them this way! I mainly use it on Wissle Pigs now here in ID and rutinely kill them at 100+ yards with head shots! All the bullets for the 17 HMR are varmit bullets ment to explode! So head shots are the only shot to take on tree Squirrel you plan to eat! Anything else will ruin the little meat you have to eat on Squirrels! The 17 maybe a great round but its better for things you don't eat! The 22LR is and always will be the game getter cartridge! :supergrin:

  20. My Savage 93R17FV consistently shoots 5 shot groups under 3/4" at 100 yards.

    My daughters Anschutz target rifle has trouble doing that and it cost 10 times what the Savage did.