Best scopes for 17 HMR
The .17 Hornady Magnum Rifle, commonly known as .17 HMR, is an interesting rimfire rifle that hit the market in 2002. Over the past 15 years, the rifle has become increasingly popular for plinking and varmint hunting.
This gave rise to the need for .17 HMR scopes. There are many rifle scopes on the market that are compatible with the .17 HMR. In this post, we review the best scopes for .17 HMR and tell you how to narrow down your choices.
What is .17 HMR?
The .17 HMR is a scaled down version of the .22 Winchester Magnum Rifle that is usually loaded with 17 grain bullets. Introduced in 2002, Hornady designed this rimfire rifle to fill the niche for a more functional hunting cartridge than the .22.
Over the years, the design of the .17 HMR has improved to offer ballistic advantages over its competitors including;
On the downside, there is an increased tendency of foul barrel as well as less kinetic energy.
Given the above benefits, it is easy to understand why many modern hunters prefer the .17 HMR over the .22 Magnum. A good scope is a must if you want to get the most out of your rimfire.
That said, what should you look for in a .17 HMR scope? We answer this question in the next section.
Features to Look for in a .17 HMR Scope
Your .17 HMR will most likely lack fast target acquisition and long range accuracy if it doesn't have a scope. A specially designed riflescope is an effective way of resolving this.
Below are four main features to look for in a .17 HMR scope.
Turrets are adjustable knobs that allow you to adjust the windage and elevation. By so doing, you move the crosshair up and down as well as right and left so as to estimate the bullet direction and drop.
This is particularly important if you are shooting from more than 150 yards. The presence of adjustable windage and elevation knobs allows for accurate low and long-range shooting.
Low profile turrets will come handy if you will be slogging through the woods. This protects them from being knocked off setting. On the other hand, high profile turrets are best utilized for target shooting.
Keep in mind that extended shooting with an .17 HMR can easily knock off a poorly designed scope off zero gradually. As such, the adjustable turrets should be able to maintain the zero shot after shot.
Reticles come in hundreds of variations, and not all of them are good for your rimfire. It comes down to personal preference, but duplex is the most popular reticle and the one we would recommend.
It is a crosshair with much heavier line bases at the edge that become finer towards the center. This design makes easier to line up your shot in low-light conditions.
Another good option is a duplex reticle with range compensation markings. You may not need it with most scopes but the increased range and flatter trajectory of the .17 HMR makes quick range adjustment markings a necessity.
Lenses and objective power
A scope is nothing if it doesn't provide good light transmission, reduced glare as well as better field view. This is where lenses come in. Look for a riflescope that has multi-coated optics.
Multiple coatings ensure that your lenses increase light transmission and provide a better field of view while minimizing the glare. Any scope that is worth mounting onto your .17 HMR should have multi-coated lenses that also provide added abrasion resistance.
As for the magnification, you will need something that offers variable power. While the range can vary, it's important to go for a maximum of at least 9x to account for the long-range shooting capabilities of the .17 HMR.
The most important thing is to not limit yourself to fixed magnification riflescope.
Whatever the intended uses for your scope are, the fact remains that you will use it outdoors most of the time. This makes it important to have a scope that is fairly resistant to weather elements.
It should be water- and fog-proofed, which is usually achieved with nitrogen purging of the interior. Manufactures also use well-sealed O-rings to improve weather resistance and longevity.
Nikon ProStaff 3-9x 40 BDC
9 x 5 x 12.4 inches
3 to 9x
Field of View
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32
14 x 3 x 3 inches
Field of View
BSA Optics 3-12x40 Sweet 17
18.5 x 4 x 3 inches
Field of View
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4-12x 40mm
Field of View
Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5x42
Field of View
Topping the list for best .17 HMR scopes is the Nikon ProSraff 3-9x 40mm, a high-quality product that utilizes BDC reticle patented technology.
This proves a useful advantage, especially if you are a long range shooter. It allows you to adjust the bullet drop to 600 yards. The zero-reset turret feature makes it easier to make field adjustments.
This scope boasts a generous 3-9x magnification and 40mm reticle. In addition, the multi-coated lenses transmit up to 98% and provide maximum brightness in low-light conditions.
The coatings also provide anti-reflective properties. You get on the target pretty quickly thanks to the quick focus eyepiece.
This scope is parallax-free down to 10 meters and as a standard 1" tube that's filled with nitrogen for waterproofing. The O-ring sealing also helps with protection against water, snow or fog.
You get 3.7" constant eye relief, which is quite generous. Overall, is a highly rated .17 HMR scope that will not let you down.
Vortex Optics has made a name for itself designing optical equipment for wildlife watching, hunting and other outdoor recreational activities. Their Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rifle Scope is specially designed for rimfire rifle rounds, making it a good option for use with your .17 HMR.
It is a 2-7x power optic, which is sufficient for a round designed for less than 300 yards. The low magnification makes it easy to focus on the target and still watch the peripheral vision for potential new targets.
As for the reticle, this scope features a V-brite reticle that allows for easy use in low and bright light conditions. The one piece aluminum chassis design provides added durability and strength.
It also allows for improved accuracy not to mention optimum visual performance. All of the optics feature multiple anti-reflective coatings and tube has a 1-inch diameter.
Re-indexing the turret to zero after sighting in should be easy thanks to the adjustable feature. The turrets are capped to ensure external protection. Overall, this scope combines all the right features and is a good choice for someone who wants to go varmint hunting.
The BSA Optics 3-12x40 Sweet .17 Riflescope garners its name from the fact that it was specially designed for the .17 HMR rimfire. It works well with bolt action rifles, particularly the Savage Arms .17 HMR.
It is waterproof, shockproof and fogproof, all of which are necessary features when in the field. Its rugged design is a welcome feature since it means that the scope can take a thrashing in the woods.
The scope uses lenses that are treated to minimize light transmission. It comes with 40mm objective lens and has a variable magnification of 3-12x for versatility.
The elevation and windage turrets are easily adjusted in ¼ MOA click settings without needing a tool. You will require an allen screw to reset the turrets to zero.
Sighting in is easy and once you use a bore sight at 100 yards, you will be able to see a nice grouping within 1"/100 yards. Increasing the magnification gives you a clearer field of view.
This scope is 13.5" long and at 19.4 ounces, it is heavier than most .17 HMR scopes. Overall, it is one of the best scopes for coyote hunting.
Established in the late 1940s, Bushnell has been in the business of manufacturing optic equipment for decades. Their Banner Dusk & Dawn with Multi-X Reticle is specially designed for use in the wee hours and will come handy if you use a .17 HMR rifle.
It boasts a variable magnification of 4-12x and uses a 40mm point lens. You get 4 inches eye relief.
Another notable feature of this scope is the quick focus eyepieces, which allow for fast yet uncomplicated sighting. The eyepieces have grip zoom rings that you can adjust in a snap and focus on the target. Also included is a lit center-fire 500 with a red and green dotted reticle.
The waterproof, shockproof and fogproof capabilities help this scope survive the elements at dawn. It is packed with dehydrated nitrogen to ensure that water doesn't make its way to the interior.
Best Night Vision HMR Scope
If you fancy hunting in the dark, the Yukon NVRS Titanium 1.5x42 Riflescope will come handy. It offers quality, ease of use, durability and affordability in a compact unit that can survive any kind of weather condition.
The scope is designed for varmint hunting and uses a 42mm objective lens that offers a great balance of light.
The lens flips up to provide added protection for the glass. A notable highlight is that it comes with an illuminated red reticle. The optic can be adjusted to suit the circumstances.
What makes this riflescope particularly good for hunting at night is that it comes with an infrared illuminator. This features PULSE IR Technology, which goes a long way towards preserving the battery.
Mounting this scope onto your HMR is quite easy thanks to the weaver mount railing system. You can control the scope remotely and the IR illuminator offers a focus range of up to 100 yards.
Quality lens, variable magnification and durable build are must-have attributes of any .17 HMR scope. The models reviewed in this post tick all of the above boxes and provide you a good starting place.
We hope our review will help you narrow down your options and find what you are looking for.