.22 hornet vs .17 hmr

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Ayaan Jakhura, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I use an Anschutz .22 Hornet, and have used it for animals the size you want to hunt, I find it is effective on everything up to 20kg body weight with proper shot placement and reasonable ranges. I have cleanly taken coyotes of about 15 kg (built like a really big jackal) and 25 kg beavers with no problems. I would be cautious about using a hornet on baboon unless you can get closer than 100M or so, the only baboons I ever had a chance to shoot at wouldn't let me get that close.
    I had a .17 HMR for a while but sold it after I discovered it was quite a bit more expensive to shoot than hand loaded .22 Hornet. The light varmint style bullets it is loaded with are excellent for small pests but ruin too much edible meat on small game and fail to penetrate adequately on body shots on animals bigger than 10Kg or so. It gave excellent accuracy but didn't fit my hunting needs so I sold it. I have seen FMJ ammo advertised for the .17 HMR but have no experience with it and have never seen FMJ offered for sale in a store here in Canada. I prefer a .22 win magnum rimfire over the .17 HMR for hunting any edible game, but they generally aren't as accurate as the .17HMR. You can handload the .22 hornet to rimfire velocity if that is of interest to you, i would recommend doing so if shooting the smaller birds - or limit yourself to head shots. Either the .17 HMR or factory loaded .22 Hornet W/ Soft points will blow up a dove or francolin with a body shot. If you can find FMJ ammo for the Hornet, that is a good option for the really small stuff. I have used some S&B FMJ-RN that worked well for small edible game.
     

  2. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    fourfive8
    I have only the one Savage Turkey/varmint combo rifle and the Hornet shoots well enough for PDogs out to 150 yards. I do not reload it and shoot only Super X 45 grain JSP. Wonderful round on turkey with either a heart shot if broadside or back shot if departing; never missed or lost a turkey with the rifle. Kills coyote too.
    Oddly, a hunting buddy of mine tried his bolt action Hornet and lost 2 or 3 turkeys with body shots and gave up using it. ???
     

  3. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    I have shot both the 17HMR and the 22 Hornet a lot. 17 has killed gophers, Pidgeon, Grouse, Groundhog, Racoons,Coyotes, Rabbit, Fox, Raven beaver etc. Will kill all with a well placed shot and the proper bullet. Pretty much the same animals with the hornet plus 1 deer. Same story but with more authority out to 150 yds. That being said for what you are looking for I would suggest the 223.
     
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  4. Bhfs300

    Bhfs300 AH Fanatic

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    C36DEC61-C7AE-404C-B902-52EF49BF2513.jpeg I will throw in another option 204 Ruger.
    I have one that is like driving nails.
    Here are three shots at 300 yds. I am using the top of the second circle not the cross hairs iv a scope. The variation is where I put the scope when I shoot.

    1D11C4F8-5FE2-4FBE-B3C8-B7D66BC27A1F.jpeg
     
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  5. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    Have used the 204 and very accurate. But big diff in performance with bullets and wind sensitive. Just prefer a caliber where one bullet covers more species.
     
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  6. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    Ray B,
    I also have a minute of angle accurate Winchester 9422M with a scope. Using 45 grain JSP, it would be plenty for coyote size critters with good shot placement.
    Speaking of monkeys in tall trees in RSA, on my first safari, my hunting buddy used a borrowed .22 rifle (long rifle cartridge ) to knock down a big monkey of some kind in the outfitters back yard. No kill fee for such pests.
     
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  7. Bhfs300

    Bhfs300 AH Fanatic

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    5F6C3FEB-E7EF-42F8-9E19-3432A27232FA.jpeg
    Here is the scope stats for a Ruger 204, 32gr
    I will agree this is all target shooting. But I would love to have an animal at the end of the sights.
     

  8. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    Looks like a great PDog rifle. You need to head out west to pop some. We always shoot PDs after taking our pronghorns. Good fun and great practice.
     
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  9. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I can't think of a more inappropriate small bore rifle cartridge than the .204 for shooting the small game birds that the original poster is interested in hunting - what should he do with dove mist and francolin chunks? The .204 would be a good baboon cartridge, but hardly versatile for all the species listed.
     
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  10. Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris

    Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Fanatic

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    .22 hornet all the way
    Have one in camp we shoot baboons, monkeys, guinnea fowl, steenbok, duiker, and when culling impala and warthog too
    No issues. Its accurate and holds momentum for long distance. Best gun i ever bought.
     

  11. Ayaan Jakhura

    Ayaan Jakhura AH Member

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    Thanks for all the advice guys. Looking forward to hearing more. I ideally would like the gun for hunting. I have got an air gun as I mentioned earlier and have shot plenty of doves with it. Maybe I should use it as a bird gun and get a .222 or a .223 for light game. The reason why I’m comparing the two calibers is because when I recently went on safari to zambia in October I fell in love with the .17 hmr (sakho). I found it to be very accurate and I dropped a few guinea fowl with it. They also had a .22 hornet at camp but it was pretty old and had a very old scope and was pretty inaccurate. But the .17 hmr does damage the meat quite significantly and I really hunt for meat though I do like taking an animal with impressive horns. But everything that I shoot I will eat. So I need a gun that will drop an animal with one shot in the heart, lungs or head but have the meat able to eat. One of the guinea fowls I shot in the neck got obliterated and the head was hanging from the body so that shows the damage the .17 hmr can do. I have shot various .22 in lr, rim fire and hornet but they were all on the target no animals sadly. So I’m not really sure what it could do as a hunting rifle. I’ve had a couple of buddies who have shot duikers with a .22 lr and another who has shot one with a .22 hornet. The ranges that I would be shooting animals will probably be between 50 yards to 100 yards (birds) and 100 yards to 300 yards (small game). So what are your guys recommendations?
     
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  12. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    @fourfive8 Some of the early European .22 Hornet rifles had 1 in 16.5" twist rates. A departed friend of mine, Din Collings, had a Walther that would not shoot, so he measured the twist rate, 1 in 16.5"! As a gunsmith, he used his connections with Winchester to purchase several large cartons of .22 WMR projectiles made 'across the ditch' in Australia. They worked perfectly in his Walther and also in various customers' Brno ZKW 465 rifles.
     

  13. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Yes, IIRC since it's been almost 30 years, the main problem with some Hornets is the twist. I tried a really wide variety of loads and bullets in the attempt to get each rifle to shoot well. Bullets included: light 40-45 gr .223" and .224 "Hornet" bullets, medium 50-55 gr FBs, even a few 60 grainers. One of the four rifles shot extremely well with all bullets and it did have the 10" twist. One fast twist gun never did shoot well and was always be a mystery. And two of the slow twist Hornets never shot well. The BRNO had a slow twst and it would not shoot even the 40-45 gainers very well. I guess the lesson in the story is the Hornet is a very nice little round but, in my experience, does best with faster twist... so if getting one may be worth it to check twist rate first. :)
     

  14. fsrmg1

    fsrmg1 AH Veteran

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    I have a Browning A-Bolt 22 Hornet that is one of my favorite hunting rifles. It will cover everything you listed out to a readonable range. There is also a good selection of ammo available to find the right load for the job.
     

  15. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    I would run run run away from the 17hmr (and perhaps the 22mag since it's based on the case) at this point in time. I have shot this cartridge almost since its inception. In the good old days you used to be able to average around .5-.75" at 100 yards when conditions were calm. The ammo quality has gone to crap though. Today I experience fail to fire rates from 20%-90% --- that's right, in a box of 50 only 5 would even go off. :eek: Groups at 100 yards are now over 2"

    I am not the only one experiencing these problems. It seems custom rifles are not near as phased as the cheaper rifles. The 2 manufacturers changed either the brass formula or coating because storing rounds over 5 years would split cases (as in the entire case) when fired. I think these problems are associated with that change.

    I have two Marlin rifles I'll give you a real good deal on (y):whistle:
     

  16. Fred Gunner

    Fred Gunner AH Enthusiast

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    I use the .17 HMR exclusively on small to medium fur bearing critters (like the bobcat pictured) I find the 17 HMR does the least amount of damage to the pelts. It’s drops Bobcats, Fox, Raccoons and Coyotes dead in their tracks with a pin hole entrance wound and no exit wound. The CCI A17 Varmint Tip is a hot performer. A full 100 fps faster than typical .17 HMR ammunition of the same weight the 17 grain A17 Varmint Tip bullet is designed for rapid expansion delivering full impact energy to the target. Bonus: they don't bleed all over you when your carrying them out of the woods. fullsizeoutput_3ee.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018

  17. Alexandro Faria

    Alexandro Faria AH Enthusiast

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    Just a word of caution, would not like to be using a .22 anything on baboons... But what about something like a .223 rather? Cheap ammo, FMJ's easy to come by and you can load 75gr GS/Rhino for bigger things (springbok, duiker etc). Alternatively, the 6x45?? Just giving a bit of variety. OF the 2 you suggest, go with the .22 Hornet, the .17 will blow up your frankies/guineas quite badly.

    Side note, I assume you're shooting in RSA, just remember that it is ILLEGAL to shoot game birds with a centre/rimfire rifle... Just a thought.
     

  18. Ayaan Jakhura

    Ayaan Jakhura AH Member

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    Well actually I mainly shoot in Zambia and Malawi (you have to acquire a bird license in Malawi.) in these countries you are allowed to shoot birds with any kind of gun.
     

  19. Alexandro Faria

    Alexandro Faria AH Enthusiast

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    Ah, my apologies. Enjoy it, then!
     

  20. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    I would still opt for the .222. It is a great cartridge and extends your reach a bit. Both the .22 hornet and the 17HMR are going to be maximum 150 yard guns. I have owned a 17HMR and was not impressed with it. I sold it because anytime a gust of wind more than 3 mph came up my bullets (which weigh little more than pocket lint) would be flying all over the place and it's ammo was crazy expensive for a rimfire. It was accurate on a calm day though. I have also shot a .22 hornet extensively and I would say that it is definitely a better choice than the 17HMR but is still limited to around 150 yards due to the generally light weight of its bullets and low velocity at which it fires them. I have hit woodchucks with both, and hit them good. They are pretty tough to recover if you don't kill them outright, and the hornet and the 17HMR didn't maintain the best accuracy on windy days. I lost quite a few and finally borrowed my dad's .222 with 50 grain bullets handloaded to around 2900 fps. Almost any central body hit (which were so easy with that gun out to 250 yards, it felt like no challenge at all) would drop them on the spot and they wouldn't move. I only lost one woodchuck with the .222 and that was my fault, then I moved to .223 just because I get all the free brass I want at the range. I would say between the two you mentioned, the .22 hornet will get the job done better, especially if you hit bone or are beyond 70 yards on a windy day. I would however, still say a .222 is your best bet and will be more versatile.
     

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