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Head to head compare of .17HMR and .22 magnum?

3087 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ERIC ROSENBERG
The .17HMR seems to be the hot thing these days, but is it really better than the .22 Magnum? Or is this an apples and oranges kind of thing?
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I'm guessing that the .17 HMR is here to stay, but that its popularity will soon fall off. Claims of devastating hits at fantastic distances drove some of the popularity, as well as the "I've gotta have it 'cause it's new" syndrome. Ammunition is expensive and is sometimes hard to find. People who bought revolvers chambered for it will be sorely disappointed in its performance. I've got a few .22 WMR's and don't use them too often. Revolver performance is terrible, barely better than the .22 LR. Rifle is good, if I need anything faster, I take out the Swift.

If I was looking for a rimfire gun right now and it came down to the .17 HMR or the .22 WMR, for me it'd be the Winchester cartridge (in a rifle), no contest.

On another forum, some people were claiming that the .17 bullet wouldn't hold in the wind. Did a little research, then wrote this.

I’m no fan of the microbore, but one bash laid on it just ain’t so. I see some folks writing that they don’t need the effects of a wind on that “light little bullet”, or that the bullet will “be blown all over the place by a breeze”. Not a good argument.

In calculating wind drift for small arms, the factors used are Time of Flight, Muzzle Velocity, Range and Wind Speed. (A direct crosswind naturally creates the greatest amount of drift). Neither Bullet Weight nor Sectional Density are a direct factor.

Using the formula provided by Speer and plugging in published factory claims for the .17 HMR (17 grains, 2550 fps MV, Hornady), the .22 WMR (34 grains, 2120 fps MV, Winchester and 40 grains, 1910 fps MV, Remington) and using a direct crosswind of 10 mph, results in the following wind drifts at 100 yards. (Approximate, because TOF is approximated, but pretty daggone close).

.17 HMR.....17 grains.....2550 fps.....3.02”
.22 WMR....34 grains.....2120 fps.....4.8”
.22 WMR....40 grains.....1910 fps.....4.75”

So, even though I can come up with a lot of reasons that I don’t want a .17 HMR, wind dancing isn’t one of them.

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Well, that does make sense if you think about it. The wind works better on the greater surface area it has to push against. The bigger the sail, sort of thing. But I would guess there is a point of diminishing returns on something like this. Mass has to account for something.

Still, I think it is an interesting cartridge. Now if I can just get that blasted Remington to shoot at point of aim. I posted in another thread about the problems I am having. I took off the Leupold scope and will mount a Leupold/Gilmore red dot scope in place of it, but it's been raining every day since late Saturday. This weekend I will be in Tampa, so it will likely be mid next week before I can pick this back up again. Rats....
Read the American Rifleman artical about two years ago...."The little round that could"
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