Best Rifle Scope for 17 HMR – Buying Guide and Reviews
The 17 HMR is a popular cartridge that is widely used for ranges around 100 yards. You definitely need a scope to improve target acquisition at that distance. Which ones are the best rifle scopes for the 17 HMR? Have a look below!
- 1 What are the Basics of a Riflescope for 17 HMR?
- 2 What Magnification do you need for the Typical Use of a Scope for the 17 HMR?
- 3 What are the best scopes for 17 HMR?
- 3.1 BSA Optics Sweet .17 AO Riflescope
- 3.2 BARSKA 6-18x40mm AO Hot Magnum Scope
- 3.3 Hawke Vantage IR 4-12×40 .17 Rimfire Riflescope
- 3.4 Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
- 3.5 Simmons Truplex 3-9x32mm Riflescope
- 3.6 Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC 2-7x32mm Rimfire Reticle Riflescope
- 3.7 Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire 2-7X32 Matte BDC150
- 3.8 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Riflescope
- 3.9 Leupold VX-3i 1.5-5x20mm Riflescope
- 4 Final Thoughts – Best Scope for your 17 HMR
- 5 Share It!
What are the Basics of a Riflescope for 17 HMR?
Commonly called the 17 HMR, the 17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire is a rifle cartridge created in 2002. The 17 HMR round is made by decreasing the size of a .22 Magnum case for .17 caliber projectiles.
The developers wanted to create a cartridge to replace the obsolete 5mm Remington Magnum Rimfire (RMR). Produced between 1970 and 1974, the 5mm RMR was the fastest rimfire round produced.
The 17 HMR quickly became a favorite for a variety of uses from plinking and target shooting to hunting. The accuracy of the 17 HMR makes it popular for hunting varmints, deer, and coyotes.
The design was refined over the years. Compared to the 22-caliber rounds it was based on, the 17 HMR offers higher velocity and flatter trajectory. The result is a cartridge that’s a great choice for long-range shooting.
How Accurate is a 17 HMR – Does the Best Scope extend the range?
Rifles that use 17 HMR rounds are accurate up to 100 yards, depending on the conditions. The best scopes can extend the range up to 200 or more yards.
Finding the best scopes depends on the range. For close ranges, you do not need parallax adjustments. However, a fast-focus eyepiece is still useful for quickly targeting your shot when varmint hunting.
The medium-range with a 17 HMR rifle is up to 200 yards. With this range, it helps to have a larger objective lens size that the best scopes come equipped with. The larger lens increases light transmission, which is needed when you start magnifying your view. Lens sizes for most 17 HMR scopes range between 32mm and 42mm.
For medium to long-range shooting, the best scope should offer convenient adjustments for windage and elevation. This becomes more important as you increase the distance to your shot.
The reticle depends on the range and target. Use a reticle with bullet drop compensation (BDC) for long-range shooting and hunting. When hunting small animals or deer, you may deal with shorter ranges and require a basic crosshair on the best scopes for lining up your shot.
What Magnification do you need for the Typical Use of a Scope for the 17 HMR?
2-7x magnification should cover most typical uses with a rifle loaded with .17 HMR rounds. For shorter ranges, you typically do not need a lot of magnification. With 2x magnification, objects about 50 yards away appear closer to 25 yards.
Fixed or Variable Magnification?
If you only intend on using the rifle for close-range shots, a fixed magnification scope may meet your needs. A 2x or 4x scope provides enough magnification for hunting small varmint at short distances.
Variable magnification scopes may range from 1-5x to 4-12x. 2-7x and 3-9x are the two most common configurations, which should cover close-range and medium-range targeting.
For long-range distances beyond 200 yards, a more powerful scope may be needed, such as a 4-12x variable scope.
Keep in mind that the field of view (FOV) gets smaller as you magnify the image. A smaller FOV often makes it harder to track fast-moving targets such as coyotes. For long-range and high magnification, look for the best scopes with a larger FOV.
With a 3-9x variable scope, you may get a FOV of about 30 feet with the lowest magnification setting and seven or eight feet with full magnification. However, some options may offer slightly larger or smaller views.
The size of the target also impacts the ideal magnification level. If you plan on hunting small animals at medium range, consider using slightly higher magnification, such as 12x or higher magnification instead of 9x.
The quality of the glass will affect the clarity at higher magnification levels. When shopping for 12x or 16x scopes, ensure that the scope has high-quality glass with optimal coatings. This improves sharpness and reduces blurring around the edges of the reticle.
What are the best scopes for 17 HMR?
After reviewing the main features, the following options stand out as the best scope for 17 HMR rifles.
BSA Optics Sweet .17 AO Riflescope
The BSA Optics Sweet .17 AO Riflescope is one of the most affordable scopes for 17 HMR cartridges. It provides the standard 3-9x magnification range and a fully waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof tube.
The 3-9x magnification range is common for 17 HMR rifles, offering a versatile solution for any distance.
The BSA Sweet .17 Scope comes with a 40mm adjustable objective lens. That size gets more light transmission compared to the 32mm lenses found on some models. The extra light helps keep the image clear when dealing with cloud cover or limited lighting.
The lens is adjustable. This allows you to adjust the focus for increased sharpness after adjusting the magnification level or targeting at a different distance. The eye relief is on the lower end of the spectrum at 3 inches.
The scope has a one-inch tube. As with most scopes, it is nitrogen purged and sealed to protect against moisture and shock.
The BSA Sweet 17 is made for weaver mounts instead of Picatinny rails. This is important as it does not come with mounting rings.
The lenses on the BSA Sweet 17 are fully coated but not with multiple coats. All sides of the lens are coated to reduce glare and provide a fuller spectrum of colors. However, only a single layer is applied. You may notice that the clarity decreases dramatically in limited light surroundings. This is common with budget scopes such as the BSA Optics Sweet Rifle Scope.
- Comes at an affordable price for a decent scope
- Provides a versatile range for a variety of uses
- Includes an adjustable lens
- Loses clarity in dim light
- Does not come with covers or mounting equipment
BARSKA 6-18x40mm AO Hot Magnum Scope
With the BARSKA 6-18x40mm Rifle Optic, you receive relatively clear optics without needing to spend a lot of money. It is a low-cost, entry-level scope with a wide magnification range making it suitable for long-range shooting.
The 6-18x magnification range allows you to test the limits of your 17 HMR rifle. 18x is more than enough magnification for long-range shooting. However, the 6x magnification level may be awkward for close-range shooting.
Overall, the configuration is best suited for the distance between 100 and 300 yards. It also comes with bullet drop technology with pre-calculated trajectory compensation for those ranges.
The lenses have multiple layers of coats. The clarity and performance are decent for this price point but inferior compared to some of the high-end scopes.
The scope comes with interchangeable turrets. You can easily change the turrets for .17-caliber rounds or .22-caliber rounds.
The viewing field is limited with this scope. You get a 14.5-foot FOV with low magnification at 100 yards. With full magnification, the FOV is only 4.5 feet. You may struggle to scan your perimeter or track moving targets. Eye relief on the Barska scope is 3.1 inches which could end up being a little low for some setups.
- Low-cost scope
- Lens caps and cleaning cloths included
- An adjustable lens that helps you focus at any range
- Interchangeable turrets for .17 or .22 rounds
- The FOV is small, making it hard to track moving targets
- The scope lacks clarity at full magnification
Hawke Vantage IR 4-12×40 .17 Rimfire Riflescope
The Hawke Vantage IR Riflescope provides a good overall value, thanks to its 11-layer fully multi-coated lenses, parallax correction, and reliable performance.
The Hawke Vantage IR Riflescope has 4-12x magnification and an adjustable objective lens. It is well suited for use at almost any range with a 17 HMR rifle.
The Vantage scope includes a reticle designed specifically for .17 HMR cartridges. The aim points for bullet drop compensation are set for distances between 100 yards and 350 yards. The eye relief on this scope is 3.5″ which is sufficient.
The reticle is illuminated, helping to increase accuracy when your target is in front of a dark landscape. The combination of high-quality lens coatings and an IR reticle ensures that you get a clear image in dim light environments.
The crosshairs are a little thin. Even when illuminated, you might struggle to see the lines. If you have limited eyesight, you may need a scope with thicker markings.
The rifle optic comes equipped with everything that you need except for the mounting rings. It includes lens covers, a lens cloth, and a battery for the IR reticle.
To adjust for windage and elevation, the scope has low-profile turrets with 1/4 MOA clicks. The adjustments reset to zero after sighting in. The eyepiece also stays focused when changing magnification.
- Affordable price for a scope with quality glass and lens coatings
- 11 layers of lens coatings to reduce glare and increase light transmission
- A reticle that includes BDC specifically for .17 HMR rounds
- The crosshairs are thin and difficult to see if you have poor eyesight
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
The Leupold VX-Freedom offers crisp images even at full magnification. It is a durable scope but costs a little more compared to other options.
The high-quality Leupold VX-Freedom comes with 3-9x magnification and a 40mm objective lens. The magnification range should suit most situations. It provides a good low-level magnification for close-range shooting while the 9x magnification is more than enough for long-range with a .17 cartridge.
The VX-Freedom is a quality scope with Leupold’s patented Twilight Light Management System. This system adds up to 20 minutes of shooting light at dusk or dawn. It is basically a lens coating that reduces glare and improves light transmission.
The scope includes turrets with 1/4 MOA clicks for windage and elevation adjustments. The turrets are low-profile and finger adjustable. They offer precise adjustments that stay in place even after firing dozens of rounds.
As with most scopes, the VX-Freedom is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof. It also has multiple coated lenses made from scratch-resistant material. The optic is made from aircraft-quality aluminum. These features protect the scope against the elements, decreasing the risk of damage.
- Quality light transmission improves clarity in dim light settings
- The turrets are low-profile, keeping them from snagging on clothes or gear
- The turrets are easy to adjust and have clear markings
- Generous eye relief up to 4.17 inches
- It is relatively expensive compared to other options
- The Tri-MOA reticle is a little small, depending on your preferences
Simmons Truplex 3-9x32mm Riflescope
The Simmons Truplex 3-9x32mm Riflescope is a budget optic suitable for first-time hunters and experienced marksmen. It offers surprisingly clear optics for a low-cost scope.
The Simmons 560520 Truplex Riflescope is one of the most affordable options that you can get. It has a 3-9x magnification and a 32mm objective lens. The eye relief, depending on magnification, is around 3 to 4 inches.
The lenses are fully coated but not with multiple layers. Without additional layers to protect against glare, you may notice decreased clarity depending on the lighting.
The scope includes turrets for adjustments based on windage and elevation. The turrets are finger-adjustable and feature audible clicks with 1/4 MOA adjustments.
The Truplex reticle has thick vertical and horizontal lines with extremely thin lines in the center for the crosshairs. If you have poor eyesight, the Truplex reticle may be a little easier to work with compared to some of the Duplex reticles found on comparable models.
Unfortunately, the turrets are not resettable to zero and do not include zero stops. This is a little inconvenient but not a major drawback when you consider the price of the scope.
The FOV is standard, with a 31.4-foot FOV at 3x magnification and a 10.5-foot FOV at 9x magnification.
- A low-cost option for those with limited budgets
- Truplex reticle that is easy to read
- Turrets that are easy to adjust
- The turrets may need readjusting after several rounds
- The optics do not perform well in dim light settings
Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC 2-7x32mm Rimfire Reticle Riflescope
The Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 Rimfire Riflescope comes with several useful features for hunting moving targets, including a fast-focus eyepiece and side-focus parallax adjustment.
The Drop Zone-22 is a reliable scope with 2-7x magnification. It has a 32mm objective lens size and fully multi-coated lenses. It offers a generous 3.7 inches of eye relief.
When fully zoomed in, the scope has a visible field of 17 feet at 100 yards. The impressive FOV and the fast focus eyepiece help you track your game.
The tube is made from durable aluminum alloy and features an anodized finish to protect against the elements. The construction is completely fog-proof and waterproof and includes multiple coatings on the lenses.
The windage and elevation turrets include 1/4 MOA click adjustments. The tube has side-focus parallax adjustment.
The lens includes a BDC reticle. You may not need the BDC reticle for distances of 100 yards or less. However, it helps you maintain accuracy when targeting further distances.
The scope weighs about 19.6 ounces. With mounting rings, the weight is closer to two pounds. The weight of the scope may become uncomfortable during a long hunting trip.
The optics are clear and the large FOV helps you track targets but the sharpness decreases as you adjust the magnification. At 7x magnification, you may notice a blur around the sides of the reticle.
- Affordable price for a quality scope
- Clear optics for a scope in this price range
- Durable design that is suitable for any environment
- The scope is a little heavy and may become uncomfortable in the field
Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire 2-7X32 Matte BDC150
The Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire Riflescope has a compact design and generous eye relief. With 2-7x magnification, it is well-suited for close- to medium-range targeting.
The Nikon P-Tactical Rimfire Riflescope has 2-7x magnification and a BDC 150 reticle intended for use at ranges of 50 to 150 yards. It is a good close-range scope for hunting varmints.
The windage and elevation adjustment turrets are spring-loaded for instant zero resets after sighting in. It also offers generous eye relief. The turrets are clearly marked, making them easy to read during dusk or dawn.
The tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminum. As with most scopes in this price range, it is O-ring sealed to keep moisture from reaching the internal components. It is also nitrogen purged to make it shockproof.
The lenses fully coated in multiple layers and include a 3x zoom ratio. You should receive a crisp, clear image through the reticle at most magnification levels. However, clarity tends to decrease in lower light conditions or full magnification.
The P-Tactical scope measures 11.5 inches long and 1 inch wide. It weighs about 13 ounces.
- It provides a great overall value for your money
- The knurled turrets and zoom ring are easy to adjust
- The elevation and windage adjustments hold zero well
- The exterior matte finish provides superior resistance to surface wear
- Does not offer the magnification needed for long-range shooting
- Does not include lens covers or mounting rings
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Riflescope
The Crossfire II is a popular riflescope from Vortex Optics. It provides one of the best overall values with high-quality optics featuring anti-reflective lens coatings.
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II come with 2-7x magnification. This magnification range with a 17 HMR should work well for hunting or target shooting at up to 200 yards.
The scope has a 32mm objective lens and clear glass. The lenses are fully coated with multiple layers for increased brightness and clarity. These features provide quality light transmission, which helps to maintain a clear image through the reticle.
The clarity remains solid at 300 to 400 yards. You should not notice any blurring or reduction in clarity at full magnification. In low-light settings, you naturally lose sharpness. However, the Crossfire II still gives you a crisp image at dusk or dawn.
The turrets are finger-adjustable, capped reset turrets with MOA clicks. You can easily adjust for windage and elevation and rest to zero after sighting in. The eye relief is three to four inches, depending on the magnification. This is more than enough to keep you from hitting your eye on the scope from the recoil.
The Crossfire II includes a BDC reticle with MOA markings. It is a second focal plane reticle, which may not work well for bullet drop compensation at long ranges. However, the reticle stays large when using lower magnification levels.
- Clear optics even in low light conditions
- SFP reticle that remains large and clear at 2x magnification
- Wide field of view
- Costs a little more compared to the budget scopes
- May not offer the magnification needed for long-range
Leupold VX-3i 1.5-5x20mm Riflescope
The Leupold VX-3i is a high-end scope for hunting small game at close or medium ranges. With the advanced light management system, you get up to 20 extra minutes of light at dusk and dawn.
The VX-3i from Leupold is configured with 1.5-5x magnification and a small 20mm objective lens. While the lens size is small, the scope still offers a wide field of view. The FOV is 68 feet at 100 yards with 1.5x magnification and 23.8 feet with 5x magnification.
The large FOV combined with the Twilight Max Light Management System gives you a clear view through the reticle in low light conditions. Due to the superior optics used in the VX-3i, the image through the Duplex reticle remains clear at any magnification.
The scope is lightweight, weighing just 9.3 ounces. It also has a shorter tube, measuring 9.5 inches. The size and weight make it a good choice for long days in the field. The Leupold VX-3i has a generous eye relief ranging from 3.7 to 4.4 inches.
The tube is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It is tested at depths of 33 feet and various pressure changes. The durability of the Leupold VX-3i is suitable for tough environments and any conditions. It can even perform in extreme temperatures from -40 degrees to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Offers a wide field of view
- Is suitable for close or medium range
- Includes clear optics with fully multi-coated lenses
- Features a durable design and quality craftsmanship
- This is one of the more expensive options
- It does not include lens covers
Final Thoughts – Best Scope for your 17 HMR
The scopes discussed provide a wide range of options for improving accuracy with a 17 HMR rifle. When comparing options, focus on the features that matter most for your intended purpose.
If you plan on hunting, it helps to have a scope that works well in all light conditions. For plinking and casual target shooting, finding a scope with fully multi-coated lenses is not as important.
Fast-focus eyepieces and superior lenses also have less of an impact. However, you still need to pay attention to the magnification.
What is the Best 17 HMR Rifle Scope?
The Leupold VX-3i and Nikon P-Tactical are among the best scopes for shorter distances. For medium ranges between 100 yards and 200 yards, the 3-9x magnification on the Leupold VX-Freedom and Simmons Truplex scopes should work well.
Before picking the best scope for 17 HMR, review the features while focusing on the details that impact your typical uses.
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