The .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) became a widely popular rimfire rifle caliber over the last decade. Most shooters enjoy using it for plinking and varmint hunting. As you would expect, the need for a quality .17 HMR scope was quickly recognized.
There is a myriad of scopes designed for rimfire rifles and range from cheap and useless to some of the best, and expensive, optics available. Now, not all rimfire scopes make proper scopes for .17HMR chambered, and we will also look at characteristics of the best .17HMR scopes.
In this article, we will take a look at the four best scopes for .17HMR chambered firearms. I picked all four choices for the best .17 HMR scopes based on their performance, specs, and affordability.
Here is a summary table of the best scopes for your .17 HMR:
Best Budget Buy
|Barska .17 HMR Riflescope|| ||$129 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Nikon P-Rimfire 2-7X32 Nikoplex|| ||$179 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Nikon Prostaff Target EFR 3-9X40 Rifle Scope|| ||$189 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Leupold VX-2 Rimfire Scope|| ||$899 Shop NowClick to read my review|
The .17 HMR
The .17 HMR was designed in the early 2000s for a better functioning hunting rimfire cartridge as an alternative to the .22. Now, it offers a lot of ballistic advantages compared to the .22 cartridge. Its advantages over the .22 Luger are the following:
- Higher velocity
- A farther range
- Flatter trajectory for more accurate and easier to estimate bullet drop
So, given these advantages, what should you look for in a .17 HMR scope? The answer to that question depends on the shooting you plan on taking part in. Our next section will be a basic buyer’s guide to examine several components to think about when buying the best scope for your .17 HMR.
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The .17 HMR Buyer’s Guide
Regardless of the shooting style, you want a scope that lasts long. You also want a scope that won’t ding and bend when you are in the field. Additionally, aircraft-grade aluminum is the go-to material for the scope body. Unique features are great. But the materials are also important as it’s also determining factor if your scope is durable enough and if it can last long.
Whatever purpose you use the scope for, you need to be fairly resistant to the elements. A hard anodized coating on the body is a big plus. Moreover, you should also look for a scope that has is water and fog-proof. This helps prevent moisture from entering and corroding the interior components. Thus, making your scope efficient during harsh conditions. Furthermore, a well-sealed scope with O-rings helps increase the longevity of the scope’s weather resistance.
It’s best to choose a scope with coated lenses to increase light transmission, reduce glare, and provide a clear and bright field of view. A high-quality scope has lenses equipped with multiple coatings. Higher-end scopes are a little extra, having lenses coated with abrasion-resistant material.
There are hundreds of different reticle designs for modern rifle scopes. But which one is the best for your .17 HMR scope? Well, it’s really a personal preference, but the most popular reticle is the duplex. The duplex reticle is essentially a crosshair. However, the line bases on the edges of the scope are much heavier. Additionally, they taper into finer lines as they approach the center, making lining up targets in low-light conditions much easier.
Duplex reticles with utilizing range compensation markings are also very popular. You won’t need them for most rimfire scopes. However, given the flatter trajectory and increased range of the .17 caliber, quick range adjustment markings on your reticle could be very useful.
Regarding objective power, a .17 HMR scope for varmint hunting needs to be a variable-powered scope. The range of magnification can vary. But with the .17 HMR’s ability to shoot long distances, you are going to want a max magnification of at least 9X.
For target shooting, you can utilize a high-power scope as well. However, it depends on the distances you see yourself taking shots. Given the range of this caliber, you shouldn’t limit yourself to a fixed magnification scope. Additionally, you should look for a variable-powered model.
Having well-designed windage and elevation turrets is a plus for your .17 HMR scope. High-profile turrets are excellent for target shooting. Meanwhile, those looking to slog through the woods and bush might want lower-profile turrets to protect them from getting knocked off. While a .17 caliber doesn’t have a knock-down recoil, extended shooting can knock a poorly designed scope off zero eventually. So it is important to not only have turrets that can be easily adjusted on the fly but also keep that zero shot after shot.
In terms of adjustment, having a scope with ¼ to 1/2 MOA click turns gives you much finer control over the windage and elevation adjustments. It can also be a game-changer for long-distance shooting.
The 4 Best .17 HMR Scope Models
So, with this information in your back pocket, let’s jump into our four best scopes for .17HMR chambered firearms.
With the Barska .17 HMR Rifle Scope, you can get up close with a magnification range of 6-18x and personal with faraway varmints or long-range steel targets. For bright viewing, the scope incorporates multi-coated optics and high-density glass.
It also features an adjustable parallax correcting objective (AO). It has interchangeable parts with knobs for 17 and .22 BDC. You can use this optic on practically any rimfire rifle, giving you a pre-calculated trajectory compensation from 100-300 yards.
The elevation knob on this Barska has been accurately calculated to correct for the elliptical drop of a 17-grain bullet in the 17 HMR. This holds true for a variety of other .22 caliber ammunition as well. In addition, the 30/30 reticle with a second focal plane is excellent for traditional hunting. You’ll enjoy very clear and brilliant visuals because of the multi-coated lenses and wide aim.
This scope features advanced bullet drop technology and is compatible with both 17 HMR and .22 BDC rounds. You’ll also get a 40mm objective lens and 6-18X variable magnification. The adjustment click value for this scope is ¼ MOA. It finishes with black matte material so it is appealing and at the same time it is durable.
Furthermore, this scope has outstanding features. It is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof. Therefore, you can use it in any weather condition. This scope has 3.1 inches of eye relief to help with recoil, and it weighs 20.48 ounces or 580.58 grams. Overall, the Barska .17 HMR rifle scope is an excellent value for the money option for what’s on offer.
- Made for 17HMR rounds
- Bullet drop technology
- Multi-coated optics
- It provides extreme accuracy
- Great value for the money
- Not built in the USA (You might prefer a U.S.-made scope)
The Nikon P-Rimfire scope is an excellent choice for those looking for an exceptional hunting scope for their .17 HMR-chambered firearm.
The 2-7X magnification makes this an excellent scope for both casual target shooting as well as varmint hunting. Additionally, this .17 HMR scope offers a 1/4MOA click hand turn adjustments with audible clicks for adjustments on the fly.
The windage and elevation adjustments are extremely easy to make. Meanwhile, using it in the field with the extended tactical-style turrets is also a breeze on this rimfire scope.
This Nikon P-Rimfire utilizes a clear BDC 150 reticle that features quick elevation adjustment markers in the reticle for quick shot adjustments taking bullet drop into account. In addition, this scope features multi-coated lenses for anti-reflective properties. It also offers optimal light transmission and brightness.
This scope offers generous and consistent eye relief of 3.8 inches. Although, the .17 HMR is not going to produce enough recoil to cause scope eye. Still, it gives you some more options for mounting the scope.
This scope is nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed, making it waterproof and fog proof. Although, some users have had issues with lenses fogging after several trips to the field.
This scope weighs in at 16.1oz and is extremely durable. It will have no problem holding up in the field hunting small game. It has a matte black finish with a standard 1″ tube diameter. The field of view ranges from 22.3-6.4′ at 50 yards.
This is an overall fantastic variable-powered rimfire scope that is perfect for either plinking or hunting small game.
- Variable power
- Easy to adjust turrets
- Fantastic BDC 150 reticle
- Very affordable
- Not the best design for weather resistance
As far as scopes for the 17 HMR go, the Nikon Prostaff Target EFR is one of the best with the variable power between 3-9X magnification and can be effective as both a casual target shooting or hunting scope.
This .17 HMR scope features a quick focus eyepiece that allows you to get on target quickly; this is especially useful when trying to key in on a quick-moving small game you might be chasing.
This scope is parallax-free down to 10 meters, which is not going to be a shot you will find yourself taking if you are using this scope for hunting, so it’s a non-issue. In addition, it also features a clear and crisp precision target reticle with a crosshair design that is easy to line up on the target. The windage and elevation turrets are easy to adjust and are zero reset.
The lenses are multi-coated for anti-reflective properties. These coatings also ensure maximum brightness, contrast, and light transmission.
As any scope worth buying should have, The Nikon Prostaff Target EFR is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. Additionally, the scope has a standard 1-inch tube and a 40-millimeter objective lens. The field of view is between 5.7 to 16.9’ given the magnification at 100 yards. Lastly, this durable scope is also lightweight at 15.7 ounces, with an overall length of 12.5 inches.
- Quick focus eyepiece
- Excellent light transmission
- Great parallax correction
- Very durable body
- More pricey
Leupold is one of the top optic makers in the world, and their VX-2 scope is one of the best scopes for 17 HMR firearms.
It features a duplex reticle with heavier baselines at the perimeter of the lens that taper as they move to the center of the cross-hair for easy target acquisition even in low-light environments.
The lenses are coated with Leupold’s patented coating system that provides superior brightness and clarity coming through the ocular lens.
The windage and elevation turrets are easy to adjust and feature 1/4 MOA finger click adjustments.
This scope is purged and filled with argon and krypton which provides superior waterproof qualities to these scopes.
The VX-2 scope is a variable-powered scope with magnification settings from 3-9X with an objective lens of 33mm. The overall length of the scope is 10.96 inches, and it weighs an incredible 8.8 ounces, a testament to the quality of material used by Leupold that does not sacrifice ruggedness.
This scope features between 4-3 inches of eye relief and has a field of view from 34-13.5 inches at 100 yards.
This might be the best .17 HMR rifle scope that is available on the market today and will perform flawlessly in the field for years. It is a little pricier than the others.
- Very lightweight
- Incredible lens technology
- All around weather resistant
- Higher up in the price range
A scope for .17 HRM-chambered firearms should have a range of magnification settings. In addition, it should also be durable and have quality lenses. But if you’ll ask me, my top pick on this list is the Nikon Prostaff Target EFR 3-9X40 rifle scope. It features quick eye focusing and has a multi-coated lens. For me, its features make it a winner for affordability, functionality, and durability. But if you want a feature-packed, accurate and durable scope while spending a little less, then the Barska .17 HMR Riflescope is an excellent option.
We hope the four best scopes for .17 HMR scopes will benefit you when looking for a high-performing and affordable scope to mount to your .17-chambered rifle.