Which is the best scope for 17 HMR? After personally testing a handful of 17HMR scopes and firing several rounds through them, I believe I have the answer.
From the various scopes I tested, I settled on six. And the best part is each one of these six has something different to offer, so you should find one that suits you.
Without further ado, here are my best 17hmr scopes.
Why Trust Me
But first, should you trust me? Well, being a proud owner of a 17 HMR, a Savage 93R17, I know how frustrating it is to look for a decent 17hmr scope.
In fact, I spent a lot of time and money searching for the right scope for my rifle. And let’s just say all the online reviews I read were not helpful.
The same goes for all the YouTube videos I watched trying to figure out which scope I should get.
That being said, I do hope you find the right 17hmr scope for your rifle.
Quick Comparison Of Top Picks
FOV @ 100 YDS
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube...
24.7 - 8.4 ft
Vantage IR Riflescope 4-16x50 AO, 1", Rimfire .17HMR...
46.6 - 14.1 ft
BSA 3-12X40 Sweet 17 Rifle Scope with Multi-Grain Turret
33 - 8.3 ft
Nikon 3-9x40 BDC Reticle Black Riflescope (16558)
BARSKA 6-18x40 mm AO Hot Magnum .17 And .22 Interchangeable...
Why Do You Need a Scope For 17 Hmr?
The .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire, or the 17 HMR as we love calling it, has been around since 2002. The one unique feature of this cartridge is its lightning-fast muzzle velocity.
This cartridge is also slow at shedding speed, meaning you can hit a target from 200 yards out. They offer speed and terminal energy, which makes them ideal for taking down varmints.
To pierce small vital organs on a small animal from 200 yards out, you will need a high-quality scope. This is the main reason you will need to buy a scope for your 17 hmr cartridge.
What about red dots?
So should you use a red dot or reflex sight? Red dots are best suited for short-range shooting or close quarter combat. However, this is not what the 17hmr cartridge is best suited for.
As such, a reflex sight or red dot sight is not the best for the 17hmr cartridge.
What To Consider Before Buying 17 HMR Scopes
The 17HMR is the perfect cartridge for exterminating those pesky varmints that invade our homes. But is this all it’s good for? As a hunter and a gun enthusiast, I have come to appreciate the cartridge’s usefulness in the shooting range.
And with enough practice and a good scope, it is possible to hit targets from 300 yards. Because what it lacks in stopping power, the 17hmr makes up for in long-range and accuracy. But which are the right scopes for 17 hmr?
What you plan on using your .17 HMR chambered rifle will determine the kind of scope to get. However, there are certain basic components to always look at.
Not all scopes are suited for the .17 HMR. In particular, the red dot and reflex sights are not ideal for this cartridge.
A good 17 hmr scope needs to have variable magnification. A variable magnification will allow you to take full advantage of the cartridge’s long-range.
Ideally, I recommend a scope with a magnification of between 3x and 9x or beyond. Depending on how far you want to shoot, you can always go for higher magnification.
The best reticle for a .17 HMR scope is the duplex reticle. This type of reticle has thick crosshair lines that become fine and thin towards the center.
This design makes duplex reticles ideal for sighting targets in low lighting. Range compensation markings are an added benefit given the range and flat trajectory of this cartridge.
These markings help in making adjustments quickly. Bullet Drop Compensation technology will come in handy at 300 yards and beyond. So if you plan on shooting at targets beyond 300 yards, consider this.
Lens and Objective Lens
Due to the range of this cartridge, you will want a scope with excellent light transmission. Therefore, a big objective lens will be a bonus.
Personally, 40mm is the smallest objective lens size I can buy for a .17 hmr rifle. Of equal importance is the lens coating.
The lenses should at least be multicoated to avoid glare. Of course, if you can I recommend sticking with fully multicoated optics.
Weight And Size
One of the good things about .17 HMR is that recoil is not an issue. That being said, the best scope for 17 hmr should be lightweight. However, it still needs to be tough enough to survive the occasional knocks and bumps.
Aluminum scopes achieve the balance between weight and toughness really well. So, go for scopes built from aluminum, and if you can get one crafted using aircraft-grade aluminum, the better.
How a scope is made will have a big impact on its durability and performance. Aluminum is the most common material used in the making of scopes.
However, magnesium alloy is also used to make lightweight scopes. Both these materials are ideal for making the best scope for henry 17 hmr.
Apart from the material, it is also essential that the scope be waterproof and fog proof. This is especially if you plan on using your scope for vanquishing varmints.
Though not as important a factor as the others, having adjustable turrets is a plus. For outdoor shooting, consider a scope with low profile turrets. On the other hand, for target practice, a high-profile turret will be a plus. In essence, the kind of turrets will depend on your shooting environment.
Eye box and eye relief
One of the best things about the 17hmr is its low recoil. As such, eye relief is not such an essential aspect as it is with other cartridges. Some other cartridges will require an eye relief of at least 3 inches.
With the 17 hmr, a 2.5-inch eye relief is enough. Eye box, which is the wiggle room you have for eye placement, is an essential factor to consider. The eye box should not be less than .5 inches.
When it’s less than .5 inches, it can be frustrating because of the slow target acquisition.
Reviews Of 6 Best Scopes For 17 HMR
As we have already established the .17 hmr excels at long range. And since it used to kill small game or rodent like animals the scope you pair it with will have to be suited for long range sighting. Below are six of the best scope for .17 hmr.
Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope
The Bushnell banner dusk and dawn multi-x riflescope is a budget option for your 17hmr rifle. So what does it offer?
With a 3-9x variable magnification range, it is an all-purpose riflescope. For the most part, you should be able to pick out targets from between 400 and 600 yards. This lines in perfectly with the long-range capabilities of the 17hmr.
While it is offered as a budget option, it does feature multicoated optics. The lenses also have a special dusk and dawn coating. This technology added brightness for low light shooting and paired with the 40 mm objective lens will have no problem at dusk or dawn.
You also get a second focal plane Multi-x reticle. The latter is a standard duplex reticle with no fancy markings to distract your aim. It is what you would expect from a standard scope.
The second focal plane nature of the reticle means its size does not change when you increase the magnification. This is important for long-range target acquisition.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane
At first glance, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II looks very plain and ordinary. This is not surprising, given the Crossfire line is Vortex’s entry-level line of scopes. However, this entry-level scope is quite suited to the long-range sighting. A V-plex style duplex reticle makes target acquisition from great distances easy.
The large 44mm objective lens sucks in enough light to let you sight a target from long distances. It is complemented by a variable magnification of between 4 and 12X. This kind of magnification is suited for medium to the long-range sighting.
Though it lacks fully multicoated lenses, I did not find anything wrong with its multicoated lenses considering its price. The multicoated lenses reduce glare and light reflection for clear image quality in all light conditions.
It has a long eye relief and comes with a fast-focus eyepiece, which is essential for hunting small games as they run fast. With this fast-focus eyepiece, you can quickly focus your target with their movement.
We all know how much effort vortex put into their glassing technology for accurate and sharp images. With layers of anti-reflective and multicoated lens, this Vortex Optics Crossfire II can produce amazing bright and clear views. It has 60 MOA max elevation adjustment.
If you hunt from long-range or even short-range, the Dead-Hold BDC reticle works tremendously, and you will find it handy in such situations. And Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane comes with dead hold BDC reticle.
Hawke Sports Optics Vantage 4-16x50AO .17 HMR IR Riflescope
The Hawke Sports Optics Vantage is another that excels at long range. With its large 50mm objective lens, it offers excellent light transmission. This, coupled with its unique reticle with illuminated aim points, makes it ideal for the .17 hmr.
A monotube chassis built from a magnesium alloy houses all the scopes internal lenses. I found the illumination points to be very useful. With five brightness levels, they contribute to the overall excellence of the reticle.
As for its magnification, the scope features a 4-16x magnification. This magnification does not reduce the scope’s field of view (FOV) as it is paired thanks to the 50mm objective lens. At 100 yards, the FOV stands at 23.6 ft at 4x magnification. When you increase it to 16x, the FOV decreases to about 6.2ft.
The inclusion of ¼ MOA fingertip turrets is a plus. The low profile turrets are suited for outdoor activities. The best thing about the turrets is that you can adjust them quickly without added tools.
BSA 3-12X40 Sweet 17 Rifle Scope with Multi-Grain Turret
Compared to the other two scopes above, the BSA Sweet 17 Riflescope is smaller. However, its performance is not compromised. Its smaller 40mm objective lens pairs well with the maximum 12x magnification range. The fully multicoated optics and fast focus eyepiece give it an edge over the Vortex Crossfire.
According to BSA, this riflescope designed explicitly for .17 HMR, Featuring side focus/ Adjustable parallax. This adjustable parallax is a handy feature that ensures the optimal performance of your Bullet. You can perfectly calibrate your shots down range by the side focus / adjustable parallax.
When I mounted it onto my A17, I found it to be a very reliable scope. The illuminated crosshairs make sighting targets at dawn easier. Also, I found its picture quality to be better than that of most of its competitors.
When it came to the adjustable turrets, they are high profile. Meaning I would recommend it for hunting small game only. Nevertheless, the high profile turrets have been calibrated for the .22LR, .223, 30-06, and the .17 hmr. This makes it the best scope for 17 hmr savage on my list. Check the list of best scopes for 22 long-range rifles and the 30 06 rifle scopes if you have these rifles on your arsenal.
The zero rest windage and elevation adjustment require an allen wrench to reset to zero, which is not all bad as it holds zero really well. So finally, with lots of pros and few cons, I can definitely tag this BSA Sweet 17 as one of the best 17 hmr scopes.
BARSKA 6-18x40 mm AO Hot Magnum .17 And .22 Interchangeable 30/30 Rifle Scope
If you were to search for the best 17 hmr scopes online, the BARSKA 6-18x40mm would be one of your results. Designed specifically for the 17hmr, it is offered at a considerably lower price point than some of its competitors. But it maintains the high quality that BARSKA is known for.
Finger adjustable turrets have been included in this scope to allow for quick adjustments in the field. Of course, the .17 hmr might not require adjustment for up to 200 yards, but the
adjustment turrets really become useful beyond that. With this scope mounted on my plinking rifle, I was able to hit a target from 300 yards. And at that range, I found the adjustable turrets to be useful for factoring in elevation.
The 6-18x magnification truly excels at long range. In fact, this magnification range is only suited for long-range sighting. I was a little disappointed with the 40mm objective lens and would have preferred a 50mm or at the very least a 42mm. All the same, the 40mm is still big enough to provide ample light for long-range.
Multicoated optics deliver a decent optical performance. And at its price, it is unlikely that you will find another with this kind of performance.
Hawke Sports Optics Vantage 4-12x40 AO 17HMR IR Riflescope
Another Hawke Sports optics designed for the .17 HMR is the 4-12x40mm IR Riflescope. As its name suggests it sports an illuminated reticle. And similar to its bigger brother, this reticle has five brightness levels. The illuminated aiming points allow you to paint your target in different light conditions.
On the other hand, the variable magnification is designed for long-range shooting. The maximum 12x magnification allows you to get up close and personal to your target. The 40mm objective lens it paired with is not as impressive as its larger sibling’s 50mm lens. Nonetheless, it does prove more than capable in low light.
As with its bigger brother, this scope boasts of fully multicoated optics. The fully multi-coated lenses deliver a sharp image quality even in low light. As for the adjustable turrets, they are low profile. Adjusting elevation and windage is possible with the turrets.
I love the fact that the scope comes inclusive of 2 piece weaver medium mounting rings. Not many scopes in its price range come with mounting rings. To round everything up, it is fog proof and waterproof. Also, unlike its older sibling, this scope is fashioned out of aluminum.
Nikon 3-9x40 BDC Reticle Black Riflescope (16558)
Ask anyone which is the best scope for Ruger 17 hmr, and their answer will most probably be the Nikon 3-9×40 BDC Reticle Black Riflescope. This beloved riflescope is suited to a wide array of shooting applications and guns. This versatility has earned it a place amongst the most popular scopes in use today.
Where the pro staff really shines is in the optics. Fully multicoated lenses are hard to come by in the under $200 price point. Thus, the fact that this scope has fully multicoated lenses is a testament to its exceptional quality. And that’s not all, the 3-9x magnification might not seem like much, but it does offer versatility.
Unlike the magnifications of other scopes on my list, this one has magnification suited for both medium and long-range shooting.
In essence, you can take this scope with you out in the field to hunt and also take it to the gun range to sharpen your marksmanship. Another essential feature of this scope is the BDC reticle. The reticle allows you to accommodate Bullet Drop off up to 600 yards. And with the see-through ballistic circles, it is ideal for long-range.
I am very particular about the scopes I buy for my guns. That’s why I put in a lot of research time finding the best scope for 17 hmr. There are very many scopes marketed as being suited for this cartridge.
However, I rarely rely on the manufacturer’s word alone. Based on my analysis, these six are best suited for the 17hmr. Given the flat trajectory shooting and small size of the .17 hmr, a powerful variable magnification scope is recommended. However, too much magnification is not as good as it may reduce a scope’s field of view.
Therefore, I advise sticking to 16x and below. Anything beyond this will result in a heavy riflescope. Also, a small objective lens is not recommended for this cartridge. As a rule of thumb, anything below 40mm will not be ideal for the kind of distance the .17 hmr is famous for.
About The Author:
Lake Streeter, A Gun enthusiast, and loves to hunt in the middle of the wood. Always check the latest hunting gears out in the market and try to share his honest opinion with the audience in OUTDOOR EVER.