Do You Want the Best Scope for 17 HMR Cartridge? (2018)

Say goodbye to the infuriating pests that dig up your yard, destroy your garden, and threaten your livestock.

As a small varmint vanquisher, the .17 HMR cartridge boasts several abilities that make it a homesteader and hunter favorite. While it delivers ethical kills and powerful close-range shots, its flat trajectory makes it suitable for long-range too.

Although it’s more expensive than the .22 caliber, that extra cash buys you higher rates of accuracy. When you compare the .17 HMR and .22 LR rounds side-by-side, the differences are obvious before you even load them.

Let’s take a closer look at the .17 HMR:

17 HMR Specs

With this caliber, you have options to choose from without being overwhelmed. While it’s normally known as a varmint round, it’s breaking out into competitive shooting too.

So how did it become so popular?

The Story

In 2002, Hornady was on a mission to recreate the feel of 5mm RMR. Its barrels and ammo had been discontinued due to low availability. After making some adjustments to the .22 Magnum, they brought the .17 HMR onto the market.

Though there is room for improvements, it still outshines the competition. After its modest beginning as an underrated ammo, the 17 HMR is quickly rising to the top.

If you’re just starting to use 17 HMR for the first time, or coming back to it, you’ve probably noticed there’s something missing.

What’s a Rifle Without a Scope?

How often do you find yourself failing to get rid of those pests in your yard once and for all? That groundhog was just right there and you couldn’t make the shot.

With the best scope for 17 HMR ammo, your yard, garden, and livestock will always be protected.

As much as you like your range buddies, you can’t always trust their opinion. Since buying the wrong scope can be an expensive mistake, we did all the hard work for you!

Here’s our favorite scopes that work wonders with your 17 HMR stash:

Best Short-to-Mid Range ScopeNikon P-RIMFIRE 2-7x32mm BDC 150
Best All-NighterBushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X
Best Mid-to-Long RangeVortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32mm
Best Hunter’s ScopeNikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm
Best Long-Range ScopeBSA Sweet 17 3-12x40mm
Best Extreme Long-Range ScopeBARSKA 6-18x40mm AO Hot Magnum

1. Nikon P-RIMFIRE 2-7x32mm BDC 150

Nikon P-RIMFIRE BDC 150 Rifle Scope

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 15.5-in Length | Weight: 1.1-lb | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Rapid Action Turret (RAT) system
  • Eco-Glass Lens
  • Accurate up to 150 yards

CONS:
  • Many desire more magnification

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Do you try to avoid harmful chemicals in your everyday products? Now you can add your scope to that list too!

As if Nikon isn’t in the top tier of optics innovation, they’ve taken it a step further. Of all the .17 HMR scopes you can find, it’ll be difficult to find another brand name without lead and arsenic.

Yes, you heard that right. By cleaning up their lens coating, the view is even clearer as well.

When you sight in past 100 yards, the rapid action turret (RAT) system will give you an exact shot with nearly zero blur. You can dial in elevation up to 600 yards, but trust its unwavering accuracy for up to 150 yards. Up to this point, the BDC reticle will guide your way.

If you’re still unsure or can’t seem to zero in just right, Nikon offers another layer of helpful technology. Their Spot-On app lets you get the perfect shot every time straight from your phone!

Unfortunately, this scope is not meant for long-range shots. Despite its many praises, there are plenty of fans that wish for this same scope with greater power.

As long as you stay within its limitations, it’ll hold true as the heritage scope you’d pass along the family line.

Is It the One for You?

While this isn’t the cheapest scope on the list, the price isn’t outrageous either. If this one knocks you over budget just a hair, it’s worth making an exception.

In return, you’ll get an eco-friendly scope with the excellent quality you’d expect from Nikon. On the other hand, long-range style shooters should keep scrolling.

IT'S FOR ME!


2. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9x40mm Multi-X Reticle

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief, 3-9X 40mm

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 16.2-in Length | Weight: 13 oz. | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Lightweight
  • DDB Multi-Coat Lens
  • Economic Price

CONS:
  • No Parallax Adjustment
  • Quality Control Issues

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If you want to bring home dinner, you should be out hunting when the game is grazing.

Unfortunately for some, that often happens in the early hours of the morning and evening.

Without the right kind of lens and coating, it’ll be hard to get a good image.

With hunters like you in mind, Bushnell paired their already astounding optics with a Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) multi-coat. Since it’s on a 40mm objective lens, you can see at higher powers longer into the night.

Unlike some other scopes, your reticle won’t fade away into the evening or wash out in the day. Bushnell’s Multi-X reticle is thicker on the outer edges to help you find the center quickly. Then the center crosshairs are finer to guarantee the most precise aiming.

While the eye relief is only 3.3-in, that’s still an appropriate amount of space for .17 HMR recoil. However, if your rifle has some feisty recoil, this might not be enough to protect your brow.

Otherwise, the only downside to this scope is the lack of parallax adjustment. Unlike other scopes, we don’t think there’s another feature to compensate for this. Then again, parallax is a small sacrifice to gain such huge savings with this scope’s economic price.

Is It the One for You?

Are you an avid hunter that loves a good deal? You’ve hit the jackpot.

With Bushnell’s DDB multi-coat, the sun won’t rule your schedule any longer. You can go out earlier and stay up later without skipping down from higher magnifications. Though it lacks extra features, none of that will matter when you hear that deer steak sizzling on the grill.

IT'S FOR ME!


3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32mm

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 3-in Length | Weight: 13.6-oz. | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Simple Controls
  • Fast Focus Eye Piece
  • Reticle Options

CONS:
  • Not meant for fast shooting
  • Somewhat bulky

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Beginners and experts alike love simplicity and versatility in the best 17 HMR scope.

You’ll find that target quick with a sharp view using the fast focus eyepiece. Adjust it at a moment’s notice while you appreciate the crisp image. Anti-reflective, multi-coat lenses reduce haze and increase light transmission to bring you a vivid experience.

While you’re closing in on the target, you’ll notice the second focal plane (SFP). Since this scope is ideal for mid-to-long range shooting, the focal plane is a warm compliment.

However, the reticle you use in this plane doesn’t have to be a plain Jane crosshair. Of course, if that’s what you like, that option is available too in form of the Dead-Hold BDC.

Otherwise, you can also choose between the V-Plex and V-Brite. They’re all-purpose reticles made for all environments, weather, and light conditions. Since the V-Brite is the illuminated version of the V-Plex, you’ll get an extra boost with 11 different illumination options

Our only warning is that it’s a little bit bulky and awkward to handle. While it’s something you could adjust to using, it will take some practice at first.

Is It the One for You?

Are you about to embark on your first .17 HMR adventure, or perhaps your very first scope experience? Even during your first time, you’ll feel like an expert with this scope on your rifle.

The number of features aren’t overwhelming, but present enough to offer ample support. Learning should be straightforward and enjoyable, which is exactly what you’ll get with this Vortex Crossfire!

IT'S FOR ME!


4. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC

Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40mm BDC 1in Waterproof Matte Black Riflescope

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 12.3-in Length | Weight: 13.1 oz. | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Retains Zero Easily
  • Maximum light transmission
  • Open BDC Markers

CONS:
  • Tight Eye Box
  • No Parallax Adjustment

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Nikon and Buckmasters joined forces to bring you a .17 HMR scope with vision so clear, illumination is unnecessary!

When you take your first peek, you’ll notice a tight fit in the eye box but appreciate all of the compensation. This includes open BDC marks set across a wide field of view that provide full confidence in your aim.

Too bad there’s nothing like this for that guy a few urinals down!

Before you get this crisp image with maximum light transmission, there’s one hang-up in the mounting process. Since the diameter is larger than average, you will have to use tall scope rings for most rifles.

After this small fix, you can sight in quick with the fast focus eyepiece and trust it to hold your zero. Even though there’s no parallax adjustment, the glass quality reduces need for it.

Don’t believe us? Come back after you hit that 600-yard bullseye and see if you feel the same.

Is It the One for You?

Affordable, accurate, and brightly lit. What else could you want in a mid-to-long range scope?

As a fan favorite among large game hunters, you can rely on it to blast out clean, ethical kills all day. Thanks to the fantastic light transmission, you can keep on going through the evening too!

IT'S FOR ME!


5. BSA 3-12x40mm Sweet 17

BSA 3-12X40 Sweet 17 Rifle Scope with Red, Green and Blue Illuminate Glass Etched Reticle and Multi-Grain Turret

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 13.5-in Length | Weight: 1.2 lb.| MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Designed for .17 HMR
  • Parallax-free 10 yards to infinity
  • Illuminated option available

CONS:
  • Tricky to sight in
  • Short eye relief

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Mounting is a breeze when you have a scope made exactly for your rifle. That’s what makes this scope so sweet.

Then for long-range shooters, it gets even better. With a large 40mm objective lens, you can work with higher powers longer and enjoy a wide field of view. You’ll also get a healthy weight to give you the sturdy feel you want.

That same satisfaction extends to the reticle too. It’s simple, uncluttered, and doesn’t fade or wash out in harsh light conditions. Even when you aim in for the long shot, the reticle is unencumbered by parallax from 10 yards to infinity.

However, this only happens after a tricking process of sighting it just right. Many complain about this frustrating process, but the resulting image is worth all of the trouble.

Otherwise, the only downside is a shorter-than-average eye relief. While it’s not too bad at lower powers, it can get uncomfortable at 9x and above.

Is It the One for You?

If you prefer a long-range style and want to explore lesser-known brands, you’ll love the Sweet 17. End your search for the rising star underdog here.

Since it’s made just for your .17 HMR rifle, there won’t be anything you can’t conquer. Discover that sweet sensation you can only get from a dead-on bullseye far, far away.

IT'S FOR ME!


6. BARSKA 6-18x40mm AO Hot Magnum

BARSKA 6-18x40 mm AO Hot Magnum .17 And .22 Interchangeable 30/30 Rifle Scope

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 15.6-in Length | Weight: 1.28-lb | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • Interchangeable between .17 and .22
  • 30/30 reticle
  • AO parallax adjustment

CONS:
  • High Turrets
  • Short eye relief

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Competitive shooters are starting to come around to the .17 HMR, and this scope will win them the gold.

While its extreme distance is not ethically appropriate for clean kills, it’ll win you a few bets at the range. With a 30/30 reticle that’s wide at the edges and narrow in the middle, you’ll never lose your center. Not to mention, eerily precise shooting too.

Since it’s made just for .17 HMR, you’ll never have to second-guess your shot either. In fact, it’s interchangeable on your .22 rifles too!

However, the high turrets can be awkward and take some time to get good practice. Otherwise, once you’re used to them, the clicks are crisp and reassuring! Our only other complaint is the weirdly short eye relief of 3”. For a rifle that’s made to go extreme distances, it should be at least 4”.

Beyond those two minor downfalls, this scope looks good on your gun and makes you look good at the range!

Is It the One for You?

If you’re an extreme long-range hunter, you can’t go without this scope! It’s versatile, interchangeable between .22 rifles, and it’ll help you break some new shooting records while you’re at it!

IT'S FOR ME!


That’s NOT All, Folks!

Whoever knew that one cartridge could do so much! That’s exactly why it’s a hunter and homesteader’s prime choice. After packing a lot of power and a lot of features into this list, it’s almost hard to choose just one!

Which one are you fantasizing about mounting right now? Make it a reality today and improve your game with the best scope for 17 HMR cartridges.

You’ll never hunt the same way again.

Do you want to see more scopes for your other rifles (or how to choose a scope)? We have plenty! Check them out below.

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