The .17 HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) and .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) are both rimfire cartridges used for varmint hunting, small game, and target shooting. While they share similarities, there are notable differences between the two. Here's a comparison:
Caliber and Bullet Design:
- .17 HMR: The .17 HMR has a bullet diameter of .17 inches (4.5mm) and typically uses lightweight polymer-tipped bullets in the range of 17 grains. These bullets are known for their high velocity and flat trajectory.
- .22 WMR: The .22 WMR has a bullet diameter of .22 inches (5.7mm) and typically uses bullets weighing between 30 and 50 grains. The bullets have a larger diameter and heavier weight compared to the .17 HMR.
Velocity and Energy:
- .17 HMR: The .17 HMR is renowned for its high muzzle velocity, usually exceeding 2,500 feet per second (fps). The high velocity results in flatter trajectory and excellent long-range performance. However, the .17 HMR may experience more wind drift due to its lighter bullet.
- .22 WMR: The .22 WMR also has respectable velocity, typically ranging from 1,700 to 2,300 fps, depending on the specific load and barrel length. While not as fast as the .17 HMR, it still offers good performance for its intended purposes.
Accuracy and Ballistics:
- .17 HMR: The .17 HMR is known for its exceptional accuracy and flat trajectory, making it popular for precise target shooting and varmint hunting at medium ranges.
- .22 WMR: The .22 WMR also offers good accuracy and is effective for varmint control and small game hunting at moderate distances.
Ammunition Availability and Cost:
- .17 HMR: The .17 HMR ammunition is widely available, and there are various bullet options to choose from. However, due to its specialized nature, the .17 HMR ammunition can be slightly more expensive compared to more common calibers.
- .22 WMR: The .22 WMR ammunition is also readily available and generally less expensive than .17 HMR ammunition.
Recoil and Noise:
- .17 HMR: The .17 HMR produces minimal recoil, which contributes to improved accuracy and ease of shooting.
- .22 WMR: The .22 WMR also has relatively low recoil, making it comfortable to shoot.
When choosing between the .17 HMR and .22 WMR, consider factors such as intended purpose, range, ammunition availability, and personal preferences. The .17 HMR excels in long-range accuracy and flat trajectory, while the .22 WMR offers versatility and effectiveness for varmint hunting and small game at moderate distances.