Back in the day with the success of the old school 22 Special, 22 Auto, and finally the 22 WMR (Winchester 22 Magnum). Hornady Manufacturing stepped up and introduced the bottleneck cartridge to rival the 22 Magnum in a brand new 17 caliber cartridge. The new round was therefore dubbed the 17 HMR.
Now some several decades later the 17 HMR has caught on big time among varmint hunters, and as such many users of the 17 HMR are in search of the correct glass sights as matched to this round of ammunition.
In general, unless custom-built the average 17 HMR rifle is on the smaller side of the scale. This means that some massive scopes in both size and power settings need to be considered here, and as a point in fact, being the cartridge is at best an effective 150 yard round, the use of those super scopes for ultra long-range shooting are just not required.
Secondly and back to the range of the cartridge being again the work for it is much closer than the big centerfire rounds the scope glass quality, sub tension complexity, and added extras in the area of etched reticle, etc are just not a part of the subject in this case.
My Picks For 17 HMR Scope
- Best Scopes For The 17 HMR – New Products Updated
- 1. BSA 3-12X40 Sweet 17
- 2. BSA Optics 17SM Super Mag
- 3. Bushnell 3.5-10 X 36mm A17 Rifle Scope
- 4. Vortex Crossfire Ii 2-7×32
- 5. Simmons 309 X 32mm 22 Mag Rifle Scope
- 6. Tract Toric 3-15 X 42 Mm 1/BDC Reticle
- 7. Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7×33 Rimfire MOA Reticle Rifle Scope
- 8. Vortex Optics Copper Head 4-12×44 SFF
- 9. TRuGLO 4x32mm Compact RimFire Scope
Best Scopes For The 17 HMR – New Products Updated
1. BSA 3-12X40 Sweet 17
The BSA scope company has offered a special scope for the 17 HMR that goes back so far that I have and still own one on a beautifully made Ruger M-77 rifle. I was shooting this rifle 15 years ago with this same scope on many ammunition test events into Wyoming on ground squirrel town, and prairie dog lodges.
The Sweet 17 is different from many other scopes in that it retains yardage markets on the elevation turret that will correspond to the weight of the 17 caliber bullet. Want to hit a 125-yard target dead on? Just dial in the exact range on the turret setting and set your crosshairs on the target. No holdover, guesswork, or other related problems prior to sending the bullet down range.
Standard clicks for zero adjustments are set at ¼ MOA. The scope retains a 4” eye relief, and turret calibration for both 17 grain and 20-grain bullets.
Lens are coated for protection, and the power settings are 3-12 magnification.
Because this is not a 500 or more yard scope light issues as in fading and rainbow problems are not prevalent at all. The scope in fact has worked flawlessly for me over the past decade and one half.
Mounted on big rifle bases and rings being the scope is a one-inch tube I have never found it necessary to re-zero the scope at all. Rock solid function using a set of good quality bases and rings on an equally solid receiver.
The tube construction is one piece aluminum, turrents are open for elevation and capped for windage. The 17 can be pulled right or left using a ”gap” sighting system with ease at the closer ranges.
The objective parallax and focus on this scope has again been designed expressly for the 17 HMR.
2. BSA Optics 17SM Super Mag
Here we have another BSA product but this time jacked up to a 4.5-14x44mm sighting system.
This scope retains a ranging reticle for 20 grain and 25 grain bullets as applied to the Winchester Super Mag cartridge. This is a nice sub-tension feature and can be converted with some range time to be used with the 17 HMR. When learned the scope is fast when changing up exact range requirements. However, that stated I like the turret quick set Sweet 17 system myself and I have found it to be very efficient.
The ranging reticle is also set up to pull off target for wind corrections. It is hash marked in two places making remembering your wind drift offset easy.
Parallax settings are 10 yards to infinity. The scope is shockproof and waterproof and carries a full one-year warranty.
The scope is classes as a “ Super Mag “Winchester system but checking the system out it will work well with the 17 HMR with some learning curve involved in where to set the sub-tension hash marks at varied range limits.
This scope just like the Sweet 17 uses a full one piece aluminum tube, high turrets, and marked ¼ MOA graduations for both windage and elevation. This glass will allow the shooter to stretch the range a bit and not require an additional investment to do so.
3. Bushnell 3.5-10 X 36mm A17 Rifle Scope
This smaller and less expensive scope is designed for the HMR round from the deck up. The BDC reticle is set in its sub tensions to meet the ballistics of the HMR cartridge. The power settings are designed to meet the needs of the HMR shooter in that it is not overpowered by fitting the slot created by Hornady when the cartridge was designed.
Capped turrets, long eye relief, and built of a single primary tube. This is a good starter scope for use on Savage HMR bolt actions as well as Ruger American and the older when found M-77 bolt action rifles.
The scope is equipped with the DDB multi-coated dusk to dawn reticle glass and as such will handle light well to the ranges it was intended to be used at.
This scope weighs 15 ounces, uses a tube diameter of 1 inch, runs out a click value of ¼ MOA, and it is dust, water, and shockproof. This is a Banner series scope and a very rough hard working unit in the field.
As just about any name brand scope in the 3X9 pr 2.5 to 7 power is a good match for the 17 HMR, the window is wide open for many different models to enter the picture. The point is that you need to buy the whole farm because you want a single cow. In short, you have about 50 different options to select from.
4. Vortex Crossfire Ii 2-7×32
The smaller compact scope that carries enough magnification to fit the cartridge makes going with the Vortex CF2-31003 a done deal. The scope is O-ring sealed from dust, water, and fog. This glass sight system is designed for heavy use in the field.
The scope weighs in 1.5 pounds, carries a once inch main tube ( one piece), makes use of capped 1/4 MOA turrets and carries solid rating from users.
This scope is designed for one inch rings on rifle bases. The scope fits the M-77 Ruger and Savage 17 HMR rifles well. This scope is scaled down just enough for proper balance, making the rifle faster to mount and get to an accurate point on the target.
5. Simmons 309 X 32mm 22 Mag Rifle Scope
Even though this scope is named a 22 Magnum scope but it is very workable for the 17 HMR. These rimfire cartridges are a close pair in the field and this little budget scope will do the deed just fine for squirrel hunter, raccoon fur chaser, or closer range varmint hunter.
While all the big name high priced scopes are written about and often suggested among writers, the smaller low budget glass in the hands of a hill country or mountain glen hunter bing home more meat than many of the others.
This scope is made well by Simmons and again like so many we have them here on shotguns and rimfire rifles as well for both test and actual hunting.
Using the standard one inch scope tube, the scope will fit all standard ring setups used on “ big rifle” glass sight systems. At 9.5 ounces this is an easy carry on a light rifle, it makes use of enough magnification in the 1-9 range for anything.
The 17 HMR can drop inside its ballistic envelope, the scope comes with 3/8 inch dovetail mounting rings saving the hunter from the trouble of searching out bass and rings in a separate investment.
The scope makes use of coated optical glass lenses which is corrected for parallax from 50 yards to infinity, it also uses a sure grip rubber surface for a tough hard use field scope. Turrent adjustments are capped for general use and tough conditions and rest assured this little glass sight will do the job of a much larger big rifle scope any day of the week.
6. Tract Toric 3-15 X 42 Mm 1/BDC Reticle
Want to push into the high-grade glass when applying the 17HMR to field or target use? Taking a look at the TRACT Toric in their 3-15 x 42MM model is not the worst idea you could come up with.
This scope is higher-end and built by the newer company that give the buyer a whole lot of extras for a much lower cost than some others.
With a “ High Definition “ optical system, this scope controls light very well even when sighting in the early morning or late evening light conditions. The etch glass BSC reticle makes sighting easy when holdover is required as the turrent settings are capped for rugged field applications.
The scope retains a 4-inch eye relief, side ring focus adjustment ( left side ), and parallax adjustment from 15 yard to infinity.
Windage and elevation adjustments are calibrated in ¼ MOA clicks and the turret features a zero stop setting system as well.
Warranty? Lifetime of the owner.
7. Leupold VX-Freedom 2-7×33 Rimfire MOA Reticle Rifle Scope
Here we have a scope that is scaled down a bit and priced very right when applied to a nice rifle like the old Ruger M-77 I own in 17 HMR. This scope is a one piece aluminum tube, ( aircraft grade ) it also uses turret setting sin ¼ MOA, sharp adjustment clicks and gives the buyer the Leupold “ Twilight Management System” as well.
This scope comes with a very high use rating and also is priced right in the budget ballpark as well.
Leupold has built this title glass sight for a lifetime of hard use. If you are considering or have a high grade 17 HMR on you to buy list tasking, a look at this scope would not be the worst idea.
The scope is a one inch tube, uses full “ big rifle” rings and bases, is installed on a Weaver-style rail which is considered by Leupold as a lifetime investment in rimfire glass.
8. Vortex Optics Copper Head 4-12×44 SFF
Here we have a scope that comes from a line of hunting optics. In this case, it has a price reduction as it is set up for rimfire versus a 1000 yard target rifle.
The Vortex Copper Head and carries a 4-12 x 44 power against its objective lens. This scope is designed for hunting, for the most part as applied to the 17 HMR it will cover most types of fieldwork. This scope makes use of the dead hold BDC reticle system which is fully coated in terms of lens protection and retains a long eye relief. MOA adjustments for elevation are set at 60 clicks.
The field of view is 24.7 feet at 100 yards with a main tube size of one inch. The main tube is built of aircraft-grade aluminum. The turrets on the scope are capped and retain ¼ MOA graduations for windage and elevation. Built-in the SFF the scope is easy to adjust, change magnification levels and maintain a clear sight picture.
9. TRuGLO 4x32mm Compact RimFire Scope
In this case, as a final offering, we have the super-budget scope and it is here because I shoot TRUGLO optics on shotguns, crossbows, and rifles with solid game getting results.
This downsized and lower priced scope is set up as a single power 4X model which is more than enough for sighting the basic range of the 17 HMR. This system uses the Duplex style crosshairs, fully coated lenses, and also a rubber-coated exterior finish for very rough field use in all types of weather conditions.
Scopes mounts in the Weaver-style are included with the unit as a total package,
Total weight 0.71 pounds. Scope measures 8 x 10.5 x 2.25 inches.
I have been writing firearms and outdoor material of over 50 years to date. I have hunted across the world including Russia and a great deal of time professional hunting in Australia. I currently live in the American west and hunt all across the Black Hills of South Dakota, and the Big Horn mountains. I have specialized much of my work as a load developer in shotguns and rifles. I have run a small company that builds suppressor barrels of my design, and load tests for writing purposes and consulting. My commercial names include Ballistics Research & Development / Metro Gun Systems.TM.