10 Best .17 HMR Scope Reviews
The past decade has recorded a boom of new, cartridge-specific riflescopes boasting even reticles dedicated to load solely.
The .17HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) cartridge designed in the early 2000’s and officially introduced by the ammunition company Hornady in 2002 deserves a purpose-built riflescope.
The .17HMR was developed as a necked down version of the .22 Magnum to take a .17 caliber (4.5 mm) bullet, but soon it captured the imagination of a whole sector of the shooting community by storm.
Reaching muzzle speeds of 2,650 fps, the .17 HMR attains a higher velocity, flatter trajectory and farther range over the .22.
Shooters with rifles chambered in this tiny rimfire caliber easily can triple the typical distance of standard .22 rimfire cartridges and shoot even further.
With performance like that, a .17 HMR is a viable small game round out to 200 yards. While this diminutive rimfire is known as a small varmint vanquisher, its full capacity you will gain only with an adequate riflescope.
We have made an informative guide and best scope for 17 HMR review to help you find appropriate optics to maximize the HMR rifles’ power and potentials.
1. Vortex Viper PST 1-4×24 TMCQ
Unlike top-tier riflescopes of Razor HD series made in Japan, Vortex Optics produces this vortex 17 hmr scope in the Philippines and this is a primary reason for a Viper`s lower price.
The Vortex Viper PST (Precision Shooting Tactical) line boasts the same Razor`s features such as open style turrets; argon filled housing for fog proof properties, adjustable reticle illumination and standard waterproof qualities.
The Vortex variable zoom Viper PST 1-4x24mm is a compact tactical riflescope intended for close range uses but 4X magnification will allow the marksman to reach out to targets up to 200 yards away.
The traditional use of two eyes for target acquisition when the adjustment is put down to 1X power turning this scope into a red dot sight. The potential scenarios like tactical and home defense shooting or for a big game hunting and especially drive ideal hunting field of use.
Additionally, the constant eye relief of 4 inches gives your eye space for the recoil from powerful magnum rifles.
Constructed from a solid block of aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum, the 24mm Viper has a one-piece 30mm tube that provide ample windage and elevation adjustment.
Tactical style exposed knobs provide fast and accurate adjustment in a ½ MOA increments. The Tactical Milling Close Quarters reticle (TMCQ) is illuminated, etched in glass and seated in the second focal plane.
This unique close-quarters hash marked ranging reticle has a segmented and illuminated circle around one minute-of-angle dot. While TMCQ set up allows the scope to function as a red dot when unmagnified it is not as easy to use at the range as some counterparts.
Anyway, having the ability to use the optic at short distances is essential for any type of hunting or short-range engagement and Vortex feature-rich Viper PST 1-4X delivers the performance at an affordable price.
2. Vortex Crossfire II 4-16×50 AO
Vortex Crossfire II is one of the best budget riflescopes that have a good reputation.
The Vortex can serve you well for hunting applications and as a range gun. One thing’s inevitable Vortex has made some significant improvements on the optic that stands out for all shooters.
Furthermore, the collection offers many combinations of magnification and sizes in the range, and the 4-16×50 AO is one of them. The optic has loads of features, and one of them is the durable weatherproof construction.
You can use it in any environment, especially outdoors when hunting and wanting to make long distance shots. You will not have to be concerned about the scope fogging up or getting a knock.
Furthermore, you can quickly adjust the focus of the reticle with the fast focus eyepiece when the time comes to take the shot. All you need is a simple twist of the focus knob making sure you have a crisp crosshair in view.
Another thing you will love it for hunting is the multi-coated lens that helps with light transmission as it reduces the glare making the color appear brighter. By reducing, the haze and the colors that pop out you are more accurate when making the shot.
Further, you have multiple reticle options but the 4-12×50 AO (adjustable objective) riflescope has a dead-hold BDC crosshair that suits hunting and target shooting. So you do not need to estimate the bullet drop and windage corrections as the optic does it for you.
You can use it to shoot at various distances and capable of shooting in different wind conditions. On the other hand, with the adjustable objective, the image focus improves and removes parallax and gives you a long eye relief.
The turrets you reset with your fingers using the MOA clicks and makes it easy to reset to zero after sighting it in. The controls easy to use and suits any level of the shooter, and there are turret caps to protect the setting.
One thing’s sure you are getting a reliable optic and can mount it on a bolt-action hunting gun, AR-10 & AR-15 platforms for hunting and target shooting. Alternatively, you can also find different mounting options available.
3. Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm CDS
Debuted in 2016, the Leupold’s VX-3i family of scopes features, as the name says, a versatile 3:1 zoom ratio erector system making it a perfect tool for hunting. As the upgraded version of the discontinued Leupold VX3, the leupold 17 HMR scope is appreciated for other benefits hunters are looking for.
Typically, hunting usually occurs in low-light situations, so the hunters would appreciate other specifications like the and fully multi-coated lenses and Twilight Max Light Management System gives you the best possible sight picture even in the pure light of dawn and dusk.
Matching intensive contrast across the entire field of view and light wavelengths balance provide maximum brightness in all colors.
The rugged design is supplemented with DiamondCoat 2, an ion-assist lens coating to withstand all abuse that is being done during hunting.
The 6061-T6 aluminum body consists of 30mm maintube which housing a Twin bias spring erector system. Dual spring precision adjustments exert up to 30 percent more holding force on the erector to resist recoil and to maintain zero.
The larger central tube provides a 113 MOA of windage and elevation adjustment range. The capped turrets offer a 1/4 MOA per click with match grade precision.
Utilizing the classical Duplex style reticle with thick posts and a thin crosshair that won’t obscure the target, the Leupold developed new Wind-Plex reticle with a solid vertical crosshair featuring a graduated horizontal for wind holds.
The Wind-Plex reticle is positioned on the second (rear) focal plane and is non-illuminated. The scope includes a Custom Dial System (CDS), based on the ballistic information of the specific cartridge and load shooter plans to use.
Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x40mm SF CDS comes with a side-parallax adjustment turret and a slightly oversized power selector that can be easily turned even with gloves on.
Moreover, one-piece housing is filled with proprietary Argon/Krypton particular gas blend to provide waterproofing and to prevent internal fogging at sub-zero degrees.
While this lightweight and durable VX-3i riflescope will handle your short to long distance shooting needs, the only objection may refer to the small field of view of 29.8 feet while the competitors feature a standard 33 or even a large 40 feet field of view at 100 yards.
4. Vortex Optics Razor HD 5-20×50
This vortex 17 hmr scope has quite a few different series of riflescopes that fit just about any budget and the Razor is their upper tier Japanese made optics.
The Razor HD is considered the most advanced of the Vortex line of scopes since it is packed with more than a dozen optical features, as one would expect from a high-end scope.
A 5-20x wide zoom range and 4x power ratio classify the Razor HD scope as a higher end tactical scope built to meet the demanding needs of precision shooters.
The scope construction is based on an unusual 35 millimeters diameter tube (note it is not ordinary 34mm) milled from a single block of 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum so that it can withstand shots fired with a .50 BMG rifle.
The bigger main tube diameter will not allow for more light transmission, but due to more room for the erector assembly to move, larger scope tube will allow a more extensive range of elevation and windage adjustment.
The Vortex Razor HD 5-20×50 is a true tactical riflescope with exposed turrets for quick and easy adjustments. In fact, the turrets are huge and the elevation knob at 1.5 inches is taller and wider than it needs to be.
However, these tactical style turrets have rapid zero return feature, which is mandatory on an exposed turret optics that will be used in low light.
As our model is equipped with EBR-2 reticle (Enhanced Battle Reticle), you can choose between a MIL or MOA version of this precision-etched first focal plane reticle.
Depending on reticle type you order, the turrets will have matching click values. For Minute of Angle (MOA) based reticle you will get a ¼ MOA graduated dials and for a milliradian (mRad) Reticle, you’ll get a 0.1 mRad graduated dials.
The reticle is illuminated with 11 levels of brightness for precise aiming under low-light conditions. A low profile illumination control knob is placed offset to the left and in front of the eyepiece to remain out of the way for the most part.
As a standard, this excellent Vortex offering in the top-end scope market is waterproof and filled with Argon gas for fog-proofness.
The lenses are fully multicoated, while all of the outer glasses have Armortek coatings to protect them from scratches, oil, and dirt.
The Razor HD is large and heavy but it could serve well on a long-range platform such as your varmint precision rifle in .17 HMR.
5. Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC Rifle Scopes
Nikon always sets the bar higher when it comes to riflescopes. They have done it again with the Nikon Monarch 3 SF FFP M BDC model. You get an affordable multipurpose optic providing you with unrivaled image quality, precision, and durable construction.
While there are three scope lines available, the Monarch 3 works well if you are a day-to-day hunter in need of a reliable optic for short ranges. You get variable magnification that is great for hunting to make those close-range shots with powerful rounds, and you can shoot out to long distances.
In the Monarch 3 series, you can get three different magnification levels ranging from the 3-12×42, 4-16×42, and 4-16×50. So you can adjust the zoom best suited for your FOV allowing for easy targeting when tracking an animal.
Another thing you will love is the BDC Distance Lock Reticle that keeps everything in the first focal plane. Therefore, the crosshair remains the same size as the target. Alternatively, you can still use it with the favored Spot on Ballistic Match Technology from Nikon.
To add to the functionality of the optic, you get a fully multicoated optical system. When hunting from dusk to dawn, you can feel assured, you are getting the best light transmission.
Therefore, if you want a hunting riflescope that holds constant out to 250-yards and more, this is the one to have.
The only difference between the Monarch 3, Monarch 5, and Monarch 7 series is the seven series have a 30mm tube, and the latter comes with a one-inch tube.
Furthermore, you get a 4-inch eye relief that is impressive to use with high-powered rifles and rounds.
Also, with the incredible clarity of the target, Nikon has set a new benchmark not found in much optics in the price range.
6. Athlon Midas BTR 4.5-27×50 mm
Athlon 17HMR scope has listened to market demands and recently launched their high-zoom 4.5-27x50mm Midas BTR (Bright Tactical Reticle) riflescope.
The scopes with so impressive 6 times magnification range request a strong, heat treated single-piece tubes, built out of aircraft grade aluminum, and the Midas utilizes just like that; a 30mm hammer-forged 6061-T6 aluminum tube for extreme hardness and resistance.
An extended 6x zoom ratio makes this optics extremely versatile and eliminates the needs for multiple scopes for various hunting scenarios. The robust scope housing features exposed direct dial knobs without zero stop and no locking mechanism.
Also, there is a side parallax-compensating knob with integrated reticle illumination control. However, there is a problem with the graduated windage and elevation turrets, since the markings on the dials do not line up with the line on the body of the riflescope.
The term Bright Tactical Reticle in Athlon BTR series designates a ranging reticle dubbed as APLR1 MIL reticle. This x-mas tree like illuminated reticle is seated in the second focal plane to maintain the same size throughout the magnification range and will not to obstruct the target at large magnification.
Another highlight is the HD – high definition glasses that are fully multi-coated to enhance target appearance at all distances and even in the faint dawn and dusk hours.
Additionally, the exterior lenses have also been treated with the proprietary XPL coating (“Xtra Protective Lens”) for protection from scratches and dirt.
Like other scopes from Athlon Midas series, the Midas BTR is argon-gas-purged to prevent any internal fogging and protected for water- and fogproof performance.
7. Burris Fullfield E1 3-9×40
The Burris Fullfield E1 3-9×40 is a great hunting scope with a matte black finish. Therefore, there is no glare when hunting for your trophy, and it has a compact design making it handier to use.
Another added benefit Burris has made is you receive a ballistic chart to help you set up the range you plan to shoot. For entry-level shooters, this is a fantastic feature and a big help.
Furthermore, you can mount it on a powerful rifle like a Ruger model 77, and it will handle recoil well and provide you with accuracy at the same time. No matter what distance you want to use it, the riflescope gives you the added range out to 300-yards quickly.
Alternatively, it can handle any lighting condition when setting at different powers and the clarity and resolutions excellent. On the other hand, you can use it for short to long distance shooting making the 3-9x40mm magnification versatile to use in any situation.
You can use it as a hunting, competition, and tactical optic and provides something for everyone. Another highlight is the reticle that lights up in red, and you can set the brightness when moving from a poor lighting condition to a brighter one.
The feature helps to save battery power, and while hunting, there is no need for stopping to adjust the lighting. As we said, the riflescope offers versatility as even the crosshair is fine to shoot at small objects and aim out too long distances.
So if you need an excellent optic, the Burris line is one of the best riflescopes to consider.
Even the Forever Warranty covers most things, and you can find loads of accessories to use with the scope.
8. Nightforce Optics 5-25×56 ATACR F1
A relatively new company in the optics industry is a US manufacturer Nightforce Optics. Nightforce riflescopes are bulletproof and ideal for law enforcement professionals, competition shooters and hard-core hunters.
Their ATACR line is the successor of the rugged NXS, one of the most robust riflescope series from the company Nightforce.
Nightforce ATACR (Advanced Tactical Riflescope) riflescopes are overbuilt because their housing is two to three times thicker than other to ensure the best protection and deliver benchrest precision even under the harshest of conditions.
The 34mm aluminum alloy main tube feature rugged and incredibly watertight and shockproof construction, which is able of handling even the strongest calibers like the .50 BMG.
However, due to the magnification range, the ATACR 5-25x eye relief of 3.54 inches is not as forgiving, so you need to set up the rifle to fit you properly.
The ATACR 5-25x56mm is packed full of features like its fully multi-coated extra-low dispersion glass (ED glass) which results in superb light transmission and clear, crisp sight picture at near and far distances.
As the premium level tactical riflescope, Nightforce ATACR features exposed elevation turret and capped windage adjustment knob to prevent accidental adjustment in the field.
As you would expect from this top-end .17 HMR scope values at turrets and reticles are always matching, regardless of whether they are MOA or MIL. Since our model`s name contains the letters ˝F1˝, the MOAR reticle is set in the first focal plane. MOAR crosshair is MOA-based reticle extremely accurate range-finding and hold-offs.
The parallax adjustment knob s coupled with DigIllum digital reticle illumination button by only pushing that button you can adjust brightness or change the illumination from red to green.
With up to 120 MOA of elevation adjustment and 5x power ratio, this ATACR riflescope can cover virtually any situation. Utilizing an integrated Power Throw Lever (PTL) for making a fast magnification adjustment, the Nightforce ATACR 5-25x magnification range negates the need for additional optics to fill specific magnification needs.
9. Swarovski Z3 4-12x50mm Riflescope
A name Swarovski is well-known to every gun enthusiasts on the planet, especially those who appreciate tried and tested optics. The Z3 line from Swarovski is the natural successor to their old Swarovski 6×42 and it is the forerunner to the newer Z5 and Z6i lines.
With its trim profile and clean, unobtrusive look, the Z3 4-12X50 mm riflescope is perfectly complementing traditional mountain rifles and today`s lightweight rifles without representing a burden to the hunter.
Even with an objective lens of 50 mm diameter, its slim construction allows Z3 to be mounted close to the barrel making it suitable for virtually every type of firearm.
The Z3`s 3x zoom factor and versatile 4x-12x magnification range tend to replace classic 3-9x scopes, enabling shooters to use this Swarovski for Varmint hunting, big game hunting, target shooting or tactical use.
Unlike other Swarovski series, the Z3 line is configured with a 1.0″ main tube, but even in the 1-inch class with the help of fully multicoated lenses, you will be able to see crystal clear images that are unrivaled in the optics industry.
Applying a meticulous nitrogen-purging process, the entire riflescope is fully waterproof and fogproof. Additionally, all exterior lens surfaces have been covered with a scratch-resistant Shower Door protective coating.
The Z3 4-12x50mm maybe not the flagship line from Swarovski, but it offers sizeable 50mm objective diameter lens, 12X power and the ballistic turret (BT mark) making it an excellent combo for poor light conditions and longer distances.
It is available with two different reticles, Plex, a standard duplex style and 4A, Swarovski’s windage compensation reticles. While both of them are set in the second focal plane, unfortunately, they are non-illuminated. The low-profile, capped turrets offer ¼ MOA value click-stop correction and the parallax correction is factory preset at 100 meters.
This very compact and a lightweight construction Swarovski 17 HMR scope represent the entry level into the world of high-end optics brands, but surprisingly it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg. Actually, the Z3 is half the price of the newer Z5i and Z6i series.
10. Steiner GS3 Review: 2-10x42mm Scopes
Steiner is a relatively new company in the industry, but they have built a world-class reputation for producing binoculars and riflescopes that are rock steady shot after shot, and are crystal clear.
A stout, but compact design of the Steiner GS3 line compromises of five models. Our candidate for the .17HMR rifle is 2-10x42mm riflescope, the smallest version built on a 30mm tube milled from solid aluminum stock as others and featuring a 5X zoom range and nitrogen-filled housing to keep a fog-proof and waterproof capability.
The selling point of the Steiner GS3 (Game Sensing) 17 HMR scopes is their proprietary CAT (color-adjusted transmission) lens coating developed mainly for hunting applications. Whereas the Steiner calls these “Game Sensing Coating”, the lenses treated with CAT multi-coatings amplify contrast in the peak human vision sensitivity range with apparently emphasized reddish colors.
The GS3 is Steiner’s lower-priced line but its 5 times range allows you are hunting from brush countries to the vast open areas without the need for another scope. In addition, the 2-10×42 GS3 riflescope sports the 42mm objective, which offers more than adequate visibility in most lighting conditions.
The Steiner GS3 riflescopes come with two bullet-drop compensating reticle types called S1 and S7. We prefer the S1 for its simplicity since in the field this multi-point “Christmas tree” reticle presents a clear, no-fuss sight picture without cluttering the sight window.
The capped, low profile knobs for windage and elevation are resettable and provide 70 MOA elevation adjustments and windage adjustments with a 1/4 MOA point impact correction.
The eye relief of 3.5 to 4.3″ is very generous throughout the whole magnification range, which can be easily adjusted via a small lever on the zoom ring.
What is the Effective Range of a 17 HMR?
The Hornady Magnum Rimfire replaced the 5mm Remington Magnum Rimfire round to mimic the ballistics. Then they took it even further, taking the .22 Magnum shell, and made it smaller creating the .17 caliber bullet and made the weight 17 grains.
By doing, this Hornady can push the muzzle velocity to 2,550 feet per second. Now with this mind, what is the effective range of the 17 HMR?
It all depends on what the outcome is, and what range is sufficient for you. A fact is that you can shoot varmint using the 17 HMR out to 400-yards depending on the wind condition.
However, to achieve this, you need loads of skill, and the majority of hunters reach out to 300-yards.
.17 HMR Scope Magnification Requirements:
There are many things to consider in finding a great scope for your 17 HMR. First off, you need excellent magnification power when hunting for varmint and small game.
Furthermore, it needs an excellent objective lens diameter when hunting at low light conditions. Alternatively, it needs to have a durable construction. However, when it comes to magnification power, you need variable power between 3-9X and 4-16X and made for hunting small game.
On the other hand, if you want to keep the good meat and need to make headshots, you need to be able to zoom in precisely. For this, you need a 9-14X to take the shot while a 5-10X helps scan the perimeter of your target.
There is a myriad of the best scope for 17 HMR purpose-built for .17hmr rifles and range from cheap junk to some of the best, high end and expensive scopes available. However, not all rimfire optics make the proper choice for .17HMR-chambered firearms.
In the above article, we have made a short guide to the middle- and high-class telescopic sights adequate for almost any possible situation, rifle owner could be engaged.