The 8 Best Scopes For .17 HMR

17 hmr scopes

HuntingMark is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More

So you’ve got a 17 HMR rifle and now you need a scope to go on top...which one are you gonna go with?

As shooters we’re almost spoiled for choice these days when it comes to optics, which is great until you realize just how many options there are out there when it comes time to choose the perfect one. 

best 17 hmr scope

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve tested and reviewed a wide variety of scopes to find the best ones out there for 17 HMR rifles.

Let’s get started with...

A Little Background on the 17HMR

The 17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR) which came out in 2002 is a true advance in shooting. It took the rimfire cartridge to more than 2,500 feet per second, which exceeds the performance of the .22 mag and the .22 long rifle.

17hmr scope

Because of this, traditional rimfire scopes will not allow you to realize the full potential of this round. In general, the .22 long rifle is useful under 100 yards. The .17HMR doubles that range. Eric Conn, writing for Mossberg, compares the two rounds if you’d like to know a little more.

What is the Best Scope for a 17 HMR Rifle?

The 17 HMR generally does not deliver sub MOA groups. At 100 yards, having MOA groups or close to an MOA group is possible. 

This means red dot scopes are not a good choice as most red dots are 2 MOA across. 

In the hands of an expert, this may not matter. For the average shooter, it matters a lot. At 100 yards, that dot covers two inches and the bullet paired with the right rifle is capable of one-inch groups. When hunting small game, two inches can be bigger than your target at 100 yards.

The 17 HMR is also a fairly flat-shooting round. Hornady’s own ballistics chart shows an 8.5-inch drop at 200 yards with a 100-yard zero. The tiny 17 does not handle wind well, which is another reason for a scope with windage markings, be they mil-dots or specific 17 HMR drift hash marks.

And because this round can reach out to such a long distance, things like parallax adjustment and repeatable reset turrets aren’t a bad investment either.

Here are our top choices for the 17 HMR.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

Bushnell Prime

Bushnell Prime

  • Magnification: 3-12x
  • Lens Diameter:40mm
  • Eye Relief:3.5 in

Leupold VX-6HD

Leupold-VX-6HD

Leupold VX-6HD

  • Magnification: 2-12x
  • Lens Diameter: 42mm
  • Eye Relief:3.8 in

Hawke Riflescope Vantage IR

Hawke Riflescope Vantage IR

Hawke Riflescope Vantage IR

  • Magnification: 4-12x
  • Lens Diameter: 40mm
  • Material:Aluminum

BSA Optics Sweet 17

BSA-Optics

BSA Optics Sweet 17

  • Magnification: 3-12x
  • Lens Diameter: 40mm
  • Eye Relief:3-inch

Bushnell Engage

Bushnell-Engage

Bushnell Engage

  • Magnification: 2.5-10x
  • Lens Diameter: 44mm
  • Eye Relief :3.6 inches

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

Vortex-Optics-Crossfire-II

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

  • Magnification: 2-7x
  • Lens Diameter: 32mm
  • Eye Relief:3.9 - 4.7 in

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

Bushnell-Banner

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Lens Diameter:40mm
  • Eye Relief:3.3 in

Sightron S-Tac

Sightron-S-Tac

Sightron S-Tac

  • Magnification: 4-20x
  • Lens Diameter: 50mm
  • Battery Type:CR2032

8 Best Scopes For .17 HMR Rifle

1. Bushnell Prime - Best Scope For 17hmr

The Bushnell Prime scope comes with several turret system options including one for the 17 HMR and a 17-grain bullet. This ability to dial in is why it takes the No. 1 spot on our list of best scopes for the 17 HMR. It also has turrets for .22 LR, muzzleloaders, 12 gauge and the 450 Bushmaster.

best scope for 17 hmr

The one-inch tube has a 40mm objective lens and a side focus that goes down to 10 yards. The 3-12x delivers a 7.5 foot field of view at 100 yards. 

It has 50 MOA of adjustment for windage and the same for elevation. Presumably it has 1/4 MOA clicks, but even the Bushnell website doesn’t say for sure.

Bushnell-Prime

Bushnell Prime

The price of Bushnell Prime varies, so check the latest price at

2. Leupold VX-6HD 2-12x42mm

Leupold’s VX-6HD 2-12x42mm is No. 2 and someone could argue it deserves first place. It does not get the top spot because the Bushnell above has the 17 HMR specific turret.

best scope for 17hmr

Really, almost any list of “best scopes” that does not list a Leupold should be suspect. 

Yes, Leupold is expensive. It also comes with one of the best warranties in the industry; it breaks, send it in for a replacement or repair, period. They also have the best (and harshest scope testing process in the industry. 

Simply put, the Leupold is worth the money and it should be the last scope you ever buy for the rifle it sits on.

This Leupold has a 30mm tube made of aircraft-grade aluminum and comes in a variety of red reticle configurations. To get the most from the rifle and the scope, definitely choose the BDC reticle.

17 hmr scopes

With an eight-inch drop at 200 yards on a 100-yard zero, you will need the dots. The fast-focus eyepiece doesn’t hurt either.

At max magnification, the field of view is 10.2 feet at 100 yards. Again, given the capabilities of the 17 HMR round and the critters you shoot with it, this level of magnification is needed. At 150 yards, a squirrel head is a tiny target. With low magnification, crosshairs can obscure the whole squirrel.

Adjustments are 1/4 MOA. The scope is also waterproof and has a special matte coating that also helps it shed rainwater rapidly. It is a second focal plane scope, which means the reticle stays the same size as the zoom increases.

Finally, it has 70 MOA of windage and elevation adjustments giving you plenty of room to try and make a go of “long range” rimfire shooting.

Leupold-VX-6HD

Leupold VX-6HD

The price of Leupold VX-6HD varies, so check the latest price at

3. Hawke Riflescope Vantage IR

Some people can’t afford to drop $1,000 on a scope. The Hawke Vantage will not break the bank, and it does the job well.

17 hmr scope recommendation

This scope is designed for the 17 HMR with an illuminated X-ACT lighted reticle set for the 17 HMR performance. The company says set the zero at 100 yards and the rest of the reticle dots are preset. 

What does that mean?

Basically, once you get the scope zeroed, you’re all dialed in for even the longest ranges of 17 HMR shooting. Reach out to 350 yards without guesswork!

It has a 4-12x magnification. The field of view at 100 yards is 8.7 feet. It is waterproof and has a one-inch tube. The reticle has five lighting settings. The turret adjustments are 1/4 MOA and it has an impressive 100 MOA of adjustment.

Overall this won’t compete with the true high-quality optics out there, but it’s up there with your Barska and BSA offerings in a lot of ways, and it is absolutely a good value for the price coming in at cheaper than even a basic Nikon Prostaff. 

Hawke Riflescope Vantage IR

Hawke Riflescope Vantage IR

The price of Hawke Riflescope Vantage IR varies, so check the latest price at

4. BSA Optics Sweet 17

Having a scope specifically designed for the 17 HMR lets you take full advantage of the round’s capabilities. The BSA 3-12x40 Sweet 17 is built with that in mind. It comes with a plain Jane reticle, but do not let that concern you. 

best scope for savage a17

Between this one and the Hawke, we really had to work to decide which was third and which was in fourth place. This one and the Hawke could easily swap places depending on your personal preferences and sighting requirements.

The third turret is a bullet drop compensator. Check your distance, dial it in and you are on the money. It’s good out to 300 yards with rimfire ammo. A BDC is not needed here and BSA’s multi-grain turrets make adjustments quick and easy.

Beyond that, the BSA Sweet 17 rifle scope has a one-inch tube and is waterproof thanks to some excellent o-rings. It also has a 3-12x magnification, one of the best magnification ranges on the list. The field of view at 100 yards is a tight seven feet. Adjustments are 1/4 MOA. 

BSA-Optics

BSA Optics Sweet 17

The price of BSA Optics Sweet 17 varies, so check the latest price at

5. Bushnell Engage

The Bushnell Engage, while not specifically designed as 17 HMR scope, has a nice tactical reticle that puts it on this list. Bushnell says the hashmarks are set one MOA apart.

best scope for 17 hmr savage

They go three-quarters across the windage lines and almost to the bottom on the elevation line. Reaching out to 300 yards with this scope is not a problem. Once you know how your ammo performs, this is pretty much “if you see it, you can hit it”.

It is a 6-24x scope with a 50mm bell. The field of view at 100 yards is 7 feet. The tube is 30mm. Elevation and windage have 50 MOA  of travel and adjustments are 1/4 MOA click adjustments. 

The lens is multicoated with an Exo Barrier™ that sheds water, oil and is dust and scratch resistant and aids light transmission and target acquisition in sub-optimal low light conditions (dusk-time prairie dog hunting anyone?).

Bushnell-Engage

Bushnell Engage

The price of Bushnell Engage varies, so check the latest price at

6. Vortex Optics Crossfire II

.17 hmr scope

No. 6 on the list of the best 17 HMR rifle scope is the Vortex Crossfire II. This scope is designed for rimfire rifles. It comes with two reticles, plain mil-dot or Dead-Hold bdc reticle. This second option takes the guesswork out of holdover and lets you focus on the target (as long as you know the range).

It has a one-inch tube and a 2-7x magnification. Given the capabilities of the 17 HMR, that is on the low end of magnification needed. Field of view at 100 yards is 12.6 feet. It has 60 MOA of adjustment, dialed in at 1/4 MOA at the time.

Overall though, it’s a good scope in this price range, and one of the best for casual target shooting/plinking. It just isn’t great for those longer range shots, but of course it has Vortex’s excellent lifetime warranty even if you get it on Amazon.

Vortex-Optics-Crossfire-II

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

The price of Vortex Optics Crossfire II varies, so check the latest price at

7. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn™

The Bushnell Banner is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-proof and pegs at No. 7. It has a Dusk & Dawn Brightness™ lens coating that Bushnell says improves the light-gathering capability.

17 hmr rifle scope

If you are a small game hunter, especially a night time varmint hunter, you will appreciate this. You don’t have to put the light directly on the target. Get the animal at the edge of the light circle and the scope will give you enough image for a safe shot.

The click value is 1/4 MOA and the field of view is 9 feet at 100 yards which gives you a fairly open sight picture. The scope is a 3-9x and has a one-inch tube.

nikon 17 hmr scope

This scope does not rank higher on our list because the reticle is a simple crosshair, no BDC dots. You’re going to have to learn where to put the crosshairs at distances past 100 yards from experience on the range. 

The thicker crosshairs also mean this scope is not useful past 200 yards on the 17 HMR, but the Multi-X reticle is very popular with shorter range hunters and target shooters.

Bushnell-Banner

Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn

The price of Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn varies, so check the latest price at

8. Sightron S-Tac

The Sightron S-Tac is not specifically designed for the 17 HMR, but It functions well on rifles shooting this caliber.

17 hmr scope

Of all the scopes in this list, the Sightron comes with the widest array of options. To start you have the choice of Minute of Angle adjustments or Milrad measurements. MOA is equal to 1.047 inches at 100 yards and a Mil, in this case is 3.6 inches at 100 yards. Mils convert to MOA by multiplying by 3.43.

scope for.17 hmr

It has three reticle types, Mil-Hash, MOA, or the classic duplex reticle. It has 12 Milrads or 40 MOA of adjustment windage and 22.2 to 80 MOA elevation all in a 30mm tube. The lighting is red only. 

You can choose a second or first focal plane option and the field of view at 100 yards is 4.4 feet.

Sightron-S-Tac

Sightron S-Tac

The price of Sightron S-Tac varies, so check the latest price at

Final Thoughts

The 17 HMR is certainly a serious advance in rimfire rifles. Based on the short history of this round, it is destined to hang around while several other 17 rimfire variants are dying a slow death. The .17 HRM’s popularity is based on two factors.

1) It is a rimfire. This allows it to be used on small game and other shooting activities that do not allow centerfire.

2) It reaches out easily to 200 yards, something even the .22 mag can have trouble with.

Under 100 yards, the 17 HMR delivers a serious punch, suitable even for coyotes with proper shot placement. Past that, foxes are the biggest game that should be ethically taken with this round. It is certainly adequate on prairie dogs under 250 yards.

To get the most from this round, you do need a scope that can bring a prairie-dog sized target into enough relief to reliably take the shot out to 250 yards. Can you hit a water bottle-sized target at 250 yards with iron sights and a 17 HMR? Certainly. Can you do it regularly? Probably not.

If you are a fan of the 17 HMR or plan to get one, do the right thing and get a scope that will match this round’s potential.

What do you think of these 17 HMR scopes? Is there one you like better than the others? Is there one you think we missed? Let us know in the comments! And for more rimfire goodness check out our guides on best scope for 17 wsm and  best .22 mag scopes. Oh, and once you get your scope, be sure you know How to Mount a Rifle Scope. And also, if you are looking to buy a scope with Mil-dot reticle, then must check out our guide on best Mil-dot scopes

Related Guides:
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *