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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to hunting...just taking it up this year to do something in the winter to complement my trout fishing in the spring and summer. I want to start with rabbit hunting, because it shouldn't require too much in terms of equipment, it's something I can do relatively locally (I'm in upstate NY), and because it would provide some good eating!

I've been researching hunting and dressing techniques, procedures, and NYS licensing issues. But I'm really hung up on the choice of gun...or rather, the choice of caliber - .17HMR vs .22LR. I've read some really great things about the .17HMR, but it seems that the consensus is that it's more effective as a varmint load, rather than as a small game load.

Given the fact that I'm hunting for meat, and that I'll be doing more short-range shooting in wooded areas, rather than long-range shooting in the open...what would you suggest?

Thanks
Ed

PS: I'm also narrowing my rifle choice to a bolt-action, 20-22" barrel with scope...fyi.
 

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I can't believe that...

No one has mentioned the 17 Mach2. Shoots like a laser beam and doesn't tear up the meat like the HMR does, but it is definitely more expensive than a .22 rimfire. Oh and welcome to RFC. :t God Bless, Frank.
 

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where in Upstate NY? im in sodus (wayne county). I would go with a .22lr or short if distances allow, and gun is accurate. I havnt yet got out to hunt lil critters but i think i may this fall if i can convince a guy i work with to take me on the property he has permission to be on (obviously ill make sure i can be out there as well) 17hmr has WAY too much energy for small game unless your taking 100+ yard shots. i believe squirrels in hunting conditions are normally taken under 50 yards. at least i wouldnt want to have to shoot any further!
 

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.22 LR, less meat damage, and it is alot more affordable to practice with than a 17hmr, if you dont have shooting skills practice will be necessary, and it gets pricey to do alot of practicing when you are paying $8 for 50 rounds, as opposed to say 500 rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for all the replys!!! It seems like the 22LR is the general consensus...at least for shorter range hunting for edible meat!

I'm in Rensselear co....so it's going to be mostly cottontail hunting for small game.

One more question - I've got some old .22LR ammo for my Charter Arms AR-7....the ammo must be at least 10 - 12 yrs. old. A couple of boxes of Winchester Super X High Velocity, and a box each Remington Viper 22 Hyper Velocity and Yellow Jacket Hyper Velocity.

Is this ammo still any good? Safe to shoot? Or, if not, how do I safely dispose of it?

Thanks again !!!
Ed

Now off to read more rifles reviews!
 

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It is really a matter of preference

I am going to take it that you don't have either guns. The .22 is by far the best gun to use when it comes to the least amount of damage on small game such as the squirrel. However, you can still use the .17 and only take head shots and still be able to have an edible dish, pending that you are a great shot and only take head shots. I have been using the .17 since they first came out and I have only use the .22 a handful of times. The .17 is just that much more fun to shoot and that much more accurate.

Just my 2 cents.

Tony
 

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Do you want to go with what's CHEAPER, or do you want to hunt with what's BETTER? I graduated to the .17HMR when they got on the market. I have hunted with a .22 more years than you have lived, and I am much happier with the .17. Actually, hunting with a .17 is cheap, because you will use less ammo for the total animals killed. It's due to the exceptional accuracy and shock power of both the HMR and the Mach2 over the .22s. For less tissue damage using a .17HMR, use the holowpoints. BUY the .17! I don't intend any negative feelings with .22 shooters, I have had over 56 years shooting experience with the .22s . Then, the .17 came along. My .22 has done nothing but collect dust since I bought my .17.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK...skip the .17 HMR...but now the .17 Mach 2...

I did some follow up research after Old Hickory mentioned the .17 Mach 2 (www.chuckhawks.com seems to have a good section on rimfires)...by all accounts, including one on Shooting Times, the .17 Mach 2 is a revolution over the 22LR just as the .17 HMR was over the 22 Mag.

Still a tough choice though. I don't have any rimfire now (well, ok, I've got an old Charter Arms AR-7 purchased in my youth, but that doesn't count as a hunting rifle). I'm not overly concerned about the cost of ammo...I stopped by a local gunshop - prices for 50ct 22LR (Winchester Super-X, I believer) were approx $4, while a 50ct box of .17 Mach2 was about $8.

And the owner also highly recommended the .17 Mach 2, again for many of the same reasons...better accuracy, flatter trajectory. However, he did say one thing I think I disagree with, and wanted to get everyone's opinion. He said that the .17 Mach2 was LESS likely to be deflected by leaves, twigs, etc because of the higher velocity. I would think that a 22LR would be LESS likely to be deflected because of the higher mass - same reason why .17 (both HMR and Mach2) are reported to be more sensitive to wind.

Guess I'm still up in the air between (now) a .17 Mach 2 and a 22LR - although I have pretty much crossed off the .17 HMR. But you make a powerful argument, Old Hickory - experience really does count for a lot, especially for a newbie like me! But I will say I'm leaning towards the .17 Mach2 - I suspect with the flatter trajectory and better accuracy, I'll become a better marksman more quickly, and will be able to take more game with less damage to the edible meat.

Any recommendations on bolt-action rifles for a .17 Mach 2? I tried a Marlin...seemed very barrel heavy to me. I also tried a CZ...the forearm seemed too small, and I didn't really like the taper. I was drooling over a Sako P94 Finnfire hunter...but THAT was a little expensive! I haven't yet tried a Ruger 77.

I'm hoping that during the NYS-required Hunter Safety Course, I'll be able to make a few friends at the local Fish and Game club who have various 22's or 17's they'd be willing to let me shoot...I plan on joining, if nothing else to use the rifle range.

Thanks again for all the advice guys!!!

Ed
 

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You miserable overly biased people,you want explosive force and good range get a hyper velocity .22,go subsonic if you want to sneak the wabbit's and squirrels,go bulk for economy and cheap plinking and pest controll.I assume you are new to rimfires get a good .22 and learn with it if you don't like it trade it for a bloody .17!
OIS
 

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OIS, Methinks thou doth protest too much...

OIS, from my perspective your last post is exactly what you are accusing 17 cal fans of Bias. Its just coming from the other side of the fence is all. To each his own. You like .22 go for it. I like them too, but for squirrel hunting IMHO the 17 Mach2 rules. I have a 340 Mossberg that I relined to 17 Mach2 and from preliminary testing I believe that it is going to be a 100 yard capable squirrel rifle. The accuracy potential is certainly there, I just have to do my part. Bullet drop?? What bullet drop, for all PRACTICAL purposes it is a point and aim round. About 1 to 1.5 inches of drop @ 100 yards depending upon how high the scope is above the centerline of the bore. Compare that to a .22 cal
For plinking a .22 wins hands-down IMO. For hunting the 17 Mach2 wins hands-down, also IMO. Again to each his own. This is my opinion base on comparative testing of the two calibers. Your experiance may be different, but calling other rimfire fans "Biased" makes no sense.

God Bless, Frank.
 

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gandoe said:
while a 50ct box of .17 Mach2 was about $8.

Any recommendations on bolt-action rifles for a .17 Mach 2?
Ed
Midsouth has the HM2 ammo for $4.74 a box.

Have you looked at the Anschutz 1502D HB??
It has a little heavier barrel, but it just weighs a little over 6 lbs. out of the box. And it's got a really nice, easily adjusted trigger.

 

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Old Iron Sights said:
You miserable overly biased people,you want explosive force and good range get a hyper velocity .22,go subsonic if you want to sneak the wabbit's and squirrels,go bulk for economy and cheap plinking and pest controll.I assume you are new to rimfires get a good .22 and learn with it if you don't like it trade it for a bloody .17!
OIS
I have to assume that you have never tried the .17M2, otherwise you wouldn't make such a ridiculous statement. The ability to take shots out to about 85 yds. with out having to hold over far outweighs any little savings you might accrue using .22LR ammo. I totally recommend having a .22LR for cheap practice, and it will do the job on small game at short ranges, but for the ultimate small game getter go with the .17M2.
 

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If you decide on a 17 mach 2 let me know, i am considering getting one myself. The mach 2 seems like a good idea to me, good trajectory, not to bad a noise level, not outright destructive if you accidentally hit itin the shoulder, and ammo cost isnt bad (bout the price of GOOD .22 ammo like the midlevel eley). I think if you are new to shooting getting a regular .22 to start with is a good idea because of the bulk ammo and also you can go quiet for practicing target shooting. That anschutz is one sweet looking and i would definitely look at one before making a decision. I will definitely out last me and my children.
 
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