17 HMR VS 22 Mag Coyote Hunting: What’s Better 22 Mag or 17 HMR?


You must have often come across this question, which one is better – the 17 HMR or 22 mag. It is a popular query and it gets brought up all the time. Don’t worry we have got you covered.

That is correct, if you are in dilemma about 17 hmr vs 22 mag coyote hunting, then we have all the information in here. All you need is to just read it thoroughly to get a hang of things.

Which One Is Better Among The 17 Hmr Vs 22 Mag Coyote Hunting?

Being avid hunters, we know how it feels when you are in a Catch-22 situation. We will answer all that you need to know about this big debate over 17 hmr vs 22 mag. However, the first thing that you need to focus on is what kind of hunting interests you.

If you are a beginner, then you have to find out what is it that you want to aim with your rifle. This will help you take out the guess work and you will be much nearer to your goal. For example, if you are about to go for coyotes, then we suggest .22 mag to be the most suitable one for you.

To be honest, coyotes are big, but thin-skinned animals. It may get a bit graphic here, but we have to acknowledge that a .22 mag can pierce deeper and ensure to cut organs as well as break bones.

This means if you chase yotes, then you have to ensure that you get the right gun for it. For this you need to have all the equipment you need and then can enjoy your hunt. So, think about it and make your decision based on proper information.

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17 HMR Ballistics Vs .22 Mag: Detailed Comparison

There are quite a few differences between the 17 HMR AND 22 WMR. Take the above-mentioned example, you can use.17 HMR for shooting a coyote. You may have to fire many more rounds.

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In addition to this, you may have to look for a convenient place for a good shot. Moreover, the explosive property of the .17 HMR makes it apt for small animals with thin skin. The best-suited prey is like prairie dogs, possum, and rabbits.

Not a problem, let us find some basic differences between the two. This will certainly help you make a call. Have a read.


For starters, the .22 WMR was released in 1952 and that makes it one of the oldest guns around. On the other hand, the .17 HMR is a comparatively younger model. It was introduced in 2002!


In simple words, if you are planning for bigger animals then the .22 WMR is a great choice for you. Again, if you want to go after smaller creatures, then the .17 HMR is the one for you.

In short, 17 hmr magnum is more accurate than the .22 WMR. The bullets are low priced and it is a perfect fit for those that want to keep a firearm handy for pest control only. This is why it is a popular choice for shooting varmints.


To tell you the truth, we will have to clarify one thing the 17 HMR has a better ballistic coefficient in comparison to the .22 mag. The latter has heavier bullets, while the 17 HMR has a flatter trajectory and quicker Muzzle Velocity.


The 17 HMR is a clear winner when it comes to velocity. In this conversation about the 17 hmr vs 22 wmr, we have to agree that 2550 FPS giving with 246 FPE or foot-pounds of energy stands out.

Much against the 1900 FPS with 321 FPE of the 22 WMR, the 17 HMR really looks good. What do you say?


As far as the .17 HMR is concerned, the range is 150 yards at the maximum. This is appropriate for target shooting and small game hunting. For the .22 WMR, it is 125 yards for effective shooting. Hence, it is most suitable for medium-range hunting.

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A .22 mag is way more affordable with magazines than a .17 HMR. This is true and in this 22 WMR vs 17 HMR, the former wins hands down.


A 17 HMR provides you with better air resistance in comparison to the 22 WMR. This means the former has faster muzzle velocity.


In the same line of thought, we must continue to inform you that the heavy bullet weight of 22 WMR makes lends it more energy. This is the foremost reason why it pierces deeply into your prey. This assists the bullet to travel longer distances without much of a problem.

Conversely, the 17 HMR is low on energy which is why it is regarded as a good weapon for hunting small animals like varmints and chipmunks. Both are good firearms, but they have a few limitations.

If you still want to know which one is better, then we have to tell you that .22 WMR penetrates deeply, while the .17 HMR is faster. You are free to make a choice depending on your hunting style.

17 HMR Vs 22 Mag For Groundhogs

To be frank, we have always the 22 WMR to be more beneficial than the 17 HMR Rifle for chasing groundhogs. We use our .22 mag with 40-grain bullets and the correct distance of 150 yards pretty much works in our favor.

Of course, you need to get that shot or Bullet placement to hit your target in addition to this. You can use this technique for coyotes, groundhogs, and bobcats. As explained earlier 22 mag penetrates deeper and this is why we find this to be a better choice over the .17 HMR rifle.

A Little On 17 HMR Vs 22 Mag For Squirrel

Now, what we must tell you is that the .17 HMR is a perfect choice for squirrel hunting. The 17 HMR is well-known for its flat shooting capacity and fantastic accuracy. For the 22 WMR seems to be way too much for taking down a squirrel.

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On the other hand, 22 WMR could be a choice for those that want to keep the prices down for this kind of sport. Honestly, there are a few who would not want squirrel hunting to get expensive. Hence, they rely on the 22 mag exclusively, but it can get a bit inaccurate as per its reputation.

Furthermore, we would like to add here that some manufacturers with lighter bullets for rimfire rifles have also slashed their pricing. Hence, if you are thinking about bullets, then you can reconsider .17 HMR or Hornady Magnum Rimfire these days.

Speaking about lightweight bullet construction, we have to cite that lighter bullets (.17 HMR) can travel faster than heavier bullets (.22 WMR). This means lightweight bullets can hit the target quicker with ease.

Plus, if you are into .22 mag, you will need a lot of gear, which is much opposed to squirrel hunting. It has to be simple and fun. Why bear all that weight unnecessarily?

Conclusion: Which One We Recommend 17 HMR Or 22 Mag?

We prefer using the .22 magazine rifle because we know what to hunt. To be honest, when we talk about 17 HMR vs 22 mag coyote hunting, we will like to add that both are good for this purpose.

There are no qualms about it and what we say is that only your hunting pattern can decide which is good for you.

Like .22 mag is the best choice for coyotes, and .17 HMR rifle is good for mid-range gaming. You know you can go after a raccoon, varmint, and a rabbit with the .17 HMR rifles.

On the other hand, .22 WMR has been around for some time. That’s the way it is going to be for some more time. Invest wisely!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>