What Is The Difference Between A 17 HMR And A 17 WSM?

Video difference between 17 hmr and 17 wsm

1 What Is The Difference Between A 17 HMR And A 17 WSM?

What are the requirements of a good cartridge? Being easy to use, good speed, good trajectory, etc. are common features. In these terms, people choose cartridges for themselves. People find it difficult to find what is the difference between a 17 HMR and a 17 WSM?

Both these cartridges are great to use. But you’re here to know the differences between them, and you’re about to purchase one of them. Right? Besides, your rifle will come with respect to the cartridge you choose. And you should also pick a perfect scope for 17 WSM to have a good experience.

What is the difference between a 17 HMR and a 17 WSM?

You are reading this article as you need to find what is the difference between a 17 HMR and a 17 WSM? Consumers had a great experience using both these cartridges.

But you cannot blindly select one of these. You have to filter one of them out based on some parameters. Believe it or not, the following specifications will help you to make a proper decision.


In the case of a cartridge, speed is one of the requirements that consumers demand. If the cartridge cannot get enough velocity, then it is useless. Passionate rifle users like to have fast bullets in their rifles.

The speed of 17 HMR is greater with respect to 17 WSM. It is light in weight. As a result, it travels faster than the other. It is suitable to hunt birds or other animals at close range.If needed, you can use affordable thermal imaging scopes for WSM with its rifle.

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The speed of 17 WSM is less than 17 HMR. It is heavier. So, it travels with less speed. However, it can make a hole in thick objects. Thick objects cannot be penetrated with thin bullets. So, this bullet is suitable for people who will use it to penetrate thick objects.


Cost plays an important role while choosing cartridges. If your potential cartridge use is high, then you should go for the cheapest cartridge available.

The 17 WSM is more expensive between 17 HMR and 17 WSM. The 17HMR costs 20 cents only, whereas 17 WSM costs 30 cents. So, the cost difference is negligible for these cartridges. But you are not buying only one cartridge; you will buy hundreds or thousands of cartridges. However, this little amount can have a great effect in the long run.

The cost of the HMR might even get chipper in time. IT is completely the opposite case for the 17 WSM. 17 WSM will get out of the market sooner or later. As more and more cartridges are coming into the market, the public is losing interest in buying 17 WSM. The production rate has reduced, as well. So, the cartridge and the rifle both might get out of the market as well. As the quantity gets decreased, the seller might take advantage of it. People who have 17 WSM rifles have to buy 17 WSM cartridges, as it will not be available anymore, the seller will sell the product for a higher price.

Field Performance:

The core fact of cartridges is field performance. The choice of cartridge changes based on this parameter. Based on this parameter, other parameters are subjected to change.

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Based on the distance of the target, your choice of cartridges will change. A lot of factors come along with an increase in distance.

In terms of a distant shot, time plays an important role. As time increases, the trajectory goes downward. The cartridge has to keep the trajectory for longer distances. If the trajectory decreases, the probability of the cartridge to miss the target will increase.

The wind may have other impacts as well—for example, wind deflection. When a bullet leaves the rifle, it starts flying with velocity in one direction. The wind is flying in another direction. As a result, the bullet might get deflected from the target.

The 17 WSM is the better cartridge to have a better field performance at a greater distance. Both these cartridges can work with the wind. Though, the WSM works better than the other in terms of long-distance.

17 HMR is great for a short distance. It is fun to work with. It has got a better speed than the other. It creates less noise than the 17 WSM. These are needed to hit the target at a short distance.

However, none of these cartridges should be used for self-defense, where many other cartridges are available. 17 HMR and 17 WSM both should be avoided in this term.


Availability is a factor that many people do not consider. It creates different types of problem letters.

The 17 HMR cartridge is available. You may go to any ammunition store and find 17 HMR. The rifle of 17 HRM is also available everywhere. As the rifle is available, it is relatively easy to find separate parts if needed to fix the rifle.

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The 17 WSM cartridge is not available everywhere. And it’ll be a hassle to find out either. You would find it difficult to find separate parts of the rifle if needed. The cartridge is a special kind. You can’t use this cartridge in any rifle, either. You need to have the 17 WSM rifle to use this cartridge.

In terms of availability, 17 HMR should be your choice.

Final Words

You are looking to find a cartridge that suits you. Go through the parameters given above before making your final decision. And you’ll be able to make a list of what is the difference between a 17 HMR and a 17 WSM? You should be economical while buying cartridges. So, 17 HMR is obviously a better choice for you.

If you need to hit a target at 450 meters distance under strong wind, buying 17 HMR is useless. The 17 HMR will fly up to 150-250 meters and then drop on the ground. You will need 17 WSM to do the job under such conditions. So, all these factors should be considered to get the best cartridge.

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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 >>