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The .17 HMR is one of the most capable rimfire rounds. It’s a powerful varmint round that stays supersonic past 400 yards.
But, the bullet is fairly light and easily affected by wind. So, you need a solid optic to really make the most of your .17 HMR rifle.
SPOILER—There are a lot of rimfire scopes. If you’re in a hurry to get one now, get the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle. It’s an incredibly high quality scope that has everything you need to squeeze the most performance out the .17 HMR round.
If you want to look around a bit more, stay with us. We’ll give you a tour of all the best scopes for .17 HMR.
Top Scope for .17 HMR
The Best Scope for 17 HMR Reviews: Big Hits With a Small Round
1. Nikon Prostaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle - Overall Best Scope for .17 HMR
The Nikon Prostaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle takes Nikon’s flagship design for centerfire rounds and tunes it for rimfire rifles.
This scope sports 4-12x magnification. The powerful magnification is ideal for taking long shots on small targets, like varmints. You’ll easily max out the range on a .17 HMR rifle before you max out the magnification on this scope.
The objective lens is 40mm, which is narrow enough that it won’t make your rifle front-heavy or bulky. But, it collects plenty of light for dawn and dusk shooting.
Nikon also uses professional photography grade lenses and multi-coatings in all their scopes. The glass and lens coatings combine to transmit 98% of the available light to your eye. This means a bright, vivid image in almost any conditions.
The BDC reticle also provides over hold aiming points at every 100 yards all the way out to 600 yards, which is more than most shooters will need.
Unfortunately, the parallax isn’t adjustable. It’s set at 100 yards, which is ideal for a rimfire round. However, adjustable parallax would be handy.
Even though it’s not superbly adjustable, this scope is an excellent option for anyone who wants competition-grade performance without paying a competition-grade price.
2. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope - Budget Scope for .17 HMR
The Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope might be the best scope under $100 that you can get for any rifle. But, it’s especially nice for a .17 HMR rifle.
This scope is essentially a whitetail scope. The magnification is 3-9x. It’s plenty for medium centerfire rounds, and it’s more than enough magnification for a rimfire round.
The objective lens is 40mm. It’s a proven lens diameter that offers good image clarity and contrast in low light conditions.
This model is equipped with Bushnell’s Dawn & Dusk Brightness (DDB) lens coatings to enhance image fidelity in all light conditions.
The Multi-X reticle is Bushnell’s version of a duplex reticle. It’s a simple reticle that keeps your field of view uncluttered. However, it lacks some utility in making range and windage adjustments.
Unfortunately, the parallax isn’t adjustable. It’s fixed at 100 yards, which is good enough for rimfire rounds.
But, the price is great, and the quality and performance are impressive. This is a perfect scope for anyone who wants a solid optic without spending much money.
3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope - Scope for .17 HMR Under $200
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope might be the best value you can get in a scope at any price. It comes with the quality and performance you expect from a Vortex scope. But, it’s super affordable.
The magnification range is 4-12x. This is a great magnification range for .17 HMR, since you’ll need strong magnification to hit varmints at maximum range.
Additionally, the objective lens is 44mm, which is larger than many traditional deer scopes.
So, you’ll have a bright enough image to spot prairie dogs and other small animals in dawn or dusk light.
Then, Vortex lenses and lens coatings are some of the best in the industry. And, the lenses in this scope are no exception. The light transmission and image contrast are excellent.
The reticle is the Vortex Dead Hold BDC reticle, which features windage and elevation hash marks. So, you can use your reticle to make accurate wind calls and elevation adjustments, which is super handy for shooting light bullets in windy conditions.
Even though the reticle is super useful, it’s also surprisingly simple, and keeps your field of view relatively uncluttered.
Unfortunately, this is a second focal plane scope. So, the reticle has different proportions at different magnifications.
Also, the parallax is not adjustable. But, it’s set at 100 yards, which is fine for most shooting situations.
Even with these couple nitpicks, this is still an amazing scope for the money. If you want a top-notch scope that’s good enough for any rifle without paying an arm and a leg, this is the scope to get.
4. Primary Arms Silver Series 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope - Value Scope for .17 HMR
Primary Arms is a relative newcomer in the shooting optics world. So far, their optics are excellent. The Primary Arms Silver Series 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope is better than some major manufacturers’ scopes. And, this scope is more affordable than most.
4-14x magnification is great for getting hits on small targets at 200 yards and more. You’ll be able to zoom in enough to spot and hit even the smallest varmints.
The objective lens is 44mm, which is a step up in light collection capability. This scope offers a bright, high contrast image even in the low-contrast light at dawn and dusk.
Additionally, the reticle is illuminated. That makes it even easier to get hits in bad light.
There are 6 brightness settings. You can adjust the reticle so it’s clear without overpowering the image.
The reticle itself is an ARC-2 reticle. The reticle has hash marks for windage and elevation adjustments and over holds. And, there are additional elevation hash marks. So, you can use holdovers at any distance.
This is a first focal plane scope. The reticle retains its proportions at all magnifications. So, you can change power settings without having to use different shooting adjustments.
The only real downside to this scope is that it’s a bit heavy.
But, weight aside, this is an excellent scope for the money. It’s a great alternative to more expensive scopes that actually performs better than many higher priced models.
5. Bushnell Engage Riflescope - Scope for .17 HMR Under $300
The Bushnell Engage Riflescope is designed to give you the most bang for your buck in the sub-$300 price range.
3-12x magnification is powerful enough to hit small targets at maximum .17 HMR range. But, it’s also minimal enough for short range shots. It’s a good one-size-fits-all magnification range.
The objective lens is 42mm. It adds a couple millimeters to the traditional lens size for better light collection. But, it’s narrow enough to keep your rifle easy to handle.
Bushnell’s lens coatings enhance light transmission and color fidelity. And, the lens coatings repel dust and oil, and improve scratch resistance.
The Deploy MOA reticle offers hash marks for windage and elevation estimations and hold overs. The reticle features 0.18 MOA thick crosshairs that keep the reticle from crowding your field of view. However, some shooters have complained that the reticle lines can actually be too thin in some conditions.
But, it’s fairly rare that this is an issue. Overall, this is one of the best scopes that you can get for under $300, whether you’re shooting .17 HMR or anything else.
6. Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope - Scope for .17 HMR Low Light Shooting
The Leupold VX-3i 4.5-14x50mm Riflescope has the specs and glass quality for shooting in the darkest environments.
First, the magnification range is 4.5-14x. It’ll easily max out the range of the .17 HMR, even shooting at super small targets. However, it might be a bit strong for short range shooting.
The objective lens is 50mm. It’s extra wide, and collects a ton of light. So, you get a bright, high-contrast image even in poor light conditions. However, this scope might feel bulky, especially on smaller rifles.
Additionally, this scope features Leupold’s Twilight Max Light Management System, which adds up to 20 minutes of useable light to each day and reduces glare in full daylight.
The Diamond Coat 2 lens coatings also improve scratch resistance, and add durability to your scope.
The reticle is a classic duplex reticle, which is simple and effective. But, it has no hash marks for windage or elevation calculations or holdovers.
This scope might be a bit pricey. But, the Leupold quality and performance are unquestionable. This is an excellent option for anyone who wants a high-end scope for a high-end rifle.
Packing it In
The .17 HMR is an impressive rimfire round. So, you should pair it with an impressive scope. That way, you can get those difficult hits (and impress all your friends).
If you want a scope that’ll do everything you need without busting your budget, get the Nikon Prostaff Rimfire with BDC Reticle. It’s a high quality scope that delivers impressive performance in all conditions.
Those are your options. If you’re still squinting through factory iron sights, it’s time to upgrade your optic and your accuracy.