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Using the .17 on squirrels, you'd better be a good shot if you want to eat them.

With a .22 LR, a head shot leaves the whole carcass in good shape, and a front shoulder hit will still leave the hind quarters.... with the .17, you'd better hit them in the head, or there won't be much left.

It's your call, but the .17 is really a varmint round, at least given the current bullet selection; and the .22 LR is the best squirrel gun there ever was, or ever will be.
 

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I've been shooting a lot of red or pine squirrels, along with a few chucks and cats with my 17 HMR and would have to second what wwb says. Any 17 gr bullet is very destructive and the hydostatic shock damage is quite impressive. The 20 gr is a bit less so but is not as accurate as the 17 gr bullets, especially the polymer tipped ones. The damage to meat and the cost of ammo ($0.16/shot at the least) makes it a bit rich for me to use on squirrels. I use mine when the need for a highly frangible bullet is needed to greatly reduce the chance for riccochettes. For any other use, I pick a 22LR.
 

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markIVbigblock said:
Im looking for a new squirrel gun and lookin at the 17hmr what do u guys think? also anyone with opinions on the ruger 77/17 varminter?

Aaron
Great gun...its what I use.
Its fantastic for squirrel and anything small.
Just dont get polymer tips...used the hollow points if you intend on eating :D
 

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A close friend is a squirrel hunter at heart. He'll drop everything to squirrel hunt including any big game hunt on earth.

He recently bought a higher end .17 HMR (Anshutz I think?) and found it both really accurate and extremely destructive. He reports he'd glady trade it for a .22LR in a heartbeat.

Your mileage may vary with ammo but I've never had any trouble with a .22LR.

Some of the .17s are pretty tempting- particularly the really accurate ones.
 

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Re: re: .17HMR for squirrels?

hodgeman said:
A close friend is a squirrel hunter at heart. He'll drop everything to squirrel hunt including any big game hunt on earth.

He recently bought a higher end .17 HMR (Anshutz I think?) and found it both really accurate and extremely destructive. He reports he'd glady trade it for a .22LR in a heartbeat.

Your mileage may vary with ammo but I've never had any trouble with a .22LR.

Some of the .17s are pretty tempting- particularly the really accurate ones.
yeah, the 17 can tear up small game if you dont use the right ammo :)
 

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I have a machine tool instructor who is a squirrel hunting fanatic. He swears by the .17 Mach 2. Not the HMR, but the HM2. He says it shoots flatter than a .22 lr, knocks them dead, and doesn't ruin much meat on body shots. He has a .17 HMR and he says it damages too much meat. I always just use a .22 lr with CCI Mini Mag hollow points.
 

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After shooting a ground squirrel this morning, I wouldn't recommend the .17 hmr for squirrel hunting. A solid shot from a CCI 17 grain hp tore it in two. I considered leaving the squirrel to bolster the population (first one I've seen, ever), but the rock chucks weren't showing themselves, so something had to die...
 
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