The .17 HMR is a rimfire cartridge made by Hornady all the way back in 2002. It’s over 20 years in service and the .17 HMR still serves your local shooters very nicely. The caliber is mostly used for small game hunting, varmint hunting, and close-quarter recreational shooting.

As the recoil of this caliber is quite low and it’s super easy to master, newbies love this cartridge a lot. That doesn’t mean, the bigger fishes hate it or anything. One thing tho, you will require a 17 HMR scope that won’t fail under the pressure.

But finding the best scope for 17 HMR will definitely take a toll on your mind. Unless you leave the mental work to me and just take the result. That’s right, I know you are here for one of the best scopes for 17HMR and you will get just that. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into it.

How To Choose a Scope For 17 HMR?

Even after finding out some of the best scopes for .17 HMR, your headache isn’t over here. After all, I didn’t give you one option but rather multiple options. What if I tell you, you can still make an easy decision among them? Hard to believe, no? Well, hear me out.

You can easily make your decision based on what kind of shooting you planning to do and how long of a range you expect from your scope.

If you want a higher magnified scope, then, by all means, go for it. But if you want to stay close to mid-range, you can do that as well. Once you figure out the stuff you want to do with the scope, the next step is easier.

The next step is the budget. You need to decide how much you want to spend on the scope you are looking into buying. If you have plans to go all out, by all means, do that.

But if you are just starting out and want to dip your toes in the .17 life, then starting off with something affordable might make more sense. Either way, your decision making will be easier if you know how much you want to spend behind the scope.

1. Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-16x44mm Tactical FFP Riflescope

The Diamondback series from Vortex isn’t a new kid on the block. They have many hunting accessories under this banner and all of them are incredible. The Diamondback has a first focal plane reticle for you to hunt with ease. Even though the .17 HMR is not a long-range cartridge, this scope is.

The Diamondback is available in 4-16×44 and 6-24×50 configurations. You also have the option to choose EBR-2C MOA or MRAD reticle. The scope is made out of solid aluminum as you expected. The scope also is internally purged with chemicals to make it immune to internal fogging.

The lenses on the Diamondback are fully multi-coated. As you expect from Vortex, the visuals are stunning and have no issues with fast focus or shifting targets on the fly.

In fact, the clarity of the scope can give much more expensive scopes a run for its money. For Varmint hunting, it’s one of the best scopes for .17 HMR.

Does this scope come with any mounting accessories?

Unfortunately, no. It doesn’t come with any kind of mounting accessories. You will need to buy a pair of rings on your own. The tube is 30mm, as long as you buy any standard 30mm rings, you will be fine.

Is this a good scope for hunting?

It’s made for hunting. It can be used as a tactical shooter and plinking weapon as well, but the purpose will always be hunting.

What kind of warranty does Vortex offer?

Vortex offers an unlimited, unconditional, lifetime warranty. As long as you have a Vortex product, they are here to take care of you.

2. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope

The SLX from Primary Arms proposes a stellar value. The optic is great for hunting and recreational shooting. The two purposes of a .17 HMR can be fulfilled by this optic.

Even if you are serious about small-game hunting or professional varmint hunting, you will be able to take full advantage of the SLX.

It’s true the SLX is a long-range weapon and a bit overkill for the .17 HMR in terms of magnification, but magnification is something that will come in handy. It’s not a bad thing per say to get a higher magnified scope.

The SLX also features a set of fully multi-coated lenses. The lenses are extremely clear and vibrant. They also don’t suffer from issues such as sunlight glare or chromatic aberration. The scope performs well for hunting throughout the day. That does mean it’s good at low light as well.

Is the reticle of the scope illuminated?

Yes, the reticle is illuminated. You will also find 6 adjustable levels of brightness settings present on the scope. But none of them are compatible enough for night vision.

What kind of warranty does Primary Arms provide?

They are known for their lifetime warranty that they provide with all of their optics. They are committed to good service.

Is this a good scope for hunting?

Yes, the scope is great for hunting. It’s much better than a lot of scopes priced similarly in terms of varmint hunting.

3. Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12x40mm Rifle Scope

It will be hard to find people who have never heard of Leupold VX scopes. The series is popular amongst newbies mostly. The inexpensive price tag with feature rich tubes is what makes the scope appealing to the masses.

The scope is constructed from high-quality aluminum. The aluminum is lightweight and extremely durable. The inside of the tube is also purged with nitrogen to make it fogproof and the outside of the scope has O-ring sealing. That makes the scope waterproof as well.

If anything, the harsh weather of Africa or in the north won’t affect the scope at all.

The lenses on this scope are fully multi-coated. They are visibly bright, clear, and sharp. The image they create is fantastic. It doesn’t matter if you are hunting with the scope or recreational shooting. You will have fun with the .17 HMR.

Why doesn’t Leupold include rings with it?

Two reasons. One, they don’t know what type of gun you are using and what’s the rail of that gun. The second one, they sells rings separately. Leupold makes standard 1” rings as well. You can also get the Vortex Hunter series. They are also cheap and good.

Where should I zero this scope?

That will depend on what plans you have for the scope. You can zero it at 100, 200, and 300 yards even. If you are a varmint hunter and want the close-range focus mainly, then you should try to zero at 100 yards.

Is the magnification too high for 50-yard shooting?

Nope, not at all. You can use it at 50 yards or 350 yards. That’s up to you. As the .17 HMR is mostly accurate within 200 yards, I guess you should stick to that range.

4. Hawke Vantage IR 4-12×40 AO 1” Rimfire .17 HMR Scope

That’s a tough title to stomach, isn’t it? But the scope itself is not a tough one to master. In fact, it’s one of those scopes that you can master as a beginner as well. And once you get the hang of the Ballistic reticle, you will have so much fun it’s not describable with words.

The scope is manufactured by Hawke. Hawke makes great hunting scopes. The Vantage is no exception. This lightweight scope is made from high-quality aluminum. The aluminum is anodized with a black color finish that looks classy.

The price to performance of this scope is quite unmatched.

The lenses of this scope are coated with 11 layers of multiple chemicals. It’s excellent for clarity and light transmission. As there is no chromatic aberration, there is no way of seeing double or color being faded out of focus. As the name suggests, it’s one of the best scopes for .17 HMR. And in this price bracket, the competition is not even close.

Does Hawke include any mounting rings with this scope?

No, it doesn’t. The scope comes with just the scope, lens covers, cleaning cloth, and a CR2032 battery. You will need 1” rings for this scope.

Is the reticle of this scope illuminated?

Yes, the reticle is illuminated. You will find 5 levels of brightness settings. You can choose either red or green illumination.

Does Hawke provide any warranty?

Yes, they do. They offer a lifetime worldwide warranty with their scopes. Rest assured, Hawke is here to see through till the end.

5. Burris Optics Fullfield E1 4.5-14x42mm Riflescope

It’s a trend in the budget scope to feature as much magnification as it’s humanly possible. Even though with a .17 HMR you will never take full advantage of the 14x range, it’s still good to have in the pocket.

The Fullfield is a hunting and tactical scope. It’s versatile enough to be used as military equipment as well. You cannot claim something bold and then make a scope out of plastic. Burris didn’t do that.

They made the scope out of aluminum billet, turned that billet into this beautiful looking tube through CNC machining, and has a matte black anodization as the cherry on top.

The lenses are fully multi-coated. As you expect from a Burris optic. The optical performance is excellent. Burris makes some of the best hunting scopes on the market and you can’t deny that. Most of the scopes are consulted with other hunters and veterans in the community and their operating team themselves are pretty knowledgeable.

Does Burris provide mounting rings?

Unfortunately, no. They don’t include any mounting rings. But you can easily purchase the Vortex Hunter series and use them with this scope. Just keep in mind to grab 1” rings.

What kind of warranty does Burris Rock?

Burris rocks a solid forever warranty. No BS and will provide your scope warranty as long as your product has the serial code of being original Burris.

Does the scope feature threading to install the sunshade?

Yes, the optic has threads machined in them. You can thread in sunshade without any tinkering.

6. BSA 3-12X40 Sweet 17 Riflescope

While the name of the scope may be a bit out of context, it’s still a .17 HMR firing scope. The scope is at a sweet spot where it nails all 17 HMR shots. Thus, the name. This rimfire scope is constructed from Aluminum. And the aluminum has an anodized finish to make it look premium and protect the exterior from scratches.

The scope features fully multi-coated lenses. The lenses are bright, clear, vibrant, have good contrast, and don’t suffer from glare related issues.

The generous 4” eye relief is also perfect for glasses users. Sure, the scope could have appealed to a much wider crowd with a bigger relief, but I think the eye relief is perfect for most.

Another good thing about the scope is its durability. The scope is shock, water, and fogproof. You know, the usual. But it’s good to see people aren’t skipping out on the usuals either.

Is the reticle illuminated?

There is a variant of the optic that features illuminated reticles. But most of them don’t feature that.

Will I get scope rings with it?

Out of 5 different BSA Sweet 17 models, you will find 2 piece dovetail mounts included with two of them. For the rest, you will need to buy rings on your own.

What kind of warranty does BSA Sweet 17 scope have?

BSA Sweet 17 has a limited 1 year warranty on the product. Which is not a lot, but considering the price, it’s justifiable.

7. Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 4-12X40mm Riflescope

To finish off the list, I want to feature another crazy value scope. The price-to-performance of these scopes just keeps getting better. The Banner is a medium to long-range scope. But if you buy the Banner for .17 HMR, you will only utilize the close to mid-range performance of it.

And the close to mid-range performance of this scope is phenomenal. The accuracy is enough to allow you to participate in small game hunting. As for varmint hunting, the scope is deadly.

The lenses are fully multi-coated and they feature a Multi-X reticle. The reticle is etched on the glass to prevent misreading. Even from recoil, the scope won’t move around or mess up your loaded adjustments.

Speaking of adjustments, the turrets are placed in a position where you can naturally adjust the scope while shooting.

Does Bushnell include mounting rings with the scope?

No, they don’t include any rings. The body of the scope is 1” thing. So, you will need 1” rings for the scope. If you have 30mm, might as well sell them and get a new one. Because adapters sometimes can be weird.

What is the warranty on this scope?

The warranty on this scope is a lifetime warranty. Just like all other Bushnell products. Their customer service is quite good and you can buy from them with your eyes closed.

Does this scope come with a lens cover?

Yes, it does. It comes with a bikini style cover connected through an elastic cord. And they are not opaque/see-through.


And that’s about it. I ended up saying more than I anticipated. Hopefully, my blabbering wasn’t too off-putting to your eyes. With that said, I was on a journey to find you the best scope for .17 HMR and I can say that I managed to do it. Although it will still depend largely on your decision-making, that decision making will be a bit easier now.

That’s all for now, I hope to see you guys back on the next post I have planned. Hopefully, you will find that informative as well. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it. Hope you are having a good one. Take care and have fun.

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