.223 or 17 hmr

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by AlaOutlaw, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. AlaOutlaw

    AlaOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    N.E. Alabama
    I was looking at a .17 hmr for a general purpose varmint gun but a friend of mine told me to go for a .223 He said the ammo was dirt cheap compared to the .17's and it would satisfy my varmint hunting needs just as well or better than the .17 Could somebody please tell me the pro's and con's of each gun and which would be better suited for longer range shooting?
  2. catahoula

    catahoula Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    Eastern Washington
    The .17 will put a smaller hole in hides if you are interested in selling hides. They sure are proud of that .17 ammo, that was the deal breaker for me.

    The .223 would be better for the long shot, but there are better varmint rounds, not as cheap as the .223. Just food for thought here, why not step up to a .308? Same cheap ammo, it can be used for hunting larger game as well, granted it's a bit much for smaller varmints like raccoons and such, but it would reach out there and get coyotes, deer, black bears, fence bustin' renegade goats er...oh never mind.

  3. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

    Jul 12, 2006
    Eastern North Carolina
    What kind of varmints? Id lean towards a 223 if you have coyotes or if you want to shoot much past 200 yds. Ammo is cheaper and there are a lot more choices in both guns and ammo selections
  4. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

    Apr 22, 2005
    Yup lots of good varmit round out there today. 22-250, 220 swift 204 ruger 243 win.
    but the question was 223 or 17
    223 rounds are cheaper than 17's due to the fact that is a milatary round and that seems to always bring the price down and make them more popular. I would almost bet you could find 223 rounds in just about any US town. Wouldn't even think of making that bet on the 17 my self.
    If your set on those two choices go with the 223.

    :D Al
  5. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Between those two, I would also choose the .223.
  6. Here in Oklahoma the 223 with a 55 grain bullet is just legally big enough to deer hunt with. But you can buy the varmint rounds at 45 grain hollow points to use for varmint hunting. So I would say the 223 would make a better all around gun. However, I'm not a varmit hide hunter so I would have no ideal what kind of damage it would do to smaller varmints such as raccoons and bobcats.
  7. LindaVistaFarm

    LindaVistaFarm Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    The 17hmr is an excellent round for anything you would nornally use a 22 mag for with the exception that it is useable for about another 100 yards. The 223 is an accurate round and it is cheaper than the 17 due to the military surplus. I kill ground hogs out to over 500 yards with it using the 55 grain fmj. Instant kills and if you go for fur, the solid will not damage the skins as bad as a expanding bullet. Another + for the 223 is the fact of the rounds being cheap so you can afford to shoot more. More practice means more hits. I am a ex-Marine sniper and I love the long shots. I would go for the 223. Almost forgot another + for the 223. The 223 will not burn out the barrel as fast as a hotter round will.

  8. Trapper

    Trapper Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    After owning and using both cal. guns the .223 is my choice hands down. While the .17 did okay with fox and at times with close shots on coyotes (within 50 yards) it just didn't have the knockdown staydown punch needed. Heck I even had a few .17 bounce of the skulls of racoons while calling, and these shots were within 15 yards. :shrug: The .223 besides the cheaper ammo gave me a better result for the effort on coyotes and even used it to harvest a couple of deer. For the coon I have dropped done to a .22 mag and surprisingly the results have been better. :) I have since parted with the .17 and don't miss it. Good luck, Trapper