The 17 Hornet and 17 HMR are two of the most popular rimfire cartridges on the market. They’re both relatively new, having been introduced in 1966 and 2002 respectively. Plus, they have similar ballistics and are both used for hunting small game like squirrels or rabbits…but there are some key differences between them. In this article we’ll discuss what each cartridge is good at, how they differ from one another, which gun manufacturers make them, etc.


The 17 HMR is a rimfire cartridge that comes in a number of variations. It’s not just a single bullet, but rather a family of bullets with different weights, shapes and sizes. The Hornet is another popular rimfire round that comes only in one variety.

  • 17 HMR vs HORNET: What’s the difference?

The most notable difference between these two cartridges is how long they can be expected to travel before reaching their target.

The Hornet has an effective range of about 250 yards (228 meters), while it’s been estimated that the 17 HMR will go about half that distance when fired from a typical rifle platform like an AR-15 or AK-47 style weapon (a range of roughly 100 yards or 91 meters).

The History of the Cartridges

The 17 Hornet and 17 HMR are both rimfire cartridges that have been around since the 1930s. The Hornet was first, followed by the HMR (Hornady Magnum Rimfire). Both of these cartridges have a similar story: they were designed to be used in rifles chambered for them, and they were created with a specific purpose in mind. However, there are two main differences between them:

  • The Hornet has been around longer than the HMR
  • The Hornet is mainly known for its use as a varmint hunting cartridge while the HMR has a broader range of applications

17 HMR vs. 17 Hornet

The 17 Hornet is a rimfire cartridge, while the 17 HMR is a rimfire cartridge. Both are popular hunting cartridges with shooters who prefer the versatility of being able to hunt game at various ranges. The 17 HMR has a reputation for being more accurate than its counterpart, though it also tends to be slightly less powerful (though they have similar energy levels).

The difference between these two calibers can be summed up as follows:

  • Both are extremely popular choices among varmint hunters. As such, it’s worth considering them if you’re looking for a new handgun or rifle for small game hunting.

17 HMR vs Hornet Rifles & Pistols

The Hornet is a pistol, which means it has a shorter barrel than the 17 HMR rifle. This makes it easier to accommodate in your hand and more comfortable to hold.

Since it’s shorter, that also means that the cartridge is more compact and therefore more powerful than its counterpart.

The Hornet’s power means that you can hit targets at distances up to 200 yards away with ease—much farther than what you’d be able to do with an airgun or other firearm using .17 HMR ammo.

Popular 17 HMR vs Hornet Ammunition

Both 17 Hornet and 17 HMR are rimfire cartridges that are popular with shooters. If you’re wondering which one is right for you, here are some points to consider:

  • Price: The average price of ammo for each cartridge is around $15 per box, but this can vary depending on the ammunition manufacturer. More expensive brands include CCI and Hornady, while Remington and Winchester sell more affordable options.
  • Accuracy: Many people choose between these two calibers based on their accuracy because they tend to be extremely accurate out of an AR-15 rifle or shotgun barrel.
  • Trajectory: The trajectory (i.e., bullet drop) of any given round varies depending on its velocity, weight and aerodynamic design; in general, the faster a bullet travels through air (which is measured in feet/second), the less it drops as it travels downrange (i.e., farther away from its launch point).
  • When comparing these two rounds against each other we see that they both have similar ballistic charts but with different trajectories at close ranges or when fired at long distances due to their respective velocities being higher than those found within other popular calibers such as 22 Long Rifle (.22 LR) bullets fired out of rifles; however if we compare both types’ ballistic charts side-by-side then we’ll find that there’s only about five inches difference between them which isn’t nearly enough variance between these two rounds’ performance characteristics.”

Both are quality rimfire cartridges.

Both the Hornet and HMR are quality, accurate and reliable rimfire cartridges. They’re also affordable and a lot of fun to shoot.

Both rounds are effective at taking small game such as varmints and any other quarry that you might want to hunt with them. While they have slightly different applications in their respective fields, they can both be used interchangeably depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these two popular cartridges:


Both of these cartridges have a long history and are still in use today. They can be used for long range hunting, plinking and competitive shooting. The 17 Hornet is slightly more powerful but has less recoil than its counterpart. The 17 HMR is more accurate but has a lower velocity due to its light bullet weight. Both cartridges offer excellent performance when loaded with premium ammunition such as CCI Stinger or Remington Golden Bullet rounds which deliver higher velocities than standard ammo available at most retailers