The new .17 HMR is another story. I was skeptical when I took a new Ruger Single Six Hunter topped with a 2-8x32 Leupold Vari-X III pistol scope into the woods. I figured the hot little load would vaporize squirrels, but that wasn't the case. The .17 HMR was effective on squirrels out to 60 yards and didn't destroy much meat. In fact, the tiny bullets, both the hollowpoint and ballistic-tipped V-Max loads, didn't always exit the squirrels. The inherent accuracy of the round and the setup made head shots a cinch. The .17 HMR is better than the .22 LR in killing efficiency, though the latter wins hands down in cost (see sidebar below). The new .17 Mach 2 introduced earlier this year represents a middle ground of sorts, as a round of it costs about half as much as a typical .17 HMR, though still more than a typical .22 LR load bought from one of the big-box retail stores.