Deadeye45, please accept my apologies. I made an assumption that by stating "bolt action" you would be satisfied with a non-auto loading rifle. And so I ignorantly recommended one of my favorites; a lever action Henry. I am so glad that cubancigar2000 has concurred with my recommendation. In addition, I would like to thank cubancigar2000 for pointing out the error of my ways.
Interestingly, Marlin still makes tube magazine fed bolt action rifles in .22 LR and .22 WMRF, including varmint versions. But all .17 HMR bolt actions are "clip" magazine fed. I suspect Marlin wants to wring as much accuracy as possible from the .17 HMR.
The only tube fed .17 HMRs that I'm aware of are lever actions, like the aforementioned Henry. I have a Winchester 9417 lever gun.
I suppose if one were desperate enough and money were no object, one could purchase a Marlin .17 HMR and a tube fed .22 WMRF and swap the barrels. Then sell the .22 WMRF.
Aside from the barrel (octagon vs round), the main difference is the design of the buttstocks. The stock on the Frontier model has a lot of drop, and works best with iron sights. Using a scope with a stock like this means poor cheek weld. That's why the raised comb on the Varmint Express model, as it is intended primarily for use with a scope.
Believe me, it does make a difference. I had a 4-12x 40mm AO on my Winchester 9417 lever gun. Almost no cheekweld at all. Bought a Leupold 2-7x 33mm AO from a ts.com'er, and was able to lower the scope quite a bit. Unfortunately, super short rings are not made for rimfire dovetails, so while I have a cheekweld now, it's still poor. Been looking for a custom stock maker to make a stock with less drop to it, but, alas, no one seems capable anymore. My only option at this point is to get super tall rings and machine them as short as possible.
I have an ajustable comb on my 22-250 Ackley that is just like my shotgun stock. It works so well for getting lined up behind the scope that I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. To clean the gun just take the comb off because the cleaning rod won't clear otherwise. The scope is a 30mm Leupold 6.5 x 20 with 50MM objective so the stock comb really has to go up.