SHOT 2013 Preview: Winchester .17 Super Magnum, .17 WSM

Rimfire Has New Life

Rimfire is not for just plinking anymore. Just 20 grains at 3,000 feet per second—lets do this! I have never been a big fan of the .17 caliber in any form. If I want a varmint gun and caliber, I am going for the .223 Remington. That has now changed. That my friends is almost 400 ft-lbs from a 20-grain bullet. That is a serious varmint round in a rimfire cartridge no less. With the skyrocketing price of .223 everywhere, due to its many applications, a new varmint cartridge has come at the right time.

.17 HMR, .17WSM, .22 Mag.
.17 HMR, .17WSM, .22 Mag.

To put that energy in perspective that is the punch of a 9mm Luger or a .45 ACP and it can travel, a lot farther. We are talking small to medium size game in .17 caliber. All right, I want in this game and now. The question is, what platform will it be used in? I have put this question to our roving reporter Dave Dolbee, who will be at SHOT, and hope to have the answer soon, very soon.

“This is not just a hotter loaded .17 HMR,” Brad said as we drove out to my local range. To prove his point he handed me both an HMR and the new .17 Win. Super Mag. Side by side it was easy to see the difference; it was like comparing a .30-06 to a .300 Winchester Magnum…which in a way is not a bad analogy, just on a smaller scale. “We have a power fastener division of the company…you know, it makes cartridges for power nail guns and such. Well, we based this case off of the .27-caliber power fastener case. It gives us more case capacity, can handle higher pressures and ultimately more velocity. Lots more velocity.”

winchester 17 WSM 2

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Comments (11)

  1. I had a 17 hmr, it is fast, but a 17 cal. bullet just did not make it for anything but rock chucks & smaller. Wind eats it alive. I hit a coyote at 100 yd.s & it got up & ran off, never got it. I have since purchased 2 22 mags, & I am totaly satisfied with them.

  2. The HMR never interested me. I do have an AR-15 in .17Rem and I like it. This being a rim fire does have my interest however. And with better ballistics than a .22 mag. I may be buying one soon.

  3. I’m a big 17 HMR fan and even bigger 22 Hornet fan, I used the 17 HMR to replace my 22 Hornet to offset the cost of ammunition several years ago. Then the 17 Hornet appeared, but I never saw it as competion to the .223, because ammo prices are back to center fire prices. But I’m looking forward to my new 17 WSM (which by the way is already on order) at $295 for the Savage B Mag. I think its worth a try. I believe there are three different ammo configurations going to be available I just hope one of them shoots well. Now I don’t expect to get the same .223 peformance from the 17 WSM but do expect to get great performance out to 150 yds and on a VERY GOOD DAY out to 200 yards. If that happens out of a $300 rifle and ammo at $15 for a box of 50 I will be a VERY HAPPY SHOOTER…….

  4. This is the first .17 that really interests me. From what I’ve read it shoots much flatter and bucks wind much better than other rimfire .17s. I’m going to have a “wait and see” stance at this point but if I was in a rimfire only area I would have ordered one already.

  5. The 17 WSM is a rimfire that gives center fire results so therefore the real result is that I can shoot all day and not go broke.
    Plus…these little rounds are safer in populated areas and aren’t too loud.

  6. The .17 HMR I’ve shot before and the .22 mag too they both do fine but coming out with another competition is not going to buy me because there is no use I mean if your going to take game bigger or shoot longer ranges maybe the .17 WSM is for you but not for me it is over kill…

  7. We’re talking about a complete new gun and ammo. I got rid of a .17 and got a .22 mag because the .17 HMR just didn’t have the specs I needed. The bullet was to light and drifted in the wind to much. I bullseye crows and varmits at 150 yards with my .22 mag. with a 8X scope. They needed to come up with a better .17 to compete with the .22 mag but I still haven’t see the complete specks on the WSM or the comparison to the .22 mag. My money will still be on my .22 mag.

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