New Raging Rimfire .17 Winchester Super Magnum

Discussion in 'Turf and Surf Hunting and Fishing' started by Quigley_Sharps, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    New Raging Rimfire: .17 Winchester Super Magnum

    By: Ron Spomer

    If you've been following this blog, you know that Winchester is unleashing the world's fastest rimfire cartridge. Until now, the details have been top-secret.
    It's called the .17 Winchester Super Magnum, and it sets a new standard in rimfire performance by pushing a 20-grain bullet to 3,000 fps and a 25-grain to 2,600 fps.
    Those are the quickest times ever posted by a commercial rimfire cartridge.

    25-grain (left, gray tips) and 20-grain (right, red tips) Winchester Super Magnums.
    That 3,000 fps from the 20-grain bullet is fast enough to more than double the downrange energy of both the .17-gr. V-Max in the .17 HMR and a 40-gr. bullet in the .22 WMR. But that's not all. The 20-grain Winchester shoots twice as flat as the .17 HMR and three times flatter than the .22 WMR. Wind deflection of this little Winchester bullet is two times less than that of the 17-grain Hornady.

    Left to right: .22 Long Rifle, .22 WMR, .17 HMR,
    two .17 Winchester Super Magnums
    An easier way to sum up the .17 Winchester Super Magnum is to compare it to the famous Winchester .22 Hornet. In a nutshell, the new .17 Winchester Super Magnum outperforms the old Hornet (introduced in 1933) in everything but retained energy, and at 250 yards even those number are awfully close. Shoot the 25-grain bullet in the new .17 and you surpass .22 Hornet energy at 250 yards. The real news—the stand up and cheer, “Oh boy, I've gotta get one of these!” news—is that the .17 Winchester Super Magnum does this for two-thirds less cost. That's right. The average, store-bought .22 Hornet cartridge will set you back about $1.00. The average .17 Winchester Super Magnum should ring up at around 30 cents.

    I don't know about you, but those numbers ring my cash register.

    So, where did this new rimfire come from? As you might know, most “new” cartridges evolve from older ones. The BB cap became the longer CB cap which was stretched to make the .22 Short, then the .22 Long and .22 Long Rifle. That case was stretched again to create the .22 Win. Mag., and that longer case was in turn necked down to make the .17 HMR. There was no stretching or necking of existing rifle cartridges in the making of the .17 Winchester Super Magnum. Its case was a .27-caliber powder reservoir used in industrial construction to drive fasteners into concrete. In converting it to a rifle round, Winchester engineers made it thicker and stronger to withstand the pressures inherent in pushing a bullet down a barrel. Then they necked it down to .17.

    Full reports on the rifles being built to handle the round aren't yet available, but I imagine they'll need to be stronger than existing rimfire models. The .17 Winchester Super Magnum hits peak pressures of 33,000 psi. The .17 HMR peaks at 26,000 psi. I'm also assuming firing pin impact energy must be higher to crush the rim of the thicker cases for ignition. That this can be done was proven to my satisfaction last August when I got to shoot a couple of rough, pre-pre-production Savage bolt-action test rifles in Montana. Although I had to often hand feed one cartridge at a time and extract them with a knife blade, the rifles regularly printed five shots around MOA at 100 yards. Shooting was done outdoors in variable breezes gusting to 10 mph from a portable bench. One six-shot group at 200 yards clustered inside 2.25 inches. Not many jackrabbits, prairie dogs or foxes are going to escape that.

    Two .17 Winchester Super Magnums with a Savage test rifle.
    By the way, I chronographed those rounds and recorded muzzle velocities slightly higher than Winchester is advertising. The 20-grain rounds averaged 3,023 fps and the 25-grain ones went 2,625 as measured 10 feet from the muzzle.
    I also opened a round of each and found 9.5 grains and 8.5 grains of a fine ball powder in each, respectively. This tiny dose of powder is part of the reason the ammo will be so inexpensive. Not having to build and install primers into each case is another, and the minimum quantity of metal in both the brass and bullets seals the deal.

    When the .17 HMR hit the streets about 8 years ago, there were skeptics and doubters. But that little speedster quickly proved its place. By essentially doubling .17 HMR performance, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum should be a huge hit. It will be deadly on the usual rodents up to and including chucks. It'll be perfect for jackrabbits and crows, and an ideal fur-getter on fox, bobcat and probably coyote. I can't wait to try it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2015
  2. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I just can't see it for a non reloadable round. Why not neck down the 22 hornet to .17cal. Use the 20 and 25gr bullets they use in the .17 rimfire and play with the powders available until you achieve the accuracy and fps you are looking for. I ain't gunkid, but I will damn sure stick with my 22lr rounds until hell freezes over (lol, at this point I have so many of them, I could shoot 22lr every day of the rest of my life and have a huge stash to pass on to my heirs), and I will continue to obtain more when the price is right. 9mm, 45acp, 9mm mak, 38sp, 12ga, .308win I will continue to acquire components and completed rounds for. jmho
    oldawg and chelloveck like this.
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Not many times I'm in agreement with tac, but from a prepper / survival point of view, a wildcat, uncommonly owned calibre, unreloadable rimfire round doesn't make much practical sense, regardless of the claimed sooper dooper ballistic performance. The touted cheapness of the .17 round loses its comparative cost advantage each time a factory loaded .22 hornet cartridge case is reloaded.

    The round's relative rarity, compared to a .22lr, .22wmr, or even the .22 hornet, will make the gun nigh well useless (in a long term SHTF environment), and not worth the price tag of the firing platform once commercial supplies dry up....the rifle might make a useable club, the butt and stock might make for reasonable firewood I suppose, and a competent blacksmith might be able to forge the barrel and action into something useful as well I guess.

    For the price of a brand new .17 WSM rifle (Assuming that the new calibre platform costs the same as the .17HMR approx $430-$900 ) one could buy a second hand .22 Hornet rifle in good condition, a couple of .22lr rifles plus change for a brick or two of .22lr and a quantity of .22 Hornet reloading components.

    For hunters, the new round may have just a little further reach, and a little more punch than its older counterparts, but not so much that it will compensate for any limitations in a hunter's stalking and marksmanship skills.
    oldawg and tacmotusn like this.
  4. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    I think the lure is for gun aficionados and guys who hunt might not shoot 100 rounds in a year out of any one gun or a die-hard varmint hunter. They don't have the mindset of "stocking up" on just a few calibers for SHTF. Having different calibers is fun and interesting IF you don't think of prepping/survival.

    Guns used to be neat, fun, and interesting--like a painting. Now, I just see them as tools. If they are too specialized, then, they're just not useful to a prepper. But, these guys don't think like that.

    Cross-post: 17 Winchester Super mag
    chelloveck and Brokor like this.
  5. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I enjoy shooting and refuse to limit my enjoyment to prepping, survival or home defense.

    However, same as a tennis racquet or kicking tee they are also tools.
  6. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Sticking with the 22 hornet.Even with increase in cost per round initially reloading brings it back in line pretty quick. Never was one to spend the bucks for boutique arms and ammo when usually there is a mainstream round that puts you in the ball park of what you want to achieve. If the .17 WSM becomes popular enough then the cost comes down both for guns and ammo. But being the obstinate old man I am I'll still probably stick with either my .22 mag or the hornet depending on the need.
  7. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    This round for sure isn't for SHTF, that's why this post resides in the hunting forum.[nutkick]

    I believe this will make the 17 HMR a collectors item in the near future. The 17HMR is enjoyed great success out west for sage rat hunting this opens the range up for longer distance for the non re-loaders.
    The single most thing I have liked about the 17 rim fires versus my other light varmint rounds IE: 218 bee, 222, 17bee, 22k hornet, 22 hornet and 223 is no ear plugs needed.The 17's suffer in cross winds and a single blade of grass or a rain drop and foil a shot. But I still like my 17 HMR. That being said I probably wont run out and buy this new 17 but if one fell in my lap for a great price, I might. That's how i ended up with the other varmint calibers I have.
    CATO likes this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    So, in time this new .17 WSM could spell the end of the 17HMR, with exception to collectors and the stubborn few until ammunition becomes too scarce. Either way, no skin off my back. I have to say, the basic information on this .17 WSM round is already quite impressive. I am definitely going to be interested to see how this all turns out. If it ends up being a fancy, hard to acquire item geared toward yuppie types, count me out. If the guns for this become affordable and sensible, I might want to pick one up...but only in semi-auto. =)

    Score big points for:

    -Extremely high velocity, small caliber

    *IF you know me, I am already thinking tactical, bullpup design with steel-core armor piercing bullets.*
    melbo and Quigley_Sharps like this.
  9. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Whaaaaat? Looks like RIA might have a sweet little gun there. Only thing is, ammo might not catch on. (22 TCM)
    Quigley_Sharps likes this.
  10. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    melbo likes this.
  11. HappyPuppy

    HappyPuppy Monkey

    This is not the first time this has been tried. Remember the 5mm Remington ?
    The problem with them was the cost of ammo was very high vs .22 and even .22 Magnum. I had one for a while until it was discontinued and the ammo started to dry up.
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