April 16, 2013
Winchester has just unveiled what the company is calling "the most revolutionary rimfire cartridge in the company's history." The new round is touted as being the fastest rimfire in the world. According to the company, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum offers the downrange performance of a centerfire cartridge and "pinpoint accuracy and devastating performance at ranges well past 200 yards."
The new cartridge has been in development for about three years, and it is based on a .27-caliber construction cartridge, the kind that powers nail guns and such, that has been necked down to .17 caliber. It achieves velocities about 600 fps faster than the .17 HMR rimfire with equal bullet weights, and it has more than two times the downrange energy of the .17 HMR and the .22 WMR. Its trajectory is said to be 50 percent flatter than the .17 HMR, and it has less wind drift than both the .17 HMR and the .22 WMR. Trajectory and wind drift are similar to that of the centerfire .22 Hornet.
With muzzle velocities of 2,600 and 3,000 fps, the .17 Win. Super Mag. is being offered with three bullet types: a 20-grain jacketed hollowpoint, a 20-grain polymer tip, and a 25-grain polymer tip. The factory ballistics are shown in the accompanying chart and graphs.
Each loading comes in 50-round boxes and 500-round cases, and according to Winchester it will be on dealers' shelves this month at a retail price that won't break the bank.
Savage Arms has already announced that it will be chambering rifles for the new round, and another as-yet-unnamed riflemaker will be joining the party soon. Rest assured, as shooting samples become available, Shooting Times will be putting the new .17 Win. Super Mag. and the new rifles to the test.
Check out this video of Petersen's Hunting Editor Mike Schoby at the range with the brand new .17 Win. Super Mag.