Ron Spomer Outdoors 17 Win Super Mags
        The red-tipped cartridges peeking from this tray are the leading edge of Winchester’s new, just-released, ground-breaking rimfire, the 17 Win Super Magnum.

      At 3,000 fps, this is the fastest rimfire ever produced.   For perspective, contrast the 17 Win Super Mag (no relation to the WSM centerfire cartridges) against the former rimfire velocity champ, the popular .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire. While the 17 HMR shoots delightfully flat, the 17 Win Super Mag shoots two times flatter and drifts only half as far in the wind, as this video explains. Its 20-grain bullets retain more than twice as much downrange energy, and its 25-grain projectiles nearly triple the energy of the 17-grain V-Max in the HMR load, as this video demonstrates.   Zero the 20-grain Win Super Mag load at 150 yards and it will strike less than an inch high at 100 yards and just 2.6 inches low at 200 yard. This means you can aim dead center on a teeny little ground squirrel at any range out to 200 yards and hit it.  

Ron Spomer Outdoors 17 WSM Comparisons

L. to R. 22 LR, 22 WMR, 17 HMR, 17 WSM 20 gr., 17WSM 25 gr., 22 Hornet.

      Ballistics like this aren’t just interesting, they’re game changing. The 17 Win Super Mag rimfire matches or beats the performance of the 22 Hornet centerfire cartridge for two-thirds less cost. Yup. You should be able to buy 17 Win Super Mag rounds for around 30 cents each. Hornet cartridges go for closer to $1 each. Three shots for the price of one? I’ll take it.  

     Some nay-sayers will poo poo this .17 as unnecessary and way more expensive than the .22 Long Rifle. Well sure. But fillet mignon is more expensive than hamburger. I think you can agree there’s a reason to eat a fillet now and then.   Here are some attributes of the 17 Win Super Mag:  1. Almost no recoil. 2. Minimal noise. 3. Extremely flat shooting. 4. Accurate. 5. Less wind drift than any other rimfire. 6. Minimum ricochet danger. 7. Performance equal to 22 Hornet. 8. Cost equal to 17 HMR. 9. Perfect for varmints and target shooting in settled areas. 10. Effective for small game with head shots. 11. Powerful enough for coyotes. 12. Minimal potential pelt damage on small furbearers like fox, coyote. 13. Available in inexpensive (I’m guessing) rifles.  

     Unlike most new cartridges, this 17 Win didn’t evolve from an existing round. The case is a 27 caliber rimfire powder reservoir used to drive fasteners into concrete in the construction industry. To make is suitable as a rifle cartridge, Winchester engineers necked it down to .17 and made the head and walls thicker to withstand the 33,000 psi pressure generated in this round. This compares to just 26,000 psi in the 17 HMR. I assume rifles chambered for the 17 Win will have to be a bit stronger than those that currently handle the Hornady or 22 WMR. Firing pins might also need to hit harder to crush the thicker rims. All of that, I’m sure, will be worked out by the gun makers.  

Ron Spomer Outdoors 17 WSM Targets

A couple of 5-shot groups from pre-production test rifle. 25-gr. loads with gray tips, 20-gr. loads with red.

      I suspect Savage will be the first-to-market with a rifle for this new round because last August I tested 17 Win Super Mags in a rough, pre-pre-production bolt-action Savage not yet fully functional. I hand-fed and extracted rounds. But 5-shot groups with both the 20-gr. and 25-gr. bullets still clustered around an inch at 100 yards. They chronographed just slightly faster than Winchester’s advertised velocity: 3,023 fps for the 20-gr., 2,625 fps for the 25 grain 10-feet from the muzzle. I’m betting full production rifles and ammo will easily shoot sub MOA, and 1/2 MOA wouldn’t surprise me.   I hope to try the new guns and cartridges on jackrabbits, coyotes and rock chucks soon. I’ll fill you in on that performance. In the meantime, check store shelves for the new ammo and rifles.   # # #      

About ron

Over the years I have worked to communicate the special relationship between humans and this planet on which we live. Through my decades of writings and photography I have learned that media are limiting. Word’s can’t describe everything. Photos can’t show everything. Video can’t capture everything. But they can inform and inspire.


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36 thoughts on “The 17 Winchester Super Magnum

  • Tyler Spomer

    Hey Cousin! Wow, this sounds like loads of fun. Just as you said it sounds like it would be quite versatile on multiple species. I’ve always wanted a .17HMR but I think now I want the .17WSM! Nice article.

      • ron Post author

        Standard cattle fence. Probably between 3.5 and 4 feet high. Giraffes go 10- to 14-feet depending on age and sex. Bull’s biggest. Usually see them in herds or 6 to 14. Inspiring sight.

    • ron Post author

      Savage is getting some of its B-Mags out now. I heard Gander Mnt. in MI had some. By March should be in general release. No news yet on ammo, but supposed to be soon.

  • George King

    Thanks for sharing Ron. Some will say we have enough in the way of cartridges already, nonsense. Now if we are lucky, there will be a rifle on the market within the next 12 months. Aside from Savage which is a given, hope like heck that Kimber and Cooper make a commitment to the new round.

  • cwm

    This is basically what the 17HMR should have been. Repeaters will need magazine work but single shots like the Low Wall or verniable TC will adapt very readilly.

    • larry

      I own a savage 17wsm and have about a thousand rounds. The gun at first looks cheap with a plastic stock. The rotary magazine is a little difficult to load and no where are extra magazine listed for sale.
      the rifle is very light and locks the bolt on closing making it feel harder to shoot and reload fast. Fred myer store has opened a firearms department in the west, Cabalas and wallmart sell the b-mag

  • Jim Zucchero

    I like your assessment of the 17super mag. I love my Savage 93 HMR and can’t wait to try the Super mag. Any idia about price on the new Savage.

  • Robert Weth

    I have been bitterly disapointed by taurus and cz after they reniged on promices to produce arms in 5mm remington rimfire mag. I hope this all comes to fruition!

  • Hogbuster

    I need to see accuracy equal to or better than the 17HMRs I own and that target doesn’t show any improvement. In fact, it’s way worse.

    • ron Post author

      Hogbuster! Those groups were shot with a rough, prototype rifle and prototype ammunition outdoors from a portable rest! They aren’t the final word in potential accuracy of the 17 Win Super Mag.

  • tom

    hi i would like to see the gun on the page not just the bullets come on guys and that gun is awesome by the way i think it whould be a great coyote rifle great varmint rifle too.

  • Russell Bowring

    Aha! We may at long last see some new actions on the market that push the rimfire cartridges to their full potential.

    Many fine small case centre-fire cartridges languished because of a lack of dedicated actions (excepting Sako & Brno short actions). It will be interesting to see who rises to the challenge, and what innovations they use to cope.

  • Larry Gibson

    I got my rifle mid July and WOW was I pleased, once it was sighted in it reached out to the 300 yard gong with no problem. If there was a target farther away I’d have tried it and probably hit. I have a new favorite critter gitter.

  • Tony

    Picked up my B-Mag from Cabela’s ($329) and was able to pick up some ammo at Walmart. Mounted a Vortex Diamondback 3.5x10x50,adjusted the accutriger to the lightest pull and went out for some fun.
    It will knock off golf balls at 300 yds. I know, I’ve seen me do it.

  • George Torres

    I purchased a 17wsm Nov2 20013 and unable to find ammo any ideas where I can purchase it online I live in southern colorado in a rural area no where can I find the ammo

  • Billy Gibson

    I ordered this gun today . Had a center fire 17 but wind affected bullet bad . What about this round if anybody knows. I hope to have gun for Chirstmas for my son . Please Savage don,t let me down.

  • Jim Monko

    I have been getting good reports on the Savage B. Using the 20 grain VMAX and the 25 Grain Polymer it has been killing fox right there with no pelt damage.. Reds killed at 65 and 100 yards.
    Just Sunday a fellow Pa predator hunter who has been providing me all the info shot a coyote in the chest with the 20 grain VMAX. Sadly the coyote death run took him 300 yards across an open field. The hunter found the coyote at the 300 yard mark. I suggested to him that he never use the 20 grain VMAX for coyotes and that he should use the 25 grain Polymer. I am waiting for Winchester to come out with the 20 Grain HP SUPERX ammo..
    Today I got my SAVAGE B rifle. I will be using 25 Grain Polymer when I’m predator hunting..Here in Pa fox is going for $40.00 in the whole…every predator hunter needs a good fox gun…This is one of them.. Coyotes from my friends experience and reading articles on the 17 Win for coyotes.. I strongly suggest you use the 25 grain Polymer bullet. We need that 20 grain HP released by Win ASAP… I also hope other ammo companies get involved and offer all kinds of bullets that will be good for coyote hunting with this little caliber..

  • Gerry D

    No offense guys, but I think I’d stick with the .22 Hornet. Fine terminal ballistics, and RELOADABLE… that’s it reloadable… any questions? Right it might cost 3 times as much per round, but remember the reloading bench make it better and ultimately cheaper. The rifles are about the same price. And them there is the .22 K-Hornet… Just food for thought…

  • DAVE STANLEY

    I will definitely be in the market for at least one of the Savage BMAGS.I have two model 93s built out with the old style triggers worked down to 2lb. pulls. The only complaints I had with them and the .17 HMR round was they went haywire when the wind got up and they needed just a little more umph for “yotes”. When this new rifle comes my way I can actually get up in the morning with nothing to complain about.hehehe.Seriously, I am excited about the new round and rifle and sooner or later one of the local big box stores will get some in.

  • Charles

    Wow! Another cartridge to burden an already over burdened cartridge industry. Right now, you can load a 40 gr Ballistic Tip to drive at an average velocity of 2986 fps, in the 22 Hornet. Have not worked with the lighter weight polymer tips yet. Better to depend on the 40 gr bullet at long range, than these puny 17 caliber offerings…….if you an find any. ha!

  • Mike

    Purchased the Savage .17WMR No cartridges available at any gun shops! If they can’t keep up..then I will return this rifle without ever firing a shot

  • John McConnell

    Purchased a SS heavy barrel B-Mag two months ago and have yet to find a box of ammo in the Houston, TX area. Looks like I might have to learn to throw it accurately.