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At the Range: Testing the .17 Winchester Super Magnum

by G&A Online Editors   |  June 11th, 2013 18

Varmints beware—the .17 WSM is here. The .17 Winchester Super Magnum is the newest technology in the surging market of magnum rimfire cartridges. Sure, it’s a .17 caliber bullet, but that tiny projectile delivers some nasty results on small game out to 300 yards.

Unlike the limited availability of guns chambered in 22 Hornet, rifles such as the 1885 Rimfire and the Savage Arms B-Mag have already pioneered the .17 WSM market.

At a whopping 3,000 fps with a 20 grain bullet, the .17 WSM is a laser beam compared to 2,400 fps with a similar weight projectile from its .17 HMR counterpart. When launching heavier 25 grain bullets with 375 foot-pounts of energy, the .17 WSM outperforms the HMR by half.

The editors at G&A explored the ballistic performance of this hot new round with a classic two liter penetration test.

  • mtop2007

    You would think that for a magazine and manufacturer’sreview they would have a private range so we could hear the comments. Shitty audio!

  • Unlicensed Dremel

    Anxiously waiting for a rifle in this chambering besides a $1,500 1885 highwall, and a butt-ugly plastic stocked savage…. Please, CZ – I’m BEGGIN ya!

  • Unlicensed Dremel

    However, still too light for ethical shots on yotes…. .22 hornet is a good ethical minimum, IMO.

    • USMC-1

      Ethical shots on yotes? 17 HMR Volquartsen. Small round, but if you know your &hit, they’ll drop like a rag doll. Can’t get any more ethical.

  • william howe

    In July of 2013 I sent for a 2 yr. subscription, you cashed my check But I have yet to receive one magazine !! Whats up ???

  • Brad Anderson

    I’m shocked that marlin hasn’t produced a rifle for this cartridge yet. I held out until today. Just had to buy one. LOL. The savage shoots great, its a tack driver.

  • englishrancher

    Huh? What did you say? Can’t hear….my ears are ringing from those shots next door.

  • curt

    If you necked up a tad say to .196 you would have a 5mm remington rimfire!

  • razz1964

    At this price range and availability 204 ruger is better. Prices are about equal all told.

  • Dany Gaudreau

    I have one to sell, I can’t group 5 shots Inside 2 inch at 100 yardsand there are fliers all the time

    • ed

      Danny. I’ll buy your ammo.

      • Chief

        Where can you find ammo for the .17 Winchester Super Magnum? Having trouble finding it ANYWHERE in the US…what’s going on? Any tips or places that sell it?

        • Keith

          Chief, I have two boxes for sale if you are still looking. I bought from wal mart but needed the hmr’s got win super mags. Anyway need to unload them if still interested.

  • peter311

    So is the 17 hornet a coyote killer or no, I have a 17hmr but I want more Power while keeping accuracy. Now I was at gun store today and I saw that there’s a 17 wsm now, is that a coyote killer, which is deadlier on coyotes?

  • Mack Knife

    Absolutely meaningless. Plastic bottles? This looked like a test of plaint ball guns for all the value it has. What, did the kids of the editors need some face time?

  • Rimjob

    Cool round, interesting to see rimfires evolving with more and more punch. Eventually they will be on par with .223rem. Why not just shoot prairie dogs and coyotes with a .223 or .204? There are tons of bullet options and the case is reloadable. Seems like this new .17 is trying to fill a niche that doesn’t exist.

  • Rodney Long

    I realize that they are at the range, but I still couldn’t hear a word they were saying. Just got a Savage. 17 WSM, going to shoot it tomorrow. My dealer had 650 rounds, ought to get it sighted in before I run out!

  • cookieman827

    I have an 1885 WSM and the accuracy is awful! I get a 3″ vertical variance of 6 shots at 50 yards, but only about 3/8″ of lateral variation. That has to be a tremendous velocity variation. My chrony is not working , but I will check when I get it fixed.

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