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Old January 4, 2013, 04:20 AM   #1
FrankenMauser
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New Rimfire: .17 Winchester Super Magnum

The subject line pretty much says it all.

Winchester has had a few gun writers hinting about a new "ultra fast" rimfire cartridge, for a few months. At least one has finally spilled the beans:
New Raging Rimfire: .17 Winchester Super Magnum

.17 Winchester Super Magnum will soon be the new kid on the block.

Vital statistics:
.17 caliber
3,000 fps with a 20 gr bullet
Based on the cases for .27 caliber 'powder-actuated' ("Hilti") gun blanks.
High pressure (for a rimfire) - 33,000 psi

First factory loads: 20 gr bullet @ 3,000 fps / 25 gr bullet @ 2,600 fps

First rifle will be from Savage.

Likely official roll-out: SHOT Show.



I have to give some credit to Cornbush, at this time. He and I had a pretty in-depth discussion, about a month ago, about what we thought this cartridge would be. While I thought it would be a .20 caliber, high-pressure, bottleneck cartridge, pushing 3,000 fps with a 25 gr bullet, and first offered in a Savage; he was pretty firmly set on .17 caliber and the use of the .27 caliber blanks as the 'parent' cartridge (and agreeing that 3,000 fps was the target to hit, and Savage would be the first to offer a rifle.).

I have to say... we were both on the right track, but HE nailed it.
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Old January 4, 2013, 07:15 AM   #2
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I can't make myself come up with a reason for a .17 cal? I owned a really nice .17 HMR and enjoyed shooting it but found my .22 magnum much more useful. Guess it depends on what one considers useful. Don't know why but I've often thought about a .204 ruger.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Velocity is where it is at these days, but I can't help but think Elmer Keith might have had a good idea when he said he would have preferred a return of the .25 Stevens Long to the .22 magnum.
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:22 PM   #4
17ghk
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looks fun but I had a 17hmr, yea I know this is no hmr, and would like to see a 20 cal
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Old January 4, 2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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My rimfire 17 is a Mach 2, & it does all I need for a rimfire 17 ( of course I have a 17 Hornet, & a 17 Fireball )

if they use that case & did a rimfire .20, I might have to make that jump though, just because I'm not shooting a .20 bore yet
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Old January 4, 2013, 06:43 PM   #6
FrankenMauser
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if they use that case & did a rimfire .20, I might have to make that jump though, just because I'm not shooting a .20 bore yet
My thoughts are similar...

I don't like .17 caliber.
It's already enough of an expense, feeding my .22 WMR (still cheaper than almost anything else 'more powerful' than .22 LR, though).
And, well... I have no use for .17 caliber.

If it was a .20, offered in the Ruger 77/22 Hornet action, I would care more. But, as a .17, and probably only available from Savage for the first 6-12 months... my attention has already started to drift.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:59 PM   #7
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I think it looks cool but I doubt ill get one. If I was to go with a 17 caliber it would be a 17 Remington. Nothing like 4000+ fps. I still may some day get an encore barrel for the 17 Remington.

Personally I shoot rimfires to shoot for cheep. The 22lr is about as cheep as it gets. If I wanted more power (or accuracy) I think I would go with a center fire.

I am sure it will sell well, its just not for me
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Old January 5, 2013, 12:24 AM   #8
barnbwt
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Quote:
3,000 fps with a 20 gr bullet
Damn, does the bullet convert into plasma on impact? That's an impressive pressure figure for a rimfire, indeed--I didn't know they could do that. If they can get the price down low () that would give light/fast centerfires a run for their money.

What are these zipper-rounds used for? They're so small I wouldn't think they range very well due to wind/BC, but they're so fast I wouldn't think they'd penetrate game very well. Are they just for vaporizing ground hogs and squirrels like HMR? They're cool as hell, from design standpoint, almost like a directed energy weapon or particle beam. I just can't think of a reason to convince myself to buy one

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Old January 5, 2013, 02:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
What are these zipper-rounds used for? They're so small I wouldn't think they range very well due to wind/BC, but they're so fast I wouldn't think they'd penetrate game very well. Are they just for vaporizing ground hogs and squirrels like HMR? They're cool as hell, from design standpoint, almost like a directed energy weapon or particle beam. I just can't think of a reason to convince myself to buy one
They're microscopic grenade launchers.

They're quite effective on small targets, and rampaging paper... but that's about it.

This one just adds some more velocity into the equation.
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Old January 5, 2013, 06:03 AM   #10
trg42wraglefragle
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What market/purpose is this aimed at?
Filling a gap between 17hmr and 17fireball?
Seems to be less use than a 17fireball too.

I can imagine the price of ammo is going to be pretty high, and being a rimfire its non reloadable.
Looks like a bad alternative to 204ruger.

Wonder how the noise and kick would compare to a 204ruger.

If i was a betting man I'd bet it goes the same way as the WSSM cartridges.
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:59 AM   #11
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Velocity is where it is at these days, but I can't help but think Elmer Keith might have had a good idea when he said he would have preferred a return of the .25 Stevens Long to the .22 magnum.
I have to agree with you and ol' Elmer. Ever since I first read about the .25 Stevens (for those that don't know, 60-65gr bullets at approx. 1200fps from a handgun, 2000 fps from a rifle) I've thought this is one of the only rimfires that would be good for small game up to yotes. Except for 5 days of deer hunting that's the exact game range I hunt every year.

I'm not gonna bash on the new .17 though. IMO too fast for small game, still a little light for coyotes but what it will make is a great fox, crow and ground hog gun for the open farm country I hunt. I was thinkin about a .17 centerfire for years for exactly those critters, the new rimfire moved to the top as long as a gun is available in the $300 (+/-) range, hopefully some Savage and Marlin BA's.
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Old January 5, 2013, 11:33 AM   #12
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I have no interest in 17 calibre
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Old January 5, 2013, 01:53 PM   #13
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Wow! That's a 30% velocity increase over the HMR, enough to sway a lot of 17 cal loving people to a new rifle. Rhetorical question: why not a 22 caliber version? Or a 20 caliber? Hmmmm.
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:54 PM   #14
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According to the article it says ammo should be around 30cents a round.
Cheaper than dirt has 17hmr ammo for on average $14 for 50, thats 28cents a round.

If in reality the costs are that close, it might end up being a hit.
I don't know how much you can reload 204ruger/223 for?
But decent quality reloads must be more than that.
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Old January 5, 2013, 03:01 PM   #15
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Decent centerfire reloads are below that price, $.20-$.25 each using brand name bullets. But that's neither here nor there. Most folks don't want to reload (or need to for that matter) and for them the new .17 will be cheaper.

I'm a handloader but for a varmint and fox gun I'd rather buy ammo for $15/50 than to make it for $10/50. Easy, no brainer decision.
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Old January 5, 2013, 05:31 PM   #16
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I really don't see any money being made out of this. It makes no sense.

They would be much more successful if they would simply resurrect the 5mm rimfire. A cartridge that would require no R&D to revamp.

I keep scratching my head and wondering why such a simple move would almost certianly be a highly sucessful move, will not be seriously considered. Taurus and Aquila were the only ones who attempted the move hoping that the rest of the industry would follow their lead.

It still stands out as the best varminting rimfire ever made.

Or maybe I am mistaken and the market is dominated by young pups who have never even heard of the cartridge.
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Old January 5, 2013, 09:08 PM   #17
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kinda of neat...

bet its going to be expensive with the new brass design. Probably a lot more sensisble options. I will probably just keep my .17 HMR because its kills what I shoot at.
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Old January 6, 2013, 05:39 AM   #18
natman
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Quote:
3,000 fps with a 20 gr bullet
Quote:

What are these zipper-rounds used for?
It 3,000 fps looks great for marketing purposes. I imagine it will deconstruct a prairie dog pretty well too.
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Old January 6, 2013, 09:08 AM   #19
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A 20cal. [ 5mm] would have been cool. Just not impressed with the 17 maybe this one will be better .
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Old January 6, 2013, 05:05 PM   #20
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A 20cal. [ 5mm] would have been cool. Just not impressed with the 17 maybe this one will be better .
If I find a nice 591/592 I might just get one. I was unaware that Centuron and I believe Auguila load this currently. They got it right the first time with this round. It may have survived if multi manufacturers came on board when it came out.
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Old January 6, 2013, 11:25 PM   #21
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looks cool, but the .17 Hornet from Hornady is reloadable...
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Old January 7, 2013, 01:28 AM   #22
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I have no experience with a 17.

I'm not in the market for one.

There are some situations where a "whiffle bullet" might be useful,one that would blow up on contact with anything.That might be better than a lower vel,more substantial bullet skipping off across country.

It would be a bad idea to get a false sense of security about it,though.

Downrange still needs to be safe and clear.
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Old January 7, 2013, 01:30 AM   #23
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I think it was smart of them to use 27 cal brass. It has been in production for construction use for decades. The brass is already made strong enough for the pressure and it should be cheap to produce. Just buy brass for the powder actuated nailer and load it for the new cartridge. A simple forming die is all they need.

I don't need a 17, but a 22 would be nice.
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Old January 7, 2013, 11:46 AM   #24
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They would be much more successful if they would simply resurrect the 5mm rimfire.
The question they ask themselves is "How are we going to sell more rifles?" Chambering a rifle for an obsolete cartridge that is 45 years old is not going to sell a whole flock of rifles, a new cartridge will. 3,000 fps sounds pretty sexy to a lot of rimfire shooters, 2,300 fps does not. The whole "I'm not putting so-n-so's name on our rifle" is another reason. Now combine the three: "we have a sexy new 3,000 fps cartridge with our name on it that is nothing at all like any other rimfire cartridge, and it comes in a cool new rifle, and it costs about the same to shoot as that slower cartridge other folks are shooting". It will sell rifles, trust me. How many rifles depends on how good the ammo is.
Quote:
If I find a nice 591/592 I might just get one.
A good 590/591/592 costs about $400-$500, beat-up ones about $350-$400, about what the new rifle will probably be selling for.
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Old January 7, 2013, 04:42 PM   #25
FrankenMauser
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If I find a nice 591/592 I might just get one.
I don't think you'll see this in that model series, due to the overall length and higher pressure.

I anticipate at least 80% of the offered rifles to be built on existing short action designs where you currently find the .22 Hornet and similar cartridges (such as the Savage 25 and Ruger 77/22H).

The remaining rifles might be a 'stretched' variant of an existing rimfire design. That would keep the cost of the rifles down, but only if they can still deal with the higher pressure and increased bolt thrust.
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