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The Winchester Super Magnum is one of the few popular rimfire cartridges that continue to have a place in today’s ammunition market. The .17 WSM takes the .17 HMR to a new level.
History of the .17 WSM
The .17 Winchester Super Magnum was created in 2012 by Winchester and Savage Arms. It was released at the 2013 Shot Show in Las Vegas.
While being a new round to the ammunition market it still has made a splash and a number of gun manufacturers have signed on to make guns for the 17 WSM.
Purpose of the .17 Winchester Super Magnum
The purpose of this round is somewhat disputed but one thing that isn’t disputed is the fact the round is the fastest rimfire round in the world.
I’m a huge fan of rimfire, growing up on .22LR anything in the rimfire world is fun and piques my interest.
This cartridge should really be called the 17 Winchester Performance Magnum because that’s exactly what it delivers.
Let us dive into what makes this cartilage so special.
The two most common calibers this round is compared to are the 17 HMR and the 22 Hornet.
The velocity of the WSM is what sets it apart from the 17 HMR and the 22 Hornet
|Cartridge||Muzzle Velocity||50 Yards||100 Yards||250 Yards|
|17 HMR||2,550||2,197 ft/s||1,885 ft/s||1,175 ft/s|
|22 Hornet||2,690||2,337 ft/s||2,026 ft/s||1,278 ft/s|
|17 WSM||3,000||2,729 ft/s||2,487 ft/s||1,838 ft/s|
The next metric that you’d look at is the energy on target that the 22 WSM delivers.
|Cartridge||Muzzle Energy||50 Yards||100 Yards||250 Yards|
|17 HMR||245 ft/lbs||182 ft/lbs||134 ft/lbs||52 ft/lbs|
|22 Hornet||723 ft/lbs||546 ft/lbs||410 ft/lbs||163 ft/lbs|
|17 WSM||400 ft/lbs||331 ft/lbs||275 ft/lbs||150 ft/lbs|
As you can see from this handy chart the 22 Hornet is the clear victor on muzzle energy but the difference is the fact that the 17 WSM shoots much flatter than the 22 Hornet.
The drop on the 22 Hornet at 250 yards is 12.7 inches, yes, you read that right over a foot of drop. Compare that to the 17 WSM at 250 yards of 7.2 inches of drop.
For the 17 Win Super Mag, the most common grain weights are 20 Grain and 25 Grain.
Guns that Shoot 17 Win Super Mag
Most of the guns that shoot this round are bolt-action rifles. We will sneak one semi-auto rifle into this list but finding it might be a task.
Franklin Armory F17
While hard to find in 2022 the Franklin Armory F17 is the only semi-auto 17 Winchester Super Mag available on the market today.
One might even say it’s not available considering the Frankling Armory website says that the F17 series of rifles will be “Coming in 2022”.
You may be able to find them on Guns.com or Gun Broker used.
Savage Arms B.MAG
The Savage Arms B.Mag rifle was designed just for the 17 Win Super Mag cartridge.
It has a lot of the same Savage Arms technology, like the AccuTrigger, packed into this compact action rifle.
The gun features a center-feed rotary magazine that holds 8 roughs.
The rifle also sports a rugged synthetic stock with a blued barrel and rubber recoil bad on the stock of the rifle.
17 Super Magnum Ammo
The 17 WSM round is available from a number of companies including Winchester, Federal, and Hornady.
Like most rimfire rifle rounds this cartridge is extremely affordable which is why it’s extremely practical.
The price per round is in the neighborhood of $0.21-0.30 /per round. For a cartridge with this kind of performance, this really isn’t a bad price.
The only downside is the number of companies currently making rifles chambered in .17WSM and the availability of ammo as of this writing.
Finding this round can be difficult a quick search using AmmoSeek.com prompted no results.
However, many ammo retailers have a number of product pages that have since sold out.
GrabAGun also has a decent selection when they have this cartridge in stock.
.17 WSM FAQ
Is 17 HMR the same as 17 Win Super mag?
No, the .17 HMR and the 17 Win Super Mag are two completely different cartridges.
What rifle shoots .17 Win Super mag?
The Savage Arms, Ruger, and Volqartsen all make rifles for the 17 WSM round.
What is the most powerful .17 round?
The .17 Winchester Super Magnum is the most powerful .17 round in terms of muzzle energy and velocity.
Do they still make 17 WSM ammo?
Yes, .17 WSM was released in 2012 and is still being produced today just in lower volumes due to the current ammunition climate.