WTF Winchester?

Winchester is rolling out a new cartridge at SHOT Show.  The .17 Winchester Super Magnum.  On the surface, it appears pretty spiffy.  A magnum rimfire cartridge based not on any firearms cases, but a .27 Caliber Power Fastener case – Nail Gun Ammo.  This bigger case allows the rimfire to kick it out there at 3,000 feet per second.  That’s 500 FPS faster than the .17 HMR.  That’s impressive, it really is.  Kinda makes you want one, doesn’t it?
There is just one tiny .17 caliber problem though.
The .17 Hornet.
The Hornet round is firing a .17 caliber rice grain out to 3650.  That’s right 650 FPS faster than this new Winchester Rimfire.  So why if you are wanting a hot .17, would you stick with a Rimfire when you could gain over a thousand feet per second over the HMR by going with the Hornet?  It makes little sense to me.  I wouldn’t buy one. In fact, I wouldn’t buy a Hornet either – instead favoring the .204 if I wanted something that wasn’t a .22-250.    But sticking with the .17 calibers, for me, it’s either the HMR or the Hornet.  And that’s what a lot of gun buyers have been saying as well.  You have to buy a regular sized rifle, might as well but the .204 or .22-250.  Which is why we sell more .22-250’s than anything else when we are talking a Bolt Action rifle.
Savage and Ruger have come out with .17 Hornet rifles… Well, Savage has.  We’ve not seen any of the Rugers that they said they were coming out.  The Savages have had some gnarly magazine issues, and while they are very accurate, they just are not feeding right.  That kinda takes all the fun out of them. We’ve yet to see a lightweight X-Bolt or Rem Model 7 in the .17 Hornet, which is what that cartridge needs.  But would you want that in a Rimfire?  I think not.

This new Winchester rimfire is doomed to fail, and fail badley.

I want to know what guys at Winchester thought that this would be a great new round, instead of bringing out what people have been actually asking for…. Cartridges such as a .25WSM.  Since it’s come out, people have been Wildcatting the .300 WSM case down to .25 and getting close to .257 Weatherby performance out of their Short Actions.  This is a cartridge that needs some Factory Legit backing.  But evidently they would rather break out a new rimfire that no one is going to give a damn about.

15 thoughts on “WTF Winchester?”

      1. Well Ogre… this cartridge could be used in California to get around the AWB. Run it in an AR15 and you don’t need a bullet button because it’s a rimfire. 😉

  1. Also, using a nail gun case doesn’t impress me.
    The bucks that company has, it would be nothing for them to engineer a round from the ground up.
    Caryn has a serious Jones on for an AR in .22-250.


  2. The market is already saturated with rimfire rounds; .17 HMR, .17 Mach 2, etc… If they want to make inroads on the market, how about a 6.5 WSM? Why keep reinventing the wheel?

  3. I’m wonder if there is any cost per round advantage for it? That is can they mass produce it cheaper than they can a center fire with equivalent performance?

  4. I wonder if it’s their way to make a round that till now was limited to a center-fire round which the consumers cannot turn around and use as a base for reloading, so that you are reliant on the factory round the whole time you own the firearm…

  5. As long as they keep it as cheap as the HMR, it’ll sell like hotcakes. The only reason that I don’t like/use a 17 is that all the ones that I’ve seen (like the .17 fireball and the hornet) foul the barrel too quickly, needing constant cleaning to keep them shooting straight. I’d rather shoot than clean.

  6. I wonder if this one will be allowed for semi-auto use? Seems like it would do a decent job dropping varmints.

  7. What is the price of the round? If close to the HMR, then there probably is a market for it. Affordable, accurate ammo with negligible recoil will always have a market.

  8. I have 2 bolt action rifles – a .257 Weatherby Magnum (Roy’s favorite cartridge) and a 25-06. Both are totally amazing when you need to reach out and touch something. The latter has almost the same ballistics as the former and is a little less harsh on my shoulder, but both can shoot further (and flatter) than my old eyes can see even with their Leupold scopes. I also have the equipment to reload both calibers (which is the only way to go), so saving $$ is definitely a plus. I would recommend both options as an alternative to the Hornet, or 22-250, although the price of a Weatherby is a little steep.

Comments are closed.