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A lot of you guys were in disbelief that the new .17 Winchester rimfire from our Savage article early in this year’s SHOT Show coverage is all that it claims, so we got a little bit more information from Winchester. Seems that we have a whole new era of rimfire that will begin with the .17WSM. At 200 yards it barely moves at all in a 10mph wind, and they are marketing it for…coyote hunting. So stay tuned on this one kiddies. We hope to get a rifle from Savage and a box or two from Winchester Ammunition and get out coyote killing on the ranch soon. This is exciting stuff.

With ammunition prices through the roof and manufacturers unable to keep up with current demand, why would a company roll out an all new rimfire cartridge at the SHOT Show? In Winchester Ammunition’s case, probably because it has completed three years of development, and now is a great time to unveil low-cost fodder with performance that rivals some centerfire cartridges. Enter the world’s fastest rimfire, the .17 Winchester Super Magnum.

“Part of the appeal of rimfire ammunition to high-volume shooters is the relatively low cost,” said Brett Flaugher, Winchester Ammunition vice president of marketing, sales and strategic planning “With the launch of .17 Win. Super Mag., now hunters will get the downrange performance of a centerfire cartridge at the more affordable price point of traditional rimfire ammunition. It’s the best of both worlds for our customers.”

The company videos are impressive, but if you’re like me numbers are a bit more convincing. The cartridge will be loaded with three different bullets, 20- and 25-grain plastic tips and a 20-grain JHP. Both 20-grain loads attained a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps in testing. “At 3,000 feet per second it’s the fastest modern rimfire cartridge on the planet. The downrange energy deposited by the .17 Win. Super Mag. will be a game-changer for varmint and predator hunters everywhere,” Flaugher explained. The 25-grain load attained a muzzle velocity of 2,600 fps.

A former co-worker was involved in initial testing nearly a year ago and claimed he was getting groups of MOA or better at 200 yards. That’s amazing, and call me a skeptic, but only believable because he’s an honest and experienced reloader and shooter.

OK, I know what you’re thinking. Now we have a new cartridge that promises us inexpensive shooting beyond traditional rimfire distances, but it will be months, maybe years, before a company rolls out a rifle to digest the round. Wrong. Savage Arms unveiled a new bolt-action rifle chambered in .17 Win. Super Mag. here at the SHOT Show. Allegedly several other companies have their versions here, but I haven’t uncovered them yet.

The 20-grain plastic tip will be offered in Winchester’s Varmint HV line, the 25-grain plastic tip in the Varmint HE line and a 20-grain jacketed hollow point in the Super-X line. The ammunition will come in 50-round boxes and 1,000-round cases. Expect dealers to have it on their shelves sometime in April of this year.

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