Setting the Record Straight About the 17WSM with a FAQ

.17 Winchester Super Magnum

.17 Winchester Super Magnum

There have been a lot of rumors surrounding the .17 Winchester Super Magnum Rimfire ammunition, as well as with the rifles and other basic information on the cartridge itself.  With this article, we at 17WSM.com, will be setting the record straight about the 17WSM with a FAQ section.  We will also do our best to answer the questions, address the rumors and even discuss what the near future holds for the 17WSM.  We may add to this article in the future, as the round becomes more popular with shooters and hunters.

Section I – .17 Winchester Super Magnum Ammunition Information and FAQ:

This section includes information on the 17WSM rimfire cartridge, ammunition and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Ammunition Currently Available:

Winchester 20 grain HV
Winchester 25 grain HE
Winchester 15 grain LF (lead-free)
American Eagle 20 grain
Hornady 20 grain

FAQ about 17WSM Ammunition:

What is the parent case for this ammunition?
The 17WSM ammunition is based off of a .27 caliber nail gun case, which is used to drive nails into concrete.

Does this cartridge have a stronger case than the .17HMR, or .22 Magnum?
Yes.  The 17WSM cartridge has thicker walls than the 17HMR and the 22 Magnum.  It is one of the reasons that it can handle the higher pressures of the 17WSM.

What is the pressure of the 17WSM Cartridge?
The SAAMI listed pressures for the 17WSM, is 33,000 pounds per square inch (psi).  For comparison, the 17HMR is 26,000psi.

What company released the 17WSM?
The 17WSM was released by Winchester Ammunition in January of 2013.

What companies load for the 17WSM?
At this time, Winchester is the only company that loads the current 17WSM offerings.  American Eagle and Hornady re-brand the Winchester ammo for retail sale.

What bullet weights are available in the 17WSM cartridge?
The two current available weights are the 20 grain VMax (3000fps), the 25 grain VMax (2600fps) and the 15 grain Lead Free (3300fps).  At the time of release, there was a 20 grain hollow-point option announced as well, but this has not yet been manufactured.

Will there be a lead free bullet version of the 17WSM?
There is now a 15 grain lead free option available.  Winchester is working to have it included on the approved lead free ammunition list for the State of California.  We have been told that the powers that be are working on a lead free version of the 17WSM.

How much is a good price for a box of 17WSM ammunition?
This ammunition can be found for $12.50 a box (#50), up to $25.00 a box.  The average price is from $14.99 to $16.99 a box.  We will be adding a section that includes a real-time search where 17WSM ammunition is available, and for what price (coming soon!).

Section II – Firearms Chambered for the 17WSM and FAQ:

This section includes information on the firearms chambered for the .17 Winchester Super Magnum, as well as answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

Firearms that are currently on the market and available:

Savage B.MAG – Original thin barrel
Savage B.MAG – Heavy Barrel Stainless
Savage B.MAG – Heavy Barrel Blue Fluted (large retail stores only – ie: Cabela’s)
Savage B.MAG Target (Heavy Barrel Stainless in a Boyds Thumbhole Stock, with slightly different bolt handle)
Savage B.MAG XP Lady Hunter (Cabela’s exclusive)
Ruger 77/17 – Walnut Stock (discontinued)
Winchester 1885 Low Wall
Franklin Armory F17-L AR15
Franklin Armory F17-VS4 (F17-VS4 Upper available as well)
Franklin Armory F17-M4 (F17-M4 Carbine Upper available as well)
Franklin Armory F17-SPR
Franklin Armory F17-X
MGM and Bullberry Contender Barrel
Volquartsen (Classic, Deluxe and IF-5) semi-auto rifle

Firearms that are coming soon, per the firearm manufacturers:
JARD J71 AR-15
HS Precision Pro Series 2000 repeater – Confirmed 01/18/2016 – They are no longer planning to make a rifle due to cost.

FAQ about Firearms for the 17WSM:

Can I convert my 17HMR bolt-action rifle to 17WSM?
The 17WSM cartridge runs at a lot higher pressure than the 17HMR, 22 Magnum and 22 Long Rifle rimfire rounds.  Therefore, not all actions that work with the previous listed rounds, will work with the 17WSM cartridge.  The only rimfire that matches the pressures of the 17WSM, is the 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum.

What’s the best barrel twist rate, 1:9″ twist, or 1:8″ twist?
At this point, we do not know.  The original Savage B.MAG came with a 1:9″ twist, which the majority of .172 caliber rifles use.  However, Savage feels that the 1:8″ twist is better suited to handle both weight of bullets (20 grain and 25 grain), so any B.MAG rifles manufactured after mid-2014, have the 1:8″ twist.  The Ruger, Franklin Armory and Winchester Low Wall all have 1:9″ twist barrels.

Do I need to clean my rifle barrel more frequently than I clean my other rimfire rifles?
The 17WSM is shooting the 20 grain bullet at 3000 feet per second.  This is faster than any other rimfire available and comes close to matching the speeds of some centerfire cartridges.  Add to this, the smaller bore diameter and the inherent fact that rimfire ammunition is dirty, and you can end up with a rifle that will have copper fouling in its barrel, affecting its accuracy over time.  For this reason, we recommend that you clean your barrel as you would a centerfire rifle, often, gently and carefully (a bore-guide is always recommended).

What does Savage mean by “cock-on-close” in their B.MAG rifles?
Savage developed a new action for the 17WSM.  When doing so, they also decided to make the rifle cock, when you closed the bolt.  This can make for a stiff bolt when closing it, but it is easy to get used to.

(last updated 06/25/2017)