When Hornady came out with the.17 HMR in 2002, it shocked the rimfire community. The Hornady Magnum Rimfire caught the attention of ammunition companies because its projectiles went farther and faster than those of small rounds.
When it became clear that many big manufacturers were working on competing designs and methods, it became clear that rimfire brass needed to be heavier.
Winchester found the answer by thinking outside the box and testing.27-cal. nail-gun blanks in the construction business. Since the walls of these blanks were thicker, they could hold more pressure.
By increasing the pressure inside the barrel, Winchester was able to fire a.17-caliber bullet at a speed of almost 3,000 feet per second. So, they made the.17 Winchester Super Magnum.
.17 HMR on the left versus .17 WSM on the right.
I take my time getting used to a new rimfire cartridge when it comes out. Rarely do I put money into something before seeing how it does when it comes out for the first time and if any problems come up that I didn’t expect.
The.17 WSM got off to a great start, but not many companies made rifles that could fire it. When I heard that Volquartsen was going to make their Summit fit the new cartridge, I was excited.
Unfortunately, the company had trouble making the gun because the thickness of the rim kept changing, so they gave up on the project.
But I was “trapped” with 200 rounds of this amazing-looking ammo, and I had to fire them. As soon as I was done talking to Volquartsen, I called Ruger and asked if I could borrow an M77/17. This rifle has a matte stainless steel barrel and built-in scope mounts.
It also has a beautiful laminated stock in different colors. I was able to mount a Bushnell 4-12×40 mm Trophy XLT scope using the scope rings that came with the gun and that only Ruger makes.
Winchester’s 25-gr. HE Varmint and Hornady’s 20-gr. V-Max, as well as the Ruger M77/17 with a Bushnell 4-12×40 mm Trophy XLT scope, were used in the test.
I planned to use this cartridge at certain ranges, so it seemed like a good choice. With the Bushnell App, you can use the XLT to figure out drop and use the DOA reticle holdovers without messing up the symmetry. I wanted to find out about those drops on my own, so I stocked up on real DOPE while I was shooting.
The first thing I did was check how far and fast each type of ammo could go. I thought about both the heavy 25-gr. polymer-topped bullet in Winchester HE Varmint and the 20-gr. V-Max bullet from Hornady.
Hornady putting out a.17 WSM load shows how helpful everyone is in the gun business, which is why I was glad to hear the news. You might think that the people who use the.17 HMR would be upset that Winchester’s new gun is better, but that’s not how they feel.
Accuracy results from the Winchester 25-gr. HE Varmint ammunition.
I was thrilled to see that amazing 20-gr. V-Max being fired from a rimfire platform at new speeds. Even though this cartridge works the same as smaller centerfires, I chose to test it as a rimfire and shoot at 50 yards.
Even though the shots were taken into a full-value 5 mph wind, they were pretty accurate. The best group I could get was with Winchester’s 25-grain HE Varmint bullets (0.51 inches).
I found that I could hit a ground squirrel anywhere within 0.79 inches by taking the average of five groups of five shots each.
The best group of Hornady bullets I shot was 0.65 inches, and the average of the other five groups was 0.98 inches, so they weren’t too far behind. I wouldn’t think twice about grabbing a case of either for a hunt; it would all depend on what was easiest.
In conclusion, Ruger fixed the rimfire magazine problem with the 10/22 in 1964, and both bullets loaded and fired without a hitch. It’s almost the same as the M77/17 magazine, except that the M77/17 magazine is longer.
Accuracy results with Hornady’s 20-gr. V-Max ammunition.
The accuracy of rimfires is impressive, but it isn’t anything new. The flat path of the.17 WSM was the main reason I bought it. I shot at targets at 100 and 200 yards to see how these fast, small rounds worked, and I was pleased with what I saw.
First, I tried the 25-grain Winchester loads. At 100 yards, I was pleased with how they shot. The effect of my three-round group was 0.5″ bigger than I had thought, but I was still happy with the result.
Both shots were very close to missing in action (m.o.a.), so they definitely met the requirements of the rule, which a second group confirmed.
This is strange because both the barrel and the environment around it were the same as they were during all of my 50-yard tests.
There was no sign of horizontal movement, so my two guesses are that it was caused by a parallax error (because this scope is fixed in place) or by the little wind. I could tell if someone had a pulse from 200 feet away.