Q: I have seen a new .17 rimfire cartridge being advertised on the internet, the “.17 WSM”. Is it available in Britain and is it any good, do you know?
A: Yes, this new cartridge looks to be very interesting to anyone who likes small calibres. It is a rival to the .17 HMR cartridge, which is also a rimfire, but the WSM or Winchester Super Magnum is a more powerful round. Its brass case is roughly 50 per cent thicker than the .17 HMR
The .17 WSM was first made by Winchester in the US in 2013 and it has taken a while to filter through to suppliers in Britain. The .17 WSM shoots a 20-hr bullet at 3,000fps or 25-gr bullet at 2,650fps, whereas a .17 HMR shoots a 17-gr bullet at 2,550fps and a 20-hr bullet at 2,350fps.
Limited compatible rifles, such as the Savage BMag bolt action and Ruger Model 77/17, and ammunition are the only drawbacks that I can see at the moment but it looks to be a great small vermin and fox round at close range. The distributor Edgar Brothers Ltd is on the case.