Before I begin I should say I've never shot this caliber and no doubt there are people at DK with a lot more knowledge about it, but hey, lack of knowledge of a subject never keeps folks from writing about things here right?
I'm writing today about a new cartridge from Winchester, the 17 caliber super mag. The photo above is hugely enlarged so that you can actually see the thing. The actual diameter is less than 1/5 of an inch. Probably about this __ distance across if your monitor is adjusted like mine.
Over the past decade or so there has been a renewed interest in very small, very fast bullets.
Below is the 22 magnum which many might also be familiar with. It shoots the same bullet as the regular 22lr but faster due to it's longer length case and also thicker case to withstand higher pressures. The regular 22lr loses accuracy before 100 yards due to the transition from supersonic to subsonic, the 22 magnum can shoot with high accuracy out past 100 yards. For you gun nuts the "maximum point blank range" is 125 yards.
The 22lr was developed a couple centuries ago, the 22 magnum last century, and this century we have the 17 calibers. That's it for rimfires, oh ya, the topic of this post, rimfire. Rimfire refers to the tiny explosion which causes the powder in the entire cartridge case to explode. In a normal cartridge (center fire) there's a little percussion cap in the center of the bottom of the cartridge hit by the firing pin. In a rimfire the edges of the case have a tiny amount of percussive that is hit by a firing pin to set the whole thing off.
To get an idea of how rimfire cartridges are made here's an educational video.
This century some genius took the enlarged strengthened 22 magnum case, necked it down (narrowed the diameter at the end) to .17 inches and put in a tiny ballistic tipped bullet. The resulting 17hmr (Hornady Magnum Rimfire) has become very popular. The tiny bullet produces recoil of about 1/100th of the most common center fire in America, the 30-06. The 17hmr sprints along at about 350 feet per second faster than the old 22 magnum. Enough to reach on out to 150 yards. I know this all sounds like just so much plinking, but to a bored farm kid and his sister, being able to plink cans or prairie dogs way out past the back fence is a lot of fun. Below is the 17hmr sitting next to the ubiquitous 22lr. Bigger case, smaller bullet.
Finally following this same formula, smaller bullet, bigger case, we come to the object of this post the 17 caliber Winchester Super Mag. I've yet to figure out what the nickname will be.
For any new cartridge like this you have to first find an already produced casing, that way you have something to fill without starting from scratch. The 17 caliber Winchester uses a 28 caliber casing that was already in use for those construction nails they blast into steel beams called ramsets. Bigger case, light bullet. 3,000 feet per second for something not much bigger than a grain of rice. Now there is a rimfire able to reach out well beyond 200 yards with accuracy.
Rimfires cost less than centerfire cartridges. Ignoring the 22lr cartridge which costs pennies, typically a box of 50 rimfires costs less than a box of 20 center fires.
Last of all for fun I've pasted this photo of some common cartridges.
#1 and #5 are both 17 calibers. #1 is for a pellet gun, #5 is the very popular 17hmr. #2 is the very popular 22lr which is the most shot cartridge in the US, and #14 is the 30-06, the most common hunting rifle caliber.
1. .177 pellet
2. Federal 40gr .22 Long Rifle
3. Magtech 115gr JHP 9mm Luger
4. American Eagle 230gn FMJ .45acp
5. CCI 17gn Polymer Tip .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire
6. Magtech 125gn Lead Flat Nose .38 Special
7. Winchester Super X 158gn JHP .357 Magnum
8. Federal 240gn JHP .44 Remington Magnum
9. .300 Whisper
10. Remington 55gr PSP .223 Remington
11. Winchester Super X 170gn Silvertip .30-30 Winchester
12. Remington 150gn Core-Lokt PSP .308 Winchester
13. Remington 180gn Core-Lokt PSP .303 British
14. Remington 180gn Core-Lokt PSP .30-06 Springfield
15. Federal 3" #6 .410-gauge
16. Federal 2.75" 20-gauge rifled slug
17. Winchester AA Lite Handicap target load 2.75" #7.5 12-gauge
This post is being made to a DK group called Liberal G Club, a group begun by annieli. A place to discuss shooting not the politics of guns. I thought it would be fun to write a post just about shooting. I have very little experience with target shooting or different types of calibers, rifles, etc. My apologies in advance for any mistakes.