New Winchester Rimfire Caliber: Update

Winchester’s new rimfire caliber will be introduced at the 2013 SHOT Show and the company released a new teaser video today.

Winchester Ammunition first teased to this new rimfire round in December 2012 when they put a video on YouTube mentioning this cartridge.  However, that video was quickly taken down for reasons that are not known.  That video was a teaser, much like this one.  In fact, this video may be the same as this one.

Winchester Ammunition claims that this new caliber will be the “world’s fastest modern rimfire cartridge.”  According to Cartridges of the World (12th Edition,) the Hornady 17 grain .17 HMR load makes for 2550 fps, making it the “fastest rimfire commercially available.”  It would seem that the new Winchester rimfire will have to top 2600 fps to take the title from Hornady.  If, by some chance, the new rimfire pushed into the 3000+ fps range, it will be a competitor to centerfire rounds.

While going with a smaller, lighter bullet might help increase velocity, a larger rimfire cartridge design is not impossible.  There are many obsolete rimfire rounds that used bullets much larger than .22.  For example, the .32 and .38 Short/Long/Long Rifle/Extra Long cartridges existed in the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Multiple larger-than-half-inch rimfires were made by Spencer.  Of course, none of them had velocities approaching 2600 fps.  With modern metals, powders and manufacturing techniques, however, a larger rimfire rifle round is not impossible.

What benefits might a .223-like rimfire round bring?  A 50 grain bullet at 3200 fps would definitely be an attention-getter.

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

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