Winchester Expands Varmint X Line of Ammunition with a Pair of Hornets

varmint x ammo

Earlier this year, Winchester Ammunition officially announced the addition of two new calibers to its line of predator hunting ammunition. The Varmint X line will now include the .17 Hornet and .22 Hornet cartridges.

Both of these lightweight loads are moving at very fast speeds. The 35 grain .22 Hornet bullet is moving at 3,100 fps when it leaves the barrel. The lighter .17 Hornet (20 grains) is zipping along at a higher velocity: 3,650 fps.

Lightweight bullets and high speeds define the cartridges in this line. For example, one of the .223 Rem loads uses a 40 grain bullet pushed to 3,700 fps while the .243 Win uses a 58 grain projectile at 3,850 fps. The speed king in this line, however, is the .204 Ruger. It runs a 32 grain bullet at an even 4,000 fps when it exits the barrel.

Winchester Ammunition uses lead core bullets with a copper alloy jacket. Both the jacket and core are designed for “explosive fragmentation” upon impact. Coupled with the polymer tip that increases the rate of expansion, these bullets have the potential for devastating terminal results.

“The .17 Hornet and .22 Hornet are versatile caliber choices for use on a variety of predators and make for natural additions to the Varmint X line,” said Brett Flaugher, Winchester Ammunition vice president of marketing, sales and strategy.

The entire line of ammunition includes the above mentioned loads plus the .22-250 Remington and a 55 grain .223 Remington load. Additionally, Winchester Ammunition offers shotshells and rimfire rounds designed for varmint hunting.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • Jeff Brown

    35gr Hornet bullets have a BC akin to a round ball. You’re better off with 45gr bullet at traditional velocity.

    • Spencerhut

      Yeah but these are faster! And faster looks good when they print it on the box.

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        Most varminters care more about speed than BC, since they shoot at small targets around a few hundred yards max. Where greater BCs start to really matter is beyond their range.

    • Hudson

      But it’s a 35gr with a magic polymer tip.

  • Spencerhut

    Where is the picture of this new ammo? Don’t be talking about Hornets and put up a picture that looks nothing like a Hornet.

  • THE_manBEar

    Big fan of the 40gr – 223 Varmint-X … Coyotes and raccoons don’t seem to care for em though 🙂

  • CMonster 556

    Wish someone had done this for the .17 Fireball back in the day (or today) While I don’t mind loading my own, I fear my brass collection is not going to improve over time. And it is a faster shooting round than this hornet.