Yes, it’s on the way… How do we know? Click here. It’s pretty obvious. Well that and the fact that SAAMI has published the specifications already. The same print from SAAMI comments that a 32 grain bullet will go 4100 feet per second (fps).
Like the 22 Nosler the 20 is based on the 6.8 SPC case or 30 Remington depending on how you view it. They both have rebated rims so as to fit in a standard AR-15 Bolt face.
The 20 Nosler will have about eight (8) percent more case capacity by water weight than the 204 Ruger. So is the velocity claim of 4100 fps realistic? On Nosler’s own pages they show the 204 Ruger doing that velocity with the same bullet, so I would say, sure, it just means you will have short barrel life if you load to that level.
It’s long been know that velocities approaching 4000 fps are hard on barrels, the throat is erodes much more quickly regardless of the bullet diameter. I foresee the barrels for this caliber being chrome washed or Melonite® teated simply to increase barrel life.
The 20 Nosler might have some loading flexibility that the 204 does not in that if you loading for 3500 to 3800 fps there are probably a few more powders that will get there with the larger case capacity. One thing I noticed in looking for comparisons, the 20 Nosler falls in its own class in terms of case capacity, the 20 BR has just a couple of grains less capacity, but it’s not designed for the AR platform. The other popular wildcats in this general class either have a fair amount less capacity, or a lot more. If for no other reason, this cartridge will have a following just based on the case capacity.
There is certainly no doubt, this will be a flat shooting varmint cartridge that will do the job in the dog town or out taking coyotes.
Nosler™ is a trademark of Nosler Inc. Most likely Nosler will release this cartridge at SHOT Show 2018. Watch for updates here.