The Experts Agree The WSSMs are Winners!
Release Date: 7/9/2004
“Just about the time I’m ready to cry ‘uncle’ from playing with the new cartridges that may or may not have a future, something comes along that I really like(.25 WSSM).
The .25-06 is one of the best cartridges around for pronghorn and medium-size deer, especially in open country…If the .25-06 has a drawback, it’s that it requires a .30-06-length action. But the .25 WSSM will launch a heavy-for-caliber 115- or 120-grain bullet at one side or the other of 3,000 fps-from a cartridge that is almost a full inch shorter that the .25-06. This means that you can step down two full action sizes-from standard to short then to super-short length.
If you’re looking for a really sweet, light-kicking rifle with some reach, the .25 WSSM is ideal…the .25 WSSM takes a rightful place as a superb choice for small- to medium-sized big game like pronghorn, sheep and deer. It gets my vote as the best of the .25s.”
Craig Boddington, A Shorter Quarter-Bore, October 2004 Guns & Ammo
"Given that the .25 WSSM case has 11 percent less displacement than the .25-06, it nevertheless achieves the exact same velocities, and according to Winchester, it does it with 14 percent less powder. Those facts alone should dispel any doubts as to the greater efficiency claimed for this new generation of cartridges characterized by short, fat powder columns."
Jon R Sundra, .25 WSSM Winchester's Latest Super Short. May/June 2004 Rifle Shooter
"The Winchester .223 Super Short Magnum increases the velocity of a 55-grain bullet a good 250 fps over the .22-250. I’ve seen this squat magnum used on ground squirrels, prairie dogs, badgers, coyotes and feral hogs. Pretty much all a shooter has to do is aim dead on out to 350 yards. A Winchester Model 70 Classic Featherweight in .223 WSSM weighs six pounds. That’s a pound lighter than the same rifle chambered in .22-250."
John Haviland, Walking Varmint Rifles, June 2004 Shooting Illustrated
"the rank-and-file consumers-the average men and women…want to hunt with a rifle that is user-friendly, pleasant to shoot and easy to carry. This, I believe, is what will ultimately decide the fate of the WSSM cartridges in a crowded marketplace. They will succeed not because of any ballistic advantages but rather because of the user-friendly rifles in which they are chambered."
Dan C Johnson, Winchester's .25 WSSM, May 2004 Guns and Ammo
"Probably the most valuable quality of the new short magnums is that they permit a shooter who is accustomed to a .243 Win….to step up to true magnum level performance without a noticeable increase in recoil and with a rifle that is lighter, handier and inherently more accurate. And that's saying a lot."
Holt Bodinson, A Season with the Shorts, September 2003, Guns
"With the marriage of the short, handy rifles Winchester and Browning are offering it (243 WSSM) will make a great hunting gun for anything from ground squirrels to whitetails. I know of at least a couple of sheep hunters who are planning to use it in Alaska this fall."
Bryce M. Towsley, All the Rage This Year -- The Stubby Look from Winchester, June 2003 Shooting Illustrated.
"So what's the point?
There are several. First, the .223 WSSM 64-grain PowerPoint offers more downrange energy for large predators and medium game than any other .22 centerfire out there. And the 55-grain Ballistic Silvertip .243 WSSM will be the fastest, flattest, .243/6mm-caliber long-range coyote load you can buy-by far. Plus there are the basic advantages inherent to the Short Magnum concept-moderate recoil due to the use of increased efficiency propellants and improved accuracy due to the uniform load density and consistent burn of a short, fat powder column. These two new cartridges resemble nothings so much as the benchrest world's championship-proven jug-shaped .22 PPC and 6mm PPC loads - on steroids. Moreover, to accommodate these new cartridges, Browning and WSRAC/Winchester firearms companies are introducing an entirely new super short action size in the Browning A-Bolt and Winchester Model 70 lines, which will approximately a half-inch shorter than conventional short-action receivers (similar, in fact, to the length of a custom PPC-type benchrest rifle). The intrinsic accuracy benefits of a short, stiffer action over a long action are well-established principles of rifle design. The new actions will also eliminate any problems that might occur using such extra-short cartridges in a standard-length short action (similar to the problems that occur whenever anyone tries to adapt a standard long-action gun for a conventional short-action cartridge). The resulting guns will be smaller, lighter, more compact, and quicker handling, with essentially nondiscernible recoil effect - i.e., you'll still be looking at the target through the scope when the bullet gets there.
For high-performance centerfire rifle enthusiasts, this is exciting stuff."
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Dick Metcalf, Technical Editor, "Winchester's New .223 Super Short Magnum", March 2003 Shooting Times
"this was my first time shooting at long range with the new .223 Winchester Super Short Magnum cartridge…The load was obviously agreeable to this rifle's feeding preferences, and as we packed the truck to go, it occurred to me it was probably a bad day to be a prairie dog.
I started shooting at some 'dogs that were across a small, wet swale. It was a long way, but that's what I like when shooting prairie dogs. I would rather hit a few at very long range than a truckload up close. After several shots my spotter stopped snickering at me and ran to the pickup for the laser range finder. "I can't believe you hit that 'dog," he said when he returned. "I can get a reading off that big rock in front of him and it's over 800 yards. My guess is that 'dog was about 825 yards away!"
Before the two day shoot was over I took three more at more than 800 and one past 900 yards. All were measured with the credible witnesses. I know I am braggin a little here - although I think I earned it - but I also want to brag on this cartridge. As I write this, I have used the .223 WSSM to shoot prairie dogs, coyotes, javelina, whitetail deer and even a nilgai. I have also burned several hundred rounds at the range, and I think I am starting to get a feel for what the .223 WSSM is all about."
"I am now convinced this is an accurate cartridge, first because of that prairie dog shoot a few weeks ago and later when I took a light-barreled Browning A-Bolt to my range and shot some handloads. Other than cleaning the barrel before I started I did nothing with this rifle to make it shoot…The average for all three loads measured .9 inch for five-shot, 100 yard groups…so far the .223 WSSM is looking like a handloader's dream cartridge - and a prairie dog's worst nightmare."
Bryce M. Towsley, Stuffing Super Stumpy, October 2003 Shooting Illustrated.
“I’m really impressed by the .25 WSSM. It offers big power in a small, handy package. If you already own a good .25-06 rifle, there’s probably not much reason to run out and replace it with a .25 WSSM (unless you want something a lot lighter to carry, and more accurate, with less recoil). But if you’ve been meaning to someday have a .25-06, and haven’t got one yet, I can’t think of a single reason not to purchase a .25 WSSM instead.”
Dick Metcalf, Tech Corner column titled, “Hot Stuff New trends from the centerfire world”, September 2004 Peterson’s Hunting