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Shorter & Sweeter — Browning A-Bolt Rifles in New 223 WSSM & 243 WSSM Cartridges

Release Date: 1/1/2003

Following the incredible success of the Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) concept, many people in the hunting and shooting world wondered just what Browning and Winchester ammunition had in store for 2003...


For the third straight year, Browning firearms, in conjunction with Winchester firearms and Winchester ammunition, proudly introduces two more short, — super-short actually — fat cartridges. The all new 223 WSSM and 243 WSSM. No, WSSM is not a typo, WSSM stands for Winchester Super-Short Magnum, and they’re the latest short, fat cartridges to be chambered in the versatile A-Bolt rifle. It’s a safe bet that no one saw these high-velocity, tack-driving cartridges coming. Hence, Browning stands on the verge of a cartridge revolution yet again.

When we say “Super-Short,” we mean it. The new WSSM cases are nearly 1/2" shorter (2.36" overall cartridge length) than the already short-action WSM cartridges. However, the body diameter and case head dimensions remain the same, making for both a super-short and super-fat cartridge providing incredible speed and downrange energy.

Bullet, Weight (grains) Overall Cartridge Length (inches) Muzzle Velocity (fps) Trajectory at 300 yds (0 at 100 yds) Muzzle Energy (ft. lbs.)
223 Ballistics Comparison
223 WSSM 55 grains 2.36" 3,850 fps -4.4 1,810
223 Rem. 55 grains 2.26" 3,240 fps -10.3 1,282
22-250 Rem. 55 grains 2.35" 3,680 fps -7.3 1,654
243 Ballistics Comparison
243 WSSM 55 grains 2.36" 4,060 fps -3.9 2,013
243 WSSM 95 grains 2.36" 3,250 fps -5.7 2,258
243 Win. 55 grains 2.71" 3,910 fps -6 1,867
243 Win. 95 grains 2.71" 3,100 fps -10.3 2,021

Thanks to the large diameter case, benefits from the WSM, like uniform powder burn for shot consistency and recoil reduction, carry over to the new WSSM cartridges. Bullet velocity to the tune of 4,060 fps from the 243 WSSM firing Winchester 55 grain Ballistic Silvertip ammunition is a real world number, and put the new WSSM cartridges truly in a class of their own. For more ballistic comparisons, check out the accompanying chart.

These new, shorter cartridges also mean a new, shorter action to shoot them from. The new A-Bolt super-short action is approximately 1/2" shorter than the current short-action. Tailoring a new, shorter action for the WSSM eliminates the potential of misfeeds that might occur from mating these shorter cartridges to an existing short action. The shorter action is also significantly stiffer, which improves accuracy. In addition to accuracy, losing 1/2" of receiver translates into other benefits: A shorter action cycles faster for quick follow-up shots and means less weight for you to pack around all day long.

Think about it, with ballistics and benefits like these, an A-Bolt WSSM could very well become your favorite benchrest rifle, varmint rifle and lightweight mountain rifle all rolled into a single great looking, reliable, high-performance package.

Browning A-Bolt rifles in 223 WSSM and 243 WSSM will be available in Hunter, Classic Hunter, Stainless Stalker, Varmint Stalker, Composite Stalker, and Medallion.

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