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223 WSSM vs the 22-250 Rem.

Release Date: 1/21/2005

223 WSSM vs 22-250 Rem. barrel life comparison chart.
Click on the chart to view it larger.

In 2003, Winchester Ammunition, Browning and Winchester Firearms introduced two of the most exciting varmint calibers to come down the pipe in decades—the 223 and 243 Winchester Super Short Magnum (WSSM) cartridges. These new cartridges brought wildcat performance to the factory level, providing varmint shooters, as well as light big game hunters, with a stepped-up level of small caliber performance. Along with the successes of these new cartridges, however, came some interesting challenges.

We live in a most wonderful time. Technology has provided us with tools and toys that previous generations could scarcely dream of. Included in this smorgasbord of technological achievements is our ability to communicate far more effectively than at any other time in history through the Internet. Unfortunately, along with the good aspects this technology provides, on occasion, the specter of misinformation rears its ugly head.

Even before the first Browning firearm chambered in WSSM calibers hit the dealer’s shelves, Internet chat rooms were buzzing with speculation and information about the new WSSM calibers. Whether it was intentional or misguided matters not. What does matter is that we take this moment to dispel the misinformation and provide you with the facts, and the data to prove the truth about these very cool, potent little calibers.

Anyone with a moderate level of shooting experience knows that if you push a bullet down a bore at extreme velocities, wear and tear is increased. The WSSM calibers are no exception to this rule. Again, enter the world of technology. With modern manufacturing techniques, we have been provided another wonderful tool—the ability to economically chrome-plate our rifle bores; something the so-called “experts” knew nothing about before jumping both to conclusions and into chat rooms.

The 223 and 243 WSSM cartridges are said to “burn up” barrels in as little as 300 rounds. Nothing could be further from the truth. Test results show that even in non-chromed barrels, the wear performance of WSSM calibers is equal to the beloved 22-250. In chromed barrels, the wear resistance is doubled (see chart). It should also be noted that Browning has never sold a rifle in 223 or 243 WSSM without a chromed barrel. As an added benefit, the smooth surface of chromed barrels makes cleaning them significantly easier.

Browning and Winchester have combined to provide hunters and shooters with 284 years of innovative products. We do not take this legacy for granted by introducing products whose performance falls short of the expectations of those who have relied on us—and literally kept us in business all this time. In short, WSSM calibers aren’t your granddaddy’s cartridges and we sure aren’t providing you with your granddaddy’s rifles to shoot them in.

We thank you for taking the time to read and digest this information. Remember what the high school band teacher used to preach, “When in doubt leave it out”. Of course, in the case of firearms and ammunition technical information, when in doubt, go get the facts.

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