WSM - Winchester Short Magnum
The Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) cartridge concept proved that “magnum” doesn’t always mean bigger. It does, however, mean better. When directly compared to conventional, long-action calibers, the 270 WSM, 7mm WSM and 300 WSM and 325 WSM exceed (depending on bullet weight and type) the ballistics of the 270 Win., 7mm Rem. Mag. and 300 Win. Mag and others.
The 325 WSM stands alone, with no direct ballistic comparison to any long-action caliber, yet it fills an important gap, providing the trajectory of the 300 Win., with the knockdown power of the proven 338 Win. Mag. — both accomplished without the harsh recoil of the 338.
Moving beyond the obvious ballistic advantages of the WSM concept, there are also huge advantages in the rifles that fire these powerhouse cartridges. Most notably, WSM rifles are built on short-action configurations.
Prior to the WSM concept, short-action cartridges capable of high muzzle velocities did so with lightweight bullets and low downrange energy. To enter the realm of high velocity and heavy knockdown energy, beefed-up, belted magnum cartridges and heavy, long action rifles were required. However, by introducing long-action, belted magnum ballistics to the world of lightweight, short-action rifles, WSM calibers have effectively rewritten the rules that govern what a hard-hitting, high velocity rifle can be. Rifles chambered in WSM calibers are simply lighter and faster handling than their long action counterparts thanks to the shorter, stiffer actions and barrels used. Recoil is also reduced thanks to the short, fat case which produces a more efficient powder burn.
Better ballistics and lighter, more efficient rifles create a package that can’t be beat