.325 WSM, has been anounced.


October 10, 2004, 06:58 PM
The speculating is now over (at least for the .338wsm). Winchester has announced that their new short mag is the .325 (an 8mm), according to Kimber:

Kimber Will Chamber Model 8400 Rifles In New, Powerful 325 WSM

Kimber will chamber the new 325 WSM cartridge in all three 8400 rifle models, making them the lightest rifles available for this powerful new cartridge. The 325 WSM is essentially an 8mm (.323) version of the WSM series. According to Winchester ([see the link and quote below]) it approximates the performance of the .338 Winchester Magnum. Production plans have already begun and shipment will begin sometime in early 2005.


In 2002, most shooters and hunters expected Winchester to add a larger caliber to the WSM line and the popular guess was 338. However, Winchester surprised the shooting public with the introduction of two Winchester Super Short Magnums, the 223 and 243. Here was a totally new concept in commercially available ammunition. The "short-fat" cartridges were designed to work with new Super Short action rifles from Browning and Winchester Firearms. Then in 2003, a 25 caliber load was added to the WSSM line.

Shooters and hunters who like bigger bore rifles for large game hunting are expecting Winchester to finally make the move to bigger bullets in the WSM line for 2005. They are right, but they may be surprised.

Winchester recognized the need for a cartridge capable of launching 200 plus grain bullets with high inherent accuracy, energy capable of stopping the largest North American game, and lower perceived recoil. Winchester engineers considered several different calibers during development and determined that the 325 caliber was the best performer in the WSM platform. This new cartridge delivers similar energies as a 338 Win-Mag in a much smaller lightweight package.

The platform of the "Short-Fat" cartridge design has for years consistently produced very accurate cartridges. Since their introduction, the Winchester Short Magnum and the Winchester Super Short Magnum calibers have all produced exceptional accuracy. In addition to delivering excellent ballistics, the 325 WSM also exhibits exceptional accuracy, a real plus in this large caliber cartridge.

Initially, three loads will be available in the 325 WSM. Winchester Ammunition and Nosler, Inc. developed a 200 gr. Accubond® CT® in the Supreme® line and in the Super-X® line, Winchester Ammunition developed a 220 gr. Power-Point® bullet. Both of these loads utilize bullets specifically designed for use in the 325 WSM. Additionally, a 180 gr. Ballistic Silvertip® in the Supreme® line will be available. Additional loads are expected in the future.

The 325 WSM is the ideal package for the serious elk, bear, moose or other large and dangerous game hunter where a lightweight short magnum rifle is desired.

For more information on Winchester® products, please visit their website at www.winchester.com . Press releases and images can be found on the website at www.winchester.com , then click on Press Room.

Haven't seen anything about this on the Winchester site yet.

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October 10, 2004, 08:23 PM
yeah, its been making the circles on the hunting forums for a few days or more now... consensus is that this cartridge will flop (shoulda gone 338). however, i would love for this cartridge to work out very well - might open up the bullet market for 8mm bullets, and then i could seriously pursue an 8 rem mag project.

October 10, 2004, 08:31 PM
What is supposed to make the WSM and WSSM cartridges so much better than comparable standard cartridges? From what I've seen, they seem to add a couple hundred fps and ft/lbs with a significantly higher price. I make no claims to be an expert, but does the extra speed/energy really make that big of a difference? If it does make a difference, does it justify the cost of ammunition? Are the prices more reasonable for handloaders? If the price of loading these cartridges isn't much greater than that of normal cartridges, I could see buying a gun chambered in them, but the price difference with commercial loads doesn't seem to be worth the performance. btw, just to be sure, my questions are real, not rhetorical so please feel free to educate me:)

October 10, 2004, 09:21 PM
From what I've gleaned from some articles and Winchester/Browning paraphernalia, the WSM are better for us because:

1: The short fat case allows for a much quicker and more efficient burning column that achieves the velocities/energies wanted with less powder and les recoil.
2: The cartridge headspaces off the shoulder (as other cartridges do but it used to be that mags head-spaced off the belt), thus promising more accuracy because the bullet is more properly aligned with the center of the barrel bore.
3: The short cartridge means a shorter action which translates into a more stable action and thus higher accuracy.

And speculating: the WSM are better for Winchester because:
1: they use the same brass for several different cartridges/calibers. Thus is saves them money and makes them more money because they are charging more because its NEW & IMPROVED.
2: Is great advertising because everybody likes the new fangled things from Winchester that can bring down everything under the sun (;))

Hopefully the last above reasons will translate into savings for us. Doesn't look like at the moment though.

I'm not too partial to these new cartridges. But then I'm not partial to any rifle cartridge... at the moment. I do like the 6mm rounds though. Since I don't already have an arsenal of rifles, I most likely will get a WSSM and or a WSM. I think that's where their market is, for new shooters like myself...

I don't know, just trying to figure out their logic.

October 10, 2004, 11:30 PM
What is supposed to make the WSM and WSSM cartridges so much better than comparable standard cartridges?

I think they finally recognized what the benchrest world has known ever since the .22 and 6mm PPC were introduced. That type of cartridge design is inherently more accurate. Whether that is because of the shape of the cartridge or the short action or both is up for debate. But I own a Sako .22 PPC and it is astonishing. I barely ever shoot it because what's the point? It's like shooting a laser. Short and fat really does work in a cartridge case. You just have to figure out how to get around the feeding problems.

If the price of loading these cartridges isn't much greater than that of normal cartridges, I could see buying a gun chambered in them

The cartridge design is more efficient. You get more velocity with less powder. This goes for the new .204 Ruger as well. You can handload these types of cartridges for less money than the full size version because you will use less powder. Just compare the .223 WSSM load data with .220 Swift.

(EDIT: I just went and actually compared and was surprised. It looks like the .223 WSSM uses a couple grains MORE than the Swift! Surprised me. A bunch of the loads used around 45 grains of powder. But my .22 PPC only uses 24.5 grains for a top load. I get a lot of shots for a pound of powder. So maybe .223 WSSM won't actually be cheaper but it shouldn't cost you any more. The bullets are the same. The primers are the same. The powder will be very close. Just have to get a good deal on the brass!)

All this said, I haven't actually bought one yet. But I see Winchester is making a new Model 70 Featherweight with a specially designed super short action. One of those in .25 would make a heck of a deer rifle.


Bwana John
October 11, 2004, 11:04 AM
Magazine capacity suffers with these short fat mags. I look on them as marketing gimmics. What cant you do with a 30-06?

October 11, 2004, 02:07 PM
Basically you can't buy a Kimber Super America in 30-06.

The WSM's are short action cartridges. Like 'em or not, the Kimber series of rifles is mucho impressive to hold in your hands. I fondled a Super America this past weekend in .300 WSM, and I must say that I was very favorably impressed. The gun was light and lively in the hands and beautiful to behold. For that reason alone, the WSM's have merit.


p.s., I still use a .30-06 on occasion myself!

October 11, 2004, 02:10 PM
I love the .323" bullet, esp. in the classic 8x57JS. The 8mm Rem Mag. is also an awesome big game rifle and doesn't get enough love. But this short fat trend is starting to annoy me. I expect it will play itself out when someone announces a cartridge that's actually wider than it is long. Some of these weirdo rounds are coming close!

October 11, 2004, 05:29 PM
This combination is not for you if you wish to shoot the gun a lot! I have a Remington Model 7 chambered for 300 SAUM, and it hurts! You pack that much punch into a lightweight rifle, and you have a rifle good for trekking around Alaska and shooting once or twice, not a rifle you enjoy to take to the range and shoot all your reloads to get great accuracy. My Model 7 hurts worse than a Weatherby Accumark in .340 Wby Mag. But maybe I'm just a big weenie.

October 11, 2004, 07:45 PM
...a cartridge that's actually wider than it is long.

ROTFL! I can see it now... lol...

October 11, 2004, 09:45 PM
I really have no interest in a 325 WSM but hope everyone starts making more 8mm bullets. That will be good for all us 8x57 reloaders!

October 12, 2004, 12:36 AM
That is a interesting cartridge. It may be the only rifle round newer than the 7mm Remington Mag that I could ever see owning. It may be more of a hit than people think, considering the only other 8mm round you ever see in the stores is the Mauser one.

October 12, 2004, 12:47 AM
shoulda gone with 338, much better bullet selection.


October 12, 2004, 08:52 PM

My old .35 Whelen does just fine, thanks.

October 13, 2004, 02:21 AM
I gave the WSM a try last year. The round is fine except for two things.

They don't feed well.

They really don't do anything a .300WM (.30-06 really) doesn't already do and the recoil is identical in my opinon.

The little bugger shot fair but I've got an old model 70 in .375H&H an outdated, long, skinny, belted round that'll run acuracy rings around any short mag I've ever seen.

I'll tell you what though I picked up a Kimber 84M Montana in .308Win this weekend. It is a very nice little rifle. And the little turkey shoot better than fair as well. 5lbs 2oz shoots under an inch at 100 and she was doing around 2 inches at 200.

The 84 has come a long way. They've fixed the safety so it locks the bolt down. They've fixed the trigger slam fire problem and they've fixed the feeding problems the early ones had. This gun is really getting good and you can't touch anything in it's class for the price.

I recomend the later model 84's but I'd still stay away from the early model ones. If it has a three position safety that locks the bolt down thats the later series and you should buy it if you can. You won't be sorry.

October 13, 2004, 10:14 AM
The big trouble with the original kimber press release is Win is apparently planning on using too light bullets in the 8mm to take advantage of its potential. The 8mm Mauser came in as high as 247 gr IIRC and was considered a fine killer in that guise. 180 grain bullets is varmint weight in that caliber, imho. Also, the 8mm Rem Mag flopped because of that same reason and also because no heavily constructed bullets were built for it. They used the same projos as they loaded for the anemic domestic 8mm Mauser and they blew up on the surface of animals rather than penetrating. At least, that's how my feeble memory remembers it. :uhoh:

October 13, 2004, 10:48 AM
I think I should go to gunsmithing school so I can convert all these "new" caliber guns over to common calibers when people finally come to their senses.:)

October 13, 2004, 01:50 PM
Big G - I've never seen 8mm loads over 220gr. The 150gr load is a great round for deer, though I've heard some say the 180-185gr might be more accurate. The military load for 8x57 was a 154gr spitzer FMJ. I know my Turk mauser will launch Turk surplus 154gr bullets at over 2900fps (on a 100F day) and it will launch 150gr handloads (Hornady spire point) at a tick over 3000fps. Tell me a shoulder shot with that won't drop a deer, even a 250lb monster mulie. Hardly a varminting round, imho.

One problem handloaders are having with 8x57 is a lack of heavy (200+ grain) bullets that will reliably expand at ranges beyond about 150 or so yards. Most of those bullets are built for the 8mm Rem Mag and are too toughly constructed for the lower velocities of the 8x57.

October 13, 2004, 02:04 PM
Sumpnz: That's because the 8mm never caught on on this side of the Atlantic. In Germany the std hunting ammo is ~250 grain, at least for heavy game. Deer will be killed by most anything, including .223. The standard 8mm Mauser military load is a tad better than the 30/06 military load. I believe the older miltary load for the 8mm was ~198 gr. before they went to the Scharfernase.

You can also look in the handloading supply sources for 8mm bullets, not many available.

Ohen Cepel
October 13, 2004, 02:34 PM
I think most of the short mags are a good idea and there are good arguements for them. I like the spacing on the shoulder and the shorter actions I think are a plus.

However, I see it as a way for a new hunter to look. I have to admit I'm to entrenched in what I have/like to want one. Also, the gains aren't worth it for me.

I would suggest a new guy starting off to look hard at them though!

October 13, 2004, 04:32 PM
Yeah, I'm looking at all these new rounds these days. Like I said earlier I don't have a bunch of rifles. I have wanted to get a .308, .7mm08 and a .243 (I like the short action rifles). So now I'm trying to figure out if it'll be better to get these new fangled shorts and super-shorts.

One drawback to the new cartridges is that at the range near me, when they have competitions, they don't allow magnums!:( Since I want to get into silhouette shooting, I might have to forgo all these new things and go with a 7mm08. Better ballistics than the .308, lots of 7mm bullets, short action and overall cartridge length, and more rifles are available.

But will I be missing out. And will the 7mm08 be around long after these short mags rule the hunting scene???

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