.243wssm or .223wssm


May 17, 2003, 01:15 AM
has anyone got one of these yet? or has anyone had the oppurtunity to shoot either of these two rounds? if so i would like some first hand opinions on either one please


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May 17, 2003, 01:27 AM
If I read an article about these two correctly (can't remember the recent issue of which magazine...anybody else know which one?) the cases are exactly the same.
Only the bullet/caseneck is different sized.

How long before someone interchanges the two 'unintentionally' and what would happen?

Isn't this the reason many cartridges have gone into production 'slightly altered', so that OOPS doesn't happen?

Correct me if I'm wrong.
Sorry I can't recall which magazine I was reading.

May 17, 2003, 02:17 AM
.243wssm ain't out yet. Another example of the firearm industry announcing things we can't have. I'm hearing June, but...

Art Eatman
May 17, 2003, 09:05 AM
The June issue of Guns&Ammo has an article on the .243WSSM.


It seems to me that these new, short cartridges would really be great for a handloader. You can load down and use the less expensive bullets and get the same very-good performance that we've known for decades. Or, you can use premium bullets and load hot and play Ma Bell in the wide-open country.

For a given barrel length, the rifles are shorter and lighter. To me, that's a big plus.

Also, we've learned that the shorter and fatter cartridges with their stiffer actions give a bit better accuracy in both target and hunting rifles. As these cartridges become more common and more loading data is developed, I thinks folks will be pretty much pleased...

The caveat, of course, is that if you're already doing quite well with your existing cartridges, you don't really need one of these new hotshots.

New toys are always fun, though.

:D, Art

May 17, 2003, 11:36 AM
Yeah, for anyone other than a handloader that was wanting to get creative, I'm not sure I understand the new supershort magnums - the 223 and 243 - the 270, 7mm and 300s, I don't have as bit a problem with. I'm all for change and new cartridges and as much variety as possible, but the WSSMs just seem to have a lot going against them.

I mean, the 243 Winchester and the 6mm Remington have been around for just under 50 years and the new 243 WSSM has what... 150 fps difference in the 55 Gr Ballistic Tip loadings. That translates into 100 ft/lbs of energy at 200 yards and a one inch difference in drop at 400 yards and a two inch difference in drop at 500 yards.

This is at the cost of the same weight of a rifle, fewer rounds in the rifle, more expensive ammo for non-handloaders and with the stunning accuracy the .243 Winchester is capable of, I really doubt any increase in accuracy. The SSMs have a rebated rim which isn't going to help feeding at all and the larger diameter cartridges need to move more vertically to feed properly which isn't going to help. And for folks that shoot a lot, the 243 has never been known for long lasting barrels and with the WSSM and it's higher velocity, it will burn em up faster still. And even with the increased energy and velocity, you still probably aren't going to take any larger game or game currently on your list at any longer distances. I mean, at 500 yards, there's 50 ft/lbs difference in the 243 and the 243 WSSM.

For the guy that want's to be the first on the block - which I do understand - I guess it would probably be pretty neat to play with. For the guy that actually shoots quite a bit at either paper or more responsive targets, it just doesn't add up for me. Well, other than rifle and ammunition companies having new products on the market and more choices to sell.


Edit - just went to Winchester's website and when comparing the rifles that come in 243 Winchester and 243 WSSM, there is no difference in weight or length but it looks like they do have a new model available only in the WSSMs that is sort of an ultimate mountain rifle that weighs only 6lbs flat and is one inch shorter than their Featherweight.

six 4 sure
May 17, 2003, 01:10 PM
If you want to know a little more about them I'd check out www.shortmags.org


May 17, 2003, 05:08 PM
Aside from building a DG rifle, the next rifle I expect to buy will be a .243 WSSM Winchester. Controlled feed super-short WINCHESTER for $500!


May 18, 2003, 11:04 PM
IIRC, the 7 mm WSM and .270 WSM are slightly different in case dimension as the bullet diameter were very close (difference ~ 0.007"). Conceivable that someone could shove a loaded 7mm into a .270 chamber.

The difference between the .223 WSSM and .243 WSSM are much bigger. (~0.019"). I'm thinking this larger difference will prevent the .243 case neck from fitting into a .223 chamber neck (without the use of a mallet).

Steve Smith
May 19, 2003, 09:36 AM
I'm wondering what the barrel life is going to be on those. .243 was bad enough. Either would be a really interesting space gun round if it weren't for that issue.

Art Eatman
May 19, 2003, 10:14 AM
I dunno, Steve. From all I've read about these shorter and fatter cartridge cases and the "performance per grain", they might be about equal in the case of the .243.

I'm guessing that the short magnums will be slightly better than the standard or long magnums, given such data as 20% less powder for only 10% less velocity.

For hunting or benchrest, I don't see it as a problem. The hunter doesn't shoot that many times; the benchrester already expects to change barrels rather frequently. The main impact might be, then, on competitive paper-punchers: You might need one of these new wonders to get the last gnat's-rear of accuracy, but you won't get the barrel life of the past.

Lotsa unknowns; time will tell...(How's that for "the future lies ahead"? :D )


Steve Smith
May 19, 2003, 10:19 AM
Art, if the barrel would last long enough, wouldn't one of those be the bee's knees in an AR based space gun?

May 19, 2003, 07:45 PM
Steve Smith,

You mean like this Olympic Arms PCR-8Mag??? (http://www.olyarms.com/pcr8mag.html)

I've got an extra lower that probably will get a 223 Varmint upper, but in the end might get a .243 WSSM upper. Then I'd be deer legal in Washington State.


Andrew Wyatt
May 19, 2003, 08:12 PM
I'd like to neck one of these up to .30 caliber and chamber it in a mini-14.

then i'd have an m1 carbine with the terminal performance of an m1 rifle.

Art Eatman
May 19, 2003, 09:08 PM
Andrew, I can't help but wonder at the R&D for the diameter of the gas port.

:D, Art

May 19, 2003, 09:46 PM
Theres an article in Guns & Ammo june 2003 about the 223 wssm. But I have'nt read it yet.

Andrew Wyatt
May 19, 2003, 10:08 PM
well, that'd be easy. make the gas system adjustable.

Steve Smith
May 20, 2003, 09:28 AM
GunNut, yes, that's what I'm talking about. But I bet accurate 600 yard barrel life is about 2000 rounds. :barf:

Art Eatman
May 20, 2003, 10:03 AM
Steve, doesn't that get us into the realm of cost/benefit analysis? That is--as a for instance--using a similar rig for practice, that's maybe of lesser quality/cost, and saving the high-dollar rig for "the real event"? Or, loading down a bit for practice, thus extending the barrel life? Downloading (seems to me) changes the recoil somewhat, but mostly affects just the scope adjustment for range and wind.

I'd want the feel, the trigger, the length of pull to all be the same...

Sorta like with my carry pistol: I don't shoot the LW Commander a lot, but I do shoot a good bit with a regular 1911 that's about the same trigger.


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