325 WSM...2 opposing view....what is your vote??


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saturno_v
November 25, 2009, 01:32 AM
I came across 2 almost diametrically opposed views on the new "almost" medium bore Short Magnum Cartridge.

In the first article (Link http://www.realguns.com/archives/138.htm), "The Iliad, the Odyssey...and the 325 WSM ", Joe D'Alessandro from Realguns.com, likes the cartridge a lot and he considers it almost more useful than a 338 Win Mag.

The final summary from the article:

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I like the 325 WSM a lot. I have firearms with more punch, but I think this is about all that is needed for North America, within any ranges I would consider. I'm guessing even the 150 grain loads would be excellent for deer and similar, 195 or 200 for most anything else including big pigs, black bear, elk, etc. The tough 200 grain loads and 220 grain loads I would guess to be more than adequate for larger bear. If I needed something bigger for North America or elsewhere, I would skip the 338 Winchester Magnum, which doesn't really handle heavy bullets, and use my 338-378 Weatherby that does. Yup, impressive all around rifle and cartridge.

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In the second article from Chuck Hawks, "The .325 WSM" the good CHuck basically calls the cartridge "a rather limited design" (and he claims that the Winchester technicians admitted that)

Link: http://www.chuckhawks.com/325wsm.htm

An excerpt from the article:

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It is becoming apparent that, for technical reasons (i.e. case shape), the much-ballyhooed Winchester Short Magnum is a rather limited design. Winchester tried, and failed, to neck it down to make a viable .25 caliber magnum (thus the introduction of the .25 WSSM instead of a .25 WSM), and failed again when they tried to neck it up to .33, the smallest of the medium bore calibers. Winchester technicians have admitted that the WSM case was optimized for .30 caliber bullets, and that its efficiency falls off rapidly as the caliber is decreased or increased. Evidently the utility of the WSM case lies between .27 caliber and .31 caliber, period. That said, the .325 WSM is a satisfactory cartridge for hunting non-dangerous CXP2 and CXP3 class game, animals from the size of deer and antelope to elk and moose, as long as the shooter can tolerate the substantial recoil

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What is your opinion??

I can comment only on one thing....D'Alessandro evidently doesn't know much the 338 Win Mag when he says "I would skip the 338 Winchester Magnum, which doesn't really handle heavy bullets[/B], and use my 338-378 Weatherby that does. Yup, impressive all around rifle and cartridge."

Obviously he is not aware of the several 250 gr. .338 loads available out there and a couple of 300 grainers (Woodleigh bullets) from Double Tap and Corbon.

I did check the Hodgdon Data and, loaded to their max specs, the 338 has a decent edge over the 325 with the same bullet weight in term of velocity....for example both loaded with a 200 gr. pill, the good old 338 has a ~150 fps advantage over the 325 WSM.

The 325 stops at 220 gr, the 338 goes all the way to 300...I find hard to believe D'alessandro doesn't know that...his article did strike me as a bit "suspiciously" commercial...

He kinda of contradicts himself when he says:

Winchester loads the 325 WSM at velocity levels comparable or in excess of the 338 Winchester; product positioning rather than optimized loading. Hornady loads a Heavy Magnum 225 grain load for the 338 Winchester Magnum at 2950 fps and the 325 WSM just can't keep up at these bullet weights

So he admits the Winchester 338 offering could be loaded down for "product positioning" reasons and he kinda of gloss over the fact Hornady sells a 338 Win Mag load 225 gr. at 2950 fps (replicable by handloading)


So, what's your take??

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Offfhand
November 25, 2009, 08:21 AM
325 was DOA

rangerruck
November 25, 2009, 10:06 AM
I disagree with the second; Chuck, is look apparently for unlimited sized game, he might run into, in anywhere in north america, including Canada, and Alaska.
The 325 is an efficient minded cartridge, in a small case, and that is allways a good thing. It is not a powder nor bbl burner, and like the other dude here said, there are some pretty beefy handloads for it. I think all the wsm's do their job that they were intended to do, pretty well. Yes the 270 is the one that got the greatest benefit, and the 300/7wsm is a darn good wildcat cart, and quite accurate; so in a way, the winny designers were right about it's sweet spot, but that does not mean that the 325 is a dog; I think it will take up to moose size game, in a small tight efficient package, without a ton of recoil, and do it quite well. I wouldn't hesitate to take it to black bears either.

jbech123
November 25, 2009, 11:02 AM
The cartridge itself is pretty good. However the way they are dropping prices on rifles chambered for it makes the writing on the wall pretty clear.

Mr_Pale_Horse
November 25, 2009, 11:06 AM
8mm Remington Magnum owner(s) concur, well, if there are any left.

Uncle Mike
November 25, 2009, 01:32 PM
You know what they say....opinions are like b_ttholes, everybody has one, and most of them stink!

That said, the .323/8mm caliber has suffered tremendously in this half of the world.
And why...well, popular opinion prevails !

Some say there isn't much difference and or worth with the extra .015" of meat on the bullet, many .30 cal. bullets can be shot fast enough to generate energies that are comparable with the .32 cal. bullets.

so...what's the bother, why do I need this .32 cal. when I can get my trusty .300WIN. MAG. to do the same ?

One of the best cartridges loaded was the Remington 8mm MAG. .....IMHO !
But what could it do that the big .30 cal's. can't do ?

There is MUCH technical stuff on your very question.....a lot of explanations to why the 8mm(Nazi) stuff never caught on in the U.S.....hmmmm !?!

cougar1717
November 25, 2009, 03:36 PM
The problem is that the 325 WSM didn't cover any new territory. If you're not the first to the market, the product has to be better in some way. Whether that is in terms of velocity, accuracy and availability of the firearms chambered for the cartridge, or cost. With the 300 Win Mag, 338 Win Mag, 300 RUM, 338 RUM, 300 WBY, 340 WBY, etc. - I think the rifle scene is saturated with .308 - .338 magnums, but being an oddball caliber (to the US buyer) didn't help either.

Maverick223
November 25, 2009, 04:01 PM
I don't care for the wissums too much, and don't believe that most will survive too long (amongst those I count the .325WSM, I do believe that the .300WSM will stick around for a while). My thoughts are if you need more than a .30-06 (or perhaps a .35 Whelen or .300WM) then skip right up to .375H&H Mag or 9.3x64 Brenneke. It gives you a generous increase in power and SD, and thus allows you to harvest very large, dangerous game. I am not a fan of the .338WM, because I find the recoil is sharp, whilst the cartridge doesn't have the power of the .375H&H, and scarcely more than the .35 Whelen. The .338WM is certainly an improvement WRT target use, but I don't believe that is what we are discussing (and if it were, there are better cartridges more suited to the use).

:)

Tang419
November 25, 2009, 04:18 PM
I had a Savage 14 American Classic in .325 WSM. It was a great shooter. Recoil was very light for what it was, and it was accurate with almost anything. I ended up selling it after I got a .338 Win Mag Ruger M77 MkII. I never did take game with it, but I have no doubt it would've taken about anything in NA at any reasonable range.

If it came down to it, I'd take it over a .270 Wimpchester or .30-06 any day of the week.


Now the .270 WSM, was a great idea. It is basically a .270 Weatherby in a cheaper rifle. Eclipses the .270 Win in performance.

Maverick223
November 25, 2009, 04:31 PM
Now the .270 WSM, was a great idea. It is basically a .270 Weatherby in a cheaper rifle. Eclipses the .270 Win in performance.Didn't care for mine...but I didn't need the power advantage (really who does?), and didn't reload at the time, so ammo cost was killing me. Can't say that miss it.

:)

Tang419
November 25, 2009, 04:38 PM
Didn't care for mine...but I didn't need the power advantage (really who does?), and didn't reload at the time, so ammo cost was killing me. Can't say that miss it.

Yea, with any of the Magnums these days, reloading is almost a requirment.

As to who needs extra power ? Everyone ! Obviously, or we'd all still be using muskets.

Maverick223
November 25, 2009, 04:42 PM
As to who needs extra power ? Everyone ! Obviously, or we'd all still be using muskets.I meant between the .270Win and the .270WSM, the difference in power is of very limited use. Don't get me wrong, I like a nice magnum, just not this one.

:)

saturno_v
November 25, 2009, 04:47 PM
then skip right up to .375H&H Mag or 9.3x64 Brenneke. It gives you a generous increase in power and SD, and thus allows you to harvest very large, dangerous game. I am not a fan of the .338WM, because I find the recoil is sharp, whilst the cartridge doesn't have the power of the .375H&H, and scarcely more than the .35 Whelen.

Maverick

I do not agree.

The 338 WM comes just a little short of the 375 H&H in muzzle energy but it packs a significant bigger whallop at longer ranges and it shoots a bit flatter.

With the 250 and 300 gr. bullets it has tremendous SD, superior to the 375. The 300 gr. 338 Woodleigh bullets (Solid and Weldcore) are well known heavy bone drillers.

The 35 Whelen doesn't hit as hard as flat and it has poorer SD bullets....and harder to find in ammo stores in case of emergency.

In my opinion, a good diversified hunting rifle battery would be a 30-06, followed by a 338 WM (hits harder at longer ranges and it shoots flatter)
If you need even more raw power go directly to the "over 400" Magnums (416, 458, etc..) for devastating short-medium range power.

Maverick223
November 25, 2009, 05:03 PM
With the 250 and 300 gr. bullets it has tremendous SD, superior to the 375.Was referring to the aforementioned cartridges ('06, and .35 Whelen), not the .338WM. I am not fond of that cartridge primarily due to the snappy recoil, not lack of performance. I will even go as far as to say that it is a probably better choice for most folks, as the rifle is generally less expensive than one chambered for .375 (or 9.3), and either are scarcely used do to the recoil. Personally I am a bit nostalgic about the older cartidges, and I like a little thump. :D

Runningman
November 25, 2009, 05:14 PM
So, what's your take?? I have seen two Moose and one Elk killed with a 325 WSM and the 200 grain Nosler Accubond bullet. This combination does an incredible amount of damage and exited on all three animals. They guy who owns the 325 went from a 7mm Remington Mag using 175 grain bullets. To the 325 WSM after having a badly wounded Moose get away a number of years ago. All I can say is the owner is very pleased with the 325 WSM.

I don't see me buying a 325 WSM (already have enough big game rifles). But it sure seems effective enough from what I have seen with my own eyes. I would not have a problem hunting with one anywhere in North American.

The 325 delivers ballistics very similar to the 8mm Remington Mag and I can't see where this is a bad thing as far as big game cartridges.

1911shooter
November 25, 2009, 05:21 PM
I love my 8mm rem mag. Use it for eveything from deer to moose and bear, it is my go to rifle when i go for Musk Ox also.

rangerruck
November 25, 2009, 09:07 PM
.."musk ox are sexy.." oh my God, dude you are sick.

Maverick223
November 25, 2009, 10:13 PM
I have seen two Moose and one Elk killed with a 325 WSM and the 200 grain Nosler Accubond bullet. This combination does an incredible amount of damage and exited on all three animals.That is impressive, must have taken a lot of patience to get all three to line up for the shot. :D

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