View Full Version : .325 WSM

February 2, 2010, 12:24 AM
I have several questions about custom rifles and hope that I can find some answers here. First of all I currently hunt with a .270, and love it. I have killed several elk, and more deer than I can remember with this rifle. my problem is that I will be moving to Alaska in March, and feel that this caliber is a little too light for the game up north. I am interested in a .325 WSM with a 20" barrel, detatchable scope and open sights for use in the brush if necessary. my first question is this, will the shorter barrel seriously affect the accuracy. I am comfortable out to 400 yds with my .270. secondly, I am not a large guy, and am a little recoil shy. I do not have a problem with the recoil from a .300 WSM. I recently heard about the .338 RCM, with a 20" barrel, but am afraid that the recoil would be too much for me. any advice would be much appreciated. thank you

February 2, 2010, 12:29 AM
not tobe rude but recoil is just a partof shooting anything under 40 ft lbs of recoil should be manageable.tell you what, tell me what gun or how much it weighs and the load you want to use and i will tell you the recoil compared to a similar 12 gauge load.

February 2, 2010, 12:35 AM
If you want a 20" barrel, then I would use the 338 RCM. The short mags need the 24" barrels. If you reload, you won't be able to match the velocity of the Hornady 338 RCM ammo, as that powder is not available to the public.

February 2, 2010, 04:02 AM
Personal opinion only, but if you are concerned about big fuzzy toothy things "A-Way Up North", look into the 375 Ruger. It matches 375 H&H performance out of a 20" barrel. I used to shoot my 375 H&H in a T-shirt, they're not really that bad in a relatively heavy rifle.

February 2, 2010, 07:07 AM
Where in AK are you headed? What type of game is going to be in that area? The reason I ask this is that unless you are going to be hunting and living in brown bear country you could probably get by with just a plain old .30-06 and a bullet like the 180 and 200 grain Partition. Plenty of the big brownies have fallen to the .30-06, it just isn't as good of a stopper as the big bores.

One thing I've learned about recoil is it can be learned. Like you I only shot the .270 Win for several years, then I found a great deal on a .338-06. A 200 grain bullet traveling around 2880 fps is a lot different recoil than a 130 grain bullet traveling at 3100 fps. I made a few mistakes in learning to shoot my .338-06 and developed a flinch that took me a long time to get rid of so keep your .270 Win as well as a .22 LR handy as you might need them to practice shooting with.

I still can't do a long session with any rifle .30-06 and up from the bench in my hunting rifles without a PAST recoil pad or a lead sled. Even though they may not seem like heavy recoiling rifles but the recoil is cumaltive and will eventually wear you down. The best thing you can do while learning to shoot a heavy recoiling rifle is to focus on the mechanics of shooting and not the recoil. Plus remember shooting from field positions will reduce the amount of felt recoil except from the prone position. MO Pie Plate is good enough at 100 yards especially with heavy recoiling rifles.

I agree with Scorch but mainly because I have a .375 Ruger and feel that it is an awesome cartridge. 270 grain bullets at 2800 fps out of a 20" barrel is pretty impressive. Recoil of the rifle is quite stout when you compare it to a .270 but again it can be learned and I've shot mine in a t-shirt as well and lived to tell about it.

The other cartridge I'd look at would be the .338 Win Mag over the .325 WSM and .338 RCM as it should be the most versatile of the three cartridges. The .325 being a 8mm just doesn't have the great bullet selection of the .338 in the Untied States. The .338 RCM is a ballistic equal to the .338-06 so that will always leave it around 200+ fps slower than the .338 Win with equal bullet weights. With the .338 Win you would probably want a 22-24" barrel though.

February 2, 2010, 12:39 PM
thanks for the advice. I spent some time in a local custom gun shop and was told about options for recoil reduction that do not involve using a muzzle brake, so that seems to no longer be a problem. I think that I am heading toward the .338 RCM. I was told that the shorter barrel on the .325 would not allow a complete burn of the powder before the bullet left the barrel. I will be reloading for either one and feel that the choices in bullets and powder are sufficient for my needs. btw I will be moving to the anchorage area, but plan on hunting moose and bear (I have a connection on Kodiak)