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View Full Version : .223 WSSM. What is it good for?


Dc777
February 17, 2014, 10:55 PM
Although I just turned 26 today I haven't followed suit with people my age and jumped on board with others and gotten a short mag rifle. I have only pulled the trigger on one once, and that was a .300 short mag.Well tonight someone offered me a browning A bolt in .223wssm in exchange for my Remington 700 .243. In my ad I stated that I wanted to trade for a larger caliber but this guy has offered me a smaller one and I find myself being curious about it. So what can a .223 short mag be used for? I'm a deer hunter. I do not shoot at long distances even when target shooting. What is the point of a short mag? All I know after a quick search is cabelas is out of the ammo and it seems pricey. Any insight? Thanks fellas.

trg42wraglefragle
February 18, 2014, 01:54 AM
It can be used on small/medium sized game, goats fallow and fallow deer will be easy with the right bullet.

It'll be best at varmints though, rabbits, coyotes, crows, ground hogs etc.
It was designed as a varmint round, more or less equivalent to a 22-250, a little faster, but really didn't offer any major advantages and many disadvantages, so it didn't catch on.

The absolute best use for one, is too wear out your barrel way faster than standard 223, cause you hours of sleepless night with the cost and availability of ammo, and even brass isn't very common.

If a shooter was a reloader and wanted something different it'd be great, but the average Joe it isn't a wise choice. For your needs it really isn't what you would want.

taylorce1
February 18, 2014, 02:15 AM
It's a bad trade, walk away quickly. Not that the .223 WSSM is a terrible round just that if you're not into reloading don't bother. I'm pretty sure both Winchester and Browning no longer chamber rifles in it, and ammunition availability will be spotty at best.

jmr40
February 18, 2014, 07:15 AM
The 270 and 300 WSM are good rounds that fill a niche and have established enough following to stick around, the others are all but dead. None of the WSSM's are going to make it. Yes, it does offer some speed advantages over standard 223, but this round is destined for the scrap heap in the long run.

Mobuck
February 18, 2014, 08:16 AM
I took one in on trade at a gun show by mistake(didn't have my glasses and misread the caliber). Nice looking rifle but apparently already shot out. 3" groups @ 100 yards from $25/box ammo won't do it for me. Cleaned the heck out of it and resold it to someone who "just had to have one". Sorry dude.

natman
February 18, 2014, 10:22 AM
Don't do it. You're trading in the wrong direction for your stated goal and the 223 WSSM is already obsolecent. Unless you are a dedicated handloader / tinkerer, run in the other direction.

Art Eatman
February 18, 2014, 10:51 AM
While the .223 short mag is a good cartridge, the .243 is a much better cartridge for Bambi. I might add a larger-caliber rifle, but after tagging a couple of dozen bucks with my own .243, I'd sure not trade.

Brian Pfleuger
February 18, 2014, 11:19 AM
For deer, I'd rather have a .243

For varmints, the .223WSSM is a .22-250 on steroids. Support for it is all but gone, so unless you reload and can buy 1000 cases so you have them, don't bother. Neat cartridge, I'd like to have one. Ultra-fast bullets, barrel burner in every sense of the word. 4,500fps would be easy with the right bullet and powder.

Don't bother for deer anyway, when you've already got a .243Win

Dc777
February 18, 2014, 11:39 AM
I don't need the .243 as I hunt with a .300 win mag. I was really thinking that the wood stock browning would bring a higher price than my .243 Remington would. I was thinking I could take the browning and swap it for a gun that I really want.

Sierra280
February 18, 2014, 11:42 AM
Pretty much everyone on this thread is on point (when does that happen??!!)

The 223 WSSM is pretty much worthless, by the design concept and theoretical performance it should be the greatest .224 caliber ever created. In practice, it's a disaster. The short fat cartridges don't always reliably feed or chamber, and it's way over bore capacity so barrel life will be an issue; if you are okay with that (if you want an overbore .224) then it is also worth noting that the performance of the 223WSSM still falls short of the 220 Swift (created in the 1930's) and if you really like hot loads, it falls well short of the 220 Swift Ackley.

Not to mention those fat little cartridges have really thick necks, and if you want to use larger bullets or seat them more deeply--oops, so much that nice big powder charge, it won't fit!!

.243 is a fantastic caliber, efficient, adaquate for deer or anything smaller, and ammo is readily available.

Brian Pfleuger
February 18, 2014, 11:44 AM
Oh... well my opinion would be the opposite of that idea...

The .243 is a fantastic deer gun while my only purpose for a .30cal magnum would be to trade it for something I actually wanted.

In any case, the Browning is a fairly expensive gun but you're looking at a true niche buyer there. It's not every man's caliber.

natman
February 19, 2014, 01:34 PM
I was thinking I could take the browning and swap it for a gun that I really want.

Given the near unanimous negative reaction to the 223 WSSM, I'm not sure what makes you think it would be desirable trade bait.

JD0x0
February 19, 2014, 02:03 PM
.223WSSM isn't bad, but compare it to .243WSSM and you'll realize that there isn't much point to it. It's more overbore, uses lighter projectiles with fairly mediocre BC's, and isn't much faster than the .243

.223 WSSM
40 gr (3 g) BT (boat-tailed) 4,352 ft/s (1,326 m/s) 1,683 ft·lbf (2,282 J)
60 gr (4 g) JSP 3,733 ft/s (1,138 m/s) 1,857 ft·lbf (2,518 J)
75 gr (5 g) BT(boat-tailed) 3,378 ft/s (1,030 m/s) 1,901 ft·lbf


.243WSSM
58 gr (4 g) VMax 4,068 ft/s (1,240 m/s) 2,132 ft·lbf (2,891 J)
70 gr (5 g) BT 3,707 ft/s (1,130 m/s) 2,136 ft·lbf (2,896 J)
80 gr (5 g) BTSP 3,545 ft/s (1,081 m/s) 2,233 ft·lbf (3,028 J)
90 gr (6 g) SFT 3,280 ft/s (1,000 m/s) 2,151 ft·lbf (2,916 J)
100 gr (6 g) BTSP 3,136 ft/s (956 m/s) 2,184 ft·lbf (2,961 J)

The .243 WSSM is a little faster than the .243 Win, but generally has lower ammo availability and more expensive ammo.

FrankenMauser
February 19, 2014, 02:26 PM
Don't do it.

Most of what I have to say about it has already been brought up (dying cartridge with little support, stupidly expensive ammo, feeding issues, barrel burner, very little interest from anyone that knows what it is, etc).

All I wanted to add is.... Being a wood-stocked Browning does almost nothing to the value of the rifle. The fact that it's a .223 WSSM is the killer. That rifle is worth almost as much without the barrel.

Think of it as an '80s VW Rabbit. There are 7 people in the U.S. that think it's the greatest car ever made. The other 313 million people know it as nothing more than a nightmare they wish they could forget, or never wish to experience. It doesn't matter if you slap European "Golf GTI" badges on it ... it still has the Rabbit engine.

If you make that trade, without prior arrangements to unload the .223 WSSM, you'll be digging yourself into a hole that may take some time (and a financial loss) to get out of.

natman
February 19, 2014, 10:49 PM
The fact that it's a .223 WSSM is the killer. That rifle is worth almost as much without the barrel.

While I get your point, in fact the super short action used can't be rebarreled to much else other than another WSSM, all of which are as unpopular as the 223 version.

jimbob86
February 19, 2014, 11:42 PM
.223 WSSM. What is it good for?

Lemmee think ......

1. A decade ago, when gun nuts tended to have more money than sense, it was "to sell, of course!" Now? Not so much.

2. Burning barrels. It is way overbore.

3. Depleting the Earth's supply of unobtainium, used in the manufacture of it's cases.

FrankenMauser
February 20, 2014, 01:09 AM
While I get your point, in fact the super short action used can't be rebarreled to much else other than another WSSM, all of which are as unpopular as the 223 version.
That's true. But, most people interested in a WSSM are more likely to want the .243 than the .223. If all else fails... bush and recut the bolt face, and modify the extractor. It's a perfect action for a .223 Remington-class cartridge (pretty much anything under ~2.4" OAL).

trg42wraglefragle
February 20, 2014, 01:50 AM
So really, unless you are wanting to stand out in the crowd, or are keen for a possible project, stay miles away.

If you want something that's good value for money and something you can just go out and shoot. Then you are barking up the wrong tree.

taylorce1
February 20, 2014, 10:41 AM
If you don't want the .243 Win trade if for what you really want. If you make this trade and hope to come out ahead, you'll be taking it in the shorts when you go to get the rifle you really want. There are a few guys out there that want the WSSM rifles and they are few and far between and they want them because they can get them a bargain basement prices to build wildcats off of.

Believe me, if you make the trade the guy that gets the .243 will be laughing all the way home once he is out of sight. I know I would if I could unload any WSSM on an unsuspecting victim for a serviceable .243 Win. It's a good thing you asked around before you made the trade, hopefully we can save you some heart burn in the long run.

natman
February 20, 2014, 11:09 AM
That's true. But, most people interested in a WSSM are more likely to want the .243 than the .223. If all else fails... bush and recut the bolt face, and modify the extractor. It's a perfect action for a .223 Remington-class cartridge (pretty much anything under ~2.4" OAL).

That's a lot of work, certainly beyond the scope of a rebarrel. It would be interesting to see how 223 cartridges would feed with the WSSM action.

If you could do it, it would be a nice rifle. It's a shame Browning/Winchester didn't keep the super short action for the 223 class of cartridge.

globemaster3
February 20, 2014, 12:57 PM
Another +1 to avoiding that trade. The .223 WSSM will not fit your intent.

I'd hold onto the .243. At 26, and hunting in Alabama, at some point you'll probably grow out of your .300 Win Magnumitis and appreciate that .243 more than you do now.

Dc777
February 20, 2014, 03:35 PM
I'm not going to go for it.

orddy
August 15, 2014, 05:12 PM
I have mine in the AR platform and use it pretty much only for prairie dog shooting. For this application it works wonderful. I don't try to see how fast i can shoot bullets but instead i shoot heavier 69gr match bullets at distance with it, which it does well at. For really long shots i go to one of my AR's in 243WSSM which will shoot out too 1000yds accurately on pasture poodles. I reload and also anneal all my cases for case life. I wouldn't bother having a bolt gun though in any WSSM caliber as i think it would be a waste.

Art Eatman
August 15, 2014, 08:24 PM
See Post #22.