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Old May 29, 2013, 03:16 AM   #1
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Browning A Bolt .325 WSM

Hey guys,
I'm in the position to purchase a barely used Browning A bolt wit a Nikon Prostaff 3x9 Scope for $550. I'm not too familiar with this rifle/caliber. Wanted to know if its a good deal and what everyone's thoughts/experiences are about it. I would mostly use it to hunt Deer/Black bear.

Any feedback is Appreciated!
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Old May 29, 2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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I've been using a Browning A-Bolt in 300 Win Mag since the mid 90's as my elk/deer rifle and have never had any problems with it. The trigger leaves a little to be desired but I did a little work on it and it is functional enough for me. It is a lighter rifle and therefore does kick more than the average sporter. I really like the short bolt throw on it and mine is pretty accurate with Nosler Partitions.

The 325 WSM is a cartridge I have never shot. I do know they are not the most popular cartridge and finding ammo, even in good times, might prove a chore. If you're a handloader this is a non-issue of course but if not it is something you should keep in mind.
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:11 AM   #3
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I'm not a fan of the A bolt. Not a bad gun, I just like several others better.

The 325 WSM is all but dead. It never caught on and finding factory ammo in the future is going to be a serious issue. It is always an option for a reloader, but even then 8mm bullet selection is sparse.

The 300 WSM is a solid performer, is well established and will be around. With 200 gr bullets it will outperform the 325. This is a big reason the 325 never really caught on. If Winchester had made a 338 or 358 WSM insead of the 325 they might have had something.

Any of the WSM's are more gun than you need for deer/black bear at normal ranges. If you want to shoot long range then the 300/270/or 7mm WSM will do the trick.
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:16 AM   #4
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Sounds like a decent price, but you should try to talk them down a little. The WSM cartridge line is an attempt to match the magnums based on the .375 H&H in a non-belted, short action, more efficient case. Some controversy still surrounds them, although the .300 WSM looks like it will stick. The .325 WSM was aimed at the .338 Win Mag, but they apparently could not get the performance with the bigger bore. So, they went to 8 mm. With "light" 200 gr. bullets, it does come close the .338, and there are 220 gr. loads for it. No 250s or bigger, however. Good news: Probably versatile for the loader. You can load 150-180 8 mm bullets at reasonable velocity for deer and black bear, and full house 200 or 220 to take anything in North America. Bad news: Fewer 8 mm bullets available, less commercial ammo, and recoil approaching .338 Win Mag. with heavy loads. I looked hard at it before I got a .338. Still like the idea. But I'm guessing the seller has had enough of getting thumped and searching for ammo.
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Old May 29, 2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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If you handload and you favor a bit heavier cartridge than is strictly necessary for deer/black bear, then yes.

If you don't handload or are recoil averse, then no.
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:13 PM   #6
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Agree a lot with Jmr on this one. The .325 WSM just never caught on. The .300 WSM is the class of the field in the WSM category.
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Old May 29, 2013, 09:56 PM   #7
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As stated above, the 300 WSM caught on fairly well. If you hand load, just run a 300 WSM case into a 325 WSM case and you are in business. Choose dies with a long tapered expander ball such as Hornady. If you don't load your own, pass on this one. I don't understand why Winchester could not make a 338 in short magnum, Ruger did.
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Old May 30, 2013, 08:32 PM   #8
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The 325 WSM is by all accounts the ballistic twin of the 8mm Rem Mag, just happens to fit in a rifle two action sizes smaller. Great idea but never caught alot of traction, 8mms while effective have been unpopular for quite some time. Would be a perfect compact big game rifle for someone who handloads but a poor choice if you rely of factory ammo.
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Old May 30, 2013, 11:43 PM   #9
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I also agree with the others, if you handload, I'd snatch it up. I reload for my 300 WSM, and I've been to quite a few gun shops that don't have factory ammo for that caliber, the 325 WSM will be much worse.
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Old August 7, 2013, 06:05 AM   #10
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I bought a model 70 stainless the first year the 325 wsm came out. The reason was to get a light weight elk rifle. Anyone who hunts in the mountains soon realizes how important cutting down on the weight you are lugging around. Some people complain about the recoil, but my 325 kicks less than my Browning BAR in 3006. And yes, I do handload so I am very satisfied with mine. My nephew was going to buy the remington ultra mag till he tried out my 325 wsm and now he is in the market for one himself because of the light weight and soft recoil compared to the longer big calibers.

325 wsm. Fan,
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Old August 8, 2013, 01:43 AM   #11
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I like A Bolts and I like the 325 WSM. (My 325 is a Kimber Montana)

No reason why the A Bolt in 325 shouldn't be a nice rig, albeit a bit much for deer / black bear. I use this round for elk and bigger stuff.

The concerns mentioned about availability of factory ammo are valid but no problem for a handloader. Also...... what factory ammo you can get right now is pretty pricey.

I don't think this round will soon be extinct as some do but it will always be a rifle hobbyist's cartridge. A useful oddball with a loyal but limited following.
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Old August 8, 2013, 02:47 AM   #12
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I would probably buy it, but I want a 325WSM. I have an 8 Mauser, 8 Rem mag, and need the 8WSM to round out the collection. The 325 was destined to failure from its introduction, cant overcome the 8mm curse. That was why Winchester did not call it the 8mmWSM.
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Old August 8, 2013, 02:51 AM   #13
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Kachok, you must have some hotter data for the WSM than I have. In all my data the WSM is giving up 150 Fps to the Rem mag in the heavier weight bullets. By that logic, several of the Win. Mags, and Rem. mags. are ballistic equivalents of the WBY mags.
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Old August 10, 2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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I agree. The 325 isn't the equal of the 8mm Rem Mag. But it's awful close. Like comparing a 308 to a 30/06. The 06 has the edge on paper but the difference in the real world is negligible.
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