.223 WSSM (Winchester Super Short Magnum)
The .223 WSSM (Winchester Super Short Magnum) was introduced in 2003 by the Browning Arms Company, and Winchester Arms. It is a shortened .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum) case necked down to accept a .224 caliber bullet. The .223 designation is a reference to the popular .223 Remington. It is currently the fastest production .22 caliber round in the world with muzzle velocities as high as 4,600 feet per second.
Even before the cartridge was commercially introduced, many were claiming that it would be extremely hard on barrels, a “barrel burner” to say the least, and some still argue that it is a good varmint round for long distances but is very hard on barrels and is not good for medium game any farther than 200 yards.
The Winchester-made Model 70 in .223 WSSM has not been revived in the new Browning-made Winchester Model 70s, but Browning has chosen to use chrome-lined barrels on all of its guns chambered for .223 WSSM and has introduced the .223 WSSM cartridge as a chambering in its A-bolt rifles. Browning rejects the charge that the .223 WSSM round is especially hard on barrels: “The .223 and .243 WSSM cartridges are said to ‘burn up’ barrels in as little as 300 rounds. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
According to Browning, the .223 WSSM offers a 600 ft/s gain, with a 55 grain bullet, over the standard .223 Rem. It also offers a 440 ft/s gain over the .22-250, a popular varmint round. This comes out to a 600 ft·lb of gain over a standard .223 Rem, and a 350 ft·lb of gain over the .22-250.
For those enthusiasts who have a need for velocity and stopping predators dead in their tracks, this caliber is an enticer for sure! This caliber is a screamer with attitude!