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!
The Cartridge of the Century.
By Carl Hermansen
Fierce Fury TXR, .308 caliber: Fierce Firearms offers some of the lightest, most accurate long distance rifles on the market (Fiercearms.com).
In my last article, I gave cartridge recommendations for various classes of North American game animals. I also stated that the .30-06 was a do-all cartridge that does nothing very well. As anticipated, the Sound Off (letters to the editor) letters and e-mails started rolling in from sensitive .30-06 fans. One guy thinks I’m a punk and another doesn’t like how I sign my name. Relative information? I expected a much different response when I read the letters and e-mails. I expected reasons, experiences, and supporting evidence as to why the .30-06 is so wonderful. What I got were simply arguments about my recommendations along with paralleling cartridge choices of their own taste. Not much was mentioned of the .30-06, thus supporting my opinion. If the .30-06 is such a great do-all round; then why the need for all of these other cartridges? With that said, I do appreciate all the comments you readers send in. I like to hear your views, thoughts, and criticisms. Ideas for topics stem from reading your feedback. In fact, that is just how I came up with the topic for this article, the .308 Winchester.
By William LaBounty
Not to be confused with the .32 ACP or .32 S&W Long pistol cartridges, the .32 WS was developed in 1901 by Winchester, specifically for the classic Model 94 lever-action rifle. The .32 Special is kin to its parent cartridge, the renowned 30-30 Winchester Centerfire Cartridge (7.62mm).
Differences in these bullets begin with the necked-up case of the 30-30 (which the .32 originates from), as well as the larger 8mm cartridge it utilizes. Besides boasting a larger bullet and case, the .32 is also adept to holding more powder than the 30-30, without being over pressurized, allowing for more muzzle velocity and energy per foot at the cost of an increase in felt recoil. At the time of its inception, the .32 Special met the demand for a more powerful round than the 30-30, but with less recoil than the .30 Army (.30-40 Krag). This bullet also has a flatter trajectory and accuracy than its parent cartridge. The .32 Special has remained as one of America’s top-selling centerfire rifle calibers most of its life.