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Short Magnum Cartridges

AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 3,062 ✭✭✭
I had decided that I was going to ignore the short magnum craze since I'm a geezer who thinks nothing worth while in the gun world has come along since 1955 or so. But I'm a nut for Browning a-bolt Medallions and a NIB .325 WSM showed up on the auction side for a price too good to resist, so I own it. Next; same thing with a Remington model seven in 7 SAUM. Somehow I acquired a set of .270 WSM dies and so when I noticed a Savage 14, NIB, in that chambering, I had to add that. These things will SHOOT! 5-shot groups with full power loads will usually go under an inch; often well under. A 195 gr. load @ 2965 fps printed 5 shots in one hole that could almost be covered by a penny! Anybody else having this kind of experience with these short fat things?


  • skyfishskyfish Member Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I bought my son a Savage 270 WSM and have been equally impressed. Best shooting rifle I have at my house. I've only shot 2 bullets with it and both have been under .75" groups. My 204 will equal it but I've done a lot more loading work with it.

    I thought it may be the Savage, I liked the 7mm SAUM but rifles are few and far between. I think that 325 WSM, would be an excellent game stopper.
  • oneoldsaponeoldsap Member Posts: 563 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Short fat cartridges have been around since the .22 Russian came around to the benchrest circuits back in the 60s . The 22 and 6mm PPCs were spawned by this knowledge . Those short Mags. will absolutely shoot , no doubt about it . The down side is that half of them are dead already , so stock up on brass ASAP if you plan to hold onto them for any length of time . The 300 WSM and the .270 WSM look like they are going to surive though . I have a 300WM and a 7mmRM that serve my Magnum needs just fine . I really like the looks of the Ruger Compact Mags though . I like for things to prove they aren't just a fad before I jump in ! If Geezerville starts at 60 I'm there too . One of my favorite cartridges is the 7mm-08 Rem that was introduced in 1980 and haven't seen anything come along since that has stirred me !
  • Colonel PlinkColonel Plink Member Posts: 16,460
    edited November -1
    My Model 70 in 270 WSM is a nice-shooting rifle. It's more accurate than I could ever hope to shoot (according to friends of mine who have shot it). Reloading is straightforward. The advantages over 270 Win are minimal, but I've been very happy with it. The short throw is nice and it is reportedly a stiffer action because it's shorter.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,932 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    "The 220 Russian was inspired by a cartridge that was inspired by another cartridge. For the beginning we have to go all the way back to 1942. In that year of World War II the German army first tested its new 7.92x33mm Kurz [the original short (kurz) fat cartridge] cartridge in actual combat against the Russian army. A shortened 8mm Mauser cartridge, the Kurz and the MP43 "assault rifle", or Sturmgewehr, caught everyone by surprise and the idea was quickly copied by the Russians themselves. By the war's end they had developed their own version of the assault rifle, the SKS, and later the AK and AKM. All used a cartridge very similar to the Kurz, one that is still used today, the 7.62x39mm Soviet.

    During the Cold war there was very little exchange of information between the east and the west particularly when it came to weapons and ammunition. But we do know that by the late 1950s the Soviets had necked down the 7.62x39mm to 5.6mm (actually .221 bullet diameter) and were using it in a steel cased cartridge for running deer competition. With Finland so near, and with the 7.62x39mm being the official Finnish military cartridge, it was no surprise that the 5.6x39mm cartridge was also manufactured and used in that country. Both Sako and Lapua began production of the 5.6x39mm brass cartridges around 1965 and when imported to the United States they were headstamped SAKO 220 RUSSIAN and LAPUA 5.6x39 (later changed to LAPUA 220 RUSSIAN)."

    But we shouldn't forget either of the true 'short, fat' magnum cartridges of the early '60s either. Remington came out with the pair of them: the 6.5 Remington Magnum (1966) and the .350 Remington Magnum (1965) for the short action carbine length M600 rifles.

    The Jamison magnums were short lived when he decided to try the Patented approach in order to recoup some of his investment in the design and manufacturing of these cartridges. Winchester agreed to his contractual stipulations then craftily sidestepped his designs, releasing the WSM series of cases followed by the WSSM line.

    One of the current long range accuracy favorites is the 7mm WSM loaded with the 180 gr. Berger Target VLD bullets over a stout charge or Re-25. I'm seeing better numbers in the wind at the longer ranges even when compared to the best of the now 'standard' target cartridges, including the .338 Lapua. Accuracy is superb when the proper bullet is selected and a load is developed for both the velocity and accuracy. A Match bullet with a high BC is nearly useless if it trudges downrange (1,000 yards) at a mediocre velocity.

    Every one of the WSM/RSAUM cartridges will perform when we spend the time to make the bullet and powder selection and in combination with a proper load development program. Your mileage may vary due to poor choices in scopes, scope mounts or shooter ability.



    Yes, of course, there are the Ruger Compact Magnums developed in conjunction with Hornady to use their proprietary powders in the short, fat case. They are a tad easier to get to feed when converting existing rifles since they are the standard 0.532" diameter on the rim and at the head just above the extractor groove. This is in opposition to the WSM design which uses the 0.534" rim/ 0.555" head diameter which creates some problems with feeding for some folks.

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