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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.25 Winchester Super Short Magnum (using Sierra bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Apr 21 2016

            Beginning in 2001, Winchester Ammunition Company introduced the .300 Winchester Short Magnum, a short, fat, beltless case designed to work in .308 Winchester length bolt-action rifles.  This allowed magnum performance in a shorter and lighter rifle, and sales were strong.  The same case was soon necked to .270, 7mm and .325 (8mm) calibers.  Winchester’s next move was something of a surprise, as the same fat case was used, but shortened significantly and necked down, which occurred in 2003.  Subsequent cartridges include the .223, .243 and .25 Winchester Super Short Magnums.  Unfortunately, before the .25 WSSM could get off the ground, so to speak, U.S. Repeating Arms Company, which built the Winchester Model 70 rifle for the above cartridges and had worked with Winchester Ammunition in developing the WSSM cartridges, announced it was closing the doors at its New Haven, Connecticut, plant.  Although, Browning and a few other small companies offered rifles chambered for the WSSM cartridges, they were not as readily available or as popular as the Model 70 rifle.  As a result, sales have been limited.

            The .25 WSSM is a great cartridge that offers unusual efficiency, accuracy, modest recoil and is suitable for hunting deer and antelope in open country.  The Model 70 action on the test rifle used to develop the accompanying loads is small and tidy, resulting in a short, compact and fast handling rifle.  Factory loads are advertised to push a 120-grain bullet at 2,900 fps, the same as the 25-06 Remington.  Although technically the .25 WSSM probably falls slightly short of .25-06 Remington performance, velocities of 3,000 fps were reached with 120-grain bullets.  If there is a ballistic difference between the two cartridges, it is so slight to be insignificant. 

            Winchester has not produced any WSSM brass or loaded ammunition for over two years.  This is the result of dedicating all current production capacity to meet the extremely high demand of military and other long-time established sporting cartridges.  This situation is expected to change in the future.