.325 Winchester Short Magnum (using Hornady bullets)
Date: Apr 01 2016
After introducing the .300, .270 and 7mm Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) cartridges, Winchester wanted to offer a larger caliber version for hunting heavier game. The .338 seemed logical; however, Winchester could not approximate .338 Winchester Magnum ballistics and instead chose to go with the 8mm, or .323 inch caliber. Rather than calling it the 8mm WSM, the .325 WSM name was chosen for marketing purposes. Ballistics are impressive, and approach the 8mm Remington Magnum (a long action), but with an overall cartridge length of 2.860 inches, the .325 WSM can be housed in rifles with a .308 Winchester length action.
In checking velocities of Winchester factory loads in a Kimber Model 8400 test rifle, actual velocities ran approximately 100 fps below advertised figures, with the 200-grain bullets reaching around 2,850 fps, and the 220-grain load around 2,750 fps.
The 150-grain and 170-grain Hornady bullets were designed for the 8mm Mauser, but nonetheless, performed well in the test rifle. Considering the magnum velocities produced by the .325 WSM, however, the Hornady 195-grain InterLock SP is a better choice for most hunting situations, especially for taking heavier game such as elk or moose.
Powders with a similar burn rate as the popular 4350’s produced the best results with all bullet weights. When loading ball or spherical powders such as Hodgdon H-414, Winchester 760, Ramshot Hunter and Accurate MagPro, do not reduce charges below “start” loads, or erratic ignition and hang-fires can occur. For reliable ignition at all temperatures, large rifle magnum primers are suggested.