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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:38 PM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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Default .243 WSSM?

Holee crap, 3000+ fps with a 100 gr 6mm bullet? That blows the Valkyrie out of the water.

Although this is more of an AR related question, I figured the guys in this forum know more about these oddball cartridges than the semi forum would. Is there something suck about this cartridge I haven't read about yet? Or was it just ahead of its time?

There's even new brass available at places like Cabela's.
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:43 PM
jarhead714 jarhead714 is offline
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It’s a barrel burner isn’t it?
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:49 PM
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The wssm is too much of an oddball for me.
6 creedmore
6.5 creedmore
Are both awesome and proven


The new 6.5 PRC is designed to be an ELR round for hunting and target shooting.


To me- All of the wssm cartridges are the rifle version of .45 GAP
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Old 01-11-2019, 1:00 PM
JackEllis JackEllis is offline
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I'm a fan of calibers where I can buy ammunition just about anywhere if I need to. .22lr, .223, .243, .30-06 and maybe someday a .17HMR and a .300Win cover the waterfront.

Imagine being on a hunt in Podunk USA where you forget or run out of .243 WSSM ammo.

Then again I suppose that's how 6.5 Creedmoor started out - an oddball caliber.
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Old 01-11-2019, 1:47 PM
DrewN DrewN is offline
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I remember Lazzeroni used to get 3200+ w/100 grainers in the Spitfire. 51 grains of H4350 I think.
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Old 01-11-2019, 2:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Holee crap, 3000+ fps with a 100 gr 6mm bullet? That blows the Valkyrie out of the water.

Although this is more of an AR related question, I figured the guys in this forum know more about these oddball cartridges than the semi forum would. Is there something suck about this cartridge I haven't read about yet? Or was it just ahead of its time?

There's even new brass available at places like Cabela's.
The WSSMs were generally ahead of their time and not necessarily thoroughly thought out. The biggest problem is the overly thick neck (combated by neck turning) and general lack of loaded ammunition and (non-nickel plated) brass. Now that Hornady is making new brass the latter is less of a problem. I don't have any new Hornady brass to measure, so I can't say if the former is also still a problem.

I've heard that the brass needs to be trimmed and the shoulder bumped every time you fire it. I don't know however, I have a bunch of stuff reloaded but haven't shot it yet. The factory brass needed to be trimmed and bumped after firing.

The next biggest problem is that Hornady doesn't seem to want to make any 25 WSSM brass, but that may be a blessing in disguise. Bumping .243 WSSM brass up to .25 WSSM brass might take care of the overly thick neck.

Beyond that, the bolt face is huge so actions are hard to come by. Something like a mini mauser would fit length wise (or a .223 or 7.62x39 length bolt action) but the bolt face has to be big enough for (IIRC) a .404 Jeffrys. In ARs I think Olympic was the only manufacturer producing uppers, and the upper needed some modifications to work. Otherise most light bullet factory loads will work in a standard AR mag.

If you have a .243 WSSM action and you want to do something else with it you're stuck making a single shot WSM, or chambering for another WSSM. The actions aren't long enough to be useful for anything else really (except .223 length cartridges).
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Old 01-11-2019, 2:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
To me- All of the wssm cartridges are the rifle version of .45 GAP
The WSSMs have some real benefits, having a very short action (so a lighter rifle) being one of them. The unfortunately drawbacks are, however, that if you are aiming for a light rifle you'll probably want to chop off some barrel length. So, if you have WSSM length action with a 20 inch barrel your rifle is light, but the ballistics from your WSSM cartridge are anemic compared to their namesakes. Many of these rifles came with 22 inch barrels from the factory, some with 24. Most of these rifles would have fared better with 24 inch barrels at least (to better compare with their traditional counterparts).

Which illustrates the next problem, the naming. Had they not had 'Magnum' in the name I think they would have sold better. The .243 WSSM gets pretty close to .243 Win ballistics, but isn't a magnum class cartridge; but it says 'Magnum' right on the box. Had they called in the .243 Western Brush Cartridge or something like that it probably would have fared a little bit better.

They were niche cartridges that weren't inherently bad but didn't offer much over their traditional counterparts.
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Old 01-11-2019, 5:02 PM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmCheese View Post
The WSSMs have some real benefits, having a very short action (so a lighter rifle) being one of them. The unfortunately drawbacks are, however, that if you are aiming for a light rifle you'll probably want to chop off some barrel length. So, if you have WSSM length action with a 20 inch barrel your rifle is light, but the ballistics from your WSSM cartridge are anemic compared to their namesakes. Many of these rifles came with 22 inch barrels from the factory, some with 24. Most of these rifles would have fared better with 24 inch barrels at least (to better compare with their traditional counterparts).

Which illustrates the next problem, the naming. Had they not had 'Magnum' in the name I think they would have sold better. The .243 WSSM gets pretty close to .243 Win ballistics, but isn't a magnum class cartridge; but it says 'Magnum' right on the box. Had they called in the .243 Western Brush Cartridge or something like that it probably would have fared a little bit better.

They were niche cartridges that weren't inherently bad but didn't offer much over their traditional counterparts.
Thanks for all the good info. The rim sounds too big to use in a standard AR-15 bolt/barrel extension. Guess it sounded too good to be true.

I think an 18-20 inch barrel would be fine. It would probably get close to 3000 fps with a 100 gr bullet and still be fast enough with a 105-110 to reach 1200-ish or better and still be supersonic. Non-AR people don't get it, but something that performed like this, if it were low-drama in an AR-15 would get huge buzz. Like the Valkyrie did.
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Old 01-11-2019, 5:42 PM
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Dtechuppers.com builds 243 wssm ar-15 uppers with shilen barrels. 95gr sierra hpbt matchkings can be loaded to mag length and are supersonic past 1000yds. Best long range ar-15 cartridge ever.
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Old 01-12-2019, 1:19 AM
sigstroker sigstroker is offline
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Wow, that is a large bolt. Wonder how it all fits together in the upper.

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Old 01-12-2019, 1:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Wow, that is a large bolt. Wonder how it all fits together in the upper.

WSSM's take a special upper receiver with a larger bore in the front, carrier, barrel extension and barrel nut which also means a special handguard...
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Old 01-12-2019, 8:26 AM
scotty99 scotty99 is offline
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It’s still a wildcat, but an easy one to load for - 243LBC, or basically a 6mm Grendel. Works great in a standard AR with a Grendel bolt. I’m getting 2800fps with 105gr VLDs with sub .5moa accuracy.

Black Hole makes barrels for it. Mine is a 22” 8-twist with a light profile. With the new 95gr Barnes LRX I bet you’d get to 2900fps. Would make it a very respectable hunting cartridge.


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Old 01-12-2019, 9:21 AM
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The 105gr bergers in a 243 wssm ar platform only get 6mm creedmoor velocities because of the mag length constraint. As for shilen barrel accuracy, just google it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 1:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
WSSM's take a special upper receiver with a larger bore in the front, carrier, barrel extension and barrel nut which also means a special handguard...
Ugh, I guess that's why it never took off. The best thing about the AR platform is the "standardness" of it, and this thing is far from standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QED View Post
The 105gr bergers in a 243 wssm ar platform only get 6mm creedmoor velocities because of the mag length constraint. As for shilen barrel accuracy, just google it.
6mm CM velocity in an AR-15 sized package would be a pretty big deal.
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Old 01-12-2019, 6:08 PM
eaglemike eaglemike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
Ugh, I guess that's why it never took off. The best thing about the AR platform is the "standardness" of it, and this thing is far from standard.
6mm CM velocity in an AR-15 sized package would be a pretty big deal.
6mm Hagar might be worth looking at, uses 6.8 SPC case, so fits into smaller AR receiver.
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Old 01-13-2019, 7:33 AM
LynnJr LynnJr is offline
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SigStroker
I bought both the 223 and 243 WSSM when they first came out in the Winchester.

The neck is 0.020 thick to handle the pressure using factory Winchester brass.

They also made the loaded rounds the same over all length to fit into the shorter actions so the 100 grain bullets are seated very deeply into the case. The 55 grain 223 and 100 grain 243 look the same in the picture.
If your a handload and don't mind turning necks you can order a reamer with 0.014 brass thickness in mind and extra freebore so you can seat the bullets in the proper location.
The downside to doing that is you then need a longer action.
You gain velocity with the longer freebore you gain brass life with the thinner neck and you can download the cartridge.

The thick neck works fine on fullhouse factory ammo but if you try and load it down it will collapse the neck shoulder area of the brass. A non max pressure load coupled with the extra thick brass doesn't let it seal tightly against the chamber and it collapses the brass trying to escape around it.
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