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325 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum)

325_wsm

Introduced in 2005, the 325 WSM is an 8mm cartridge.  I would have a hard time explaining any good reasoning behind the introduction of an 8mm version of the WSM case, instead of a 338 version.  Someone at Winchester seemed to find value in it; one can hope this was for some reason other than simply to sell another gun.

My late friend, John Anderson, then Editor of Varmint Hunter magazine used this cartridge in a Winchester rifle when he went to Africa the first time and took several significant trophies.  He found the factory ammunition entirely up to the task.  One could argue it likely had an edge over any factory load in the 300 WSM, so perhaps there was some value to the 325.

A significant limitation with this round is one that plagues all 8mm chamberings in the U. S.: bullet selection is extremely limited, for this reason a 338 version would have been more useful, especially for handloaders.


In Europe and Scandinavia, hunters and handloaders have a wide variety of 8mm bullet options; we do not share that luxury here.

When Bill Falin, former Chief Ballistician at Accurate Arms and I wrung out several M24/47 Mausers in an extensive ballistics and accuracy experiment, we were limited to two bullets that were similar to the original 196-grain Military ball load, used by Germany after WW-I, those were made by Hornady and Nosler.  We had no option to mimic the ballistics of the 154-grain bullet used by Germany during WW-I.

The 8mm hunting bullet selection is similarly limited.  We can hope this situation will change.

Regardless, the 325 WSM is a powerful option for those interested in a short-action chambering suitable for shots to about 300 yards on North American big game and for use in Africa.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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