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Does anyone know of any manufacturers still making rifles in .223 WSSM? Does anyone have one? Do you like it? Why?/Why not? How does it compare to a .22-250 in performance, muzzle blast, and recoil?
 

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Nobody makes the wssm's anymore. I bought a model 70 feather-weight at a great price right before winchester closed shop up north and reopened in SC. Its a pretty little rifle and a neat looking little round but thats all I can say positive about it. The factory rounds I bought were junk. 50% of the brass split at the neck and shoulders on the initial firing and I didn't even try to reload'em. The federal brass I bought and loaded does well but I have yet to get it to shoot under 2 moa consistantly. I know its a sporter but the other 22caliber sporters I've owned would do under 1moa. I'm not mad at the 223wssm round(unless its a factory load)it could be a fine round, I'm mad at winchester for putting out a product with the problems that these rifles and factory rounds have had. I'd like to get my feather-weight to shoot 1.5moa but I'm not gonna hold my breath. I don't want to get rid of it because its a pretty little rifle and it seems well made plus I got a few hundred pieces of brass and dies for it. But so far I've been disappointed. I will say that the muzzle blast is bad out of the 22" barrel. A longer barrel would help a good bit. Recoil isn't much more than a 22-250. My advice is to get a 22-250, I'm sure the 223 wssm will out perform the 22-250 but you may end up with a headache with the wssm. If you decide to get one it seems people have better luck with the brownings then the winchester rifles. I guess before they went out of business they put out a lot of bad products. Just my 2 cents. Dave
 

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The .223wssm is faster than the 22-250, recoil is about the same or less if you don't handload it isn't a good choice, few factory offerings. The .223 wssm can shoot very well. The No one is making a rifle chambered in 223wssm but you can buy AR uppers. CDN has a few leftover new in box Winchesters in stock.
 

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I just sold my Model 70 Coyote in 223 WSSM. I actually liked the round, flat shooting, around 1 MOA groups out of mine, and really nice looking gun. I wasn't impressed at all with the action. The short-fat casings didn't recycle worth a crap. Winchester used a combo of both a push-feed and a CFR...didn't work too well. That was about the only thing I didn't like about it. I owned that gun for 5 years and the only thing I shot with it were 2 smaller hogs, and it left a pretty good openings in both. I heard reports that the barrels burn out pretty quick (not sure if that's the same case as a 22-250). Like I said, I thought it was a decent round, but I'm probably in the minority.
 

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At least Dtech and Oly make WSSM rifles (AR platform) and/or uppers. In fact, the WSSMs are really the hot ticket for ARs right now.

I have a Savage with a 223 WSSM barrel and a 264 WSM (not WSSM) barrel, plus I have a Browning 25 WSSM. The barrels on the Savage are both 26", and frankly I think I might prefer 24s. Anyway, I like my WSSMs a lot. They all shoot well, too! I definitely like the Browning the best, but the Savage is so easy to re-barrel that I'll probably put another WSSM on it (maybe a 30 WSSM?).

I'd suggest a Browning over a Winchester, though I know people with extremely nice-shooting Winnies. They just seem to have had poor QC (across the line; not just WSSMs) before they failed outright.

Barrels burn out significantly slower than the 22-250 unless you get one of those few Winnies that escaped w/o chrome.
 

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I don't own a .223 WSSM, but I've had a chance to try a few out. I should just say now that the only reason I don't have one is because I've never come across one for sale. Two out of the three that I tried were 1 M.O.A or better (with an actual average grouping of about 1/2 M.O.A, factory ammo out of factory guns), while the third was about 1 1/2 M.O.A. They were all fun to shoot, less recoil and muzzle blast then the .22-.250 (I thought, anyway).

As MZ5 said, the barrels are supposed to burn out much slower than the .22-.250's, due to the chrome-lined barrels. I'm got a few Winchesters that came out just before the plant closed down (including WSM's), and they all work great. The bolts are sloppy, but everything still works well, and they all group at least 1 M.O.A. with factory ammo.

The one thing I will say about the WSSM's...my .22-250 will stay more or less as accurate through about 50 or so rounds fired through it. The WSSM's that I tried got only about 15 or 20 rounds before accuracy absolutely sucked (in fact, the best shooting one of them all absolutely HAD to be cleaned after 8 rounds, or you couldn't hit a barn with it at 100 yards on your 9th shot...the barrel was also far from broken in, however!)

If you do come across a good Winchester in .223 WSSM, feel free to sell it to me! ;)
 

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Olympic Arms apparently still sells AR-15 uppers and complete rifles in all three of the WSSM cartridges, including .223. Winchester and Browning have stopped making them, but NIB rifles can still be found on GunBroker. I just picked up a Browning A-Bolt this past month in .223 WSSM for a good price. I bought it for a wildcat project, but I just had to try it out before rebarreling it. My last group at the range was .830" at a hundred yards — using factory ammo. I shot a groundhog with it today, which didn't vaporize like I half expected it to, but it blew a one inch exit wound out of it's neck.

I have never fired a .22-250, so I can't make a comparison. I would say the recoil is a little less than a .243 Winchester loaded with 55 grain bullets. It was definitely loud today; without hearing protection, it set my ears to ringing, which has never happened to me while hunting.

I have gotten one or two split necks. Examining unfired cartridges, I can see fissures in the shoulder near the neck. My guess is that it is just too wide of a shoulder to neck down to .22 caliber.

I kind of think the performance might be excessive. On the other hand, it has a very flat trajectory, and probably very little wind deflection. It might make sense for use on varmints at longer ranges.
 

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The WSSM's are fine caartridges. The problem is that there is so little practical difference between the .223 WSSM, the .220 Swift, and the 22-220 remington that it makes hardly any difference in the field. One WSSM rifle may well shoot bullets with a lower BC making it seem like a 22-250, that likes a higher BC bullets, a flatter shooting gun.

The real reason as to why the WSSM's failed commercially is that (aside from lack of good management at winchester) when a person goes into a gun store and sees two rifles, one being a 223 WSSM and the other a 22-250, goes over to the ammo counter and sees that there are only a couple of different WSSM loads but dozens (okay maybe not quite dozens) of different 22-250 loads goes back home and studies a bit more on what little difference there is in trajectories between the two and decides the 22-250 is for him. Ammo availibility means alot.

If you're going to reload, none of the above means anything at all. Go get one. They work. Brass is a bit more, but not enough to ammount to anything real. And the WSSM's use more powder. But who cares? That never stopped anyone from buying a 300 win mag when a 308 win would have worked just as well. It shouldn't matter that much with the 22's either.
 

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The real reason as to why the WSSM's failed commercially is that (aside from lack of good management at winchester) when a person goes into a gun store and sees two rifles, one being a 223 WSSM and the other a 22-250, goes over to the ammo counter and sees that there are only a couple of different WSSM loads but dozens (okay maybe not quite dozens) of different 22-250 loads goes back home and studies a bit more on what little difference there is in trajectories between the two and decides the 22-250 is for him. Ammo availibility means alot.
I think this problem would have worked itself out if it had continued to have good backing from manufacturers (just as happened with the WSM cartridges).

However, backing from rifle manufacturers didn't last long. Winchester and Browning were making super short actions for their rifles — a third action length, in addition to short and long actions. This meant a super short receiver, bolt, stock, magazine box, and bottom metal. That's a lot of extra burden on a rifle manufacturer to add on all those extra parts and manufacturing processes. After Winchester went under and was reborn, the super shorts were left behind. Browning, a related company, also dropped them after they meant nothing to Winchester.
 

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My local gun shop, told me that in a trade magazine they had been sent, they noted a quote by Winchester than said that they had only brought out the WSM and WSSM's in order to boost sales. I take it shooters were not supposed to fall for all the hype that came with the WSM and WSSM advertising! Not good from such a trusted manufacturer!!!!
 

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Maybe manufactures will finally believe customers are not stupid. Especially since they are bombarded continueously with mindless advertisement about the greatness of every product. Only good from the WSSM and WSM farce is I've been able to acquire some WSM's at bargin basement prices to play around with during long winter months. Actually not bad cartridges but again nothing special that's not covered by existing cartridges. After retrieving several spent WSSM cases at the gun range they leave me with the impression they'll be nothing but trouble so haven't had a desire to explore that line.
 

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The WSSMs are gaining some popularity among AR owners that want to use a standard lower for long distance varmint/ big game hunting. Accuracy is usually outstanding. There are also some wildcats based off the WSSM case for hunting in states with an overall length restriction. They are a cartridge that does have a legitimit nitch to fill in the market, but they will never be popular.
 

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Probably a lot of truth in your statements bsn. I've done several other than 223 chamberings on the AR-15 lower that in reality turned into nightmares getting them to reliabily function. This from manufacturers who supposedly have the bugs worked out of there products (there advertisement hype again). Still working on one that has failure to feed and failure to go into battery repeadly happen in no particular order or time. Happens from full, partial or last round from small, medium or large capacity magazines. Another build did the same but after eliminating one problem the others were elimated at same time but not with this current build. So fustrating that I've basically thrown it in a corner and when the mood strikes play with it some.
 

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Thread is 10 years old so unlikely there is any more interest.

RJ
 
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