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cottontop 04-18-2013 02:53 AM

Anyone Still Like the Short Mags?
I am referring to the various WSM cartridges of various calibers. I read the article about them in the April Rifle magazine as I assume many of you have also. When they came out in the early 90's I had my doubts. I just could not get interested, yet one of my friends thought they were the greatest thing since the proverbial sliced bread. They sure didn't last long and I am not surprised. When cartridges that have been around for over 100 years like the .30-06, 7x57, 8x57, and etc. can and still do it all, it's no wonder that the short mags failed to catch on. To me, they don't even look condusive to reloading and now, that may be the only way to keep one of them shooting. What were rifle and cartridge makers thinking? Just a classic example of you can't reinvent the wheel and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But, if you have one and like it, more power to you.

kalboy26 04-18-2013 06:50 AM

I absolutely love my 300wsm. Very accurate and works like a charm. Can really reach out there if I need to as well.

Apex-Predator 04-20-2013 11:29 PM

Who said they have not caught on? I love my 270 WSM and know several other people who use them as well. They reload just fine, brass is thick and a little stiff FL resizing but other then then I have no gripe. The 270 WSM is very similar to my 7mm Rem Mags in terms of speed and power, just a little less recoil even with the same weight bullets and I have been able to get my WSM grouping a little tighter then any of my 7mms.
I like them my next 300 mag will be a short mag.

highpowerguy 04-21-2013 12:49 AM

My next rifle build is going to be a 7mm wsm on a custom receiver you can't beat them at 1000 yards without developing a masochistic streak. Sure the ballistics on a 300 win mag look better on paper but getting single digit standard deviation out of them is a pain and at long ranges consistency is the key. I have two close friends who bought 300 wsm tikka rifles and they have both been thrilled with them. I was so impressed that I bought a Tikka in 7 mm. And I have regretted not getting the short mag since my first trip to the range.

Salvo 04-21-2013 10:29 PM

On the Winchester short magnums, the case is optimized for 30 caliber.

The further you go away from 30 caliber with that case, the less efficient it is.

The single most serious problem associated with the short magnums is that many gun makers chamber them in barrels that are either too short, or way too short.

Twenty-four inches should be the minimum there, and twenty-six inches would be much better. Since most short magnum rifles are manufactured with barrels of minimum size or less, they are louder and less efficient than they could - and should be.

A lot of this stems from gun-writers who should know better, touting the short magnums as the perfect match for "compact" rifles - just because they can be shoe-horned into short actions.

Put a compact magnum in a regular action so that the heavier bullets associated with long range shooting and big game can be seated out, then use a 26" barrel - and you've got something good.

But none of the manufacturers do that.


JonM 04-21-2013 10:35 PM

the only "short" magnum im interested in is the 458 winchester magnum. technically not a 90's wsm but its short compaired to the nitro express cartridges it is duplicating.

highpowerguy 04-21-2013 10:38 PM

I'd say firing bullets with ballistic coefficients between .580 and .625 at 3000 fps is pretty darn efficient. Now if I was looking at energy in ft/lbs I would agree wholeheartedly. However I'm looking to print holes in paper not knock down a moose. I suppose efficiency would at some level be a matter of perspective.

mdauben 04-22-2013 12:42 PM


Originally Posted by cottontop
They sure didn't last long and I am not surprised.

I admit, I'm one of those who never really saw the point of the short magnums. For the most part they seemed to me to be more or less duplicating the performance of existing cartridges.

That said, while they never attained the level of popularity of the 7mm or .300 magnums I don't think they have really died and they still seem to have a small but dedicated following.

highpowerguy 04-22-2013 12:52 PM

They usually fall a little short of full magnum performance but they are a heck of a lot easier to make consistent. I have seen WITH MY OWN EYES a 300 wsm shoot ten shots through my chrono with a 7 fps deviation from the fastest to the slowest bullet. That level of precision is staggering coming from a hunting rifle and it has made me a believer.

kalboy26 04-22-2013 06:20 PM

People always say they fall short of the regular magnums, but a friend of mine and I used a crono to compare his 300 wm to my 300wsm and they were almost identical up to a 210 grain bullet. I realize there are lots of variables, but I think the difference is minimal, especially for what you gain in my opinion.

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