It is now clear that Winchester magnum rounds are powerful rounds that exist for the extra reach and punch that many shooters demand. One of the most famous Winchester rounds is the 20th century 300 Winchester Magnum. It has reigned since its inception and will most likely continue to do so in the future.
However, the beginning of the 21st century saw the release of a new Winchester .30 caliber—the.300 Winchester Short Magnum.
The 300 Winchester Short Magnum, or .300 WSM, is a .30 caliber rebated (beltless) rim, bottlenecked centerfire short magnum cartridge that was introduced in 2001 by Winchester. Loosely based on a shortened .404 Jeffery, this short-action cartridge was purportedly designed to match the ballistics of its older Winchester sibling in a lighter rifle with a more rigid action.
Unlike its benevolent older sibling that covers a wide range of use, the 300 WSM is a hunting cartridge that is adequate for big games such as (but not limited to) moose, elks, white-tailed deer, black bear and mule deer.
This Winchester Short Magnum has an overall cartridge length of 2.860 inches and a cartridge case length of 2.100 inches. It is shorter in length than the 1965 Winchester 300 magnum, but makes up for it in volume. With a fatter diameter body of 0.555 inches, it gets the necessary powder volume of up to 80 grains for more uniform ignitions and, theoretically, inherent accuracy.
The .300 WSM has a ballistic diameter of 0.308 inches, which is common for 30-caliber cartridges. A typical bullet weight can be either 150, 180, or 200 grains, traveling at a muzzle velocity of 2800 fps–3300 fps, and creating muzzle energy of up to 3600 ft lb. This makes it reliable ammunition to take down game animals with plenty of killing power.
It also boasts impressive long-range accuracy and a ballistic performance nearly identical to that of the.300 Winchester Magnum, with a shorter action and burning 8–10% less gunpowder.
What rifle is best suited for this round?
Rifles that are suitable for the .300 WSM are short-action rifles. It is shorter, slightly lighter, more compact, and maybe a trifle easier and faster to handle, making it ideal for the round. The recoil for a cartridge producing the energy that the 300 WSM generates is not tame and a real kicker.
The .300 WSM cartridge has certainly proven itself—it has plenty of killing power and will truly take any game animal that a .30-caliber will take, but if your hunting rifle doesn’t feed right, you will end up frustrated. This has been a problem that has frustrated hunters, as well as the fact that due to its staunch shape, it takes up a lot of the magazine capacity.