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Short Magnums?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by sramage, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. sramage

    sramage vancouver Member

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    I have been away from the active gun life for many years. Having been a deer and elk hunter, the last time I was looking for a new rifle the short magnums were all the buzz. couldnt find one to look at so I bought a 7 mag. Did the shortys ever catch on?
     
  2. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    By "not finding one to look at" I think you answered your own question.
     
  3. sramage

    sramage vancouver Member

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    thank you. I havent looked recently but so what if it is a 1/2 inch shorter than my 300 win mag. if I need a shorter cycle time maybe a semi auto is where this old boy needs to go
     
  4. landcbeitner

    landcbeitner Everett, WA Member

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    I think the WSM's are very popular! I have to take my shoes off to count the number of guys I know using short mags. I love my 7wsm.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzN8NE5YGsU

    The Remington Short Action Ultra Magnums aren't as popular though.
     
  5. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    The short mags DO have quite the following. 7mm, .270, .300. Some VERY find guns made in those calibers.


    Check the ballistic curves.... amazingly enough, the .300 WSM shoots flatter than the .300 Win Mag.... though I'm not positive about impact energy downrange. And they carry the same range of bullet weights, too, so its not that they've lightened up on the projectile.
     
  6. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    The 'flat shooting' aspect of the ballistic curves you're reading are skewed towards the WSM--notice the sight in range is probably different. My guess is you're comparing a chart for a WSM sighted in at 200 yrds vs a WM sighted in at 150 yrds using a 150 gr bullet.

    It's when you get into heavier bullets that the WM outshines the WSM. The limiting factor on the shorties is the length of the magazine.
     
  7. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    From Wincheste.s catalog:

    300 Win Mag, zero 200 yds 300 = -6.3 400 = -18.9 500 = -39.8

    300 WSM ZERO 200 YDS 300 = -6.2 400 = -18.6 500 = -39.0

    both with 150 gr PSP bullet slight, but not very significant difference.

    in the line for 180 gr accutip boattail, the short is zeroed at 250 yds.... the mag at 200 yds. At 500 yds, the Mag is -39.5, the short -32.9



    SO..... very little difference downrange. Which means, if a given rifle makes good use of the short cartridge, making it lighter/faster/smaller, one loses little in going with the WSM. When it comes to reloading, though, my guess is one has fewer options in the Short Mag case.... not much extra room in there for heavier charges, as one would have in the starndard Mags.

    Bottom line... the short mags seem to have carved out a solid place in the market. BBut that alone does not mean they are "better" in general. In a bolt gun, likely little difference.. so if someone was wanting a .30 caliber long range hunter or sniper, figure out what guns will suit, start the prowl to find one of that make/model, and if it comes along either way, get it.......

    I've got one .300 WSM, but if I came across a nice gun in .300 Win Mag, I'd buy it as well...... particularly if I could get it on a private sale. I'm drooling over one I know of right now...... but can't find that dollar bush. (found the nickel bush, though, but I haven't been able to shake it hard enough to let loose of enough of them... it will take quite a pile)
     
  8. landcbeitner

    landcbeitner Everett, WA Member

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    I've done lots of research/experimenting on the potential of the Short Mags vs. the standard belted mags. I've also used both and reloaded for both. The standard magnums have greater case capacity which gives them the potential to give higher muzzle velocities (the only way you can improve engergy/ballistics with a given bullet). The short mags do opperate at higher pressures 64,525 psi vs. 62,350 psi which will allow for higher velicities all else being equal. The fact of the matter is (at least with the 300wsm vs. 300 win mag) the extra pressure of the WSM is not enough to make up for the extra case capacity of the standard magnum. There's so much information out there and it's tough to get to the bottom of it.

    Compounding the issue is the fact that all the rifle manufacturers are chambering WSM's in short action rifles. My WSM's are on long actions allowing me to seat to the lands with the high BC, VLD bullets. This puts my OAL's way over the 2.80" most short actions allow. Infact my 7wsm loads run about 3.14" OAL with 168gr JLK bulets. My 300wsm will go about 3.2" with 210gr Berger VLD's. (You can get arround using a long action on a custom rifle by using Glen Seekins' bottom metal allowing 3.1" OAL for short mags, I've found it simpler to just use long actions). You will notice when looking at manufacturer's ballistic charts the WSM's do very well with the lower bullet weights and not so well with the heavy bullets, this is due to the OAL restriction in my opinion. In my long action WSMs the relationship of speed remains the same with heavy bullets. In the 7wsm vs the 7mm rem mag... the velocity potential is almost identical (so long as the short mag isn't restricted to short action OAL). Apparently the extra pressure threshold of the WSM just about makes up for the added capacity of the belted magnum. Of course you'd have to test this relationship with 100's of different rifles to know for sure, but it's safe to say that how you build the rifle (barrel manufacturer, length, groove specs, etc) would have a greater impact on your final MV's.

    So why go WSM? Some will say that the short/fat case design is better for accuracy, but I don't buy into this (at least not yet). I also don't understand why most hunters would be concerned with "cartridge accuracy" as a basic hunting rifle is the limiting factor of accuracy, certianly not the cartridge!Basically the WSM is a more efficient cartridge for the powders most use today. You can use less powder to achieve velocities that would be very close to the standard magnums. Also in shorter barrels you are able to use more of the cartridge's powder capacity (probably another reason why ammo manufacturers ballistic charts often favor the WSM). The "efficiency" of the WSM's is more due to the powders used than the actual cartridge design in my opinion. For example there are powders available that allow the standard magnums to be very efficient with heavy bullets. With a long barrel and Retumbo powder paired with a 200+gr. bullet a 300 win mag will achieve MV's the WSM couldn't come close to (even if you don't restrict the OAL of the cartridge or the barrel length of the WSM). As more advanced powders come out I think older cartridges will have another chance to show what they're capable of.
     
  9. tionico

    tionico Thurston County Well-Known Member

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    l and c Beitner... VERY impressive. Here's a man what's done his homework, and I appreciate your detailed explanation of the principles and how they work out in reality.

    not sure, but I think my Tikka T 3 has a long action..... it doesn't seem to have any more bolt travel than the other calibers I looked at, including 7mm Rem Mag. Now I now what to look for, I can.....


    you've convinced me, though, that i NEED to get someting in a standard belted mag. Which probably means the 300 Win Mag. I've always liked the .300 H & H Mag, (not to mention the .375 H & H..... ) but these are VERY expensive to find ammunition for.... and a lot more scarce.

    thanks again for taking the time to explain it so well.
     
  10. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Short, fat cases are inherently more accurate: the 6mmBR, 22 PPC, for example. But those are for the benchrest game, which is nowhere near the same as hunting. There are a lot of take-aways from BR that you should incorporate into your reloading practices, however.

    One thing that I've noticed, annectodally, is the published MV for the short magnums is optimistic.

    When it comes to 22 or 25 caliber, I think those calibers appear VERY interesting. When you get into the 30 cal, though, it seems to me that going for a short mag is giving up some advantages with no real gain, other than rifle weight which to me isn't a factor.
     
  11. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    You need to roll your own. The difference between unprimed brass for the H&H vs the Winmag is about $4
     
  12. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    I am one of the original fans of short mag rifles: with the Reminton Model 600. Had one since new and wouldn't trade. The big advantage for hunting is the size of the rifle. Yah, the .350 and 6.5 rem mags are of 30/06 capacity, but work exceptionally well in the field; I use the 6.5mm for deer. Got a 300WSM a few years ago for Elk: more power and added 4in to barrel length, good round also.
     
  13. landcbeitner

    landcbeitner Everett, WA Member

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    Tionico, I'm glad I could contribute to the discussion.

    I used to do BR competitions regularly (although I was never a serious competitor). I will admit that the 6ppc and 6br are amazing cartridges that will shoot well with many different loads. I think that's about as far as inherint accuracy goes. With proper load development I think one can get most cartridges to shoot extremely well (sub 1/4 MOA) so long as the rifle is good. A local BR legend Rick Beginski told me he'd chambered one long range BR rifle in 300wsm and another in 300 win mag. He was hopping to see an accuracy advantage in the WSM due to the case design... it simply was not the case. Both rifles shot equally well, and knowing Rick they both probably set multiple records.
     
  14. Huntbear

    Huntbear Ellensburg, Wa. Member

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    Last edited: Feb 14, 2010
  15. johnsjus

    johnsjus oregon Member

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    one thing that i didnt see touch on was that all of the WSM and RSAUM rifles i have seen give up a round of capacity to their longer counterparts, due to the short fat design. this is something to consider for a hunting rifle. unless your one of those guys that only takes a round out hunting :bluelaugh:
     
  16. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    the tables i have looked all show the short mags just a little ahead of the closest competitor. I just have to have a 270 wsm. dont know why
     
  17. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    I still like my .338 win mag topped with 250 gr. noslers. Pure poison for elk.