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Thread: .300 WSM vs. .325 WSM

  1. #1
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    Default .300 WSM vs. .325 WSM

    I have a Kimber 8400 Montana in .325 WSM. I'm thinking of selling or trading to get one in .300 WSM. My thoughts are the ammo for .300 WSM will be less expensive and more easily found. I'm not a reloader and probably won't be in the near future and the cost of .325 ammo is killing me. Is my thinking off base? BTW, this rifle will see more use in the lower 48 than here.

  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    While the 325 WSM is interesting, it is really a 7.92mm (8mm) projectile loaded into a WSM case. It can never rival the 338 Win mag. In fact I do not see any advantage for the 325 WSM over a properly loaded 350 Remington Magnum, excepting the magnum belt on the Remington mag.

    The new 338 Ruger Short mag seems like it has the potential to be a better all around cartridge for short actions than the 325WSM.

    The 300 WSM has been stacking up a reputation as a very accurate cartridge for bullets up to 180-190 grain. Plus your lack of reloading means you can buy more rounds for the 300 WSM than your current cartridge. Of course who knows how prices will be next year.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  3. #3
    Premium Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Float Pilot,
    You are exactly right......regardless of what anybody claims. The 8mm and the 30 caliber are chambered for the SAME EXACT bullet weights on the upper end. the 30 cal. has a way better selection of bullets from 100gr.-220 gr. The 8mm tops out at 220gr. too. The 325 WSM is a gimmick IMO when compared to the 338 caliber. They should have promoted it like this......."Hey buy this rifle because it's chambered for bullets of the exact same weight of the 300 WSM.......but we're going to compare it to a .338 Win. Mag." And yes.....the 338 Ruger Compact Mag. is a much better comparison to a 338 Win. Mag unlike the .325 WSM. The only opposition you are going to get regarding your convictions.......are the guys who already bought a 325 WSM. before the .338 RCM came out.

  4. #4
    Member Montana Native's Avatar
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    Default 325 kudos

    I have yet to spend the time to compare various calibers and how they compete with the 325 WSM. I have the Kimber Montanan (0ne that actually shoots good) and bought it with the premise of being the all-round rifle. I do agree the intial adds that were used comapred it to a 338, but we all know it comes up short on the lethality end. I too have seen an increase in the 300 WSM popularity; question is, will the 325 peter out or will it still hold a place in the market??? With Kimber's reputation going downhill, I'm afraid I paid $1,200.00 for a rifle that may be worth $800.00 give or take. I am seriously considering a custom rifle, but leaning possibly towards the Sako Finn light in 300 WSM.
    Respect what you do not own but are privleged to enjoy, Mother Earth thanks you...

  5. #5
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Has anyone considered re-barreling? If the .325 goes the way of the dodo it might be better to simply rebarrel to the .300WSM with the barrel of your choice. Cost might be a wash if you consider losing $400-500 on a rifle that works good and you retain the .325 barrel if you want to go back to it.

    Not priced a barrel job lately but I seem to rememeber $500 would get you a very good barrel installed by a decent smith not that long ago. I would think .325 to .300 would be about starightforward as rebarrelling gets.

  6. #6

    Default My take on the WSM's

    I think these are great cartridges from what I've read. Unfortunately, my own personal experience with the Saka Finnlight 300 WSM has been very disapointing but after getting it back from the factory, it shows some promise of posibly being a 1/2 MOA rifle with a little load work and maybe some bedding.

    My reading in the long range forum shows the 7mm WSM, 300 WSM and 270 WSM to be very popular (in that order) and accurate cartridges. The 7mm has a better selection of high BC bullets to choose from that the WSM case does a very good job of propelling.

    There have been some reports of feeding problems, but I think the trend here is with the rifle manufacturer and not the cartridge. I have cycled a few dozen 4 round mags through my Sako without a hitch. It operated VERY smoothly.

    That being said, I think the WSM's start to top out in efficency with the medieum-heavy bullets (180 gr). That being the case, my guess is that the 325 WSM might be an "OK" cartridge, but if I were going to step up in cal and bullet weight from the 300 to a 325, I would go with a Dakota. 375 Ruger or 338 Lapua wildcat. These all sounds interesting to me, especially the former... providing one can find good bullets for it. I think this is the big stumbling block with the 325 cal.

    Of course, rokjns is looking for factory ammo and in that case I would definitely suggest the 300 WSM. It is one of the more plentifully stocked rounds here in MTin variety and numbers... and IMHO, the perfect all around lower 48 cartridge if your game includes elk and bears.

    FWIW

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Has anyone considered re-barreling? If the .325 goes the way of the dodo it might be better to simply rebarrel to the .300WSM with the barrel of your choice. Cost might be a wash if you consider losing $400-500 on a rifle that works good and you retain the .325 barrel if you want to go back to it.

    Not priced a barrel job lately but I seem to rememeber $500 would get you a very good barrel installed by a decent smith not that long ago. I would think .325 to .300 would be about starightforward as rebarrelling gets.
    Sounds like a real good option to me....

    Another thing to consider is the 300 WSM shows a tendency for exceptionally long barrel life. I read where a competition shooter one a match fairly recently with one that had 4000 rounds through the tube.

  8. #8
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    In real life, with a real chronograph the 325 WSm is not quite as fast as the factory claims. Particularly with a 22 inch barrel.

    66 grains of H4350 and a 220 grain 8mm Sierra is a hot load and is right at 2,800 fps in the 325 WSM.

    62 grains of RL-15 in a 350 Remington Mag will push a 225 grain Sierra (358 caliber) or a 225 grain Kodiak bonded at 2,820 fps from a 22 inch barreled Ruger M77MKII.

    You can load a 210 grain Berger moly (308 caliber) to almost 2,800 fps in a 300 WSM. Although the WSM case is a touch short necked for the bullets over 190 grains.

    I have loaded 200 grain 308 bullets to 2,900 and 220s to 2,700 in a regular 300 Winchester Mag.

    And of course you can get between 2,800 to 2,900 fps with a 225 grain .338 caliber bullet with a real 338 Winchester Magnum.


    I found an article where a guy was tesing the factory ammo from a new 338 Ruger Compact Magnum.338 RCM.. From his new 20 inched barrel Ruger compact.

    He was getting 2,870 fps from a 200 grauin factory load. He then loaded up some experimental loads using a 210 grain partition bullet and had them going 2,790 with no pressure signs.

    That should be a good cartrdige for a compact carbine size shooting iron.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  9. #9
    Member doogiehauz's Avatar
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    Smile .325 wsm is a winner

    Okay there seems to be a lot of folks not liken the .325 wsm here so I'll chime in... I have a kimber montana .325wsm and really like the light weight combo of leupold 4-14 B&C recticle weighing in at 7 1/4 lbs or so, how much does your average 338 weigh? how much heavier are your bullets? If your a sheep hunter and weight IS concernED weight matters every ounce. I can pack my .325 wsm into sheep country and felel more than safe if MR big shows up. I think it is a great caliber and will defiantly catch on. The rifle is flat shooting and packs a pretty hard punch, not to mention accurate to boot. I first got the rifle and shot okay with it not great, but once dialed in with some practice this thing is accurate. I was hitting clay pigeon at 400 yards and that’s quite a ways. I don’t want a 338 because of the killing it does to the shoulder, BUT my .325, I don’t think kicks harder than my old 06 I have been using since I was a kid. If you look at factory the .325 is balistically with factory ammo it does better than a 338. I love the Winchester supreme accubond CT bullets so let’s look at those. So I look at a 200 grain bullet traveling at 2950 giving 3866 ft lbs of energy at the muzzle that doesn’t kill my shoulder with the .325. The 300 wsm with 180 grain bullet (highest grains for accubond ct factory) will launch at 3100 fps and have 3600 ft LBA of energy. The 338 will push a 200 grain bullet at 2950 with 3864 ft lbs. The .325 wsm will push a 200 grain bullet just as fast and flatter shooting. It’s not a 338 but has known lots of folks that kill bears with 300 wsm. If a 300 wsm will kill a bear so will a 325 and a 338, the 325 just gives me dang good performance, plenty of knock down, and not a lot of recoil. Now of course the down side is the ammo, yes it’s expensive but to me it’s worth performance. If you reload yes you can push the 338 for better performance and much bigger bullet. If I can’t hunt anything with a 200 grain bullet traveling at 3800 FPS I better stay at home. Animals are not armor plated, put it where it belongs and the bullet will do its job. IF you’re worried about a grizzly charging and you want protection, I would rather have a gun I shoot very well than cannon I shoot ok.

  10. #10

    Default 1 more for the 325

    I have a 325 Montana as well. I picked it as an all around type of cartridge.
    It does that very well. I do reload so it may not apply but I can load 200g TSX, Partition or Accubonds that all will do very well. I can keep a magazine of 220g A-Frames for BB just in case. It will shoot these just fine.
    I can pack this up a mountain to boot.
    I think it is a great cartridge for this type of rifle. I think of it as a lighter, bigger 06-type of get-er-done rifle. I have great confidence that I will ht what I aim at and that it will have the desired effect when I do.

    For some one that doesn't reload, well, I would probably tend to agree. You are not really gaining much with the factory offerings in the 325WSM.

  11. #11

    Default Another one for the .325

    I have a Montana with a Zeiss Conquest 3X9 and couldn't be any more pleased. It's turned into my go to rifle.

    I do reload for mine and that's what brought out the accuracy in the gun.

    It's headed with me to Africa the first of June, my PH told me if I was bringing only 1 rifle to bring the .325.

    I know it doesn't kick me a as bad as my beloved 7x64 in a Steyr model M professional rifle!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the input. I may have to start reloading. I like the gun and the way it shoots.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how much gimick there is to the .325. It allows a person to chamber an 8mm diameter magnum round in a short action cartrige which makes for less metal and a lighter rifle. The wound chanel on an 8mm is considerably larger than on a .308 round all else being equal. For those recoil adverse that would like a mountain rifle with enough knock down to take on a bear it makes alot of sense. I don't find the recoil that signifigant even in a light rifle. Also larger diameter bullets transfer a greater amount of force to the animal.

    Brett

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by roknjs View Post
    Thanks for all the input. I may have to start reloading. I like the gun and the way it shoots.
    If you like the gun and the way it shoots, well then that's about 99.9% of the equation right there. Handloading is a lot of fun satisfaction and a good way to get the best out of your cartridge and rifle.

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