The 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum, also known as the 223 WSSM, is a powerful and versatile cartridge that has gained popularity among hunters and shooting enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history, ballistics, and applications of this remarkable round.

History of the 223 WSSM

The 223 WSSM was introduced by Winchester in 2003 as part of their Super Short Magnum series. It was designed to deliver high velocity and flat trajectory, making it suitable for varmint hunting and long-range shooting. The cartridge is based on a shortened .300 WSM (Winchester Short Magnum) case, necked down to .224 caliber.

Ballistics and Performance

One of the key attractions of the 223 WSSM is its impressive ballistics. With the right load, it can achieve muzzle velocities of over 3,600 feet per second, making it a flat-shooting and hard-hitting round. The high-velocity results in minimal bullet drop, making it ideal for precision shooting at extended ranges.

When it comes to terminal performance, the 223 WSSM shines as a varmint and predator cartridge. Its high velocity and energy transfer on impact make it effective for taking down small to medium-sized game, such as coyotes, foxes, and groundhogs.

Applications and Uses

The 223 WSSM has found favor among hunters and sport shooters for a variety of applications. Its flat trajectory and high velocity make it well-suited for long-range varmint hunting, where precision and minimal bullet drop are crucial. Additionally, the cartridge’s performance makes it a popular choice for competitive shooting disciplines such as benchrest and precision rifle competitions.

Firearms Chambered in 223 WSSM

Several firearms have been chambered in 223 WSSM, offering shooters a selection of platforms to choose from. Bolt-action rifles, such as the Browning A-Bolt and Winchester Model 70, are available in this caliber, providing shooters with accurate and reliable options for hunting and target shooting. Additionally, some AR-15 platform rifles have been adapted to chamber the 223 WSSM, offering semi-automatic capabilities in this potent cartridge.

Advantages of the 223 WSSM

The 223 WSSM offers several advantages that contribute to its popularity. Its high velocity and flat trajectory make it a top choice for long-range shooting, while its terminal performance makes it effective for varmint hunting. The cartridge’s availability in various firearms platforms further adds to its appeal, providing shooters with a wide selection of rifles to suit their preferences and shooting styles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Effective Range Of 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum?

The effective range of 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum is typically around 300-500 yards.

How Does The 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum Perform For Hunting?

The 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum is known for its accuracy and effectiveness in hunting medium-sized game.

What Are The Advantages Of Using 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum?

The advantages of using 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum include high velocity, flat trajectory, and manageable recoil.

Is The 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum Suitable For Long-range Shooting?

While it can be used for long-range shooting, the 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum is more ideal for medium-range targets.


The 223 Winchester Super Short Magnum stands out as a versatile and high-performance cartridge, offering shooters exceptional ballistics and terminal performance. Whether it’s used for varmint hunting, competitive shooting, or long-range precision, the 223 WSSM continues to captivate the shooting community with its impressive capabilities.

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