25 wssm advice needed


Active Member
Dec 9, 2008
Collins MS
Have been looking for a good deer rifle for my young son. We have already purchased a Rem. mod 7 7-08 and a Rossi 243, bad decisions for him on my part. He just can't handle the recoil of these as of yet.
I came upon a Win. 25 wssm at a local gun shop. The owner of the shop says this rifle has minimal recoil. In his words, "You can shoot it off your nose." Can any of you gun savy folks give me some advice on this weapon? Thanks ahead of time. John
If you give me the weight of the guns (the ones that he can't handle and one that you are looking at), weight of the bullet, bullet speed, & amount of powder, I can tell you how many FP of recoil they have. That is the only way that I know of comparing apples to apples. (Load from a Disk program)
just curious how old is your son? I'm kinda in the same predicament as you. My good friend has a youth model rem 7mm08 that he said I use for a couple of hunting seasons till my son gets big enough for a full size model, which I'm thankful for, and will save me some money. I'm a little worried that the scope might come back and hit him in the nose or eye, and he might not want to shoot anymore. I'm thinking of reloading some 120 gr bullets it should be a manageable recoil for him.
I would think with same weight bullet of 25wssm vs 243 same weight bullet would have about the same recoil.....

You're thinking is pretty right on.

IF the guns weigh the same, using a 90 gr. bullet, going 2986 fps in the .25 WSSM and a 90 gr bullet going 2972 fps in the .243, the .25 WSSM needs roughly 2 grains less powder. The difference in recoil is .24 lb of free recoil energy, with the .25 WSSM generating less recoil. Is that enough to make a difference? I doubt it.

But, in this instance, do both guns weigh the same?

I looked up the Model 7 in 7-08 and without a scope it weighs 6.5#, but I'm guessing that it has a scope, which will bring the weight up to around 7.5# - 8#. The Rossi in .243 weighs 6.25# sans scope. So lets say the Model 7 is scoped and the .243 isn't. Using the same 90 grain bullet/load in the Rossi, and a 140 gr/2500 fps load in the 7mm-08 changes the recoil to 10.07 fpe of recoil for the 7mm-08 and 9.35 fpe of recoil for the Rossi in .243. The .25 WSSM shooting a 90 g bullet 2986 fps in an 8# gun = 7.07 fpe of recoil.

That's roughly 30% less recoil for the .25 WSSM providing I'm guessing correctly on the gun weights that he's previously shot, and that the guesses on the bullet weights/velocity are correct as well.

Another thing that affects perceived recoil is noise and muzzle blast. If he's not wearing hearing protection, all bets are off. (earplugs in kids can be inserted incorrectly, and might not offer the same protection that they will offer adults) I prefer to have kids use electronic ear muffs whenever possible. My nephew even wears them while hunting - HIS choice!
I'd go with a 250 savage in a model 110, cut the stock off to fit him and have a good pad installed, then when he's bigger get an aftermarket stock of his choosing.
That or a 223. My 11 yo daughter shoots a 250.
I like to teach kids to shoot with AR based cartridges since they have virtually no recoil. The AR10 is a little large and depending on your state may or may not be legal for hunting but they are great practice gun in 243.

I also totally agree with the noise being as much of the scare factor as recoil. I got a kit to make the molded in ear plugs and that made a huge difference with kids shooting. Most gunshows around here have someone making those plugs.

If they are ALWAYS going to wear ear plugs you could go with a muzzle brake and with a small caliber and a brake recoil should be very minimal.

Good luck.
Sorry for just getting back, been up all night with a 6 month old with ear infections. Esshup that is exactly the info I came up with on the weight of gun, bullet and powder, the 243 was 95 gr. The 25 wssm is a winchester model 70 with scope. approx. 9#'s. I was looking at the Win. 115 gr silver tips for the 25 wssm, couldn't find powder info. Anyway at 9#'s the gun maybe too heavy to handle. My son is a small frame 9 year old. I agree with the ear plugs not fitting (they fell out more times than not) and I think the noise scared him more than the recoil. Should have bought proper ear protection. The recoil of the rossi was pretty intense, I even thought it close to my 30-06 with a limbsaver pad on it. The gun was light enough for him to handle though. He loves shooting his modified .22 but I think i might have even messed that up with this idea. He sharted flinching more so we have to work on that. So whata ya do. Thanks Guys
couple things to try, but a couple ?'s first
are 22 centerfires legal? what I mean is are you looking for a deer rifle for him? or just shooting?

take the 243 and use an 85 gr partition or other deer bullet, find the max load of H-4895 and multiply by .6, load it with that charge of that powder (its the only powder you should do this with, see youth loads on the Hodgdon web page) if its still too much recoil you could try a pachmeyer decelerator pad on it, they work wonders.
If thats to brutal for him, and its legal use a 223 loaded with 60 gr partitions, they work pretty well for deer.hope this helps.
I've been killing deer (50+) with a .243 using Searra 85 gr. HPBT Gamekings for over 30 years. I also have a .243 WSSM (BOO) bad inventions all WSSM's in my opinion. Barrel burners so much that the manufactures have to chrome line the barrels to get 1,500 rounds through them. The only ones that shoot 5/8 inch groups are maximum loads. Same with the .25 WSSMs I have experimented with. The Winchester .243s (not WSSM) are more accurate also.

The WSSMs have a noticeable sharper recoil than the older .243 even though the numbers may be similar. Boo for WSSM and Yea for .243.

If a .223 is legal for deer where you live why not load .55 grain bullets in the .243 and get your young one to pop some crows or woodchucks at 300 plus yards. They will learn how to shoot more accurate if he is not scarred of the recoil AND be able to hit them consistently at over 300 yds. gun) gun)

When he gets more meat on his bones load the .243 up to the .85 gr HPBTs and he will be set for life with an outstanding shooting rifle for deer and varmints.

Stay away from the WSSMs.

Just my .02,

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I'm OK with the 25 WSSM.

My experience was with the Winchester Featherweight weighing in at 6 lbs even.
More like 7 lbs with the Redfield scope and bases. We were shooting 100 grain SGKs at 3100 fps.
The recoil was nearly non existent. My wife and daughter both agreed on the light recoil.
I thought it was very similar to the recoil of my AR 15 ( .223 ). All of us could shoot roughly MOA with this set-up.
It was no target rifle but plenty good enough for minute of deer. :D

Sold it last year to generate some $$$.
Still have the loading dies laying around if you have need.

JM .02
You may want to look at the 223 win short mag. A friend of mine bought one for his 12 year old who weighs around 75lbs. The kid is 34 out of 35 in the last 2 years. Shoots 55gr ballistic tips. Beats the heck out of 95% of the adults. His longest shot was just over 300yds.
Is there any manufactures that still make rifles chambered in WSSMs?

The old Winchester .243 reloaded or factory with 55 grain bullets will almost match the .223 WSSM, but will be more accurate and you will get many more accurate rounds through the barrel.

I would not use the 25 wssm for your son it will recoil too much in my opinion. I would try a limbsaver pad and maybe even a mercury recoil reducer in the stock of the rossi 243. I would also look for lighter bullet loads like 55 or 60 grain and see how you fair with that.

good luck john
I've been following this, how about the 257 Roberts? You could also look at a 22-250. Both these calibers are more than capable. The limbsaver recoil pad would do wonders. The other thing you could look at possibly restocking your current rifle. Better after market stocks offer better recoil reduction.

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