Anyone experimenting with a 6.5 wssm?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by KPK, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. KPK

    KPK Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2010
    I was at my gunsmith's last night and noticed he had some 243 wssm cases sitting around as well as my father in law shoots one. I got to thinking a 6.5 in the short fat case may be a nice little shooter.

    Anyone shooting one? Thinking about this for a build down the road. Working on a 260 now, but the little wssm seems like it would make a cool build. I'd like to build it as a light weight moutain type gun, but still built stout. Maybe a McM A3 Sporter, #5 or #6 Kreiger, DBM, maybe a Surgeon or Defiance action?

    What's your thoughts? Step up bigger and go with maybe a WSM or RSAUM case necked to 6.5?
  2. djtjr

    djtjr Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2008
    i have one but have yet to mess with it when i do i will be sure to post something if someone else has any ideas though i too would love to hear them.
  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    I shoot one here & there. There is not really an advantage other than it's the perfect capacity overall -for 26cal with 140gr bullets. You can also achieve the same with a 260AI..
    My 6.5wssm input within an earlier thread:

    With .303 in neck length, and a 30deg shoulder angle, the flamepoint is 73.5% up the neck. A 6PPC has a flamepoint of 73.7%

    According to The WSM/WSSM patent higher efficiency is gained from a case when the length of the wide-body portion of the case is below 3.33x the dia of wide-body.
    For instance, a WSM case measures 1.56" wide-body length, and has a dia of .555"
    1.56/.555 = 2.81 (this is good)
    A 30:06 ratio is 1.82/.471= 3.87 (this is bad)
    A 6PPC is .939/.438 = 2.14
    A 6BR is .923/.471 = 1.96
    A 25WSSM is 1.02/.555 = 1.83

    There is actually some merit to this, where more of the powder is burned within the chamber instead of down the barrel some length, or even beyond the muzzle. Less powder contributing to accelerated mass means less recoil, and the WSM/WSSMs do seem to recoil less. Efficiency of the WSSMs does seem higher than other -longer cases of the similar capacity. But not alot.
    In QL the term 'Weighting Factor' can be calibrated for this bottlenecking of powder. It works well.

    I have made WSSM brass from WSM. I've made same capacity cases from 284 brass as well. There is no way to get around thickness from forming on pre-made brass. To get thinner brass in WSSM, it would have to be maufactured thinner from the git-go.
    So I turn the necks, and my WSSM chambers are tight neck. Works well albeit more work.

    The bulk Win brass sold is very good quality. Best I've measured in any cartridge including those I primarily use Lapua and Norma for.
    Remember though, WSSM brass has tremendous springback. It takes trial and error(and alot of tools) to turn and end up with a perfect product. It is very tough. I have well over 20+ reloads on my 26WSSM, and have not annealed. Actually, I'm just now at the point where neck tension is beginning to vary, so I'm annealing the next brass to be loaded. Pockets are still like new.
    If you stay moderate with loads, 50 pieces of this brass will wear out many barrels.

    Anyway, the WSSM has only 10thou of body taper already. Less would likely be tough to pull from a chamber after firing. The 30deg shoulder puts the flamepoint in the neck and allows better feeding. A coned breech is needed anyway. I went to 35deg for the flamepoint in 26cal. It formed this in one firing. Haven't seen case growth at all, and bumping has been reasonable at 1-1.5thou for .0005"HS. But I carefully measured my lot of 25wssm brass and went no more than a thou over for any dimension, on my reamer print.
    Make sure you put enough BARREL metal around your chamber. If the chamber expands too much, if it's loose, and WSSM brass decides to spring back alittle less...You'll be beating bolts open.
    Use a magnum action as this is not a short action cartridge with 140gr bullets anyway.

    Improvements? I don't see it.
    With all accounted for, any further gains just aren't worth it.
    Winchestor did well except for going down to 24 & 22cals with these.
    That was an utterly stupid move on their part.
  4. LongBomber

    LongBomber Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    I talked to a genteman shooting one in F-open. He was getting velocities just over what a 260 rem could do, which puts you directly in line with a 260AI. He shot well that day. He also said he was neck turning, but he was running the standard 243wssm shoulder angle. Personally I would just go 260AI and get the Lapua brass which needs very little prep work. But the WSSM brass is thick, the neck on my 223wssm brass is over 0.02" thick, where most of my other brass runs 0.01 - 0.013". The case walls are also heavy and the brass is tough, I have 10 reloads on some cases and they are still like new.

    Winchester really should have come out with a 270wssm, I think it would have sold well, since it is the only caliber without a standard velocity short action cartridge. I am in the process of doing just that a 270-243wssm, it will not be a long range gun, but a sub 6 pound mtn rifle with a 22" barrel.
  5. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    So you are shooting one of those 6.5wssm's too.
    I guess we have to agree again.

    I have had excellent experiences with this round as well.
    In fact I recently shot a 1.08" 3shot group at 565yds with it.
    I was shooting 4" gongs and didn't miss for about 20shots at 565yds ,with what looked like center hits, so I figure I would put it on paper.
    Set up a target at the 565yd mark next to the gongs and send 3 down range.
    1.08" group was the result. Not bad considering it's got a wildcat thumbhole stock and factory trigger.
    It has always shot well.

    Just a side note- I also treated the barrel with gun juice and it seems to be working.

    I was thinking of selling it, since I don't shoot it much ,but it's hard to get rid of it since it shoots so well.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  6. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    I went with it for the learning, and I did learn a lot.
    It was a great move for me.

    I'm considering a 25BR short for my next project. Otta be fun