25 WSSM

Sgt_Jamez

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I am looking at getting a 25 WSSM upper for my AR. I'm assuming these rounds need to be crimped since they will be magazine fed. But Lee doesnt seem to offer the factory crimp die for this cartridge. What do you wise folks do for crimp on this round?

Does anyone have any do's or don't's regarding handloading the 25 WSSM?
 

ChadTRG42

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Re: 25 WSSM

I wouldn't crimp these. As long as you have enough neck tension, you'll be fine. I've tested and loaded some up with the 80 grain TTSX and the 87 grain Hornady SP for a bolt gun. It's not a bad little compact round.
 

ChadTRG42

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Re: 25 WSSM

No, I'm using standard Redding FL 2 die set with an RCBS #43 shell holder with Winchester brass. Also, put a good inside chamfer on the neck of the case before you load it. Some of the cases have some sharp spurs on the neck.
 

sandwarrior

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Re: 25 WSSM

Sgt_Jamez,

I use a .290 bushing for those. They have a pretty thick neck.

I've I've owned two and got a chance to see the results of one AR loaded for, I'll tell you what I think:

In a good AR it's an awesome varmint round. With the right bullets a good deer gun as well. But you have to go with short ogive bullets. The big thing in an AR15 platform is you run out of room to feed them from a magazine. So what I'm saying is it's a great improvement in power over the .223/5.56 in the -15 platform, but it has limitations. No long/high BC stuff that you can in a bolt gun. In fact you can just barely stuff a 100 gr Sierra GK/FB bullet in there and get it to feed from a magazine. The good news is you can still make it go fast. The case builds pressure fast enough that you don't usually load it full and pushing a bullet down in the case on these is just taking up airspace, not powder room.

Overall with the case, I found the ratio of length/dia. to bullet size a little too much. I could get 25-06 velocities from .257 Rob loads in this. But, I couldn't let the barrel get hot then let a case sit in it. That causes hot rounds even when loaded relatively light. Re-17 which works quite nicely in my .308, 30-06, and Mauser based cases, didn't do so well in this case. Again, the high ratio acts like a pressure dam and pressures spike when the load gets warm.

I also had a couple lots of Winchester brass that sucked. Seems like when Winchester knew this round was headed downhill they quit giving a damn about it. Since it's kind of caught back up a little they've put out some quality brass since the last lots I bought. My first indicator was a new lot of brass that had a load 1.5 gr. under max and known to be good in that rifle (several cycles of box rounds using that load) showed cracks in the neck after the first resizing. I'm kind of thinking that problem has been addressed for now. Too bad you can't get Lapua brass for these.

Anyhow, my opinion is it's a good round overal with the exception I wouldn't use it for a comp gun again. I certainly plan on using it for varmints and deer.

As far as accuracy goes these are outstanding. Both in a bolt gun and an AR platform.
 

Sgt_Jamez

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Re: 25 WSSM

Wow that is a great rundown. Surely makes me second guess the purchase as I am really just a target shooting. The downside to growing up with a hippie for a mom is that I have no clue about hunting.

I guess $800 for the upper, $100 for dies, spotty brass... makes for an iffy investment.
 

Sgt_Jamez

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Re: 25 WSSM

My last question before I decide if I want to delve into a purchase...

For someone who is primarily a target shooter... is there a reason/benefit to go with the 25 WSSM over the 243 WSSM?

Thanks!
 

sandwarrior

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Re: 25 WSSM

No, if it's a decision between the two. The 243 WSSM can shoot the uber-high BC Sierra/DTAC and Berger 105's/115's. All of which have better BC's than the 115 Berger in .257

Frankly, if you are considering a target rifle in an AR upper and are okay with single feeding, you might look at the 6.5-WSSM or 7mm-WSSM wildcats. Either can still use short enough and accurate bullets to load in a magazine and shoot when not long range shooting. Both have better neck to body length/dia ratios as well.
 

knutson24

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Re: 25 WSSM

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I've tested and loaded some up with the 80 grain TTSX.</div></div>
I'm getting ready to work up a load using the 80g ttsx's; What kind of velocities and accuracy were you getting with yours?
 

Sgt_Jamez

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Re: 25 WSSM

Looking at the data, it seems the 243 pills in 115gr need a 1:8 twist. But the Oly barrel is 1:10. Can the 1:10 stabilize a 115gr pill?
 

sandwarrior

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Re: 25 WSSM

Sgt_Jamez,

No, the 1-10 .243/6mm barrel will not stabilize the 115 pill. You need to get a 1-8" twist, but Oly has done that one before and will no doubt do it again. But, you may have to wait.

If you don't want to wait, the 1-10 .25 WSSM barrel WILL stabilize the 115 Berger VLD. That will give you very good ballistics. Without having to go any special orders.

In either caliber there are a slew of hard hitting bullets that will feed from a magazine. It seemed to me that 117/120 Sierra's would not. But the 100 would. 110 ACC's and 115 Nosler Bt's would fit and function through a mag. You can push them to 3k and that will get 1k supersonic. 85 BT's, 85/90 SMK's and Hornady will all get you near 1k but not supersonic to 1k. It's not a bad round all in all. The problem with putting it in an AR platform is trying to find the one or two bullets with enough BC to get to 1k sufficiently AND feed it through a magazine. The 115 gr. Berger VLD will just barely do that. That is until the lands erode then you can't. So you don't get a long barrel life running that through a magazine. Single feeding you can run that round out as long as you like. The 117 Hornady same thing. It starts magazine length but as the lands erode in short order you can no longer get it to them. The big difference is anything Hornady or Sierra, or for that matter with a tanget ogive, will shoot pretty good still 'off the lands.' The Berger VLD's like to be in the lands to work best. They will still work well off the lands.

All told, the gem of the bunch is the Nosler 115 BT. You can seat it deep. Since it has a tangent ogive it will shoot good off the lands, thus through a magazine, and get you to 1k. And it's a better hunting bullet just in case.
 

knockemdown

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Re: 25 WSSM

Spot on info, sandwarrior!
The 25Wizzer is awesome from an AR. 75gr VMAX @ 3600fps for coyotes & varmints, 100gr TSX @ 3100+ for deer from a 22", 1:10 twist.

Although I can get 2.270" coal from my magazines, I haven't really messed with any of the VLD type bullets for shooting long range with mine. But it kills the heck outta whatever I want it to! If you are into shooting more long range targets, the .243WSSM may offer a better bullet selection but is somewhat more 'finicky' to find a load for. And I'll be needing to re-visit my 25 with the 115NBTs that sandwarrior suggested...

For conversation, I'm kickin' around re-barreling another upper to a fast twist .223WSSM, if only 'cause I have the upper & components for it already. A .224 cal 75gr AMAX at 3350 from a 22" 1:8 twist tube would be one bad mofo for quite a distance!
 

sandwarrior

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Re: 25 WSSM

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: knockemdown</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Spot on info, sandwarrior!
The 25Wizzer is awesome from an AR. 75gr VMAX @ 3600fps for coyotes & varmints, 100gr TSX @ 3100+ for deer from a 22", 1:10 twist.

Although I can get 2.270" coal from my magazines, I haven't really messed with any of the VLD type bullets for shooting long range with mine. But it kills the heck outta whatever I want it to! If you are into shooting more long range targets, the .243WSSM may offer a better bullet selection but is somewhat more 'finicky' to find a load for. And I'll be needing to re-visit my 25 with the 115NBTs that sandwarrior suggested...

For conversation, I'm kickin' around re-barreling another upper to a fast twist .223WSSM, if only 'cause I have the upper & components for it already. A .224 cal 75gr AMAX at 3350 from a 22" 1:8 twist tube would be one bad mofo for quite a distance!</div></div>

knockemdown,

I was loading Berger VLD's .010" into the lands with 44.1 gr. of H4350. I also tried RE17 and loaded a batch at 43.3 but backed off to 42.9 for that. Very consistent and velocity was around 2950. Those were with a bolt action though. I think the RE-17 is fast enough that you won't have too high pressure at the gas port. H/AA 4350 is right on the line for a gas gun. Maybe not an issue if you have a 16" gas tube on a 20" barrel. But any shorter and your pressure may be too high. H4895 will give good velocity but not max velocity before pressure signs. Somewhere slower than that and faster than 4350. Or a bit more pressure and less of it than 4350 such as VV N550.
 

knockemdown

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Re: 25 WSSM

Gotcha. I did briefly mess with the 117 SSTs & 4350, but didn't find anything that shot to my liking. I can keep the 100gr TSX just hovering around 1MOA with good velocity from Varget, acceptable enough for me to spank a deer with...
And also messed with H4895 for the lighter 75Vmaxs. But again, settled on a more full case of Varget to push them fast & accurately.
Bottom line for me is if the bullet don't fit/feed from the magazine, I won't bother loading it to shoot out of an AR. Kinda defeats the whole idea of shooting one. So if the 115NBT will run from the mag, then I'll give 'em a go!
 

sandwarrior

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Re: 25 WSSM

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: knockemdown</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Gotcha. I did briefly mess with the 117 SSTs & 4350, but didn't find anything that shot to my liking. I can keep the 100gr TSX just hovering around 1MOA with good velocity from Varget, acceptable enough for me to spank a deer with...
And also messed with H4895 for the lighter 75Vmaxs. But again, settled on a more full case of Varget to push them fast & accurately.
Bottom line for me is if the bullet don't fit/feed from the magazine, I won't bother loading it to shoot out of an AR. Kinda defeats the whole idea of shooting one. So if the 115NBT will run from the mag, then I'll give 'em a go!</div></div>

I think Varget should work really well with that weight. It's a little slower than H4895. I've been told it's right on the line for a light bullet in a gas gun. I don't know as I never shoot it anymore. I used some in my .223 years ago. But, it's clearly within the pressure/speed range for a heavy bullet.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes.
 

sandwarrior

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Re: 25 WSSM

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sandwarrior</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: knockemdown</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Gotcha. I did briefly mess with the 117 SSTs & 4350, but didn't find anything that shot to my liking. I can keep the 100gr TSX just hovering around 1MOA with good velocity from Varget, acceptable enough for me to spank a deer with...
And also messed with H4895 for the lighter 75Vmaxs. But again, settled on a more full case of Varget to push them fast & accurately.
Bottom line for me is if the bullet don't fit/feed from the magazine, I won't bother loading it to shoot out of an AR. Kinda defeats the whole idea of shooting one. So if the 115NBT will run from the mag, then I'll give 'em a go!</div></div>

I think Varget should work really well with that weight. It's a little slower than H4895. <span style="text-decoration: underline"><span style="font-weight: bold"> I've been told it's right on the line for a light bullet in a gas gun. </span></span> I don't know as I never shoot it anymore. I used some in my .223 years ago. But, it's clearly within the pressure/speed range for a heavy bullet.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes.</div></div>

Sometimes I embarrass myself flippantly repeating what other people have told me. So I went and did a little research with loads I know and compared them. So, what I stated there highlighted in bold isn't true. <span style="font-weight: bold">Varget is good all the way through the bullet weight range of .25 cal.</span>

I didn't want to leave that up there without correcting myself.
 

Hellbender

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Re: 25 WSSM

I've got a 243 WSSM AR for a match gun, the 1-10" twist pretty much limits you to 90 gr. bullets and below, I shoot the 87 A-max at 3050 fps. The brass is really bad, plan on losing 10-15% every loading to split necks. I load it down and keep it under 55K psi for the AR.

But 800 yards and under, it hammers! I like it a lot. Here's my last 300-700 yard target, shot in a match with bipod and rear bag.

DSC04814.jpg
 

sandwarrior

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Re: 25 WSSM

hellbender,

RE: bad brass. I know what you mean. When I first got some boxes of 25 WSSM bullets, the brass was good. Then I ordered two bags of bulk. They were good. Then I got some bulk stuff broken down to bags of 20 (200). They showed neck cracks at one reloading. Since I was holding it in reserve I couldn't return it to the seller. So, I bought two more Winchester bags. Same thing as the separated bulk stuff. Shoot one load, re-size, and you have necks full of surface cracks.

The stuff is just crap from the get go. Annealing before I shot it didn't help. Not to mention annealling WSSM cases is not easy.
Now that the demand for it seems to have increased again, brass is better quality now.