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Category: Firearms & Shooting
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243 WSSM & 243 Win.

I have often heard the question "What's so special about a 243 WSSM compared to the 243 Win?" The simple answer is that the 243 Win. is an excellent caliber and so is the 243 WSSM. They each offer a little different flavor to our hunting and shooting experiences. Here are some of the pros and cons and why I like the 243 WSSM.

Some Positives

Some negatives


Some myths


Where can I find WSSM brass?
We have a supplier of WSSM brass! Bill at Hill Billy Brass is forming WSSM brass from WSM brass. Thank you Bill!

Where can I find a 243 WSSM rifle? Currently only AR-15 rifles are in production. Here are the AR-15 rifles that I am aware of.


If you're one who likes to tinker at the reloading bench with different bullets, powder and the like, the 243 WSSM might be for you. If you are looking for a rifle that's a little faster shooting and lighter to carry, the 243 WSSM might be for you. If you spend a good deal of time hunting and hiking in rugged tough country, a little lighter rifle might be for you. Now on the other hand if you like to grab a box of ammo at Walmart as you're heading out of town to your hunting lease the 243 WSSM probably isn't for you.

I think the 243 Win. is an excellent cartridge and I have always been fond of it. My father's deer rifle is a Sako Forester chambered in 243 Win. In my youth I watched my father shoot mule deer with it and I'd hear the stories from the guys in his hunting party talking about how they would all miss at long range with their 30-06's and my dad with his little 243 would get them every time. Boy, how I thought that rifle was the best rifle in the world. Some day I hope to own my father's rifle but we'll have to see as I have two brothers that have their eyes on it also.

I don't think you can go wrong with either cartridge as long as you understand what might be an advantage and what might be a disadvantage for your individual hunting and shooting style. The 243 Win. is an outstanding caliber and for the gear head that I am the 243 WSSM is just as outstanding. Many a deer has fallen to a .243/6mm diameter bullet throughout the years. And the latest cartridge to push this 6mm bullet does the job quite well.

The 243 WSSM has also been deadly on elk. In 2009 my son made a 205 yard one shot kill on his first elk bull elk with a 243 WSSM and a 272 yard one shot kill cow elk with a 243 WSSM, and again in 2010 Dallen took a cow elk with a single shot at 110 yards with a 243 WSSM.

To view my favorite handloads for the 243 WSSM check out my 243 WSSM Handloads and Ballistics page.