The DIY Hunter

Hornady 243 WSSM seating dies

The 6mm seating dies come with an alignment sleeve that has a inside diameter of right around 0.28 inches. This is too small for the diameter of the neck on 243 WSSM brass.

To get the 6mm seating dies to work with the 243 WSSM you will need to order alignment sleeve #398559 from Hornady that has a 0.29 inch inside diameter.

Most of my reloading dies are Hornady. I like the seating dies and how they have alignment sleeves to assist in guiding the bullet to align it better... or at least they look like they should be better.

I had a Hornady two die 243 WSSM set, product number 546225. This die set has been great with a resizing die and a seating die. What I have been doing the past couple years is get multiple seating dies per caliber. I do this because when I get a particular load shooting the way I want I don't want to touch the die any more. Because I don't want to mess with the die I get multiple seating dies with one for each load I work up.

So I though I could just by more 6mm seating dies (product #044103). Well that almost worked. What I found was that when I would seat the bullet the neck of the case would get stuck in the bullet alignment sleeve.

The brass is extra thick on the WSSM cases making the outer diameter of the neck too large to fit in the alignment sleeve of the 6mm seating dies.

After a couple calls and emails to Hornady we found the correct alignment sleeve for the 243 WSSM. The alignment sleeve that comes in the 6mm seating dies needs to be replaced with alignment sleeve #398559 for it to work with the 243 WSSM.

243 WSSM Nickel Plated Brass

I've been doing a little cleaning in my workshop and have a few hundred pieces of once fired nickel-plated brass. I have saved both 243 WSSM and 25 WSSM nickel-plated brass to reload with but now that I anneal and neck turn my brass I will never use this nickel-plated brass. I know there are a lot of you out there desperately trying to find any brass to reload with. If you could use some drop me an email and we can work out some way to get it to you. I'm thinking $30 for a hundred pieces or $20 for fifty pieces plus some shipping would be fair.

Hopefully Winchester or someone else starts making some brass soon. It's been a joke at how long we have gone without any WSSM brass. I'm sure it's a supply and demand issue and Winchester is making their money off the masses that need the bread and butter ammo and brass but us WSSM lovers don't have any other options. Winchester, will you please make us some brass? Please!

Mar. 14, 2015 Update
All the 243 WSSM brass is gone. I still have several hundred pieces of 25 WSSM left.

Apr. 7, 2015 Update
All the 243 WSSM and 25 WSSM brass is gone.

May 4, 2015 Update
Word on the street is that Winchester Ammunition is telling people that they are going to produce a run of brass for the WSSMs in July of 2015. Let's cross our fingers.

October 19, 2015 Update
Still no brass from Olin (Winchester Ammo). I'm really starting to think that Olin has no plans of producing any more regardless of the demand. I am hopeful that some other brass manufacture will see the opportunity to own the brass market for the WSSMs. There are thousands of Browning and Winchester WSSM rifles out there and more WSSM AR-15's continuing to be made right now. Let's all pray someone starts making the brass soon.

January 2016
I have been getting many requests about WSSM brass and ammo. If you are in need of brass or ammo, like so many of us are, I recommend that you contact Winchester and ask them what is up.

March 2016
We have a supplier of WSSM brass! Bill at Hill Billy Brass is forming WSSM brass from WSM brass. Thank you Bill!


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208 A-Max Velocity Model 1885

Here's a sample velocity of my favorite 208 A-Max hand load in my Model 1885 rifle.


208 A-Max accuracy 3 shot group Model 1885

Here's a 100 yard, three shot group of my 208 A-Max hand load in my Model 1885 rifle with 75.5 Grains of H-1000.


208 A-Max and 215 Berger Hybrid three shot groups from 300 win mag Model 1885

Checking the accuracy of my 208 A-Max hand load I also try a 215 Berger Hybrid with the same charge of H-1000 powder. Wow, the point of impact is near identical. This A-Max group is 0.56" and the Berger is 0.74". I'm sure the 215 Hybrid will shoot better I just need to spend a little more time tweaking the load.

WARNING: By viewing this page you accept the terms listed herewith. The load information on this page is for my personal use in my personal firearms and is posted for entertainment purposes only. If you chose to reload use only data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. Incorrectly reloaded ammunition can cause serious personal injury and damage to the firearm due to excessive pressure. Reload only after proper instruction and in strict compliance with instruction and data contained in current manufacturer's reloading manuals. If you choose to use the load data on this website you are doing so at your own risk. I am not responsible for injury and/or death resulting from data posted or referred to on this Website. Improper reloading is dangerous. Users assume all risk, responsibility and liability for any and all injuries (including death), losses or damages to persons or property (including consequential damages), arising from the use of any data posted on this site. 

Below are my personal favorite loads for my Winchester Model 1885 High Wall in 300 Win Mag.

One of the cool things I like about the Model 1885 is that there are no magazine length restrictions. You will notice that the cartridge overall lengths in my loads are well beyond the listed 3.34" max overall length for the 300 Win Mag.

Using a Sharpie marker on the ogive of the bullets I am able to seat a bullet a little deeper and deeper watching for landmarks in the marker on the ogive. Doing this I have seated the 208 A-Max so that it doesn't touch the lands by just a hair. With the 215 Berger Hybrid I also have the ogive really, really close to being in the lands — probably half a hair off the lands.

As I write this I am still working on a 215 Berger Hybrid load. I have it shooting quite well with similar powder charges as the 208 A-Max but I really haven't spent time testing a lot of powder charges. I have just been shooting a load here or there when I have been working on the A-Max load. The 215 Berger Hybrid has just shot well right out of the chute. It is interesting that the point of impact is almost the same with the same powder charge yet two different bullets (see photo on the right).

A few years ago I saw the light on annealing my brass for consistent, accurate hand loads as well as keeping the necks from cracking. I now always anneal my brass every time it's fired.

I noticed visually a lot on inconsistencies in the brass neck thicknesses with the Remington brass I am using for the 300 Win Mag. I purchased a RCBS neck turner and this has greatly helped with improving the accuracy further. Turned necks and annealed brass really help give a very consistent neck tension shot after shot. I'm now a believer in neck turning and will be doing it on all my brass in the future.

Here's some DIY Hunting Rifle Target Downloads that might be helpful as well.

Bullet Powder Primer COAL Barrel Length Muzzle Velocity Notes
212 Gr Hornady ELD-X 75 Gr. Hodgdon H1000 WLRM 3.5565 28" 2,958 fps Shot the best 100 yard group of my life with this load at 0.0695"
208 Gr. Hornady A-Max 75.5 Gr. Hodgdon H1000 WLRM 3.5705-3.5720 28" 2,965 fps Great Accuracy! Took me a little while to figure out that it wanted to be loaded really close to the lands.
215 Gr. Berger Hybrid 75.5 Gr. Hodgdon H1000 WLRM 3.6460-3.6580 28" 2,940 fps Accuracy is there!