I thought I would make a post regarding the 223 WSSM, and my experiences to date with the cartridge and the Browning Abolt Medallion.
Why did I choose the WSSM? I wanted a .224 cal rifle, and was interested in using slightly heavier bullets for Roe, but also maintain good velocity with these heavier rounds. This is not to say that 55gr bullets are inadequate, just my preference. I already had a 308 which is great for Reds but not all land is cleared for .30 cal, but a .224 cal could double up as a Roe rifle, as well as fox and other vermin. I was also attracted to the Winchester power point factory cartridges that were 64gr at 3600 fps.
Browning Abolt 223 WSSM? These rifles are well built, smooth and really worth more than they are sold for in the UK. Elsewhere in the world, these are not seen as budget offerings as here. I purchased a couple of boxes of 64gr power point ammunition with my new rifle and was dismayed to find it was grouping 3 to 4 " at 100m. After checking everything I decided to bed the rifle with Devcon (and at the same time strip off the varnish for an oil finished stock). The rifle then shot just under 2" groups, which was acceptable for a deer rifle, but not great.
I see alot of uninformed people making fleeting statements about it being a barrel burner, but the factory Browning barrels were chrome lined, and during testing done by Browning to dispel the barrel burning myth, showed less wear than a standard 22-250 barrel. My experience is that I have yet to see a drop off in accuracy after 650 rounds, though there is some throat errosion, but again no more than I have seen on a comparrable 22-250.
This where the rifle started to show real potential, considering it is a lightweight stalking rifle. Loaded with 62gr Barnes TSX behind 47gr of Lovex S071 (Accurate 3100) returns groups of 0.75" at 3650 fps. The same bullet loaded behind 41gr of Vihtavuori N540 grouped around 0.8".
As a factory rifle with factory ammunition I can see why people have been dissapointed, but with a little patience, it is a rewarding rifle and calibre to own.