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The newest craze for short and fat cartridges seems to be snowballing and more chamberings are sure to follow. While I understand the theoretical advantages, my chronograph and the targets I have shot don't. Of course, mine is a very limited experience with just one chambering, the 270WSM, as compared to the 270 Win.

Free from defending a major advertiser, I am asking for learned comments on wheather the Short and Fat is really a marketing excercise that will fade with time or if there are significant advantages to the new wunder rounds beyond mere velocity? Too, it seems that Winchester has outdone the competition. Why?


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Well, I am not a writer and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but, I think the only advantage in them is they allow for a shorter action. To an old fart like me used to Winchester 70's in 30-06 it has little appeal to me. There will always be some that want the newest high speed low drag anything to hit the market, therefore, as good good capitalist should, the gun and ammo makers provide it. Nothing wrong with that, keeps the economy rolling.

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Too, it seems that Winchester has outdone the competition. Why?


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My personal feeling is that there is no ballistic advantage to being short/fat. For instance, the .300 WSM has the roughly the case capacity of the .300 H&H and it performs like a .300 H&H (duh). Yes, it is a bit nice to be able to have H&H performance with a short action, but I've never seen any particular mechanical advantage to a �-inch shorter bolt throw.

Will the new short/fat cartridges give more velocity with less powder? Nope. Will the short/fats give superior accuracy simply because they are short/fat? I don't think so.

When it comes down to accuracy, the four B's come into play. Accuracy comes from superb Barrels, Bullets, Bedding and Brass.

In my mind (which is admittedly cluttered), case shape means absolutely nothing. Case shape can, however, facilitate handloading and feeding. Longer, slightly tapered cases tend to feed better and minimum-taper cases with sharp shoulders (Ackley) tend to stretch less. Short cases, especially minimum-taper ones, are difficult feeders.

Back to your original question, my feeling is there is no magic in short and fat, other than they are cool and new. And there is a lot of allure in that.

The fact that they ARE new should tell you that the cases are made on new dies and with the most recent technology, indicating that the brass is likely to be first-rate.

We have all watched the PPCs sweep the benchrest matches. My personal feeling is that if .223 (or 6-45) cases were made with the same care that the PPCs are if the same percentage of shooters were shooting them, you'd have a dead heat. My opinion only.

Having said all of the above, I am not a scientist. I just muddle with wildcats and have a lifetime of experience in the field.

Steve


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Well, I am a scientist -- or so my Bachelor's degree says (never mind that it's a BS! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />) and know a little about theory. I also know a little about reality and a bit about how theory and reality get along together.

Sound, proven theory (theory that's also reality) says that the Law of the Inverse Square favors shorter, fatter cases with the same capacity, because they put all the powder closer to the primer for more-uniform ignition.

But the magnitude of the advantage is probably too slight to worry about. Once again, I have to quote the late Homer Powley's very pertinent parallel. I'd just said something about how often we know that a certain factor is involved in ballistics but it doesn't have enough influence or effect to deserve practical consideration. Homer immediately said "That's right. The moon affects the trajectory but not enough to worry about."

I suspect -- not having messed with any of the new short-fats -- that their interior-ballistics superiority is about as great as the moon's gravitational tug on the bullet. The moon affects the oceans (tides) visibly and measurably, of course -- but then there's a heck of a lot more mass in the oceans than there is in any bullet, and gravitational attraction is proportional to the masses of the moon and the oceans -- or the moon and the bullet in flight.

The big real attraction of the short-fats is that the day the first one appeared, the multitude of buyers who HAD had the latest and greatest suddenly became -- overnight -- a step behind the market. No one can make any of the new short-fats out of a .30-06 case.

At the writers' seminar where Remington introduced their 8mm magnum, the Remington people (as they usually do at those affairs) proudly told the group how great the new cartridge would be for Remington's sales, their market research that led to it, etc. When they finished and asked for questions, Elmer asked "What's it good for?" The other writers got a kick out of his question but totally missed his meaning. He wasn't questioning its usefulness (IMO), just pointing-out the crucial practical point that shooters want to know but the proud presenters had not addressed at all.

Their usefulness to shooters and their ballistic superiority aren't the main reasons for any of these new announcements, IMO. "It's the sales, Stupid!" Cash flow, not interior or exterior ballistics, is the primary advantage offered by the short-fats. It may be their only claim to fame for all I know. I'm not sure that there's any real, practical ballistic advantage -- or that it's significant if there is one.

(But what do I know? My dad, stumped by a question on a test, poked a hole in his paper with his pencil, drew a circle around it, and wrote "All I ever knew about ____ just went through this hole." When he got his paper back, the professor had circled the hole on the other side of the paper, with the note "It hasn't come out this side." <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> )


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I agree with you, DZ... I think the sales departments of the various firearms manufacturers have come up with a way to increase their rifle sales... "invent" a new cartridge and pretend it makes a "difference"... then build these "short-action" rifles... and hope that "they-will-come" (to buy them).

Trust me, a 130 lb. deer won't know the "difference" between being hit by a 150 grain .300 Savage bullet (introduced in 1920) or a much newer 150 grain, .308 Winchester bullet. With anything close to a decently-placed shot from either caliber, the deer will fall down... later to become vension steaks & roasts on the hunter's table.

My handloaded .300 Savage hunting rounds at close to 2700 fps out of the 24-inch barrel of my 50 year old, but in "like new" condition, Model 99E Savage lever-action rifle, a rifle model introduced over 100 years ago (in 1899) consistently averages 3-shot groups of 3/4ths of an inch or less... and has fired SEVERAL 3-shot groups UNDER 2/10ths of an inch... one as small as (believe it or not) .112-inches measured with my dial calipers. Frankly, I don't feel "under-gunned" when I take to the deer woods to look for my annual venison.

Sure... there are NEWER rifles sporting NEWER calibers. My very good friend and bestest hunting buddy has one of Col. Cooper's $2000+ Steyr "Scouts" in .308 Winchester... and it's a really neat little rifle, but the 150 grain bullet coming out of its 20-inch barrel isn't moving as fast as the same bullet coming out of my rifle's 24-inch barrel... so WHO is at a "disadvantage"?

The point is... deer and other game animals haven't suddenly become "armor plated". They are still "harested" annually by such old rounds as the .45-70, the .30/30, the .303 Savage, the .250/3000 and possibly even the old .25/20 on occasion.

We really don't NEED a .30/.378 Weatherby... or the various new "short, fat" cartridges that only DUPLICATE what we've already got in "across-the-board" caliber performance to kill a 130 lb deer at 80 yards.

"Hype" still sells things... and there's a tremendous amount of "ballistic duplication" going on right now in the firearms field... especially in hunting rifles. Every time I read a new "rifle report" in one of the gun magazines, I find the rifle comes in an even SHORTER "new and improved" round.

Why, shucky-darn, I wouldn't be surprised to find a "report" on a new round called the .308 RSSF&O (".308 Really Short, Squat, Fat & Obese"). Hehe... YEAHHHHH... RIGHTTTTT !!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Strength & Honor...

Ron T.


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How do you get a 2/10s group with bullets that are larger than 3/10s ???


















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Measuring center-to-center, of course.


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I think they are here to stay..I here and read lots of interesting stories about wildcatting and using long barrels to eek out those last few FPS. As far as I know they are the fastest Short action rounds available so that makes them king of the hill..

My real interest is in the .270 variety..so far I haven't been disappointed in its performance and ease of finding a good shooting load.

I'll be testing some 150's tomorrow I hope..

Mike


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Not a rocket scientist or a writer but if you check the 300 WSM it's ballistics match the 300 Win mag but it requires 10% less powder which means slightly less cost, and less kick (check the kick equation it has the powder weight). Shorter action means stronger action = potentially more accurate gun. Powder burn's at a rate of feet per second and the powder gets pushed down the bore as it's burning. Since it's wider instead of longer you get better powder burn in a short fatty, than you'd get in a tall and slim load. Last but not least with slightly less case capacity you get compressed loads with more powders which is typically more accurate, and much easier to verify you have the right amount of powder by eye which is safer.

Bad stuff, less rounds in the magazine, but you should only need one shot anyway.

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Tracks�

It's like Ken said, the measurement is "center-to-center" on the widest separated bullet holes.

Let�s define a �group� for our purposes. Generally, to a hunter, a �group� consists of 3 shots �clumped together on the paper target. For a bench rest shooter and often a varmint hunter, a �group� consists of 5 shots clumped together on a paper target.

The reason hunters tend to use only 3 shots is because it is highly unlikely that a deer or other animal will stand there while you shoot 5 shots at it. So what�s the point of a 5-shot group for a hunter?

On the other hand, for a target (bench rest) shooter� and often for a varmint hunter who takes long shots at very small targets, a 5-shot group is a better measurement of the performance of the round which is being evaluated.

Ok� now, as to measuring the group� there�s two ways� and they�ll both end up at the same conclusion. You can measure a group by going from the center of one bullet hole to the center of another bullet hole that is the greatest distance apart. This method is called measuring a group �center-to-center� (of the bullet holes furthest apart).

Or� you can measure from the outside edge of one bullet hole to the outside edge of the bullet hole in the group which is the greatest distance from the first bullet hole, then subtract the diameter of the bullet from that measurement to get the size of the group.

I used the 2nd example (just above)to measure my groups because it is often very difficult to correctly measure �center-to-center� when the bullets just make one ragged bullet hole in the paper target. In several cases, the extreme spread of the group was a half inch or less and contained three shots. The smallest �group� measured a total maximum size of .42 inches or 42/100ths of an inch. Since I was shooting a .300 Savage, the bullet diameter was .308 inches.

And so, the math would be .420 - .308 = .112 inches (a tad over 1/10th of an inch of the displaced bullet holes center-to-center). A few other groups measure a total width of about a half inch or .5 inches. The math then was .500 - .308 = .192 inches or a 3-shot group measuring slightly less than 2/10ths of an inch.

And that�s where I got the �2/10ths of an inch�. I hope my explanation is clear to you. If not, tell me what you don�t understand and I�ll try to clarify it for you. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Good Shooting!!!

Ron T.


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OK, I had pretty much worked that out. If I understand it ,what you would have is a single oblong hole Just less than 1/2 inch at its widest point, right?


















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Tracks......

Right...... actually, three intermingled bullet holes forming a very small "clover-leaf".......


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Well, I own a 300WSM.

It recoils about the same as a 300 WLM, <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> maybe a little, teeny, weeny bit less, not enough to bother measuring or calculating. If one cannot handle the recoil of a 300WLM, then the 300WSM is NOT the answer.

It is very acurate, but many 300 WLM's are very accurate, too.

It might weigh an ounce or two less than a comparable 300 WLM.

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The short mags offer better headspace control over belted cases. Their rifles can be a little bit shorter also.

The WSM's got to the market first. This was a big advantage. Also the WSM's have an attractive look to them and the SAUM's look small in comparison. The 300 WSM in particular has attractive lines. The way it's going with Remington I don't think any of their short mags will make it.
Same for them with the 6.5 RM and 350 RM.

The low aspect ratio cartridges have to be a better combustion vessel. "If you don't know how to make something then make it round. If you can't make it round then make it square"

None of the short mags are at the maximum case capacity for their bores but the 270 WSM comes close. So they are just reasonable cartridges that will work well (in theory).

In general new cartridges are fun. It's about time we phased out those belts. Next I would like to see a standard length magnum based on that Jeffery case.

The early marketing hype on the WSSM's was that they would have superior accuracy. The proof will be in the shooting.

I know the .300 H&H is a sentimental favorite. Lot's of riflemen want one. It's really not a very good cartridge. My old M 70 in 300 H&H is a big, heavy and clumsy rifle as compared to the WSM rifles today.

I would much rather have a WSM. I have said it before and I will say it again that we fell back a century when the Newton, Shuler or Jeffrey cartridges failed to catch on.

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There are certain things that just come together and offer superior performance to the status quo. The 222 Rem was the king of the bench for several years it offered great accuracy, the basis for this round was a scaled down 30-06 an accurate round it self. The 50 BMG is an up scaled 06 another accurate round. Then came the PPC a different approach that worked. So why not copy it? The PPC is one of those things that just plain works but it may not be the answer when significantly altered. But a new cartridge sure makes for good press.

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Actually the "fastest" of the shorties are the Lazzeronis. I have a 30-cal Patriot that apporaches Weatherby velocities and I have a 375-caliber Hellcat that will do 2600 fps with a 300 gr Nosler.

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Highly bottlenecked cartridges definetly reduce pressures AND increase velocity -without changing anything else. It's FREE, and SIGNIFICANT. Less of a powder slug being pushed I guess.


Not a scientist, but I suspect shoulder angles could be optimized to reduce turbulence and alter the pressure curve in a desired way also. Friction reduced bullets offer similar potential, But other adjustments have to be made.
Lot of other things. Maybe even something that hasn't been done already.
We should embrace change. Crawl out of the tarpits and try em.

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What's not to like about more beer in the same sized container?!?

Strike another one up to Yankee Ingenuity and put me aboard that train.......................


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Short and Fat?

Boy, you guys really sucked me in. I clicked on this thread thinking that we were going to talk about my first wife.

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John G,

What were you drinking (or how much rather) when you managed to get stuck with that? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

Speaking of cartridges we don't need, with the 30-06 already out, what was the point of the 300 Win. Mag.? Just a belt and "magnum" printed on the bottom?

I'm all for the short and fat. Now, the super short and fat are a different story.

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