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  #1  
Old 01-30-2007, 07:16 AM
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The Great 35 Whelen


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I have always thought highly of the 338 Win Mag and the 35 Whelen for hunting heavy game, like Elk and Moose. For me, the 35 Whelen is a very practical round, I experience the recoil to be about the same as my 300 with 225 grain loads and a little more of a push with the 250 grainers. While my box of Fail Safe 180 grain 300 Win mag states the round is good on bear and loin, I would rather use something larger if confronted by either of these beasts! I have shot large bears some years ago and I do believe 338 and 358 rounds are most effective on the largest bears, I once shot a loin with a 375, but so did Mrs. Charles O'Connor with a 30-06.

The 35 Whelen is a nice backup gun to take on either an Elk hunt, or hunting in brush country for white tail with my lighter 308, while the 308 will do the job every time, the big 35 will not do it less well and it will not tear up any more meat than the smaller round. The same seems true with open country hunts, the 270 can get the job done, but the 300 will do it just as well and while both of these seem to tear up more meat at short ranges, the 300 does no more damage than the 270 Win. I do use heavy bullets for caliber; even my 30-30 uses 170 grain pills exclusively! While I like the 35 Whelen,

I was surprised to read this.
http://www.chuckhawks.com/35_caliber_family.htm

“The .350 can drive a 250 grain bullet to a MV of 2500 fps. That load has a maximum optimal range on 1000-pound game (like a big Alaskan moose or brown bear) of 151 yards. It will kill farther than that, of course, but that is its optimum range. The .270 WSM has an optimum range of only 28 yards on 1000 pound game with its 150 grain bullet at a MV of 3150 fps. The 7mm Rem. SAUM and 7mm WSM have an optimum range of only 13 yards max with their 160 grain bullets at a MV of 2960-2990 fps. The .300 Rem. SAUM and .300 WSM, with their 180 grain bullets at a MV of 2960-2970 fps, have an optimum range of 117-123 yards on 1000 pound animals”

I wish Hawks gave examples using common rounds most hunters my age have used, rather than these new-fangled cartridges than I think will soon be as moribund as the 8mm Rem. Mag!

Hawks might have either never heard about hand loading and premium cartridge loads or he would know that the 35 Whelen can out perform the 35 Rem Mag any day and twice on Sunday! It is just a better round in all respects and is only eclipsed by the 358 Norma Mag which also stands in front of the 338 and uses basically the same volume magnum case. It also kicks like a 340 Weatherby!

Mr. Hawks:
http://www.chuckhawks.com/hunting_bullet_guide1.htm

“I use Winchester's "CXP" (Controlled eXPansion) scale to describe the various classes of game animals, so if you are not familiar with it, please read the article "The CXP Rating System for Hunting Cartridges." I have previously written fairly extensively about the subject of hunting bullets, and most of those articles can be found in the same place, the Ammunition, Bullets and Ballistics index page of the Rifle Information Page here on Guns and Shooting Online. Links to all of the bullet makers mentioned in this series are provided on the Guns and Shooting Online Links Page”

http://www.chuckhawks.com/cxp.htm

However, there is no supplied physics (other than mass X caliber diameter X sectional density) to base this system in that one can examine, so it comes down to educated opinion, not hard physics. As a numbers person, I would like better proof from both the fields of physics and biology.

This system seems no more scientific than the Taylor Knock Our formula. Therefore, I did some calculations and came up with these for our rifles.

270 Win with 140 grain at 3,000 = 16.6
308 Win with 180 grain at 2,600 = 21.1
7mm Rem mag 175 grain at 2,850 = 20.2
300 Win mag 200 grain at 2,850 = 25.1
35 Whelen 225 grain at 2,700 = 31.1
35 Whelen 250 grain at 2550 = 32.6
338 Win mag 250 grain at 2,700 = 32.6

Note: the TKO is about equal to the caliber recoil with the exception of the 308 win and the 35 Whelen, which are less, 17lbs and 25 lbs respectably.

Of course, these are knock out numbers at the muzzle, but then again, so is the muzzle energy that it printed out on ammunition boxes. The real deal would be to look at a ballistics book and find the energy at the point of impact and then use that velocity to determine with the TKO is at that speed.

Using the Taylor formula we can compare some of the closer calibers, such as the .338 with the .358 and using a calculator or this online comparison calculator at
http://www.handloads.com/calc/quick.asp


At 200 yards, comparing the 35 Whelen with a 250 grain bullet with a 300 Win mag with a 200 grainer, it shows that at 200 yards the TKO of the Whelen is about equal to the 300 at the muzzle!

For the 338 Win mag the TKO is the same at muzzle but the energy highly favors the 338 at 4046 while the 35 Whelen comes in at 3609. The difference is a matter of how much one is willing to place emphasis on which figure. In all ways, the 338 wins out but the 35 Whelen has less recoil and can be used effectively as a deer rifle with Remington’s moderate 200 grain loads. The 338 mag is always a big game number in my opinion.

For fun I looked at the 375 H&H with the factory 300 grain; it comes out at 4330 ft.-lbs and a walloping TKO of 40!

Is all of this nonsense? That question has been discussed by many writers and so has the velocity argument and the terminal energy argument. The TKO while not being very scientific, is worth thinking about as a lose guide at best. However, there is some truth to an argument that suggests a big bullet will prove effectice on heavy game.


When it comes to recoil, the 35 Whelen will render about 22 lbs. With the Remington factory load, this is little different than a 30-06 with a 180 grain load at 20lbs in an 8 pound rifle. With hotter loads and heaver bullets, the Whelen will be on par with a 300 Win mag about 25lbs and the push will be slower. A 338 in a 9 pound rifle will kick out about 33lbs. If you think you might escape 338 rifle recoil with the new-fangled 325 WSM, forget it, at 32 lbs it is a 338 in an 8 pound rifle! I believe if you don’t need bullet weight over 200 grains, you don’t need a medium bore.

My best argument is nothing more than my own opinion, backed mainly by experience with some numerical facts thrown in for good measure. The 35 Whelen is, as Frank Barnes describes it, one of the “best balanced medium bore calibers available to the American hunter.” It has manageable recoil and can adopt itself well to most hunting situations.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2007, 08:42 AM
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A year or so ago I couldn't pass up a Rem 700 RMEF in .300 Win Mag. It had the camo stock adn was stainless.
I figured if I ever went elk hunting out West I'd like to have a gun ready to go.
About 3 months later I ran across a deal on a Rem 700 Classic in .35 Whelen for $300! Once I got it set up and shot it I knew I had all the gun I would ever need for an elk or moose hunt should the opprotunity arise.
I sold the RMEF gun a week after shooting the .35 Whelen!
I have 4 boxes of Fedreal Premium 225gr Trphy Bonded Bearclaws and 4 boxes of Remington 250gr Corelokt. I also got a RCBS reloading set for Christmas.
My .35 wears a Leupold 1.5-5X20 VAri-X III and so far I ahve been able to get decent groups at 100 yds. I am considering moving up to a VXIII 2.5-8X36 next.
Can't go wrong with the .35's in my book. I also own a Marlin 336C in .35 Rem that is a keeper.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:06 AM
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I have the Whelen, 358Win, and 35Rem and still amazed at their perfonace on game smiply steler! Seems at times writers write stuff they are not knowledgeble about.

On realy large game animals energy is not what matters it is the momentum of big bullets. Example an arrow only has to have enough momentum to push its broadhead into tissue to due damage tons of ft/bl is not necessary. Same with bullets all that is needed is a big bullet that expands and does damage through deep penitration. The Whelen has a track record of 250-300 yard lelality it seems dum to say it can't do what it has been doing for years. Example a 270WSM as good as it is, is not on par with the whelen for Browns, moose,and other realy big game. Nor would the whelen be good for a 400 yard mule deer gun.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:37 AM
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I'll take the .338 Win Mag over a 35 cal any day. I'd say the .338 Win Mag is just about the perfect grizzly gun.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2007, 10:39 AM
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Game, especially larger game, react a whole lot different, when hit by a medium bore, then by a small bore caliber, the small bore seems to hit the game like a needle, while the medium seems to hit them like a hammer. I'm a medium bore fan, definently.
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2007, 11:38 AM
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[QUOTE=Charshooter]Hawks might have either never heard about hand loading and premium cartridge loads or he would know that the 35 Whelen can out perform the 35 Rem Mag any day and twice on Sunday! It is just a better round in all respects and is only eclipsed by the 358 Norma Mag which also stands in front of the 338 and uses basically the same volume magnum case. QUOTE]

With due respect, I cannot agree that the 35 WHelen is superior to the 350 Rem mag...equal, maybe...superior, no.

Sure you can jack up the 35 whelen and run it at higher pressures than SAAMI says...good luck with that as a way of life.

I have rifles in both cartridges...both are great (must be, because I own them). The 350 RM operates at higher pressure than the 35 WHelen and can be called the first "SHort mag".

I find velocities and recoil fairly comparable.
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  #7  
Old 01-30-2007, 12:07 PM
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I know that both the 350 RM and 35 Whelen are very similar in velocities but I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Whelen handles the heavier bullets a little better.
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2007, 01:06 PM
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sometimes we need to be more specific on what we refer to as caliber. The 338 can't beat the the 358 cal in the same case just like the 308 can't beat the 338 in the same case.
The 338Win is better than the 35 whelen but not the 358 Norma. But the 35Whelen does not recoil as much and is about the same for on game performance out to say 275 yards.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2007, 02:20 PM
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You all are forgetting about the supreme .35, the .358 STA
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2007, 04:49 PM
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A close friend of mine moved to Alaska last year. He wanted one rifle that was bigger than his stand by .30-06, but was worried about the recoil of a .338 or .375. I suggested a .35 Whelen. He had never heard of it, but quickly did some research. Shortly after that, he bought a Whelen in Rem 700 CDL and 10 boxes of Federal Trophy 225gr Bonded Bear Claws which are now out of production.

He loves it. Moose, Caribou, Bear. He is having a ball, I am quite jealous!
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2007, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1Garand
I know that both the 350 RM and 35 Whelen are very similar in velocities but I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Whelen handles the heavier bullets a little better.
That may be true for the Remington 350 mag rifles that have a slower twist (1 in 16) than the Ruger Mk2's (1 in 12). But how many folks are buying 35 WHelens or 350 Rem mags to shoot 300 grain bullets?

And the Remington Model 700 rifles in 35 Whelen have the same 1 in 16 twist as the 350 Rem mag rifles.
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  #12  
Old 01-31-2007, 06:42 AM
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I've loaded for both the .350 Rem Mag and .35 Whelens. My .350 was in a 660 Rem (20" BBL) with a very short action which limited the OAL and powder capacity of the "original short magnum" cartridge when loaded with the longer 250gr bullets. It is also loaded to higher pressure than the 35 Whelen which is fully capable of handling 52,000CUP in a "modern" actions (most reloading manuals load it down for the "custom" made "wildcats" of "yesteryear"). Ballistically loaded the same there is little difference. I personally like the '06 case length of the Whelen because it feeds easier then the .350, while you can stuff one more cartridge in the magazine. Counter that with a lighter, shorter action in the .350 and you can come up with the reason .35's got the undeserved reputation as "kickers". In like weight guns there is no difference in recoil (not much more than a '06). The Whelen is my "big game beltless magnum" that will do every thing a .338 Mag will do to 250 yards (Bodington's words paraphased, and he is a big .338 fan!) without the extra recoil, weight and barrel length; that's why I have two. If I think I need more power, I'll take out my .375 H&H . Riley

Last edited by riley; 01-31-2007 at 06:44 AM.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2007, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leverite
That may be true for the Remington 350 mag rifles that have a slower twist (1 in 16) than the Ruger Mk2's (1 in 12). But how many folks are buying 35 WHelens or 350 Rem mags to shoot 300 grain bullets?

And the Remington Model 700 rifles in 35 Whelen have the same 1 in 16 twist as the 350 Rem mag rifles.

If I remember correctly...seems what I read was referring to the 250 grn bullets.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:15 PM
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It does seem funny Remingtom would go with a 1/16 twist and not a 1/12, but I have not heard any complaints about the Remington rifle. I would think it would have problems not stabalizing the 250 grain, since the 338 mag uses 1/10, it seems the slightly larger but slower 35 would have setteled on the 1/12 as Ruger has done.

I thought it was strange that Remington waisted the potentila of that load by making it weak to work through the automatic action. The real specs on that round should, like the 30-06 in new rifles be the same as the 270, or any new round made for the new metals used in todays actions.

In a way, Remington antiquated the 35 Whellen ilke the 30-06 loads needs to be. Yet the new light magnum loads are hotter than the old specs and made for new rifles. Just like the 45 Colt has a new Ruger only pressure and the 45-70 has a new Marlin and a a higher Ruger presure. If the 35 whellen is loaded to the same specs as the 270 or 280, then it will out perform the 350 Rem with the 250 gr bullet.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:18 PM
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gee-wiz I can see I should have waited to have my wife edit that post. I wonder why women can always write and spell so much better than men, yet cant do higher math, seems like she says it is all in the brain.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2007, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charshooter
It does seem funny Remingtom would go with a 1/16 twist and not a 1/12, but I have not heard any complaints about the Remington rifle. I would think it would have problems not stabalizing the 250 grain, since the 338 mag uses 1/10, it seems the slightly larger but slower 35 would have setteled on the 1/12 as Ruger has done.

I thought it was strange that Remington waisted the potentila of that load by making it weak to work through the automatic action. The real specs on that round should, like the 30-06 in new rifles be the same as the 270, or any new round made for the new metals used in todays actions.

In a way, Remington antiquated the 35 Whellen ilke the 30-06 loads needs to be. Yet the new light magnum loads are hotter than the old specs and made for new rifles. Just like the 45 Colt has a new Ruger only pressure and the 45-70 has a new Marlin and a a higher Ruger presure. If the 35 whellen is loaded to the same specs as the 270 or 280, then it will out perform the 350 Rem with the 250 gr bullet.
Hold your horses, the Light Mag loads, use 2 different types of powders, to get their velocities, they may be faster, but they arn't necessesarily "hotter"
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:37 PM
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Oh,
I didn’t know that, but I can understand, just like that new little 338 Federal. I do still think the 35 Whelen could have been loaded to higher velocities by Remington had they not wanted to make it work in the Automatic rifle and I know Nosler does load it at 2725 fps with a 225 grainer and I think it was 2550 with the 250 grain.

I would hope powder soon becomes available for the hand loader that will compare well to any of those light magnum loads. I have loaded the 35 Whelen with available powders and the 250 to that velocity without pressure problems, but have never got 2725 with the 225-grain, that is quite Impressive.

I agree with you the 338 Win. Mag is more gun and a better choice for the man who can shoot it well.
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charshooter
Oh,
I didn’t know that, but I can understand, just like that new little 338 Federal. I do still think the 35 Whelen could have been loaded to higher velocities by Remington had they not wanted to make it work in the Automatic rifle and I know Nosler does load it at 2725 fps with a 225 grainer and I think it was 2550 with the 250 grain.

I would hope powder soon becomes available for the hand loader that will compare well to any of those light magnum loads. I have loaded the 35 Whelen with available powders and the 250 to that velocity without pressure problems, but have never got 2725 with the 225-grain, that is quite Impressive.

I agree with you the 338 Win. Mag is more gun and a better choice for the man who can shoot it well.
The 35 Whelen, is still a darned fine cartridge, it'll knock anything in NA on its rump, for sure.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:36 PM
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Angry

...I have had my .35Whelen dies for five years and have yet to get a rifle chambered in it. Just haven't come across the right one, yet.

Jim
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Old 02-03-2007, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DakotaElkSlayer
...I have had my .35Whelen dies for five years and have yet to get a rifle chambered in it. Just haven't come across the right one, yet.

Jim
I suppose there are a hundred recommendations you could be given for the RIGHT ONE, but here is one that I'm waiting on. Cooper Arms is coming out with a model 52 in 35 whelen sometime this year. An expensive but beautiful bolt that maybe is just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully my medical insurance will cover the cost.
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