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  #1  
Old 12-29-2011, 12:00 AM
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Range ? for .350 Rem and 35 Whelen shooters


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I'm trying to decide which rifle to concentrate on making my primary for a future elk hunt. The candidates are a 24" M70 7mm WSM with 160 grain TBBCs or 160 grain Winchester XP3s, or a Ruger 77 .350 Remington Magnum with a 22" barrel. The 7mm shoots very flat and I feel comfortable with it out to 350 yards (400 if the wind is still). With a 250 yd zero, it is no more than 3.3" high at 100 and 150 and -8.5" at 350 and -15" 400. I know I cannot get this same trajectory performance out of the .350, but I am trying to determine what load will be best. And I know at closer range, it's bigger hole is better medicine and it's a handier gun to carry, so there are trade-offs. My first question is: will 200 Grain Barnes TSX FBs do a good job on elk, or do you really need 225 grain pills? I mean, I am sure it will kill fine at 200 yards and in, but in that range envelop even the slower 250 grain bullet would shoot fine. Specifically, how would the 200 grain TSX FB penetrate and expand in the 200 to 400 yard window?

Barnes data says the max load for a .350 Rem Mag with a 20" barrel runs up to 2943 fps with TAP. This seems really good, so I assume I should be able to safely approach at least 2900 fps with my 22" barrel. I have not used Barnes bullets or TAP before, so does 2900 fps seem like a reasonable goal for the Ruger? That's question number two.

This 2900 fps target is important for on paper anyway, for it gets us to -7" at 300 and -14.5" at 350 (with a 225 yard zero). While not near as flat as the 7mm, I think I could live with those numbers.

Finally, how far do the other .35 shooters (.358, .350, Whelen) feel they can stretch out and what bullets do you use? I was surprised Barnes data was hotter for the 200 grain .350 and slightly hotter for the 225 gain bullets (than the Whelen.) I am sure the Whelen would do better with 250 or heavier bullets, but I gunning for Elk here, not something that is going to eat me, so it's not really important. I just don't want to sacrifice TOO MUCH range under what the 7mm will give me. Penetration with an exit wound is premium to me. I know from experience that the 7mm 160 grain Trophy Bondeds will mushroom perfectly, but tend not to exit is many cases. Of course on very good hits, it does not matter, but things do not always go perfectly in the field. I have heard great things about Barnes penetration, but does a 200 grain Barnes of .358 diameter really penetrate THAT well at these ranges? Remember, it moving at about 1850 fps at 350 yds vs 2375 fps for the 160 gr 7mm WSM pill. Which would you feel better with?
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2011, 02:54 AM
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I've never shot anything but deer with my Whelen, but it is the equal to the .338Win Mag factory loads out to 300yds when the Whelen is feed good 250gr. handloads. Start a Speer 250gr Hot-Cor to 2500-2600fps and you can kill any elk out to 400yds with little trouble.

It is truely a great cartridge for all types of game at all types of ranges and is too often thought of as only a "woods" cartridge.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2011, 07:14 AM
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I've used 225 grain Nosler partitions on both Elk, and Moose out of my M77 Hawkeye in 35 Whelen. Not everyone's rifle likes the partitions. I like the 225 because it gives me that balance between weight and speed that I'm looking for. I have a rifle range here at the house that goes to 350 yards, and the Whelen is more than capable of 300 yards. I just laugh when someone tells me its a 250 yards and in cartridge...They spend to much time repeating what everyone else says and not enough time on the range. I've not had an Elk or Moose go more than 10yards when hit square in the shoulder with this load.

For Whitetails I load Speer 220gr and this is like hitting them with a frozen pumpkin, It takes the air out of them pretty quick.

Your 7MM is just as well suited for the task, and will get the job done, with a little more of an extend range. I used a .280 on elk with 162gr Hornady and 160 speer grand slams both performed well and made short work. So based on that I know the 7mm WSM would have no issues.

You have a win win decision

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  #4  
Old 12-29-2011, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Bird Dog II View Post

Finally, how far do the other .35 shooters (.358, .350, Whelen) feel they can stretch out and what bullets do you use? I was surprised Barnes data was hotter for the 200 grain .350 and slightly hotter for the 225 gain bullets (than the Whelen.) I am sure the Whelen would do better with 250 or heavier bullets, but I gunning for Elk here, not something that is going to eat me, so it's not really important.
I've whacked a few with a .35 Whelen, and the .350 is just a short, fat Whelen. Both have plenty of HP for elk, and though the Whelen is likely better at eating 250gr bullets due to limited magazine and throat length on the .350, 250gr bullets are not really necessary to kill elk really dead.

My thought on distances for elk are that I would not care to shoot past 300-325yds with anything. 100yds would be perfect, but elk are not that cooperative most of the time. For my shooting, I feel premium bullets are not really necessary, as either cartridge is below the speeds that blow hunting bullets up. I have used Sierra 225gr BTSP's, and they have been very good for accuracy, (the Nosler NP's don't shoot for beans in my rifle).

I think the Sierra 225 may have been designed with the .350 in mind, as it's quite a bit shorter than other 225's. One of the guys I swap posts with on another forum has good things to say about the Barnes 225gr TSX in the Whelen, but they are a bit on the long side, and I have no experience with them in a .350. ??

For velocities, the Whelen will hit 2700fps easily with the Sierra bullet, and I'm pretty sure there's enough space in the .350 to match that even with a 22" barrel. My CDL Whelen sighted in 2" high at 100yds, is 8" low at 300yds, and on the money at 200. Even at the longest ranges, a high lung hold will pile 'em up at 300yds.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:37 AM
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For the Whelen, two choices are tops in my opinion. 225 grain Barnes TSX and the 225 grain Trophy Bonded Bearclaws. Great elk medicine!
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2011, 11:37 AM
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I've used my 35 Whelen Imp with 225 Acubonds on white tail out past 350 yards and it did the trick all right. The 350 Rem Mag holds a little more powder than the Whelen does and is a little faster, I wouldn't blink an eye to use eigther one. Now as far as elk are concerned I think I'd keep my shots to a distance you are comfortable at shooting accurately. I think the barns bullets would be a good choice, either 200 or 225 grainers.
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2011, 05:56 AM
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Personally I would go with the 35 Whelen. I have a reamer for it and 358 Win. I have a 358 Win built but not a 35 Whelen as yet.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2011, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird Dog II View Post
I'm trying to decide which rifle to concentrate on making my primary for a future elk hunt. The candidates are a 24" M70 7mm WSM with 160 grain TBBCs or 160 grain Winchester XP3s, or a Ruger 77 .350 Remington Magnum with a 22" barrel. The 7mm shoots very flat and I feel comfortable with it out to 350 yards (400 if the wind is still). With a 250 yd zero, it is no more than 3.3" high at 100 and 150 and -8.5" at 350 and -15" 400. I know I cannot get this same trajectory performance out of the .350, but I am trying to determine what load will be best. And I know at closer range, it's bigger hole is better medicine and it's a handier gun to carry, so there are trade-offs. My first question is: will 200 Grain Barnes TSX FBs do a good job on elk, or do you really need 225 grain pills? I mean, I am sure it will kill fine at 200 yards and in, but in that range envelop even the slower 250 grain bullet would shoot fine. Specifically, how would the 200 grain TSX FB penetrate and expand in the 200 to 400 yard window?

Barnes data says the max load for a .350 Rem Mag with a 20" barrel runs up to 2943 fps with TAP. This seems really good, so I assume I should be able to safely approach at least 2900 fps with my 22" barrel. I have not used Barnes bullets or TAP before, so does 2900 fps seem like a reasonable goal for the Ruger? That's question number two.

This 2900 fps target is important for on paper anyway, for it gets us to -7" at 300 and -14.5" at 350 (with a 225 yard zero). While not near as flat as the 7mm, I think I could live with those numbers.

Finally, how far do the other .35 shooters (.358, .350, Whelen) feel they can stretch out and what bullets do you use? I was surprised Barnes data was hotter for the 200 grain .350 and slightly hotter for the 225 gain bullets (than the Whelen.) I am sure the Whelen would do better with 250 or heavier bullets, but I gunning for Elk here, not something that is going to eat me, so it's not really important. I just don't want to sacrifice TOO MUCH range under what the 7mm will give me. Penetration with an exit wound is premium to me. I know from experience that the 7mm 160 grain Trophy Bondeds will mushroom perfectly, but tend not to exit is many cases. Of course on very good hits, it does not matter, but things do not always go perfectly in the field. I have heard great things about Barnes penetration, but does a 200 grain Barnes of .358 diameter really penetrate THAT well at these ranges? Remember, it moving at about 1850 fps at 350 yds vs 2375 fps for the 160 gr 7mm WSM pill. Which would you feel better with?
Although, as some others here, I've not killed an elk with any of my Whelens, I have killed a good amount of deer with them and at some longer (200+ yards) ranges. I also own a 7mmSAUM and a .350 RM along with a .358. The .350 & .35W are virtually ballistic twins and would be, in my opinion, head & shoulders above the 7mm for ranges out to 350+ yards.

A .350 should be able to see the velocity you've mentioned with a 200gr TSX, or at least very close. Figuring 2850 FPS(22" barrel), the remaining velocity should actually be 2,200+ at 300 yards and 2,000+ FPS at 400 yards. Residual energy numbers should show nearly 2200 FPE at 300 yards and 1800+ FPE at 400 yards as well. I found the 200gr TSX at 2870 FPS to be a very flat shooter in my 24" Encore Whelen. The added length of the TSX should make it as long as a typical 225gr bullet and I'd say from what I've seen (again, admittedly not on an elk) penetration will be excellent.

For what it's worth, should I need to make the decision you're looking to, I'd absolutely go with the larger bore and the .350 RM shooting that very fine Barnes bullet, either in 200 or 225gr. Best of luck!
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Last edited by Tnhunter; 12-30-2011 at 02:13 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2011, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnhunter View Post
For what it's worth, should I need to make the decision you're looking to, I'd absolutely go with the larger bore and the .350 RM shooting that very fine Barnes bullet, either in 200 or 225gr. Best of luck!
A Speculative Response:

I grew up with a Jack O'Connor tatoo. I have many of his books, and read every one almost every year.

I also have a couple Elmer Keith originals, and have considered the experience of both when heading for the woods.

The last 45 years of shooting critters from ME to AZ, have left me with the sense that, much as I love Jack's position of bullet placement (I'm actually a bowhunter with faith in placement), there is a distinct advantage to bullet caliber and weight. Many comparisons are made, but a .35 Remington will flatten deer faster than a .243. I've poked a few with both, and a Whelen has more slam than a 7mm Mag. I've shot a lot of critters with both of those.

Heading for CO or WY for elk, I want my Whelens.
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2011, 08:37 PM
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I carry 225 gr TSX loads at about 2800 fps (using Tac). Ballistics are similar to a 180 gr, 30-06 bullet from my 22" 350 RM.

Figure I'm good to about 300 yards, but hopefully never have to try that long a shot.

I'm working up short range loads for my 35 Whelen using 250 gr Hornady bullets. Seems the places I hunt elk are getting more overgrown every year.

I don't see any use for 200 grainers in a 350 RM or a 35 W for elk. Although they could do the job, if you want that light a bullet, just use a 30-06 or 300 WSM and get a better BC. I'm limited by the short mag in my Rem 873, but it handles the 225 gr TSX very well. In the RUger, you can load them out a little farther.
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Last edited by leverite; 12-31-2011 at 10:13 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2011, 11:27 AM
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I just picked up a great condition black plastic, carbine 7600 in a 35 Remington. I plan to reload the 35, Whelen & 350 RemMag this coming year with the new Barnes 180gr. TTSX. The bullet will be a screamer and flat shooter for all three of my rifles. I am excited to see how the 180 grainer works in the 7600 carbine. After seeing the penetration and lethality of a 243 Barnes 85grainer on a big NC mtns. whitetail this year and reading what Barnes says about using small weight bullets I believe it. I believe the big grain bullets will start to go by the wayside.
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2011, 01:21 PM
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I just picked up a great condition black plastic, carbine 7600 in a 35 Remington. I plan to reload the 35, Whelen & 350 RemMag this coming year with the new Barnes 180gr. TTSX. The bullet will be a screamer and flat shooter for all three of my rifles. I am excited to see how the 180 grainer works in the 7600 carbine. After seeing the penetration and lethality of a 243 Barnes 85grainer on a big NC mtns. whitetail this year and reading what Barnes says about using small weight bullets I believe it. I believe the big grain bullets will start to go by the wayside.

Doubletap loads that bullet to 3,000 FPS for the Whelen. It flies as flat as a typical .300 WM 180gr load to 300 yards or so (-7" with a 200 yd zero). A very interesting concept, with all that frontal area and a stoutly made bullet! And, if sighted in properly can have a 300 yard MPBR too.
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  #13  
Old 01-01-2012, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tnhunter View Post
Doubletap loads that bullet to 3,000 FPS for the Whelen. It flies as flat as a typical .300 WM 180gr load to 300 yards or so (-7" with a 200 yd zero). A very interesting concept, with all that frontal area and a stoutly made bullet! And, if sighted in properly can have a 300 yard MPBR too.
It seem counter intuitive (to everything I ever knew about ballistics) that a 180 grain bullet with a large surface area (like the .358 180 grain TSX) could penetrate as well as a slower, longer 225 grain bullet. If true, it is intriguing.
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  #14  
Old 01-01-2012, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bird Dog II View Post
It seem counter intuitive (to everything I ever knew about ballistics) that a 180 grain bullet with a large surface area (like the .358 180 grain TSX) could penetrate as well as a slower, longer 225 grain bullet. If true, it is intriguing.

I'm not so sure it would penetrate as well. However, I think it makes the .35 Whelen a great long range deer rifle as well as a fine medium bore for larger game at moderate to long ranges. In other words, it gives you great .338 WM type performance with 225 & 250gr loads and also .300WM (and .270 Win?) type trajectory performance with 180gr loads.
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2012, 02:57 PM
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Well here is the ballistic chart of the .350/.35 Whelen with a Barnes 180 (.295 BC) and a 225 yard zero:

<table width="80%"><tbody><tr><th align="right" width="50">Range</th><th align="right" width="50">Velocity</th><th align="right" width="50">Impact</th><th align="right" width="50">Drop</th><th align="right" width="50">ToF</th><th align="right" width="50">Energy</th><th align="right" width="50">Drift</th></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">0</td><td align="right" width="50">3000</td><td align="right" width="50">-0.5</td><td align="right" width="50">0</td><td align="right" width="50">0</td><td align="right" width="50">3597</td><td align="right" width="50">0</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">50</td><td align="right" width="50">2829</td><td align="right" width="50">1.72</td><td align="right" width="50">0.61</td><td align="right" width="50">0.05</td><td align="right" width="50">3199</td><td align="right" width="50">0.69</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">100</td><td align="right" width="50">2672</td><td align="right" width="50">2.86</td><td align="right" width="50">2.3</td><td align="right" width="50">0.11</td><td align="right" width="50">2854</td><td align="right" width="50">1.47</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">150</td><td align="right" width="50">2521</td><td align="right" width="50">2.76</td><td align="right" width="50">5.22</td><td align="right" width="50">0.17</td><td align="right" width="50">2540</td><td align="right" width="50">2.8</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">200</td><td align="right" width="50">2375</td><td align="right" width="50">1.3</td><td align="right" width="50">9.51</td><td align="right" width="50">0.23</td><td align="right" width="50">2255</td><td align="right" width="50">4.72</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">250</td><td align="right" width="50">2235</td><td align="right" width="50">-1.71</td><td align="right" width="50">15.35</td><td align="right" width="50">0.29</td><td align="right" width="50">1997</td><td align="right" width="50">7.29</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">300</td><td align="right" width="50">2099</td><td align="right" width="50">-6.47</td><td align="right" width="50">22.94</td><td align="right" width="50">0.36</td><td align="right" width="50">1761</td><td align="right" width="50">10.57</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">350</td><td align="right" width="50">1968</td><td align="right" width="50">-13.21</td><td align="right" width="50">32.51</td><td align="right" width="50">0.44</td><td align="right" width="50">1548</td><td align="right" width="50">14.62</td></tr></tbody></table>
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  #16  
Old 01-01-2012, 03:01 PM
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And the same for a 225 grain partition at 2600 FPS with a 200 yard zero:

<table width="80%"><tbody><tr><th align="right" width="50">Range</th><th align="right" width="50">Velocity</th><th align="right" width="50">Impact</th><th align="right" width="50">Drop</th><th align="right" width="50">ToF</th><th align="right" width="50">Energy</th><th align="right" width="50">Drift</th></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">0</td><td align="right" width="50">2600</td><td align="right" width="50">-0.5</td><td align="right" width="50">0</td><td align="right" width="50">0</td><td align="right" width="50">3377</td><td align="right" width="50">0</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">50</td><td align="right" width="50">2499</td><td align="right" width="50">1.84</td><td align="right" width="50">0.78</td><td align="right" width="50">0.06</td><td align="right" width="50">3120</td><td align="right" width="50">0.63</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">100</td><td align="right" width="50">2405</td><td align="right" width="50">2.77</td><td align="right" width="50">2.96</td><td align="right" width="50">0.12</td><td align="right" width="50">2890</td><td align="right" width="50">1.23</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">150</td><td align="right" width="50">2313</td><td align="right" width="50">2.21</td><td align="right" width="50">6.64</td><td align="right" width="50">0.19</td><td align="right" width="50">2673</td><td align="right" width="50">2.23</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">200</td><td align="right" width="50">2223</td><td align="right" width="50">0</td><td align="right" width="50">11.96</td><td align="right" width="50">0.25</td><td align="right" width="50">2469</td><td align="right" width="50">3.67</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">250</td><td align="right" width="50">2135</td><td align="right" width="50">-3.96</td><td align="right" width="50">19.04</td><td align="right" width="50">0.32</td><td align="right" width="50">2277</td><td align="right" width="50">5.57</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">300</td><td align="right" width="50">2048</td><td align="right" width="50">-9.85</td><td align="right" width="50">28.04</td><td align="right" width="50">0.39</td><td align="right" width="50">2096</td><td align="right" width="50">7.96</td></tr><tr><td align="right" width="50">350</td><td align="right" width="50">1964</td><td align="right" width="50">-17.81</td><td align="right" width="50">39.12</td><td align="right" width="50">0.47</td><td align="right" width="50">1927</td><td align="right" width="50">10.86</td></tr></tbody></table>
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:22 PM
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So the 180 looks interesting, but if it tops out at 3000 fps, the 200 grain Barnes tipped TSX at 2875 fps (which I think one could achieve with a 22" .350) is a better option. It's trajectory profile is near identical and it drifts 3" less at 350 yards assuming 10 mph cross wind.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:02 PM
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I actually have my Encore 24" Whelen sighted in with 200gr TSX @ 2874 FPS loads now. It's a great load, but brings more to the table than I think I need for deer. I would like to try the 180s and see how they do. I thought Federal had done something special with their 180gr Fusion load for the .35W. But, the velocity it shows simply makes it a lower powered deer load, not a fast, flat shooting one.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:38 AM
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I ran the Point Blank Ballistics program to compare the .35 Whelen load I use against the tables above. I shoot a 250 gr bullet (BC .446) at 2450 FPS (the velocity where I get the best accuracy with my rifle). With a similar 200 yard zero (3 inches high at 100 yards), the temperature at 40 degrees and an altitude of 10,000 feet (approximating the conditions where I hunt elk), the program predicts that I'll need to hold about 1/2 inch higher at 300 yards, but I get a predicted 2 inches less wind drift (a variable less controllable in the field than range estimation) than Bird Dog II's 225 grain partition table above.

My view is to find a bullet you like and load it at a velocity your rifle likes, and up to 300 yards the differences are minor and can easily be modified by minor changes in the zero distance. If I anticipate potential shots over 300 yards, I carry my .340 - that pushes 250 grain bullets to 3000 fps and is sighted in for 300 yards and which has a drop at 450 yards similar to the .35 Whelen's drop at 350.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:11 PM
dantana's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: North Carolina
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My 35s. Note blue tipped 35 Remington with 180 grain TTSX I loaded today.

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Last edited by dantana; 02-07-2014 at 03:20 PM.
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