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  #1  
Old 08-16-2010, 01:40 PM
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I've been doing some thinking. The 35 Whelen and the 350 RM are wonderful North American cartridges suitable for anything on this continent.

But I've been thinking about other 35 caliber possibilities. The first and easiest would be the 35-300 win mag, a 35WSM/RSAUM, and the 35 RCM wildcats. These would be absolute bruiser rounds by any normal standard. But lately I've been thinking about taking this a bit further. a 35 Ruger (based off the full sized 375 and 416's), a 35 RUM, and a 35-378 Weatherby. All of which would be completely unnecessary on this continent, but since when were we a practical bunch. Any thoughts on these possible bruiser 'cats?
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2010, 02:39 PM
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.358 STA. Has it pretty well covered.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2010, 10:21 AM
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Every single one you mentioned has been done. 35-300 is essentially a .358 Norma. 35 WSM has been done (sometimes called the 35 Sambar) 35-375 Ruger has been done by several people most notably a couple of guys on the Alaska Shooting forum (they call it the .358 Nukalpiaq), 35 RUM is pretty much the same as the .358 Shooting Times Alaskan, and I know people have done the .35-378 WBY as well.

I love .35's as well but there is virtually nothing new under the sun when it comes to wildcats these days.
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  #4  
Old 08-18-2010, 04:57 PM
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Technically the 35-300 is a bit different than the Norma. The 338 win mag is shorter than the 300 win mag. I thought the Shooting Times Alaskan was based off the 8mm rem mag rather than the RUMs?

But has anyone had actual experience with these?
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2010, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFWoodchuck View Post
Technically the 35-300 is a bit different than the Norma. The 338 win mag is shorter than the 300 win mag. I thought the Shooting Times Alaskan was based off the 8mm rem mag rather than the RUMs?

But has anyone had actual experience with these?
You're right on the STA. My mind failed me for a moment. But there is a .358 Ultra as well.

And while yes there are a few thousandths difference in neck length between the 35-300 and the .358 Norma, there is no discernable difference in the two, or the 35-338 for that matter.

I have a .358 Norma and have formed brass from both 300 and 338 Win brass. The rifle never knew the difference.
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:23 AM
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Hmm...That's interesting. Makes me wonder as to why they go out of the way to discern a difference between the shoulder/body lengths if they more or less interchange anyway. Maybe that's a benefit of the belted mags. If the chamber's shoulder is a tad long it will still be just fine as it would fireform anyway. Can't really do that with a rimless or a rebated rim I suppose.

How do you like your 358 Norma? What rifle is it based on? How does it shoot?

Last edited by GMFWoodchuck; 08-19-2010 at 05:25 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2010, 05:49 AM
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I know I am going to build a 358 Norma one of these days. I don't need it, I have a 338 Win Mag and a 35 Whelen, but what does need have to do with anything! I like the 35's. They are some serious crushers! Scotty
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Old 08-21-2010, 04:48 PM
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GMF, you sure shouldn't let logic get in the way of a good wildcat project! All of the performance gaps have been filled already, but that's OK. It's fun to have something different and work up loads for it.
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  #9  
Old 08-22-2010, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFWoodchuck View Post
...

Maybe that's a benefit of the belted mags. If the chamber's shoulder is a tad long it will still be just fine as it would fireform anyway. Can't really do that with a rimless or a rebated rim I suppose.

...
If the chamber's too long for the brass you're using to fireform, you can create a false shoulder by oversizing the neck w/ a larger expander ball (like a 375 or 9.3), and then neck sizing incrementally until you get down to the point that the brass will just snuggly chamber.

This will minimize case stretching during fireforming.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2010, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by GMFWoodchuck View Post
How do you like your 358 Norma? What rifle is it based on? How does it shoot?

I LOVE it. It is my #1 rifle and I have zero "need" for the caliber. All I hunt with it are whitetails and feral pigs.

I built mine (all work done by my own hands with a gunsmith friend watching over me) from a new Charles Daly commercial mauser action. I bought an Adams & Bennet barrel from midwayusa short chambered for 35 Whelen and rented the reamer to do the Norma chamber. Cut it to 20", crowned it, & then Cerakoted the barreled action. I bought a Boyds laminate stock and proceded to shave nearly a pound of wood off of it getting it to my liking and installed a Limbsaver pad. Once finished I pillar bedded the action to the stock with Devcon and took it shooting.

It will shoot 3/4" groups as long as I care to shoot it with all of the hunting bullets I have tried thus far. It is one of the most versatile rounds out there in my book. There's no game it can't handle unless you're in a .375+ only region. Yet it can be easily downloaded to .35 Rem levels for fun and practice. Cheap .357 pistol bullets make great plinking rounds.

I can't say enough good things about the .358 Norma. I have other .35's as well, but if I could only have one, this would be it.
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  #11  
Old 08-24-2010, 02:30 PM
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I found in my own experience the the 35 caliber bullets have stopping power out of proportion to their paper ballistics. Unfortunately, the bullet makers do not offer many choices in bullet selection, and spend little or no effort on R&D for the 35 cals.
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2010, 05:54 PM
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I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of 35 caliber bullet availability. Unlike most other center-fire rifle cartridges, there are MANY pistol bullets that can be used for practice, plinking or introducing young shooters to full-size rifles, using a 35 caliber cartridge. The 357 Magnum (in a carbine) and 35 Remington immediately jump to mind as options that allow a great deal of flexibility, where bullet selection is concerned. A previous poster mentions using the lighter pistol bullets in his 358 Norma, as practice loads.

Also, while there are not a great number of premium bullets, those that are available are well-designed for various tasks. The 180gr SSP, 200gr Remington Core-lokt and 200gr FTX are all suitable for light to medium-powered rounds, while the 225gr Accubond, 250gr Interlock, Barnes X, Nosler, Speer and Swift are excellent in the big dogs like the 35 Whelen and various magnums. If the truth be told, there is an abundance of both pistol and big-game rifle bullets available in the 35 caliber that give these guns more versatility than perhaps any of the other commonly used rounds.
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