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  #1  
Old 09-28-2011, 09:27 PM
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Loads for the (35wai)35 whelen ackley improved


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I would appreciate any info on loading the 35wai. I am putting together a personal load book for myself for this caliber. I finally got a rifle built in the 35wai (based on a tikka action). It should be done in a couple of weeks or sooner, and would like to have the components needed (primers, powder, bullets) on hand to load it. I also would really appreciate info on fireforming the 35 whelen case.

Last edited by bibleman; 09-28-2011 at 09:33 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2011, 03:51 AM
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A 35WAI, huh? "WAI? Because I love to hunt big critters, that's WAI!"

Did you discuss what bullet you would prefer with the gunsmith before he cut the throat on your barrel? In other words, do you have a specific weight range in mind? I'm presuming a fairly heavy bullet in the 225-250 range. What game animals will you be hunting with it? Everything from pronghorn on up to moose or will it be a dedicated elk rig?

Personally, I would start with something like the 225gr Accubond and a snootful of medium burn rate powder, such as Varget, RL15 or IMR-4320. H4895 would also be a useful powder for both full-throttle loads and the ability to cut them to ~60% of max and wind up with a nice reduced-recoil practice or short-range round.

With H4895, Nosler 225AB, cartridge OAL of 3.340" and a 24" barrel...I would call 54gr a starting load with 59gr a mildly compressed max load generating ~2650fps. Somewhere around 36 grains of the same powder would be a reduced recoil load generating ~1700fps. (NOTE: These data are QuickLoad extrapolations. Neither shooters forum, nor I, assume any liability or claim these loads will be safe in your gun. Please follow all standard reloading techniques when using this information!)

A common practice when loading any "AI" version of a cartridge is to consider the middle charge from any book load to be your starting point and work your way up from there. Remember that much of the improved performance from an AI cartridge comes from running a higher MAP, not the small increase in case capacity. In other words, if you get published Whelen velocities from your AI, don't be TOO disappointed! Read the sticky on "Pressure signs" so you'll know what to watch out for when working with a wildcat and very limited published data.

I don't think you're going to find many guys with the AI version, but there are quite a few here that love their Whelen's!
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Last edited by broom_jm; 09-29-2011 at 03:56 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2011, 05:51 PM
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Got to chime in here on AI cartridges. I shoot a 30/40AI in a Martini with a 26" Ackley barrel. Had to develop my own load. Settled on 49gr of 4831 behind a 180gr Hornady, screaming along at 2200fps. Gives dime size groups @ 100 and never had a deer walk or run away--drops 'em right there. Magnums ?, don't need no stinkin' magnums. Gotta say too I just recently acquired a Whelen, looking forward to working up some cast 250gr loads. Goatwhiskers the Elder
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2011, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibleman View Post
I would appreciate any info on loading the 35wai. I am putting together a personal load book for myself for this caliber. I finally got a rifle built in the 35wai (based on a tikka action). It should be done in a couple of weeks or sooner, and would like to have the components needed (primers, powder, bullets) on hand to load it. I also would really appreciate info on fireforming the 35 whelen case.

One of my favorite wildcats is the Ackley. If the Ackley is chambered right you should be able to fire 35 Whelen loads or use the COW with 35 Whelen brass.

Myself I would use the start load for the Whelen and work up to max plus chronograph those loads. Alot of good loading data for the Whelen just like any other caliber.

My 35 Whelen AI is long throated take advantage of the extra case capacity with the longer bullets vs some of the shorter ones. I gave my gunsmith some dummy rds for throating.

If it was me I be talking to the gunsmith who's building your rifle find out what twist/how's the rifle throated and if he doesn't have information on what twist (what bullets to use) I'd be calling the barrel guys.

Depending on barrel length/twist//chamber/throating/bullet you may or may not see any gain going with the Ackley. I recommend the loading data from Nolser manual for the 35 Whelen they use a Lilja 1/12 twist 24'" long barrel as a place to start. Barnes used a 1/16 twist Wiseman barrel @ 24".

I've done the 30x280AI,338x280AI and now the 35 WhelenAI and I've seen the less gain with the Whelen case kind of the reason I want to go back to the standard Whelen with a longer barrel.

I took the 35 whelenAI for a late cow tag last year and got the same tag this year was impressed with it.

I'm using a stadard load in the 35 WhelenAI got a gain with that good enough. Well good luck
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2011, 04:45 AM
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Thanks for the advice and information posted in reply to my questions. The gunsmith is putting a shilling barrel (with a muzzel brake) on the rifle. Shilling only offered a 1 in 14 twist in the 35 barrel. I wanted a farily short barrel (18-20 in.) because i am in and out of my vehicle a lot. I do not get too far from my vehicle due to age and health problems. The area i hunt does not really offer very many shots over 200 yds. Bear hunting is my favorite, with mule deer, whitetails and elk on the agenda also. I plan to use 225 gr. Barnes tsx bullets as an all around load, providing the rifle will shoot them accurately. If not, i will use 200 gr. Barnes tsx bullets. I have been using barnes x bullets since they started making them in 1990 and loading them in several different calibers over the years. So far, fortunately, i have always been able to work up a load with those calibers that was satisfactory in accuracy and performance. I had a ruger hawkeye in a 35 whelen, loved the caliber but did not like the rifle, so i sold it. I really like the tikka bolt action, so decided to get 35 wai built on that action. If i have the opportunity again to hunt where longer shots are the norm, then i will use my tikka 30.06 loaded with barnes 130 gr. Tsx or the 150 gr. Tsx depending on the game i am hunting.
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:36 PM
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the gunsmith put my 35wai together in time for hunting season. So far have only taken a small mule deer buck. Absolutly flattened him. Currently elk hunting. The only load i have worked up in the rifle is the 225 gr. Barnes tsx/ with 62 gr. Win. 748. Chronographed loads ave. About 2800 fps. No pressure signs at all. Rifle shoots .5 in. Shot gps. @ 100 yds. Rifle has a muzzel brake and e-z kick recoil pad. Checked felt recoil against a .243 win. Was about the same. I am more than satisfied, absolutly delighted. Gunsmith did an incredible job! Reloading the 35wai is so easy. I purchased redding dies. I can fls lubing only the inside of the neck. What a pleasant surprise
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2011, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibleman View Post
the gunsmith put my 35wai together in time for hunting season. So far have only taken a small mule deer buck. Absolutly flattened him. Currently elk hunting. The only load i have worked up in the rifle is the 225 gr. Barnes tsx/ with 62 gr. Win. 748. Chronographed loads ave. About 2800 fps. No pressure signs at all. Rifle shoots .5 in. Shot gps. @ 100 yds. Rifle has a muzzel brake and e-z kick recoil pad. Checked felt recoil against a .243 win. Was about the same. I am more than satisfied, absolutly delighted. Gunsmith did an incredible job! Reloading the 35wai is so easy. I purchased redding dies. I can fls lubing only the inside of the neck. What a pleasant surprise
Glad to hear you're 35WAI is working out so well and I hope you get a crack at a nice bull elk. I'm sure the brake and kick-eez pad make a big difference in the felt recoil.

I do have one concern, though. Unless I'm misunderstanding what you wrote, you'd better keep a stuck case removal tool handy! Only lubing the inside of the neck while full-length resizing your case is just asking for trouble. In fact, that is the last area of the case I'd be concerned about lubing, when it is the body of bottle-necked cases that is so likely to get stuck in the resizing die. Imperial sizing die wax, my friend.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2011, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old roper View Post

I've done the 30x280AI,338x280AI and now the 35 WhelenAI and I've seen the less gain with the Whelen case kind of the reason I want to go back to the standard Whelen with a longer barrel.
Sorry to threadjack... tell me more about your 338x280 AI experience. Which version did you use and what kind of performance did you see?
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2011, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibleman View Post
the gunsmith put my 35wai together in time for hunting season. So far have only taken a small mule deer buck. Absolutly flattened him. Currently elk hunting. The only load i have worked up in the rifle is the 225 gr. Barnes tsx/ with 62 gr. Win. 748. Chronographed loads ave. About 2800 fps. No pressure signs at all. Rifle shoots .5 in. Shot gps. @ 100 yds. Rifle has a muzzel brake and e-z kick recoil pad. Checked felt recoil against a .243 win. Was about the same. I am more than satisfied, absolutly delighted. Gunsmith did an incredible job! Reloading the 35wai is so easy. I purchased redding dies. I can fls lubing only the inside of the neck. What a pleasant surprise
I have a custom Wilson arbor neck die/seater for my 35 WhelenAI (gunsmith used chamber reamer) also had to have bushing made. I wasn't going to mess around trying to get a FL sizer figured by time they needed FL I'd just toss them.

I decided to get one and only site that had one in stock was Graf and I order it tues the 15th was a Redding got it late fri. Since I had the Wilson figure to use that as a body die sizer just take the expander out.

Long story short I can do the same as you in fact taking the expander out I get enough to hold the bullet.

I miked the fired and FL sized case and if you do yours you'll see why. Not knowing who spec the redding die sometimes gunsmith have a reamer spec to a die. I think my gunsmith used a Manson or Clymer when Manson was working for them anyway I think were both lucky. I'm going to take cases up to the gunsmith this week and if he used a Manson reamer next time they talk I'll have him ask Dave about it.

Well good luck
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2011, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludge View Post
Sorry to threadjack... tell me more about your 338x280 AI experience. Which version did you use and what kind of performance did you see?

All I did was neck up a 280AI case used a 30cal expander then 338cal. I got part way thru testing and for some reason I just didn't like it so had barrel spun off and rebarrel rifle. I still have the barrel one of these days may go back to it.

looking back I think part of the problem was me getting caught up in the plus minus gain in velocity with the Ackley's. Wish I could help you more
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2011, 12:29 AM
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thanks for the info on the die for the 35wai. Also thanks for the heads-up on having a stuck case remover handy. In fact my gunsmith gave me a stuck case remover he made. So far no problems. But i did start using a small amount of dry graphite lube on the body of the case, to avoid problems. I was amazed that the cases re-sized so easily, i think it has something to do with the fact that most of the taper of the case is gone and it is almost a straight walled case. Presently i am working up some loads using 200 gr. Bullets. I have been having a lot of fun fire forming cases using 42 gr. Of rl 7 behind a berry 158 gr. .357 bullet. Surprisingly accurate! I am so impressed with the 35wai, that i am going to have my tikka .o6 chambered to the .06 ackley improved.
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2011, 08:05 PM
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thanks much for the info and reply. I tried what you said and it worked just like you said. Thank you! It would be a coinsidence for both of us to be that lucky! Maybe that is the way most or all ackley improved calibers turn out. Am having my .06 chambered for the .06 ai. Will post how it comes out.
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  #13  
Old 12-06-2011, 10:59 AM
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Hi Guys,

bibleman, or anyone else here on the 35 Whelen or better yet 35 Whelen ai, can you put a 20 inch barrel + brake on it and still get good accuracy or excellent accuracy out to 225 yards or so? I'm very interested in this concept. It takes my shotgun out of my hands for woods hunting black bear and whitetail, HOGS too. Any final suggestions or twist rate. I like the idea of using 200-225 grain TSX on TTSX and maybe some copper solids.
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2011, 12:47 PM
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1:14" twist should work but you may also look at 1:12". The Barnes bullets are pretty long for their weight.
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2011, 12:59 PM
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Welcome to Shooters Forum. Rules are to be nice and join in when you can.

If you were to cut the barrel of a 35 Whelen AI from 24" to 20" you'd lose about 100fps, on average. In terms of accuracy, a shorter barrel may be a little stiffer and give better accuracy. There are many very accurate barrels of 20" or less, so barrel length is not a limiting factor, in and of itself. Shooting a 225gr bullet, seated one caliber deep, from a 35 Whelen AI, with a 20" barrel, it should be possible to achieve somewhere in the neighborhood of 2600fps. Sighting in 3" high at 100 will give you a maximum point-blank range of just over 250 yards, with a whole lot of bone-crunching bullet and energy to get the job done at that distance.

In other words: YES!

Quote:
Originally Posted by etisll40 View Post
Hi Guys,

bibleman, or anyone else here on the 35 Whelen or better yet 35 Whelen ai, can you put a 20 inch barrel + brake on it and still get good accuracy or excellent accuracy out to 225 yards or so? I'm very interested in this concept. It takes my shotgun out of my hands for woods hunting black bear and whitetail, HOGS too. Any final suggestions or twist rate. I like the idea of using 200-225 grain TSX on TTSX and maybe some copper solids.
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2011, 02:23 AM
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my 35 whelen ackley improved has a 20 in. Barrel with a muzzle brake. Using a chrony chronograph, my hand loads (carefully worked up) show an average of 2802 fps using a barnes 225 gr tsx bullet & win. 748 powder. If i do my part, the rifle routinly shoots 1 in. Shot groups at 100 yds. I used a standard 35 whelen (ruger) to take a few head of game(including 3 bears). The 35wai does the job better with increased velocity and energy as well as flatter trajectory. It will do what you ask and more!!!
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  #17  
Old 12-09-2011, 02:32 AM
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i forgot to add, mine and most 35 cal. Barrels are 1 in 14 twist which works really well for any bullets weighing 200 gr. Up to 300 gr. I would be glad to give you the gunsmith's ph.# that put my 35wai together if you want it. He is an excellet gunsmith, and a fair and honest man who loves his work.
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  #18  
Old 12-09-2011, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etisll40 View Post
Hi Guys,

bibleman, or anyone else here on the 35 Whelen or better yet 35 Whelen ai, can you put a 20 inch barrel + brake on it and still get good accuracy or excellent accuracy out to 225 yards or so? I'm very interested in this concept. It takes my shotgun out of my hands for woods hunting black bear and whitetail, HOGS too. Any final suggestions or twist rate. I like the idea of using 200-225 grain TSX on TTSX and maybe some copper solids.

Remington making 750 auto with 18 1/2" long barrel in 35 Whelen.

I have a 24" # 5 contour Kreiger barrel on my 35 Whelen AI it's on Rem action I added oversize lug, Williams steel bottom metal,gentry safety just to add weight to shoot it off a bench and not worry about recoil.

I didn't take mine elk hunting this year but been working on loads and shooting steel at 400yd with those 225gr Accubond and the 225gr TSX.

I just seen a deal about Nolser making a 200gr Accubond.

If your looking at build a 35 Whelen or the AI accuracy shouldn't be an issue if you have a good gunsmith. Mine off the bench I can get less than 1/2" groups 3 shots but I'm shooting that rifle more than once a week. If I went to a 20" long barrel I might look at throating etc but accuracy I sure won't expect less than what I'm getting with the longer barrel.

I did buy a new Rem 700 classic in 35 Whelen it has a 22" barrel after I had the 35WAI and I was surprise with velocity from that barrel it was better than I expect had a 1/16 twist. My groups with that rifle around 1" some time less sometime more, recoil was more.

I'm different on my twist, most 30 cal have 1/10 twist I like 1/11 to 1/13 so what I would like most likely be lot different.

Most all my hunting above timberline or more open type shooting so don't have need for a short barrel rifle. I do stay out of the darker timber here that's more open sight short barrel type rifles.

Well good luck
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  #19  
Old 12-24-2011, 10:28 AM
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35 Whelen AI

I've built two 35 Ackleys one on a 03-a3, and one on a mauser98, they both shot very well and I use 225 Acubonds and 225 game kings, and H-380 powder gives me 5/8" groups all day long out of a 24" 1-14" twist A&B barrel.



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  #20  
Old 12-26-2011, 02:20 PM
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Mads_jack34; from what i could see, they both are beautiful rifles. I am finding out the same about the 225 bullets. Currently working up some 200 gr. Loads(just for the fun of it) i had a ruger hawkeye,;35 whelen, that grouped the 200 gr. Bullets better than the 225s, but also grouped the 250s in less than 1".
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