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I had a 35 Brown Whelen built last year. While waiting I came across a closeout deal on .358 Grand Slams and bought nearly a life time supply. I worked up my loads from 35 whelen data using 250 grain Hornady spire points and 250 grain grand slams. I used Ramshot Big Game and also RL-15. Using both powders, the grand slams would take about two full grains less powder to show pressure signs. I assume that the Grand Slams must have considerably more surface area contacting the bore. I was wondering if anyone having experience with this cartridge would have an educated guess as what velocity 62.5 grains of Big Game pushing a 250 grain grand slam out of a 24 inch tube should be getting. I understand that all rifles are different but I was hoping that it would be in the 2550 fps ball park.
FWIW I have killed two good mature Mule Deer bucks with this load. Both bucks were complete pass throughs on frontal shots well more like 3/4 frontals, the Grand Slams have not produced any destructive or violent results just a small entrance and quarter maybe fifty cent piece sized exit holes in the side/flank area of both deer. The Brown Whelen is pretty impressive on deer sized game, I think this combo would really shine on the larger critters though.
Any input would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Not the same bullets

IIRC, if you get a couple of the recent Speer Reloading manuals, they will show different loads for some of their own bullets. Some have thicker jackets and tougher cores. I also think using a 35 cal. Grand Slam is overdoing it for anything smaller than an Elk.

Even the 285 GS in the 375 caliber seems to have a reputation for penciling through large animals. These are premium bullets, made for ultimate hunting situations.

I'm thinking those standard bullets you used to work up your loads, would give you better results on Mulies. You want them to mushroom before they go all the way into the hind quarters, from a frontal shot, IMHO.

Many of us would look first at a 270 Win. or a 7mm Express, for deer. But its whatever floats your boat.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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On deer or elk using the 250 grain Hornady spire point I've never recovered a bullet. All were pass throughs.

I would think 2550 fps is very respectable. Using H4350 I can get my 700BDL w 24" bbl up to 2480 and it's not an AI.

RJ
 

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I don't know if it is true anymore. But about 15 years ago I had a long chat with Chub Eastman of Sierra Bullets. One of the questions I had for him was jacket thickness. He said that .030” cup was industry standard for hunting bullets under .338 caliber and .040” for .338 caliber and above. I believe bullets like Swift and Woodleigh use .060" cups.

Thick cups are tapered so the bullet dies can more easily form the tips. This also aides in expansion. Which came first is unknown to me as a fact. But having made bullets myself, I think you can infer the prejudice in my writings. Maybe it was the old, “kill two birds with one stone” approach.
 

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I would bet you are at least 2600 or tad better. I get 2750 with 61 gr R15/Mag primer with the Nosler 250 Partition from my Whelen AI ( it only has a 22" barrel, but it has that Remington long throat chambering.) I've never used the Grand slam, but I ran into the same thing when using Hawk bullets; they are "sticky" bullets and bump up real fast...just tweak your load and go for it! Love those 35 caliber bullets!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I settled on a load with the Gland Slam at 61.0 grains of Rl 15 which I feel may be a tad warm but no primer flow and no extraction issues I had worked up nearly two grains higher and backed it down. I was able to add a grain or better to the Hornady bullet before I was able to notice any changes. I wish I had a chronograph to check velocities to see if I'm in the ballpark. I don't believe I am loaded to hot. I figure if I can get four loads or so out of the brass without the primer pockets loosening up I am probably fine.
My next series of testing will be to find a good load for the 225 grain Seirra boat tail with either h4895 or Rl 15. I am assuming the Big Game will probably be to slow for the light bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am going to work up a load with the Seirra 225 grain for deer only. I imagine the Ramshot Big Game is a little slow, should I try h 4895 or Rl 15 They are fairly close in burn rate.
 

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I shot the Sierra 225 out of a standard Whelen Mod 750 auto with both powders, but can't find my notes on that one. You are right, they are very close. I personally think R15 is just as temp stable as H4895 in colder climates ( I'm in Utah) From your description, I don't think you're too hot either. I have been able to push my bullets faster in my AI, but I back down to best accuracy. I use 58-58.5 gr H322 with any 200 gr, especially the 200 TSX or TTSX ( both are absolute killers!) Good luck to you Pard.
 

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What you are using is obviously working pretty darn well, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it....I'm not all that keen on full expansion with those big bullets, the tougher bullets kill well even on deer size animals and you don't end up with half a blood shot deer...We eat deer meat, so I really don't like turning them to mush and a violently expanding .338, 35 cal. or larger will ruin a lot of meat, as will a high velocity caliber like the 243, 270 for instance...My 9.3 with a 286 Nosler does what you described, and caliber size entrance and a quarter size exit with about 3 inches of blood shot meat around the exit hole..They may run 25 or 30 yards but there is plenty of blood to follow..Same with my .338 and 250 gr. bullets and the old tried and true 30-06 with 180 gr. bullets or even the 200 gr. Noslers. This is just my take ont he subject and what I do, it may not suit everyone.
 

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I'm in the process of building the 35 Br. Whelen, having shot a friends. Great round it seems...looking forward to working up loads so thanks for the ideas. Montana Man, you mention the Grand Slam building pressure faster...I ran into the same issue with my 7mm Rem. Mag. I couldn't load the 160 gr. GS with the same charge I used for the 160 gr. Nosler's or my 165 Gr. Rem. CL. Had to back off a couple of grs. If memory serves me, they tend to have a bit more bearing surface and therefore build pressure a bit faster. Personally, I would not use the GS's again as I have had too many come apart on me and fail to penetrate. The last deer I shot with one was over 600 yds. The bullet entered his R. shoulder, the core separated and bounced off the shoulder blade coming back out the hide and the jacket was just stuck in the shoulder blade. I sent the jacket back to Speer and they sent me two more boxes of bullets, but I've never used them. Anyone else had issues with the GS's?
 
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