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Does anyone have experience with the 35 Whelen Ackley Improved? I am trying to learn a little more about this round but am finding information pretty scarce. I may be interested in this for a Mauser project, so there would not be any additional cost over the standard Whelen. Are the benefits comparable to the better known Ackleys? Any info appreciated. Thanks, Ted
 

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Ted: The extra cost you are very likely to incur will be in modifying the rails to make the Ackley feed properly from a Mauser. The ballistic advantages over the standard Whelen are minimal although people claim better brass life with the Improved version. I never found brass life to be a problem with the standard Whelen so can't really comment on the difference.
 

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I've got one in a commercial Mauser action. I don't know if the extra velocity, over published loads, is as a result of the small increase in powder or more ambitious loading techniques when you dont' have a book to tell you to stop. The rails in mine did need to be reworked after the action was rebarrelled. If you a do search, there are some discussion about this previously. I believe it is an excellent chambering. It has the capacity for big bullets and will shoot the lighter bullets quite flat for deer-sized game.

It has been my experience with Improved cartridges in gerneral, that less trimming of brass is required. This would equal greater case life, but the convenience of less trimming is the real plus in cartrdige like this. It's not like you go to the range and pound rounds through a rifle like this. The recoil is managable, but it's there.
 

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TedH - I've got to agree with BCstocker, I thought about doing the conversion on a M98 but after tallying up the costs I bought a Rem 700 Classic in the standard .35 Whelen and I couldn't be happier! The small increase gained with the AI version is really not worth the extra work or cost. The moose, deer or bear certianly won't notice the difference! Good luck with what ever you decide... CEJ..
 

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CEJ1895 said:
TedH - I've got to agree with BCstocker, I thought about doing the conversion on a M98 but after tallying up the costs I bought a Rem 700 Classic in the standard .35 Whelen and I couldn't be happier! The small increase gained with the AI version is really not worth the extra work or cost. The moose, deer or bear certianly won't notice the difference! Good luck with what ever you decide... CEJ..

TedH, I Agree with all in forum on modifcation of Mauser
for A I version Also You'll need The Reamer & the fireforming of Cases to "Improved" also go & No -go gauges! The Mauser is Ok to do,However if it were me,I'd find a 1917
Enfield Action(Winchester or Eddystone) Best of luck & Great Hunting too!

Whelenizer :cool:
 

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I am chambering my current winter project in this round right now. The barrel should arrive today actually. Hopefully i have headspace set and the barrel permenantly installed by end of week. I've been doing as much online research as i can including ordering PO Ackleys books. We'll see how it goes when it is done. I am building on 700 Rem action with a Douglas PTC barrel and 700 classic stock. Cost is about the same as buying a 700 CDL in 35 whelen but i end up with a bit off-the-wall chambering and a match grade barrel. Plus i can have the satisfaction of doing as job well, myself.

once i am done i'll have a set of 30-06 AI headspace (go and go-no-go) gauges available for sale or trade i reckon. the 35 Whelen AI uses the 06 AI headspace gauges according to Clymer and Manson... these gauges came PTG...

This is my first actual hands on experience barrelling a rifle... should be a good learning experience..

Jamie
 

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JARoot-Jamie,
I got your post and hope mine made it back to you. I think doing it yourself is a lot of fun, and you will have one of a kind. If I was doing it again, I would buy a factory rifle chambered for it and run a reamer into it and then I would have my .35 Whelen AI.

The only factory .35 Whelen's where a butt-ugly Ruger M77 with that nasty looking synthetic stock of theirs, and I was told they would be $600. A stock replacement would run $200-$300, and the barrel was only 22". Plus, it would be $100 or so to get it reamed out (maybe more $$). Remington made a run of 7600 pumps in that, but I don't care for the pump action if given the choice.

I had an M98 action in .270 Win ($275 and I got a cool Lyman alaskan 2.5x scope on it with the deal) with nice walnut stock that fit me great. I bought a pre-chambered .35 Whelen Shilen bbl ($185 at the time) and a Timney trigger ($45). I split the cost with the gunsmith on the reamer ($45) and then with the work he did and bluing, I was out for around $1100. I have since had a Gentry 3 position safety put on it. The barrel is 25". Longer than most people choose, it shoots great, and velocity is pretty good. No case trimming and I can shoot factory Whelen ammo, although why?

How is your project coming?

Howard.
 

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Big fan of the .358 caliber

I am so glad someone brought up this topic as I personally believe that this could possibly be the finest elk, moose, big bear rifle available.

I was reading a reloading magazine that rated the .35 Whelen AI as the most efficient cartridge as rated by the amount of energy per grain of powder at a distance of 200 yards.

I owned and since traded a 35 Whelen. The 250 grain bullet loaded to 2500 fps certainly kicks...but not nearly as bad as the .338 Win mag.

Load it a bit hotter in the AI and 2600 fps is not un-reasonable.

What I think would be interesting would be necking up the .284 to .358. That would be something.
 

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I read the same article in Rifle Shooter in the recent issue. I can get an honest 2650 fps with 250 grain bullets out of my 35 Whelen Ackley Improved. I have mentioned before, but it is worth saying again, I shoot 225 grain Barnes X-bullets out of my Whelen and they offer a significant trajectory advantage over 250's. I guarantee the 225 X will out penetrate and equally hammer any game that would otherwise be shot with a 250 grain bullet.

In an article a few years ago, George Calef (who wrote the article you refer to) did one on "The Thinking Man's Magnum's" and was a great piece on the Ackley Improved's, and a good bit was on the .35 Whelen AI.

I have a Savage M99 in a .284 Winchester, and have thought MANY times about having another barrel put on in .358 caliber. I haven't found anyplace that does rebarrelling of the Savage 99's. I would not want to rebore the old bbl, as I want to have the ability to screw it back on and have a fairly rare rifle again.

Any ideas on who does lever gun re-barrelling (i.e. Model 99's) would be welcome.

Have a good one!
 

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hbonser said:
JARoot-Jamie,
I got your post and hope mine made it back to you. I think doing it yourself is a lot of fun, and you will have one of a kind. If I was doing it again, I would buy a factory rifle chambered for it and run a reamer into it and then I would have my .35 Whelen AI.

The only factory .35 Whelen's where a butt-ugly Ruger M77 with that nasty looking synthetic stock of theirs, and I was told they would be $600. A stock replacement would run $200-$300, and the barrel was only 22". Plus, it would be $100 or so to get it reamed out (maybe more $$). Remington made a run of 7600 pumps in that, but I don't care for the pump action if given the choice.

I had an M98 action in .270 Win ($275 and I got a cool Lyman alaskan 2.5x scope on it with the deal) with nice walnut stock that fit me great. I bought a pre-chambered .35 Whelen Shilen bbl ($185 at the time) and a Timney trigger ($45). I split the cost with the gunsmith on the reamer ($45) and then with the work he did and bluing, I was out for around $1100. I have since had a Gentry 3 position safety put on it. The barrel is 25". Longer than most people choose, it shoots great, and velocity is pretty good. No case trimming and I can shoot factory Whelen ammo, although why?

How is your project coming?

Howard.
Howard,

she is finished... i've put about 80 rounds through it to fireform some brass... Had a heckuva fiasco with headspace gauges but a little help from ken at clymer cleared that up. One thing i am wondering... when i measure fireformed brass... from base to the neck / shoulder junction i measure only 2.015... if a standard whelen is 2.032 and per PO Ackley's original design, shouldn't brass be measuring 2.028??? 35 Whelen AI Clymer Go gauge allows bolt to go into battery... NO-GO does not... difference between the 2 is 0.006 in...

Is this some form of margin of safety these days to ENSURE that a straight 35 Whelen will not seperate the head upon firing?

Heck my R-P 35 Whelen brass measures 2.060 at the case / neck junction. matching Hornady's blueprint in their reloading manual... everyone elses drawings show 2.032...

I have a reamer in hand... do i dare make her a wee bit deeper? I DO want to be able to shoot factory 35 Whelen should i ever run into the situation where i HAVE to??? but on the same token... i don't want to short change the chambering....

Capacity difference in grains of water is right at a 3.3% increase in a fireformed piece of brass vs straight resized and trimmed R-P...

Jamie
 

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I built a 35-284 a couple of years ago and it is my favorite rifle. I have used it for Elk with a 225 Sierra and it will shoot completly through one. I shot an Elk that was quartering away from me and shot through him too. The rifle (me) will shoot 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards and not more than 1-1/2 at 200 if I hold well. I have chronographed the 225 at an honest 2700 fps. I guess the only downfall is that the 250 grain bullets have tb be seated deep to function through the short action. Neverthe less, it will equal a 35 Whelen in velocity.
 

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Glad you have joined the ranks of the 35 AI shooters!

The critical measurement is not the distance from the case head to the shoulder/neck junction. It is from the case head to a POINT ON THE SHOULDER. I am not surprised that measurements to the neck/shoulder are not exactly what specs show. Doesn't matter. As long as the distance to the headspace point ON THE SHOULDER is correct. Make sense?

I will take a look at my Whelen brass before fireforming, and see how much diff. there is in dimensions. I have NO case stretching with the fireforming process, and NO stretching afterward on full-power loads. The only time I have to trim is if I feel a tight expander button and it stretches the case during re-sizing.

I got a 35 Whelen AI 40 deg. shoulder die from Redding, and use a Horandy .35 caliber seating die.

Good luck and let me know if what I shared above isn't jiving with what you are hearing.

Howard.
 

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hbonser said:
Glad you have joined the ranks of the 35 AI shooters!

The critical measurement is not the distance from the case head to the shoulder/neck junction. It is from the case head to a POINT ON THE SHOULDER. I am not surprised that measurements to the neck/shoulder are not exactly what specs show. Doesn't matter. As long as the distance to the headspace point ON THE SHOULDER is correct. Make sense?

I will take a look at my Whelen brass before fireforming, and see how much diff. there is in dimensions. I have NO case stretching with the fireforming process, and NO stretching afterward on full-power loads. The only time I have to trim is if I feel a tight expander button and it stretches the case during re-sizing.

I got a 35 Whelen AI 40 deg. shoulder die from Redding, and use a Horandy .35 caliber seating die.

Good luck and let me know if what I shared above isn't jiving with what you are hearing.

Howard.

this all jives with me... the datum point is a circle on the shoulder measuring .400 inches in diameter according to Clymer and PTG... The exact measurement they gave me for base to shoulder i forget...

using a 40* shoulder headspace gauge you can no longer substitute 06 ackley gauges for 35 whelen ackley gauges as you could with the 17* shoulder headspacing off of the shoulder / neck junction...

Only reason i was questioning anything is because of what i've always read regarding AI conversions... .004 crush from parent cartridge... which apparently is NOT what tooling is cut to. for whatever reason.

i was just hankering with the most likely stupid idea of cutting my chamber bout .010 deeper... not that it'd make much difference... might as well make it a brown - whelen if you really want to see dramatic differences i guess....

Thanks for the response eh.

Jamie
 

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I was thinking the same thing... May as well push the shoulder way forward and get a Brown-Whelen! There is also a .358 HAWK that pushes the shoulder forward but keeps the 17 deg. shoulder for "better" feeding of cartridges.

Fred Zieglin out of Wyoming invented them and chambers for the HAWKS. I have toyed with doing that, but I really like the simple fireforming of an AI. My performance is within 75-100 fps of a .358 HAWK or Brown- Whelen. It won't be my .300 Win-Mag at long range, no matter what I do, so out to 300 yds the difference in velocity is not a factor.

I think the key is a good 225 grain Barnes X bullet. With the extra length of the copper bullet and the phenomenal wt. retention, they are every bit the equal of a 250 grain lead core bullet. With the XLC or TSX version of the Barnes, 2800 fps is a comfortable reality with the 225 grain bullets. Not much more that one could ask for!
 

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hbonser said:
I was thinking the same thing... May as well push the shoulder way forward and get a Brown-Whelen! There is also a .358 HAWK that pushes the shoulder forward but keeps the 17 deg. shoulder for "better" feeding of cartridges.

Fred Zieglin out of Wyoming invented them and chambers for the HAWKS. I have toyed with doing that, but I really like the simple fireforming of an AI. My performance is within 75-100 fps of a .358 HAWK or Brown- Whelen. It won't be my .300 Win-Mag at long range, no matter what I do, so out to 300 yds the difference in velocity is not a factor.

I think the key is a good 225 grain Barnes X bullet. With the extra length of the copper bullet and the phenomenal wt. retention, they are every bit the equal of a 250 grain lead core bullet. With the XLC or TSX version of the Barnes, 2800 fps is a comfortable reality with the 225 grain bullets. Not much more that one could ask for!
I have to agree... if i had wanted a "magnum" i would have done a 375 ultramag....

If you'd be kind enough to take a few case measurements for some comparison i appreciate that. I reckon there are as many variations out there as there are fad drugs...

Again, thanks

Jamie
 

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I will do some measurements.

FYI, Being curious when I first loaded for the 35 AI, I measured powder capacity of factory brass. vs. the fireformed brass, and using H380 (ball powder) the fireformed case holds 1.8 grains more powder to the case mouth than the factory case. Not a lot of difference!
 

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Hey, now that you are done, are you interested in parting out the tools or selling them all? I have a Mauser 98 that with an Adams and Bennett .35 Whelen barrel would make a real easy conversion. Let me know. I would consider it.

Howard.
 

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I own the Clymer headspace gauges... the reamer belongs to elk ridge.

if you are interested in the clymers i'll sell em for what clymer charges (less tax) and shipping is free... so you should save a couple of bucks.

i really am surprised at this round... firing middle of the road loads the recoil is pretty mild compared to my 280 Rem...

Jamie
 

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Thanks for the response. After thinking about the reamer, gauges, etc., my gunsmith here in Colo Spgs. has all that since he made up my first .35 Improved. Kinda forgot about that! I can hook up with him when I get around to doing the project, if ever.

On the recoil, middle of the road loads feel mild, I agree. I heard and have confirmed with my shoulder that heavier bullets tend to give more of a push whereas lighter faster bullets (.280) punch or jab the rifle back in recoil. A longer, slower energy transfer rather than a quick hit.

What bullets and weights are you using for the middle of the road loads? When I shoot a 250 grain lead core bullet at 2500 or so, it feels nice to the shoulder. When I push it to 2650 fps it is a different feeling. Same difference with 225 X bullets. At 2650 or so they feel good, at the 2800 fps I can get with the TSX or XLC Barnes 225 x-bullets, it comes back pretty good! Unless the chronograph was in error, I saw 2900 fps with the 225 XLC from Barnes and that recoil was no fun. Showed no pressure signs, although I'd be a fool to think it wasn't at the top of the scale.

Barnes claims 100-200 fps gain in velocity with the XLC bullets, so from the 2700 fps I get with standard X's, it is possible. I haven't shot anymore at that velocity with that load, as it recoils a tad. No need, honestly. 2800 fps is good for whatever I may ever need, and probably for a lot of what I will never need!

I'd be interested in the loads and bullets weights you have put together so far, and velocity if you have a chronograph. I have a chronograph and it is the best $80 I spent over the years for the info it provides.

My load for the 225 X bullets (regular, not XLC or TSX) is 60 grains of Varget or 59 or IMR 4320 with a Remington .35 Whelen fireformed case, and a CCI 250 primer. I experimented with both standard and magnum primers and have much lower velocity spreads with the magnum primers. It is a big difference!

Let me know what you have come up with if you would like.

Howard.
 

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hbonser said:
Thanks for the response. After thinking about the reamer, gauges, etc., my gunsmith here in Colo Spgs. has all that since he made up my first .35 Improved. Kinda forgot about that! I can hook up with him when I get around to doing the project, if ever.

On the recoil, middle of the road loads feel mild, I agree. I heard and have confirmed with my shoulder that heavier bullets tend to give more of a push whereas lighter faster bullets (.280) punch or jab the rifle back in recoil. A longer, slower energy transfer rather than a quick hit.

What bullets and weights are you using for the middle of the road loads? When I shoot a 250 grain lead core bullet at 2500 or so, it feels nice to the shoulder. When I push it to 2650 fps it is a different feeling. Same difference with 225 X bullets. At 2650 or so they feel good, at the 2800 fps I can get with the TSX or XLC Barnes 225 x-bullets, it comes back pretty good! Unless the chronograph was in error, I saw 2900 fps with the 225 XLC from Barnes and that recoil was no fun. Showed no pressure signs, although I'd be a fool to think it wasn't at the top of the scale.

Barnes claims 100-200 fps gain in velocity with the XLC bullets, so from the 2700 fps I get with standard X's, it is possible. I haven't shot anymore at that velocity with that load, as it recoils a tad. No need, honestly. 2800 fps is good for whatever I may ever need, and probably for a lot of what I will never need!

I'd be interested in the loads and bullets weights you have put together so far, and velocity if you have a chronograph. I have a chronograph and it is the best $80 I spent over the years for the info it provides.

My load for the 225 X bullets (regular, not XLC or TSX) is 60 grains of Varget or 59 or IMR 4320 with a Remington .35 Whelen fireformed case, and a CCI 250 primer. I experimented with both standard and magnum primers and have much lower velocity spreads with the magnum primers. It is a big difference!

Let me know what you have come up with if you would like.

Howard.
I honestly cannot say how she is performing yet since i have not put it behind the chrono... Just working on fireforming some brass... I have been shooting Hornady 250 gr spire pts to fireform... i also have a box of 225 gr sierras, 2 boxes of Nosler BT's and a box of 250 gr partitions...

i get some more rounds formed and the barrel settled in and then i'll work on some loads to really test with i reckon... i've been using Reloader 15 to fireform with but i have have a plethora of powders, 4895, 3031, 4064, R15, 4350, 4831 SC, 7828 not to mention all of the handgun powders... i just need to burn some of it up since i've settled on 7828 for the 280 rem, etc...

guess when i began looking at loading the 35 Whelen and the AI version i was sort of thrown by the faster powders while i am used to the slower powders for 25-06, 280 and 06...

middle of the road velocities with superb accuracy and heavy bullets is how i like to hunt and shoot... cept for rodents and the 222 and 280 loads for such... faster than speedy gonzolas, accurate and explosive ;)

any other "recommended" bullets or combinations to get started?

Jamie
 
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