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Hi folks,

Haven't been around for a while, glad to be back (used to be Eric but the 'puter didn't like that name anymore).

I have to tell a short story and ask a few questions. After spending a couple weeks visiting, working on a cabin, moose hunting and generally enjoying life in Alaska my brother headed on home to VT. While visiting we discussed the usefulness of .35 and .375 whelen cartridge for Alaskan game. A week after he gets home he buys a .35 whelen built on a mauser action. I gave him heck and told him to find one for me.

He calls tonight and says it's been too rainy to cut wood so he stopped by the gun shop looking for a scope for his new whelen. Scopes are too expensive, so he wanders over to the used gun rack. He spots a nice redfield 3x9 on a mauser that they have on consignment for $300 including scope. It's a nice mauser 20" bbl, spooned bolt, 70 degree safety, hinged floorplate with fancy release, monte carlo stock and hard rubber butt pad that is starting to crack a little. Blueing is nearly new and stock is too. He looks on the barrel and sees H.O. Ackley .375 WH !! Gun shop owner doesn't know who in VT would want one of those - you can't even buy shells for it! Brother wants to know if I'll give him $200 plus shipping for the gun so he can keep the scope for $100. I say SOLD!!(always knew brothers would be good for somehting)

So now I have a project on the way. A reloader for many years this wildcat stuff will be new for me. A few questions:

Whats the best way to make brass for this animal. I suspect I will need to expand the neck and fireform the case. Should I start with 30-06 or 35 whelen or does it matter? Any neck expander die recomendations?

I know there are supposed to be headspace/shoulder issues so I was interested to read Marshalls tech note on using the collet dies to neck size only. Once I get the brass formed that seems to be the way to go.

Any favorite pet loads/bullets out there for those who use this round?
This will be my moose rifle and I'll probably use it for caribou and possibly bear. Probably 250 to 270 gr loads to start. Maybe 225-235 if it will help it reach out some more for caribou.

I'll be putting a composit stock on it to preserve the wooden stock for when I may ever want to re-sell the gun. Anybody got any favorites for a composit stock on a mauser action. I expect this gun will kick some as it is light and short with a big caliber. A decent stock can help with that kick.

Any other advise on my new project is appreciated.

Thanks for your help, sorry for the long post.

Eric
 

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Now, that is an interesting find! (And a fun project, too.)

Marshall has some neat .375s that you'll be able to use (and you'll shoot it more with a good cast load). Andy at Hawk bullets has some soft jackets that would be a good match, too, but they aren't for plinking. (375 H&H bullets might be too hard/tough and .375/38-55 win too soft/light). I'd use Whelan brass, because the neck is closer (it might stay thicker and last longer). On the other hand, '06 is so available and cheap, you might want to figure out how to size it up.

Matching the die set to your chamber would be something to watch. Slugging the bore and getting a chamber cast would be very good. Waters fireforms cases with 16gr Bullseye (or equiv) with a small wad of toilet paper (NO bullet), fired straight up (to center the case) in the air.

My best advice is to keep it away from Alyeska338. If he becomes a problem, you can hide it over here with me. :D
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Eric,

The collet neck sizer is a good tool but you'll have to modify for your purposes.

What you need to do is get a .375 H&H sizer, as that's probably the only one you'll find in that caliber. If they exist for the .38-55 or .375 Win they'll be too short.

Then, you need to trim off enough from the end of the sliding part to make up for the difference in case length, and possibly some off the body as well. The die is set up for a particular case length, as well as caliber.

So, find someone with a lathe. It isn't hard, I made one for my .30-06 out of a .300 Weatherby collet sizer that I found real cheap.

Give a shout if this does not make sense or you can't find someone to do this for a reasonable sum.
 

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Eric -

Primo find! The 375 Ackley is quite close in case capacity to the the newer 375 Hawk so if you contact Andy at Hawk Bullets he should be able to refer you to the 375 Hawk developers. They have piles of applicable data. The 9th Edition of Cartridges of the World shows the 375 ackley as capable of real 375 H&H performance using moly plated bullets and seating only .375 inches of the shank.
 

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Eric, what gunshop does your brother go to? I live in VT and definitely need to visit this one. Good luck with the .375 Whelen, and please keep us updated on load development. Sean
 

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You lucky dog!

Wow....what a find!

The 375 Whelen has had headspace issues. Not sure if you had made it clear in your orginal post...but if its not the Ackley improved....this might be the next step.

Let me know how it works out. Should be a very potent and handy rifle.
 

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It is a great caliber,

And a mystery to me why the factories do not make it a standard cartridge.
 

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The issue with the "Big" ackleys was that some people other than G&H that were making them
used the standard 30-06 shoulder width.

The original dimensions by Ackley used a "wider"
shoulder that some describe as "improved"

You can also "fireform" cases by the "cream of wheat"
method.

12grains of unique and fill the case with the
wheat grannules fire them straight up
(don't spill the CoW in the magazine well)

You can then get a rough measurement of the chamber


AllanD
 

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Man,3 years and the closest I have gotten is a Big Bore 94 in .375!
BUT i have an 03 Springfield that is a good candidate!
 

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Lee will make you up a set of collet neck sizer dies for (it used to be 50 bucks, but who knows now) for any case they make a shell holder for. You might check out C & H or Redding for a set of case forming dies and they also can make up a set of loading dies for your chamber. C&H lists a 375-06 improved dies for 78 bucks.

I haven't ever built one of those so can't talk about headspacing issues. When I was up in Alaska in the mid and late 70's I did build some 375 Weatherbys, but all that entailed was opening up a 375 H&H chamber.

Here is C&H's website

http://www.ch4d.com/
 

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375-06, 375 Scovill, 375 Whelen and AI versions, 375 Hawk, 9.3x62, most of the 338 and 35 cal's built on the '06 case all have almost the same case capacity...75 gr H2O plus or minus about 3 gr. You can use the reloading data interchangeably if you start on the low end for the bullet weights and work up...just like you should do with any reloading...start low and work up slow...and follow all the precautions.

Barnes has data for the 375 Scovill...several online sites have data for most of the other cartridges...and most of the reloading die makers will make you a set for a price, by sending in 3 fired cases.

As with any wildcat, headspace, lengths, diameters, all the parameters have issues as there were no standard measurement points per se. Measure the shoulder diameter and the a point on the shoulder of a fired case...there were several shoulder diameters and lengths for AI cases and it depended on what reamers the 'smith used as to which "AI" you actually got.

I would send 3 cases to CH4D and have them make my dies if it were my shooter.

Any of the 375 cals on the '06 case platform are excellent choices for non-magnum applications.

Wish you had a feather in your nose and I had found that "treasure", then both of us would be tickled.....:D LOL

'Njoy your find
 

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if memory serves me right the shoulder diameter of an '06 case that has been AI'd is .455" that will give you more than enough shoulder.
fred zeglin also has some '06 basic brass that is pretty reasonably priced. he could also probably give you the best advice on loading for your new treasure. in fact he'd probably like to hear from you as he is working on a book about p.o. and might be interested in hearing about the particulars of you rifle. good luck and congratulations on a major find.
 

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I just ran into a very nice K98 action that I want to build a new rifle on, and I think a 375 Whelen Imp. would go good next to my 35 Whelen Imp. for nostalgia sake. Now I just need to find a reasonably priced barrel.
 

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A consideration, just because Ackley made the rifle doesn't mean it's an improved version.
Maybe should check the chamber before buying dies, etc.
I had a Mark X Mauser action made into a 375 Whelen for shooting cast bullets a number of years ago. I had good results with the RCBS, Saeco, NEI and Lyman bullets. For target shooting and hunting, with no deer dropped, I liked the Saeco bullet.
I used a carbolite, carbonite, el cheapo plastic stoce for hunting season. It' worked well, but for the first 50 or so shots the was a cloud of paint particles drifting around. Nice thick recoil pad too.
Lyman scopes, Bushnel, and the lower priced scopes lasted thru 20 to 50 shots prior to destruction.
Lyman reciever sight was used for hunting and target plinking was done with a Weaver Steel lite 3 to 9.
Good luck and have fun.

Jim
 

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True just the P.O. Ackley on the underside of the barrel is just probably one P.O.'s barrels that he installed for someone, and he was also in the business of building rifles to order, not just in his line of Ackley improved calibers. Check headspace first and then maybe fire from some 35 Whelen brass in the chamber using the cream of wheat method, then you will have something to measure and is easier and quicker than chamber cast
 

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Things that sound too good to be true....seldom are.

Maybe his brother kept the $$$. Or maybe it was chambered for a 357 not a 375 ??? :<)
 
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