Great discussions, debating, defending our favorite cartridges. I used to stand in the camp that favors speed over mass - O'Connor vs Keith. It was the disappointing performance of my 7 Mag (now sold) on big hogs (with good bullets) and the devastating field performances of my Whelen that moved me over to the Keith side of things. YMMV, of course.Seems a lot of us get wrapped up in numbers, myself included! I thought this little dissertaion about an article in Rifleshooter might just give a bit of insight into the "magic" the Whelen brings to the table.
Spring 2005 Rifleshooter Magazine declares 35 Whelen the most efficient!
An article in March/April 2005 Rifleshooter Magazine entitled Cartridge Efficiency, written by George W. Calef, proposes - "Forget about the highest power and velocity : which rounds produce the most with the powder they burn?"
I think Calef's article is somewhat flawed with errors of fact, some questions about logic, and and some ommisions (like straight walled cases like the 444 Marlin and the 45- 70 and other worthy efficient wildcats). However, his basic conclusions about 35s are no suprise to knowledgable 35 calibre fans. They confirm my own reflections on relative cartridge efficiency. Calef presents his findings;
"I put my money on the 7mm-08, the .284 Winchester, or the .308 Win., with the thought in the back of my mind that, just possibly, the wonderful little .250 Savage would beat them all. Boy was I astonished when the numbers started rolling in - suprised on several counts in fact - and I suspect you will be too.
To keep you from holding your breath any longer, the winner is the .35 Whelen. This venerable cartridge (a long time wildcat designed way back in 1930 in honor of Col. Townsend Whelen and finally legitimized in 1995 [note - error of fact - should read 1988] by Remington) delivers more kinetic energy and a higher L [Wooter's lethality index] factor per grain of powder burned than any other cartridge.
In Ackley's improved version it is even better, becoming the only cartridge on the list capable of generating more than 50 ft-lbs of energy and a L factor exceeding 5.00 at 200 yards for each grain of powder loaded. End Quote
Whelen's Northwoods Trails 35 caliber site - 35 Whelen, 358 Winchester, 356 Winchester, and other great 35s discussed
Ballistic tables are invaluable and tremendously useful resources for information, but terminal results in the field prove more than the manuals and charts. The .35's being excellent examples of this on bigger, heavier game than deer and yotes,……but will take them down with authority as well.
No question, there are cartridges with better reach. But, at all more reasonable ranges, place your shot well and a .35 will surprise you on how fast it will put your game on the ground - now. Many of us choose our .35's for just that reason.