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Old 06-27-2011, 07:22 AM
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375 Brown Whelen

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Hello Folks,
I'm new to this forum, but have been a hunter and handloader for many years.
I love to study ballistics and used to be a "speed freak", thinking every round had to achieve at least 3000 fps to be "fast enough" to effectively convey the proper "shock energy" to the animal being hunted. Out of respect for the animals, I always want the quickest and most humane kill possible.

What my experience has shown me through over 40 years of hunting has changed that idea.

It all started when I was watching a hunting show one day on muzzleloading. I noticed that some very large bucks were many times dropping in thier tracks from a large diameter bullet at low velocity. Deciding to try this out, I started looking for a bolt rifle in 45-70 that I could load up faster than normal (still in the faster is better mode). I found one in .444 Marlin and bought it. Using Hornady Light Mag. factory loads, it put down almost everything I shot right in it's tracks - very impressive. Although it didn't need it, like a typical American engineer, I immediately started trying to figure out how to make it "better". I started to design a wildcat based on a 458 Win. Mag. case shortened to 2.35" long, but couldn't find bullets I reallly liked for the speed I hoped to achieve and never went through w/ it.

Through all of this, I still didn't get rid of my other rifles like my trusty Savage 99 in 300 Savage, or my Springfield 30-06. They still worked and were special to me.

What I have done is explore the medium bores like 35 Whelen, etc. I wanted something that I could load for deer w/ a large wide bullet at moderate velocities, and still load a little heavier bullet in for elk or larger game. I've ended up finding a Ruger M77 rifle in 375 Whelen that I am wanting to rechamber for the max. power and efficiency that I can get in a 30-06 or similar brass.

My first thoughts, through much study, was to get the rifle rechambered to 376 Steyr, which is a neat and efficient round w/ factory brass still available. The only problem was the large amount of reworking needing to be done- barrel set back, opening bolt face, and rechambering. To simplify the operation, I looked at using the 370 Sako brass opened up to 375 caliber, and that's still an option.

Measuring case capacity, I've found that the 375 Hawk round will have a capacity that's close to the Sako round if I widen and push up the shoulder some- hence the Brown Whelen. I couldn't find a 375 brown whelen reamer, but can rent a 375 Hawk reamer w/ go & nogo gauges, and a 35 brown whelen reamer w/ a 375 pilot to make the chamber I want.

This should give me the 375 brown whelen round, that will do the best I can w/ this caliber w/out going to a magnum, which I don't need. I know that its more than needed for deer, but I don't like to have to track them, unless I'm training my son. I also want the option to load it hotter for elk and larger, possibly African, game as the opportunity arises.

What I hope to achieve is the following:

Deer load - 225gr. Hornady bullet at 2600 fps. (dont think I'll need it faster)
Elk - 235gr. triple shock X bullet or 250gr. A-frame bullet at 2700 fps
African Game - 270gr. triple shock X bullet at 2600 fps

I'd like to know your thoughts on this cartridge, and particularly from anyone who has had experience w/ this or a similar round.

Thanks Much,

Last edited by southernford; 06-27-2011 at 07:30 AM. Reason: Adding comment.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:40 AM
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Just a thought, have you considered using it "as is" to see how it would work? Since brass should be pretty easy to form for any of the Whelen rounds, I would load up a handful and check it out.

Reason I'm suggesting this is that I have hunted with a .35 Rem for several years and it's killed stuff like poison This at 2,000-2,300fps. Cast bullets or jacketed, it works great with both. My experience with rifles is that with .35 bore and up, it just doesn't matter how fast it's going. Have had good results also with the .444 and .458 Win Mag. Also the .338 Win, but I haven't messed with cast bullets much in it yet so can't comment further at this time.

Other than a slight loss of trajectory, the "slow" doesn't give up anything to the rest of the rifles in the safe.

Anyway, just a thought. Let us know what you end up with. Pics of a few "satisfied customers" via the .35 Rem and cast bullet loads......
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375 Brown Whelen-bigpig.jpg   375 Brown Whelen-tilden_truck_pig.jpg  

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Last edited by MikeG; 06-27-2011 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:37 AM
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Location: Huntsville, AL
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Reason I'm suggesting this is that I have hunted with a .35 Rem for several years and it's killed stuff like poison
My dad would say the same except his time-frame would be for almost 50 years now (from the early 1960s until today, even). He's used a Remington 760 in .35 Remington from then until now with great success (several hundred game animals taken with that cartridge) with the 200gr Core-Lokts.

The .375 Whelen sounds interesting. I know the .35 Whelen has gained a lot of popularity down here in the The South recently with the new "primitive weapons" regulations. In MS, on private land during primitive weapons season you can use metallic cartridges with .35cal or larger bullets in single-shot, exposed hammer rifles (T/C Encore, for example). Before, you could use .45-70 or .444 Marlin but they dropped the caliber to .35 recently. The .35 Whelen was an instant choice and many with the .45-70 and .444 traded them in for the .35 Whelen. Obviously, the .375 Whelen would be legal as well. Personally, I plan to go with the .35 Remington if I ever get time to hunt during that season

Last edited by shane256; 06-27-2011 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 05:00 AM
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One of my friends shoots a 35 Brown Whelen good looking case.
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:13 AM
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Good Looking Case

I thought so too. The original -06 case has too much unneaded neck, in my opinion, unless really heavy and long bullets are used.
If you have room in the mag area to seat bullets out further, the Brown-Whelen case makes a lot more sense to me. As I've heard it said, it's what the 06 case "should have been" for best efficiency. Thanks, Dave.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:46 PM
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I hunted elk with a .35 Brown Whelan for years, 250 gr. Barnes bullet and a case full of 4064. It really knocked them down, a great cartridge.
Dick C.
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:29 AM
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Not sure just what the 'Brown Whelen' case is, or how it's different. I've used the 375 Whelen, just plain vanilla, for a number of years as a cast bullet gun. Redding made a wonderful set of dies, Lyman, Saeco, NEI, RCBS all make good accurate molds.
I suspect that heat treated cast bullets would drop most any critter on this continent.
How much more dead can you make dead?

Cast bullets are the true and rightous path to shooting bliss
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:08 AM
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An '06 case with just a hint of a shoulder. Very near straight, and near max case capacity. An 'improved Whelan', was real popular 50 yrs ago.
Dick C.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:15 AM
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I have a 35 Whelen Ackley and love it, and am interested in building a 375 Whelen Ackley to go with it.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Anyone done anything with this type cartridge or a "375 Sako" - a 375 Whelen rechambered for the 370 Sako brass?
Still wanting to open up my 375 Whelen a little.
Tnhunter likes this.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:05 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hoonah, Alaska and Glennallen Alaska.
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The biggest common round on the 06 case is the 400 Whelan. RIP on AR forums is working with some of them. A few other guys have them and they really do bring the 06 case into a whole nuther realm. Like a 400 gr bullet @2250+ fps. And 300 gr@ 2550 fps + . I've never had a 375 Whelan. But I do know of some around here. I did have a 9.362 Mauser in a short barreled CZ . It pushed 285-286 gr bullets @2400 fps. And a 250 gr X bullet @2550 . It was a sweet light rifle. I now shoot the 9.364 Brenneke. It's a great round, the equal of the 375 Ruger or H +H.
How long is your barrel? What twist?
Sorry that I'm not more help. But it sounds like a great rifle your designing.
You are being watched.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:58 AM
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It's the stock 22" barrel and when rebored to 375 it was given a 1 in 14" twist. Still not done w/ it.
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