View Full Version : 35 whelen improvement

August 12, 2000, 11:11 AM
I have a TC encore in 35 whelen. Due to unreliable function with factory ammunition, I am considering re-chambering to either the ackley improved or SSK's 358/06 JDJ. Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Which would be better?


Paul B.
August 12, 2000, 12:50 PM
MFH. I'm puzzled. What do you mean by unreliable function? No accuracy. They don't fire? (Probably not that, anyway.)
There was an article a while ago, by one of the writers in either RIFLE or HANDLOADER Magazine. He had a .35 Whelan, improved it, and then went to the Brown-Whelan improved, where the shoulder of the case is blown forward. he said that if he had to do it all over again, that he'd stick with the original Whelan. The amount of gain you would get, using safe reloads, would not be that much, and the Brown-Whelan is a pain in the butt to make. I have a friend who has the B/W and he keeps trying to get me to buy it. I have two .35 Whelans, a custom Mauser and a Ruger 77 MkI. Neither shoot what I call decent groups with factory ammo, but with reloads they are good shooters.
Frankly, I think that Remington dropping the 250 gr. bullet was a mistake. The 200 gr. bullet is too light for heavy game, in my opinion.
Give us more details on what your problem is, and maybe we can figure something out.
Paul B.

August 12, 2000, 06:34 PM
Paul, the function problem is indeed with firing at all. With Remington factory ammunition,I had one round that would not fire at all and two or three more which required more than one strike. Handloading with new Remington brass was even worse, with at least 25% of rounds not firing at all. I contacted the TC custom shop and they assured me that the barrel was thoroughly checked out before shipment. They suggested that I try a different brand of brass. At this point I sent a number of rounds, both live and "duds" along with fired brass to Remington for evaluation. The response I received was that they could not determine any reason for the problem, but that there might be a slight mis-match between the CCI primers and their brass. They suggested using only their components. Using fired brass, I have very little problem. About the only time a failure occurs is when the original load was not near maximum. I am only neck sizing the brass. I did try Federal brass. I purchased a box of their premium ammunition and disassembed it and then reloaded the cases. Failure to fire rate is over 30%. In every case, there is evidence of a "too light" firing pin strike. Measuring the rounds I have found no noticable differences. While using only "fire-formed" handloads is not a problem, in a pinch, I might need to rely on available factory loads. As far as acuracy goes, it does very well. using H-4895 and a 225gr. BT at about 2400fps in a 15" bbl it will group about 1MOA. I have two other barrels in different calibers and have never had even one failure with handloads or factory fodder.


Badger Arms
August 12, 2000, 07:39 PM
My first suspicion is a deep chamber. My second suspicion is a burr in the firing pin area that keeps the firing pin from it's full travel.

What I thought was going to be an interesting converstaion on .358" bore guns has turned into a simple troubleshooting session. Send the GUN back to TC and ask for a new one or a fix to the problem They merely test-fire the gun and if it goes bang, they send it out.

As for the rechamber, it'll cost you some money and all you'll end up getting is longer brass life and maybe a hair more velocity. The Whelen is a good, sound caliber and I'd stick with it in the factory incarnation.

Keep us posted on progress.

George Stringer
August 13, 2000, 07:59 AM
MFH, light strikes is usually an indication that your main spring is weak or something is intefering with and slowing the strike of the hammer or firing pin. I'd check the complete "drive train" for evidence of burrs or parts rubbing against the frame. If your hammer pin is not true it could also result in the hammer occasionally rubbing against one side of the frame or the other. Another area to check would be firing pin protrusion. Yours should be .060" to .065". George

Paul B.
August 13, 2000, 03:24 PM
MFH. I tend to go along with Badgerarms first impression, a deep chamber. That is, a headspacing problem. You state that "neck-sized" brass from the ones that did fire originally will fire without a problem. That is, if I understood you correctly. I think it would be a good idea to have the headspace in your T/C checked, even going so far as to have a chamber cast made. If the headspace seems suspiciously large, the chambercast will give you positive proof the barrel is defective and should be replaced.
I had to do this with a rifle I owned that had a two inch throat. The gunmaker fixed it pronto, with no argument.
What George said may also be a part of the problem, but my first suspicions go with the headspacing. My apologies George, if I turn out to be wrong.
Badgerarms. You want a thread on .358 caliber rifles? I'll start one. :)
Paul B.

August 14, 2000, 11:49 AM
Thanks everyone for the insight. I spoke to the TC custom shop this am and they want it back ASAP, both barrel and receiver.