View Full Version : How many shoot .358 caliber rifles? The .35 Rem. don't count

Paul B.
August 13, 2000, 04:00 PM
How many here shoot .35 caliber rifle cartridges other than the .35 Remington. The Remington round is popular, while the .358 Winchester is for all practical purposes, dead in the water, and the .35 Whelan is slowly going down for the third time. What the status of the .358 Norma mag. is, I don't know.
A few years back, Winchester dropped the 250 gr. bullet from production, and I have not been able to find any 250 gr. factory loads for my Whelan for quite a while. I much prefer them for elk. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any 200 gr. loads on my dealer shelves either. Not lately, anyway. Good thing I can make brass from .308 Won. and 30-06 brass.
Come to think of it, I have not been able to get 250 gr. factory ammo for my .338 Mag. either.
I reload, so it is no big thing, but it would be nice to be able to buy the heavier bullets, should you run out, or lose your supply.
As to loading the Whelan, in Elmer Keith's book, BIG GAME RIFLES, his loads with 3031 run about 5 or 6 grains higher than anything you can find in todays loading manuals. Now he did not blow his rifles up, or if he did, he never admitted it, so I wonder???? Have there been subtle changes in the design of the Whelan that we don't know about? I believe all his rifles had a 1 in 12 inch twist in the barrel. Why are currnet manufacturers using the 1 in 16 inch twist?
One last question. Why is it, that the .35 Remington is so popular, and the .358, and .35 Whelan are not? They're both better cartridges. Boy! More and more questions, and no real answers.
Well I think the .358 Win. and .35 Whelan are pretty darn good cartridges, and I have mine.
Paul B.

Badger Arms
August 13, 2000, 06:59 PM
I do... I've got four .358's and a 350 RM. I've also got a 35 Remington but since that don't count... I guess I only have five. My favorite is a custom Savage that is just super light and only kicks like a mule if other people shoot it... it's just fine for me. There is an EXCELLENT article on why the 358 is dead in the August issue of Handloader. It says that the place where you most need a gun like the .358 is in heavy brush. Problem is, that's also where you need a quick follow-up shot. The .358 has more recoil than an '06. Makes follow-up shots hard. My BLR is quicker than any bolt-action, but it's far to pretty to hunt with!

Paul B.
August 14, 2000, 12:13 PM
Badgerarms. I read that HANDLOADER article, but I don't necessarily agree with what he said. Using the 250 gr. Hornady Spire point at 2300 FPS, a 3 inch high zero at 100 yards will give you a 200 yard zero with almost 2000 ft. lbs. of energy. Even the Hornady RN with a 3 inch high setting won't be so low as to be useless at 200 yards. A 200 gr. Spire point should be effective on deer to close to 250 yards at 2500 FPS.
I can reach those velocities in my Ruger Mod.77, so I think the .358 Win. is under rated for some longer range use.
I just got some 200 gr. Hornady spire points for .35 caliber, and if the accuracy is there, I'll try them for a deer hunt I'm planning in New Mexico. Should be interesting. I got the best velocity with
H-335, using the Hornady 250 gr. RN, if I remember right, but I'd have to look. I was planning on another rain forest elk hunt, and figured out that a .358 might not be a bad idea.
Kind of a weird story on how I got mine. I'd just gone back to work after an unfruitful elk hunt on the Olympic Penninsula. I'd gotten the idea that something like a .358 Win. might be a good idea for that area. Anyway, looking through the firearms section of the paper, one night at work, I saw an ad for a Ruger 77 in .358. As it was about 10 PM, I cut the ad out with the intention of calling them the next day. Well, my train of thought got derailed, and I forgot about the ad, until I found it in my wallet about 6 weeks after it ran in the paper. I called the guy anyway, and he not only still had it, but it was new in the box, unfired. $250. I told him my name, and said I would be there within the hour, consider it sold.
The stock was so pretty, I took it off and put a McMillan stock on it. Better in rain forest anyway. It does 1.5 inches with the 250 gr. Hornady RN's and about 7/8's with the 200 gr. Sierra RN's. I haven't tried spitzers in it yet. I did not think that the recoil was that bad. Seems like the late Jack O'Connor felt that the gun would be a good brush gun, but that it kicked too much. I don't think his evaluation of the .358 helped it much, and in fact may be a good part of it's unpopularity. Elmer Keith liked it though. So do I. I like my .35 Whelans too. Al Miller wrote a great article on the .35's, in either RIFLE or HANDLOADER. I can't remember which. I wrote him and complimented him on it, and he answered back with some load data for a cast bullet in the Whelan. The 200 gr. RCBS #35-200FN. He duplicated factory velocities with it. I got the mold, but so far I have only tried it in the .358, which so far does not like the bullet. Oh well. Back to the drawing board.
Paul B.
P.S. Moderater. I goofed. This should probably be in the Rifles forum. Feel free to transfer it over.