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Old September 28, 2023, 12:07 PM   #1
oldbear1950
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35 Whelen

does anyone have any experience with this caliber?
I do know when I was stationed in Alaska was a popular caliber, and was said to be almost Identical to the 350 Remington Mag as far as bullets and ballistics,
and was powerful enough for anything in Alaska, within its limitations
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Old September 28, 2023, 01:02 PM   #2
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I had one for several years. It was the easiest rifle I ever did load development for, it seemed to shoot everything well. Shooting full house loads with heavy bullets wasn't exactly pleasant.

I took it elk hunting a couple of times and never connected. I've shot a couple deer with it ans it does the job well. The .350 Rem Mag was an attempt to duplicate the Whelen in a short action.
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Old September 28, 2023, 02:35 PM   #3
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was said to be almost Identical to the 350 Remington Mag as far as bullets and ballistics,
IT is, but the comparison is backwards, as .35 Whelen predates the .350 Rem Mag by decades as a wildcat round. The .350 Rem Mag was created to match .35 Whelen ballistics (they do use the same bullets) from a short action length case, the magnum case body allowing essentially the same amount of powder as the longer smaller diameter 06 case the Whelen was made from.

The Whelen started out as a wildcat around 1922, the .350 Rem Mag as a factory round about 1964 and Remington began producing factory .35 Whelen rifles and ammo in 1988.
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Old September 28, 2023, 03:36 PM   #4
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I've always said that if I had togo with only one rifle/cartridge combo that it would be the 30-06 However since acquiring my first .35 Whelen, I now have three, I may change my mind.

Seriously, the .35 has done everything I could do with the 06 and then some. I can plink with light bullet made for the .38 Spl. and .357 Mag. Hunt deer with a 200 gr. bullet and larger game with a bunch of heavier bullets ranging from 225 gr. to 275 gr. I have a few of the long discontinued Hornady 275 gr. .35 caliber bullets. Current pet load runs the 225 gr. Barnes TSX to 2710 FPS using RL15. What's not to like Accurate as all get out and smacks elk hard.
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Old September 28, 2023, 04:02 PM   #5
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My brother and I hunted with 35 Whelen's for a couple of years. It doesn't do anything a 30-06 won't do except kick more. Recoil is almost exactly the same as 300 WM.

That doesn't mean it won't work, it does. But a 200-220 gr 30 caliber bullet will match or beat a 225-250 gr 35 caliber bullets penetration on game. Not enough difference in bullet diameter to matter. Less than the thickness of a dime.

It's only when you move to 275 gr bullets that the 35's start so show a small edge over comparable 30 caliber cartridges. But almost no one loads bullets that heavy in a 35 caliber rifle. IMO at that weight it's time to move up to a 375.

A tough 200 gr bullet from any of them will drop anything in Alaska. 30-06 will get 2700 fps with 200's, 35 Whelen, about 2800, and 300 WM, about 2900. But the 35 loses velocity fast. Past 100 yards the 30-06 is faster and the 300WM is a lot faster.
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Old September 28, 2023, 04:23 PM   #6
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IMO the 35 whelen is the best of the 06 family. And that is that.
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Old September 28, 2023, 04:49 PM   #7
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Like .358 Win, .35 Whelen tends to have snappy recoil. And plenty of it.
But you can launch .35 caliber bullets faster than same-weight bullets in .30-06.
You get the impact of a 4-lb sledge hammer, while only swinging a 32-ouncer.

I have had a .35 Whelen in two forms, and am currently building the next iteration on a commercial Mauser action.
I like the cartridge and want to hammer some elk (and bear?) with it.

.

*.35 Whelen is based on .30-03 (or, arguably, .30-01), not .30-06. Same for .270 Win and .280 Rem. They are all children of .30-03, including .30-06.
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Old September 28, 2023, 05:18 PM   #8
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Had a 700 BDL, it had the double brass pins in the stock and the same recoil pad as the same gun in 300Win Mag. Kicked same too!
Wish I still had it
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Old September 28, 2023, 05:44 PM   #9
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I can't help but bring it up every time the subject of 35 whelen comes up--but here's a glam shot of my 2015 special edition ruger hawkeye in 35 whelen (one of 150 made that year)--one of the top pride and joy guns in my collection. She's not just pretty and very well-built--but very, very accurate.

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Old September 28, 2023, 08:17 PM   #10
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35 whelen is everything the 30-06 wants to be
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Old September 28, 2023, 08:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
I can't help but bring it up every time the subject of 35 whelen comes up--but here's a glam shot of my 2015 special edition ruger hawkeye in 35 whelen (one of 150 made that year)--one of the top pride and joy guns in my collection. She's not just pretty and very well-built--but very, very accurate.
Oh, no! It looks like Ruger forgot to finish the barrel properly.
If you'll just box that up and ship it to me, I'll get it all fixed up at no charge.
I might even consider sending it back in 15-95 years.
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Old September 28, 2023, 10:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
IMO the 35 whelen is the best of the 06 family. And that is that.
It's up there, right behind the .270 and .338-06!
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Old September 29, 2023, 04:27 AM   #13
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And some really like the 6.5-06.
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Old September 29, 2023, 04:41 AM   #14
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Oh, no! It looks like Ruger forgot to finish the barrel properly.
If you'll just box that up and ship it to me, I'll get it all fixed up at no charge.
I might even consider sending it back in 15-95 years.
Sounds fair enough. I know it's heresey; but I sometimes consider the hawkeye MI (model 70 Improved).
Quote:
It's up there, right behind the .270 and .338-06!
Got them too, there's no denying the 270 is an all-time classic--IMO the 338-06 suffers from "in betweenism"--a bullet selection that is dominated by either 338 federal or 338 lapua magnum. but the whelen punches above its weight.
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Old September 29, 2023, 08:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by taylorce1 View Post
It's up there, right behind the .270 and .338-06!
I'd argue it is right behind the .338-06 and the .280AI. Those are two of my favorite cartridges. Add a 223 and a 6.5CM and I could be very happy with those 4 rifle calibers to do it all.

The .35 Whelen is a very good and capable cartridge. Less recoil than the magnums, better sectional density than the .30s. For Moose, Elk and Bear, I'd take a .35 Whelen over anything that is .30 caliber or smaller. It is pretty easy to handload for as well.
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Old September 29, 2023, 08:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by stagpanther View Post
IMO the 338-06 suffers from "in betweenism"--a bullet selection that is dominated by either 338 federal or 338 lapua magnum.


Neither of those assertions ring true IMHO. The .338-06 has a larger following than either of those cartridges.
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Old September 29, 2023, 09:16 AM   #17
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Some years ago, I decided I needed a >30 bore rifle. OK, I'd been reading too much Elmer, but I nee...wanted one. Considered 338-06, 338 Win Mag, 35 Whelen, and, in deference to my German ancestors, 9.3x62. All capable medium bore rounds. But I went 338 for the bullet selection. And I figured you can load the Magnum down, but you can't load the -06 up.

With one exception, 35s just don't seem to catch on in the US. The exception being the 35 Remington, still fairly popular in my native PA. I have a 35 WCF, never the most popular round in the 1895. The 348 was actually fairly short lived, although a good Model 71 commands a high price. And Old Bear's other queried round, the 358, has not exactly flown off the shelves.

The Whelen has the history and the capability. It will be around longer than most of us. But if it kicks less than the 338 Win Mag, it's not by much. And those high BC 338 bullets are hard to beat.

Oh, I did buy a 9.3 as well. If you like the Whelen, you'll love that one.
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Old September 29, 2023, 11:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
a bullet selection that is dominated by either 338 federal or 338 lapua magnum. but the whelen punches above its weight
We'll agree to disagree on that one, the .338-06 and .35 Whelen work best with 250 grain or lighter bullets. I like the bullet options better for the .338 in that range. There just isn't enough difference to make me get another Whelen.

Don't get me wrong I really liked my Whelen. I only sold it because of not having any income for a year because of an accident. In fact all my rifles were for sale, and I also parted with one of my two .338-06 rifles.
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Old September 29, 2023, 12:06 PM   #19
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9.3X62

I checked all those rounds 338-06, 35 Whelen, and 9.3x62, and the truth is the 9.3x62 has a lot to offer, and even beats the two American calibers by a slim margin. Trouble is finding rifles a person on a fixed income can afford,
and brass here in the USA. I have also read 30-06 can be formed to make brass.
I doubt if any game shot with these three rounds could tell the difference, or if the hunter using them could tell by looking at the game , and if they traveled when hit, what round was used.
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Old September 29, 2023, 12:35 PM   #20
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I did check gun broker and buds and they both sell a single shot by traditions and CVA, in the 5 Whelen, but not the other two. and since I reload , that would be my choice
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Old September 29, 2023, 01:43 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by oldbear1950
Trouble is finding rifles a person on a fixed income can afford
What can you afford? A used .30-06 usually isn't to expensive, and you can have it rebored for around another $300. I'd rather replace the barrel, but a lot of people have gone the rebore route and been happy.
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Old September 29, 2023, 03:57 PM   #22
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I think I will check the used market and find a left hand bolt action and see about having it rebored to 35 whelen
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Old September 30, 2023, 10:14 AM   #23
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If you're looking into used left hand bolt guns on a budget, look and see if one of the older Savage 110s fills your needs. Assuming you can find one, of course. Left hand anythings are not common.

IF you do get a Savage 110, immediately begin the search for a spare replacement extractor. There's nothing wrong with the extractor, but it is small, and IF it fails, or somehow gets lost, your rifle is pretty much out of action. I needed one in the early 80s and it took a couple months to get one, then.

Left hand guns are niche items, sometimes they sell for more than the standard item, sometimes less, just to get them sold and not be a drag on the seller's market.

Good Luck!
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Old September 30, 2023, 04:55 PM   #24
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There was an article in one of the gun rags where the writer was searching for the "most efficient" cartridge available. I forget what magazine and what cartridges he worked with but his conclusion was for the .35 Whelen. I thought about it some and read the article more than a few times looking for any flaws in his reasoning. Frankly, I found none. The cartridge is easy to load, accurate, uses a reasonable amount of propellent for reasonable results so what's not to like?
Recoils similar to the .338 Win. Mag.? I don't think so in rifles of equal weight. I have two rifles in .338 Win. Mag. and both literally beat me to death. Both are Winchester M70s BTW, one a post 64 pre 68 gun and the other a stainless classic. Both have good recoil pads. The earlier M70 weighs within ounces of my custom Mauser .35 Whelen and both rifle appear to fit me in the same manner. Recoil from the M70 is much more difficult to handle and the stainless classic is even worse as it it the lightest weight of the three even with 2" more barrel and a brake.
As far as ranging out yonder, my per load for my .35 is the 225 gr. Barnes TSX at 2710 FPS and based on range work I've done with is and 1 30-06 with 180 gr. bullets, trajectory is just about the same. I can and have taken elk to 350 yards with that load in the custom I have the Remigton in the .35, a Ruger M77 which has simialar. Recoil isn't much different that a hot loaded 220 gr. bullet from a Remington M700. I will agree that the Remington M700 in .35 Whelen is a bit snappy but also believe the rifle is about a pound too light to really be comfortable in the Whelen. I also have a Ruger M77 restocked with a Ramline that could use a slight weight gain but my custom Mauser which isn't more than about eight pounds really does appear to kick less. Even so, even M700 kicks me less that either .338 Mag.
I guess everyone should just go with whatever floats their boat.
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Old September 30, 2023, 05:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
If you're looking into used left hand bolt guns on a budget, look and see if one of the older Savage 110s fills your needs. Assuming you can find one, of course. Left hand anythings are not common.

IF you do get a Savage 110, immediately begin the search for a spare replacement extractor. There's nothing wrong with the extractor, but it is small, and IF it fails, or somehow gets lost, your rifle is pretty much out of action. I needed one in the early 80s and it took a couple months to get one, then.

Left hand guns are niche items, sometimes they sell for more than the standard item, sometimes less, just to get them sold and not be a drag on the seller's market.

Good Luck!
It's actually a teensie little blade that is held in place by a teensie ball bearing under tension from a teensie spring. Along with their infamous bottom bolt release, two of Savage's most annoying less than stellar engineering feats IMO.
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