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Old January 14, 2023, 09:08 AM   #26
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Midway has Redding 7mm Gibbs dies in stock. The fact that a major manufacturer makes them indicates to me that chambers are not all over the map. And you can always neck size. I think you can load and shoot your rifle with confidence for a relatively small investment.

Then again, if what you really want is a 35 Whelen, make it so. "It's only money." No wrong choices here.
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Old January 14, 2023, 02:15 PM   #27
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You do whatever makes you happy!! Seems like you asked for our opinions.
I'm not trying to control anyone. There is no arguement to win.

35 Whelen was a wildcat for what? a Half Century? before Remington made it a factory cartridge. Unless you have a line on 35 Whelen factory brass, good luck finding it.
Yes,you can neck up 30-06 bass. "In the beginning.." But yeah ,thats a lot like forming brass. Some folks just shove 30-06 brass into their 35 Whelen sizing die. I tried that. My standards are not low enough to consider the results acceptable. Buy your 35 Whelen dies and try it. See what you think.

Now,If Redding or RCBS make a rigid expander mandrel,that will likely work.

I got good brass by blowing the neck out with Cream of Wheat over Bullseye.

P.I,T,A, but it worked. I'd guess necking 30-06 down to 7mm would leave a trace of shoulder for fireforming. Then same P.I.T.A. COW/Bullseye process to blow the shoulder forward. Or maybe forget the COW/Bullseye and just load fireform ammo ala Ackley Improving. Wildcatting can be exciting!! Its so fun when your face is intact!

Remember you are buying a pretty stock. Odds are its not going to spend a week rough camping chasing elk. Maybe get a Ruger American for that.
load a few dummy rounds wth a hole drilled in the case. Shiny ones!! Get. them out for show and tell. Have a chunk of shearling sheepskin with a little RIG worked in. Give that rifle some love! Pass it and the dummy rounds to a friend. Talk about days gone by. Put the rifle away and pour a dribble of Hennessy or McCallans in some glass. ENJOY !! Now get out your original 35 Newton!! (or .256)

These days,who takes a beautiful walnut stock anywhere you need 35 Whelen to hunt with? And these days, the perfectly normal "excellent groups" from a decades ago "straight shooter" (like 1 1/2 MOA) are still good...but not impressive.

I've never seen this rifle and I dont know you. What do I know? It seems like a marvelous safe queen. What real difference does the cartridge make?

A 30-06 would be practical. 7 mm Gibbs or 35 Whelen.... either are just quirky enough.

Reboring? I'll suggest plan on not setting the barrel back unless you want to glass bed it. You'll lose the line to line fit. Then overlay chamber drawings. I doubt the Whelen will clean the Gibbs chamber. Just a guess. Maybe a Brown-Whelen? (Maybe)

Then realize the process of rifling and lapping a bore typically leaves about 1 and 1/2 inch of imperfect bore at the muzzle end. Its a process thing. Expect to lose some barrel length.

But you do it your way.
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Old January 14, 2023, 05:03 PM   #28
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It's basically another way of building a 280AI.
Not exactly, these are two different solutions for the same end in sight. You want to increase case volume, you can do it either by moving the shoulder forward or blowing the shoulder out. Pretty much everyone decided to follow Ackley's idea of blowing the shoulder out rather than pushing it forward.

You will have to rebarrel. But don't worry, people do this all the time. You get someone to copy the profile of the existing barrel. It will be really close if you pick the right smith. You might not even need the barrel channel reworked. If you decide to keep it and reload for it, you can buy un-necked 30-06 brass from Hawke.

A new set of 7mm Gibbs dies will cost about $400 and take 2-3 months to get. I would rebarrel it. But it's your call, decide what you want and get that baby rebarreled.
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Old January 14, 2023, 05:32 PM   #29
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A Pac-Nor barrel is $315 + $35 to copy your contour + $300 to chamber and fit to gun.

Others will, too, but I don't see price lists.
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Old January 14, 2023, 06:14 PM   #30
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Seems like you asked for our opinions.
HiBC, I did ask and really appreciate them! This has been a great thread that has helped me a lot. I agree that 30-06 would be the most practical cartridge, and if I end up rebarrelling, that's probably what I'd go with. I've tinkered enough to know that wildcats aren't my thing.

Scorch, I wish this thing was 280AI... that would be awesome! So close...

Jim, the barrel on there now is McGowan. If I rebarrel, I would probably have them replace it, since they can do the exact same contour guaranteed. All these places seem to charge around $600-$650 for a complete job.

Then I just have to choose the cartridge, 30-06, 280AI, 35 Whelen, lots of good choices.
In God we trust.

Last edited by jackstrawIII; January 14, 2023 at 06:32 PM.
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Old January 14, 2023, 07:39 PM   #31
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Reminds me of a story by Ed Harris.
He bought a .318 Westley Richards with barrel eroded by Axite with the idea of rebarreling to .375. But when he got the barrel off, he found it was a small ring '98. So he settled for a .35 Whelen.

In your place, I would be lazy and go with a standard factory round. Maybe just a plain .280.
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Old January 15, 2023, 02:07 AM   #32
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Maybe just a plain .280.
or maybe 284 win or its derivatives? I've read about a "resurgence" of this cartridge in 1000 yd comps.
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