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Old November 10, 2019, 02:40 PM   #1
Andy1
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.358 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield

I recently inherited a Remington 7600 in .308 Winchester. I already have 2 other .308s and really don't need another. I got an offer to trade even up for a Remington 7600 .30-06 Springfield. But I also had the idea to get this .308 pump rifle rechambered to .358 Winchester. I'd need to find a respectable gunsmith because I really don't trust people to do anything right. Plus there's the whole ammo availability issue.

Any thoughts?
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Old November 10, 2019, 03:46 PM   #2
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First off, going from a .308 to a .358 would need more than just rechambering, it would need reboring (and re-rifling) and it would be simpler and cheaper to just replace the barrel with a .358 Win barrel.

Since the Remington pump was made in both calibers, the swap would be fairly simple and require much less skilled gunsmith labor than reboring and rechambering the .308 barrel.

Ammo availability?? .358 is still a commercially produced round, though its not near the top of the most common rounds list, and might only be produced "seasonally". If you handload, its not an issue. If you don't, then buy a quantity when you find it, so that you have enough to tide you over through the times when its "on backorder". (which might be a year or two...)
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Old November 10, 2019, 04:51 PM   #3
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I understand that rechambering involves all that, I figured it was implied.

But the 7600 was never sold in .358 Winchester. It was sold in .35 Remington years ago and .35 Whelen for a short time.
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Old November 10, 2019, 05:09 PM   #4
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I got an offer to trade even up for a Remington 7600 .30-06 Springfield.
You could make this swap and have the rifle rechambered and rebored/rerifled for the .35 Whelen. As you no doubt know, the conversion of .30-06 to .35 Whelen involves the very same procedure as converting a rifle from .308 to .358 but you would have slightly improved "ballistics", albeit with the attendant slightly increased recoil (no free lunches when it comes to physics ).

If you don't reload, a choice between the two cartridges might come down to which one is more likely to be on the ammunition shelf and which one costs the least. Sadly, neither cartridge is easy to find and both are relatively expensive when you do find it. At this point in time, my guess is that the .35 Whelen is more "obtainable" than the .358 Winchester is.
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Old November 10, 2019, 07:24 PM   #5
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From a practical perspective a 30-06 out performs both 35 Whelen and 358 Win. But if your goal is to have something unique a 358 would meet that goal and would certainly be effective within it's range limitations.

Since all 7600's are designed around long actions it wouldn't be any harder, probably easier, to convert to 35 Whelen.
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Old November 10, 2019, 07:48 PM   #6
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From a practical perspective
I'm afraid you're in the wrong arena here. You might want to visit Consumers Report. com...:roll eyes:
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Old November 11, 2019, 01:29 PM   #7
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"...out performs..."? Only in velocity. Not in momentum or sectional density.

If you are a handloader the .358 Winchester would be excellent. If you buy ammo and shoot only on occasion, th .358 Win is still a very useful round. Unless you are overwhemed with the idea of hunting moose in Canada. While standing in Wyoming.
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Old November 11, 2019, 02:18 PM   #8
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"...it would need reboring..." That'd be really expensive. Machining time runs over $100 per hour plus set up time. Be easier and far less expensive to rebarrel. Most likely be a custom barrel. Keep in mind that the 7600 is an entry level hunting rifle. It will not be an easy hunt for an aftermarket ready to install barrel. For example, The base price of a Kreiger .358" barrel is $375. MSRP on a BNIB 7600 is $918.
The bigger thing is the lack of .358 Win ammo and brass. You will not find .358 Win in small places.
Midway shows exactly 2 brands in 2 bullet weights(200 and 225). And no brass at all.
Graf's shows 2 brands with 4 loads but 3 are out of stock. Doubletap brand is out of stock and starts at $50 per 20. They show brass though. Starline($68.99 per 100), Hornady($36.99 per 50) and Winchester($31.99 per 50).
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Old November 11, 2019, 02:42 PM   #9
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me

I the sort of guy that would not start plumbing on an heirloom rifle. You don't mention any particulars about your other .308 rifles (2). If they are bolt guns, and you don't have any special attachment to them, and you want a .358, it is likely far easier to rebarrel a .308 bolt to .358 and be done with it, than a full custom project like a .358 Rem pump. If they are Savage bolts, (?) you might just be able to do it yourself!
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Old November 11, 2019, 03:06 PM   #10
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First off 358 Win is not produced seasonally, there is always plenty in stock through on line vendors. Certain rounds like 35 Remington are seasonally produced, but 358 Win is not one of them. We did just start hunting season in a lot of place so some of the more expensive old school vendors like the LGS and Midway might be running low but you can buy a lifetime supply of ammo today through Carolina, Buds, ASW, Impact or any number of other vendors.

Secondly if you have no rifle in .30-06 I would encourage you to get one. They are extremely versatile and the ammo will run about half as much as the 358.
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Old November 11, 2019, 05:46 PM   #11
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There is nothing a .358 will do that a .308 or .30-06 won;t do better.
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Old November 11, 2019, 10:39 PM   #12
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They are not real common but can be found, sometimes on Gunbroker, or the bigger gunshows, but it's a easteregg hunt, somewhat. I have had the 35 Whelen in a Ruger 77 and the 358 in a Browning BLR, older steel frame model. Both were accurate and hit hard, but came at the price of increased recoil, and I handloaded for both of them.

Instead of converted a Pump, I would look for a clean used lever gun or bolt gun. If I was going to do a conversion I would do it on a bolt gun IMHO. One caliber I like better then both is the 350 Rem Mag, and it's a hard thumper, again more of a handloading situation. I like the headspace friendliness of the 350 Mag over the Whelen, not that the Whelen can't be headspaced properly. If you have the time, the 35's are fun to handload and pretty versatile.
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Old November 12, 2019, 12:51 AM   #13
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My observations of game in the field hit with .35 caliber bullets is that quite often they react like being hit with the hammer of Thor.

Despite the figures of energy, velocity and everything else written what I've seen is that the various .35s hit "hard" and match or exceed the unquantifiable "knockdown" of other smaller calibers with higher numbers.

Everything "knocks them down" but the .35s especially the more powerful ones seem to "bowl them over" with more authority than smaller bores with more energy on paper.

No math formula explains this, but its what we see happen, often. And I think its the main reason the .35s don't go away, and have occasional surges in popularity.
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Old November 12, 2019, 01:13 AM   #14
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Remington never made a production rifle in 358 Win. They did make them in 35 Rem, it might be possible to rechamber one. Your 7600 in 30-06 can't be rechambered to 358, the 30-06 chamber is too long. It could be converted to 35 Whelen.

Reboring a barrel to 35 caliber costs $250 at JES Reboring. I don't know if they can do it on a 7600 or not. Contact them.
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Old November 13, 2019, 09:46 AM   #15
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I appreciate all the responses. I'm interested in the .358 for something different I guess. I'm in no shortage of rifles, although they are almost all hand me downs and older than me (45). I have a .22-250, .243, 6mm Rem, 257 Roberts, 7mm-08, (3) 308s, .35 Rem, .25-06, .270 Win, & .280 Rem. The only ones I bought are the .25-06 & 7mm-08. The rest I inherited. The other 308s are a Winchester 88 & Savage 99. They are both more than 50 years old but shoot more than straight enough for any Pennsylvania deer. I've been hunting with the .35 Rem the past few years because I like the big diameter. I might start looking into a .45-70 Gov't trade for the 308 pump.

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Old November 13, 2019, 11:39 AM   #16
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My very basic opinion on the proposed trade:
If you reload, go for the .358 Win conversion.
If you shoot factory ammo, trade for the .30-06.

Quote:
My observations of game in the field hit with .35 caliber bullets is that quite often they react like being hit with the hammer of Thor.

Despite the figures of energy, velocity and everything else written what I've seen is that the various .35s hit "hard" and match or exceed the unquantifiable "knockdown" of other smaller calibers with higher numbers.

Everything "knocks them down" but the .35s especially the more powerful ones seem to "bowl them over" with more authority than smaller bores with more energy on paper.

No math formula explains this, but its what we see happen, often. And I think its the main reason the .35s don't go away, and have occasional surges in popularity.
I agree.
It seems intangible, unquantifiable. There are no magic numbers to point at and say, "that's why!"
Unless you see it in person, the anecdotes seem like fiction. But there seems to be something there.
(.444 Marlin performance is very similar on game. It 'hits harder' and provides more 'smack down' than it seems like it should on paper.)

I will note, however, that bad shots with the .35s are the same as bad shots with anything else. If the shooter screws the pooch, the animal pays the price just the same as if it was a .30-06 or .17 Remington.


Now I'm thinking about some of the amazing shots I've seen over the years. Good memories...
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Old November 13, 2019, 12:34 PM   #17
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I will note, however, that bad shots with the .35s are the same as bad shots with anything else.
Absolutely.

The phrase in my signature line isn't just a clever saying that I heard or read somewhere (and I'm sure others have had the same thought before I did) its what I have seen happen. Bigger bullets tend to work better. Its not 110% guaranteed, always gonna happen everysingletime carved in stone Holy Writ, but I've never heard of a case where the bigger bullet worked worse than a smaller one...
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Old November 13, 2019, 10:50 PM   #18
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The 35's do hit hard. I used the 350 Rem Mag in a Model 700 Classic for a while. Still have it, but I got lazy and haven't taken the time to handload for it, lately. It always had what some call smackdown. My favorite load was with a 200 gr round nose leaving the muzzle at close to 2500 feet per second which was very close to the 35 Whelen with the same bullet.
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Old November 13, 2019, 11:44 PM   #19
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PA

When I saw the M88 and the Savage 99, as well as the Rem 7600 in the post I suspected PA, and sure enough, a few lines down, you mentioned the state. Those levers and pumps are, or at least were, very popular in the Keystone State. Since you are up there in that country, you ought to be able to find a .35 Rem in the 760/7600 family pretty easily, I'm fairly sure that the .35 Whelen was available in the Rem pumps for a while too, you might stumble up on one of them.

They wouldn't be a .358, but they would be .35's, and not a deer in the country would know the difference. Have you checked with the folks at Grice's Gun Shop? If your interested, in years past, they had sort of an exclusive on .35 Rem pumps.
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Old November 14, 2019, 05:37 AM   #20
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one of the neatest .358,s I ever saw was a rebarreled Remington 722 owned by a local hunter years ago, as I remember he had a older lyman 4x scope on it and killed a lot of deer and a few bear with it.
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Old November 14, 2019, 12:23 PM   #21
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I like my .358.

I don’t get the velocity or range out of it that I do in my ‘06, but, that’s not what I bought it for. I wanted a heavy, large diameter bullet, without magnum recoil, and the short action was a nice plus. I had a .270 and ‘06 when I bought it (and now a .375 as well), so I didn’t mind giving up a little range by going with a .358.

I shoot almost exclusively 250’s out of it, at about 2,250 FPS. Not the fastest thing out there, but it’s taken down elk and antelope just fine.

.358 ammo is a little scarce in my area, but I have no problem finding brass or bullets at any of my local shops. Not as big of a selection as there is for .30, but I can find 200, 220, 225, and 250’s at the stores I frequent.
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Old November 15, 2019, 07:05 AM   #22
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if you load, the .358 win is easy to feed and needs no help killing deer-bear and has been doing it for over 60 years.
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Old November 16, 2019, 09:45 PM   #23
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That rifle can easily be rebored and as someone mentioned it, JES in Oregon can do it and has done quite a few from what I've heard. Of the OP is a handloader, brass is no problem. If you can't fine .358 brass, just run .308 Win. through the die using a tapered expander. Same would go with the .35 Whelen which is just a 30-06 necked up tp .35 Caliber. Personally, if I had to make a choice, I'd go with the Whelen. I have four rifles in .358 Win. and three in .35 Whelen so you know where I stand on the cartridges.
I've never shot anything but paper with the .358 and for some reason can't say why? However of the seven elk I have taken one with a .300 Win. Mag., one with a 30-06 and five with the .35 Whelen. Two elk dropped so fast that they were a bit difficult to find in waist high brush. Another DRT was nice enough to drop out in the open. The last three were hit a bit too far back but when Mr. Whelen speaks, they stop, drop and cannot get back up to run off. They did require finishing shots but they could go nowhere. The .35 Whelen is not a short range woods cartridge as I have taken elk as far out as 350 yards laser measured. I'm not a believer in extra long range shooting at an unwounded animal. FWIW, the only bullet I've used in the Whelen is the 225 gr. Barnes TSX.
Sorry if I touted the Whelen a bit but it's the reason my .358s stay home. I think though that with a proper handload a .358 should be doable to about 225 maybe 250 yards with a proper bullet. I think a good bullet like a Nosler Partition would do just fine on elk and maybe something like a 225 gr. Sierra for game like deer.
If the OP goes for a rebore or even a new barrel, I would suggest a 1 in 12" or 1 in14" as the slowest twist. Two of my .358s have 1 in 16" twists and they do not do well with 250 gr. bullets. The other two have 1 in 12" twists and they handle 250 gr. bullet quite well and they outshoot the other two by a noticeable margin. FWIW, the 1 in 16" guns are bolt actions and the 1 in 12" guns are lever actions.
Another nice thing about the .35s, they shoot cast bullet very well.
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Old November 19, 2019, 07:11 PM   #24
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Unless the '.35' was a .35 Whelen, I'd go with the .30-06.
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Old November 20, 2019, 04:40 PM   #25
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But the 7600 was never sold in .358 Winchester. It was sold in .35 Remington years ago and .35 Whelen for a short time.

Grice Gun Shop here in PA is selling several varieties of 7600 in 35 Whelen starting under $700. It will cost you that much to convert.
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