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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
.35 Whelen

Anyone have any thoughts on the .35 Whelen as an elk rifle?

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
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.35 Whelen

I know absolutely zero about the .35 whelen, but I looked up some loads that are available and it looks like it throws a 200 grain bullet at the same velocity as a 180 grain 30-06.

So from an energy/momentum standpoint should be just fine. Certainly above the legal minimum in CO. Wink

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Location: Montana
Joined: 07/20/2002
Posts: 117
.35 Whelen

a friend used to hunt with a whelen a great round ammo just a little hard to find.

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Location: Arizona
Joined: 04/08/2002
Posts: 99
.35 Whelen

I would love to have one in a Remington Classic.

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
.35 Whelen

I've got one in a Ruger M77 MK2...Nice gun, but I got one of those special deals and it has the old synthetic stock on it. So my next investment is a decent replacement stock. Gun itself is very accurate and functions great. I see those Classics up for sale every now and then on the gunsamerica website.

CJW
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Joined: 03/15/2004
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.35 Whelen

The guy I'm going elk hunting with this year has a T/C encore with a 16" or so barrel with a comp. and he has used it on many elk. It is more of a caliber for the reloader, but when you find a load it likes, it is a lethal weapon. I'd like to have one someday, it's a neat cal.

CJW

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
.35 Whelen

When you can send a 250 grain chunk of lead at 2500 fps (rifle), it makes quite an impression! On both ends! Recoil is rather stiff.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
.35 Whelen

The 35 whelen is a fine round for hunting. What I don't like about any of the 35's is the selection of available bullets. Take a look at the 375 whelen (Schofield) or the 338-06. The 338-06 (338-06 A-Square) is now a factory round. Even Weatherby is building rifles for it. 338-06 A-Square is one very outstanding round.

One of the things that that didn't work for the 358win, along with the fact that they put it in the wrong rifle was the bullets that were available. 358win is another fine round out to 200 yds.

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
.35 Whelen

Actually, I have no problem finding bullets. You can load everything from 180 grain spitzers for deer (even 158 or 180 grain .357 handgun bullets if you want to plink around) 200 grain spitzers and round nose, 225 spitzers and round nose, and 250 grain spitzers and round nose. These are from Sierra, Hornady, Speer, Nosler, etc, good bullets. There is even a ballistic tip in 225 grain.
One thing about the .375 is that they are prone to headspace problems because there is almost no shoulder left after you expand the neck that far. In fact, the .375 is the largest you can go and still HAVE a shoulder. Anyone who is careful will keep an eye on this and probably won't have any trouble. Another thing is that you have to have a rifle custom made, and that gets costly. Also, the .375 bullets are almost all designed for larger game, meaning your versatility is kinda limited. The 200 and 180 grains in the Whelen are designed for medium game. For the slight improvement the .375 gives, its not worth it. If the .35 won't kill it, neither will the .375. In fact, if the .35 Whelen won't kill it, I don't want to be near it! If you really want a .375 round, get a .376 Steyr. Awesome power in a shorter action than a .375 H&H.
The .338-06 is a great round, provides slightly better ballistics than the .35, and bullet selection is better. I haven't seen any factory ammo other than Weatherby, which, for using a .30-06 casing, is WAY overpriced. With the Whelen, you can get at least three different factory loads for it, at less than $35 per box, usually less than $20.
If I didn't already have a Whelen, I'd think hard about the .338-06. In fact, I'm thinking about a .338-08 for a Thompson Contender or Encore. The .338 bullets generally have a high BC and good SD.
At any rate, these larger diameters sure make an impact on the poor critters they demolish.

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Location: Wa.
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.35 Whelen

The 35's are very nice rounds, for deer, blackbear, caribou and such. I thought we were talking elk. Elk hunting around this part of the country is without a doubt the most popular hunt.

Bullet for bullet the 33's are far superior for elk than the 35's. They offer higher SD per comparable weight and deliver more energy. If I was looking for a larger round than the 338-06 I would opt for the 375-06. Better bullet constuction along with greater SD and BC. I prefer a higher sectional density and tougher bullet construction for penetration. My personal preference for these monsters is a 30 cal with 200's or 180's. I know I'll get the penetration under most conditions. There are no absolutes.

There are a few calibers that inherently have a better length to width, weight ratio and throw bullets exceptionally well. They are the .224, .264, .308, .338, .375. not to say that the other calibers don't work. My favorite diameter to shoot is .277 and they have just resently started making bullets that can compete with the 5 leaders. With a little more refinement the 270 is going to be out shooting the 30-06 by a long shot. (not a pun). The main reason they make a large variety of bullet wieghts for a caliber is most hunters can't afford to buy a different gun for every need and bullets that are light for caliber can work with questionable results. They make 150's for 30 cal. Not a good bullet choice but, they will work under ideal conditions. The optimum for 30 cal is 175gr to 220gr. 165gr is pushing optimal weight, length but do work well with proper construction. Nosler and Hornady have recently developed bullets, with Nosler leading, that have very good construction along with very high SD and BC and they are designed with the hunter in mind.

I prefer a round that head spaces on the shoulder. I heard about the assumed head space problem with the 375-06 and did some inquiring with several of the local gun smith's. The gun smith that is working on a rifle for me, a long barreled 270wsm, likes the 375 Scofield (375-06) well enough that he built one for himself. My next big gun is going to be one of these 375's.

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Location: Missouri/Arkansas
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.35 Whelen

A .270 will never outshoot a 30-06. There are several reasons for this: one, the 30-06 has a bit larger of a case, two, it packs more downrange wallop, in part due to the fact that it drives heavier bullets. One also has to consider that with handloads and with some of the Hornady LM rounds, and the high energy loads from Federal, the 30-06 pushes a 165 grain bullet as fast and flat as a 270 pushes a 130. If indeed refinements came out that boosted energy enough to change this, it would take away the principal reason shooters choose the 270 over the 30-06: it would boost the recoil energy, making it no more pleasant to shoot.

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