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hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Anybody here using a Whelen?

Ever since I passed up an opportunity to purchase a 35 Whelen a couple of months ago I've been kicking myself for letting it go. I might have a chance at another one soon and just can't decide if I should go with one.

I haven't even shot the last rifle I purchased yet so it's not like I need anything just trying to talk myself into it or not.

What are it's best uses and bullet weights and ranges or animals you would hunt with it?

Give me the pros and cons if there are any.

Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 363
I loved the Whelen that I

I loved the Whelen that I had. ( Got rid of it due to shoulder problems)  Its a bit of over kill for whitetails. Shot one at about 200 yd and it litteraly picked the deer off its feet and dropped it abour 4 feet to the side.  Great caliber for larger game (bear, elk, moose).  I mostly shot the 225 gr bullets. For really big animals I would choose the 250 gr in a bonded core bullet. My rifle was a Remington 700 Classic and it was very accurate.


groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539
not me but

I have never used it but it is my brother in law's cartridge of choice and he has taken it to Africa a couple fo times.  I don't see a thing wrong with teh way it works in the field.  I have seen it drop impala, hartebeest, gemsbok, and zebra.  Interestingly enough - each shot put the animal down (shot through the shoulders mots often) but did not kill them out right.  I think in each case a follow up shot was needed to dispatch them.  But this is probably due more to shot placement than the bullet's effectiveness.  If I recall correctly, most where complete pass throughs using a +/- 200 grain bullet, but that's about all I know about the load.

ADKBEAR's picture
Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 821
Not Yet

It is on my list, don't have one yet.

A bolt would be nice but I am leaning twards a pump (rem 760 class) for my yearly treck up to ME.

Too many guns not enough time (or money!)

Tndeerhunter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Tennessee
Joined: 04/13/2009
Posts: 1134
I bought my first Whelen over

Thumbs up I bought my first Whelen over 20 years ago (M700 Classic). I've owned a total of four different .35 Whelens over the years, that M700, a M7400, a T/C Encore and a M750 Carbine. I still have the Encore and the 750 Carbine. The .35 Whelen is absolutely one of my all-time favorite chamberings! I own over 30 different chamberings now and it still remains at, or very close, to the top of that list.

It's more versatile than most give it credit for, especially with speedy 200gr loads. I've killed a lot of deer with mine and had it on hog hunts and bear hunts as well, but have not shot a hog or bear with it yet. There are 200 gr loads that are at the 2900 FPS level now and that makes for some pretty flat trajectories. My longest shot was 225 yards and DIT with a 200gr TSX at 2874 FPS.

At this moment, only Remington carries it in their 700 CDL bolt line, but with a 24" barrel (I prefer 22"). There are still some Ruger 77s around with 22" barrels if you look hard enough. My 750 has excellent hunting accuracy of about 1.5 MOA. The Encore is a nice compact platform too, but also a fairly light single shot rifle and recoil can be fairly stout with hot loads.

With proper loads, 180 to 250gr (and larger) it's powerful enough for anything in N.A. IMHO. A 250gr Nosler Partition, Grand Slam, or A-Frame @ over 2550 FPS or 225gr TSX @ 2800 FPS is nothing to sneeze at!

On the other hand, the factory 200gr Remington load recoils about like a 180gr '06 in similar rifles to my shoulder, so using it for typical deer hunting is not at all punishing. I've never had any deer shot with the .35W leave my sight and most have been DIT. It is the hammer of Thor on deer-sized game.

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
The rifle I'm specifically

The rifle I'm specifically looking at this time around is a late 80's Ruger. I've seen a few Remington 700's and a bunch of pumps but for some reason this Ruger is really speaking to me. I think I'm gonna have to make some phone calls tomorrow.

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