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hunter25's picture
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Ruger Hawkeye 35 Whelen

I took delivery today of my new Ruger Hawkeye in 35 Whelen. 

Very excited to get the rifle but was disappointed to find they had put 2 of the same rings in the box and Ruger requires different heights front and rear. A quick call has gotten a new one on the way but it will be a week before I can get my scope mounted up now.

Rifle looks great but not too excited abou the synthetic stock they come with, will probably change it out with a laminated one in the future. Extremely tight everywhere and even the bolt release hard to use as it hangs up against the stock. 

I'll give a range report when I finally get there. But for now i can only look at it and grin. Big smile

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Critter's picture
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That is going to be a fun

That is going to be a fun rifle to hunt with.  I never have liked the synthetic stocks that Ruger puts on their rifles.  For some reason they just don't look right but the rest of the rifles are top notch.  I am surprised that they messed up on the scope rings, usually their quality control is better than that but mistakes happen.  As for the .35 Whelen I thought one time to re-barrel my old .30-06 over to it but that was over 30 years ago and I couldn't make up my mind weather I wanted a .35 or a .25-06 and never got around to either.  At this time I am glad that I didn't do either on that rifle. 

The nice thing about that .35 Whelen is that there is something real nice about a large bullet going slow that just takes care of animals when it hits them. 

BikerRN's picture
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Outstanding!

Sorry about the scope rings but happy to see you got your rifle.

I look forward to seeing it when we hunt together.

Biker

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New hawkeye

Congrats!!  Ruger makes a great rifle.  You will surely enjoy it for many many years. 

Tndeerhunter's picture
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Congrats on getting that new

Congrats on getting that new rifle. I have a couple of SS Hawkeyes, one in .338F and one in .358Win, but I am still wanting one in .35W as well. Both my rifles shot well in the factory synthetic stocks, but not being a big fan of synthetic stocks, the .338 is now in walnut and the .358 is in a Boyds pepper laminate. I would likely put the synthetic back on if I went on another backcountry jaunt for a week or two though. That Whelen will surprise a lot of folks with all the new loads around for it now. A 180gr TTSX @ 3,000 FPS, a 200gr SP @ 2900 and I shoot a 200gr TSX at 2874 FPS, not exactly chopped liver!

I have some 225gr A-Frames stashed away until I decide whether to use them in one of my Whelens or my 673/.350. There are lots of bullets to try and loads to use today and it can be a very versatile rifle capable of most any hunting in N.A. If you'd like to try a couple of reasonably priced loads (before you begin reloading?) I'd suggest the Hornady 200gr Superformance and a 225gr SBT loaded by HSM. That load is very accurate out of my 750 Carbine (sub MOA) and some friends claim similar accuracy with that 200gr @ 2900 Superformance load as well. I've not tried that one yet and will likely stick with the 225gr as well as it shoots.

HSM also loads the excellent 250gr Grand Slam bullet for the Whelen (and .350) and it should be a fine bullet for most anything you might encounter. Enjoy that nice new rifle!! I am jealous!

http://store.thehuntingshack.com/35whelen.aspx

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Don Fischer's picture
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hum

Tndeerhunter wrote:

Congrats on getting that new rifle. I have a couple of SS Hawkeyes, one in .338F and one in .358Win, but I am still wanting one in .35W as well. Both my rifles shot well in the factory synthetic stocks, but not being a big fan of synthetic stocks, the .338 is now in walnut and the .358 is in a Boyds pepper laminate. I would likely put the synthetic back on if I went on another backcountry jaunt for a week or two though. That Whelen will surprise a lot of folks with all the new loads around for it now. A 180gr TTSX @ 3,000 FPS, a 200gr SP @ 2900 and I shoot a 200gr TSX at 2874 FPS, not exactly chopped liver!

I have some 225gr A-Frames stashed away until I decide whether to use them in one of my Whelens or my 673/.350. There are lots of bullets to try and loads to use today and it can be a very versatile rifle capable of most any hunting in N.A. If you'd like to try a couple of reasonably priced loads (before you begin reloading?) I'd suggest the Hornady 200gr Superformance and a 225gr SBT loaded by HSM. That load is very accurate out of my 750 Carbine (sub MOA) and some friends claim similar accuracy with that 200gr @ 2900 Superformance load as well. I've not tried that one yet and will likely stick with the 225gr as well as it shoots.

HSM also loads the excellent 250gr Grand Slam bullet for the Whelen (and .350) and it should be a fine bullet for most anything you might encounter. Enjoy that nice new rifle!! I am jealous!

http://store.thehuntingshack.com/35whelen.aspx

I am courious why you would use the 180gr and 200gr bullet's rather than just fire a 30 cal bullet in the same weights from an 06? The Whelan will shoot the same bullet's a bit faster but the BC is so inferior to the 30 cal bullets that the 30-06 would probably rapidly over take and surpass the 35 cal bullets. I have always believed that going to a bigger caliber was a good idea only it I wanted to shoot heavier bullet's than I can with a smaller cartridge. I would think that the advantage to the Whelen would come from using a 250gr bullet.

To take a similar weight bullet in the 35 Whelen the only advantage I see is more velocity, not by a lot, with a bullet of inferior BC and SD.

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Whelen performance

Don Fischer wrote:

Tndeerhunter wrote:

Congrats on getting that new rifle. I have a couple of SS Hawkeyes, one in .338F and one in .358Win, but I am still wanting one in .35W as well. Both my rifles shot well in the factory synthetic stocks, but not being a big fan of synthetic stocks, the .338 is now in walnut and the .358 is in a Boyds pepper laminate. I would likely put the synthetic back on if I went on another backcountry jaunt for a week or two though. That Whelen will surprise a lot of folks with all the new loads around for it now. A 180gr TTSX @ 3,000 FPS, a 200gr SP @ 2900 and I shoot a 200gr TSX at 2874 FPS, not exactly chopped liver!

I have some 225gr A-Frames stashed away until I decide whether to use them in one of my Whelens or my 673/.350. There are lots of bullets to try and loads to use today and it can be a very versatile rifle capable of most any hunting in N.A. If you'd like to try a couple of reasonably priced loads (before you begin reloading?) I'd suggest the Hornady 200gr Superformance and a 225gr SBT loaded by HSM. That load is very accurate out of my 750 Carbine (sub MOA) and some friends claim similar accuracy with that 200gr @ 2900 Superformance load as well. I've not tried that one yet and will likely stick with the 225gr as well as it shoots.

HSM also loads the excellent 250gr Grand Slam bullet for the Whelen (and .350) and it should be a fine bullet for most anything you might encounter. Enjoy that nice new rifle!! I am jealous!

http://store.thehuntingshack.com/35whelen.aspx

I am courious why you would use the 180gr and 200gr bullet's rather than just fire a 30 cal bullet in the same weights from an 06? The Whelan will shoot the same bullet's a bit faster but the BC is so inferior to the 30 cal bullets that the 30-06 would probably rapidly over take and surpass the 35 cal bullets. I have always believed that going to a bigger caliber was a good idea only it I wanted to shoot heavier bullet's than I can with a smaller cartridge. I would think that the advantage to the Whelen would come from using a 250gr bullet.

To take a similar weight bullet in the 35 Whelen the only advantage I see is more velocity, not by a lot, with a bullet of inferior BC and SD.

 

I'm not one that's locked on to SD as a significant reason to choose a bullet weight today, looking at the number of premium bullets we now have, compared to 25 yrs ago. That being said, some of the bullets of lighter weight, that are lead-free still have pretty high B.C.s due to their much longer length. In my research, I've seen and used some of the lighter bullets in both the .358 & .35 Whelen. Using a 200gr TSX @ 2850 FPS, I'd not be shy about hunting anything up to moose in N.A. I'd stop short of wanting to use it for protection from big bears, but I'd, personally, not feel completely underwhelmed if my rifle was loaded thusly in a less than nice encounter with a big bear. I'd prefer it way over any 220gr in a 30/06, actually.

The 180gr TTSX has numbers like this when pushed to 3,000 FPS from the Whelen and I'd feel it adequate for deer or caribou and perhaps even elk at any practical range a hunter would consider: When this load is zeroed at 200 yds it is 7.1" low at 300. When a typical 180gr 30/06 load is zeroed at 200 yds it is ~ 8" low at 300 yards. At 300 yards the velocity of the .35/180 TTSX is still  over 2200 FPS, so that bullet will still open readily. The remaining energy @ 300 yrds reads like this: 180/.35= 2096 FPE and the 180/.30= 1800 FPE (these numbers for the 180/.35 Whelen are published on the Doubletap site). For the record, the .35's advantage still exists out to 400 yards as well, but that is farther than I prefer to plan on shooting with either.  So, personally, I will take the added frontal area every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

I have  225gr TSX loaded for the Whelen as well, and it would equal performance and penetration of any 250gr C&C bullet for anything, again in my opinion. I'm afraid too many people have considered the Whelen to be a short-range, slow moving number for way too long. The mediocre loads from Remington in 200 & 250gr Core-Lokts have done nothing to stop that perception either, I'm afraid. But if one takes the time to study some newer loads now available from Barnes, Hornady,  HSM, Doubletap, Buffalo Bore and Nosler, I think they will be quite impressed with what they see. For those who might care, Midway now carries 14 different loads for the Whelen, from 180gr to 310gr and some are very powerful, on the order of a .338 WM.

It ain't your Grandpa's Buick any more!! Dancing

 

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It ain't your Grandpa's Buick

It ain't your Grandpa's Buick any more!! Dancing

That's very true, although I am guilty of thinking of it as such.

I hadn't realized it's potential for longer range shooting. Thank you for opening my eyes to that. 

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Going to the TSX type bullet

Going to the TSX type bullet will increase BC but I think the advantage of it over a cup and core is that it doesn't shed weight. I 200gr TSX bullet weigh's 200gr or very close to it as it leaves the animla. A cup and core 200gr bullet that's sheds 30% will weight 140gr leaving the animal. If you shoot those TSX type bullet's, you do gain some advantage. But they are to expensive for me to shoot and besides, I've never had a cup and core properly chosen, fail me.

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I've actually killed most

I've actually killed most of my animals with the Whelen shooting typical C&C bullets. Not a thing is wrong with traditional C&C design and I was simply giving an example of why I'd use a Whelen over a 30/06 or .308 using lighter bullets, which I do in most all my hunting now. I've fired The .338 Fed and .35 Whelen, both shooting 200gr bullets at 2650-2700 FPS, back to back with 30/06 & 180gr, in similar rifles and cannot feel a noticable difference in recoil. However, my opinion is that the .338 & .358 bores are both better killers (again, simply my personal opinion).

One of the flatter C&C loads for the Whelen is also actually a typical C&C design, a Hornady 200gr SP loaded in their Superformance load for the .35 Whelen. This bullet/load gives 3700+ FPE at the muzzle and still mirrors a 30/06 firing a 180 in trajectory to 400 yards. I'd not say that someone happy with their present 30/06, .270 or .308 needs to go out and switch. Everyone likes what they like. My purpose was simply to explain, after being asked why I (or anyone) would use a .35 Whelen (or .338 Fed or .358 Win for that matter) with lighter bullets instead of a .30 cal or similar.

My reasons are pretty simple (if merely my own); they give little to nothing up to the tried and true smaller bores and in my personal opinion they can bring a lot more to the table as well, especially on a hunt where larger & perhaps dangerous game roams. Some people call such rifles overkill, but I'm not sure what overkill is. After all we are trying to kill as quickly and humanely as possible, aren't we? And as far as recoil is concerned, I simply do not see the problems some claim when shooting light-medium weight bullets in such calibers; weights from 180gr to 200gr specifically.

Some like Chevys, I happen to drive an F-150. Some like the '06 best, I prefer it's more efficient bigger cousin, myself. It's all good!! Thumbs up  

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I'll buy that! I have tossed

I'll buy that! I have tossed around having one of my rifles, 30-06, re-bored to 338x06. I doubt I would gain a lot but it would be fun to have it.

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