Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31

Thread: 400 Brown Whelen

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    34

    Default 400 Brown Whelen

    I just finished a 400 Brown Whelen I was wondering if anybody had a favorite load.( no head space issues)

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default

    Should be interesting! I just picked up a .375 Ackley Improved Whelen on a FN action but haven't had time to shoot it yet.

    Let us know how it turns out.

    Quote Originally Posted by houndsnmules View Post
    I just finished a 400 Brown Whelen I was wondering if anybody had a favorite load.( no head space issues)
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  3. #3

    Default

    I just built a 400 Whelen this past summer and while I haven't settled on a favorite load there are a few that have shown promise. As you are probably aware the 400 Whelen, 400 Brown Whelen and 411 Hawk have little if any difference in case capacity. The 400 Whelen is an improved design in it's original form. My 400 is based on same dimensions as Michael Petrov describes in his excellent research.

    H4895 has proven to be an outstanding performer in my rifle. I have not had a chance to really work with the 400 grain Woodleighs or Hawks but my first loading of 56 grains yielded 2054 for velocity with the Hawk bullet and 2064 with the Woodleigh and outstanding accuracy. With the 300 grain bullets, Hornady, Barnes and Hawk I got 2350 with 61 grains. IMR 4064 was alright for accuracy but it never made the velocities that H4895 and IMR 3031 were capable of in any of the bullet weights. The Hawk 350 grain bullets hit 2231 with 60 grains of H4895. With 61 grains of IMR 3031 and 300 grain bullets I got very good accuracy and 2350. I tried from 50-54 grains of IMR 4198 with the 300 grain bullets and good good accuracy and velocities from 2230 with 50 grains and 2490 with 54 grains. The accuracy edge probably goes to the Hornady either style FP or SP and the 400 grain Woodleigh. The Barnes TSX bullets turned in some very good groups. All the bullets tested shot at least decently but the Hornady and Woodleigh bullets shot best in my rifle.

    My rifle is a left handed model 70 Winchester with a 24 inch Shilen barrel. It came out fairly light for a rifle of this caliber at 8.5 pounds loaded and scoped. Recoil is not much of an issue although the 400 grain bullets do get your attention. I have not had a chance to take any game with it yet and still need to get the front sight and barrel band on and get it blued.

    There is no doubt that the Barnes 300 grain TSX would be the long range performer in this cartridge. I am anxious to get out to a 300 yard range to wring it out a little and to try out some cast bullet loads. I have a mold from Accurate Molds. They do great work and were happy to cut two different bullet weights into my mold for me. It throws a 320 grain and a 400 grain, both flat points.

    You have made an excellent choice in my opinion. The 400 Whelen in all it's variations has a long history and was well liked and praised by Elmer Keith and it's creator, Townsend Whelen thought highly of it. Michael Petrov has done a mountain of research on the cartridge and it's history. His articles on the 400 Whelen can be found at finegunmaking.com and are well worth the time to read. Michael, besides being a great guy is a meticulous researcher and most likely the foremost authority on all things Whelen.

    I've rambled on quite a bit. I wish you the best of luck with your 400.

    Mart

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southwest Alaska
    Posts
    2,146

    Default

    I am astonished you haven't tried RL-15, which would be a perfect powder for this cartridge.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    I am astonished you haven't tried RL-15, which would be a perfect powder for this cartridge.
    Honestly I haven't gotten to it yet. My load development, hunting and essentially every other activity was brought to an abrupt halt in early September when my wife's son got very sick. We just now are getting back to somewhat normal activities. I have every intention of trying RL15 in my 400 and after Christmas hope to resume my load development and testing.

    Mart

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    O'Fallon, MO
    Posts
    195

    Default

    Reloader 15 is possibly a little slow for the .400. I've never loaded for one, although I have loaded extensively for .35 Whelen AI, for which Reloader 15 is just about THE powder. As the .400 Whelen bullet base is nearly 32% larger, it needs a faster powder to achieve max velocity. I would try Accurate 2015, Reloader 7 and H322.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    34

    Default Hawk Bullets

    Have you shot anything with the Hawk bullets, I ordered several boxes but have never used them. I was wondering how they hold up?




    Quote Originally Posted by mart View Post
    I just built a 400 Whelen this past summer and while I haven't settled on a favorite load there are a few that have shown promise. As you are probably aware the 400 Whelen, 400 Brown Whelen and 411 Hawk have little if any difference in case capacity. The 400 Whelen is an improved design in it's original form. My 400 is based on same dimensions as Michael Petrov describes in his excellent research.

    H4895 has proven to be an outstanding performer in my rifle. I have not had a chance to really work with the 400 grain Woodleighs or Hawks but my first loading of 56 grains yielded 2054 for velocity with the Hawk bullet and 2064 with the Woodleigh and outstanding accuracy. With the 300 grain bullets, Hornady, Barnes and Hawk I got 2350 with 61 grains. IMR 4064 was alright for accuracy but it never made the velocities that H4895 and IMR 3031 were capable of in any of the bullet weights. The Hawk 350 grain bullets hit 2231 with 60 grains of H4895. With 61 grains of IMR 3031 and 300 grain bullets I got very good accuracy and 2350. I tried from 50-54 grains of IMR 4198 with the 300 grain bullets and good good accuracy and velocities from 2230 with 50 grains and 2490 with 54 grains. The accuracy edge probably goes to the Hornady either style FP or SP and the 400 grain Woodleigh. The Barnes TSX bullets turned in some very good groups. All the bullets tested shot at least decently but the Hornady and Woodleigh bullets shot best in my rifle.

    My rifle is a left handed model 70 Winchester with a 24 inch Shilen barrel. It came out fairly light for a rifle of this caliber at 8.5 pounds loaded and scoped. Recoil is not much of an issue although the 400 grain bullets do get your attention. I have not had a chance to take any game with it yet and still need to get the front sight and barrel band on and get it blued.

    There is no doubt that the Barnes 300 grain TSX would be the long range performer in this cartridge. I am anxious to get out to a 300 yard range to wring it out a little and to try out some cast bullet loads. I have a mold from Accurate Molds. They do great work and were happy to cut two different bullet weights into my mold for me. It throws a 320 grain and a 400 grain, both flat points.

    You have made an excellent choice in my opinion. The 400 Whelen in all it's variations has a long history and was well liked and praised by Elmer Keith and it's creator, Townsend Whelen thought highly of it. Michael Petrov has done a mountain of research on the cartridge and it's history. His articles on the 400 Whelen can be found at finegunmaking.com and are well worth the time to read. Michael, besides being a great guy is a meticulous researcher and most likely the foremost authority on all things Whelen.

    I've rambled on quite a bit. I wish you the best of luck with your 400.

    Mart

  8. #8

    Default

    No, not yet. I did pack it a couple of days locally for moose but didn't see anything. My hunting season got cut pretty short this year due to my wife's son's illness. I hope to try it out this spring on bear, either variety and plan to pack it all season next year for everything, including sheep.

    As to the Hawk bullets, I tried 300, 350 and 400 grain bullets with the .035 jackets. I have no doubt they will hold up just fine. I've no fear of cup and core bullets and at 400 Whelen velocities would expect them to perform admirably. The load I am carrying now for uses their 350 grain bullet over 60 grains of H4895 for a velocity of 2230.

    Mart

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    The original Whelen design, which I think showed an expanded (less tapered) case at the shoulder giving a diameter of .456" Howell shows this at .454" so maybe that is more correct. The standard ought six case and the standard 35 Whelen is .410" I had one made with my own reamer to give a shoulder diameter of .456" and it works every time. This dimension leaves about .015 of taper so it is minimal. This is on a pre-64 M70. I've used the Hawks 350 & 400 grain, and Kodiak 300 & 330 grain bullets in this one. Also Swift makes their A-frame in 350 & 400 grain if you ask Bill, he'll do it. He makes a special run of .411" bullets about once a year. I have made many wildcat 40 caliber rifles. I do like the 40s and this is a very good usable woods gun.

    Seems a fun project.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    34

    Default Dimensions

     also found several different dimensions. So I used .458 for the shoulder,.433 neck. Also I shortened the neck a little. Since I use cylindrical brass I have to turn the neck down about .004
    I used a P-14 action with a P-17 bolt. I welded the rear sight pocket up and rounded to meet the front dimension.
    I believe the standard shoulder of the 30-06 s .441, that where it got a bad rap. Some gunsmiths used the standard shoulder and not the improved like Whelen did.
    Last edited by houndsnmules; 12-18-2011 at 19:42. Reason: more info

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    34

    Default

    When I have a little extra money again. I going to do a 375 Ackley Improved Whelen. Quite a few people say its grate.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default

    I picked one up a couple of weeks ago so I haven't even had time to shoot it yet. I paid $400 for it and a set of dies; it was built on a FN Supreme action with a synthetic stock and an unknown barrel. I'm not even sure it was ever shot even though it came with some ammo and cases; the dies also appeared to be unused.

    I've got to form up some ammo and get out to the range. I'll size up some .35 Whelen brass and load it with long seated cast bullets to get the headspace blown out right on the first firing.


    Quote Originally Posted by houndsnmules View Post
    When I have a little extra money again. I going to do a 375 Ackley Improved Whelen. Quite a few people say its grate.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  13. #13
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    St. Maries, Idaho
    Posts
    518

    Default

    Sounds like you guys have some fun projects and load developement to work on. The old 30-06 case sure can take on many forms. My last build was about 2 years ago, a 338-06 Ackley. The biggest rifle in my arsenal is a 375 ruger right now, that 400 whelen sounds like it just might be the ticket for deer and elk here in Idaho.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    34

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by houndsnmules View Post
    When I have a little extra money again. I going to do a 375 Ackley Improved Whelen. Quite a few people say its grate.
    great, I should have used speel check

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I've got to form up some ammo and get out to the range. I'll size up some .35 Whelen brass and load it with long seated cast bullets to get the headspace blown out right on the first firing.
    I had good luck forming cases with the Cream of Wheat method. I started by annealing the necks of 30-06 brass, primed the case, charged it with about 18 grains of Bullseye and filled the case to the top with COW. I jammed a crayon in the neck and broke it off. It made a perfectly formed case. I got a few strange looks at the range and the range master even had to question me as to what I was doing. He was satisfied that I was just a rifle looney and not a complete loony. I started at 12 grains of Bullseye and worked up till I got a nicely filled out case. It sure saves on components. I suspect you could get by with less powder going from 35 Whelen to 375. Of course the crayon trick wouldn't work in a 35 but you could just use a wad of paper. I don't know if I needed to do it but I cleaned the rifle after every ten cases were formed.

    Mart

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default

    Thanks for sharing your experience. If I can blow out and form the cases from '06 cases in one step it would indeed save a lot of work and components. I had used the CoW method before with other calibers but never used that much powder.

    If i wait until New Years eve I can form them at the house without even going to the range


    Quote Originally Posted by mart View Post
    I had good luck forming cases with the Cream of Wheat method. I started by annealing the necks of 30-06 brass, primed the case, charged it with about 18 grains of Bullseye and filled the case to the top with COW. I jammed a crayon in the neck and broke it off. It made a perfectly formed case. I got a few strange looks at the range and the range master even had to question me as to what I was doing. He was satisfied that I was just a rifle looney and not a complete loony. I started at 12 grains of Bullseye and worked up till I got a nicely filled out case. It sure saves on components. I suspect you could get by with less powder going from 35 Whelen to 375. Of course the crayon trick wouldn't work in a 35 but you could just use a wad of paper. I don't know if I needed to do it but I cleaned the rifle after every ten cases were formed.

    Mart
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  17. #17

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    If i wait until New Years eve I can form them at the house without even going to the range
    I tried it in the garage with a long box full of insulation. I'm outside the city limits but still wanted to keep the noise down. It managed to keep the noise down but turned the insulation into confetti. Man, what a mess. I tried it again with wadded up newspaper. Just as much of a mess. It didn't make any mess at the range but every one around me kept saying they were hungry for breakfast, particularly a bowl of hot cereal.

  18. #18

    Default

    Weather permitting I am headed to Birchwood to try out some more 400 Whelen loads. I had several loads I hadn't had a chance to check yet and worked up some cast loads to try. I am using a cast 320 and 400 grain bullet from an Accurate Molds mold. I am also trying some 350 grain Speer bullets. But Speer doesn't make a .411 bullet. No, but they make a .416 and I ran them through a .411 Lee cast bullet sizer. With a little lube and a fair amount of effort they come out the top a .411. I hope it's decent weather tomorrow.

    The bullet on the left in the first picture is an unsized .416. The one next to it is a sized bullet at .411. The second picture is a .416 ready to be sized. I didn't realize you could only do two pictures per post. Guess I have to post again to get the other two pictures up.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19

    Default

    More 400 Whelen stuff. The first photo is the newly sized .411. The second photo is the 320 grain cast, the 400 cast and the Speer 350 grain. The cast loads are in unfired Norma cylindrical brass (neck sized only enough to chamber) and will come out a fully formed case after the first firing.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    welfare state of Alaska
    Posts
    5,153

    Default

    I've got a wildcat based on a .300 Win Mag blown out to .40 cal - I was using .405 Win bullets in it as an economical solution for jacketed bullets. I've also got a RCBS cast mold but hadn't got around to using it yet.

    Good idea on using the Lee sizing dies to reduce diameter. If I recall sizing down is less desireable as the jacket springs back away from the dead lead core. If you bump the bullets up the core stay tight against the core. But that is theory - let us know how they work.

    I'll try to catch you at the range some day and we can compare notes.


    Quote Originally Posted by mart View Post
    Weather permitting I am headed to Birchwood to try out some more 400 Whelen loads. I had several loads I hadn't had a chance to check yet and worked up some cast loads to try. I am using a cast 320 and 400 grain bullet from an Accurate Molds mold. I am also trying some 350 grain Speer bullets. But Speer doesn't make a .411 bullet. No, but they make a .416 and I ran them through a .411 Lee cast bullet sizer. With a little lube and a fair amount of effort they come out the top a .411. I hope it's decent weather tomorrow.

    The bullet on the left in the first picture is an unsized .416. The one next to it is a sized bullet at .411. The second picture is a .416 ready to be sized. I didn't realize you could only do two pictures per post. Guess I have to post again to get the other two pictures up.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •