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Thread: 35 Whelen vx 375 H&H

  1. #1
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    Default 35 Whelen vx 375 H&H

    I have a rifle for both of these cartridges and was thinking about getting rid of one of them. Both shoot with about the same accuracy and their condition is close so I went to the ballistics. Below is what I found on the Nosler site. As you can see, both are still close.

    Do any of you have practical experience, maybe even in the field hunting, with both of these calibers that you would share? It would be appreciated.


    35 Whelen Velocity Energy Drop - 0 is 200 yards



    375 H&H

    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Nosler site data is often pretty conservative, I'd also check some other sources and some of the excellent factory loads.

    The 250gr Whelen is pretty much top of the cartridges capacity, the 260 is just the start of the .375...you can go much heavier and nearly as fast in the H&H with heavier bullets. .375 bullet selection is excellent as well.

    As much as I like the .35 Whelen, it's just not anywhere near the rifle a .375 is. I've owned several and every time I part with one I start feeling the urge to replace it. I firmly believe the .375 is one of the most versatile rifles out there, both in Africa and Alaska. It's arguably too big for N.America- but "too dead" isn't nearly the problem that "not dead enough" is. The .375 will shoot to 300yds with relative ease with lighter slugs and it's been used on the heaviest game on earth with heavier ones. You could hunt whitetails to elephant with one and get good results.

    That choice is easy- keep the .375.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    I have and use both calibers, both rifles are also setup very similarly. They both weigh close to the same, have 20" barrels with backup irons, have QD scopes of low power, and are plenty accurate.

    I find myself carrying the 35 more often for some reason, I guess just because I like it better. It holds more shells, 5 vs 3 and doesn't kick nearly as hard. I use 250s in the Whelen and 300s in the Holland, they both achieve roughly the same velocity and have a very similar trajectory.
    I have shot 250s from the Whelen into two brownies and both died on the spot. Both bullets penetrated several feet of bear on quartering angles, one exited and one didn't but was right against the hide on the offside. I haven't used the 375 much but have watched the cartridge in action several times. I can honestly not tell a huge difference at normal ranges. I suppose if I were to draw a Kodiak tag I would likely take the 375 as my first choice between the two, but I've packed the Whelen along on my last two bear hunts.
    In the end for me it would boil down to which rifle I liked the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    In the end for me it would boil down to which rifle I liked the best.
    I'm the opposite...I have two heavy Whelens (Savage 110 and custom Springfield 03) and a Sako 20" carbine in .375 H&H with a 2-7x Leupold compact...love the Sako because it carries better and shoots as good as the Whelens and is just as capable as the Whelen if not more so. I can hunt the world with it and have a great deal of confidence in the gun and it carries better. If you reload the .375 H&H it can kill most anything and it carries better. Did I mention it carries better?

    The Kid is right, in my opinion, it's the rifle more so than the caliber...both will do the job but the Sako carries better and 3+1 should be enough for anyone with a .375 H&H.

    Maybe I should mention that my new favorite "heavy" gun is a Tikka in .338 Fed 'cause it carries better!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  5. #5

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    Personally for your neck of the woods both rifles are considered a little overkill. The 35 Whelen has cheaper ammo and produces more than adequate power for when/if you get a chance to hunt outside of the lower 48 unless you intend to hunt Africa where calibers are restricted and the 375 is a minimum caliber. The 35 Whelen has lower recoil and higher chance of a faster follow-up shot in the same weight rifle; and 2-3 rounds should be adequate for most hunting situations, especially if you reload. If both rifles fit you and carry the same the 35 Whelen would be the practical rifle to keep; But I've never been known to be practical and would probably keep them both and buy a 6.5x55 or 260 Rem. to round out my battery.
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    When things get ugly (they have only once for me), three shots go by real fast on a bear. Feels good when there's still two left in the magazine. My vote goes for rifles that will hold five in the mag. Four is OK too I guess, three is unacceptable.

    Sell em both, and get a 9.3x62 I've got a life long man-crush on this cartridge and the fancy carbine rifles it's chambered for.

    Where else are you hunting? Or where else do you plan to hunt?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    When things get ugly (they have only once for me), three shots go by real fast on a bear. Feels good when there's still two left in the magazine. My vote goes for rifles that will hold five in the mag.
    Mariner ever had to shoot a black bear more than 3 times ? That's all they have in Georgia and some pretty big hogs.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    If you handload, then your decision is a hard one. Flip a coin and you still won't go wrong.

    If you don't hand load, then the 375 will be a more versatile gun for you. 35 whelen ammo is not nearly as popular as the HH.

    I have them both (actually the 375 Ruger), but not in the same rifle. The col. has not shot anything but paper so far but will be in the boat for this years Yukon trip. I feel confident in both calibers for AK game but think the Ruger is more dependable as a rifle.

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    To me its like comparing the 45/70 to 458 winmag.You can make them look close on paper.Just pick the one you like best and sell the other.Then buy a 358win and ask what to keep the 35 or 358
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I need it like another hole in my head but I think I may send a Rem 760 off to Jesse to have it rebored to the Whelen with an 18.5" barrel, 5+1 of the .35 Whelen should be enough no matter what color bear you're shooting or moose or whatever. The 760's are very reliable, relatively light, accurate, faster than most bolts and they carry nicely....what's not to like.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    I've never owned a 375, but I'm somewhat biased against belted magnums in general. I'm also very partial to the '06 family of cartridges. I own a Whelen and love it, but unless you're planning on hunting up here, I'd say an '06 would be better than either one.
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  12. #12

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    My carry gun is an open sighted, 22" barreled 375 H&H weighing under 7#. Yeah, kicks the crap out of me and takes a whole lot of shooting year round to stay on top of the recoil. But it's a joy to carry.

    Haven't done it yet, but if I duplicate the rifle in 35 Whelen I wouldn't feel I was giving up too much in ballistics, I'd be picking up a couple of extra rounds in the mag, and it would be a whole lot easier to shoot. But if it weighed even half a pound more than the 375, it would be no deal. I just want a light carry gun with some horsepower. The 35 would give me all I needed right here in the heart of bear country.

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    Brownbear,

    Unless you just want/need another rifle, why not just load the H&H to Whelen levels and take some of the sting out of it. If you don't reload you can get into that cheaper than the new rifle. The 235 gr Barnes Triple Shock (TSX) has caught my eye to try for reduced loads in my Sako. I've shot 235 gr Speer in my rifle but have not shot anything with it except paper, but recoil is down to '06 levels and they shoot around 2" at 100 yds which I'd use to 300 yds. My guess is the TSX will kill just about anything the soft nose 300gr will with less recoil.

    Reloading makes the .375 H&H into a one gun does it all gun...at least in my opinion...but then...you still need a suppressed CZ .22LR.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  14. #14

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    Shhhhhhh! Don't let my wife hear you talking about reduced loads rather than a new gun!

    Biggest reasons are I would go ahead and scope the 375 for a hunting gun rather than a knockaround carry gun. I'm not a fan of the Triple Shocks in general, and I shoot waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much to be able to afford the things. I've whanged a bunch of deer and several elk with the Speer 235's, and they're a bit light in the pants for the things I expect of my carry gun. If they don't stand up well to elk inside 100 yards, they're not worth poot for bear protection in my book. Fine for broadside lung shots, but worthless for snout-to-bung shots. As for the recoil of 300's, yeah, it's there. But I still have over 2,000 remaining from a large lot I bought years ago from an outfit that was going out of business ($5/box). I'm similarly loaded up with 35 cal bullets, so there's a gimme on that side too.

    Whew! Glad I fought down THAT detour from getting a new gun!

    Seriously, thanks for the thoughts. Bottom line, I'm a 35 cal fan and would like to get back in the Whelen business without giving up my 375's.

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    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Brownbear,Unless you just want/need another rifle, why not just load the H&H to Whelen levels and take some of the sting out of it. If you don't reload you can get into that cheaper than the new rifle. The 235 gr Barnes Triple Shock (TSX) has caught my eye to try for reduced loads in my Sako. I've shot 235 gr Speer in my rifle but have not shot anything with it except paper, but recoil is down to '06 levels and they shoot around 2" at 100 yds which I'd use to 300 yds. My guess is the TSX will kill just about anything the soft nose 300gr will with less recoil.Reloading makes the .375 H&H into a one gun does it all gun...at least in my opinion...but then...you still need a suppressed CZ .22LR.
    I'm with you on this. I reload my 375 with 200 grain Sierras for deer, and the 250 gr Sierras and 260 gr Accubonds to approx. 2550 fps.

  16. #16

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    375 H&H hands down.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    I don't think the 35 Whelen and the 375 H&H are in the same category. The H&H is a significant step above ballistically and aside form its ugly and un needed belt it is a fine cartridge. Probably the only other cartridge needed after the 30-06 for a big game hunter.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  18. #18

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    Agreed, and it would have been a better comparison if it were the 358 Norma Mag vs the 375 H&H, because the 35 Whelen is not in the class of the 375 H&H.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    I've long since quit putting as much stock in cartridges as I do rifles. I'm a Whelen guy cause it kills efficiently in a rifle of very modest weight and recoil. The H&H is a great cartridge, but rifles tend to be a good deal heavier than for the Whelen and in rifles of the same weight recoil is noticeably more in the H&H. I've killed moose and brown bears with the Whelen and seen numerous bears and moose killed with the H&H; if there is a difference in killing effectiveness between the two it is nearly impossible to measure. The Whelen has more than ample terminal performance and there just isn't a downside to less recoil, less gun weight & greater magazine capacity...........
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  20. #20

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    I really like the 35 Whelen and have owned two rifles in 35 Whelen and hunted with them and you are so right about the 35 Whelen being a real killer. Now that said, let me use your same line of logic concerning a favorite rifle of mine (Mk V 24" barrel) and cartridge 30-06 that has killed big game and some in Africa using a 220gr bullet in front of MRP moving 2590fps on average, and after using it and the 35 Whelen in the field.

    I could say after using both of these rifles and cartridges the same thing you said, "if there is a difference in killing effectiveness between the two it is nearly impossible to measure." Now this ability to measure the difference is determined by our experiences of seeing game die when hit with either of these rifles (very subjective measure) and I am sure we are using both calibers we are talking about on the same game and it is our observations of how we witnessed the game dying that cause us to say there is no measurable difference, but the means of measuring is in question and certainly subjective.


    My experience is by using both the 35 Whelen and my favorite rifle and cartridge Mark V Weatherby 24" barrel chambered in 30-06 on the same game give or take a few that were different but pretty much the same weight animals. Now in all fairness, if I had to choose between the 30-06 and 35 Whelen to kill brown bear I would choose the 35 Whelen just for the cross section of the bullet used in the 35 Whelen. Now if I were honest although I do love the 30-06 I would still pick the Whelen realizing the wound channel will be a bit larger and therefore in reality I would have better terminal results if shot placement was the same and all the rest was equal, whether my eyes noticed the difference or not, because there is a difference. The same applies to the 375 H&H and the 35 Whelen, I would choose the 375 over the 35 for the same reasons.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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