At first I was thinking of re-barreling a stainless Savage 116 30-06 to 35 Whelen. A fun project I could do myself and learn a bit in the process. But when the Savage trigger went to pieces I discovered just how junky it is, and I no longer want to use the 116! Then I turned to a blued Savage 111 in my safe that's been bored-out to 9.3X62. This rifle has a clip, a decent plastic stock, is pillar bedded and the trigger assembly seems a bit different to that of the 116- a slightly better design in the way it's held together? But it still could use a Timney!
So I thought my Whelen project was still on and all I needed was a stainless McGowan 35 Whelen barrel kit at $199 and I could create my 35 Whelen. But, I would be dismantling a perfectly good 9.3X62... which I haven't even scoped/shot yet!
I may still convert the 111, but doing so is starting to make less sense to me. Yesterday I contacted JES in Oregon and confirmed that I could have just about any 30-06 bored out to 35 Whelen, for a very reasonable price. The light bulbs lit! All I need is a 30-06 and I can name my poison!
If you were going to bore-out an 06 to 35 Whelen, which rifle would you choose... a Remington 700? Winchester 70? Ruger 77 MKII or Hawkeye? Browning A-Bolt?
I just want a working 35 Whelen and not some Hi-Tech all-out custom job... yet! I'm also not looking for a dangerous game gun and do fancy a 35 cal Thumper for Black Bear, elk and moose to say 350 yards. The Whelen is considered the Poor Man's Magnum, so building this rifle on The Cheap appeals very much. I like my rifles on the lighter side and am leaning towards an 06 A-Bolt blued Stalker in plastic. Why? because the price is right for this project. A-Bolts have a decent trigger and are lighter weight.
On the other hand a stainless 06 Ruger Hawkeye looks inviting... however I despise the Ruger plastic stock. I suppose the easiest thing for me to do would be bid on a Remington 700 classic in 35 Whelen- but I'll be pushing $800 just for the non-bedded wooden stocked rifle. All opinions are much appreciated.