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Thread: 35 Whelen

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    Default 35 Whelen

    I know you can re-bore a 30/06 to make a 35 Whelen, but can you re-bore a 25/06 and make one? Just wondering if there is enough barrel. The rifle in question is a Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker.

    Thanks,
    MIke

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    Quote Originally Posted by C-185 View Post
    I know you can re-bore a 30/06 to make a 35 Whelen, but can you re-bore a 25/06 and make one? Just wondering if there is enough barrel. The rifle in question is a Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker.

    Thanks,
    MIke
    Shouldn't be a problem, so long as the barrel diameter at the length you want it is greater than .610.
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  3. #3

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    Yeah. Only place you'd get in trouble would be a super skinny 25-06 barrel with dovetails or screw holes set deep. They can only go so thin on barrel walls with a rebore, to avoid barrel splits.

    While we're on it, you might also consider a 35 Whelen Improved. I get better case life with the improved, yet you can still shoot the standard version in the same chamber.

  4. #4

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    I will give the shop a call tomorrow (If they are open) to confirm. But it sounds like it might work. I will check out the Improved version.

    Thanks,

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    Default improved

    One downside of the Improved version is the higher cost for the custom dies. Since the standard Whelen is a factory cartridge you can get standard dies at much lower prices. You'll have to go through a lot of brass to justify the price of the more expensive dies.

    I've got a .375 Whelen Improved but the dies for it were custom anyway, and I got the set when I bought the gun. I've got a couple of standard .35 Whelens, they work just fine and brass life isn't really a problem.


    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Yeah. Only place you'd get in trouble would be a super skinny 25-06 barrel with dovetails or screw holes set deep. They can only go so thin on barrel walls with a rebore, to avoid barrel splits.

    While we're on it, you might also consider a 35 Whelen Improved. I get better case life with the improved, yet you can still shoot the standard version in the same chamber.
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    Much the same on my Improved. Got the dies when RCBS built the rifle for me way back in the 70's.

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    A time or two, or maybe even several, right on this forum, I've heard of miss fires with the Whelen, and the problem came down to headspacing/die adjustment.

    It is my contention that the shoulder of the standard Whelen is not as positive or reliable for headspacing as on the Improved version.

    A gunsmith told me this was the reason many people chose the Improved version.

    Were it me, I go with the 338-06, but at my advanced age, I hardly have time to shoot the rifles I already have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    A time or two, or maybe even several, right on this forum, I've heard of miss fires with the Whelen, and the problem came down to headspacing/die adjustment...

    Smitty of the North
    There is no doubt that a poorly assembled rifle can have headspace issues or that ignorant/incompetent reloaders can make bad ammo, but the shoulder on the Whelen is plenty (by that I intend to say it is more than enough, or overwhelmingly sufficient) for absolute reliable headspace. If headspace issues are present it isn't because of a design flaw.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    There is no doubt that a poorly assembled rifle can have headspace issues or that ignorant/incompetent reloaders can make bad ammo, but the shoulder on the Whelen is plenty (by that I intend to say it is more than enough, or overwhelmingly sufficient) for absolute reliable headspace. If headspace issues are present it isn't because of a design flaw.
    It is my contention that the shoulder of the standard Whelen is not as positive or reliable for headspacing as on the Improved version.

    The shoulder may be sufficient under most circumstances, but to say, it's "plenty" is a stretch.

    According to Hatchers notes, you can create headspace just by slamming the bolt closed on a BA rifle. Surely, that could be easier accomplished when you have such a slight shoulder to control headspace, as on the standard 35 Whelen case.

    I'm suggesting that if the case is not held tight enough in the chamber, due to headspace, no matter how it was created, the firing pin blow can be cushioned. Even enough to cause a FTF or erratic ignition.

    I've heard of FTFs with the 35 Whelen, and I believe this COULD be one of the causes.
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  10. #10

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    Lotta variation between guns and chambers, so the big news is you have to be alert and make adjustments if necessary. If your particular gun is happy with standard case sizing, go in peace my son and know you are a fine citizen. If you start having problems, whether misfires or poor case life, put on your thinking cap and go to work.

    My own standard 35 is picky. Set the factory sizing die in the standard position and case life will be short even if the misfires don't drive you nuts. Back before the scalpers and hoarders blew our sport to heck and you could buy stuff as you needed it, the easiest solution was "straight" 06 cases that had never been necked or shouldered, then run them into my sizing die set just high enough to make it a little tough to close the bolt. That happened with the base of the die about a penny thickness off the case holder. One pass through the sizing die, load and fire, then raise the sizing die another quarter turn. Leave it there for decent case life and no misfires.

    Can't get the basic straight unformed cases? Two paths I can follow- Seat the bullet in a factory case out to engage the rifling and fire a moderate load to fireform the cases, then adjust the sizing die accordingly. Better in my book was to use the expander plug from a 375 to open the neck oversize, then size down in the right spot to make a tiny second "shoulder" for headspacing. Gotta be a little more precise in setting that up, but if you're doing a couple hundred cases at a time, no prob.

    Oh, one more worthwhile point: I never full length size standard 35 Whelen cases after first firing. Neck size only until a few loading cycles start making the bolt noticeably harder to close. Then I turn the die down 1/4 turn to bump the shoulder slightly for one loading and go back to neck sizing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    It is my contention that the shoulder of the standard Whelen is not as positive or reliable for headspacing as on the Improved version.

    The shoulder may be sufficient under most circumstances, but to say, it's "plenty" is a stretch.

    According to Hatchers notes, you can create headspace just by slamming the bolt closed on a BA rifle. Surely, that could be easier accomplished when you have such a slight shoulder to control headspace, as on the standard 35 Whelen case.

    I'm suggesting that if the case is not held tight enough in the chamber, due to headspace, no matter how it was created, the firing pin blow can be cushioned. Even enough to cause a FTF or erratic ignition.

    I've heard of FTFs with the 35 Whelen, and I believe this COULD be one of the causes.
    You may believe anything you like, that doesn't change things that are objective in nature.

    A properly chambered and assembled rifle in .35 Whelen, firing quality ammo has zero issues, like any other SAAMI cartridge design. When using chambers or ammo outside of specifications you can have problems with any cartridge--that's why there are headspace specs with every cartridge. There are lots of popular cartridges that headspace perfectly by design with significantly less engagement than the Whelen though many don't know it since they have never heard of headspace issues with those cartridges.

    There is a headspace issue with the Whelen, but it isn't due to any inherent design flaw. The headspace issue with the Whelen is that before 1987 it was a wildcat cartridge without SAAMI specs. Take the case of someone before 1987 that has their neighbor's cousin build them a custom rifle in .35 Whelen. They then ordered a set of dies from a reputable company, screw the sizer die until it bumps the shellholder, just like they always do, and start sizing away. The shooter doesn't have any idea what the dimensions are for either the chamber or the dies, just that they both have .35 Whelen stamped upon them and that means when there is an issue it must be a design flaw because they have a custom rifle and know everything about reloading. This is exactly the kind of shooter that should never undertake a "wildcat."

    Since 1987, the Whelen has standardized dimensions. Using chambers that are within SAAMI specs as well as ammo within specs, the Whelen is as reliable as any other factory centerfire ammo. This is irrespective of what some gunwriter has read or written. Using pre '87 rifles or pre '87 dies to produce ammo can lead to problems, but again this is not due to design, but rather because saying .35 Whelen didn't mean the same thing to everyone and reamers were cut with some amount of variety.

    FWIW, rather than solving any headspace issue by using an AI chamber you reintroduce the same possible mishap by removing SAAMI specs from the rifle and dies. This isn't to say that the AI has a flaw in its headspace design, rather that without standardization in a cartridge there is a likelihood that ammo and rifle are built to varying specifications which can display itself in too much or too little headspace. Again this has nothing to do with design and everything to do with production.

    Most AI chambers use the parent cartridge's headspace, even using the same gauges, so if the same numbskull chambers his rifle to an AI that has problems with the Whelen and produces ammo the same way he's likely to have the same headspace issue. Too many people simply aren't aware of what headspace is or what it does. Again, because it seems that the more something is written the more readily it is believed, the SAAMI Whelen design has ZERO design issues leading to poor headspace, to believe otherwise is to reveal more about the believer than it does the beliefs.

    One final thought concerning headspace, I've been around a lot of rifles and seen headspace problems with a variety of cartridges. For example I've a buddy that has a 30/06 that fails to headspace factory ammunition. Perhaps due to my na´vetÚ, I never gave it a thought that it was the design of the 30/06 or that the 30/06 lacks sufficient shoulder to properly headspace. Instead, I checked it and that particular rifle will swallow a no-go gauge; headspace is significantly out of specification. He wanted a cheap solution that would be perfectly safe. I stamped XXXX through the 30/06 stamp (to prevent confusion should the rifle ever part from him) and sized 30/06 brass to .338 neck size. I then sized them back to .308 to produce positive headspace in his chamber. Fireforming the cases produce perfect XXXX brass and then using a 30/06 necksizer die to size the same brass again produces perfectly reliable ammo for his rifle. It wasn't anything to do with design, merely in the execution of that particular rifle. Of course someone else may have drawn completely different conclusions....
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    You may believe anything you like, that doesn't change things that are objective in nature.

    A properly chambered and assembled rifle in .35 Whelen, firing quality ammo has zero issues, like any other SAAMI cartridge design. When using chambers or ammo outside of specifications you can have problems with any cartridge--that's why there are headspace specs with every cartridge. There are lots of popular cartridges that headspace perfectly by design with significantly less engagement than the Whelen though many don't know it since they have never heard of headspace issues with those cartridges.

    There is a headspace issue with the Whelen, but it isn't due to any inherent design flaw. The headspace issue with the Whelen is that before 1987 it was a wildcat cartridge without SAAMI specs. Take the case of someone before 1987 that has their neighbor's cousin build them a custom rifle in .35 Whelen. They then ordered a set of dies from a reputable company, screw the sizer die until it bumps the shellholder, just like they always do, and start sizing away. The shooter doesn't have any idea what the dimensions are for either the chamber or the dies, just that they both have .35 Whelen stamped upon them and that means when there is an issue it must be a design flaw because they have a custom rifle and know everything about reloading. This is exactly the kind of shooter that should never undertake a "wildcat."

    Since 1987, the Whelen has standardized dimensions. Using chambers that are within SAAMI specs as well as ammo within specs, the Whelen is as reliable as any other factory centerfire ammo. This is irrespective of what some gunwriter has read or written. Using pre '87 rifles or pre '87 dies to produce ammo can lead to problems, but again this is not due to design, but rather because saying .35 Whelen didn't mean the same thing to everyone and reamers were cut with some amount of variety.

    FWIW, rather than solving any headspace issue by using an AI chamber you reintroduce the same possible mishap by removing SAAMI specs from the rifle and dies. This isn't to say that the AI has a flaw in its headspace design, rather that without standardization in a cartridge there is a likelihood that ammo and rifle are built to varying specifications which can display itself in too much or too little headspace. Again this has nothing to do with design and everything to do with production.

    Most AI chambers use the parent cartridge's headspace, even using the same gauges, so if the same numbskull chambers his rifle to an AI that has problems with the Whelen and produces ammo the same way he's likely to have the same headspace issue. Too many people simply aren't aware of what headspace is or what it does. Again, because it seems that the more something is written the more readily it is believed, the SAAMI Whelen design has ZERO design issues leading to poor headspace, to believe otherwise is to reveal more about the believer than it does the beliefs.

    One final thought concerning headspace, I've been around a lot of rifles and seen headspace problems with a variety of cartridges. For example I've a buddy that has a 30/06 that fails to headspace factory ammunition. Perhaps due to my na´vetÚ, I never gave it a thought that it was the design of the 30/06 or that the 30/06 lacks sufficient shoulder to properly headspace. Instead, I checked it and that particular rifle will swallow a no-go gauge; headspace is significantly out of specification. He wanted a cheap solution that would be perfectly safe. I stamped XXXX through the 30/06 stamp (to prevent confusion should the rifle ever part from him) and sized 30/06 brass to .338 neck size. I then sized them back to .308 to produce positive headspace in his chamber. Fireforming the cases produce perfect XXXX brass and then using a 30/06 necksizer die to size the same brass again produces perfectly reliable ammo for his rifle. It wasn't anything to do with design, merely in the execution of that particular rifle. Of course someone else may have drawn completely different conclusions....
    Thanks, but, I don't need your permission to believe anything I like. My beliefs are objective in nature, and when I discuss them, I strive to be "objective" about the issue. I am not attempting to change things based on my beliefs as you imply. Nor, am I being contentious as you so often are.

    There are problems with headspacing on the 35 Whelen. Thanks for mentioning some reasons for them, that I didn't, but it doesn't matter how, or IF they can be solved, but that they were there to begin with. If the shoulder was stronger, perhaps the chamber dimensions wouldn't be such a problem either.

    If the improved design shoulder makes it harder to push back than the standard design, it would be less likely to cushion the firing pin blow.

    The 35 Whelen WAS "IMPROVED" in the first place for some "reason", or "reasons", and when the 35 Whelen was yet a Wildcat. I would doubt there is enough difference in case capacitys between the two to matter. Seems like an attempt to "improve" the design.

    I like the ballistics of the Whelen, and if I had one, I'm sure I could make it work. I'd make sure my cases were a tight fit to the chamber, more so than with my 280, for example. I don't see the Improved version as a problem. Like many others, I'd prefer it.

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    I would say that in my "limited" experience, I've seen more chamber problems with "improved" cartridges than with standard SAMMI spec cartridges. My contention is that P.O. Ackley never "improved" anything, but instead, convinced many a person to ruin perfectly good sporting rifles. If you want more velocity, shoot the next bigger case. Ackley tells you in his own words that it is basically a waste of time and energy to "improve" a chamber, and that the velocity gains are essentially not worth the effort. The reason A.I. chambers are 40' shoulders is that is the included angle on a standard jobber drill bit. I will "jug out" chambers for folks to A.I. because thats what I'm paid to do, but am generally saddened by such tomfoolery. But hey, it's not my gun!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    I would say that in my "limited" experience, I've seen more chamber problems with "improved" cartridges than with standard SAMMI spec cartridges. My contention is that P.O. Ackley never "improved" anything, but instead, convinced many a person to ruin perfectly good sporting rifles. If you want more velocity, shoot the next bigger case. Ackley tells you in his own words that it is basically a waste of time and energy to "improve" a chamber, and that the velocity gains are essentially not worth the effort. The reason A.I. chambers are 40' shoulders is that is the included angle on a standard jobber drill bit. I will "jug out" chambers for folks to A.I. because thats what I'm paid to do, but am generally saddened by such tomfoolery. But hey, it's not my gun!

    I'm not advocating for Improved cartridges, except for the Whelen, and for the reasons I mentioned. I'm just dubious of the shoulder.

    I've NOT "improved" my 280, for example, although it's all the rage.

    The increase in case capacity doesn't justify the increase in velocities. They just load it Hotter. I could load my standard 280 Hotter, too.

    Of course, there is the claim of greater case life and less trimming. I dunno bout that. Case Life has never been an issue for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    I would say that in my "limited" experience, I've seen more chamber problems with "improved" cartridges than with standard SAMMI spec cartridges. My contention is that P.O. Ackley never "improved" anything, but instead, convinced many a person to ruin perfectly good sporting rifles.
    +1... I know that Ackley pretty much came up with an "Improved" version of nearly every cartridge in existence. I agree with your assessment that most of them are a complete waste of time. I've always felt their popularity was such that a guy could have something a "little different" to talk about down at the hardware store for cheap. I've messed around with a couple of Ackely's creations and couldn't see they did much except ramp up the hassle factor and burn more powder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Thanks, but, I don't need your permission to believe anything I like. My beliefs are objective in nature, and when I discuss them, I strive to be "objective" about the issue. I am not attempting to change things based on my beliefs as you imply. Nor, am I being contentious as you so often are.
    I appreciate being called contentious. When I'm called names, they are mostly one syllable words; it's a nice change. You normally seem an okay guy, but sometimes the word incorrigible comes to mind when I read your posts. Personally, I'd rather be contentious, but a flaw is a flaw nonetheless.

    My last word on this thread is that you'd do well to study what headspace is and what it isn't. You'd then know that the .35 Whelen doesn't suffer headspace issues caused by its design. Until then a paraphrase from a gifted statesman seems apropos: it's not that you're ignorant, it's just that you know so many things that aren't so.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I appreciate being called contentious. When I'm called names, they are mostly one syllable words; it's a nice change. You normally seem an okay guy, but sometimes the word incorrigible comes to mind when I read your posts. Personally, I'd rather be contentious, but a flaw is a flaw nonetheless.

    My last word on this thread is that you'd do well to study what headspace is and what it isn't. You'd then know that the .35 Whelen doesn't suffer headspace issues caused by its design. Until then a paraphrase from a gifted statesman seems apropos: it's not that you're ignorant, it's just that you know so many things that aren't so.
    Head space is something YOU have plenty of.

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    There is no doubt that a poorly assembled rifle can have headspace issues or that ignorant/incompetent reloaders can make bad ammo, but the shoulder on the Whelen is plenty (by that I intend to say it is more than enough, or overwhelmingly sufficient) for absolute reliable headspace. If headspace issues are present it isn't because of a design flaw.
    Even a very competent reloader that has been doing it for nearly 40 years can brain fart his way to setting the shoulder too far back and end up with a batch of rounds that have to be shot straight into the air or won't go bang. there were only 25 of them but I almost shot a 12 inch oak limb in two as reforming the cases to the chamber requires shooting them far as I know. Yeah I know what your thinking. Now then.....I lost my cell phone last night and looked for an hour to no avail. However when the refrigerator started playing Johnny Horton's "In 1814 we took a little trip, Me Col. Jackson down the mighty Mississip" I found it. It's called old fartitis and I have it!

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