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Thread: Reloading for the 35 Whelen

  1. #1

    Default Reloading for the 35 Whelen

    I am in the process of having a 35 built, and have searched out a lot of the old threads. I am looking for ideas on good loads for the gun. I plan to use Barnes 200 and 225 grain bullets (as a starting point) Maybe Noslers AB down the road (but I have not had the best luck with those).

    It seems people like R-15 for a powder. Something I do not have...........Right now!

    Thanks,
    Mike

  2. #2
    Member BRWHUNTER's Avatar
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    BL(C)2 works great in mine. I get good velocity and less pressure signs than I get with other powders

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-185 View Post
    I am in the process of having a 35 built, and have searched out a lot of the old threads. I am looking for ideas on good loads for the gun. I plan to use Barnes 200 and 225 grain bullets (as a starting point) Maybe Noslers AB down the road (but I have not had the best luck with those).

    It seems people like R-15 for a powder. Something I do not have...........Right now!

    Thanks,
    Mike
    I've used numerous powders in the Whelen over the years. I recall that I started with Winchester 748 and had very good results for many years. With 200 and 225 grain bullets it still works well. I've used IMR 4064 and Varget in the Whelen also. Both are good powders and produce excellent results, especially with 225 and 250 grain bullets. Reloader 19, Norma MRP, IMR 4350, IMR 4831 have all been tried and discarded as they were simply too slow to be useful IME. Without going to my loading logs I'm sure there are other powders I've tried, but sometime around 1990 Hercules unveiled Reloader 15 and I've been using it ever since. I've not seen another powder produce as high velocity with as much consistency as I have when using Reloader 15 in the Whelen case. That's at least been true with all makes of bullets from 200-250 grains. My present Whelen has a vey long throat and that allows for a bit more useful capacity than some other rifles, but I've never had any issue reaching 2500+ fps with 250 grain bullets, 2700+ fps with various 225s and 2800 fps with 200s.

    Using the Whelen, I've taken two brown bears, several moose, one caribou, and a host of whitetail deer at ranges from a few feet to more than is necessary to admit. There's really nothing that I wouldn't do with it and I find it to be a cartridge that is easy to shoot in a rifle that is easy to carry.

    I've used various bullets and can't complain about any of them, except that the 180 Speer FN, the 200 Hornady RN and SP and the 200 Sierra RN are all designed for lesser velocity cartridges and are at their best when used for deer sized game in the Whelen.

    For AK hunting, I've had good success with the 200 TTSX/TSX, 225 Sierra BTSP, 225 TSX, 225 NAB and 250 A-Frame. I know hunters that use the 250 Speer Hot-Cor, but haven't killed with it yet. The 225 and 250 Partition also have a good reputation on larger game, though again I've not shot anything heavier than cardboard with them to my memory. If forced to use a Whelen for deer, I'd probably stick with the 225 Sierra, though the lighter (180-200) TTSXs would work as well or better. For moose I'm most often carrying the 225 TSX, though the 225 NAB has worked well enough. The TSX will penetrate deeper, whether that matters is another thing altogether. I literally rolled a brown bear a couple years back with the 250 A-Frame and I wasn't overly impressed, though the bear was. That's not to say it didn't work perfectly, but I'd rather use the 225 TSX or 250 Partition as experience has shown that I prefer the wound channels these other bullet designs create.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the information. I had a Whelen years ago and shot 210 BT Noslers out of it using IMR 4350. But I do not have the data anymore. Looking forward to working up some loads. I plan to make it my Kodiak deer rifle.

    Thanks again,
    Mike

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    4064 and a 225 is about al you need for Alaska.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    I love the Whelen for AK hunting. It puts a big hole in critters without the huge recoil of the magnums and the big 375's. It has the ballistics for confident shooting to 300 yards or more. A 225g partition or a 200g TTSX will do anything you want it to from deer to grizzly. RL 15 has always been given excellent results in most every bullet I have tried in my Whelen's, and it works great in my 375 Ruger and my 308 win to boot. It is a very versatile powder. It you can't find any, let me know, I have some extra unopened to sell. You will have great results with Varget and/or IMR 4064 as well.

  7. #7

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    Most of my game taking with the Whelen (actually the Improved) occurred before Nosler was offering a 35 cal Partition, if you can believe I'm that old. Still have the guns, but they're more or less retired for some reason. Shooting less big game and more options in rifles, I guess. In both rifles it turned out to be 4064 with 200 grain bullets, 4320 with 250's. With the old Barnes originals in 300 grain (and now the Hawks), it was IMR-4350. That powder was a little too slow for my taste with 250's and waaaay too slow with 200's.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I wonder if anyone using the Federal 200 grain FX loads have pulled one to see what powder is in the loads. "Could" it be Leverevolution. If it is that could be a game change in the 180 and 200 grain loads. A .35 Whelen over 3,000fps would be something.

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    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    I ran 57.5 gr of IMR-3031 with the 200 TTSX this fall. Gave me 2,825 fps in a 22" bbl. There are some new powders that would be worth trying - like IMR XBR 8208, H CFE 223, AR-Comp and LeveRevolution. IMO, Varget, IMR-4064, IMR-4320 and RL-15 are a bit too slow for 180 and 200 gr bullets.

    What are the details on your build, Mike?

    Here's mine:




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    Varget and the 225 Accubond works great in my 24 inch Remington 700

  11. #11

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    Since I live in Nome, my powder selection is limited. I was able to get my hands on a couple of pounds of R-15 in Anchorage. Now the trick is to get it to Nome.

    L.G.: I do have some 3031 and will give it a try. My rifle is nothing like your beauty. I sent a Browning Stainless Stalker down to JES for re-boring. It will have a 21 inch barrel and sport a Leupold 3-9. It comes in on the scales at just a little over 7.5 pounds. Should be a nice brush rifle.

    Mike

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by C-185 View Post
    ...a 21 inch barrel....
    With that barrel, 3031 is likely to turn out to be one of your very best powder choices! Sounds like you're on track.

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    Varget and Accurate 2520 work great with the lighter slugs, while Alliant's PP 2000-MR is terrific with the 250s and heavier.

  14. #14

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    RL 15, 4320 and 4895 are the top performers in the 35 Whelen in my experience. I've been using 56 grains of 4320 behind a 250 grain Nosler Partition for years now. It really hammers critters hard with little meat damage.

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    Member Big Country's Avatar
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    My Remington 700 Classic (1988 model) liked a bit less than 60 grains of Re15 behind 225-grain Barnes TSX bullets. Really hated to sell that rifle.

    Enjoy your Whelen!

  16. #16

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    The gun made it to Oregon, I have acquired numerous boxes of Barnes bullets, I have power in Anchorage..... Now I just have to get everything together and start having some fun.

    Thanks,
    MIke

  17. #17
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Wish I had a crony. I have a 26" barrel on my TC Encore. Being a single shot, I don't have to worry about magazine length, just the distance to the lands.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  18. #18

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    Hi, you may have already figured out your favorite load. I tried all of the suitable IMRs 4350, 4831, 3031, and 4064. The 4064 did best with several bullets. I resisted Varget for a long time because it is somewhat a jack of all trades, master of none, it seemed. However, I found it to give good velocities and the very tightest groups by far. It is also temperature stabilized. I also said hogwash to this fact until I zeroed in at 30 degrees and then found shots 4 inches high at 95 degrees in Africa.
    Here is my Favorite in a Remington 700 Classic
    Rem brass
    Barnes 225 TSX FB
    56 grains Varget
    Primer WLR
    COL = 3.340

    Also don't be afraid to form 30-06 brass into 35 Whelen Brass. You don't pick up much Whelen brass at the range. Here is what I do: lube brass with Imperial resizing lube with your fingers (to me, One Shot is one of the best glues made!),. I first run an 8 mm die partially down to get the 06 case close, then the .35 die (I have just went straight to the .35 die). Wipe lube, stand brass in a pie tin with 3/8 inch of water, heat neck with propane torch and tip over in water as soon as brass is hot (not too much heat) this will anneal the brass. You can color the base with a sharpie, but I quit because it will no longer chamber in a 30-06.

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    Has anyone tried TAC in their Whelen? I know it's not quite the same as the 350Rem Mag I'm using but it's supposed to be close. I'm getting 2800 with a Sierra 225gr and 5/8" groups showing no over pressure. Just wondering if it works as well in the Whelen.

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    Varget has also been the most accurate powder in my Whelen AI, and with the exact same load, 56 grains, but under the Hornady 250 gr sptzer.

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