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Thread: 338-06 or 35 Whalen?

  1. #1
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    Default 338-06 or 35 Whalen?

    I am thinking of building another rifle and have an FN with a standard bolt face. In your opinion, which is the best hunting round and why? Thanks in advance. J.

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    Member nrc's Avatar
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    Default can't go wrong

    There is so little practical difference between the two you will have fun working up loads with either one. Someone may try to suggest that headspacing on the whelen shoulder is an issue but I personally do not think it is a factor.

    I was in the same boat 2yrs ago, rebarreling a 700. I went to my local gunshop to check components; They had 7 different boxes of 338 bullets (various weights, various brands) on the shelf. They had 2 boxes of 358s. I was on the fence anyway, so I went with the 338.

    Good luck -

    Nate

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Default

    The only thing that the .35 Whelan has over the .338-06 is the use of pistol bullets for small game or plinking loads, IMO. There are a lot of .338 bullets out there, from 160gn to 275gn. You can even get factory brass for the .338-06-if you want to spend the money.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    The only thing that the .35 Whelan has over the .338-06 is the use of pistol bullets for small game or plinking loads, IMO. There are a lot of .338 bullets out there, from 160gn to 275gn. You can even get factory brass for the .338-06-if you want to spend the money.
    Make the bullet weights up to 300 grains. Wooleigh makes 300 grainers for it, and maybe Kodiak Bullets.

  5. #5
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Rifle

    I have had both and prefer the 35 Whel......with good 225 bullets with IMR 4320 or Reloader 15.
    Alaska

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    Default Vote for the 338

    I voted with my dollars several years ago, sweating out the same choice as I rebarreled a Browning A-Bolt 30-06 (anybody interested in the barrel?). Anyway, the bullet selection was superior for the 338-06 as the overall ballistic package. So far I've only shot a couple whitetail with it, but after feeling a little undergunned on my last caribou hunt with a 7-08, my next trip I'll have a little more potency.

  7. #7
    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default 6 of 1, 1/2 dozen of the other

    I honestly doubt that either you or whatever you shoot with it will notice the difference between these 2 calibers. Either one would be a great choice. I have a 35 Whelen and my dad has a 338-06. They both kill things very much dead.

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    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    Default

    I also went with the .338-06 due to the larger selection of bullets.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    The .338-06 AI is what I've chosen for my Mauser build. The .338-06 holds it's velocity and energy a bit better at longer ranges than the Whelen with identical bullet weights, but at practical distances critters won't know the difference when they're whacked with one or the other.
    Now what ?

  10. #10

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    Which is better: Kellogs corn flakes or Post Toasties? Same comparison.

    Ballistically there's not a lot to distinguish the two rounds, so practical matters will have a bigger affect on your choice. I've got both, but I shoot the 35 lots more because I have lots of 357 pistol bullets on hand, along with a bunch of different 35 cal bullet molds. I tend to hunt with the 35 simply because I plink with it a bunch more using all those cheap pistol bullets and cheaper cast bullets. I gotta say that if any of my 338 cast bullets came close to the performance of the RCBS 200 grain FNGC in my 35, I'd probably shoot it more. But that lead bullet in the 35 is so darned accurate and fun to shoot, I never get around to refining cast bullet loads for the 338.

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