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Thread: Converting '06 to 35 Whelen questions.

  1. #1

    Default Converting '06 to 35 Whelen questions.

    Hi all,
    New here because everytime I search the web for answers to my latest 35 Whelen questions this forum shows up.
    I have to have a 35 Whelen but haven't found what I want in a production gun and have been told an '06 (or even a 270) can be converted. What must be done to an '06 to make it a 35?
    I've been told that a smith with the right stuff can ream the chamber and rebore the existing barrel but was recently told that you have to rebarreled entirely. Which is true?

    If the existing '06 barrel can be converted my preference would be either a Rem. 700 ADL or Rem. 721. Can anybody recommend one over the other? Is the 24" barrel on the 721 any advantage/disadvantage over the 22" 700? I'm not familiar with the differences in the two actions so should that be a factor in my choice as well? Anything else I need to consider?

    Thanks for your time, Dave.

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    Its a simple re-barrel job. As for re-boring vs a new tube, thats up to you. I've heard of folks going the re-bore route and had no problems but when you can pick up a nice shillen for around $200 (A&B's douglas and wilsons eaven cheaper), I'd just buy a new tube.

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    I would just rebarrel it - may need to bed first couple of inches of barrel, but go ahead and shoot it first - bolt face, mag, follower etc. should all be OK. May want to consider a 35 Whelen Improved - prob be worth some increase in vel while std may feed better (pretty small shoulder tho). 22" barrel should work fine. Good luck.

  4. #4

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    I have turned a couple of 30-06's into 35 whelens. One was a 700 adl and it was done in the standard version of the whelen. I sent it to E.R. Shaw for a new tube and was totally satisfied with it. The other was a 98 Bruno that was sent to Shilen and was done up in the AO improved version. The feed rails weren't right for the blown out case....it was a lesson learned the hard way.I might add that this was absolutely no fault of Shilens. They gave me exactly what I asked for.

    I have always liked the 35 Whelen however there is a gentleman that frequents this website that goes by the handle of Murphy. He has forgotten more than most will ever know about the shooting world. He made a comment a while back that was in regards to the 338-06 being the only cartridge that was made off the 30-06 case that was actually better than the 06. So I pondered on that a while and after much comparison I have to agree that the 338-06 is superior to the 35 Whelen. As a result I am going to have one built. I originally was going to do it in a 98 mauser action that I have on hand but #1 son has other ideas for the mauser. I have a 700 ADL in 30-06 that I've hung onto because it has real pretty wood. I'm thinking it will soon go to Montana Riflemen and get a new 338-06 tube in the same contour as the one coming off. Unless you are set on the Whelen, I'd give the 338-06 some serious thought.

    Hopefully Murphy will read this post and usher some words of wisdom our way!

    While your at it Murphy what is your opinion on having the 700 extractor upgraded at the same time as its getting a new tube? The dinky 700 extractor is really my only hang with using this gun for the build! What are the options?

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Sometimes it can be easier to just buy a new rifle.

    Rem CDL 35 whelen can be had new for $535 shipped.

    --

    Make that $525 . I just saw another one for less.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Another brand new CDL in your hands $490

    Buy now $455 + shipping $25 + FFL $10 (typically$30) = $490

    There is a rebored springfield started at $239 with a buy now of $295.

    I love gunbroker.

    ---
    some reboring shops

    http://www.deltagunshop.com/Clearwater/CW_services.html

    I had seen another that only rebores to 338-06 and 35 whelen for something like $225 but I could not find it.

    --

    I have a 18.5" win mod 70 post 64 barrel in 240 gibbs just sitting around that I thought about reboring to 35/240 gibbs. I dont see the point when my rifle is already a 30-06.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  7. #7

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    I've looked hard at the CDL's but they just don't do it for me. Something about the ADL's(early versions), the 721's and guns like my grandpa's 30 Express that makes me look twice. They just look right, feel right, smell right and so on. You know what I mean?
    The 700 Classic was done in 35 Whelen in 1988 and if I could find one for the price of those CDL's I wouldn't hesitate. Might just have to take a prybar to my wallet and go that route.
    I can appreciate the .338 but I've been stuck on .35 for awhile now. Finally got to shoot one a few weeks ago. Felt good. An ADL with the early stock style would look really nice next to my '71 7mm.

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    Thats funny I am the opposite. I never paid much attention to rems at all, but I like the CDL.

    I wish I had not looked up the prices. Now I have .35 on the brain.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Default 35 Whelen - why not a '03 Springfield?

    The "correct" gun to build a 35 Whelen on is the 1903 Springfield - that is basically the rifle of that period and still the classic llok and feel.

    While it has a few quirks the '03s are all milled steel, real controlled feed, and virtually never break. They just look and feel right for a classic cartridge like the 35 Whelen.

    The Remington 30 or 30s would be a good choice also if you can find an action. I was going to have one built on a Rem. 30 I have but my barrel shank wasn't large enough so I am going with a double heat '03. I may try a Mdl. 30 next time around - or I may build another .375 H&H on it.

    If you stick with the basic .35 Whelen feeding shouldn't be an issue. I don't like feeding issues- they can be the devil to correct.

    The .338-06 is probably a more pratical solution in some ways but you can't shoot pistol bullets and plink in a .338 like you can the .35 Whelen. Sounds like you want a fun gun anyway like myself that you can hunt with so I'd stick with the orginal .35 Whelen. I suspect the .35 Whelen will do cast bullets better and there are lots of molds around in .358 cal.

    As to cost - you can pick up a nice sporterized Springfiled for $200 - $300. If the barrel is good on the outside just get it rebored and you don't have to re-bed it or anything.

    My $.02 worth.

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    Member Whelenator's Avatar
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    Cool 35 Whelen Q&A

    ducker, hey. As my login sugests, I love the Whelen. I have a CDL, got it a few years back when Remington did a special run for Grice Wholesale in Pa.
    I had to go with a CDL because the Classics in Whelen were just too dang spendy to fool with. That was when I thought $700 was spendy. now, I could likely afford that, but why?? I agree with the rest of the guys here and there are several routes you can take. But I can suggest this 100%. Don't go with a Springfield, unless your gunsmith and wallet can afford handmade parts and stuff. I have had a couple '03.s, and my brother is cussing his third one, just because the bottom metal is junk. they are not very friendly to stocking the rifles very much. My brother's rifle has the Buehler (sp) safety doesn't work for crap, and the gun goes click when the bolt goes into battery, or when the safety is released. Still trying to figure out what to do about that one.
    As for barrelling versus re-boring, I would re-barrel. Too much can go wrong with LABOR involved in a re-bore, versus a simpler job getting a new tube screwed on. your choice of 721 or 700 matters not. Whatever you can find. The thing is that there are parts available for the remingtons, where not so much for the '03's. It's a shame too, as I love the '03's personally. I would try to get a barrel with a little faster twist rate than the Remington's come with. Mine and the 1988's are 1:14 twists. It sucks too, as 250 grain bulets are at the outside of what they will stabilize. My rifle shoots spectacularly, and here is a link to a group to look at, done with Barnes 225 TSX's.
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=22485
    I tried some 310 grain Woodleighs, but they shoot right at 3 inches. I am surprised that they don't keyhole, but out of the 6 I shot, none seemed to. Good luck on your build, you'll love the 35 bore. It's a hammer.
    and whomever said the 338-06 is better...HA...but it is an awesome caliber on par with the Whelen.

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    Default 03 Problems?

    I'm curious as to your comments about no parts avaiable for the '03 and the bottom metal being junk.

    The '03 has been "sporterized" for nearly a 100 years now with great sucess. Unless you really screw up the stock trigger or put a really cheap replacement in its about as safe as you get - remember it was the Remington that went off when the safety was released. I've had dozens of these guns over the years tinkered with by various owners wiht varing degrees of skills (or lack of skill) and they all worked well with stock parts. I have seen a few cases where some idiot ground off part of the sear or cocking rod to get a single stage pull but you can't count the actions of idiots - some people can make anything unsafe.

    As to the bottom metal "being junk" - the '03 trigger guard is one of the best made and finished assemblies ever put on a bolt rifle - they obviously cost a fortune to make. They are real forged steel and look great- not some cheap pot metal painted casting like most of today's offerings. They woked fine for over 100 years now - I've never heard of anyone calling them junk before! The 03-A3 guards are stamped but everyone replaces them on a sporter anyway.

    As to your brother's rifle - replace the cocking rod and/or sear. Somebody has seriously screwed with something and really messed something up. A '03 just won't accidently fire - millions of rifles in service around the world for attest to their safety and reliability.

    I won't go into the controlled feed issue again but like the Mauser 98 and classic Win. 70 the Springfield does have true controlled feed if you ever have to use the rifle in a serious situation.

    I went with 1 -12 twist on my rifle being built now - not sure what my 98 has on it. I've got to get out and try it now that the weather has warmed up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Whelenator View Post
    But I can suggest this 100%. Don't go with a Springfield, unless your gunsmith and wallet can afford handmade parts and stuff. I have had a couple '03.s, and my brother is cussing his third one, just because the bottom metal is junk. they are not very friendly to stocking the rifles very much. My brother's rifle has the Buehler (sp) safety doesn't work for crap, and the gun goes click when the bolt goes into battery, or when the safety is released. Still trying to figure out what to do about that one.

    The thing is that there are parts available for the remingtons, where not so much for the '03's. It's a shame too, as I love the '03's personally. I would try to get a barrel with a little faster twist rate than the Remington's come with. Mine and the 1988's are 1:14 twists. It sucks too, as 250 grain bulets are at the outside of what they will stabilize. .

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    I do believe that Remington is the only company offering a 35 Whelen in a production rifle. Whelenator touched on a good point about the rate of twist. When I researched building a 35 I was told the only mistake Rem. made with there Whelen was it was made with a 1-14 inch twist. This twist is fine if you want to shoot lighter cast bullets or if you want to stay with mostly 225 grain bullets.

    Since my rifle is not yet put together ( Montana 99 ss action, Lilja ss barrel 1-12, and McMillan stock) I cant comment about how it shoots but I was told by others who owned a Whelen that if I wanted to shoot the heavier bullets such as the 250's or the Woodleigh 310's to choose a faster twist and go with the 1-12.
    Go luck with whatever route you choose!
    Tennessee

  13. #13

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    Ok so now I'm leaning toward a new barrel on an old gun. This will be an elk/moose gun that I will want vital zone accuracy out to 300 yards. I've read that that isn't a problem if you hand load and I do. So considering that and the fact that it will definately not be a safe queen who should I look at for the barrel? I don't need a bench gun but I don't want low bidder either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoducker View Post
    Ok so now I'm leaning toward a new barrel on an old gun. This will be an elk/moose gun that I will want vital zone accuracy out to 300 yards. I've read that that isn't a problem if you hand load and I do. So considering that and the fact that it will definately not be a safe queen who should I look at for the barrel? I don't need a bench gun but I don't want low bidder either.
    I've been urged into this and I appreciate the kind words, EKC. A new barrel is the best way and I'd suggest a Walther, Lilja or Kreiger and Jim Brockman of Idaho.

    I'd like to comment first about what I think of the Whelen. The 35 Whelen has a few things in its favor not the least of which is it's well tested ballistics. Useful, shootable and capable as a hunting caliber and one of a small handful of calibers to be so adorned as a true all-rounder cartridge. Versatile yet without the magnum monicker, flash or recoil.

    It is named for one of the greatest riflemen of this country. He not only was a great knowledge of guns and shooting he was a champion among shooters and a great ballistician. He experimented with many different aspects of different calibers.

    The 35 Whelen has a versatility rarely matched today in any caliber. That is it's ability to handle bullet weights from the lightest to the heaviest including jacketed and cast with equal aplomb. This would include, as well, the many 357 Magnum bullets in reduced loads for training and practice or simply to carry afield for pot loads for small game to avoid meat damage or excess noise when hunting big game. All from the same rifle and, in many cases, without sight adjustment.

    Ballistically, from a similar rifle of equal barrel length it will give up very little to the fine 338-06 and that only in trajectory and sectional density yet gain it back with the over 250 grain bullet capability. Both generally giving 2500 fps to the 250 grain bullets and the barrel likely the deciding factor for the ballistic edge.

    The 30-06 case is designed for ease of extraction, with all its ample taper, at a time when not so much was understood about smokeless propellants' pressure characteristics and metallurgy was not as refined as today. We now know that we can have have less taper with a bolt action and have enormous extraction capability with very little taper to the case. This long taper and shallow shoulder actually takes up some valuable space that a more modern chamber could make better use of.

    The Ackley version better utilizes this space but it has a rather abrupt shoulder and minimal taper that is, in some rifles, a detriment to smooth and reliable feeding. There is then the urge to improve the case by adding capacity and lessening the taper. This of course is both good and bad. A little more space for powder would be good and the Ackley Improved does that, at some cost in feeding sometimes. The nice thing about the AI version is, when properly done, we can safely fire the standard case in the AI chamber yet still have the capability of the extra velocity. Logistically this makes good sense but the ballistic gain is often so slight as to deem it not a worth while venture. I would prefer a slightly different case design but that would defeat the purpose of the original Whelen. The good colonel intended the 35 to boost bullet weight of the 30-06 case to better make it a heavy game rifle. His moose rifle. This also was done deliberately to take advantage of the 30-06 military rifles and the availability of military brass for the conversion. Making a very inexpensive upgrade to a 30-06 game rifle. To do anything else would take away from one of the real benefits of owning a 35 Whelen rifle.

    I've owned six 35 Whelen rifles and loaded for and shot many more. Two of mine were of the Ackley Improved (AI) version. The most cherished of them I've foolishly sold to an old hunting buddy who has now passed it on down to his son. This one was built on a Winchester model 54 chassis. The rifle was rebored from it's original 30 Gov't '06 caliber and restamped 35 Whelen. It was restocked with a excellent peice of walnut by a great stock man. It had all that charisma of the Whelen conversions because it was on a 1935 model rifle. Of course the Springfield was the colonels baby and he and Jim Howe converted many of them to this caliber. The firm of Griffin and Howe made many and their specialty was the 35 Whelen. Even after Jim Howe left the company G&H continued to make 35 caliber rifles. Their very existance was owed to this conversion for a number of years.

    I have said that the 338-06 was the first real improvement on the 30-06 case. I still prefer that calibers ballistics when afield over the Whelen because of its ability to reach out and effectively take game at relatively unknow distances. This due of course to its slightly flatter trajectory, a minor point, I admit. Also I have little need for the pistol bullet loads, as is the case with most today, so that doesn't appeal to me, not do I shoot cast bullets except to learn the development of those loads. But none of this takes away from the fine old 35 Whelen or in any way lessens its capability as one of the greatest all around calibers ever developed.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    I do believe that Remington is the only company offering a 35 Whelen in a production rifle. Whelenator touched on a good point about the rate of twist. When I researched building a 35 I was told the only mistake Rem. made with there Whelen was it was made with a 1-14 inch twist. This twist is fine if you want to shoot lighter cast bullets or if you want to stay with mostly 225 grain bullets.

    Since my rifle is not yet put together ( Montana 99 ss action, Lilja ss barrel 1-12, and McMillan stock) I cant comment about how it shoots but I was told by others who owned a Whelen that if I wanted to shoot the heavier bullets such as the 250's or the Woodleigh 310's to choose a faster twist and go with the 1-12.
    Go luck with whatever route you choose!
    I've owned several 35 Whelens and all were 14" twist and would shoot 250's very well, better than lighter bullets, and cast. If the 275-280 or heavier, a tighter twist may be in order. Certainly the Greenhill calculations support this. I do think the 250 is the bullet for the caliber though.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default One of the true Classic Combinations...

    is the .35 Whelen in a good Springfield Armory US Model of 1903 rifle.

  17. #17

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    Thanks Murphy! I'm still doing my next one in 338-06. The one after that will be a 366-06. I will start a new thread for that one shortly!

  18. #18

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    Can anyone positively verify the rate of twist in the 1988 700 Classic 35 Whelen? I've been told both 1:14 and 1:16. Thanks.

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    I am sure Remington can verify what the rate of twist is. Just give them a call. Or if you own the rifle it is easy to find out the rate of twist with a tight patch and a cleaning rod.
    Tennessee

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    Default rebore

    I bought a new 95 Winchester which was chambered for 30-06 a couple years ago . I sent it down to Wa. state to an old guy who specialized in reboring (advertised in Rifle ) . It came back SUPER accurate . I'll try to remember who that was and post it here , cost was around $160 . Joe Reid in Tucson , Arizona would be another guy to call , he has done it all and is a well used resource person for people teaching gunsmithing .

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