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Thread: Put the Whelen to the test.

  1. #1
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Put the Whelen to the test.

    I toted my 35 Whelen I built over the winter on a recent bear hunt in unit 17. Some of you guys may remember the thread I had going on it last winter but for those who don't, it's a tang safety Ruger 77 ultralight I rebarreled and bedded into the factory stock. 20in SS MRC barrel, with barrel band swivel, iron sights, trigger job, and a Leupold M8 2.5X scope.

    I stoked it with some 250gr RN bullets of unknown make but obviously coming from a Corbin swage, much like and even possibly from the old Colorado Custom bullets. I put them over a stiff charge of 4064 in eformed 270 cases for 2450fps.

    On the first day of our hunt we spotted a beutiful bear up on a hillside and decided to put the sneak on it. We closed to within 200yds to find the bruin asleep in a berry patch. We closed the distance to 151yds before we ran out of cover, my Dad readied himself for a shot off my backpack, while me and his best friend got ready as well. Suddenly as if on que the bear rolled around stood up and turned broadside. Dad put a perfect shot in right behind the shoulder with his 7mm SAUM and one of my 160gr Nosler handloads. The bear begun growling and biting at the wound and took off down toward the alders in the bottom, in the melée that insued we all took a shot or two managing to put the bear down before it got into the brush. Upon examination both the Noslers from his rifle and my mystery bullets had passed through on the chest shots. The bear squared a touch over 7ft green and dad was stoked.

    We hunted for several more days seeing bears every day and finally getting a good stalk on one for me on the last day. After watching the bear for almost 2 long hours in the rain we finally belly crawled to a better position to find the bear moving toward us. She was about to walk into a canyon taking away the possibility for a shot when she paused on the rim, I quickly ranged it at 177yds and readied myslf to shoot. The bear was quartering toward me at a fairly steep angle so I aimed for the shoulder hoping to drive that big bullet into the chest through the shouldr bone. As I sent the bullt on it's way I felt my elbow slip slightly but watched through the scope as I scored what I call a good miss. My shotwent about 6in wide taking the bear right behind the ear ranging back to break two vertebre and lodging under the hide in front of the shoulder on the off side. I saw the spray of mist fly off of the wet hide as the bear wilted out of the scope, my bear was down on the last evening and I was pumped.

    I was able to retreive the bullet that broke the neck when skinning the bear, it was beutifully mushroomed to .81 about halfway down the shank and weighed 249.1grs on my powder scale.

    We had an awesome trip the real highlight was of course, being with my Father as he fulfilled his lifelong dream of taking a Grizzly. But I was also super happy with the way both my rifle and my handloadsperformed. Although it rained on us every day I experienced no problems with my wood stocked rifle which I partially chalk up to the full length bedding job, I also never felt like I was at a disadvantage because of my low power scope or what some magnum fans would consider low velocity hand loads.

    My only question from the whole ordeal is, where the heck do I find more of these bullets I've come to like so much, I'm down to 8 of them.

  2. #2
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    hey kid; nice job on your bear...and great to have shared this hunt with your dad. two bears? lots o pack'in. anyway, i too am a whelen fan, my favorite being a douglas barreled remington 700 in a hs precision stock. this rifle wears a 1.5-6 leupold and will shoot most any load about as accurately as i can hold.
    personally i have used core-locts, barnes, and sierra bullets, but am sure there are lots of good bullets out there for that great caliber. i wish you lots of luck with your rifle, and suggest h335 and aa2015 as some of my personal favorites! good hunting!
    happy trails.
    jh

  3. #3

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    Great hunt Kid, especially with your dad. Sounds like the perfect rifle, load and scope.

    As for CC bullet replacements, have you looked into Hawk Bullets. They remind me of the original Barnes and my limited experience with CC, both in construction and performance. I've used them in a variety of rounds at +/- Whelen velocities with results much like yours. Might even be one that the shop would want to stock. It would be nice to have a source of them on the shelf in Alaska.

  4. #4
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Great job! What, no pics?

  5. #5
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Great job on your rifle and loads. I like a good short barreled rifle. I just got another Whelen my self, my first was built on a rem 700. My father in law has it now, he chopped the barrel down to 18.5", dropped it in a synthetic stock, and put a scout scope on it. Its pretty handy. How about a picture of your rifle?
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  6. #6

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    Congrats kid! I don't think your low on bullets. Heck you got enough for 8 more dead bears!

  7. #7
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    Would have been cooler Kid ifin you used a 9.3x62

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Would have been cooler Kid ifin you used a 9.3x62
    yah, no kidding! Last time I came in there.....you still had hoards of nice Lapua Megas........no excuse!

    But on a serious note "The Kid" has fine taste in hunting cartridges and choice to hunt in the rain with a good looking wooden stock and blued rifle. In a world that seems laden with disgusting, soulless plastic stocked hunting rifles......the Kid keeps it classy. Some of us grew up watching our fathers, grandfathers, and uncles tote wooden stocked classic hunting rifles chambered for solid classics like the Whelen...........not an AR-10 with a target scope.

  9. #9

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    First I do own a whelen, but my only custom rifle is a rem 700 classic with a blued Shilen 358win barrel its rosey colored stock only makes it better. It wears a VXIII 1.5-5 as well.


    Great story, great hunting, great shooting, I obviously thing the Kid knows something!

  10. #10
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Nicely done with your father enjoying success as well!
    I agree with Mainer - hard to beat a classic looking wood stocked rifle!
    Pics Pics Pics????
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  11. #11
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Sorry bout the lack of pics fellas, I'll see if I can get online with my laptop later and put a couple up. I haven't posted much lately because I've been confined to my girlfriends iPhone and my rough dirty fingertips don't type so well on this thing.

  12. #12
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Pics

    Here's the proof I guess. I am wearing a yellow shirt in the pic with Dad's bear.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #13
    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    That is a very nice looking and functional rifle, the dead bears aren't to bad either.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  14. #14
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Nice looking rifle and bears!!! Congrats on your hunt and success with your Whelen!!

  15. #15

    Default Whelen bullets

    Wouldn't any 250g. cup-n-core work at Whelen velocities?
    250 grains at 2400 fps would be just right for a bruin bruiser I'd think.

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