Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31

Thread: the .35 whelen

  1. #1
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    759

    Default the .35 whelen

    recently there have been a number of posts on the .358 norma magnum, and while this is a fine big game cartridge ( i own a husquvarna custom w/25" shilen barrel ) it is overbore and not efficient in a barrel shorter that 24". this isn't meant to start an argument...but is a fact shown on a simple cronograph.

    because magnums were ( are ) expensive to buy and shoot the .35 whelen was developed in 1922 by col. whelen and james howe. this fine cartridge is simply a necked up 30-06 which requires a standard length action, and no boltface modification. the rifle will handle bullets from 180gr-250gr in standard loadings. custom bullets offer even more versatility.

    part of the shear economy of this cartridge is simple availability of 30-06 brass and a modicum of medium burning powder. my remington 700 action rifle, with a 22" douglas #3 barrel will crono 200gr barnes @ 2807-2816fps. switching to a heavier 250 gr hornady bullet it is still moving over 2533fps. and all with less than 60gr of powder!

    my rifle likes a small amount of aa2015, but also imr4350, and hodgdon 335. infact it is the most flexible rifle i own, and will shoot into 1.5" with most anything.

    still chambered by remington, this rifle can be found on the dealers shelf, and in hunting cabins all accross the land, satisfying the needs of hunters of meat and dangerous game equally.

    in a world of super magnums, this modest rifle deserves high praise!
    happy trails.
    jh

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    recently there have been a number of posts on the .358 norma magnum, and while this is a fine big game cartridge ( i own a husquvarna custom w/25" shilen barrel ) it is overbore and not efficient in a barrel shorter that 24". this isn't meant to start an argument...but is a fact shown on a simple cronograph.
    While I totally agree with your comments on the Whelen, I am not sure about your comments on the Norma. According to the definitions I have read for overbore, the Norma is in fact very efficient. It attains 33% effciency by my calculations (with a 250gr bullet) when the definition of overbore was less than 25% and anything over 30% was considered very good. These formulas come from Ken Howells writings.

    Granted, the Whelen is a bit more efficient, 36% with a 200 gr using the same formulas, I just don't think the Norma is overbore and thus inefficient. For what it's worth, mine wears a 22" tube and I am only giving up maybe 100 fps on published loads which usually were out of 26" barrels.

    I too am not trying to start an argument. I enjoy all your posts and especially your esteem for .35's. I know you know your stuff. I just wanted to speak up for the ol' Norma. I'm no expert however so I could be wrong. Please correct me if that is so.

  3. #3
    Member NDTerminator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Devils Lake ND
    Posts
    262

    Default

    I positively coveted a 35 Whelen but as a lefty, the only one I ever saw on a LH action was a grossly overpriced conversion built on a Weatherby action. I ended up buying one of the two production LH 700 338 Mags I ever saw, part of a one time run they made back in the 80s, apparently never to be repeated. I count myself as lucky to have found it...

  4. #4
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    759

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    While I totally agree with your comments on the Whelen, I am not sure about your comments on the Norma. According to the definitions I have read for overbore, the Norma is in fact very efficient. It attains 33% effciency by my calculations (with a 250gr bullet) when the definition of overbore was less than 25% and anything over 30% was considered very good. These formulas come from Ken Howells writings.

    Granted, the Whelen is a bit more efficient, 36% with a 200 gr using the same formulas, I just don't think the Norma is overbore and thus inefficient. For what it's worth, mine wears a 22" tube and I am only giving up maybe 100 fps on published loads which usually were out of 26" barrels.

    I too am not trying to start an argument. I enjoy all your posts and especially your esteem for .35's. I know you know your stuff. I just wanted to speak up for the ol' Norma. I'm no expert however so I could be wrong. Please correct me if that is so.
    hi evan;

    thanks for your well thought out response.... and agree with you as to your definition of "overbore". my comment is regarding comparison of the two rifles. with the .358 norma approx 10gr of powder and 4" of barrel is needed to outclass the whelen. reducing the barrel length significantly or the powder charge limits this fine rifle to whelen ballistics.

    therein lies the beauty of the standard action, and '06 class case.
    happy trails.
    jh

  5. #5
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    759

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NDTerminator View Post
    I positively coveted a 35 Whelen but as a lefty, the only one I ever saw on a LH action was a grossly overpriced conversion built on a Weatherby action. I ended up buying one of the two production LH 700 338 Mags I ever saw, part of a one time run they made back in the 80s, apparently never to be repeated. I count myself as lucky to have found it...
    terminator; any gunsmith can convert a standard left hand action to .35 whelen with a simple switch of a barrel, ( adams & bennett are cheap ) or even rebore. back in the day this was a VERY popular conversion.

    i am not sure on the deer numbers, but have taken 7 elk with 8 shots using this remington 700. this rifle goes beyond paper ballistics while in the gamefield.
    happy trails.
    jh

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pinehavensredrocket View Post
    hi evan;

    thanks for your well thought out response.... and agree with you as to your definition of "overbore". my comment is regarding comparison of the two rifles. with the .358 norma approx 10gr of powder and 4" of barrel is needed to outclass the whelen. reducing the barrel length significantly or the powder charge limits this fine rifle to whelen ballistics.

    therein lies the beauty of the standard action, and '06 class case.
    I nearly built a Whelen when I built my Norma, but decided to give myself the upper end possibility though I did cut the barrel and limit that somewhat. If I could match the performance I am getting from my Norma in the Whelen I would be equally as happy. That may be a reason to build another someday and try. After all, if it starts with .35 I like it.

  7. #7
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    759

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    I nearly built a Whelen when I built my Norma, but decided to give myself the upper end possibility though I did cut the barrel and limit that somewhat. If I could match the performance I am getting from my Norma in the Whelen I would be equally as happy. That may be a reason to build another someday and try. After all, if it starts with .35 I like it.
    gratefully, we have a choice in hunting rifles and have never before had so many options.......
    happy trails.
    jh

  8. #8
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    I have had both and liked both of them very much. My personal belief is that the 358 Norma suffered from poor marketing. They should have swung a deal with a major US rifle maker and called it the 360 Alaskan Super Mag or some such thing.

    Mine was a converted M-70 Winchester with a tight 21 inch barrel. I was able to push a 250 grain Speer spitzer to 2,800 fps over a Ohler 33 chronograph. Although 2,700 fps was much more accurate. Oddly enough mine shot the 225 grain bullets at the same velocity as the 250s. So there was no advantage to using them.

    While the 35 Whelen is not quite as zippy, it does allow more rounds in the magazine and better feeding since it does not have that darn magnum belt.

    Of the critters I did shoot with both , none of them could tell the difference between the two.

    One note:
    Remington who made the 35 Whelen legitimate, also shot themselves in the foot by using the wrong rifling twist. The same idiotic thing they did with their 350 Rem mag. When building a 35 Whelen make sure you use a 1 in 12 twist rate so you can use heavier bullets when desired.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    My personal belief is that the 358 Norma suffered from poor marketing.

    One note:
    Remington who made the 35 Whelen legitimate, also shot themselves in the foot by using the wrong rifling twist. The same idiotic thing they did with their 350 Rem mag. When building a 35 Whelen make sure you use a 1 in 12 twist rate so you can use heavier bullets when desired.
    I'd say you are right on the reason for the Norma's lack of success. But I have to base that on what I have read as I think it was nearly dead before I was born.

    Regarding twist rate, I have found 1 in 14 to be perfectly acceptable in my .35's however I haven't done much with bullets over 250gr. I see no reason why 1in12 wouldn't do better in that regard, barrel blanks just seem to be less common in that twist rate.

    On another note more related to the original post, when I set out to build my first custom rifle I wanted to do a .35 Whelen seeing as I had a beautiful sporterized '03 Springfield .30-06 that I was going to convert. It seemed like the perfect almost historical custom rifle conversion. But after doing quite a bit of research I realized that my Springfield's serial number was too low to be considered totally safe. That led me to trade it and build the Norma. It was kind of a shame though because that would have been a nice looking rifle in a classic configuration with a classic cartridge.

  10. #10
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    My 358 Norma had a 1 in 12 twist barrel. My current 350 Remington Mag has a 1 in 12 twist barrel. Both shoot longer bullets great like the 275s, 280 A=Frames and the old 300 grain Barnes.

    My old Remington CDL M-700 in 35 Whelen has a 1 in 16 inch twist... What a waste.... they had the same twist on their 350 rem mag rifles..
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  11. #11
    Member The Kid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    1,089

    Default

    I too am a lover of all things 35, and as many here know I have a Whelen. Thinking about doing an iron sighted 358win soon but that's for another thread. I have been absolutely astonished at the results I've had using the Whelen, come to think of it even my old 35 Rem seemed to hit hard. I haven't taken alot of game withe the Whelen yet, one Grizzly and one Caribou, along with helping put down a mortally wounded Grizzly. But the thing I've noticed, and love is that e ery thing I've put one of those .358 slugs into seemed to be crushed. And penetration with the 250gr JRN bullets I use has been excellent, I've managed to catch one, the rest are still in orbit I guess.

    The twist thing is an issue but IMO not a huge one, my bbl is a 16 twist and it shoots 250s fine as long as they are RN and you push them fairly hard, not redline just hunting speed. I don't feel a huge need for the 275s and 300s although I would like to try them just for S&G.

    I've got more of the 250RNs that I've come to love on order, should be here next month. I hope to go push one through a moose come fall. My gun for big bears is still my 458 but if I see one and only have "The Colonel" with me I won't hesitate to give chase. Awesome cartridge, truly part of old time Americana. If you don't have one you should and if you do you should hold onto it

  12. #12
    Member walk-in's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    North Pole
    Posts
    771

    Default

    My 35 Whelen is a 1 in 14 twist. I shoot 250 gr. Kodiaks exclusively, and it works quite well. Having never tried heavier bullets, I can't say how they would do.
    We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
    James Madison

  13. #13
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dillingham, AK
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    The twist thing is an issue but IMO not a huge one, my bbl is a 16 twist and it shoots 250s fine as long as they are RN and you push them fairly hard, not redline just hunting speed. I don't feel a huge need for the 275s and 300s although I would like to try them just for S&G.
    I've the same experience as well. 1:16 will stabilize the 250 grain spitzer/spire points by Nosler, Hornady and Speer without incident at velocities over 2400 fps--though 2550 fps is no trick with RL 15. Though I must admit that Nosler's 225 NBT & AB as well as Sierra's 225 GK have served for the bulk of my shooting.

    Having used these 250 grain bullets a good bit I can't find any reason to seek or use a heavier bullet and I am even considering some experimenting with the 225 TSX for giggles. Heavy bullets have a certain panache, but the reality is that if a 250 at 2500 fps won't do it, neither will a 275, 280 or 300+ grain bullet. The Whelen's long suit is big bore performance with modest recoil at ranges out to ≈300 yards. If you need more range or penetration you need more steam, as well as the commensurate recoil. I can see the attraction to a 1:12 or 1:14 twist, but the end product is much the same as a 1:16 from a Whelen.

    I can think of no reason to shorten its range and increase its recoil without improving its terminal results by switching to heavier slugs. I love my Whelen because at normal ranges it hits like a 338 WM and feels like an '06; pretty good combination IMO.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  14. #14
    Member The Kid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    1,089

    Default

    Yes sir, you are spot on about the "Big gun" performance without the recoil. My rifle weighs in at exactly 8lb all up, sling, scope, ammo, the whole kitnkabodle. It is a pleasure to shoot, even with 250s doing 2450, which is all my 20in barrel and 4064 are capable of. I plan to hit the range on Sunday and sling some 180s downrange from field positions, just for fun and to stay sharp during the winter.

    As a side note maybe someone can help with, my rifle absolutly screams light bullets, 75-125fps faster for a give charge than book listings for a 24 or 26 in bbl, but with 220-250s seems to lag behind, as you would think it would. I only use 4064 for powder but I've never loaded for a rifle showing these characteristics. May have something to do with twist rate? I don't know but it is scary accurate with Speer 180s, the old semispitzer type, cryin shame they have tinfoil jackets.

  15. #15
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    759

    Default

    i have had great luck with 200 gr core-locts and 200 gr barnes. even with elk size game the 200-225's are seldom found in the animal. it seems to me this caliber is a great killer with out destroying so much meat. penetration allows a great blood trail ( but is seldom needed ). so far i have never lost a wounded animal shot with my whelen.

    currently i own three.
    700 rem bdl w/22" douglas number 3 contour. (my favorite) mounted in an h-s precision stock with a 1.5-5 leupold.
    sako long action with a 24" obermeyer number 3 contour, in a brown precision stock and a leupold 4X.
    700 remington cdl 24" barrel standard rifle with a 4X redfield.

    great rifles all, in a classic caliber suitable for most ( if not all ) north american hunting. inexpensive to load, accurate to shoot and deadly on game.
    happy trails.
    jh

  16. #16

    Default

    I'm looking forward to firing up the furnace and trying out the 358009 mold for mine. That is a good looking 280g boolit and should do great out of 1 in 12 twist barrel.. Been reading about paper patching lately as well and think it might all make a pretty good combo.
    Got to love the 35 Whelen cartridge.
    http://www.castpics.net/memberarticles/The%20358009.htm

  17. #17
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    PANC
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    9.3X62. Solves all problems.... Drink the coolaid, look into the light, be the ball Danny. Say it with me.....nine point three by six twooooooo!

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Eureka MT
    Posts
    3,048

    Default

    The 35Whelen is a fine cartridge and probably all most people would ever need but I'm not sure I need one. I already have a 35Rem a 350Rem and a 358Norma. Maybe a 358Win would fill a little gap. I'm waiting for warmer weather to try some 358009s from my Norma. I like the 35s. Wish I had a 92Rossi in 357. By the way, I wasn't aware of any problems the 35s couldn't fix.

  19. #19

    Default

    Good thread. Speaking of overbore, I'm relatively familiar with the 264WM and its initial overbore results (shot-out barrels, etc). My understanding is that many of the slower powders (e.g., H1000, Retumbo, 7828). helped reduce this problem. Is this true with the 385NM?

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Eureka MT
    Posts
    3,048

    Default

    The 358 doesn't have the tiny hole that all the powder and pressure is being funneled through so they don't get near the throat erosion that a 264 would get. More comparable would be the 338WM as they are very close in case capacity vs bore size. I don't think overbore is quite the right term for the Norma although it is more so than the Whelen. It does use quite a bit more powder than a Whelen but it also steps up the power quite a bit also. My 24" 358N shoots 250grs to 2880 but it takes 78grs of powder to get there and in a 7lb gun the recoil is not plesant. For anything other than defence from a ticked off BB the Whelen is probably a better choice. That's really hard for me to say as I am a real fan of the Norma.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •