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Thread: Coastal Brown Bear with 35 whelen

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    Default Coastal Brown Bear with 35 whelen

    Has anyone actually shot a large coastal brown bear with a 35 Whelen?? If so what do you think? Would you do it again?

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    I didn't shoot it, but I stood there and watched as one of the guys I work with dumped one on a DLP kill last year. I can promise you it'll be on stand-by this year in the event it's needed again. There's no place in North American I'd be afraid to tread with my meathooks wrapped around the Whelen.
    Now what ?

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    Not a coastal, but I absolutely crushed a 7 1/2 foot grizzly with mine last fall. One shot and it was all over with. Load it up with good 250gr bullets and keep the range under 200yds and I'd not be afraid to tackle any bear in the state with mine.

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    One of my hunters took an 8' brown with one on the gulf a couple of years ago. Shot him at 20 feet the bear ran maybe fifty feet and dropped.
    Chuck

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    Uh NO the forum regulars state " the use of anything smaller than a 375 H&H is dumb" there words not mine... So go buy a 375 probably upgrade to a 416 to be on the safe side...

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    I was soooo tempted to take my pre-64 30-30 on my Kodiak BB hunt last spring to turn the forum on it's head! Too much invested in the hunt so I whimped......maybe someday. I've also been tempted to take the 30-30 sheep hunting for the challenge , but most of all for the photo of a sheep taken with the old thutty thutty - be a beautiful sight ha!

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    I haven't killed a bear with one but I agree stevelyn & The Kid. The 35 whelen will do it all.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    I haven't done it, BUT when you consider that more big browns have probably been killed (I hate that "harvest" word) with a 30-06 I can't imagine why anyone would question using a 35 Whelan. I would have no qualms about using one.

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    35 Whelen is the biggest gun I own, and I'm personally comfortable using it on anything in North America. I haven't hunted coastal brownies with it, but have used it for Interior grizz. My only word of caution would be that you might want to consider using hand loads in once-fired (in your rifle) brass. I have had 2 occasions where factory loads have not fired in my Whelen. Head spacing can be an issue with the 35 Whelen, and your chamber may have dimensions that are just enough "off" to make factory loads unreliable. I have no use for ammo that won't fire every time I pull the trigger. Once the brass has been fire formed to your chamber, this won't be an issue.
    We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
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    I once had the chance to shoot what appeared to be a solid nine foot brown bear (male) while I was on an October backpack sheep hunt with my 6 year old son, in Unit 14c [well outside the State Park boundary]. I had my pre-'64 Model 70 Winchester in .270 caliber at the time and the magazine was filled with handloaded 150 grain Nosler Partition bullets. The bear was weaving in and out of the alders about 300 yeards below us and there was only an hour of daylight remaining. If I hadn't of had my son along I wouldn't of hesitated to go down there and shot that bear. It was a heck of a bear for that unit. Shot placement is everything and when I guide my clients on bear hunts, I always advise them to put bullets in the lungs. There's no doubt that a 270 or .30-'06 or .35 Whelen can do the job, when bullets are placed in the forward chest cavity.

  11. #11

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    Elmer Keith said he did at Snug Harbor back in the 30's, sounds like he could have bayoneted it. Bullets are better now. I think it is a big bear buster for sure! Getter done!

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    The 35 Whelen has been around a long time and should be fine with a well placed shot. Walk-in has given you a bit of golden advice. Since the 35 Whelen has such a long history there are a number of rifles in existence that have varying chamber dimensions. Depending on when your rifle was chambered, if you hand load then I would definitely go with once fired brass, otherwise it might be a good idea to have a gunsmith do a cast of your chamber to confirm it's dimensions, esp. if you are planning on going out of your way to engage a coastal brownie. Good luck.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    Beware of Remington factory brass in this caliber. Tried two different lot numbers in my Whelen and averaged 60% misfires. Head spaced was doubled checked as it was a new rebarrel job and found to be ok. Finally pulled the bullets so they engaged and they all fired after that.

    Fire any brass you have for this round with a stiff load then set your resizing die so the brass will just rechamber.
    Tennessee

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    thanks snowwolfe you just solved a very expensive two year problem with the only custom gun i have ever owned. Some obviously not real competent gunsmiths have been scratching their heads over my rifles misfires for two years now.... 35 W is a great cal fo brownies

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    I use 225 grn TSX's in my 35 whelen AI at 2750 fps and BANG FLOP. I would load up to the 250 grn, Go forth and slay yourself a bear

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Beware of Remington factory brass in this caliber. Tried two different lot numbers in my Whelen and averaged 60% misfires. Head spaced was doubled checked as it was a new rebarrel job and found to be ok. Finally pulled the bullets so they engaged and they all fired after that.

    Fire any brass you have for this round with a stiff load then set your resizing die so the brass will just rechamber.
    My misfires were also with Remington factory loads. I bought 2 boxes when I first acquired the rifle while I was waiting for the brass I ordered to show up. Don't take virgin brass hunting. Neck size your once fired brass and use a dummy round to determine bullet seating depth. That way you'll end up with rounds guaranteed to fire in your particular rifle when you really need them to.
    We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
    James Madison

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    When you want to flatten something and not get flattened by recoil the Whelen is the gun.

    There are those odd cartridges that through some odd means kill completely out of proportion to their ballistics (ie. the 30-30, the .318 WR do in their classes) and to me the .35 Whelen is a great example of that.

    Too bad the .35s have all the appeal of syphillis to most folks.

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    One of my buddies saw this thread and thought I should comment even though I've yet to kill a brown bear with my Whelen. I hunt in unit 17 and while the bears are not monstrous in size we have a bunch of them. I've crawled around the brush, through the brush and over the brush while looking for a good bear or any bull moose and have never had a concern with nothing more potent around than my 35 Whelen. I've used various loadings (Sierra, Speer, Hornady, Nosler) on other critters with the same boringly consistent and simultaneously fantastic performance. Doesn't seem to matter which bullet I use if it weighs 225 grains or more. I've recently ordered some 200 TTSXs for experimenting purposes. After I do some work at the range this summer I'll try to post a report in the shooting forums on the loads and terminal tests I run with these Barnes. The only downside to the Whelen IMO is that it lacks the ranging capabilities of some other cartridges in its class, notably the faster .33s.

    In fact, I carry a .358 Winchester pretty often in unit 17 and never give it a thought that it would be ineffective on a resident brown bear...
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    I have a .35 Whelen in a Ruger that I have yet to hunt with. I did however see a bull moose get shot with a .358 and factory loads and was impressed at the size of the hole going in. That moose got hit 3 times due to it being dusk and he was close to the willows. He sure did not need the other 2 bullets. That made me a believer in the .35 caliber.

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    I appreciate all of the input.. I to have had Remington brass issues and have ordered a Wilson head space gauge to check my loads.
    I guess I was hoping for some real life coast brow bear stories with the 35 Whelen. I have a choice of different calibers, 458 Win and 375 Ruger. But I am partial to the 35.
    I realize a 30-06 could do the job, a spear or a broad-head would also do the job BUTů it would be nice to have an exit wound on a 9 foot plus bear with a shot shoulder to shoulder at a reasonalble distance(100 yards).
    Still looking for some real experience with the Whelen and >9 ft coastal browns..
    Thanks

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