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250gr. loads for 35 Whelen

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  • 250gr. loads for 35 Whelen


    I just ordered a 35 Whelen barrel for my Encore. I'm debating a bullet and powder for a 250 gr. load. I would be using this for hogs this year, and possibly elk or black bear in the next couple of years. At Whelen velocities I'm not sure that I would gain anything by using super premium bullets. I know you have a high opinion of Northforks, and A-Frames. My questions are what kind of performance can I expect from conventional 250 gr. bullets at Whelen velocities, and what are the powders you've had the best results with?

  • #2
    The only conventional bullet I've used is the 250 gr hornady rn, and it was driven to higher than whelen velocities, ie 2700 fps from my 350 Rigby. Based on the results that it nearly decapitated a neck shot small black tail deer, I'd be loathe to use that bullet on anything bigger.

    I've heard only good things about the speer 250 gr on large game, ie moose. I'd also agree that at nominal 2500 fps whelen loads, I can't see using a "premium". If you drop to 225 gr @ 2700 fps, I'd consider at least a nosler partition, if not a barnes TSX.

    As to powders, both Varget and RL 15 are outstanding in the whelen with 225 and 250 gr bullets. I've pretty much standardized on Varget as my medium burning rate powder for rifles, as it's worked wonderfully from my 243 on up to the 500 Jeffrey, and many, many in between, including the 350 rem mag, 35 whelen ackley and 350 rigby mag.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


    • #3
      tons of info here




      • #4
        Ditto! What Paul said.

        Paul doesn't like 35 caliber rifles he just burns up Varget. I've gotta try some of that stuff. RL-15 has been my best Whelen powder for a long time but Varget has to be very good also. 250 grains at 2500 fps is about tops for the Whelen.

        At impact velocities of about 2400 fps, I don't see the need for premium bullets, either. I will say that the best premium at that velocity would be the Kodiak. With the stronger built bullets such as NorthForks, etc, when launched at this velocity the don't open much but penetrate like a freight train. The Kodiak does expand even at 2400 fps. They will expand the most of any of the super bullets and retain 95% of their weight. I have some about the size of a quarter that hit with impact velocities around 2400-2600 fps. One is from a rather thick bodied lion at a distance of about 30 feet. It went through about 30" of lion quartering from the left shoulder to the right side short ribs, 300 grain 375 caliber at 2600 fps at the muzzle. It weighed 280 ish grains and was about 80 caliber.
        Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


        • #5
          Thanks guys. I figured I'd use the Elmer Keith philosophy with this caliber, heavy bullet, moderate velocity, good penetration and bullet performance. I'd read some good reports about the 250 Speer Hot Cores and mixed reviews about the Hornadys. I'd always heard good things about the Kodiak and I snatched up some 270 and 30 cals when Cabelas was clearing them out a couple years ago. It's a shame they no longer carry them. I did order the Speers with the barrel. I have a decent supply of Varget on hand so I'll be heading over to the Hodgdon site for some load data.


          • #6
            IMR 4320 or RL 15

            Both these powders are great in the 35 Whel........I tend to favor IMR 4320 @ 56.0 with Fed 210GM Primers and Fed Nickle Brass with Speer 250gr Spitzer Hot Core. Very good Bear Load!


            • #7
              35 Whelen

              Many powders will work well with this cartridge. With the rising prices of the super premium bullets, I think the Nosler Partitions are one of the better choices for Whelen velocities in the moderately priced, non-super premium (just premium) bullet category. Best powders for the 35 Whelen for me have been Varget and N140. For 250 gr. Nosler Partitions, my 35 Whelen AI favors N150 over the N140 maybe because of the improved, sharper shoulder???


              • #8
                At Whelen velocities I had good luck with the regular plain Jane 250 grain Speer spitzer bullets. They even worked in my 358 Norma for longer shots. I never shot anything up close with that rifle (all 200 to 350 yards) so I have no idea if the bullets would hold together when launched at 2900 fps.

                I am goofing around with some in my 350 rem mag. That case has a neck that is a little short for the heavier bullets. The 225 seem to work great though...
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                • #9
                  Speer 250 SP

                  The Speer 250 SP @ 35 Whel and 350 Mag Vel is excellent for everything in Alaska. Excellent Bullet need for a prem bullet @ these Vel.

                  What Rifle are you using?

                  My Rem 600 uses a COL of 2.80".

                  56.0 of IMR 4320 @ 2489 FPS w/Fed 210M primers


                  • #10
                    250gr Nosler Custom Ammo

                    is what I used on my Newfoundland Moose hunt this last fall. I don't know how well the bullets stayed together because the three shots I put into it (@150yds, 200yds, and 210yds) all were pass thru's with a quarter-sized exit wounds. The second shot was an extreme quartering, entering about 4 inches behind the last rib and penetrating 4.5 foot of moose or so to exit just behind the shoulder. The last one was a quartering spine shot that travelled thru about 8 inches of bone.


                    • #11

                      I've used 250 gr. Speer hot cores for my 35 Whelen and been extremely satisfied. As others said, you don't need a premium bullet at those velocities. I will be trying out 225 gr. Accubonds this spring, but who knows? I may end up going back to the Speers. There is certainly nothing wrong with them.
                      We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
                      James Madison


                      • #12
                        Seeing as the parent cartridge is the 30-06, is there anything special about forming cases for the Whelen? Are there special forming dies that sould be used or can one simple size up an 06 case with a Whelen die?


                        • #13
                          I just ran 100 06 cases through my die tonight. The only thing I would suggest is that you remove the expander ball and coat it with lube before doing the first case. I used the Lee lube and brushed the inside of each neck thoroughly and just lightly lubed the cases with what remained on my fingers. Lee lube is like soap. I didn't lube the expander ball on the first case and even though the inside of the neck was thoroughly lubed I collapsed the neck into the shoulder. After lubing the expander the other 99 went through as easily as if they were 30 06. No wrinkles or dented cases.

                          You can order Whelen cases from Shooters Pro Shop at a really reasonable price. I placed an order this week and they were out of stock, but are supposed to come in early next week.Midway didn't have any earlier this week. Even though you can save a few bucks by up sizing the 06 brass the commercial brass will be head stamped and you won't have to mark the cases. I just couldn't wait to try out my new barrel tomorrow.


                          • #14
                            thanks Flyer

                            I have a ton of '06 brass that I already use for three calibers and love the thought of adding another. Besides, the Whelen has always intruiged me. Seems like an ideal medium bore for a woods range rifle with open sights. Looks like a great moose gun.


                            • #15
                              Anybody use the Swift A-Frames in the Whelen? 250 or 225 grain?


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