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  • .358 Win vs. .35 Whelen

    I'm sure this topic has been debated to death before on this site, but I was unable to turn anything up. I would like to step up into a medium bore rifle, but don't like the idea of the various magnums (I use to own a 338 win mag, when I was brand new to hunting, and that thing beat me up too much). So I have pretty much landed on the .358 win or the .35 whelen, leaning towards the .358. My question is what experiences people have had with these cartridges hunting in Alaska? And if anyone has created a good setup without breaking the bank (most of my research has shown rifles in the plus 1K range)? Thanks.

  • #2
    Have taken one moose and three caribou with my .35 Whelen. None have left their tracks. .358 is a good round, .35 Whelen - better with the heavier bullets.

    Patriot Life Member NRA
    Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
    Life Member Disabled American Veterans


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    • #3
      Sean- you can take any generic .30-06 or .270 and send it to JES and have it rebored for pretty cheap. Several folks on here have done just that with good results. Same thing with a .308 to a .358. No need to break the bank there- particularly if you already own one you like.

      If you're a hand loader you can look at the .338-06 (which is just what it sounds like- '06 case blown out to .338).

      I'm not sure there's a lot of difference between them in the field at normal range- they all kill well. The .358 has the least recoil, the .338 WM has the most but all hit noticeably harder than the .30-06/.308 does.
      "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sean_moon View Post
        I'm sure this topic has been debated to death before on this site, but I was unable to turn anything up. I would like to step up into a medium bore rifle, but don't like the idea of the various magnums (I use to own a 338 win mag, when I was brand new to hunting, and that thing beat me up too much). So I have pretty much landed on the .358 win or the .35 whelen, leaning towards the .358. My question is what experiences people have had with these cartridges hunting in Alaska? And if anyone has created a good setup without breaking the bank (most of my research has shown rifles in the plus 1K range)? Thanks.
        Sean,
        I've toted a 358 winchester for a very long time. I never did go 35 whelen, but did kill with a 9.3x62 mauser, which holds about 8-10 grains more powder than the whelen. I like a savage 99 levergun, so that is why I like the 358. FYI, you can send almost any 243, or 308 winchester, to jes reboring for all of 200 dollars, and he rebores you original barrel, keep that in mind. I really want an 1895 winchester carbine chambered in 35 whelen, so one will be on the horizon soon.

        I've shot out to 400 yds with a 358 winchester/ 200 grain accubond load pushing 2700 fps. But for river hunting, I've settled on the 275 grain woodleigh for big bull moose, this load is good for 300 yds. It punches clean through both front quarters, and keeps going. It'll usually leaves a moose right where you shot him, IF you take out the shoulders. No damage to the meat. The whelen will do the same thing, as will the 9.3x62 mauser. I will say though, the 9.3, shooting swift 300 grain a-frames at 2,460 fps, has some stout recoil, the darn thing will hold 64 grains of powder. But my 358 winchester, doesnt even need a recoil pad. I'm attempting 3 for 3 this year on a big bull moose with the 358 winchester. Long time ago, I did get a small spike fork with the 358 winchester, but 2012 and 2013 were my good years. So in total, I've harvested three moose with the 358. Honestly, you can't go wrong with either.





        www.freightercanoes.com

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        • #5
          I've been a fan of both for going on 50 years. I don't notice much difference between them in the field and am perfectly happy with whichever is in my hands, with no regrets that I'm not carrying the other.

          For me it kinda boils down to the differences between the guns. Whelens tend to slip through my fingers over time, but I own three 358's- Win 88, Sav 99 and a custom bolt- all for over 30 years. They're all a little smaller and lighter than most Whelens, so maybe that has something to do with it. I like levers and do a lot of hunting in tight country with close, quick shots, so maybe that has something to do with it. If I was range stretching in open country with more deliberate shots, I bet I'd have weeded down to one or two Whelens and no 358's, however. Just a reflection of my tastes and the country I hunt.
          "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
          Merle Haggard

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          • #6
            Another round to consider is the 350 Rem mag. Same performance as the whelen but in a short action paction. Ruger made a dandy stainless M77 mkII in 350. I'd look at the auction sights to see if you can pick up a used one. Cost less than having a rifle built, and I can't complain about the accuracy of mine.

            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.

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            • #7
              yip, it's hard to follow the rigorous the one "vs the other conversations when ever darn one of them is a great cartridge (medium bore category)

              338 federal: great cartridge. Created by a man who loved his model 88 winchester too much, to part with it. Created to make him "feel" a little better after a bear incident, when his model 88 was still a 308 winchester.

              358 winchester: great for a bullet range between 200 grains to 275 grains. Very well regarded by hunters who use it, and the group keeps growing

              338-06: It's predecessor, the 338 okh was the basis of some of the most entertaining, classic, legendary reading ever developed by a gun writer: Elmer Keith. With 300 grain round-nosed bullets, so many big brown bear and moose were killed in alaska with that cartridge.

              35 whelen: it's history is just as rich, and elder to the 338-06. Many prominent hunters on this forum have taken scores of bear and moose with this cartridge

              350 rem mag: the first "short mag". All the power of the whelen, slightly lighter and shorter rifles, at the sacrifice of magazine capacity.

              9.3x62 mauser: Though this gem has killed every African game animal with ease, it's very popular in Canada, and is perfect for Alaska too.

              Only caveat: be prepared to develop your own hunting loads to achieve more potential. For most of us though, this isn't a problem, Alaskans make far better hunting loads than any factory could. only problem is, we don't have cool "alaskan" graphics or catchy names on the boxes.

              With that said, the 358 winchester, makes you be a better hunter, because you can't lob bullets at extended range by chance. I'll never forget passing a hunter with a big weatherby magnum, and a massive gash in his nose. He attempted to lob a bullet at a big moose, because he could (at extended range). He missed. I don't think the rifle beat any sense into him. He went home empty handed. I sat patiently for one week, called the bulls to me, and well.......the 358 never failed, when I did my part.
              www.freightercanoes.com

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              • #8
                I was in the same boat a few years ago and tired of the 338WM. After reviewing mainer in ak's posts and some others around the webs I decided to look for a rifle. I found a M77 Ruger Hawkeye in 358 winchester in stainless and plastic for less than $800 new in the box. Its is a great rifle for a tired old man to pack around.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by sean_moon View Post
                  I'm sure this topic has been debated to death before on this site, but I was unable to turn anything up. I would like to step up into a medium bore rifle, but don't like the idea of the various magnums (I use to own a 338 win mag, when I was brand new to hunting, and that thing beat me up too much). So I have pretty much landed on the .358 win or the .35 whelen, leaning towards the .358. My question is what experiences people have had with these cartridges hunting in Alaska? And if anyone has created a good setup without breaking the bank (most of my research has shown rifles in the plus 1K range)? Thanks.
                  There was a thead comparing both of the 35s to the 338 Fed., and 338-06.

                  I understand the motive. More power, without a lot of recoil increase.

                  The 358 Win has a larger shoulder, if that is an issue for you.
                  It uses a shorter action, if that's an issue for you.

                  The 35 Whelen, will better handle the heavier bullets.

                  I haven't heard of any BAD experiences with either cartridge.

                  Smitty of the North
                  Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
                  Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
                  You can't out-give God.

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                  • #10
                    thanks ray, I sent an article to wayne van zwoll regarding the 358 winchester. He gave me some good advice, on where the article should go. It's more "hunting heavy", and less "sitting in a room with 30 different powders and 20 different bullets" style of writing. so probably won't go to a hand-loading magazine, as I lack the thorough and scientific nature of wasting too much money and time at the reloading bench, nor are my handloading tools expensive enough.
                    www.freightercanoes.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
                      yip, it's hard to follow the rigorous the one "vs the other conversations when ever darn one of them is a great cartridge (medium bore category)

                      338 federal: great cartridge. Created by a man who loved his model 88 winchester too much, to part with it. Created to make him "feel" a little better after a bear incident, when his model 88 was still a 308 winchester.

                      358 winchester: great for a bullet range between 200 grains to 275 grains. Very well regarded by hunters who use it, and the group keeps growing

                      338-06: It's predecessor, the 338 okh was the basis of some of the most entertaining, classic, legendary reading ever developed by a gun writer: Elmer Keith. With 300 grain round-nosed bullets, so many big brown bear and moose were killed in alaska with that cartridge.

                      35 whelen: it's history is just as rich, and elder to the 338-06. Many prominent hunters on this forum have taken scores of bear and moose with this cartridge

                      350 rem mag: the first "short mag". All the power of the whelen, slightly lighter and shorter rifles, at the sacrifice of magazine capacity.

                      9.3x62 mauser: Though this gem has killed every African game animal with ease, it's very popular in Canada, and is perfect for Alaska too.

                      Only caveat: be prepared to develop your own hunting loads to achieve more potential. For most of us though, this isn't a problem, Alaskans make far better hunting loads than any factory could. only problem is, we don't have cool "alaskan" graphics or catchy names on the boxes.

                      With that said, the 358 winchester, makes you be a better hunter, because you can't lob bullets at extended range by chance. I'll never forget passing a hunter with a big weatherby magnum, and a massive gash in his nose. He attempted to lob a bullet at a big moose, because he could (at extended range). He missed. I don't think the rifle beat any sense into him. He went home empty handed. I sat patiently for one week, called the bulls to me, and well.......the 358 never failed, when I did my part.
                      Good definitions, there.

                      Something to base a decision on.

                      Smitty of the North
                      Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
                      Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
                      You can't out-give God.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My personal experience has been that used Whelen's seem to be more common and can be had for reasonable prices. If you're not planning on building your own, that may be the deciding factor. I've killed bears, moose, and caribou with mine. No complaints.
                        We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
                        James Madison

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the input. I realize it's a lot like comparing oranges to oranges. I'm sure any of the cartridges you guys have mentioned would fit the bill for me. I like the idea of reboring a current rifle, something I will definitely look more into. I also came across the ER Shaw Mk 7 rifle, a semi-custom rifle in just about any caliber for a decent price. Anyone have any experience with their products?

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                          • #14

                            Here is my latest .35 Whelen. 24" Bergara barrel, 38" overall, Leupold 3.5x10 Boone and Crocket reticle.

                            Patriot Life Member NRA
                            Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
                            Life Member Disabled American Veterans


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone for the input and insight. I just had a 270 win dropped in my hands, so i'm going to go with the rebore, 35 whelen route.

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