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  • #16
    Most shooters don't have the skills to place shots much beyond 200 yards, so a "long range" rifle is useless in their hands, or worse yet gives them the false sense of their abilities.

    Whether you're talking a 30-06 pushing 180's @ 2700 fps, a 35 whelen pushing 225's 2700 fps, or a 375 H&H pushing 270's 2700 fps, you have rounds that have close to the same trajectory and if you are capable of placing your shots you have enough terminal performance to drop game at well past 400 yds.

    A muzzle velocity of 3000 fps or 3300 fps doesn't mean you can ignore drop. Once you get to 300 yds and beyond, you better know exactly how far far is, and have a means of accurately compensating from drop. I'll put my money on the guy with an -06, lazer, turrets and a drop chart he worked out with his load over the guy with 7mm sooper pooper who says it shoots so flat he doesn't have to hold over every time.
    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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    • #17
      Exactly why I'm attracted to the 35 Whelen- similar to a 338 Win Mag with less recoil. (I must say the 338 would be my 1 gun pick and with a well stocked rifle recoil is not an issue at all- for me). Since I do not have the luxury of hunting out of my back yard, when I hunt and a decent shot presents itself- I'm going to want and take it... like the last guided hunt day on a big Alberta moose running at over 400 yards. I had passed on several smaller bulls and that was my last chance and now I know a 300 Win Mag/180 FailSafe will take moose at 400!

      I would much rather shoot closer, but for a long shot situation I most likely wouldn't engage with certain lesser cartridges- and why I won't hunt with them as they just don't have the range when/if needed. For me I know my 300 and 338 do. And since I'm most interested in elk and moose, whatever gun I choose has to be able to make at least a 400 yard effective shot on bigger animals.

      The Nosler 35 Whelen AB loading shows more than 2000lbs energy at 400 yards- plenty in my book for moose/elk- especially with a 35! Obviously a factory 24 inch test barrel was used. There's my concern... perhaps a shorter BBL in the 35 Whelen might make 400 yard shooting questionable for me? Since I'll be boring out a 30-06 with 22 inch BBL, I guess my first 35 Whelen will be wearing a 22 tube. Eventually I'll find out if I can consistently hit milk jugs at exactly 400 yards with it- that's how I practice 400 yard shooting. I can do this with my 338 shooting 210 Noslers and I'll be rather happy if I can do the same with the Whelen 225s!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Paul H View Post
        Most shooters don't have the skills to place shots much beyond 200 yards, so a "long range" rifle is useless in their hands, or worse yet gives them the false sense of their abilities.

        Whether you're talking a 30-06 pushing 180's @ 2700 fps, a 35 whelen pushing 225's 2700 fps, or a 375 H&H pushing 270's 2700 fps, you have rounds that have close to the same trajectory and if you are capable of placing your shots you have enough terminal performance to drop game at well past 400 yds.

        A muzzle velocity of 3000 fps or 3300 fps doesn't mean you can ignore drop. Once you get to 300 yds and beyond, you better know exactly how far far is, and have a means of accurately compensating from drop. I'll put my money on the guy with an -06, lazer, turrets and a drop chart he worked out with his load over the guy with 7mm sooper pooper who says it shoots so flat he doesn't have to hold over every time.
        Good advice there.
        Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

        Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

        You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Nitroman View Post
          Good advice there.
          Yes- but the faster the velocity the easier it is to place shots at longer distances. Also less wind drift. Now I realize in the field and at 400 yards... a bit less velocity with the Whelen might not matter much. On the other hand modern components have kind of changed the Whelen from a mid-range to long range round. Only I believe with the Whelen every bit of FPS helps. Because one could make the case for a 22 inch barrel over a 24 or 26. But then why not suggest a 20 inch or 18? Where does one draw the line on acceptable velocity loss and still shoot long range?

          The more I research the Whelen, the more I like it. After reading a recent Hand Loader article I believe by Brian Pierce on the 35 Whelen, I'm now fully convinced the Whelen is a 400 yard big game gun. With that in mind I would prefer a 24 in barrel. Reaching 2800fps with a 225 NAB would be my goal, which I believe is attainable.

          Unfortunately if I have the Browning A-Bolt bored-out, I'll have a 22 inch barrel. Most likely I'll still do this, but another reservation is will my 06 barrel be too thin for accuracy bored-out to 35? At this point I want to get my feet wet with a 35 Whelen. I suppose later I can build another Whelen on a 700. That would be a fun project- a lightweight Whelen with 24 to 26 BBL!

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          • #20
            I've held off commenting since I don't own a 35 Whelen.

            I wanted one for years, but settled on the 9.3x62. Neither are long range cartridges. Energy at 400 yards don't counter the rainbow trajectory at that range. If you are talking 250 yards, it fits the bill. If you are talking longer distances, the cartridge you really want is the 338-06. It has much better ballistics than the Whelen and has lots of bullets to fit the bill. The 9.3x62 is what the Whelen should have been and the 338-06 is what it SHOULD be - great bullets with much better (and realistic) ballistics.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by GD Yankee View Post
              I've held off commenting since I don't own a 35 Whelen.

              I wanted one for years, but settled on the 9.3x62. Neither are long range cartridges. Energy at 400 yards don't counter the rainbow trajectory at that range. If you are talking 250 yards, it fits the bill. If you are talking longer distances, the cartridge you really want is the 338-06. It has much better ballistics than the Whelen and has lots of bullets to fit the bill. The 9.3x62 is what the Whelen should have been and the 338-06 is what it SHOULD be - great bullets with much better (and realistic) ballistics.
              When I compare the Nosler ballistics for the 35 Whelen 225 NAB, with that of their 325 WSM 200 NAB and 338 Win 250 NAB... Well look for yourself. The Whelen pretty much shoots just as flat out to 400 yards and breaks 2000 ft lbs energy out yonder. That impressed me and I would/will practice with the Whelen at 400 yards and as needed shoot game that far. I think 400 yards is long range. Not sure I would try that with the 9.3? By all means I'd rather shoot much closer... I just do not want to have to pass on a 400 Yard shot because of my rifle and round. The best part- I think... is less recoil shooting the 35. Yes that's subjective because with a good stock 338s and 375s get tamed down quite a bit. I've owned a couple lighter 375 H&Hs that shot like *****-cats- the stock and recoil pads absorbed quite a bit- why my petite girlfriend at the time shot a full box of 300 NOS 375 at the range, off the bench and thought that was fun!

              I guess I bring this up so as not to sell myself on the 35 Whelen because of reduced recoil... but I guess less recoil is a factor and a good thing. For my first Whelen I'll accept/settle on a 22 inch Barrel/ballistics. My latest ever changing plans were/are to bore-out a Browning A-Bolt 30-06 to 35 Whelen. I got a great deal on the 06 and it's waiting at my local gun store for me to pick up. But I've been thinking/wondering if the boring out will thin the barrel too much? Most likely I'll still go for it, but am now seriously thinking of buying a used 700 Whelen too.

              Oh I sure like the 338-06 concept, only where is it? Really never made it as a commercial round- why?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Cabochris View Post
                When I was into the 375 H&H I once stopped into a gun shop in Fairbanks after a gold prospecting trip. The subject of what cartridge I thought was best for AK arose, and I spouted the 375! The shop owner returned with "not enough range for AK". I hardly could argue that point even though he bad-talked my baby! Though he made a point and that's when I went for a 300 Ultra Mag. I still like the 300 but settled back to the Win Mag.

                Later at a Washington State outdoor show I met... I think the owner of MPI stocks. He was at their booth and for some reason I brought up the 375 H&H and how it really was not a long range gun. He then said "let me show you my long range elk gun" and pulled out of a case a custom lightweight job- a 375 H&H with some 26 inch fluted barrel and some custom 250gr rounds. He handed me the 7 some pound with scope beauty and before I could react said... "I've shot elk some 500 yards with this gun- easy". I guess the 375 can be a longer range round after all.

                Most see the 35 Whelen as a medium range round. I just have to wonder if with the right length barrel/load the 35 could become long range? I sure like the 21 inch barrel idea, but would I realistically have to limit shots to 300 yards- or less? Not that that would be bad and really sort of suits the Whelen. Perhaps I should give up on the idea of 400 yard shooting with the Whelen in favor of a more portable rifle? Only then a 9.3X62 makes just as much sense? It sure would be interesting to build a lightweight 35 Whelen with 26 inch tube! Oh no- the gears in my head are starting to turn now... 700 action, Shilen trigger, custom fluted bbl...
                As great as the 35 Whelen (and the 338-06) are, it's hard not to just take another step up to 375 when it's difficult to get your hands on one. Ruger offer's their Guide Gun that can be readily found at the LGS. Better ballistics and terminal performance than 35 whelen, even with just a 20" barrel and the option of a muzzle break. Left handed option too. The only downside to the 375 Ruger is the lack of factory ammo, but it's the same issue that the 35 whelen has so that's moot. When I was faced with piecing together a 35 whelen or having a custom rifle built with a long wait, I just ordered from my LGS and had my 375 ruger in 3 days.

                Regardless, I also see long range potential to the 35. Comparing the 35 Whelen to say 338 Win Mag at 300 yds with 225 grains of the same bullet type . . . The Whelen drops about 24 1/2". The 338 Win Mag drops 22". The difference is a drop in the bucket.

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                • #23
                  Yes the 375 Ruger looks very interesting indeed. The GMX round too. That is if the GMX doesn't foul barrels too quickly? I read some have to clean after every 5 GMX shots, or accuracy goes downhill fast. Not sure what to believe on that? Also it might be difficult to match factory ballistics reloading? Plus will other ammo makers roll the Ruger? I haven't checked but wonder if they could match the Hornady loadings? I'll definitely have to study the 375 R ballistics.

                  It's fun to debate cartridges, but no matter what others say facing an angry animal I would rather have a 9.3X62 than a 35 Whelen, a 375 over the 9.3 and a 416 over the 375. Yet I read in Africa the 9.3 is just as effective as a 375- perhaps even a bit better in some situations like where over penetration is bad in a herd and elsewhere the Whelen is just as effective as the 9.3. One could argue on paper all day long, but in the field faced with a 200 yard big bull moose shot, I suspect the Whelen would produce similar results to the other 2- perhaps even to 300 yards or more? Problem is, a 30-06 would do the job too. Only in bear country I would much rather carry the 35.

                  I've always searched for the perfect all-around 1 gun/cartridge/caliber and have to admit it does not exist. But I can come close... like my semi-custom 300 Winchester, a very balanced cartridge. Most likely if I had to pick one gun for use in the thick stuff to alpine game, I'd be happy with my 300. It seems to kill pretty good near and far, bullet selection is fantastic and ammo sold everywhere! I can hunt high country deer with it one day and moose/bear in the lowlands the next. Pretty versatile and more so than the great 06. I also think highly of my Savage 7mm WSM. Would I hunt moose with it? You bet! My 325 WSM is also another good all-rounder as is my 338 WM.

                  I think the 35 Whelen also comes close as a do most things BG rifle? I've settled on boring out a Tikka 06. Obviously the barrel length decision is made doing so, but the standard length barrel is a good compromise. I'll make some changes to the rifle, such as a steel recoil lug, aluminum bolt shroud, better pad... I won't be the first to do this and I read where one 35 Whelen Tikka turned out to be a tack-driver, but these days many guns are. OK, so what will I have? Hopefully a light, reliable 35 caliber nearly as effective as a 375 but more portable and perhaps more useful on lesser game. If I can shoot out to 400 yards with it, so much the better. This Tikka will be light enough to pack into the mountains! Would I use it on Grizz and big black bear- you bet! How bout deer and hogs of bison? Better yet what wouldn't I use this rifle for? OK, shots beyond 400 yards, perhaps big brown bears and obviously on game where limited by law in Africa. To me that means this 35 is pretty darn versatile for big game and while my 300 can shoot further, this 35 should hit harder.

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                  • #24
                    That Tikka 35 Whelen sounds like a great setup . . . but boy, you must love recoil! How much will it weigh after boring out more steel from the barrel? That'll likely kick more than a 9 lb 375 without a brake. I'm happy for you!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Cabochris View Post
                      When I compare the Nosler ballistics for the 35 Whelen 225 NAB, with that of their 325 WSM 200 NAB and 338 Win 250 NAB... Well look for yourself. The Whelen pretty much shoots just as flat out to 400 yards and breaks 2000 ft lbs energy out yonder. That impressed me and I would/will practice with the Whelen at 400 yards and as needed shoot game that far. I think 400 yards is long range. Not sure I would try that with the 9.3? By all means I'd rather shoot much closer... I just do not want to have to pass on a 400 Yard shot because of my rifle and round. The best part- I think... is less recoil shooting the 35. Yes that's subjective because with a good stock 338s and 375s get tamed down quite a bit. I've owned a couple lighter 375 H&Hs that shot like *****-cats- the stock and recoil pads absorbed quite a bit- why my petite girlfriend at the time shot a full box of 300 NOS 375 at the range, off the bench and thought that was fun!

                      I guess I bring this up so as not to sell myself on the 35 Whelen because of reduced recoil... but I guess less recoil is a factor and a good thing. For my first Whelen I'll accept/settle on a 22 inch Barrel/ballistics. My latest ever changing plans were/are to bore-out a Browning A-Bolt 30-06 to 35 Whelen. I got a great deal on the 06 and it's waiting at my local gun store for me to pick up. But I've been thinking/wondering if the boring out will thin the barrel too much? Most likely I'll still go for it, but am now seriously thinking of buying a used 700 Whelen too.

                      Oh I sure like the 338-06 concept, only where is it? Really never made it as a commercial round- why?
                      You keep talkin bout "shots to 400 yards".

                      Personally, I would never shoot at a game animal at 400 yards, or close to that distance. 400 yards is a very long way.

                      You mentioned practicing at 400 yards. I suggest you do that, and from Field Positions, and see what size groups you get. (From Field Positions, maybe using your pack for a rest.)

                      Just go up on the Denali Highway, find a place to park, and use a Rangefinder to get the distance, set up a target, and shoot.

                      This is something I've been intending to do, but I was thinking more like 200 yards, and 300 yards max. Since, I don't need to shoot at those distances, it hasn't been a high priority.

                      In addition to the target, I plan to use balloons.

                      This exercise is just to get a realistic idea of what I can do at longer distances.

                      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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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by AKMtnRunner View Post
                        That Tikka 35 Whelen sounds like a great setup . . . but boy, you must love recoil! How much will it weigh after boring out more steel from the barrel? That'll likely kick more than a 9 lb 375 without a brake. I'm happy for you!
                        According to my Load from a Disk application, 225 grain bullet, at 2400 fps and 53 grains of powder, a 7 lb. Rifle,,,,,,, the Recoil Energy would be 25.6, and the Recoil Velocity 15,3

                        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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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Smitty of the North View Post
                          According to my Load from a Disk application, 225 grain bullet, at 2400 fps and 53 grains of powder, a 7 lb. Rifle,,,,,,, the Recoil Energy would be 25.6, and the Recoil Velocity 15,3

                          Smitty of the North
                          That looks like a 338 Federal load. If loaded to max, the Whelen is capable of 2750+fps with 225 gr. Not that that is necessary, but if the intention is a heavy hitting load on par with a 9.3 with what was a 6.5 lb rifle (and lightened more by boring out), it's going to have a significant kick. About 36 ft-lbs and 19 fps velocity of recoil. In contrast, a 9 lb ruger guide gun in 375 ruger shooting 270 gr at 2750 fps would develop about 38 ft-lbs and 16.5 fps of recoil. The H&H 375 would be a bit softer still.

                          With all that said, I think the light Tikka in 35 Whelen is a really neat idea and if I came across one for a fair price I'd probably scoop it up

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                          • #28
                            I do talk about 400 yards. Obviously if I shot a 30-30, 45-70 or 35 Remington I wouldn't talk 400. I do own a 300 RUM and shooting 400 yards during the right conditions is easy. I recently was in contact with a well known long range hunter and he thought 400 yards is close! To him 700 yards and beyond are long! There are hunters all over the internet shooting long, several beyond 1000 yards! At an outdoor show at a custom rifle booth, I watched a video shooting big game at long range. One clip was a big bull moose at some 800 plus yards. One shot and the moose went down like a ton of bricks! I was both amazed and perhaps felt a bit disgusted too. They made it look so easy and the rifles cost some $7,000, with their special scopes several thousand more- plus they had special loaded ammunition too.

                            I wouldn't shoot that far at live game. To me sniping takes a bit away from hunting and my most exciting hunts were with game up close. But I have gone on some expensive guided hunts where my opportunity came on the last day- one a running moose at 400 yards. It was either take the shot or go home empty handed and my guide knowing the country has already planted the idea of a long shot in my head. I had seconds to decide and when I aimed offhand everything felt just right. During the moment I recall how rock steady my cross hairs were, using only my sling. As steady as on the bench! It was a bright clam morning with no wind. I held high and to the left. At the shot the moose stopped running. I thought I missed but my guide shouted "you got him!" Why, because he stopped running for the bush and was just standing there. Before we covered 1/3 the measured 400 yards, the moose fell. Turns out my 300 Win/180 Failsafe went right through his heart! Lucky me and this with my scope set on 4X. There was no time to find a rest or crank my scope up.

                            I've successfully shot wounded game at 500 yards, but that's another story. In Africa I was told shots would be close and they insisted we zero at 100 meters. I faked it with my 375 H&H which was sighted in 3 inches high at 100, by holding low on their target. Turns out I had no close shots and all were 175 to 225 yards. All game went down with 1 shot and I would have shot to 300 if needed.

                            I have to travel to do most of my hunting. No, I'm not $ loaded... I just make my hunts happen. I suppose if moose lived in my back yard I would never have to shoot long. But when I go on a guided elk hunt, I want to be prepared to shoot long if needed. I know I can hit to 400 yards. I enjoy shooting rifles and read as much as I can. If any shot does not feel right, I wouldn't take it. However I do feel 400 yards is well within the capabilities of today's rifles, ammunition and more educated hunters. In the 50's my respectable German Grandfather who shot boar, small deer and stag from high seats, would have declared long range shooting as crazy! His 8X57 drilling was perfect within 100 yards. My 300 Ultra is a new game.

                            With all this said, I much prefer shooting closer. An angry bull moose I shot in B.C. at 40 yards was my most exciting hunt! So when I talk 400 yards I know that is long and most likely shots will be closer. I just want to be prepared for a longer shot if presented. I would not want to pass on the elk of my dreams standing 375 yards because of rifle/cartridge/ability limitations. If I pass it will be because I decided to. And while the wise like to quote "most shots at big game are under 150 yards"... well, that might be so and I start to fall for that mentality- until I see a nice bull at 300 yards- just like the 300 yard moose shot with a 375 Ruger, in a recent hunting mag article, claiming Alaskan guides are falling for the 375 Ruger.

                            Potentially the 35 Whelen loaded with 225 NAB could hit moose/elk at 400. 35 cal/2000+ energy at 400. This from a non-magnum cartridge long thought to be a deer round! Yes I'll practice at 300 and 400 yards to see if I can do it. I was just wondering if a 35 Whelen might benefit with a longer barrel for longer shots? Just to squeeze every inch of 400 out of it.

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                            • #29
                              all this over-thinking of barrel length, and type of rifle to choose, and you go with a plasticca? one of the greatest assets of a standard cartridge, is having 5 cartridges under an unloaded chamber. It you've ever been in a dlp situation with a grizzly, I can tell you that 3 rounds go REAL fast. How many rounds does that plasticca hold??
                              www.freightercanoes.com

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                              • #30
                                True, but I'm not talking a stopping rifle here- it's an all-round hunting piece. It holds 3 in the clip and one in the chamber. Plus as many spare magazine clips of 3 rounds I want. Often I hunt with a round in the chamber, sometimes I don't. While I never expect to have a bear encounter, I sure would rather be packing a 35 Whelen with 3 or 4 rounds and loaded spare clip magazines, than any 30-06 with 5 in the mag. Plus I can get a higher capacity mag for the Tikka to carry in bear country where legal. I believe it will hold 5 35 Whelen rounds.

                                I once hired a packer in Montana. In his scabbard was an iron sighted 444 Marlin. He told me it was for grizzly protection on the trail. He said it has and will take care of any bear that chooses to hassle his pack string. He liked the 444 better than the 45-70. I believed him because if it weren't adequate he would be packing something different and that style lever gun is awful quick! With the right bullets I would feel secure with a 444 in bear country, because I know it's faster than any bolt gun... and pretty quick to reload with practice. (not sure your basic semi-auto is reliable enough? Like a Browning Safari in 338 WM) Oh, the packer smiled at my can of bear spray on my belt!

                                Funny, I recall reading on the AK Dept. of Wildlife site... I think it was recommended or implied that a rifle was not a great choice in bear defense, so hunters visiting AK didn't really need a cannon? I think Bear Spray was recommended? On the other hand I read bears are actually attracted to that hot stuff?

                                But yes you're right- having more in the mag is a good thing. And you're right about overemphasis on barrel length too. I was just wondering if a longer barrel might help to stretch every inch of range out of the modern Whelen. I suspect it would, yet most likely not be as important as I think? I've settled on a slightly longer than 22" barrel.

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