35 Whelen vs 338-06

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by sgt_zim, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Kind of a big question here because I'm a lefty.

    First, any appreciable difference in terminal performance between the two, IRL, not just on paper?

    Second, I'm going to have to start with a LH .30-06 and re-barrel it (that I'm aware of, nobody offers either cartridge in a LH rifle).

    Shaw offers a 35 W barrel for the Savage, but the reviews are mixed. The bad reviews say that the Shaw barrels get fouled with copper far too easily. Anyone have experience with Shaw barrels? The high point for the Shaw barrels is that they do not require a trip to a gunsmith to install the barrel.

    So my choices really come down to what I consider "the Big 4" for American rifles (because I KNOW they're all available in LH 30-06, and I'm trying not to spend $2000 on a rifle once I'm all in):
    1. Savage 110 or 116 (OK, they're Canadian, but close enough)
    2. Rem 700
    3. Win 70
    4. Ruger 77
     

  2. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Ruger number 1 single shot is ambidextrous. Encore single shot has left hand stocks.

    Two more for the list.

    You can get an off he shelf 35 whelen Ruger number 1 and have $800 left in your budget for a second hand piece of premium German glass: Zeiss, Leica, s&B, swaro.

    Not sure if a way to get you better quality at $2000 all-in.
     
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  3. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    I like the Ruger #1, no error, but if I'm going falling block, I'd rather get a High Wall.

    I owned a TC Contender years ago, and loved it. It was a sad day when I sold it. I'm fine with TC for smaller calibers, just not sure I want to go that route for cartridges that have a bit more thump. I've definitely considered both rifles for my wife and stepsons in something like a 7mm-08 or 280 Rem, and that's probably the route I'll take. I'm not sure the boys will actually like hunting, and because of my wife's divorce decree, they can't even touch guns until they get their driver's licenses (this is their idiot dad's doing). They're righties, and if they end up not liking shooting/hunting, well, then I can still get use out of the rifle. If they like shooting/hunting, then I buy them bolt guns eventually.

    But for 338-06 or 35 Whelen, I want a bolt gun. I also very much like 9.3x62. Any of those 3 would be my go-to for the griz. one day, which is another reason I'd rather a bolt over a falling block.
     

  4. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Since you're talking about a custom rifle, why not make a .350 Griffin & Howe instead? Cost to build is the same, performance is greater, making brass is just .375HH necked to .358"

    If you want a grizzly, that's your gun that can handle tough work.
     
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  5. Heeler75

    Heeler75 AH Veteran

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    You haven't mentioned it, but do you reload? If not then do the 35 Whelen. Very limited 338-06 offerings (Nosler) and expensive. You don't need to rebarrel a 30-06 to either one of those. Contact JES Reboring in Oregon to have it bored out and is a fraction of a rebarrel cost. I have a CZ that he bored from a 30-06 to a 338-06. It shoots way better than my capability. I also have an Encore in 338-06. It shoots great. Except its a Fox Custom Shop handgun barrel 15" long (non-ported).

    I doubt you find much terminal difference between the two; the 338-06 really shines with bullets in the 185-210 grain range while the Whelen likes a higher grain bullet.
     
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  6. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Yep, for 308, 45-70, and just starting for 6.5x55 SE.

    How much does he charge for re-boring a barrel? I'm figuring about $250-$300 for a rebarrel.
     

  7. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I think you need about .050" in order to devote. E.g. .308 becomes .358. I don't think there is enough to go to .338. Best call.

    Absolutely, if you don't handload whelen is your choice.
     

  8. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    I'm not tracking. I'd only need .03 to get to the 338, and .05 to get to the 350s.
     

  9. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Step 1, Drill a hole that eradicates all evidence of rifling. True that hole. Make it flawless. Then ream hole larger. Then cut or button rifling.

    The issue can be that the depth of the prior rifling grooves can remain shadows on the new rifling lands. There has to be a margin of error to make sure that doesn't happen. To make sure metal hasn't been stressed at those prior locations, etc.

    Thus, you need a fair amount of space to rebore.

    Again, call a rebore specialist to confirm but this is what I came across when I explored it previously.
     
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  10. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    does it have to be a blued barrel, or can they rebarrel SS, too? and if I go that route, do you have a particular recommendation on make (Savage vs Ruger vs Remington vs Winchester)? I really like my Savages, and considering that it'll ultimately be something that's going to get used in Alaska, I'd prefer SS
     

  11. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Gotcha, so if I wanted to rebore a 30-06, my best bet would be 35 Whelen or 9.3x62? And if I wanted a 338-06, my best bet would be just to completely re-barrel.
     

  12. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Just for comparison purposes in the past three or so weeks I've looked at the ballistics of an 8 x 68, 338-06, 308 Norma Mag., the 9.3 x 62 and the 35 Whelen shooting 225 Gr. pills at 2800 fps. The entire group are almost ballistic twins. For my money, Whelen is the way to go. Simply due to the availability of ammunition and or reloading components.
     
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  13. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @sgt_zim you're exceeding my knowledge and expertise, even passively so based on prior research as a consumer, much less a practitioner.

    I know that 30-06 to .35 Whelen is a common rebore path because you don't need to worry about feed ramp or magazine issues and there is more than enough metal to go from .308 to .358. Now as to 9.3x62, I don't know enough about that marvelous cartridge to know if you have feed issues, ramp issues, extractor issues, bolt face issues, etc., etc.

    You need expert guidance from the gunsmith that will take on this job. Me and the rest of the Internet peanut gallery are good for bouncing around ideas but it is all theory until someone says "I will do this for you and it will work properly".

    Before you go crazy, have you looked on the gun sale sites to see if some fool went out and built a custom $5000-$10,000 left hand bolt rifle in one of these odd calibers, has tried to sell it for years, and is now ready to take a horrible haircut on it? I wager you can find a $5000 custom rifle to your specs, gently used, for $2000 or so and avoid all this hassle. At least when you're sick of it you can get most your money back. The project you're entertaining wouldn't fetch $200 at a flea market when you're done with it because it's lefty ruling out 6/7th of all possible customers and then its an odd caliber ruling out 499/500 of those remaining lefties.

    Do some shopping before you take on the project. I think a good gun is out there too cheap.
     
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  14. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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  15. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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  16. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Just get a 9.3 x 62 and live happily for ever after.
     
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  17. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My son has a TC Encore in 35 Whelen. That is what he took to Africa and has used it on a lot of Hogs and Whitetails. Perhaps he will chime in here and discuss the "thump."
     

  18. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    Or 338 Federal for factory loads.

    I agree, there's not a whole lot of difference between the two.
     

  19. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I seriously doubt you are going to find a better deal than purchasing the Mauser in 9.3 x 62 off Gunbroker. It is a good manufacturer, the right caliber and left handed. JUMP ON IT!!!
     
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  20. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    @rookhawk - RATS!!!! I just bought a rifle about a month ago. My wife would shoot me with it if I bought another one today, but cripes-amighty I'm tempted on that Mauser already chambered in 9.3!
     
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