35 Whelen vs 338-06

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

  1. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have a Savage 110 that I re-barreled to 338-06 and it a solid shooter just find a 30-06 and swap out the barrel no need for any bolt work. My barrel came from Apache Arms but i'm sure Pac Nor or Green Mountain can supply the same quality. that being said if I can't get my 375HH to shoot solid groups I won't hesitate to pack up my Rem 700 in 35 Whelen for my next Africa trip.
     

  2. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The shortcoming of a rebore to larger caliber is the loss of metal. The barrel has exterior and interior measurements. If the interior is expanded from .308" to "338" or .358" the resulting barrel will have much less metal in it and there is no way to add to the barrel's exterior contour to allow for the resulting thinness. A barrel originally built for .338 or .358" will have the desired contour and weight. If the .308" barrel started out with a heavy taper, then all is well, however most barrels were of sporter contour leaving the rebore as thinner than desired.
     

  3. Milehighshooter

    Milehighshooter AH Enthusiast

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    Maybe, unlikely in the case of the 338. Factory guns have the same outside dimensions for ease of manufacturing. A 7mm Rem, 300 Win, and 338 Win from the same model within any major company, all have the same outside diameter. Same with a 243 260 7-08 308 and 338 federal. A rem 700 or Savage 10 on those 308 base will have identical outside diameters. To be safe you only need .2-.25 overall wall thickness at the end of the barrel over the bore. Thats total, JES will do .1 on each wall, Dan Pederson will do .125 or more, so .2 or .250 overall. 308 would be 508 min. Most factory rifles are very generous in barrel walls even in standard contour.

    A 358 will likely be heavier and it may be one reason they aren't made as much. Ditto for big bores. That is why the Ruger 375 RSM is a tank but the 416 or 458 feel more trim, or M70 Safari. They all use the same barrel contour.
     

  4. Rick Cox

    Rick Cox SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I am very happy with my .35 Whelen. I considered the 9.3 but the Whelen is ballistically superior, thanks to the availability of lighter slugs, but even comparing 250 grain pills the Whelen edges it out. I did not seriously consider the .338-06, I wanted more mass. Go big or go home... Having said that though, if you reload, it is waaay easier to find slugs for .338 than .358. I doubt any animal hit with the .338 is going think "lucky that dick wasn't using a 35 Whelen!"
     

  5. Nosler guy

    Nosler guy AH Veteran

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    I've always looked at the practical side - still see quite a few new left hand Ruger 77's - (Hawkeyes) in .338 Win Mag still listed on websites for quite a few places.

    A $1000 bucks - you have a good dependable rifle, control round feed, standard calibre, lots of bullet options and factory loads - all handy things when you head to Africa

    Kind of hard for a guy with 3- 35 Whelen's to endorse a .338... but I just did it ...
     

  6. Nosler guy

    Nosler guy AH Veteran

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    Edit to last post - wasn't paying close enough attention - the Ruger77 lefties were .338 RCM - not Win Mags - might still be an option though - ammo is a bit harder to find though
     

  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    We shouldn't get carried away here. I load and shoot both the Whelen and the 9.3x62 and while I agree that being the .358 is a tad smaller than the .366 and will with the same weight of bullet carry a bit better, its hardly something to get excited about. The 9.3 has a powder capacity advantage over the Whelen as well as a similar range of bullets, maybe a tad better with bullets of 232 to over 300 grs available, with 250 and 286 being the standard weights. The Whelen cannot muster the same velocity with any given bullet that the 62 can due to the greater capacity of the 9.3, thus basically eliminating any sectional density advantage of the smaller bore. The .338-06 shares that same advantage over the Whelen for the same reasons, SD. But like you said, "go big or go home", advantage 9.3x62. The Whelen is not its equal and certainly is not better. However to your point, no game animal is going to know the difference when shot by any of these, so it becomes more a discussion of the "hot stove league" and boils down to personal preference. Reminds me of when my late dad used to extoll the virtues of the 6.5 Swede. He loved to quote the tables of downrange velocities and remaining energies at 5 and 600 yards over larger diameter rounds like the 06 and .270. So I asked him if he planned on shooting anything at those ranges where it would matter? Not so much.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2017

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