35 Whelen vs 338-06

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
5,548
Reaction score
10,672
Location
Wyong new south Wales Australia
Media
13
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia
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.

View attachment 189932
@sestoppelman
Would love to move the shoulder forward and have a 1 caliber neck length on the Whelen. That would be interesting with the 275s,300s and 280 swift Aframe.
 

bruce moulds

AH legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
2,989
Reaction score
4,587
bob, why worry when you have the lovely long neck to make your throat last longer.
also there is a ggod chance a 250 gn aframe will do anything you want with flatter trajectory.
if that wont do it a 250 barnes x (if there is one?) should.
bruce.
 

Rob404

Bronze supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
3,808
Reaction score
5,370
Location
Chaska Minnesota
Media
55
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
NRA, Member Minnesota Horse and Hunt,,Caribou Hunt Club
Hunted
Illinois,Wisconsin,Michigan Limpopo Province South Africa
@Rob404
Can't complain about that. If'n the Whelen shoots better it would be hard to pick which one to take afield. What's the Whelen made on mate the Savage looks great.
Bob
The Whelen is a Remington BDL made in 1988, I still have a 338 Win I'm working on I tried 180g, 200g this Sunday I try 225g and then there's the 375HH The winner get a free trip to Africa
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
5,548
Reaction score
10,672
Location
Wyong new south Wales Australia
Media
13
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia
The Whelen is a Remington BDL made in 1988, I still have a 338 Win I'm working on I tried 180g, 200g this Sunday I try 225g and then there's the 375HH The winner get a free trip to Africa
@Rob404
Try the 225grain accubonds with Nosler load of 61.5 grains of Varget or work up to 66 grains of cfe223 starting at 62 grains. Cartridge overall length in my rifle of 3.4 inches.
Muzzle velocity in my rifle with 25 inch barrel 1 in 12 twist, 2,850fps.
Bob
 

RayAtkinson

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
672
Reaction score
596
Location
Filer,
Media
25
Articles
1
Member of
SCI Dallas
Hunted
RSA, Botswana, CAR, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya way back when, and a few others that I can't remember.
6 of 1, half a dozen of the other..as close to equal as you can get, so pick your rifle by the gun you like best...
 

Rob404

Bronze supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
3,808
Reaction score
5,370
Location
Chaska Minnesota
Media
55
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
NRA, Member Minnesota Horse and Hunt,,Caribou Hunt Club
Hunted
Illinois,Wisconsin,Michigan Limpopo Province South Africa
@Rob404
Can't complain about that. If'n the Whelen shoots better it would be hard to pick which one to take afield. What's the Whelen made on mate the Savage looks great.
Bob
Remington 700 BDL 1988 build date
 

Fastrig

AH fanatic
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
876
Reaction score
1,217
Location
Hill Country, TX
Media
28
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
CA, TX, MT, CO, NV, AK, NE, SD, FL
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.

If this is a brown bear gun, which means crap weather and terrain, then I highly suggest the Mauser M12 in 9.3x62 with the laminate stock. 5+1, weather proof, accurate, light, and nearly indestructible. Love mine, though it’s probably going on the auction block as I’ve picked up a 9.3x62 barrel for my Merkel RX Helix. Both fine rifles.
 
Last edited:

RayAtkinson

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
672
Reaction score
596
Location
Filer,
Media
25
Articles
1
Member of
SCI Dallas
Hunted
RSA, Botswana, CAR, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya way back when, and a few others that I can't remember.
A 338-06, will have the better penetration, the 35 W. will have a better cross section, thats a given so you get a push...

I pick the caliber by how I liked the gun...Of all the all around calibers for NA Id opt for the 338 win. and I have..For Africa that included DG Id go with the 375 or 416 Rem..but this comparing calibers is basically an American waste of time over a bit too much libration! :LOL: :giggle:
 

Rick Cox

Bronze supporter
AH elite
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
1,292
Reaction score
1,857
Location
Armstrong British Colombia
Media
102
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
USA/Canada
3
Member of
Armstrong Fish and Game Club
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, British Colombia Ca.
Well the 35 Whelen gets my vote. Bigger is better... but honestly I would not be critical of the 338-06. In Canada either one is a hand load proposition. For the Whelen all I see for factory loads are some 200 gr Superperformance, and some anemic Remington soft points. If you are lucky. One thing about the 338-06 is that there is a greater selection of bullets available. None the less I like my 35W, a love affair that started with a 35 Remington and progressed to a .358 Winchester (another great round that is almost dead.)
BTW the eland in my avatar was taken with a 35W.
 

Rell

AH senior member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
76
Reaction score
133
Media
5
I have a 338-06 in a Weatherby M5 light weight accumark. It shoots ridiculously well with Barnes 185gr and 225gr bullets. It’s taken 2 Eland, 6 Kudu, heartbeast, blue and black Wildebeast and about 20 bushbucks. Can’t say enough good things about it.

I also have a Ruger #1 SS in 35 Whelen, shoots patterns not groups so it will get rebarreled to something else. I shot a couple of Caribou and black bears with it …. Used Sierra 225gr boat tail game kings, not impressive at all. I could never get the velocity above 2300fps without a lot of pressure signs. Probably more of a rifle issue then anything but the 338-06 wins hands down for me.
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,660
Reaction score
4,168
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
50
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
I also have a Ruger #1 SS in 35 Whelen, shoots patterns not groups so it will get rebarreled to something else. I shot a couple of Caribou and black bears with it …. Used Sierra 225gr boat tail game kings, not impressive at all. I could never get the velocity above 2300fps without a lot of pressure signs. Probably more of a rifle issue then anything but the 338-06 wins hands down for me.

Have you tried to adjust the forend screw tension?

I have a #1 in 22-250 that is very temperamental on how tight that screw is. A little too tight and the groups will be around 1-2 inches at 100 yards. Get it just right and I can put 5 shots into a single hole. That s if I am doing the best that I can.
 

mdwest

AH legend
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
2,448
Reaction score
6,213
Location
DFW
Media
48
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
DSC Life Member
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
A 338-06, will have the better penetration

I get this argument in theory... but.. from a practical standpoint, how much penetration is really required on any animal you would attempt to take with either the .338-06 or the .35 Whelen? and, why wouldnt the penetration offered by a .35 Whelen be enough?

I just last week witnessed a 1600lb eland bull, shot at 235 meters with a .35 Whelen using 200gr Barnes TTSX, that wasnt loaded particularly hot (about 2700 fps).. He dropped like a sack of potatoes, with the bullet crossing all the way from the near to the far side, left resting just beneath the skin.. Im going to guess if it was shot at a closer distance (100-150 meters?) it would have been a complete pass through (either result is wonderful)..

Shooting any animal smaller in size or with less dense muscle and bone (which is just about anything you would shoot at with a .35 Whelen) would have almost certainly resulted in a straight line penetration along with a full pass through.. Step up to the more common 225 or 250 gr projectiles and straight-line and deeper penetration is even more assured..

So.. I get (and agree) that the .338-06 will get even more straight line penetration... but.. I question whether thats really a valid argument or a necessary consideration, when shy of something truly huge (Rhino, Ele, Hippo, etc).. it appears the .35 Whelen has far more penetration capability (at reasonable hunting ranges/distances) than is required..
 

walk-in

AH member
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
36
Reaction score
83
Media
1
Member of
NRA, Resident Hunters of Alaska
Hunted
United States, Canada
I think there is negligible real world difference between the 338-06 and 35 Whelen. My personal preference is the 35, but either will perform well on grizzly if that is your eventual goal.

If you're considering a rebore, I might lean toward the 338-06 depending on how heavy the barrel you start with is. A too light/flimsy for caliber barrel won't help your accuracy any. Truthfully, if it was me, I'd just order a barrel. I don't believe in getting the biggest baddest magnum caliber for whatever I plan on hunting, but I think it is a bit foolish to try and save a few bucks on a dangerous game rifle. If grizzly hunting is just a daydream that probably won't actually happen, it doesn't matter. If it's something you're serious about, don't cut corners on your rifle...especially if you're going to hunt alone. If you're hunting with a guide, he'll back you up, so it doesn't matter nearly as much. 99% of the time grizzly hunting is pretty uneventful. When it isn't uneventful it gets pretty interesting fast.
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
5,548
Reaction score
10,672
Location
Wyong new south Wales Australia
Media
13
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SSAA
Hunted
Australia
The big advantage to the Remington 700 is - the long (magnum length) std. magazine length.




Red
@Red Devil
Red I found the same thing on my Stevens 200, it has a 3.6 inch mag.
The beauty of it is the standard Whelen has a longish throat so you can seat the bullets out to get more powder in.
Bob
 

Red Devil

AH senior member
Joined
Apr 27, 2019
Messages
88
Reaction score
158
Media
13
@Red Devil
Red I found the same thing on my Stevens 200, it has a 3.6 inch mag.
The beauty of it is the standard Whelen has a longish throat so you can seat the bullets out to get more powder in.
Bob

Have a sweet ole BDL in .270 Win.

Was thinkin'bout re-Bbl'ing her for the new 6.8 WESTERN.

But found that w/ the long mag, I can get a long throated, 1:8 twist 24" .270 Win Bbl., load to the max length w/ the same bullets, and get w/in 5%.

All w/ my existing reloading set-up and brass.
(and still shoot factory ammo if need be)




Red
 

Forum statistics

Threads
39,768
Messages
774,983
Members
72,622
Latest member
michellegray
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

NTH wrote on Rick HOlbert's profile.
Nice “meeting” you Rick. I made my first trip to S. Africa this year through Kuche Safaris. We had an incredible time. What outfitter do you use? Neal
LIFE-FORM TAXIDERMY World Leader In Superior Taxidermy Since 1981

taxidermy-south-africa.jpg
Global Rescue - Worldwide Emergency Evacuation & Field Rescue, Anytime Anywhere

global-rescue.jpg
Special 10% Off On Taxidermy For AfricaHunting Members 2021

taxidermy-in-texas.jpg
TROPHY SHIPPERS - You Enjoy Your Hunt, We'll Get Your Trophies Home


hunting-trophy-shipper.jpg
 
Top