35 Whelen vs 9.3x62

Aaron.F

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I was reading through the "If the 9.3x62 became the new legal minimum?" thread and I saw a couple of people talked about the 35 Whelen. I now have rifles in both 35 Whelen and 9.3x62 and am looking closer at them and they are ballistically the same.

I looked at the Nosler reloading information on line, both are shot from 26" barrels, which is longer than most people will use but at least they are the same for comparison.

9.3x62 250 grain, Sectional Density =0.267
56.0 gr of IMR 4064 for 2582 fps, this is a max load and the highest velocity

35 Whelen 250 grain, Sectional Density =0.279
58.0 gr of IMR 4064 for 2637 fps, this is a max load and the highest velocity

The 9.3x62 is .006" in diameter bigger and the 35 Whelen has a 0.012 higher section density and has about a 50 fps advantage. I may be wrong and some loonies are going to correct me, they are essentially the same. I guess I never fully realized this until I took the time to compare.

Anything that can be said about the 9.3x62 can be said about the 35 Whelen and vice versa. Am I missing something?
 

shark_za

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Pretty much, the 9.3 rifles are optimized for 286gr bullets and from what I have seen the Whelen twist rates are not as tight for lighter bullets.
But in the same ball park for sure.
 

OxfordTheCat

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Might be the same in those loads, but the real difference is in factory ammunition:

The 9.3x62 is moving at ~2300, not 2600. And it's typically throwing the 286gr or 275gr solid, not a 250gr; and based on the velocity, I'm not sure that the .35 Whelen has the same reputation for being easy to shoot that the 9.3 does. I don't have a .35 Whelen, but I'm positive I've seen load data that has it moving closer to ~2800 fps over the years.

In a practical sense, I think you could consider them interchangable:
I very much doubt the game would tell the difference or complain either way.
 

Shootist43

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AaronF, for the most part your comments are correct, however I think some slight changes need to be made. The diameter of a 9.3 is .366" and the Whelen is .358" so there is only an .008" difference. the "normal" bullet for the 9.3 weighs 286 Gr. while the bullet for the Whelen is 250 Gn. Bare in mind that lighter as well as heavier bullets are available for both calibers. I am a big fan of the Whelen. My favorite load is a 225 Gn. bullet pushed by 59.5 Gr. of IMR 4064 for a velocity of 2730 FPS out of a 23 & 1/2" barrel. But as you said they are ballistic twins for all practical purposes. Bob Nelson 35 Whelen and I have posted many previous articles and or comments on this very subject.
 

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I would really like to see these numbers shot head to head over chrono. There is a difference in CIP/SAAMI pressure rating for the cartridges, 9,3x62 is bit lower but that's irrelevant really. The brass is nearly identical from the case head and one has larger hole i.e. with same pressure it results in larger force accelerating the bullet. Smaller hole, 7gr smaller case capacity, something doesn't add up.
 

Christot

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If you load both to allowable CIP pressures the 9,3x62 has more energy. But does every reloader know the real pressure of its load? Do they have access to a Firing Proof House for example?

In a quality case a primer will not necessarily indicate if you're just above 3900 or 4000 bar. Also velocity of a bullet is not telling you the full story of the pressure curve and maximum pressure. So you might think you have found a very powerful load with no bad signs but pressure might be well above the limits of the specifications.

In Europe for example the 9,3x62 is a standard cartridge and widely available with a lot of different loads. The 35 wheelen is exotic and nearly unknown and not available.
 

samu

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If you load both to allowable CIP pressures the 9,3x62 has more energy. But does every reloader know the real pressure of its load? Do they have access to a Firing Proof House for example?

In a quality case a primer will not necessarily indicate if you're just above 3900 or 4000 bar. Also velocity of a bullet is not telling you the full story of the pressure curve and maximum pressure. So you might think you have found a very powerful load with no bad signs but pressure might be well above the limits of the specifications.

In Europe for example the 9,3x62 is a standard cartridge and widely available with a lot of different loads. The 35 wheelen is exotic and nearly unknown and not available.
Obviously nobody knows real pressures. Individual rifles do have differences already in how the pressure marks appear. Either way, with modern firearms you can increase load until brass starts showing marks and then back off some. Primers might have more differences especially between brands and how tight the primer pocket is.

My point was, since there's no apparent reason why Whelen could withstand higher pressures than 9,3x62, along with mentioned factors, 9,3x62 should on average produce higher MV with any bullet weight.

How comparable bullets are on game is another creedmoor vs. 308 fight with even less significant differences between the two. For a consumer pretty much only deciding factor is which side of the atlantic they happen to be located.
 

shootist~

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The 9.3x62 can be found in factory configuration. For all practical purposed, the 35 Whelen cannot.
Either can be custom build of course.

I found a good deal on a 9.3x62 CZ 550 American on GB last year. These were discontinued a number of years ago, BTW. I had been looking for a 35W (with plans to use 225 Grain reloads for plains game), for some time and just could not find one.

Mine shoots 250 Gr NABs really well, and the Noslers, along with the 250 Gr TTSX, at least have good BCs. Perceived recoil is much less than my 338 WM.
 

IvW

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I was reading through the "If the 9.3x62 became the new legal minimum?" thread and I saw a couple of people talked about the 35 Whelen. I now have rifles in both 35 Whelen and 9.3x62 and am looking closer at them and they are ballistically the same.

I looked at the Nosler reloading information on line, both are shot from 26" barrels, which is longer than most people will use but at least they are the same for comparison.

9.3x62 250 grain, Sectional Density =0.267
56.0 gr of IMR 4064 for 2582 fps, this is a max load and the highest velocity

35 Whelen 250 grain, Sectional Density =0.279
58.0 gr of IMR 4064 for 2637 fps, this is a max load and the highest velocity

The 9.3x62 is .006" in diameter bigger and the 35 Whelen has a 0.012 higher section density and has about a 50 fps advantage. I may be wrong and some loonies are going to correct me, they are essentially the same. I guess I never fully realized this until I took the time to compare.

Anything that can be said about the 9.3x62 can be said about the 35 Whelen and vice versa. Am I missing something?
Yes, the 9.3x62 is designed to use a 286gr bullet. Ammo for the 9.3x62 is freely availible in Some African countries not so for the 35 Whelen.

Both are excellent calibers but not compareable in the true sense...
 

Clodo Ferreira

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Hello Aaron.F,

Comparing apples vs. apples, the 9,3x62 has, between 50 to 100 f/s more than the .35 Whelen with same bullet weight, all other things being equal: same barrel length rifles, and same presure loads.
That´s because the diference in case capacities, in favor the 9,3x62, and slightly bigger bore of the 9,3. Plus the fact of the very long distance to the lands in the 9,3x62 standard chamber design.

Best!

CF
 

Aaron.F

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The 9.3x62 is moving at ~2300, not 2600. And it's typically throwing the 286gr or 275gr solid, not a 250gr; and based on the velocity, I'm not sure that the .35 Whelen has the same reputation for being easy to shoot that the 9.3 does. I don't have a .35 Whelen, but I'm positive I've seen load data that has it moving closer to ~2800 fps over the years.
I believe the 220-225 grain bullets are listed as breaking 2800 fps for the 35 Whelen.

The 275 grain Whelen bullet is around 2350-2400 fps as well, as i understand it.

My ultimate question is why do people tend to lean towards the 9.3x62 being better, when it doesn't appear to be, its basically the same. My thoughts are that it is regional in all reality, the Whelen just doesn't have as much history, especially in Africa.
 

Clodo Ferreira

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Aaron, agree with you both cartridges are VERY similar. In spite of being real, 50/75 fs are not a big difference. But the standard rifling twist of 1:16" in the Whelen vs. 1:14" in the 9,3 do limit the use of long for the caliber bullets in the former.
 

Shootist43

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AaronF, very few manufacturers ever made the 35 Whelen. I had mine custom made from an old 03-A3 I had laying around. Remington made them in a Bolt Actioned 700 for one year and one year only (1988) they also made a few in their "pump" series i.e. 760 and 7600. Whelens have also been available as a single shot rifle from several manufacturers. The 9.2 x 62 is made by a lot of manufacturers and is available all over the world.
 

Clodo Ferreira

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Those are facts, Shootist. Almost no rifle manufacturers do offer one in .35 Whelen. Being equals or no, the 9,3x62 is more popular than ever! And the main European cartridge brands have many modern loads for the 9,3 Mauser. RWS and NORMA the best samples.
 

samu

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Plenty of cartridges have become nearly obsolete despite being superior to the competition by numbers.

Most of the people choose what is available as guns and ammo, then manufacturers largely make what people buy most so the cycle naturally leads to less cartridges being popular over time. Those who insist on doing things differently don't care about factory rifles or readily available brass, but they also don't have any significance in the minds of rifle and ammo makers.
 

Clodo Ferreira

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By the way, I reload for my 9,3x62 60 cm (23,6") barrel lenght with 220 grs monometalic bullets and can reach 2800/2850 f/s easely with R15 and RWS/NORMA cases. Also use 250 grs TTSX, GMX and Accubonds with same cases and powder for 2650 f/s. Sane maximum loads. It is rather dificult to reach the same results with the .35 Whelen at similar presures...
 

baxterb

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I have a 9.3 but would love to have a 35 whelen only so I could load a 225 gr @ 2625 and pretend it’s the great 350 Rigby. Rigbys are not easy to afford...

I can’t say I’ve ever heard a complaint about the old 350.
 

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