35 Whelen

RStien321

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So the .35 Whelen has been a cartridge that’s interested me since returning from my first safari in the bushveld. I was curious if anyone has tried the 280 grain a frame that’s available? It seems like it would be an absolute hammer, but almost boardering on overkill for the case capacity since the 250 seems to cap out around 2600fps.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated!
 

RStien321

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Thanks Nosler guy. That was my main concern. I love heavy for caliber bullets, but I don’t know if the extra penetration gained is purely diminishing returns at 280.
 

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I am with you on "heavy for caliber bullets" - usually extremely effective in hunting situations - really don't understand the new thinking / fad towards light weight bullets at hyper velocities. I understand that with some of the mono metal bullets that velocity is a requirement for proper performance and expansion, but in hunting scenarios I still think there are better options
 

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I'm a huge fan of the 35 Whelen and I used it on my last safari in SA. I don't really see the need for the 280 grain unless you are trying to hunt DG which is illegal with the 35 Whelen unless it's Mr. Spots. IMO the 35 Whelen and 250 grain NP is ideal for African PG and Mr Spots. As far as long range shooting goes, on my last safari our PH's wanted to have a shooting contest out to 300 yards, they used a 270 and a 243 I used my Whelen. From shooting blue rock at 100 yards to 8" gongs at 300 the Whelen and I never missed, those PH's with their high velocity, flat shooting rifles can't say the same thing.
 

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My Remington BDL get the best groups with a 225g bullet either with 57g of RL15 or 59g of Win748and get a touch over 2500fps, I tried both lighter and heavier bullets but always come back to the 225.
 

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280 gr .358 will be in the same territory as a 9.3x62 launching a 286. Nothing to sneeze at with a bullet that heavy at 2300 fps. It will probably have a slightly higher SD than a 286 gr .366 bullet, too.

My one and only gripe about 35 W is it would have to be a project gun (I'm a lefty and want a bolt, as much as I love Ruger #1), and if I am going to spend money on a project gun right now, it's going to make a bigger hole than .358.

Doesn't mean I won't do one in the future, but I do already have a 9.3x62 LH that wasn't a project gun.
 
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sgt_zim

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I'm a huge fan of the 35 Whelen and I used it on my last safari in SA. I don't really see the need for the 280 grain unless you are trying to hunt DG which is illegal with the 35 Whelen unless it's Mr. Spots. IMO the 35 Whelen and 250 grain NP is ideal for African PG and Mr Spots. As far as long range shooting goes, on my last safari our PH's wanted to have a shooting contest out to 300 yards, they used a 270 and a 243 I used my Whelen. From shooting blue rock at 100 yards to 8" gongs at 300 the Whelen and I never missed, those PH's with their high velocity, flat shooting rifles can't say the same thing.

"A gun is a tool. I am the weapon." ;)

You and I have chatted enough for you to know I'me not much into the whiz-bang, lighting fast cartridges, either. My 6.5x55 Tikka is the fastest-shooter I own.
 

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250 is as heavy as I feel the need to go in the 35 Whelen. If I need a heavier Bullet, I'll go to a .375 of larger caliber.
 

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"A gun is a tool. I am the weapon." ;)

You and I have chatted enough for you to know I'me not much into the whiz-bang, lighting fast cartridges, either. My 6.5x55 Tikka is the fastest-shooter I own.

My father @Shootist43 is the 6.5x55 fan, I'm the Whelen fan. Many people today think you need velocity to shoot long range and that's just not the case. I did have 30 years more shooting experiences than those PH's in my story but I also knew how to use my rifle. My brother also used a 35 Whelen in that same shooting competition and he only missed one target a 300 yard gong. If you use a 250 grain NP or a 225 grain Accubond the 35 Whelen is a capable 300 yard cartridge.
 

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My father @Shootist43If you use a 250 grain NP or a 225 grain Accubond the 35 Whelen is a capable 300 yard cartridge.

+1

My wife’s 35 Whelen is capable of keeping sub MOA groups at 200 using Barnes 200gr ttsx... I don’t think a 300 yard shot with it would present any problem at all...
 

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I'm taking my 35Whelen to Africa for the second time in just over 3 weeks. I shoot a 225 Gr. Barnes over 59 Gr. of IMR 4064 out of a 25 " barrel. Barnes says it is good for 2800 FPS, but I've never chronographed it. All of the PG taken wit it on my first safari were one shot kills. The furthest we had to track anything was 40 yards. Most were DRT and no tracking was required.
 

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The .35W is a great round but I don't think its enough case to drive a 225 to 2800 fps within safe pressure limits. That would yield over 3900 ft/lbs of energy which is .338 WIn mag territory, or even low end .375 mag. My Barnes manual says with 24" test barrel, 59 grs of 4064 runs to 2700 fps. Even that will give nearly 3700 ft/lbs of ME, which is a lot out of an '06 case. Unless you have a really "fast" barrel I suspect your load over the clock is probably under 2700 fps, but you wont know if you don't chrono it. You should do that, I would be interested in what the clock says.
 

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I use Speer 225s for practice and get 2510 and 2517fps depending on whether I use RL15 and Win 748, I could squeeze more fps but I'm interested in accuracy
 

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Our Whelen in 700 Remington Classic handles pressures better than our other two on Mauser actions. Our top end load for that rifle - using 4064, (with pressures that are getting to the edge of my comfort level) pushes 250gr bullets chronographed at 2570. Have backed off a grain for my hunting loads, not worth having trouble just trying to gain a few fps. Have never bothered checking any 225 gr loads over the chronograph.
 

metricman

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So the .35 Whelen has been a cartridge that’s interested me since returning from my first safari in the bushveld. I was curious if anyone has tried the 280 grain a frame that’s available? It seems like it would be an absolute hammer, but almost boardering on overkill for the case capacity since the 250 seems to cap out around 2600fps.

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated!

i believe i have read that the factory barrels have a rather slow twist. you might want to check whether the twist rate of your barrel will stabilize the 280's.
 

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My father @Shootist43 is the 6.5x55 fan, I'm the Whelen fan. Many people today think you need velocity to shoot long range and that's just not the case. I did have 30 years more shooting experiences than those PH's in my story but I also knew how to use my rifle. My brother also used a 35 Whelen in that same shooting competition and he only missed one target a 300 yard gong. If you use a 250 grain NP or a 225 grain Accubond the 35 Whelen is a capable 300 yard cartridge.

Woops. Never seemed to notice the "II" behind your name. Your dad did his best to talk me into a 35W, but my only options were buying LH 30-06 and re-barreling, or a Ruger#1. So I got a factory LH 9.3x62
 

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I use Speer 250gr HCSP in my Rem 700 Whelen for non open areas that I hunt. I have them travelling around 2450fps. Really loves them.
More open areas I use IMR 4895 & Sierra 225gr Spitzer's. 5 shot groups at 100yds are 0.75". I tried a 10 shot string as well and it measured 1.75". 200yds was a 5 shot 3.20" group. Interested to see what happens at 300yds. Have to try that this weekend.
 

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I have shot a couple dozen elk and moose with my .35 Whelens and mostly 250 grain bullets. Never used one on African game, but for animals the size of Kudu or Gemsbok or Zebra I can't see a need or a real use for a heavier bullet. The 250 grain at 2500 fps from my rifles is always effective and with tough bullets I usually get exits even after breaking humerus or scapula. I have had especially good results with the old Speer grand slam, but even lowly Hornady sp interlock work well at the Whelen's velocity. Full penetration to the far side of big critters. Not sure how a heavier 280 gr. A-Frame would work better? I don't like most bullets lighter than 250 gr. in the Whelen. I have had poor results with the Sierra 225, erratic expansion. 200 gr. Rem and Hornady bullets expand too quickly and penetration suffers. Good "deer" sized bullets though. Barnes TSX 225's are a reasonable choice if looking for a little more speed with good penetration. One bull elk I shot with Federal factory loaded TTBC 225 gr. had both humerus bones in the shoulders crushed and the bullet exited. Vitals were mush. That seems like a good load.
 

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