My next rifle, 35 Whelen?

PHOENIX PHIL

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@NickyMaz,

The Tikka is definitely on the light side, it was designed to be. If you think it kicks in a .30-06, I had one in .300Win Mag, that really kicked. If you decide in the end to sell it, please give me first opportunity to buy it. The Tikka's are wonderfully accurate smooth rifles. Best in their price class by far in my opinion. For the non-magnum calibers, I would gladly own one. In the magnums they do get to be a bit much to handle.

Regarding muzzle brakes, yes they work and work well. I still own a 7mm Magnum in a M70 with a brake. But I'll never put one on a rifle again. The muzzle blast and impact on my ears isn't worth the trade off in recoil reduction. There are other better ways around recoil issues in my opinion.
 

cagkt3

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@NickyMaz I'm second in line behind @PHOENIX PHIL if you decide to sell the Tikka! I'm in love with .30-06's. Also agree with @375 Ruger Fan - get a suppressor if you are able to in your state. I've shot a .300 Win Mag and the suppressor took so much of the kick out that even my wife (all 5'2" 125 lbs of her) could shoot it without a single complaint. Plus you don't blow your eardrums out!
 

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Thank you for everyone's response. At this point I'm leaning away from the Whelen for several reasons; availability of both rifles & ammo (I don't handload), ballistics past 300 yards (I'm not a 'long range' hunter but I want the option to at least get out to 400 yards).

I'm going to keep my .30-06 but I think the Tikka might be a tad on the light side and that's why I'm having recoil issues. Any advice on how to remedy this?

So my next question is with a 30-06, do I need a 'medium bore' rifle? Can the '06 do what I need it to do? My concern is if I take a week or 10 days out my busy schedule and spend several thousand of my hard earned dollars on a hunt for elk, moose etc or a plains game safari I want to be certain I am going with enough gun.

Thanks.

It sounds to me like you are talking yourself right into a .338.:)

I am a huge 338 fan and believe that the 338wm is an excellent all around North America round. It has more horsepower than the 30-06 with the ability to shoot 185g up to 250g bullets. All the manufacturers make it in a variety of rifles. And a huge availability over the counter ammo. Since your recoil sensitive you will need to find a rifle that fits you well and maybe even install recoil reducers.
My WM is in a Weatherby Mark V and weighs almost 9.5 lbs loaded. I shoot 185g Barnes bullets exclusively and have taken deer, caribou, pronghorn and black bear with it and would not hesitate to shoot any thing in North America or African PG with it.

I also have a light weight 338 Federal with a 20" barrel in a custom Winchester mod 70. I shoot 210g Nosler partitions and really like it. I have taken several deer, a Kodiak Brown Bear, and took it to SA last year plains game hunting. It worked perfect. The Kudu in my avatar, blue and black wildebeests, Impala, springbok, and a jackel all fell.
The recoil of my Federal is about the same as my WM just because the Federal is in a small lightweight rifle.
But, the reality is that other than the larger bullet diameter of the 338, the 338 fed is not that much of a step up ballistically over your 30-06. On the other hand the 338wm is defiantly a full step up.

All that said, I can hardly wait to get my 35 Whelen complete:)

Good Luck and do your research. Lots of really good options out there.
 

NickyMaz

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Ok, I'm going to keep the Tikka 30-06 (sorry guys) and I can use it with 180 grain bullets for elk-size game. I think a Pachmyr recoil pad will probably help my recoil management.

Considering just going for .375 H&H for larger game. I can use it for moose/bear and it will be nice practice for my eventual trip to Africa.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
 

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All of my rifles wear pachmyer decelerators.. I swear by them...
 

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Ok, I'm going to keep the Tikka 30-06 (sorry guys) and I can use it with 180 grain bullets for elk-size game. I think a Pachmyr recoil pad will probably help my recoil management.

Considering just going for .375 H&H for larger game. I can use it for moose/bear and it will be nice practice for my eventual trip to Africa.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
I think your making a good choice. If your going to a medium bore it might as well be a 375. With a 06 and 375 you can hunt the world and the 6.5 creedmoor is one he'll of an accurate round for varmints and deer.
 

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Everyone “needs” a 30-06 IMO. It will handle 95% of what you can hunt.

My solution for the recoil of a Tikka T3 Lite in 300 Win Mag was first to add a Limbsaver pad. Improved substantially! Then a YHM Phantom with quick release brake adapter. Another substantial recoil improvement with or without the suppressor installed. Just noisy without.Finally a Bell & Carlson stock with Pachmeyer pad. I’m done. Still weighs less than my Remington 30-06 and recoils much less.

If you sell your 30-06, IMO you will wish you hadn’t once you’ve worked your way up the recoil ladder. It just takes a little effort and time to work your way to heavier recoil. Try some of the Remington light recoiling ammo. Use lighter bullet loadings. Once comfortable, move up to 150 or 165 grain, then 180, and finally 200. Don’t rush yourself. It will come.

And as has been said, shoot off sticks! You’ll need to learn this before going to Africa anyway.

Best of luck!
 

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Don't be scared of the 35 Whelen. It hits considerably harder than a 30-06, not as hard as a 338Win Mag but puts a bigger hole in the animal.

Stay away from the Ruger No 1 if recoil sensitive. The stock shape and material has more to do with felt recoil than slight differences in weight. Example. My Rem 700 375H&H weights slightly more than 2lbs less then the CZ550 in the same calibre and the felt recoil is way less. The shity plastic stock absorbs recoil, both grouped about the same. Also the shape of the stock on my Steyr Scout in 308 seems to tame the recoil better then the stock on my Rem 788.

A 225grain bullet if sighted 2" high will be about 10" low at 300mts and from memory mine was about 25 or 26" low at 400mts and several feet at 500mts.
 

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Greetings,

I am thinking about my next rifle. I currently have a .30-06 Tikka T3 and I just got a Kimber in 6.5 Creedmore. The Kimber is a sweet little rifle and I can't wait to take it out to the range. My thinking is to use the 6.5 for deer size game, but I want a rifle for larger creatures; elk, moose etc (and eventually kudu, eland). I am 'man enough' to admit I am recoil sensitive. I have gotten better dealing with the recoil from my '06 but I think I'm going to have a challenge with anything that kicks harder than that.

I have seen many folks extolling the virtues of the 35 Whelen and I like what I hear; 200+ grain bullets with good energy with manageable recoil. My concerns are that is doesn't have great ballistics past 200-300 yards and there seem to be few rifles offered in this caliber, it's either Remington 700 or a Ruger No 1. I'm concerned over Remington's spotting reputation for quality, the Ruger is a handsome rifle too.

Also, I think I might sell the .30-06. It's a bit too much recoil for a deer rifle but not powerful enough for the larger game. I think the '06 is in many ways the 'jack of all trades, master of none' rifle, if you're going to have just one hunting rifle the '06 is it, but if you're going to several (and why not have several), you really don't need one.

What do you think? Should I go for the Whelen? Remington or Ruger? Am I completely off my rocker on the 30-06?
Lots of good advice on this thread. I have both a .35W and. 30-06. I like them both but do feel the 35 has more to offer. Took mine to Namibia last year and it performed well. Nosler Accubonds pushed hard and sighted in for 200 drop about 7" at 300, and 19" at 400. Nosler sells rifles in .35W. Their Heritage is very nice for under $2000.
Have a mercury recoil reducer installed (your 30-06 will benefit as well) and shoot lots.
 

Art Lambart II

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I highly recommend the 35 Whelen, it's my go to rifle for everything except 4 of the Big 5, the Whelen makes an outstanding Leopard gun. If your looking for a new bolt gun in 35 Whelen look at the "Nosler M48 Outfitter", as for ammo that's not really a problem as long as "Midway" is still in business you'll be able to get quality factory ammo for the Whelen. Barnes, Federal, Hornady, Nosler and Remington all load ammo for the 35 Whelen, I'm a personal fan of the 250 grain Nosler Partition, it was deadly in Africa and is also a great hog stopper. As for long range shooting don't be afraid of the 35 Whelen, in Africa our PH's challenged my brother and I to a 300 yard shooting contest, they used a .243 and a .270 my brother and I used our 35 Whelens. When the dust settled and the smoke cleared my brother and I beat those two young PH's easily. My brother is a good shot but he had never shot at anything past 100 yards so asking him to shoot targets at 200 and 300 yards was really testing his abilities.

Befor you make up your mind please follow the attached link, its the best thing I have ever read on the 35 Whelen.

http://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/.35+Whelen.html
 

sgt_zim

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Greetings,

I am thinking about my next rifle. I currently have a .30-06 Tikka T3 and I just got a Kimber in 6.5 Creedmore. The Kimber is a sweet little rifle and I can't wait to take it out to the range. My thinking is to use the 6.5 for deer size game, but I want a rifle for larger creatures; elk, moose etc (and eventually kudu, eland). I am 'man enough' to admit I am recoil sensitive. I have gotten better dealing with the recoil from my '06 but I think I'm going to have a challenge with anything that kicks harder than that.

I have seen many folks extolling the virtues of the 35 Whelen and I like what I hear; 200+ grain bullets with good energy with manageable recoil. My concerns are that is doesn't have great ballistics past 200-300 yards and there seem to be few rifles offered in this caliber, it's either Remington 700 or a Ruger No 1. I'm concerned over Remington's spotting reputation for quality, the Ruger is a handsome rifle too.

Also, I think I might sell the .30-06. It's a bit too much recoil for a deer rifle but not powerful enough for the larger game. I think the '06 is in many ways the 'jack of all trades, master of none' rifle, if you're going to have just one hunting rifle the '06 is it, but if you're going to several (and why not have several), you really don't need one.

What do you think? Should I go for the Whelen? Remington or Ruger? Am I completely off my rocker on the 30-06?

Buy a Savage, or another Tikka, in 30-06 and just get a new barrel for it in 35 Whelen.
 

sestoppelman

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All of my rifles wear pachmyer decelerators.. I swear by them...
I don't always wear a recoil pad, but when I do I chose the Pachmayr Decelerator, stay painless my friends.
 

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Thank you for everyone's response. At this point I'm leaning away from the Whelen for several reasons; availability of both rifles & ammo (I don't handload), ballistics past 300 yards (I'm not a 'long range' hunter but I want the option to at least get out to 400 yards).

I'm going to keep my .30-06 but I think the Tikka might be a tad on the light side and that's why I'm having recoil issues. Any advice on how to remedy this?

So my next question is with a 30-06, do I need a 'medium bore' rifle? Can the '06 do what I need it to do? My concern is if I take a week or 10 days out my busy schedule and spend several thousand of my hard earned dollars on a hunt for elk, moose etc or a plains game safari I want to be certain I am going with enough gun.

Thanks.

IMO, the 30-06 is probably the best all-round cartridge in existence. a 6.5 or 7mm Rem mag or 280 Rem would be flatter-shooting, at the expense of being able to shoot 200 or even 220 grain bullets like you could with the 30-06.

300 Win mag is flatter shooting with those heavier bullets, but at the cost of more expensive ammo and generally shorter barrel life. not to mention the recoil.

a 338 win mag would give you better performance past 300 yards, with a heavier bullet, than a 30-06, but if you aren't practicing shooting past 300 yards, that extra reach doesn't do much for you. you might do fine at 200 yards, but if you're making small mistakes at 200, you might not notice them on the target. but at 300 or beyond, those little, un-noticeable mistakes at 200 become glaring at a quarter mile.

i wouldn't hunt brown bear with a 30-06, at least not intentionally, but with the right bullet, it is more than adequate out to 300 yards for anything else in North America, including moose. I know a guy in BC that takes a shiras moose every year with a 6.5-284. Another buddy recently shot a nice 6x6 bull elk with 180 gr 30-06 from about 250 yards.

If I could have only 1 rifle, I'd get rid of everything I have and buy a 30-06.
 

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@NickyMaz - I've had chats with more than a few PHs about my rifle selection when I go over there. Every one I've talked to has said my 6.5x55 Swedish mauser, with either 143 gr or 156 gr bullets, is sufficient for all PG smaller than eland. Lots of guys here have taken 7x57 mausers (ballisticaly almost an identical twin of 7mm-08), 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, and 280 Remington. Craig Boddington, author of Safari Rifles and Safari Rifles II, has used a .264 Win Mag on gemsbok (there's a video of it on youtube). Another youtuber, Keith Warren, has taken a black wildebeest from about 400 yards with a .270 (video of it on youtube also). He also shot a nice kudu bull, a red hartebeest, and a couple others. As I recall, he was using 140 gr bullets. Matt Dubber, yet another youtuber, has used his 260 Remington (same bullet as my 6.5x55, but in a 51 mm case instead of a 55 mm case like my rifle) to take any number of PG.

There are a lot of ranches and concessions over there where you won't even have an opportunity to shoot further than 100-150 yards because of the dense brush. 30-06 has been one of the most popular PG cartridges in Africa for a century now, ever since there was any such thing as a 30-06.

For moose, I said above that I would use a 30-06 for moose, and I would. BUT, I would prefer to take something bigger to Alaska or Canada on the off chance that I might have to deal with a brown bear, especially if I'm on a DIY hunt with a buddy. A 35 Whelen would be an excellent choice in that environment.

I haven't read the entire thread, so I don't know if anyone has brought it up, but a 35 Whelen 250 gr is pretty close to a 9.3x62 286 gr, which isn't too far behind a 375 H&H Magnum 300 gr. 35 Whelen *almost* puts you in reach of being able to hunt DG. They're that potent.
 

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And 10 o'clock is pretty close to 11 which is pretty close to 1130 which is dang close to Noon!! Hey look, its lunch time!! LOL.
 

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And 10 o'clock is pretty close to 11 which is pretty close to 1130 which is dang close to Noon!! Hey look, its lunch time!! LOL.
Except in this case, it would be about a quarter of noon with the 35 Whelen.
 

sestoppelman

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I have both the Whelen, the 9.3's and a .375 mag. I agree there isn't that much real world difference between the Whelen and the 9.3 but the 9.3 still does show some advantage, especially with the heavier bullet capability. Many claim they can get the 9.3x62 over 4000 lbs. of energy but I have never tried. About the best one might do with the Whelen might be close to 3700, maybe, but never tried that either. The .375 if loaded right can go over 4500 lbs. of energy, some claim even more but again, never tried. All are great rounds. I have taken the 9.3 to Africa twice and hunted here with the Whelen but never scored with one. My .375 Whitworth followed me to Africa for my first 3 trips and accounted for some great shots and dumped my second buffalo with one shot at over 140 yards. Still have it. I should give it one more trip before it and I retire from hunting.
 

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I built 2 Whelens, but both of mine are the AI version. No reason for it other than the guy doing the work had the reamer already. I like that I can use 357 revolver bullets for plinking loads, and there are many cast bullet molds available for economical full power practice. The AI version is right with the 9.3 with the available modern powders like RL-17, but that wasn't even a consideration for me. With either of those, I don't think you could go wrong, unless the caliber restriction of where you are hunting dictates the 9.3. Some day I'll probably have a 9.3 or a 375 to play with, just to say I have one.
 

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I am not sure if I have mentioned it without going back through the whole thread but Woodleigh do a 275 and 310 grain bullet in 358. Stick the 310 in a Whelen and you have the same performance Taylor spoke of with the 350 Rigby.
 

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