View Full Version : Fresh start with 35 Whelen
05-13-2005, 04:05 PM
Just finished up the 35 Whelen rifle that started as a 98/22 mauser last year. After I got it back from the gunsmith with a new Douglas bbl 1-14 twist all I had to do was stock it, put sights on, and a Bold trigger. That wasn't too hard till I tried my sight combo out. I had a Lyman reciever sight already on the action when it was a 8MM. I have a nice globe from a Anschutz 22 that I planned on using but there was no way I could get it mounted low enough, it ended up shooting about a foot low at a 100 with the rear cranked up as high as it will go. I ended up with a 17a Lyman on a .250 ramp and I could probley use a .100 ramp to keep the line of sight lower yet. When I shot it for the first time it showed promise even though the stock wasn't bedded proper and the trigger needed adjusted bad. Well I took care of that this past week with some fiberglass, trigger adjustment, and aforementioned front sight from Midway. I have the loan of a 358009 mold and my own 250 gr Saeco mold so Boolits were no trouble. I cast up some of each and sized them at .360 with some FWFL. Since I had already tried WC820 I went to WC844 for this test. Loaded 10 of each boolit with 31, 32, 33, and 34 gr. All are a ways below max for that wt boolit [ I like wimp loads since I've got older }. The 32 gr load appeared to shoot the best with the 280gr . The 250 Seaco wasn't as good but started shrinking at 34gr. I have a purty good assortment of surplus powders to play with so I'll be busy for a while. Thinking of trying some dacron with the WC844 next. Gonna try to post the target here if it works.
05-13-2005, 04:08 PM
I guess it did work, twice. Sorry about that.
05-13-2005, 07:44 PM
PB - I'm glad you are enjoying your .35 Whelen. I will put in a word of advise though, for anyone else wanting to build a .35 cal. cast bullet rifle. The .358 Winchester will put you up to the maximum velocities you want to use with this bore, using cast bullets. After looking at the speed shuz ansdPilgrim used on moose from thier Whelens, it is apparent the same velocities can be reached with the smaller case, with very good accuracy.,
Ballistics in Scotland
05-13-2005, 08:16 PM
If you would like a rifle for use almost entirely with cast, and without ever having recourse to factory ammunition, there is sometimes something to be said for using Whelen cases in the .358 die, and a separate neck reamer to extend the neck. You would end up with a case with a peculiarly long neck. It would cover the long bearing surface of a nicely-shaped cast bullet.
05-13-2005, 08:49 PM
B in S--
Sounds like "The 25-20 From Hell, Done Rimless".
05-13-2005, 10:07 PM
I did consider the 358 Win as the other 35 cal but since I had the longer Mauser action or a Springfield action available to work with I figured the longer case would be better suited. My need for speed days are long gone and the higher pressure capability's of a 358 case were not needed. Over 30 yrs ago I had a 03 rebarreled with a heavy match grade bbl chambered for 308 Win and 1-12 twist for DCM games. Very accurate but didn't feed all that well in the rapid fire segment. Ended up rechambering to 30-06 to correct that. After a while I got away from that game and retired the rifle to the back of the closet. Dug it out a few yrs ago when I got involved in some local CB matches and found it was a real winner with cast boolits. Before that I never got that heavy into cast, but shot just about the same or a little more with the other kind of bullets. Now my eyes have seen the light and I don't think I've fired more then a couple of hundred of J*** bullets in the last yr or two compared to hundreds of pounds of lead from numerous rifles and pistols and enjoying it immensely. From lurking on the old Shooters forum and others, and reading all of this groups collective wisdom has made me into a castoholic if that's a word. Like the saying says," Too many guns and not enough time". I do think I will devote a good bit of time this summer to the Whelen, I really like it.
05-14-2005, 04:36 AM
PB ..... Glad to hear about your success with the Whelen. I've thought of going the same route but can't quite convince myself to chop up my 03-A3. Its the first rifle my Dad gave me close to 45 years ago. Still shoots like a dream with cast or jacketed. I'll just have to find another action one of these days. I just love big bullets.
05-14-2005, 05:02 AM
Nighthunter, when I did mine I found a mildly used (one time for an elk hunt - he got his elk, too) WalMart special 700 ADL 30-06 at a swap meet. It came cheap enough to be worth it. It's now got a 14 twist Shilen and a Simmons Atec scope and does VERY fine at 200 with 358009I. I'm thinking about a Carbolite stock since I like them so well - one of these days. I would not sacrifice a working 03A3. sundog
05-14-2005, 05:19 AM
I've thought of going the same route but can't quite convince myself to chop up my 03-A3. Its the first rifle my Dad gave me close to 45 years ago. Still shoots like a dream with cast or jacketed. I'll just have to find another action one of these days. I just love big bullets.
Yep. From my experience, there are more bench friendly calibers for killing paper. But if you value hunting and want to do it with cast, don't EVER get a 35 rifle. Once you do, all your other guns .... lose a little luster.
I also get a warm fuzzy feeling when someone mentions the .358 Winchester. I have 2 and need one or two more to rest peaceablely:-). -JDL
05-14-2005, 08:40 AM
If reworking an existing rifle to 35 Whelen is a tough call for you, might I suggest the Tikka or CZ-550 in 9.3 x 62? The more I use this caliber, the more impressed I am with its capabilities--and Bass is absolutely correct, once you begin working with these medium bores, a lot of other game calibers really lose their luster.
No doubt about it--full value loads are NO FUN from the bench, but the caliber is pretty pleasant with the 270 grain castings and 18.0-22.0 grains of 2400. The latter load runs about 1700 FPS, so you're in the 38-55 ballpark at that level.
05-14-2005, 09:18 AM
PB I recently did the same thing starting with a 98/22 and building a 35 Whelen. Mine was barreled by Harry McGowen. I had McGowen add iron sights off a Remington take-off and took the barreled action directly to Timneyâ€™s factory for the trigger. It was my first attempt at stocking a rifle and I wound up cracking it around the 90th shot. A short time later I had carpel tunnel surgery so I put the project on hold. I was absolutely impressed with the group size, the first few shots were a little scattered but by the fifth round I was stunned, couldnâ€™t believe I could shoot that good at 200 yards, with factory ammo and an old Weaver 4 power scope no less. I was just starting to work up the perfect load when the stock cracked. Some issues with my health are keeping me from hunting big game this year. Iâ€™m hoping by next year to have the stock repaired or replaced and to take an Elk with it. Now that Iâ€™ve matured out of that dreaded ego driven shooting disease, magnumitus Iâ€™m sold on the Whelen.
05-14-2005, 09:30 AM
AzRedneck---Magnumitus doesnt make sense to me. If you think you need more than a 30-06 get a bigger bullet. More .30 cal velocity doesn't make sense---does it help that you shoot through them further? If more needed a .35 Whelen being a bigger bullet does make sense.
05-14-2005, 10:52 AM
Carpetman, magnumitus doesn't make sense to me either, but in my younger days I was driven by the same ego that during my teen years caused me to stick a fortune in my 57 Chevy to attain as much horsepower as I could. Took me two years to destroy the car, I'm lucky to be alive but man did I think I was hot manure. Today I consider myself fortunate that a judge restricted my driving when I was 17.
I had my magnumitus cured many years ago. I had a 308 Norma, despite the warnings I looked at a loading manual and started up from max loads. I had it sighted in for a 350 yard zero with a 4-12 power scope. Taking the rifle to the field with the scope cranked up all the way I stumbled upon a deer about 15 feet in front of me and missed it. Donâ€™t know if I shot over or under, just remember seeing the deers butt running away. My two friends on the hunt, one with an old Revelation Western Auto 30/30 and the other with a half-assed sportarized Spanish Mauser got their kills. I came home empty handed and with a deflated ego. The following year I took a deer in the same area with an iron sighted Marlin 30/30.
I saw myself in a younger guy apx 6-7 years ago. There were about a dozen of us that showed up for a Javelina hunt. He showed up with a 338 Browning BAR hand loaded with heavy Nosler slugs . I helped him clean his gut shot pig he got at about 50 yards, you can imagine the mess. I think he learned his lesson, he told me next year he would bring a M1 Carbine, the choice of a rather wealthy member of our hunting party that could have easily afforded anything. Never did hunt with him again, hopefully he was cured.
I think the magnumitus and bigger is better is prompted by the gun rags to encourage rifle and scope sales with tales of 400 yard one-shot kills. If the gun rags published a â€œThe Ones That Got Away Woundedâ€ it would likely slow sales of over-kill calibers and hunting rifles.
05-14-2005, 04:45 PM
Bass Akward .... A 35 caliber has been a dream of mine for many years. When I say I like big bullets it is from experience. I have 2 45-70's now . A Ruger #1 and a custom on a Siamese mauser. I've taken more than a few deer with both rifles and the Lyman 330 gr 457122 HP. I recently got a Mountain Mold 440 gr GC with 70% meplat that I'm waiting to try out ( I have a broken shoulder and the Doc says no rifles till August or September ). Big slow bullets have taken an awful lot of game in the last 120 or so years and they will continue to take game for a lot more years. Who brought up this Whelen subject anyhow? My wife can sense that I'm getting into one of them gun buying moods. I just wanna be able to tell her who's fault it is .
Where in Washington Pa are you located. Do you remember the Brockway Glass Plants?
05-14-2005, 06:34 PM
Bass Akward .... A 35 caliber has been a dream of mine for many years. When I say I like big bullets it is from experience. I have 2 45-70's now .
Where in Washington Pa are you located. Do you remember the Brockway Glass Plants? Nigghthunter
I used to fish up your way plenty. No. I don't remember the Brockway Glass plants, but I hear about them all the time. My mom and dad both worked at the No 2 plant and that is where they met. So I hear the story again and again.
Well, I can understand how you feel. I have two 458 X 2s and have had at least one continuously since the 70s. But I just had to try a 35 myself.
Dreams are good to have unless they involve guns. Then they should be made reality. Especially a 35. Life is jsut too short. Take the plunge and then try hunting with cast. You just might shuck lose of one of those 45-70s to balance the inventory.
05-14-2005, 06:42 PM
Those little .35 are fun BUT, I still like my .44-40 and .45-70, a 310grgc in the .44-40 at 1350fps or a 230hpgc at 1650fps and a 405gr gc at 1800fps or a 500gr 3R gc at 1600fps in the .45-70seems to do what I need.
The last javalina I shot , I hit it at the last rib on the right, it went through the liver, one lung, the heart, hit the spine at the shoulder , went along the spine and out the left side of the face, just a plain ole 200gr factory .44-40 at 1230 fps, wasted about 1 cup of meat, mostly the heart.
Little varmint went a whole 3 or 4 '.
PB Head--What kinda velocity were you achieving with these dandy groups?
Got any surplus WC852 to try?
05-15-2005, 09:51 PM
Shuz, don't know what speed I get with any of my light loads. My speed-o-meter hasn't worked in 2 yrs ever since it got caught in a drizzle. The way I load I shouldn't have to worry about overloading any cast rifle ammo, I am very conservative. Like someone here said a while back " they are looking for a load where they can pick the spent boolit out of the cello-tex backer". I do have 3 jugs of WC852, one slow, one medium, and one fast speed. The fast speed is suppose to be 4895 rate but the only thing that has liked it so far is the K31 with Seaco #315. The slow and medium speeds work for almost everything I try them in. WC852 medium is the next powder I planned on trying in the Whelen after I ck out dacron with 844. I'm open to any suggestions anyone may have. I see Jeff recommends magnum primers with 852, but so far I haven't tried them, mainly because I have none on hand. I thought about a stout load with that heavy Lyman boolit in the Whelen just to see what it would feel like. Can not be that bad, at one time yrs ago I had a 458 Win that I shot with a 500gr GC and max load of 4895 which if I remember right was 74gr. It was a thumper but also quite accurate. I was also a lot younger then.
PB Head--I see you are from McKeesport! I haven't been there in 45 years. With most of the Pgh mills defunct now, I guess the place has changed a lot. Keeping on topic, I used to buy my reloading stuff from Esman's in Turtle Creek, or maybe it was Pitcairn?
I've settled on AA4064 in my 35 Whelen (1:12 twist) with the 358009.
05-16-2005, 09:03 PM
Shuz, I used to buy at Esmans in Turtle creek during the 60's, then they moved to Pitcairn around 1970 I think. After the owner passed on Jerry that use to be the optics man took over until he shut it down 4 or 5 yrs ago. Another shop was Sol's in Homestead, between the two of them there wasn't much in the way of reloading supply's that wasn't always on stock. I think the big mail order House's did all the home town shops in. I can remember buying a Leupold 3-9 scope at Esmans around 1965 for the sum of $62.50. I also remember buying Lyman moulds for well under $10 and I still have the box a Redfield big bore front globe with all the metal and plastic inserts in a long sleeve. It's marked $14.95. My Buddy and I would go to the gun shows in Greensburg at the Mountain View Inn and stop at Esmans on the way back to stock up on primers and powder. Did you ever go to S&D Bookstore in Indiana? They always had a lot of goodies, like I remember hundreds of G33-40 mausers dumped on the floor of a garage, take your pick $36 apiece. Springfield Sporters wire brushed them, blued them and sold them for $40. You had to sort over them to find the ones with an original hollow bolt handle. Back to the thread, I do hear tell that IMR4064 is the powder of choice for J*** bullets in the Whelen so it stands to reason it will work well with cast also.
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