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Thread: Best barrel length and twist for 35 whelen

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    Best barrel length and twist for 35 whelen

    Hello all! I'm decided on converting my Savage 110 to a 35 whelen from the 30-06 it presently is. That said, I have been lurking around on forums, and shopping around for a barrel from the usual suspects, er shaw, shilen, green mountain, etc. My question is about twist and length. I intend to use 158 grn pistol bullets for goofing around with and at least 225 grn cast or jacketed for big game hunting. I have my eyes on 20-24" barrels, would I be losing to go shorter? I also am seeing a lot of 1 in 14" twist barrels out there and these look like they should stabilize up to 250 grn ok, but 1 in 12" might be better. Will the 1 in 12" twist destroy a pistol bullet at some decent velocity?

    So, there are my questions and musings, look forward to your wisdom...
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Standard .35 Whelen throat is a bit long for best accuracy with pistol bullets. If you want to shoot 158-grain pistol bullets then you want a short throat like a .35 Remington with 16" twist. Standard .35 Whelen throat is best with 200-250-grain bullets. A 14" twist will stabilize up to 300-grain cast if supersonic. Use a 12" twist to shoot 300-grain cast subsonic.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-22-2018 at 05:17 PM.
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    Boolit Master
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    For what it is worth, the Remington 700 Classic produced in the 1990's or so, had a 1-16 twist. I still have mine. It shoots jacked bullets well up to 250 Speer and I had LBT make a 275gr bullet that could be driven to full power and shot wonderfully. The cast 275 was my elk hunting load. It was a hammer as were the jacketed loads.
    If cast bullets are on the list to be used, the faster twists may not be your friend. Your choice, with 1-16 being more than enough.
    Chill Wills

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    Boolit Buddy
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    Not an exact answer to your query, but here was my experience:

    Remington 660, .350RM (same case capacity as the .35Whelen).

    Twist rate 1:16"

    ----------

    158gr Winchester JHP, 2500 fps, 0.8" avg (3-shot groups) @ 50 yds
    (about the best that could be expected from those bullets, in other experience with them)

    158gr Winchester JHP, subsonic; 0.7" avg @ 50 yds

    158gr Hornady XTP, subsonic; mediocre accuracy

    180gr Hornady XTP, subsonic; excellent accuracy, delivering /many/ 0.35" - 0.4" 3-shot groups at 50 yds.

    Hope this helps,

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    adcoch1 note that the .350 Remington Mag. Rem. 660 that Kestrel4K mentions above does have a SHORT throat like the .35 Remington and slow twist well suited for the light pistol bullets and shows type of accuracy what can be expected.

    With a typical longer .35 Whelen throat the bases of 158-grain pistol bullets clear the case mouth before their forepart begins to engage the rifling. This is not a favorable condition if you expect good accuracy with the short pistol bullets.
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    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    Yeah I've been looking into the throat length issue, the pistol bullet is more of a hope I can make it work. I don't want to compromise the big bullet usability to accommodate the pistol bullets, so they are definitely a secondary use. I guess I'll try them out once I have a barrel.
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

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    24" and 1:14, unless you plan to shoot predominantly cast, then 1:16.

    158 grs AND 225 grs aren't going to both shoot equally well from the same barrel. With the Whelen, I would definitely bias towards 225 -250 grs.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPRNY View Post
    24" and 1:14, unless you plan to shoot predominantly cast, then 1:16.

    158 grs AND 225 grs aren't going to both shoot equally well from the same barrel. With the Whelen, I would definitely bias towards 225 -250 grs.
    Thanks for the comments, I may just skip the pistol bullets... Still want to run 225-250s for elk and bear.
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

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    Quote Originally Posted by adcoch1 View Post
    Thanks for the comments, I may just skip the pistol bullets... Still want to run 225-250s for elk and bear.
    Great choice. I have a 35 Krag which is fantastic, but it's 35 Whelen light. The full Monte is a serious cartridge.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    I had a 35 Whelen Improved built on a FN commercial action in the early 80’s.
    Bbl is 24 “ ROT is 1 in 14 .
    Shoots 250gr Speer spritzers @ 2622 FPS with 50.0gr IMR4064 and puts 5 of them into a inch @ 100yds.
    Barnes Original 300gr do 2453fps with 61:5gr IMR 4350 and will put 5rds into 1and 3/8 @100.
    My idea for having it built was to launch heavier bullets at larger critters . it has been my most favorite elk rifle since the day it was made .
    If I could only ever have but one rifle this is the one .
    Other than fireforming cases for it (the much recommended Improved
    version needs fireformed to blow the taper out of the case and move the shoulder forward) I have never fired anything lighter than 250gr .
    I have a 375 H&H and out to 300yds , I believe that my Whelen is its equal .
    Edit , that load for the Speer 250 gr should read 59.0gr of 4064
    Last edited by umwminer; 01-25-2018 at 09:43 PM.

  11. #11
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    The 16" twist in a 26" (24" minimum) length barrel will give you all you ask for and then some.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  12. #12
    Boolit Man kaiser's Avatar
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    I have a 7600 Rem with a 1:16 twist and a Mark X with a 1:14 twist. I have not shot many reduced loads with 158gr (.357 diameter) bullets, but cannot tell much difference in accuracy of either rifle with 180 to 250gr bullets. I have noticed that the 7600 has a pretty good "jump" to the rifling compared to the Mark X and is usually 50 to 100fps slower with most loads. The Mark X has a 23.6" (custom BBL), where as the 7600's is 22"; this barrel length and difference in chamber probably has the biggest effect with this range of bullets. Considering that a .358 Norma Magnum is normally built with a 1:12 twist, I don't believe this twist is really useful until 300+ grain bullets are utilized; and then, only when driven at the "right speed". BTW, most .358 Norma users report (from what I've read) poor accuracy with 180gr bullets above 2900fps because of their fast twist, which a "standard" Whelen can match in most rifles available in 1:16 or 1:14.

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    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by adcoch1 View Post
    Thanks for the comments, I may just skip the pistol bullets... Still want to run 225-250s for elk and bear.
    BTW, there are very very few resources posted online with regards to /reduced loads/ with the 0.358" jacketed pistol bullets in the .35Whelen; this thread is one of the few available:

    https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbth...umber/9890256/

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    Thank you kestrel4k
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

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    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Let JES rebore the 30-06 barrel to 35 Whelen for $250 and be done and happy with it. My .02.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Let JES rebore the 30-06 barrel to 35 Whelen for $250 and be done and happy with it. My .02.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    I would do just that, but the 20" carbine barrel on that rifle is what I'm trying to get away from. I cand get 5/8" threads on the end of it, let alone a shoulder, because its so thin. I kinda want some more barrel to work with, both length and diameter, so I can thread the barrel for a suppressor if I get that far. We'll see...
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I get it.

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    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by adcoch1 View Post
    I would do just that, but the 20" carbine barrel on that rifle is what I'm trying to get away from. I cand get 5/8" threads on the end of it, let alone a shoulder, because its so thin. I kinda want some more barrel to work with, both length and diameter, so I can thread the barrel for a suppressor if I get that far. We'll see...
    I think you are on the right track. There is just something right about having a 35 Whelen as a choice when hunting. It does a lot of things right. Mine is one of last of my rifles I would part with.
    Chill Wills

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by adcoch1 View Post
    I would do just that, but the 20" carbine barrel on that rifle is what I'm trying to get away from. I cand get 5/8" threads on the end of it, let alone a shoulder, because its so thin. I kinda want some more barrel to work with, both length and diameter, so I can thread the barrel for a suppressor if I get that far. We'll see...
    My experience with getting my .350RM cut & threaded for a .358 caliber suppressor;

    The bbl OD at 16.5" measured 0.64"; IMO this may have been marginal or even insufficient for the typical larger-bore 5/8"x24 threads & the related shoulder for obtaining a positive reference - which is along the lines of your thinking above.

    I had Liberty Suppressors produce my particular Hoosier .358 suppressor with 1/2"x28 threads for this specific reason; the resulting configuration has been very satisfactory for me.

    Also, am wondering if you've looked into .358 suppressors? Last I checked, the only reasonable choice was the Hoosier - which has been subsequently discontinued by Liberty. So you might want to check around first, as options may be extremely limited.

    Best regards,

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy adcoch1's Avatar
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    I have a lathe and I'm pretty good at metalwork, so if i go for a suppressor, it'll be a form 4 homebuilt. I do want a barrel with enough meat at the muzzle for the 5/8" threads though, 1/2" threads are just too close to bore diameter for my personal comfort level. I know it works, but I prefer a bigger safety margin.
    "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Patrick Henry ,March 23, 1775

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