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Thread: 35 Whelen and Lyman 358318

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    35 Whelen and Lyman 358318

    Posted this in one of the other forums on this board, but it I think hunters are probably the group that has more experience with this round and loading. I am curious of your thoughts.

    Been toying with the Whelen and this old RN mold for a while. Last Spring I was pretty disgusted with the whole shebang, until I found out my scope mount had loosened up. Now that has been addressed and I've loaded up 10 cast from range scrap and powder coated on top of 43 grains of H4895. Took some time the other day to shoot these over the Shooting Chrony. The majority were well over the 2,200fps mark, some near 2,300fps, though a few were considerably lower in velocity. I thought that odd, as I measured every charge on the Redding that had just come back from being factory reconditioned (it was smoother than ever, job well done by Redding).
    I'm new to H4895 and am not sure if this is normal, but I suspect it isn't.

    The results on target showed promise, nonetheless. Just need to tighten the extreme spread together more (from 2,220 up to 2,295 fps).
    Wondering if a line of water jugs at 100 yards could possibly capture one of these 250 grain +/- boolits I took careful aim. My concern that the range scrap and the round nose would just pencil through was instantly dismissed. That shot slaughtered the first two jugs as well as the 45/70 405's with a huge meplat. Though the shank of the boolit did escape, no surprise, it left small bits of shrapnel in a few of the middle jugs before veering off out of jug number 5 in the row. A second line of jugs experienced the same type of result. If I can ensure the groupings can be consistently acceptable, using this combination on a deer on the other side of 100 yards would not be out of the question.

    With all this said, how small of groups would one expect from this 250 grain RN boolit? As mentioned, it was powder coated with a gas check installed after the paint was applied. Should I back off on the H4895 to about 2,000fps or is 2,200 - 2,300 inline with what you've experienced for good accuracy and consistency in velocity?
    The rifle is a sporterized military Mauser. It will not feed a flat nosed bullet, period, thus why I am using the RN design. The fact that this alloy opened up at the distance encouraged me to continue this testing.

    The main goal of having fun with this project is being achieved. Still, I welcome any input that can assist in finding the sweet spot.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    atr's Avatar
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    I also shoot a 250 gr cast out of my 35 Whelen, mine is a flat nose and it doesn't feed well in my M98 action either.
    I am surprised by the variation in the velocity given that you are using a very stable and trusty powder, I use it myself. I use 9 grains more of that powder and my 10 shot groups at 100 yds are an average of 1-1/2" to 1-3/4". Another powder that does well is IMR4064.
    You might be getting that variation in velocity because your crimp is not consistent and or the neck tension is inconsistent. I generally seat and crimp in two separate operations.
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Jim22's Avatar
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    I am experimenting with a .357 MAX rifle and one in .375 JDJ. Your experiences with cast boolits in larger capacity cartridges is interesting to me. I find that certain loads shoot small groups while those within half a grain or a full grain of powder will make larger groups. Tried the MAX today and found a couple of loads with 200 gr GC Lee boolits that grouped under an inch at 100 yds. The loads on either side were larger. I have not tried powder coating with them yet. These used White's Carnauba lube. I am encouraged, though. I want to try again some of the loads that produced small 3-shot groups. No evidence of leading, either.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    The 35 Whelen is one of the great bottleneck cases for hunting and cast bullet. I consider mine a survival rifle and one of the last long guns I will ever part with.

    I don't have the answer to the question you pose, but if your accuracy is "hunting" good, you have a great starting point.
    I settled on Reloader-15 powder for the Whelen. These days, we use the powder we have, and in my opinion, that is one the 35 Whelen's great quality's, it works well with a wide range of powders and alloys. Your H-4895 is a good choice too. Maybe a change in primer? Go to a hot primer or Mag primer. If that does not improve things, try seating the bullet in hard contact with the rifling, if that is an option.

    I was getting 2350 FPS with an LBT 275 bullet. That was maxed out and I am not sure I would do that again today. 2100-2200FPS is plenty. I was hunting elk.
    Chill Wills

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    In the past i was having Chrony readings variations, I found I had to put it at app 15 feet from the muzzle

    also

    you are at app 75-80 % load density .... reducing the charge and working up and adding a bit of Dacron will reduce the high/ lows

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I, too use the old Lyman 358318 . In my 358 Win.
    I use my alloy of 90% COWW / 10% Lino.
    Then Paper Patch them.
    A full case of 3031 sends them at aboutr 2350fps from my 24" barrelled Savage 110 CL
    I have killed a good number of large WI bucks with this load. One shot, One Kill . Even my shoulder shots
    I can "eat up to within 2" of the bullet path.
    beltfed/arnie

  7. #7
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    missionary5155's Avatar
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    My experience with RN is use an extra soft nose or complete cast if you want good expansion out past 100 yards
    Would even consider paper patch with range scrap past 100.
    RN were very popular with lever actions for feeding issues.
    Me I would load the first round by hand into the chamber with a big FN. Then your RN for follow ups If Needed.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I have not worked with the 35 Whelen yet though I have a barrel for one, however I have with it’s close cousin, the 338-06.

    I was given a pet load and had to back off to stop leading and accuracy soared with IMR 4320 in my Savage bolt gun. So my first thought is to try backers no off.

    Second I would also look at the brass. Same head stamp? Same brass condition such as number of firings, hardness of neck, length and it’s effect on crimp.

    Then primer change and seating depth, first one and then the other.

    A deeper look would be to look at boolit filament to your bore. Look at the fired cases from your test and see if how loose your unaired slugs fit in a fired case neck from that load. You will have to allow for any case mouth pinch that might be present (mouth of case still turned in right at the entrance). Ideally you would like a thousandths or two between your boolit and the inside of the case mouth of the fired case. It is a lot better to resize your boolit at firing “down” in size rather than it being bumped up entering the rifling.

    If you need to gain some size you can add a powder coat on top of the existing one and try that.

    Anyway, just some stray thoughts

    Three44s
    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207

    “There is more to this than dumping lead in a hole.”

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Gentlemen, You've given me much to think about and put into practice as I work up the correct load. This evening I've taken the remainder of the IMI 30/06 brass that has been necked up to 35 caliber (same as I used last time), belled the case mouth, primed and loaded 5 rounds of 42, 42.5, 43, 43.5 & 44 grains of H4895 at the same OAL, as that is as long as they will chamber with undue tension. I normally do not crimp these boolits into the case mouth, as the tension seems plenty, but this evening I screwed in the Lee Factory Crimp Die and ever so lightly kissed a slight crimp of the case onto the boolit. Not hard enough to imprint into the powder coat/lead with any depth on the lead band, doing my best not to allow it to deform. Basically pressing a firm grip, hopefully consistently for the 25 rounds generated with tonight's efforts.
    I figure if I can achieve solid hunting accuracy from 2,100 fps up to 2,300 fps I'll consider this a success. When I see an opportunity to test these out for accuracy over the shooting chrony I'll report the results back here.
    Thank you, once again for your input and suggestions. Give me more to ponder in this project.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Three44's, could you elaborate on this subject: "A deeper look would be to look at boolit filament to your bore. Look at the fired cases from your test and see if how loose your unaired slugs fit in a fired case neck from that load. You will have to allow for any case mouth pinch that might be present (mouth of case still turned in right at the entrance). Ideally you would like a thousandths or two between your boolit and the inside of the case mouth of the fired case. It is a lot better to resize your boolit at firing “down” in size rather than it being bumped up entering the rifling."

    The barrel slugs at .3585. After powder coating these 358318 boolits I gas check them while running them through the Lyman .360 sizing die. I mic'd a couple again tonight to double check, yes they measure .360. I took one of these boolits and tested it into a case mouth of those fired from the last outing, for the most part they slid in without much effort. A few of the cases were tight, but over all the necks are loose on the fired brass / unfired Boolit combination.

    atr, you mentioned "I use 9 grains more of that powder and my 10 shot groups at 100 yds are an average of 1-1/2" to 1-3/4". Another powder that does well is IMR4064." I've used that much H4895 with 250 grain Hornaday SP-SR jacketed bullets, with satisfaction. That might be a bit more than these cast slugs can handle. Interesting you are reaching those speeds and with good accuracy. Man, I need more powder, supply is dwindling.

    Beltfed, I appreciate your testimonial on this boolit. It give me confidence that this just might work. I did paper patch some last year. I thought they weren't working because they were flying all over the place, just like everything else I shot. Then I found out the scope base loosened and I haven't put the work back into wrapping any more. If the powder coat works I'll stick to it for sake of time. But I did learn how to PP, just in case.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold

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    i have a savage 110 in 3006 what is involved to move up to 33806 or 36 whelen wich is better just got a walnut stock cant wait to finish
    thought this was gonna save money

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I will be glad to.

    Let me add that you want to size down in the chamber/rifling upon firing rather than “bump up” the boolits diameter. If your cast are appreciably bumping up in the case neck and chamber area of the neck upon firing, you are distorting your boolit before it has hardly started.

    As you have stated your dimensions thus far and explained the slight difference in how the boolits are slipping into your fired case necks I would suggest taking a belling die and ever so gently open the mouth of those cases giving some resistance resistance.

    You want to make sure your new finished castings have a wee little room in the fired necks but not much, lest you are then bumping up those slugs prior to fully entering the rifling.

    However, just like with j-word bullets, it is dangerous to not have a little free play as that raises pressures (pinching the case neck between the boolit and the chamber wall neck area).

    Beyond the neck area of the chamber, you want rifling a little smaller than your cast boolit and with a .360” boolit entering a .3585” groove diameter that sounds reasonable.

    Have I hit your concern or did I miss it?

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 04-08-2021 at 11:35 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207

    “There is more to this than dumping lead in a hole.”

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Let me add that you want to size down in the chamber/rifling upon firing rather than “bump up” the boolits diameter. If your cast are appreciably bumping up in the case neck and chamber area of the neck upon firing, you are distorting your boolit before it has hardly started.
    Interesting thoughts. This reminds me of Black Powder Cartridge and Paper Patching information, where they actually want the explosion of BP to bump up the slightly undersized soft boolit into the grooves of the rifling, while being careful not to slump the nose. Yes, I concur, the goal of smokeless cast boolits is to start a bit oversized to obturate the lead into a tight fit.

    As you have stated your dimensions thus far and explained the slight difference in how the boolits are slipping into your fired case necks I would suggest taking a belling die and ever so gently open the mouth of those cases giving some resistance resistance.
    I've not given this much consideration before. I shoot, resize the brass, load and shoot again. After you mentioned this I actually did test the fit, as mentioned in last night's post. Yes, you are spot on, there is a bit of room to push the .360 boolit into the neck. Once I size, in this case full length die is all I have on hand for the 35, I use the M die to give an ever so little bell so the gas checks will slide in nicely. Your comment about undersizing the castings, hopefully the neck tension isn't too much to allow this from happening. The rifle did clean up well the other day with not leading being felt while pushing the tight patch down the bore with the Dewey Rod. Something more to keep in mind.

    You want to make sure your new finished castings have a wee little room in the fired necks but not much, lest you are then bumping up those slugs prior to fully entering the rifling.

    However, just like with j-word bullets, it is dangerous to not have a little free play as that raises pressures (pinching the case neck between the boolit and the chamber wall neck area).
    I noticed if I load these over .313" OAL it gets pretty snug, so I back off to .311 or .312 (these PC'd boolits have a bit of variance once seated)

    Beyond the neck area of the chamber, you want rifling a little smaller than your cast boolit and with a .360” boolit entering a .3585” groove diameter that sounds reasonable.
    That's what I was hoping for. More trials to know for sure.

    Have I hit your concern or did I miss it? You're Nailing It. Thanks for the replies.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I just had a thought on chrono variations

    if you are using 3006 brass and necking them up and then firing a load over the chrono

    you can get a HIGHER chrono variations

    than if you use brass that has been fireformed in your chamber (2nd loading)

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ford SD View Post
    I just had a thought on chrono variations

    if you are using 3006 brass and necking them up and then firing a load over the chrono

    you can get a HIGHER chrono variations

    than if you use brass that has been fireformed in your chamber (2nd loading)
    Ford SD, This is exactly what I am doing. These are once fire IMR 30/06 Brass that were lubed on the exterior with graphite in the neck, run through the full length sizer. Years ago I shot pistol powder with cream of wheat to fireform, but with these thought I would give sizing a try. Thank you for sharing that bit of information.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check