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The .35 Whelen -- Who's Your Daddy?

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July 27, 2007

The .35 Whelen -- Who's Your Daddy?

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

However, a reader who had gotten the previous 14 answers right and was upset about this question e-mailed me and claimed that he had seen a statement by Whelen himself, claiming parentage of the cartridge.

More support comes from Phil Sharpe's Complete Guide to Handloading, which was published in 1937. Sharpe was a contemporary of Whelen's and says flatly that Whelen was the inventor, although he doesn't elaborate. The most recent edition of Cartridges of the World states that recently uncovered evidence indicates that Whelen was "intimately involved" with the development of the cartridge.

Most likely it was a collaboration, but in the meanwhile, until our reader can find Whelen's statement and quote it, I will take either answer as correct.

Comments (49)

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from Ronnie Clayton wrote 5 years 25 weeks ago

need info.Can you fire 38 and 357 in a 35 whelen single shot.

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from Jim Perkins wrote 5 years 47 weeks ago

I'm researching the old Western Tool and Copper Works bullet company. Any info that could be shared would be appreciated. Jim Perkins, Colorado. email: jimperk26@aol.com

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from LTC R wrote 6 years 26 weeks ago

Interesting comments-the serious and informed ones. I have a pre-64M-70 cut-rifled and chambered in 35 Whelen. It does well with Nosler Partitions and Hawk bullets 225-250 gr.The African hunters relied on longer and bigger bullets-at reasonable pressures-for reliability in tight corners.***Recently used an unusual rifle/cartridge on a large Alaskan moose. It was a Winchester M-71 in .348 Ackley IMproved. With 250-270 gr bullets it duplicates the Whelen in a lever-action. A 250 gr bullet at 2400 FPS in a lever action is highly desireable among guides. Not a 450 Alaskan/(have one)but flatter trajectory for allaround shooting. It also uses 300 gr bullets in .348.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

Dream guns: Ruger 10/30, Ruger MKII .17 HMR, Remington 700 ADL retro with AAA wood, glass bedding, floated barrel, Timney trigger mass produced for the right price! Also available in the new .321 POP cartridge.

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from Ozark Hillbilly wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

Sounds like DUD! I’m sorry, dude (little d!) Is having a bit of a identity crises today!

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from Ozark Hillbilly wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

It’s amazing when you have a battle of wits with an unarmed mind like awesome (NOT!) dude. Hey DUDE! just keep on clicking on empty cylinders DUDE!

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from awesome dude wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

Of course you'll accept the answer now you stupid F*&@ing dumba**. When ever you put up stupid quizzes that nobody likes, at leat get the f&(#ing answer write. If I could meet you, I would show you a thing or two about guns and bullets-and use your face to demonstrate Dave.

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from jbtool wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

I would like to see S&W come out with a 500 double rifle since they have aquired TCany thoughts? I could be a great guide gun in Alaska...

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

Ok two more.I know the .30 Carbine is a much maligned cartridge but still a lot of fun to shoot, not to mention relatively inexpensive to shoot. I'd like to see Ruger chamber their autoloading carbine it it along with 9mm and .40 S&W. Would be handy for lots of plinking, coyotes in the northern woods and even woods dwelling ground hogs.As maligned as it is there seem to be a lot of people still shooting those surplus M-1 Carbines so maybe a fresh weapon for the cartridge would be a good thing; I know I would be lined up to buy one.The other dream gun I have is an affordable American made Drilling; I'd like it in 12 Gauge over 30-06 with 26" barrels choked IC and M no screw in tubes please! Definitely a dream!Any one else have a dream gun or two to post?

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from Joe Amend wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

In the article on page 18 of the July 2007 F&S dealing with the Savage 1899 contains a rather gross error. Namely, the .303 Savage and the .303 British are roughly equivalent. Not so! My 45th Edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook shows the .303 British pushing a 180 grain jacketed bullet at almost 2500 fps. The .303 Savage is listed as pushing a 170 grain jacketed bullet at less than 2200 fps. That's a big difference.

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from Joe Amend wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

In the article on page 18 of the July 2007 F&S dealing with the Savage 1899 contains a rather gross error. Namely, the .303 Savage and the .303 British are roughly equivalent. Not so! My 45th Edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook shows the .303 British pushing a 180 grain jacketed bullet at almost 2500 fps. The .303 Savage is listed as pushing a 170 grain jacketed bullet at less than 2200 fps. That's a big difference.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

This thread has gotten very interesting! Great job by Warren in digging up that quote.Perhaps this isn't exactly the right place to pose my next question but here goes:What are everyone's "Dream Guns?"I have a few but I will hold my answer to just two for starters.Ruger, oh Ruger, please make a 16 guage version of that lovely Gold Label!!I would also love to see a .22 LR bolt action on a par with the M 52 Winchester of old in terms of accuracy, fit and finish. Said dream rifle would be priced in the reach of those of us drawing miserly salaries. Oh and one more thing please copy the original target sights from the M52.Somewhat parenthically I will add that you old timers will chide me, I do realize that the original M52 was not priced in reach of the average wage earner of that day either!

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from Warren wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

David, here's Whelen's own statement about the development of the .35 Whelen cartridge, from The Hunting Rifle (Harrisburg PA: Stackpole Books, 1940), p. 271In 1922 Mr. James V. Howe and the writer developed the .400 Whelen cartridge. This cartridge was constructed by taking the .30-06 cartridge before the case had been necked at all and necking it down to .40 calimber, and then utilizing existing 300 and 350 grain bullets....As originally developed, with cases necked down very accurately in the dies made by Mr. Howe, the cartridge was very effective. But when we came to produce cartidge cases in quantity it was found that the slight shoulder on the case could not be formed with sufficient exactitude in quantity production, and positive and accurate headspacing could not be assured. From the standpoint of quantity production the .400 Whelen cartridge was a failure, and has become obsolete.About the time we completed the development of this cartridge I went on a long hunting trip into the Northwest, and when I returned Mr. Howe showed me another cartridge which he had developed by exactly the same means and for the same purpose. The .30-06 cartridge was necked to .35 caliber to use existing .35 caliber bullets or 200, 250, and 275 grains weight, the latter being a special bullet made by the Western Tool & Copper works and since discontinued. Mr. Howe asked my permission to call this cartidge the ".35 Whelen," but he alone deserves credit for its development.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

WA MtnhunterWhen I was in Alaska, 300 Win Mag brass was easily obtainable at the local rifle ranges. I reformed the cases from 300 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag and resized them to 338 Win Mag. The only problem in using the 300 Win mag was neck splitting. Had an endless supply, so I didn’t care. I also made all my 25-06 cases from 270, 280 and 30-06. 30-06 Military match works great!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

The common denominator between the 7x57 and the .30-06 is the case head size. The 7x57 is an efficient design that extracts good velocity from the propellant burned. As good as the 8x57 is, it is still a bit slow when loaded with heavier bullets.I don't think it would be practical to try and form 7x57 cases from .30-06 brass, although it is physically possible. I would not include either as a derivative of the other, although the designs are similar.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

Gary Smith, Ed J , Galen Burgett and WA MtnhunterCongratulations Gentlemen!You hit the curve ball right out of the park!Dr. Ralph, STRIKE ONE!http://www.mauserguns.com/mauserHistory.aspI did this for a reason just to see how many bobble heads read this blog. In this case, I got to say, I am impressed Gentlemen!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

I believe the patent infringement litigation was between Mauser and the U.S. government over the 1903 Springfield rifle and the Mauser 98, not the 7x57 cartridge.I'm positive that if I am incorrect, someone will bring that to our attention.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

I knew I liked my 7mm Mauser for some reason.

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from Galen Burgett wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

The 7x57 Mauser is not a derivative of the .30-06. In fact, the reverse is true. The 7x57 was in development before 1893 and in production by 1893 at the least.

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from Ed J wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

GaryTry this for a curve. In 1902-1905 while the 30-06 was being developed there were litigations going on between the US and Germany on patent rights infringments concerning the 8mmx57.

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from Ed J wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

GaryTry this for a curve. In 1902-1905 while the 30-06 was being developed there were litigations going on between the US and Germany on patent rights infringments concerning the 8mmx57.

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from Gary Smith wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Clay, can you answer this for me?..Someone just threw me a curve when they included the 7 mmx57 in the wildcat lineup... what gives?

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

skipBe interesting to check out the area with a metal detector?

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

and don't forget the 45 Winchester Magnum, 300 Savage, 280 Remington/7mm Express, 7x57mm Mauser, 7mm-08, 270, 25-06, 257 Roberts/Improved,250-3000 Savage, 22-250

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from skip wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

My daughter's in laws (now ex-in-laws) live in Bridgewater, VT in a house they claim was once owned by Col. Whelan. There was some evidence to support their claim - a nice shooting range which I have used and several heads of game mounted on very high walls that they hadn't attemped to remove. I often wondered if some of his letters and papers weren't stashed at the house. Doubtless long-since thrown away. The 35 Whelan is one of those fortunate marriages of cartridge, powder and bullet that comes along every once in a while. I suspect the Colonel would have taken on anything in North America so armed - and probably did!! and probably most African stuff as well. Shooting clean through an elk at 265 yards suggests it has all the power one need on those big deer and then some. A bit much for most whitetails, it is still very popular in the big woods of Maine & NH.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

So many cartridges that have come off the 06. Like the 45ACP, 243, and 308 just to name a few. And if that’s not good enough, just enlarge all the dimensions to make the 50 BMG!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Ralphy!Have you ever compared the 50 BMG round dimensions to a 30-06?Hey 50 cal, WHO’S YOUR DADDY BIG BOY!THE 30-06 YOUR DADDY!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hey MarkFYI: Using military brass is about the equivalent of adding .75 to 2.0 grains of powder. Pending on type of powder.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hmmm. President Petzal has a nice ring to it. If nothing else start an exploratory committee and get a web site and watch those donations roll in...Colonel Whelen, James Howe, whatever the real father of the .35 Whelen is the best of all possible cartridges the 30-06. That's who your daddy is. It has spawned the 25-06, 270, 280, 338-06 and a bazillion (it's a real word, look it up) other wildcats. In my humble opinion it has never been improved upon.

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from Mark wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I’ll buy the 40 fps loss to keep the 22” barrel on my 35 Whelen. The 40 fps difference within 275-yards is mute.Ditto on Remington loading the Whelen conservatively. I dug up loading data from old Speer Manuals and copied 35 Whelen loads from an O’Connor article. These two sources recommended:60-grains of IMR 4320 with a 225 grain bullet for 2700+ fps…..I get 2715 fps. I use the Serria 225-grain boat tail gamekings exclusively.These sources also recommended with a 250-grain bullet 59-grains of IMR 4320, or 58-grains of IMR 4064. I didn’t get to use a crono on this 250-grain loading, but the published figures are 2540 fps. I like the 250-grain Speer Hotcore.I use military brass. No pressure issues with these loads. Accuracy is excellent.4320 seems to be the powder to use from my experience. I see no need for a bullet lighter than 225-grains in a Whelen. However, I do load 158-grain 357 Mag pistol bullets for varmints and to fire-form my brass using 40-grains of 2015BR*. This load makes my Whelen sorta a super 22 rimfire in the field and puts the rifle to use during the off-big game season.*Speer Manual #12

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Regarding the .35 Whelen factory loadings, I think the Remington factory loads are a little on the low end. The Federal 225 gr. TB clocks an average of 2623 fps on the chrony 15 feet from the muzzle from my rifle. That should be an honest 2650 fps muzzle velocity. Nosler advertises their 225 gr. Partition Custom Loads at 2725 fps. I found that shooting a box of them through my 22 inch barrel yielded about the same velocity on the chrony as the Federal loads. I think they were 6 fps average faster. Nosler must be using a 24 inch test barrel.I have poured over various loading manuals and can't find much data to support substantial velocity increases over the loads mentioned. The new Nosler 225 gr. Accubond should produce higher downrange velocity than the Trophy Bonded or Partition. I have not tried 200 gr. bullets except the Remington factory loads, which don't group as well as the 225 gr. TB. I think the 225 or 250 gr. bullets are the best reasons for using the .35 Whelen. If a lighter bullet is desired, why not just go with the .30-06 with 180 or 200 gr. bullets with higher sectional density? Just my two cents worth.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

By the way, a 30-06 or 35 Whelen will do anything in the hands of a competent shooter as good as anything else.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Mark visithttp://www.sportsmansguide.com/resource/remington_charts/tableinfo.htmBy shortening the barrel you loose velocity. In your case you lost about 40 fps and a larger blast. A 30-06 with a 24 inch barrel with a 150 grain, 52,000 psi chamber pressure will have a muzzle pressure of 12,000 psi at the muzzle. The longer the barrel the more fps and less blast. That is why the magnums should not be less than 24 inch barrel. 26 inch is ideal.

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from Mark wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I don't think there have ever been any bum 35 Whelen’ s produced, especially since it's always been either a custom made gun or built commercially on Remington actions.I have found the old Speer manual loading data, although pretty much stuffing a ’06 case, very safe pressure wise. .35 caliber bullet selections has always been goodI feel one of the strong points in the 35 Whelen, and also with the 338-06, for a medium bore is I can get very good velocity and faster handling with a 22” barrel [2700+ fps with my handloads]. 338 Mag and the 358 Norma Mag comes in 24 and 26 lengths.Any whoop, medium bores will never be a hot item with USA hunters. There's very few animals on North America needing something larger than 30-cal.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Steve HornadyHow about a .338 250 grain SST!MAN I GOT THE WRONG JOB!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

With over 40 years in competition shooting and hunting, I see that the biggest problem today with the 35 Whelen, if? Remington, Winchester or another manufacture would chamber this round. To get the full potential out of this cartridge you would have to reload your own ammunition. The reason for this is there are other 35 Whelens (customized etc.) that will have questionable abilities to withstand chamber pressures of 52,000 psi without going to critical mass of self-destruct. Because the action isn’t heat-treated properly or the barrels bore diameter is less than recommended. I have a Western Auto 30-30 with a .307 diameter bore instead of .308 and I must reduce the powder charge to compensate. Ammunition manufacturers would have to degrade the 35 Whelen’s cartridges performance to take this factor in. If you reload for one of the 06 cartridges like the 30-06, you would know this to be true. You can push a 150-grain at 3100fps in a good bolt gun. “DANGER” this is a bolt gun load only, PERIOD! Unless they role the shoulder a little forward like the 30-06 Improved to prevent it from chambering in older 35’s, I just don’t see it becoming a hot item on the market anytime soon. I sincerely hope and pray I’m wrong!Be nice if there was a ballistic tip available. My dream bullet? Hornady 200 and 220 grain SST! I know, not yet! Back in 2000 I wrote Hornady about coming out with a .338 diam 250-grain soft point boat tail for Alaska hunters. I went on to describe the problems as well as the reloading Sierras Game Kings, 338 diam 250 grain spbt. The bullet core will separate from the jacket, practically every time. One in and two holes out! Steve Hornady wrote back saying the market didn’t knead one. Years later they came out with a soft point instead. Sure like to take those kinds of folks to Alaska and really show them what’s it all about! Stretching the Sportsman’s ability and equipment beyond max. To find out new record breaking self-limits are truly possible! Knowledge and the proper training is the key!

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from Will Becker wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

A very good article.I don't own a 35 Whelen,butI do own a 30/06 Springfield sporter given to me by a good friend.it's interesting to know the 30/06 is grandfather to so many diferent cartridges.Col Whelen must have been a great man to have known.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

If the .35 Whelen is so out of favor, then why does Remington chamber it in the 700 CDL and new 750 autoloader? Federal had to bring back the 225 grain Trophy Bonded loading after dropping it from the 2006 catalog. I got mine in 1989, a 1988 vintage 700 Classic with a nice stick of wood. It now wears an Ebay 700 BDL wood stock and a Limbsaver recoil pad to preserve the original stock and my shoulder at the range.I ditched a .338 Win Mag because of the recoil and blast.The reason it never achieved it's due is that we have been caught up in magnum mania for the past 50 years or so.My .35 Whelen has accounted for several deer and elk, the latest elk shot clean through at 264 yards (lazer RF). If that isn't adequate, I don't know what is. Every year I say that I'm going to hunt with my Weatherby. But that old .35 Whelen ends up in the truck.I could care less if the Colonel "invented" the .35 Whelen or not. I think it is fitting tribute to a great rifleman and sportsman.Just because Al Gore invented the internet, that doesn't make it all bad!

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from jonny wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

if he is running i'll vote for him

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I wants me one of those .35 Whelens...ps-Dave is running for office??

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

"Most likely it was a collaboration, but in the meanwhile, until our reader can find Whelen's statement and quote it, I will take either answer as correct."Dave you goin into politics or something??

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

"I demand a Congressional Hearing to settle this matter."???They'll take 2 years, spend 5 Million Dollars and find nothing, as usual.

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from Thos. B. Fowler wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks for the information about Col. Whelen....I too would like to know what happened to his estate papers and things? He was a real gentleman, a generous soul, as I recall. May his tribe increase among us.Tom Fowler

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

The reason the 35 Whelen never caught on, round nose bullets were the only available bullets at the time.

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from Mark wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

As a long time user and abuser of the 35 Whelen, I demand a Congressional Hearing to settle this matter.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I know of a lot of wildcat cartridges that are severely overlooked such as the 243-06 (6mm-06), .264-06 (6.5-06), .338-06 and the 35 Whelen or 35-06. I would prefer the 264-06 over the 280 Remington (7mm-06)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

The 35 Whelen may be no 375 H&HIT’S NO PUNK!Talk about a Moose gun, WOW!

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from PbHead wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Apparently, Col. Whelen was a modest man who did not care who got credit for a good idea. Did he leave behind a collection of unpublished works? What happened to his papers? Dave, thanks for this mental exercise. Let this also be a lesson to you as you develop the POP line of cartridges. Good luck and have a nice week end.

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from Ronnie Clayton wrote 5 years 25 weeks ago

need info.Can you fire 38 and 357 in a 35 whelen single shot.

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from Jim Perkins wrote 5 years 47 weeks ago

I'm researching the old Western Tool and Copper Works bullet company. Any info that could be shared would be appreciated. Jim Perkins, Colorado. email: jimperk26@aol.com

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from LTC R wrote 6 years 26 weeks ago

Interesting comments-the serious and informed ones. I have a pre-64M-70 cut-rifled and chambered in 35 Whelen. It does well with Nosler Partitions and Hawk bullets 225-250 gr.The African hunters relied on longer and bigger bullets-at reasonable pressures-for reliability in tight corners.***Recently used an unusual rifle/cartridge on a large Alaskan moose. It was a Winchester M-71 in .348 Ackley IMproved. With 250-270 gr bullets it duplicates the Whelen in a lever-action. A 250 gr bullet at 2400 FPS in a lever action is highly desireable among guides. Not a 450 Alaskan/(have one)but flatter trajectory for allaround shooting. It also uses 300 gr bullets in .348.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

Dream guns: Ruger 10/30, Ruger MKII .17 HMR, Remington 700 ADL retro with AAA wood, glass bedding, floated barrel, Timney trigger mass produced for the right price! Also available in the new .321 POP cartridge.

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from Ozark Hillbilly wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

Sounds like DUD! I’m sorry, dude (little d!) Is having a bit of a identity crises today!

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from Ozark Hillbilly wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

It’s amazing when you have a battle of wits with an unarmed mind like awesome (NOT!) dude. Hey DUDE! just keep on clicking on empty cylinders DUDE!

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from awesome dude wrote 6 years 36 weeks ago

Of course you'll accept the answer now you stupid F*&@ing dumba**. When ever you put up stupid quizzes that nobody likes, at leat get the f&(#ing answer write. If I could meet you, I would show you a thing or two about guns and bullets-and use your face to demonstrate Dave.

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from jbtool wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

I would like to see S&W come out with a 500 double rifle since they have aquired TCany thoughts? I could be a great guide gun in Alaska...

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

Ok two more.I know the .30 Carbine is a much maligned cartridge but still a lot of fun to shoot, not to mention relatively inexpensive to shoot. I'd like to see Ruger chamber their autoloading carbine it it along with 9mm and .40 S&W. Would be handy for lots of plinking, coyotes in the northern woods and even woods dwelling ground hogs.As maligned as it is there seem to be a lot of people still shooting those surplus M-1 Carbines so maybe a fresh weapon for the cartridge would be a good thing; I know I would be lined up to buy one.The other dream gun I have is an affordable American made Drilling; I'd like it in 12 Gauge over 30-06 with 26" barrels choked IC and M no screw in tubes please! Definitely a dream!Any one else have a dream gun or two to post?

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from Joe Amend wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

In the article on page 18 of the July 2007 F&S dealing with the Savage 1899 contains a rather gross error. Namely, the .303 Savage and the .303 British are roughly equivalent. Not so! My 45th Edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook shows the .303 British pushing a 180 grain jacketed bullet at almost 2500 fps. The .303 Savage is listed as pushing a 170 grain jacketed bullet at less than 2200 fps. That's a big difference.

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from Joe Amend wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

In the article on page 18 of the July 2007 F&S dealing with the Savage 1899 contains a rather gross error. Namely, the .303 Savage and the .303 British are roughly equivalent. Not so! My 45th Edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook shows the .303 British pushing a 180 grain jacketed bullet at almost 2500 fps. The .303 Savage is listed as pushing a 170 grain jacketed bullet at less than 2200 fps. That's a big difference.

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

This thread has gotten very interesting! Great job by Warren in digging up that quote.Perhaps this isn't exactly the right place to pose my next question but here goes:What are everyone's "Dream Guns?"I have a few but I will hold my answer to just two for starters.Ruger, oh Ruger, please make a 16 guage version of that lovely Gold Label!!I would also love to see a .22 LR bolt action on a par with the M 52 Winchester of old in terms of accuracy, fit and finish. Said dream rifle would be priced in the reach of those of us drawing miserly salaries. Oh and one more thing please copy the original target sights from the M52.Somewhat parenthically I will add that you old timers will chide me, I do realize that the original M52 was not priced in reach of the average wage earner of that day either!

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from Warren wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

David, here's Whelen's own statement about the development of the .35 Whelen cartridge, from The Hunting Rifle (Harrisburg PA: Stackpole Books, 1940), p. 271In 1922 Mr. James V. Howe and the writer developed the .400 Whelen cartridge. This cartridge was constructed by taking the .30-06 cartridge before the case had been necked at all and necking it down to .40 calimber, and then utilizing existing 300 and 350 grain bullets....As originally developed, with cases necked down very accurately in the dies made by Mr. Howe, the cartridge was very effective. But when we came to produce cartidge cases in quantity it was found that the slight shoulder on the case could not be formed with sufficient exactitude in quantity production, and positive and accurate headspacing could not be assured. From the standpoint of quantity production the .400 Whelen cartridge was a failure, and has become obsolete.About the time we completed the development of this cartridge I went on a long hunting trip into the Northwest, and when I returned Mr. Howe showed me another cartridge which he had developed by exactly the same means and for the same purpose. The .30-06 cartridge was necked to .35 caliber to use existing .35 caliber bullets or 200, 250, and 275 grains weight, the latter being a special bullet made by the Western Tool & Copper works and since discontinued. Mr. Howe asked my permission to call this cartidge the ".35 Whelen," but he alone deserves credit for its development.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

WA MtnhunterWhen I was in Alaska, 300 Win Mag brass was easily obtainable at the local rifle ranges. I reformed the cases from 300 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag and resized them to 338 Win Mag. The only problem in using the 300 Win mag was neck splitting. Had an endless supply, so I didn’t care. I also made all my 25-06 cases from 270, 280 and 30-06. 30-06 Military match works great!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

The common denominator between the 7x57 and the .30-06 is the case head size. The 7x57 is an efficient design that extracts good velocity from the propellant burned. As good as the 8x57 is, it is still a bit slow when loaded with heavier bullets.I don't think it would be practical to try and form 7x57 cases from .30-06 brass, although it is physically possible. I would not include either as a derivative of the other, although the designs are similar.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

Gary Smith, Ed J , Galen Burgett and WA MtnhunterCongratulations Gentlemen!You hit the curve ball right out of the park!Dr. Ralph, STRIKE ONE!http://www.mauserguns.com/mauserHistory.aspI did this for a reason just to see how many bobble heads read this blog. In this case, I got to say, I am impressed Gentlemen!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

I believe the patent infringement litigation was between Mauser and the U.S. government over the 1903 Springfield rifle and the Mauser 98, not the 7x57 cartridge.I'm positive that if I am incorrect, someone will bring that to our attention.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

I knew I liked my 7mm Mauser for some reason.

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from Galen Burgett wrote 6 years 37 weeks ago

The 7x57 Mauser is not a derivative of the .30-06. In fact, the reverse is true. The 7x57 was in development before 1893 and in production by 1893 at the least.

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from Ed J wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

GaryTry this for a curve. In 1902-1905 while the 30-06 was being developed there were litigations going on between the US and Germany on patent rights infringments concerning the 8mmx57.

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from Ed J wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

GaryTry this for a curve. In 1902-1905 while the 30-06 was being developed there were litigations going on between the US and Germany on patent rights infringments concerning the 8mmx57.

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from Gary Smith wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Clay, can you answer this for me?..Someone just threw me a curve when they included the 7 mmx57 in the wildcat lineup... what gives?

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

skipBe interesting to check out the area with a metal detector?

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

and don't forget the 45 Winchester Magnum, 300 Savage, 280 Remington/7mm Express, 7x57mm Mauser, 7mm-08, 270, 25-06, 257 Roberts/Improved,250-3000 Savage, 22-250

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from skip wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

My daughter's in laws (now ex-in-laws) live in Bridgewater, VT in a house they claim was once owned by Col. Whelan. There was some evidence to support their claim - a nice shooting range which I have used and several heads of game mounted on very high walls that they hadn't attemped to remove. I often wondered if some of his letters and papers weren't stashed at the house. Doubtless long-since thrown away. The 35 Whelan is one of those fortunate marriages of cartridge, powder and bullet that comes along every once in a while. I suspect the Colonel would have taken on anything in North America so armed - and probably did!! and probably most African stuff as well. Shooting clean through an elk at 265 yards suggests it has all the power one need on those big deer and then some. A bit much for most whitetails, it is still very popular in the big woods of Maine & NH.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

So many cartridges that have come off the 06. Like the 45ACP, 243, and 308 just to name a few. And if that’s not good enough, just enlarge all the dimensions to make the 50 BMG!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Ralphy!Have you ever compared the 50 BMG round dimensions to a 30-06?Hey 50 cal, WHO’S YOUR DADDY BIG BOY!THE 30-06 YOUR DADDY!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hey MarkFYI: Using military brass is about the equivalent of adding .75 to 2.0 grains of powder. Pending on type of powder.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hmmm. President Petzal has a nice ring to it. If nothing else start an exploratory committee and get a web site and watch those donations roll in...Colonel Whelen, James Howe, whatever the real father of the .35 Whelen is the best of all possible cartridges the 30-06. That's who your daddy is. It has spawned the 25-06, 270, 280, 338-06 and a bazillion (it's a real word, look it up) other wildcats. In my humble opinion it has never been improved upon.

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from Mark wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I’ll buy the 40 fps loss to keep the 22” barrel on my 35 Whelen. The 40 fps difference within 275-yards is mute.Ditto on Remington loading the Whelen conservatively. I dug up loading data from old Speer Manuals and copied 35 Whelen loads from an O’Connor article. These two sources recommended:60-grains of IMR 4320 with a 225 grain bullet for 2700+ fps…..I get 2715 fps. I use the Serria 225-grain boat tail gamekings exclusively.These sources also recommended with a 250-grain bullet 59-grains of IMR 4320, or 58-grains of IMR 4064. I didn’t get to use a crono on this 250-grain loading, but the published figures are 2540 fps. I like the 250-grain Speer Hotcore.I use military brass. No pressure issues with these loads. Accuracy is excellent.4320 seems to be the powder to use from my experience. I see no need for a bullet lighter than 225-grains in a Whelen. However, I do load 158-grain 357 Mag pistol bullets for varmints and to fire-form my brass using 40-grains of 2015BR*. This load makes my Whelen sorta a super 22 rimfire in the field and puts the rifle to use during the off-big game season.*Speer Manual #12

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Regarding the .35 Whelen factory loadings, I think the Remington factory loads are a little on the low end. The Federal 225 gr. TB clocks an average of 2623 fps on the chrony 15 feet from the muzzle from my rifle. That should be an honest 2650 fps muzzle velocity. Nosler advertises their 225 gr. Partition Custom Loads at 2725 fps. I found that shooting a box of them through my 22 inch barrel yielded about the same velocity on the chrony as the Federal loads. I think they were 6 fps average faster. Nosler must be using a 24 inch test barrel.I have poured over various loading manuals and can't find much data to support substantial velocity increases over the loads mentioned. The new Nosler 225 gr. Accubond should produce higher downrange velocity than the Trophy Bonded or Partition. I have not tried 200 gr. bullets except the Remington factory loads, which don't group as well as the 225 gr. TB. I think the 225 or 250 gr. bullets are the best reasons for using the .35 Whelen. If a lighter bullet is desired, why not just go with the .30-06 with 180 or 200 gr. bullets with higher sectional density? Just my two cents worth.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

By the way, a 30-06 or 35 Whelen will do anything in the hands of a competent shooter as good as anything else.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Mark visithttp://www.sportsmansguide.com/resource/remington_charts/tableinfo.htmBy shortening the barrel you loose velocity. In your case you lost about 40 fps and a larger blast. A 30-06 with a 24 inch barrel with a 150 grain, 52,000 psi chamber pressure will have a muzzle pressure of 12,000 psi at the muzzle. The longer the barrel the more fps and less blast. That is why the magnums should not be less than 24 inch barrel. 26 inch is ideal.

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from Mark wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I don't think there have ever been any bum 35 Whelen’ s produced, especially since it's always been either a custom made gun or built commercially on Remington actions.I have found the old Speer manual loading data, although pretty much stuffing a ’06 case, very safe pressure wise. .35 caliber bullet selections has always been goodI feel one of the strong points in the 35 Whelen, and also with the 338-06, for a medium bore is I can get very good velocity and faster handling with a 22” barrel [2700+ fps with my handloads]. 338 Mag and the 358 Norma Mag comes in 24 and 26 lengths.Any whoop, medium bores will never be a hot item with USA hunters. There's very few animals on North America needing something larger than 30-cal.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Hey Steve HornadyHow about a .338 250 grain SST!MAN I GOT THE WRONG JOB!

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

With over 40 years in competition shooting and hunting, I see that the biggest problem today with the 35 Whelen, if? Remington, Winchester or another manufacture would chamber this round. To get the full potential out of this cartridge you would have to reload your own ammunition. The reason for this is there are other 35 Whelens (customized etc.) that will have questionable abilities to withstand chamber pressures of 52,000 psi without going to critical mass of self-destruct. Because the action isn’t heat-treated properly or the barrels bore diameter is less than recommended. I have a Western Auto 30-30 with a .307 diameter bore instead of .308 and I must reduce the powder charge to compensate. Ammunition manufacturers would have to degrade the 35 Whelen’s cartridges performance to take this factor in. If you reload for one of the 06 cartridges like the 30-06, you would know this to be true. You can push a 150-grain at 3100fps in a good bolt gun. “DANGER” this is a bolt gun load only, PERIOD! Unless they role the shoulder a little forward like the 30-06 Improved to prevent it from chambering in older 35’s, I just don’t see it becoming a hot item on the market anytime soon. I sincerely hope and pray I’m wrong!Be nice if there was a ballistic tip available. My dream bullet? Hornady 200 and 220 grain SST! I know, not yet! Back in 2000 I wrote Hornady about coming out with a .338 diam 250-grain soft point boat tail for Alaska hunters. I went on to describe the problems as well as the reloading Sierras Game Kings, 338 diam 250 grain spbt. The bullet core will separate from the jacket, practically every time. One in and two holes out! Steve Hornady wrote back saying the market didn’t knead one. Years later they came out with a soft point instead. Sure like to take those kinds of folks to Alaska and really show them what’s it all about! Stretching the Sportsman’s ability and equipment beyond max. To find out new record breaking self-limits are truly possible! Knowledge and the proper training is the key!

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from Will Becker wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

A very good article.I don't own a 35 Whelen,butI do own a 30/06 Springfield sporter given to me by a good friend.it's interesting to know the 30/06 is grandfather to so many diferent cartridges.Col Whelen must have been a great man to have known.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

If the .35 Whelen is so out of favor, then why does Remington chamber it in the 700 CDL and new 750 autoloader? Federal had to bring back the 225 grain Trophy Bonded loading after dropping it from the 2006 catalog. I got mine in 1989, a 1988 vintage 700 Classic with a nice stick of wood. It now wears an Ebay 700 BDL wood stock and a Limbsaver recoil pad to preserve the original stock and my shoulder at the range.I ditched a .338 Win Mag because of the recoil and blast.The reason it never achieved it's due is that we have been caught up in magnum mania for the past 50 years or so.My .35 Whelen has accounted for several deer and elk, the latest elk shot clean through at 264 yards (lazer RF). If that isn't adequate, I don't know what is. Every year I say that I'm going to hunt with my Weatherby. But that old .35 Whelen ends up in the truck.I could care less if the Colonel "invented" the .35 Whelen or not. I think it is fitting tribute to a great rifleman and sportsman.Just because Al Gore invented the internet, that doesn't make it all bad!

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from jonny wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

if he is running i'll vote for him

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I wants me one of those .35 Whelens...ps-Dave is running for office??

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from SilverArrow wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

"Most likely it was a collaboration, but in the meanwhile, until our reader can find Whelen's statement and quote it, I will take either answer as correct."Dave you goin into politics or something??

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

"I demand a Congressional Hearing to settle this matter."???They'll take 2 years, spend 5 Million Dollars and find nothing, as usual.

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from Thos. B. Fowler wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Thanks for the information about Col. Whelen....I too would like to know what happened to his estate papers and things? He was a real gentleman, a generous soul, as I recall. May his tribe increase among us.Tom Fowler

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

The reason the 35 Whelen never caught on, round nose bullets were the only available bullets at the time.

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from Mark wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

As a long time user and abuser of the 35 Whelen, I demand a Congressional Hearing to settle this matter.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

I know of a lot of wildcat cartridges that are severely overlooked such as the 243-06 (6mm-06), .264-06 (6.5-06), .338-06 and the 35 Whelen or 35-06. I would prefer the 264-06 over the 280 Remington (7mm-06)

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

The 35 Whelen may be no 375 H&HIT’S NO PUNK!Talk about a Moose gun, WOW!

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from PbHead wrote 6 years 38 weeks ago

Apparently, Col. Whelen was a modest man who did not care who got credit for a good idea. Did he leave behind a collection of unpublished works? What happened to his papers? Dave, thanks for this mental exercise. Let this also be a lesson to you as you develop the POP line of cartridges. Good luck and have a nice week end.

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