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.338-06 or .35 Whelen

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Mark W., Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Anyone here hunt with either of these calibers?

    I'm looking for a non magnum step up from a 30-06 for Elk and Bear. I hunt non with a 30-06 so I kind of lean towards those calibers based on the 30-06 case.

    I know the .338-06 is a Wildcat and would require either drilling out an existing barrel or a custom rifle (I would build one based on a Savage 110 action) The .35 whelen is not hard to find in various rifles.

    Looking at the ballistics they are very close. Of course with the speed going to the .338 and the wieght going to the .35

    I know on this site finding people into this type of firearm will be a little hard but I figured I would ask.
     
  2. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    The weight advantage doesn't go to the .35 if you reload. And Midway, Brownells etc. carry barrels for the Savage 110 series in either caliber. ER Shaw has the .338-06AI option for the Savage too.
    Graf and sons probably has the reloading die sets in stock for either.
    Hodgdons website has plenty of data at a variety of bullet weights for the .338-06 A-square.

    While I haven't hunted with either, I have shot both, and with bullets over 200 grains they feel identical in terms of recoil.

    The .338 gets my vote based on bullet selection, but then again, I am a reloader.
    YMMV.
     
  3. i8asquirrel

    i8asquirrel Keizer, oregon Member

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    How about .338 fedral same case head as .338 06 and commercialy avvailable??
     
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I also reload and would of course reload for this caliber.

    The info I have on bullet weight only comes from my Nosler manual #3
     
  5. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    Mark W. get a look at the New Nosler #6 Manual; 35 Whelen 225gr max velocities for four powders are 2773/W748 2789/RL15 2800/Varget[108%] 2805/IMR4064 We all know these powders and The previous Nosler Manual wasn't close to these numbers in velocity so I E-Mailed Nosler.....Turns out they did some extensive testing on 35Whelen and these speeds were NOT a TYPO all within pressure limits. Go Big Go fast I have used my 35 Whelen in a 7 1/4lb rifle shooting 250grners at elk since 1995. It works and the recoil isn't anything like my 338 Magnum. The 35 Whelen is more like a 30-06 loaded with 220gr round nose Hornadys. Again.... a 7 1/4lb rifle in 35 Whelen scoped/ loaded with 4+1/ and sling/and a
    20.0 OZ Lone Wolf Summit stock/250gr Horn. SP at about 2500fps. Good Luck
     
  6. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    hmmmmm I originally thought about the .35 Whelen. The 338-06 was a recent interest.


    As to the newer reloading manuals I'm looking forward to buying a couple new ones now that constructiuon season is starting up. The new Nosler book is high on my list. Any chance they also have some new info for 30-40 krag I'm tired of having to hold to data for the 1898 Krag rifle while loa.ing for a model 1895 Winchester that can handle 30-06 pressures
     
  7. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I've always wanted a rifle in .35 Whelen. I think it's kind of the history, with Col. Whelen's name on it. I'm sure there are better cartridges from a ballistics standpoint, but I have enough guns that do other things. I like a bit of eccentricity...
     
  8. chainsaw

    chainsaw East side of Or. Active Member

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    I have a 35 Whelen and can attest to it's effectiveness on elk.I wouldn't hesitate to shoot moose or griz with it either.The Whelen has ballistics simmilar to the 375 HandH,a proven african cartridge.
     
  9. rickoshay

    rickoshay gaston or Member

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    You could look at some of the new powders & a 220 gr in 30/06
     
  10. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    My buddy has a 35 whelen that a old german gunsmith built from buddys fathers 06. He said it will drop anything on the northern continets
     
  11. Ductapeman

    Ductapeman Spanaway New Member

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    The best brush gun I ever saw was based on a .30-06 Remington 742 I sold a guy back when I had my FFL. He had a new 19" barrel in .35 Whelen put on it, and used it to take every kind of game you can think of for the eight years we were in contact with each other. Why I haven't built one for myself by this time is completely beyond me-- too many ARs I guess.
     
  12. 44 Flattop

    44 Flattop Lewis County New Member

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    My son has a M70 in 338-06 with a 25" Shilen barrel, I have a stock 700CDL in .35 Whelen. I load for both of them, shoot both of them too.

    Bottom line, a guy has to reload, which you said you do, and either are fantastic calibers. When it comes down to it I like the Whelen best, but not for any real reason. I think ballistically the 338-06 'may' be superior especially when 250's are used. I 'think'. My son uses only Nosler 210's @2700fps, I use Hornady 200's @2750fps and Hornady 250's @2500fps. Either one knocks an elk on his butt as both of our rifles have proven.

    But I'll stick with my Whelen, its my 'do-everything out of State gun'. It is MUCH less money and a caliber I really enjoy. I think my son has well over $1K into his rifle, maybe closer to $1200, mine cost a little over $500. If you want something a little different, go with the 338-06. If you want something stock, go with the Whelen.
     
  13. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm glad I started this thread. It's clear to me as a life long 30-06 shooter that the .35 Whelen which I have been reading about for decades is everything I am looking for in a larger caliber. Now to find one and have the funds at the same time.

    Thanks guys this has been very helpful.
     
  14. 44 Flattop

    44 Flattop Lewis County New Member

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    Well, if you are leaning toward a .35 Whelen, I can't recommend it highly enough. And I can't say enough good about Remingtons CDL too. It is a bit light however and with the 250's will really set back into you a bit! I've had lots of 375 H&H's and since I don't really need that sort of power, the 35 Whelen is perfect. I use my Whelen for elk, deer and yes, even antelope since it is my out of state gun.

    I haven't bothered to buy any factory Whelen cases. Instead I just run 30-06's through my Whelen resizing dies and they expand just fine over the .35 expander ball. For a while I ran them over a .338 expander ball first, but after skipping that route and have NEVER lost a case, I don't bother with that step.

    I use Hornadys 200gr spirepoint for 90% of my shooting and hunting and the use Hornadys 250 spirepoint for the rest. Personally, I just don't see a need for premium bullets from this caliber having never had a bullet failure or loss of a single animal using Hornady bullets. I particularly like AA#2520 though there is a bit of muzzle flash, velocity is very good and groups under 1" for three shots is the norm.

    Good luck!
     
  15. jer fly

    jer fly cottage grove Member

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    338 a-square factory loaded 338-06. I have had both. I prefer the 338 cal because I have several others already, and it keeps me from buying 35 cal bullets for one rifle. also 338 has a wide selection of bullets to suit any need.
     
  16. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Out to 300 yards or so, you (or what you're shooting, for that matter) won't know the difference. Me, I'd get the Whelen.
     
  17. kenno

    kenno eastern WA Active Member

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    Why not a 8mm Mauser?
     
  18. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Jerfly touched on something that might be in favor of the .338-06. Bullet selection. Far greater variety in the .338 diameter. But since either caliber is not really a candidate for loading multiple grain weights within that caliber for multiple applications (they're both big furry-critter thumpers), chances are, the shooter/loader will settle on one bullet/one load for everything he'll do with the gun. Therefore, the Whelen is not really handicapped by its comparitively limited bullet selection. Comparitively limited, that is, unless one considers that numerous .35 fans have had excellent results loading .357 pistol bullets in their various .35 rifles (Whelen, .35 Remington, etc.) for game of smaller stature. An option not available in the .338 diameter.

    I've loaded, shot, and hunted with the Whelen, and it is everything it is cracked up to be: a poor-man's sensible .375 H&H. I let the one in the house go, however, in favor of the "short Whelen": a Remington .350 Magnum. If something unusual is what you're looking for, I think nowadays, the .350 fills that category better than either the .338-06 or the Whelen. Case capacity and ballistics are identical to the Whelen, and it is carried in a short action: modestly reducing the overall length of the gun. My 700 Classic looks like (and acts like) the Chuck Norris of hunting guns: Small package power that demands respect.
     
  19. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    You mean the Whelen waxes it's body, wears a wig, and has plenty of plastic surgery?

    I've got a 338 Winmag that I load numerous bullets for: 250 for elk and big bears; 225 for whitetails; 200s for black bear and muleys; 180s for fun and giggles.
     
  20. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    "Chuck" le, "Chuck" le. The reference was toward the .350 Magnum. And it's "coming out of the closet" now with its "body wax" (Johnson's paste wax on all exterior surfaces as I do with all guns that might see the outdoors), the "wig" being a Leupold 1.75-6x (short and stubby, just like the gun and cartridge), and "plastic surgery" in the form of glass-bedding. Cosmetics nothwithstanding, and a tip of the hat to Mister Norris, it'll mop up the floor with any North American game, with recoil only equal to a stout .30-06. You missed one improvement: "lifts". The pad is a Pachmayr Mag-Plus. Elevates the gun vertically to appear nearly as long as my other 22" barreled bolt guns beside it in the safe.

    This, along with creative camera angles (always directed from below) gives the little guy stature.