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Building a new mauser, help on caliber....

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Gunnerboy, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Cowlitz County Active Member

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    So im in the works of building a new m98 mauser and am stuck between a 338-06 and a 35 whelen. which caliber would you recommend and why ?
  2. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    niether,but, it's up to you. flip a coin.
  3. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    I have had a few of both the 338-06 and 35 whelen now, so I think I can provide some info here. I feel that here in Portland that I can find 338-06 bullets almost anywhere - I only know of one or two places that you can find 35 caliber rifle bullets on the shelf in Portland. Most 338 caliber bullets are designed for the 338 WM and 340 Weatherby which means that at the slighlty slower speed of the 338-06 the bullets will not come apart normally - you dont have to use the super exspensive bullets for the 338-06 to work well. I only shot 250 gr Speer hotcore out of my whelen and those bullets were accurate and never seemed to fail namely because I could not push them hard enough. The brass for the 338-06 is easier to make than the 35 whelen but neither are that difficult - run the expander die into the neck of a new 30-06 cartridge and there you go.

    At one time I had a 338-06 , a 35 whelen and a 9.3X62 and kept the 338-06 and the 9.3X62. These guns are for the bigger game in North America. To me these are my elk rifles. Because I use them on elk I like to shoot bigger bullets and in that one regard the 9.3 beats the 35 whelen. All three of these are handloaded cartridges - rarely will you find manufactured ammo on the shelf.

    James Ruby
  4. Mohawk13

    Mohawk13 Home on The Range Active Member

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    30-06. Just because it can do everything, and rounds can be found everywhere...
  5. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Do you handload?
    If you don't, you may prefer the Whelen, but be prepared to "step up." Both .338-06 A-Square (A-Square is a standardized chambering) and .35 Whelen factory ammo (when you can find it) are expensive.

    My choice is the .338-06, but only because I DO handload, and there is a greater selection of bullets in .338.
    The ballistics of the .338-06 with 200-225gr bullets is impressive. Way more-so than the parent cartridge.
  6. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    411 Hawk

    Really out of those two the .338-06 would be my choice.
  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm working towards building a .35 Whelen (I do reload in fact I make all my CF ammo except Shotgun) I will be using a Savage 111 barreled action as the basis.

    I guess that give you my vote.
  8. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Oh one of my favorites 35 Whelen Ackley Improved...One of the best brush busters I have ever hunted with...
  9. gehrheart

    gehrheart fidalgo island Well-Known Member

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    I love my whelen.... but but are very good choices.
    I went with the whelen when I built this one becuase I already have so many choices in the .338 area in the safe.. I had nothing in the .35. It has a long history and works really well!
  10. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    "Brush Busters".....don't get me started. The most comprehensive test of this "attribute" which has for so long been batted around in gun circles came to a conclusion that no "brush buster" afficionado can live with.

    Back to matters at hand, for nostalgia's sake (and especially if your build will be a tip of the hat to the "old school" in styling and theme), I'd pick the Whelen hands down. This will be the crown of classic class to your Mauser.

    But for the cartridge itself (and certainly in any modern-action build), I'd choose the .338-06, for reasons of bullet selection, and a (marginally) better trajectory. Another "advantage" of the .338 is that you end up with a bit more shoulder upon which to rest important things like headspace. I use the quotes because critics of the Whelen always whined that its shoulder seemed to be negligible, and therefore might not do the job a shoulder should do. Having worked with an Enfield Whelen for a few years, I never saw this as an issue, but the shoulder on the .338 certainly cannot be missed at quick glance. The only .338-06 I dabbled with belonged to a friend who had it built on a Rem 700. I wrung it out for him down here and then sent it back to him where he taught school in Alaska. Moose still fear him.

    With a .338-06, and a 200g Nosler Accubond (with apologies to Dr. Suess), "Oh, the places you'll go!"
  11. mpmax

    mpmax Woodburn Active Member

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    I went with the Whelen because of the history. I built it on a WWII mauser that had been "converted"-8mm rechambered to 30-06. Split a few cases before I figured out how dangerous it was. A barrel & stock came from Midway, had the bolt turned down and polished, low mount safety added, leupold scope mount added. It will take down anything in North America, and most of the stuff in Africa....
  12. shockme

    shockme oregon Member

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    hey man i like the 35 cal, had a 350 rem mag 18 bar. and if you could stand it it would should good groups, 157 yrd i shot with 1-4 leopold scope 3- groups of 2 shots just under 1'' . go for the 35 cal.