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New build: 338-06 or 35 Whelen?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by roguebw, May 11, 2014.

  1. roguebw

    roguebw Medford, OR Active Member

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    I am going to build a larger caliber big game rifle. I am undecided if I want a 338-06 or a 35 Whelen. I have narrowed it down to these two for the simple fact that they intrigue me and both are 06 casings sized up.

    I would appreciate any input from those of you who own or have experience with either one. I am in no hurry to decide and have done quite a bit of research on both.
     
  2. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    You will have more bullet choices in 338.
     
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  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    .338 180gr to 300gr 80 choices

    .35 Whelen 180gr to 310gr 39 choices

    The .338 bullets at the same weight will have a little better Ballistic Coefficient and fly a little flatter at the same speed.

    .35 Whelen can be loaded with bullets designed for .38spl and .357 Mag for lighter loads. Velocities should be kept reasonable to not cause leading or separation in the pistol bullets.

    Recoil is going to be virtually the same with the same bullet weight.

    I'm building a .35 Whelen from a Savage 111 DBM this fall. And will be using it as a step up from my normal hunting rifle a 30-06 using 225-300gr bullets. For Elk and Bear.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
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  4. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Both of these are very capable rounds. I have no personal experience with either, but I'd probably go with the 338 just because of the bullet selection.
    Since I'm already considering doing an Ackley Improved on my 06, I'd look to see if there wan an "improved" 338-06, too. Might as well go whole hog from the get go.
     
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  5. roguebw

    roguebw Medford, OR Active Member

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    Thanks for your input. I am leaning towards building a Tikka M695 into the 338-06. Maybe in the future I can pick up a Remington 700 classic in 35 Whelen. That would solve my problems! A guy can dream anyways.
     
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  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'd go the .35 if I couldn't afford or whatever or didn't want a .375 H&H..
     
  7. roguebw

    roguebw Medford, OR Active Member

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    I am going away from belted magnums. I have sold my 300's and my 7mm mags. They have been replaced with a 30-06, a 308, and 3 280's. So now I want something with a little more thump. And the 338-06 and 35 Whelen fit in with my likes.
     
  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I hear you.. both have certain attributes, this is for true.. I've always wanted a .375 so for me, the .35 would be a natural.. and all those pistol bullets!. some are quite stoutly built to drive them fast (jacketed).. plus, I cast for rifle (gas checked, paper patched whatnot) and pistol
     
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  9. oldcars

    oldcars North Central Oregon Member

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    I have an Interams Mk X action with an Adams & Bennet 35 Whelen barrel, one of my favorite rifles. I would say both the 338-06 and .35 are great choices, mine will shoot under .8" groups at 100, not bad for a $300 action and a $100 barrel ! I have an extra Mauser action sitting around, I am thinking about a 338-06 myself!
     
  10. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    I wish I could offer some insight other than,...
    I have been struggling with the same dilemma for some time.

    I'm thinking that I may as well do both when I'm able, with a little custom tailoring of the barrel length for each.
    A 20-22" for the .35 Whelen for brush/coastal hunting, and a 24" for the .338-06 for use where the ranges may open up, but lotsa punch is still preferred upon arrival.

    I s'pose there's a reason somewhere why I shouldn't have two more rifles instead of just one more,.... But I'll be damned if I can find it!
     
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  11. roguebw

    roguebw Medford, OR Active Member

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    I just shot my father in laws 338-06 on a Mauser action today. It shoots great and recoil is not bad at all. I still think I need one of each though. :D
     
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  12. JRuby

    JRuby St. Helens Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Any consideration for the 9.3x62. Got rid of my whelen and replaced it with onr
     
  13. EM60

    EM60 Sandy Member

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    Never had a 35 Whelen, but I had a 358 Norma for decades, as others have stated the 35 has a limited bullet selection but I will say it drove tacks. Have a 338-06 I had built around 20 or so years ago and have no regrets at all, performs great and I have a target of a 3 shot group that is a slightly enlarged single hole. Either would be a great choice.
     
  14. kukusya

    kukusya King County Wa Active Member

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    Take a look for 300 or 375 Ruger
     
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  15. roguebw

    roguebw Medford, OR Active Member

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    I am narrow minded in the fact that I want it to be an 06 case.
     
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  16. JBRC

    JBRC Ridgefield, WA New Member

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    I've built and shot all three. 338-06, 338-06 AI and 35 Whelen. Go with the 338-06. It seems to push the 250's the same or a little faster than the 35 Whelen. As for the AI version of the 338-06, so little is gained, IMO, that its not worth the trouble of fire forming cases. Good luck!
     
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  17. roguebw

    roguebw Medford, OR Active Member

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    I am pretty sure that it is going to end up being a 338-06. I have been looking at the Pac Nor barrels. I would like to hear any opinions about their barrels. I have a duplicate Tikka m695 in 280 that I picked up that has had the barrel ported. It does not shoot nearly as good as my other 280. So I am going to use that action to build off of.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  18. Badandy

    Badandy Salem New Member

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    A couple years ago I built a 338-378 from a Weatherby .338. I used Pac Nor and had them build me their top of the line barrel.(Can't remember what it was called at the moment) after the build was complete by a local gun Smith, this thing was a tack driver! I shot all the way out to 1650 yards shooting a 250 gr Sierra hand load and hit almost every time. With my experience the 338 would be the way to go!
     
  19. roguebw

    roguebw Medford, OR Active Member

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    I am in no hurry. Everything I have heard about Pac Nor is good, plus they are a local company as I am in Southern Oregon too. This would be my first rifle build so I want to learn as much as I can before I purchase the parts. Thanks for all of the advice. I enjoy reading all of your opinions.
     
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  20. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had a 375 Ruger for a while. Loved it, but wasn't going to use what it was capable of, and traded it off...
    I'd probably be in the market, though, if Ruger made a full length version of their 300, instead of shortening up the case and calling it the RCM.

    I traded the 375 off for a nice old 30-06! I'm also interested in what can be done with an '06 case.

    I'd have to travel quite a ways from home before I'd ever think I need more gun than what can be done with a 30-06 or most anything based on the '06 (or '03) case.