The .358 Winchester...


January 19, 2004, 02:57 PM
I'd like to know more about the .358 Winchester round. What can you guys tell me about it?

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Badger Arms
January 19, 2004, 03:11 PM
The 358 is a great round for those who shoot mostly under 200 yards and want a round that will anchor an animal quickly without the meat damage you get with higher velocity rounds in the same game class such as the 270 and 30-06. Because of the bigger bullet, the 358 will hit harder and is less likely to take energy with it on exiting the animal (if it exits). I've heard the case for an exit wound such as blood trails, etc. The 358 will dispatch the animal quicker so you don't have to follow a blood trail.

On the minus side, because it is a slower round, you need to estimate range better out beyond 100-150 yards. At 300 yards, you might miss more often because of range estimation mistakes. The cartridge is usually chambered for shorter rifles so you get a handier, lighter rifle. This certainly doesn't help the recoil which is significant if you're used to a smaller rifle. I'd consider it about 50% greater than the 30-06 because of the light rifles it's chambered for and heavier bullets. Most of my experience is with 250gr bullets. I think all the factory rounds available are 200gr bullets... in fact, I think only one was available last I checked... but I reload so I get the big bullets. As a reloader, I think the 358 is much better with heavy bullets. Heck, if you want a 200gr bullet, why not just go with a 30 caliber?

January 19, 2004, 03:13 PM
A guy I hunted with years ago had a nice custom bolt action in .358 Winchester. Savage made the 99 in it for a while too. I don't recall what rifle Winchester first chambered it in. It is the .308 necked up to .35, if I remember right. Ballistic tables in the 2004 Gun Digest show the stats for the .358 Winchester as a 200 grain bullet at 2490 at the muzzle. Muzzle energy is 2753 foot pounds. I thought there was another load or two, but no more are listed.

I always thought it was an intersting round, but never managed to buy one. Not too many other people did either it seems. I read an article suggesting that American shooters have some kind of mental block about .35 caliber cartridges. They don't seem to last very well.

Gun Digest had an article about problem cartridges a while back. The .358 Winchester was listed due to a small shoulder. This evidently could cause ignition problems in some rifles. That article is the only place I ever heard that, however.


Dave R
January 19, 2004, 03:14 PM
No experience with it, but here are a few quotes from Speer #13 reloading manual.

...short-to-medium-range cartridge suitable for any type of North American game within its range limitations [200 yards]

...simply a .308 Winchester case necked up to handle .358 diameter bullets of the best woods cartridges ever devised...deer and elk hunter would be hard-pressed to find another cartridge that would show significant gains in field performance over that of the .358 unless he needs something for longer shots...

Ballistics (using Speer bullets reloaded):

-180gr at 2600-2700fps
-220gr at 2400-2480fps
-250gr at 2200-2300fps

Badger Arms
January 19, 2004, 03:17 PM
I read some bozo who wrote about ignition problems also. Trouble is, the inside of the case looks exactly like a .308 on ignition. The base of the bullet obscures the shoulder anyway. That's a very retarded statement for an experienced gun writer to make.

Mike Irwin
January 19, 2004, 03:17 PM
A decent cartridge that never really hit it off with the shooting public.

Savage 99s in .358 are very hard to come by, as not a lot were made, and people, once they buy them, tend to keep them.

January 20, 2004, 12:38 AM
Mike said it best...Model 99's in .358 are quite sought after.

I think a .358 in an XP100R would be a hoot, too.:D

January 20, 2004, 01:55 AM
I have a .35899 Savage since early 80's . I put a Redfield one piece mount on it with a pop up peep which they used to make, with a 3X Leupold m-8 scope. It will shoot just over an inch with a good load at 100yds. I used to get laughed at in Calif. when I used it on Blacktail or boar, but nobody laughed at the results! The recoil isn't bad at all in this 7 3/4 pound rig. Longest shot was just over 200yds and it was all right, I DID tune trigger a bit. Back to .358 round: I want to try Nosler Ballistic tips in it. I found 225 grain bullets at 2400fps in the 22" barrel to be awesome. It won't blow conventional bullets like my .358Norma will! It is ALOT more gun than a .35Rem, but I like a .35Rem in a lighter gun. I can shoot 180grain speer loads at almost 2700fps, Remington core lokt'd 200grainers at 2550fps. I can only get 2280 out of Hornady 250grain round nose bullets so I stay under 225grains as I don't shoot moose with it . This has become my 2nd gun on big game trips out of state , backing up a .375H&H for elk and larger game. I want to convert an old Century Arms L1a1 FNFAL to this caliber! The cartridges fit in the magazine and keeping the iron sights you would have what I would like to shoot BG's with in a SHTF situation! :cool:

January 20, 2004, 12:46 PM
How far are you guys shooting at stuff?? If I were buying a 35 for LR, it'd be a 358 Norma or STA, or some exotic wildcat. Run the trajectories for a 200 spitzer at 2,600; a 225 Partition at 2,500 or one of the excellent 250's at 2,400, all easily obtained with a 20-22" barreled 358, with a 2" high @ 100 yard zero. Certainly adequate for 300 yards, especially when you're figuring the size of game for which the 358 would be used, I'd say. And, when the bullet gets there, it'll certainly get the game's attention. I've yet to read a complaint by a 358 user being handicapped by its alleged "short range" hardship.

My 358 experience consists of exactly 2 PA whitetails, using 200 Hdy Spires at 2550 FPS. Both results were the same - bang, then feet in the air.

Accuracy seems to be the same as all other 308 based cartridges - excellent. Recoil is there, as you'd expect, but certainly manageable.

I own one Shaw barreled 358 M700, and am adding a short action HOWA in the same chambering.

Man, I'd like to find one of the original Fwt M70's in that chambering. Would be about perfect for anything in NA, I'd guess.


January 20, 2004, 04:33 PM
The only time I ever shot a game animal with my .358/99, it was a nice mulie buck at about 50 yards, steep downhill. Hit high in the back, he required a finisher. When we dressed him out, the only thing left of his spine where the bullet hit were a couple of tendons for about 4 inches. The vertebrae were just gone.

180 grain speer at about 2500, if I recall.

No other critter has crossed its path, or it would have more of a record, I'm sure. I've gone to 225 sierras due to an increased probability of running across an elk, but they should do just as good a job.

January 20, 2004, 06:46 PM
Don't overlook the Browning BLR. The original pre-81 model was offered in a .358 chambering, and Browning recently added the .358 to its current Lightweight 81 BLR line. If you're looking for a short action cartridge in a very handy package with plenty of thump for 300 yards and under, the .358 is an excellent round. If I could find a .358 barrel for my pre-81 BLR, I would change out in an instant. But, as noted by Mike Irwin, the .358 has somewhat of a cult following, and people generally don't part with them.

Johnny Guest
January 21, 2004, 03:28 PM
While I have zero personal experience with the .358, I did a fair amount of research on the .35 caliber cartridges a few years ago. It seems the .358 will do almost anything the .35 Whelen will, using the light-to-mid weight bullets, and in a more compact package.

The obvious parallel which springs to mind is that of the parent cartridges: .30'06 for the .35 Whelen, and .308 for the .358 Win.

I elected to wait for a Whelen, but I'd probably have been highly satisfied with a .358 . . . .


January 21, 2004, 07:27 PM
Johnny Guest, I recently acquired a bad habit of wasting too much free time at the Accurate Reloading and 24 Hour Campfire forums. As a result, I recently acquired a Whelen, but still want a .358 BLR as its backup rifle. :)

Johnny Guest
January 21, 2004, 08:16 PM
WYO, what kind of Whelen did you obtain? What sights? What kinda loads do you use in yours?

I recently traded for a Rem 700 Classic, which was just what I'd been hunting for the past couple of years. I'd considered having my old Ruger 77 .30'06 rebarrelled, too, but now I have what I want. Need to get the old Weaver V4.5 repaired, or swapped out, and then I'll get to work on the handloads.

Another man and I have worked up some 220 and 225 gr. loads for his iron sighted Whelen - - Used mostly IMR 4895 powder, and they seem to have promise.

A .358 as backup for your Whelen? Well, you could surely use the same bullets in each. Tell me, can you form .358 brass from .308 as we have formed .35 W from .30'06? My RCBS dies come with a two-stage expander, and a single pass expands neck and sizes case body. Very handy.

Tell you what - - Rather than us causing this thread to veer any further, you might want to answer above in a PM or e-mail.

All best,

January 21, 2004, 09:10 PM
"brass from .308 as we have formed .35 W from .30'06? " --YUP, even easier for .358 - one pass!;)

January 21, 2004, 09:24 PM
The .358 Win only suffers from one thing: it kicks; and the biggest share of users do not like kick. Sorry, but that is the sad truth.

The .358 has everything the 35 Whelen has, much as the .308 has everything the 30/06 has. But the 35 calibers kick a tad more.

I, too, have zero personal experience w/ .358 but I moved to the .375 H&H having been thoroughly innoculated with Elmer Keith from an early age. It also boots harder than most enjoy but the rifles are usually more hefty and have better stocks than a deer rifle, which the .358 was basically marketed as. Take a look at a pre-64 Model 70 Featherweight. That was the class of rifle where they positioned the .358, rather than a heavy safari model. Similar guns chambering the .358 were the Win 100 autoloader, the Win 88 leave her action, the Savage 99, etc. Not really big guns but handy woods rifles that kick about half again as hard as a 30/06. YMMV

January 22, 2004, 12:21 AM
"Tell you what - - Rather than us causing this thread to veer any further, you might want to answer above in a PM or e-mail"

Since I started this tread, I will permit it to go off topic, so long as we are talking about .35 Whelen, as it is another .35 cal round that I'm interested in...

January 22, 2004, 08:06 AM
The 35 Whelen and the 358 Win are two eggs in the same basket. One is based on the '06, tother on the .308. There ain't a dime's worth a difference in their actual performance. The only area I can think where the Whelen would have an edge is sometimes the standard length actions (30/06 length in USA) could handle heavier (longer) bullets in the magazine box. If the 358 is chambered in a short action (308 length in USA) it could have too short a magazine and possibly chmaber throat to allow heavy 250 grain or over bullets.

The big calibers really come into their own when stoked with the heavier bullets as they have the sectional density to penetrate like an oil rig. HTH

Vern Humphrey
January 22, 2004, 11:47 AM
My "heavy" rifle, Bigfoot Wallace, is a custom '03 Springfield in .35 Brown-Whelen (the most radical form of the Whelen.)

I must admit, C.W. Fritch, who built this rifle in the late '60s or early '70s knew a thing or two about recoil management. Although the rifle has a short length of pull (ideal for huniting in cold weather) the stock and pad make it quite comfortable to shoot (admittedly, I never shoot more than a couple of dozen rounds at a time.)

This rifle, driving a 225 grain Nosler Partition Jacket at 2,800 fps, will do for anything on this continent.

January 22, 2004, 11:58 AM
Vern, I've seen a few of the Griffin & Howe Springfield conversions in places like Cabelas Gun Library. Beautiful pieces but need a 2nd mortgage :eek: 35 Whelen is one of the famous old cartridges that they used.

Johnny Guest
January 22, 2004, 12:03 PM

I agree, the .35 caliber rifles are fascinating artifacts. .35 Whelen, .35 Remington, .358 Win, .350 RemMag, 9x57, and probably others - - Wish I had time and money to experience ALL of 'em.

I sold my first .338 WinMag after some extensive chest reconstruction a few years back, anticipating that I'd never be able to handle the recoil properly. Well, praises be, I recovered better than I'd hoped, and sought another above-.30 rifle. I bought, as WYO phrased it, "a Ruger .338 with a boat paddle stock." Well, friends, that rifle just purely doesn't FIT me, and the recoil with factory loads is ungentle.

Last year, I bought the .375 H&H I'd always wanted. This one is a Rem 700, and it shoots well with factory ammo. I have dies and components but haven't started loading for it yet. It is actually more pleasant to shoot than my .338.

Had I known I was going to happen onto my .35 Whelen, though, in a very acceptable swap out, I could have saved a lot of money. I'm really looking forward to refining loads for it. With an iron sighted .45-70 for close up and the .35 for farther out, I may very well neglect my other rifles for a while.


Vern Humphrey
January 22, 2004, 12:09 PM
BigG. I love this rifle.

A while back, I was having a bit of a misfire problem, so I installed a heavier Wolff mainspring. That caused problems with the safety (hard to cam the striker rod back) and the Mashburn trigger.

I bought a LaPorte 3-position Winchester-style safety and fitted it to the rifle, re-tuned the trigger, and it shoots better than ever, with a faster lock time (the LaPorte eliminates the traditional Springfield cocking knob.)

January 22, 2004, 12:26 PM
Sounds like a seriously nice piece, Vern. (drool) :cool: Glad you got the mechanical aspects sorted out.

35 caliber has just never taken off as a rifle round in USA with the exception of 35 Rem, which everybody claims kills all out of proportion to its size. Of course it kicks about like a 30/30 also. Go figure. ;)

Vern Humphrey
January 22, 2004, 03:17 PM
I must say Bigfoot Wallace has his share of honest scars (many of them put there by me, falling down a rockslide, or other misadventure in the Rockies.)

I don't understand why the .35 isn't more popular. It strikes a great balance between the .338 and the .375.

And the Whelen or .358 are NOT "short-range" cartridges. Damn' few of us have ever shot anything beyond 300 yards, and those cartridges are just fine for that range.

Johnny Guest
January 22, 2004, 06:51 PM
Vern Humphrey, I must admit that I tended to think of it as such, due to helping work up loads for that iron-sighted sporter. But I got to looking and calculatin' and schemin' - - - It appears I can easily use the Sierra 225 gr in the .35W and pretty much match the trajectory of the 180 gr. .30'06 load. I think it'll do fine, way out beyond any range at which *I* will shoot at a game animal.

But, just for fun, I have this pal in Brewster County, who has a 500 yard range right outside his back porch . . . . :p


PS: What powder do you use to launch your 225 Nosler at 225?

Also: Do you notice any difference in use of cases formed from .30'06, vice Remington factory .35W cases?


January 22, 2004, 08:45 PM
" It is actually more pleasant to shoot than my .338." Funny how everybody seems to find this odd fact out. I don't know why tossing 50more grains 150fps slower is sooo much more er.. less violent,but it is true! My old Ruger .338 kicked the bejeebers out of me at 8lbs. Now, I'm 15years older and my 7 1/4lb Rem 700 custom .375H&H definitely is not unpleasant.(although stout) in the recoil dept. It seems about the same as my 30year old Weatherby .300 which weighs 8 lbs..:cool: BTW the Savage .358 99 kicks MUCH less than these big boys, it kicks about like a 30-06 with 180grain bullets when I shoot the 200grain load.

Vern Humphrey
January 22, 2004, 10:13 PM
Johnny Guest:

The 225 grain Sierra is a fine bullet -- I got a lot of them cheap when I was working up loads for this rifle. I had absolutely NO loading data to start with -- and what I found (P.O. Ackley's data) was flat dangerous!

I use Nosler PJs for hunting -- what the heck, with what you spend for an elk hunt, why not use the best bullets? But the Sierra GameKing would do about as well, I suspect.

You're absolutely right that the 225 grain bullet will just about match the .30-06 180 grain bullet. And few men can shoot well enough to use all the range the .30-06 gives you, especially in the Rockies, when you're heaving and panting from climbing in that thin air.

I use Reloader 15 in my .35 Brown-Whelen, a pretty stiff charge (well above max for the .35 Whelen).

The only difference I find between .30-06 and .35 Whelen brass is that I have to increase the fireforming charge of Bullseye by 10 grains to get the Whelen brass to fill out. I don't use a bullet, I just put a quater-sheet of toilet paper in the case mouth, and feed it into the chamber from the magazine. The extractor holds it against the bolt face, and -- with a proper charge -- it fills out beautifully.

Badger Arms
January 23, 2004, 12:20 AM
225gr has a much lower BC than the 200gr 30-06 bullet. I think that your data might come from a longer barrel than I'm used to shooting from. I know the posted Speer data is for a 22" barrel Savage 99.

January 23, 2004, 12:26 AM
Hey Gordon, if you raise the ante up to a 250 grain bullet, bet that old Savage 99 .358 will get your teeth to rattlin better. :neener:

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