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Turn a 35 Whelen into a (sort of) 358 Winchester?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Elkins45, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    I have a Savage style (Marlin XL-7) rifle that is wearing a 35 Whelen barrel. I wonder if there are enough threads forward that a fellow could just face off the barrel until the chamber is reduced to 358 Win length. I think the taper and shoulder are different, which is why I'm calling it a "sort of" 358 Win.

    If the dies were faced off the same amount you could resize 308 brass to fit the new chamber. I will admit to being lazy and not looking at the actual case dimensions prior to asking the question in the hope that somebody has already tried it, or figured out why it won't work.
  2. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    I can't imagine why anyone would want to do this. If it's a 35 Whelen now, it has to be a long action and I can't see why anyone would want a long action 358 Win.

    I don't think there's going to be enough thread to cut off almost the 1/2 inch difference between the two.
  3. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    To feed long bullets.
  4. natman

    natman Well-Known Member

    Oh, the long bullet myth. No matter how far out you load the bullet in a 358 Win, it's not going to have as much case volume as a 35 Whelen. So the result of your modifications will be less performance.

    So what's the point?
  5. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    It's not about case volume. I should have pointed that out. It's about running out of room in the magazine with long, heavy bullets and having feed malfunctions. I'm thinking that the shorter case will give me a little more running room for the case to release from the magazine before the bullet nose plunks into the bottom of the feed ramp.

    It's a dedicated cast bullet rifle so I really don't need the extra case capacity anyway. The 358 will drive a 280 grain cast lead bullet as fast as I could possibly want it to go.

    But mostly it's just an interesting mental exercise. Sort of a thought experiment. Plus, you know at least one person has done something like this before. Everything has been done at least once.
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Resetting a barrel like that can be done, but first the barrel has to have a contour such that resetting and rechambering won't get into the thinner part of the barrel. Then the current sights and markings come into play. It is tricky (though not impossible) to reset the barrel so the sights (if any) are in the right place and the markings are visible. Otherwise, sights will have to be moved, which could be easy or quite difficult.

    Also, you will need to ream the chamber as the .308 family is wider at the shoulder than the .30-'06 (and .35 Whelen) is at that point.

    If the "fellow" is the owner, I don't consider that sort of thing a DIY job. I would consult a gunsmith, make sure he understands what you want to do and get an estimate.

  7. LAGS

    LAGS Well-Known Member

    That sounds like a great ides.
    But what are you going to shoot in it.
    If you dont properly ream it to a .358 Win, then you have to have custom dies made for it.
    In the long run, it would just be cheaper to buy a 358 win barrel and have it swapped out.
    That is what I intend to do with a Savage 10 that I have in .308 right now.
    I will be doing the swapping myself since I have the wrench barrel vise action wrench and headspace gages.
    So in the long run, I can put it back to .308 anytime I want to.
    I have a 110 also and can make it into a .35 Whelen, but I have two of them that I built on Mauser actions already, but intend to rebarrel a shorter Yugo Mauser to .358 Win sometime in the near future.

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