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Need Info on .35 Whelen for Deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Rebailey, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. Rebailey

    Rebailey Member

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    I am thinking of getting a .35 Whelen for deer. What bullet would be the best: 180, 200, 225, 250? What are your experiences with this caliber?
     
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry you haven't had any responses yet.

    I've taken one deer so far with a .35 Whelen Remington 700. I have two more .35s now, a custom bolt and a Rem 7600, I just haven't had the time to hunt with them.

    I would suggest a 200 or 225 for deer. I believe I was using a 225 for the doe I hit. She took two steps and fell. In GA, you can hunt hogs during deer season, and I would want to have a bullet I thought was capable for that. My friend Byron Quick put a .35 into the shoulder of a decent hog, who promptly turned around, at which time Byron put another into his other shoulder! (Byron's not a big fan of Remington Corelokts, and has since gone to other bullets for his Whelen.)

    You don't need a 250 unless you're hunting extremely heavy animals, and 180 IMO is too light*. 200 and 225 are easiest to find, anyway. :) Depending on the size deer where you hunt, you may want a sturdy bullet, like a Failsafe or X.

    I would like to get some 180-grain .357 XTPs, loaded to about 2000 fps, for short-range .35 Whelen loads. The handloads of Matt G's I fired were quite accurate, considering I was firing from kneeling and using iron sights.

    Member John Dyer has some elusive Remington 700s in .35 Whelen. John has great prices, and in fact, I bought my 7600 from him.

    The .35 Whelen has been described as a "brush cartridge", but in fact, is an extremely versatile cartridge that can take almost any large game in the world, in a standard length action and without punishing recoil. It is similar to the 9.3x62mm, which by some estimates took more African game than any other caliber. Like the .270 and .25-06, it is a .30-06 necked to a different caliber.

    Hope this helps,

    John

    *At high velocity. I also wouldn't use a 150 grain .300 Winchester Magnum on deer, either, unless it were a very sturdy bullet like an X bullet.
     
  3. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    +1

    I disagree that the 180 grain would be to light for avg. sized white tail. For hogs, I think that the 225 grain would be excellent. The .35 has no "varmint" cross over potential, it was invented as a big game round, unlike say the .243.

    My experience with the .35 is woefully limited to one outing. All North American game (moose and griz included) and most African species should fall to this round.
     
  4. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, you could be right. I was basing that statement on what I've seen when other very light for caliber/power bullets were used, like that .300/150 I mentioned. At close range, I'd be concerned that a 180 .35 Whelen would be explosive.

    J
     
  5. critter

    critter Member

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    I have 2 guns in that caliber, both on M98 actions. I find them to be 'thumpers' on deer (which is the only game I have taken with them).

    I use 200's in one and 225's in the other-for no other reason than that is the bullets each prefer for accuracy. Either will kill a deer DRT if well placed.

    I would probably investigate the heavier bullets more if I were to hunt heavy game such as moose or elk or perhaps bear.
     
  6. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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  7. TehK1w1

    TehK1w1 Member

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    I would think that a 225gr would work perfectly well. It's probably the easiest to find, so why not try it first? I use Federal's 225gr load in mine. (although the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw is really a bit much for a deer)
     
  8. VegasOPM

    VegasOPM Member

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    I think that whatever you come up with should cleanly take any deer that you could find...
     
  9. Old Grump

    Old Grump Member

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    180 is more than sufficient

    That being said I would try all of them and pick the most accurate regardless of bullet weight and practice with it. That is your round for that gun.
     
  10. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    +1 for what "Old Grump" said. Any of the .35 Whelen bullet weights will get the job done on Whitetails and Mulies. Go for the one that is most accurate in your rifle.

    :cool:
     
  11. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, that's the thing. My buddy and fellow staff member Byron Q. hit a deer with a .300 WM 150 grain. Its shoulder socket was lying on the ground and it ran off. The lightweight, high speed bullet explosively fragmented, causing major damage, but not giving the penetration hunting bullets need.

    That would be my concern with a 180 grain soft point, unless it was a very sturdy bullet like an X, especially at closer ranges.

    John
     
  12. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Let me guess, Nosler Ballistic tip
     
  13. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    :what:

    uhhhh Can you give me a hand???? uhhh huh huh... uh huh huh huh

    ouch

    I hear you on the 180 grains... I usually take neck shots.
     
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    No, it was a soft point, but I don't know if it was Remington or Winchester. Maybe Byron will show up and refresh my memory.

    I did some more research. 180 grain .35 Whelen bullets should be flying around 2900 fps.

    150 grain .300 WM bullets are traveling around 3300 fps.

    The SDs of each follow.

    Sectional density of 0.226 with a bullet weight of 150 and diameter of .308".
    Sectional density of 0.201 with a bullet weight of 180 and diameter of .358".

    So, the 150 is traveling much faster, but the 180 .35 has much lower SD. Damfino.

    J
     
  15. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain.

    John has confused two separate incidents. Both with Core-Lokt. One with 180 grain and one with 150 grain.

    The one where the ball of the shoulder joint was lying on the ground was with a 180 grain Core-Lokt. Range was thirty yards. I was aiming at the buck's short ribs on his left side with an angle to traverse both lungs and exit his right shoulder. Just as I pressed the trigger, he moved just a bit to his right. Just enough that the bullet didn't hit his short ribs. It hit his left front shoulder from behind and he did the three leg boogie out of there. Found the shoulder ball lying on the ground when I got down out of the stand.

    150 grain might be ok with sturdier bullets. With Remington CoreLokt in .300 Win Mag, 150 grain is basically a varmint round. Darn thing exploded just as it entered the thoracic cavity. The lead core made a left turn and wound up under the hide at the right hip. The jacket separated into several blender blades that pureed all of that deer's organs except his bladder. Talk about a mess.

    If you go with the lighter bullet, higher velocity setup, premium bullet construction is a must. If the bullet blows up on you, it'll make you wish you had never taken the shot.
     
  16. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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    Lighter .35 caliber rifle bullets vary in construction. Some might not be suitable for deer close up. The Remington 200 grain PSP is ok at .35 Whelen velocities, but some roundnose bullets intended for the .35 Remington come apart too fast to please me.

    David
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    In my .35 Brown-Whelen, I like the 225 grain Nosler Partition Jacket for elk. For whitetails, I actually use a .357 190-grain cast bullet, at around 1600 fps.
     
  18. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Vern,

    That sounds like good whitetail medicine. :) You cast 'em yourself?

    Byron, I appreciate the clarification.

    John
     
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Yep, out of wheel weights and lube them with liquid alox.
     
  20. EShell

    EShell Member

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    I used a .35 W for more than 20 years on whitetails and I don't think I'd ever wished for anything else. I've shot plenty with other calibers, but the Whelen seems almost ideal for my sort of hunting.

    IMHO:
    I liked the Hornaday 200 spitzer, which offered great ballistics and excellent terminal effect. I used a couple boxes of Speer 180s and they did fine, but were kind of destructive with top loads and though I've never shot a hog with it, I think they're too light. The Speer 250 was a little heavily constructed for deer and I didn't get very good expansion in the single bullet recovered. It penetrated from right hindquarter to front shoulder and was under the skin. Everything else was more broadside, and has just blown through. I got a box of Nosler 225 BTs, but never shot a deer with them, only paper.
     
  21. BIGR

    BIGR Member

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    Once read a magazine article that listed the 35 whelen as one of the most efficient calibers around as far as getting the most out of the powder burned. Never owned one myself but they do interest me for Bambi hunting in thick brush.
     
  22. Tom Krein

    Tom Krein Member

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    I like the 200 grain bullets for Whitetail. They hit with AUTHORITY!!:D

    Tom
     
  23. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    This is a group I fired with a rebarreled '03, with peep sights. 50 yard group, from kneeling, with handloaded .357 bullets.

    Whelen.jpg
     
  24. BIGR

    BIGR Member

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    Nice JShirley, I think that will do the trick.
     
  25. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    I've been using a 35 Whelen (Homemade Mauser VZ24 action w/ Douglas barrel) for a few years now. It's accounted for 1 whitetail buck, 1 whitetail doe, and 2 bull elk. The deer were both kill with Nosler 225 gr. Partitions. Bang, flop. WAY more bullet than needed for deer in my opinion. I used the same bullet to hit and ultimately lose a 5x5 bull. Long story. Two days later I killed a larger 6x6 with the Nosler. I was still a little disappointed with the lack of penetration from this bullet.
    Enter the Barnes 225 gr. TSX. Super, super accurate in my rifle grouping under 1" with boring regularity. My Dad used my rifle and the Barnes to finish a bull he'd hit with his 338-06. With the Whelen and the 225 gr. Barnes started at a little under 2700 fps, he hit the bull at somewhere around 200-250 yds. square in the butt. The bullet travelled lengthwise and stopped in the bulls right shoulder.
    Elkbulletruler.gif
    ElkHunt200524Red.gif

    Excellent bullet, but again, a little more than needed for deer. I've tested but never actually hunted with both the Hornady and Remington 200 gr. SP's. I would think they'd be all you'd need for deer plus recoil would be less than with the 225.
    I have quite a bit of load data as well as chronograph data from my Whelen on 200 & 225 gr. bullets. If you need it, let me know.
    Regards,
    35W
     
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