35 Whelen and PP2000-MR

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
My Whelen is an Ackley version, and accuracy is good, but I still haven't shot the clover leaf that I know the gun is capable of (I occasionally get a couple shots in the same hole and then the next will be out a ways). It is built as a Featherweight M70, and I am still trying to find exactly what is required to shoot it accurately off the bench, but hunting accuracy is there. Best groups are right at an inch with Speer 250s.

After the new data from Speer came out, I thought I should give the top powders a try. I had planned on using RL17, as the QL Data shows it as an outstanding powder for the Whelen, but there really isn't any tested data available for it.

I gave CFE223 a try first, since I had some handy for my 223. I started near the max as published by Speer, and worked my way up, only looking for accuracy and pressure signs. Never ran into pressure signs, but I thought accuracy should be better (it wasn't bad, but I have a Pac-Nor Match Grade barrel on this one). I then found a couple pounds of PP2000-MR and figured I would see if it performed any better.

Same procedure of starting near max and working up for the Ackley. I never ran into pressure signs, stopping at what I felt was a safe maximum for the AI (Std data + 3%). At 68 grains, accuracy was equal to my best groups with other powders, so I decided that 1" would do for hunting at any range I was likely to encounter, so I played with seating depth and busted out the chronograph.

I was pretty shocked at the printout...2747 average with an SD of 10.9. The first shot was an anomaly (low), and without it my SD would be low single digits. I would have thought the chronograph was off, but other loads confirmed that it was reading correctly. I don't know if there is any truth to the idea that there are slow and fast barrels, but even with a mild load of CFE223 for fire forming, it was pushing a 250gr Hornady at 2650. Again, this is built as a Featherweight, and only has a 22" barrel!

I would say that this new Speer data is giving this cartridge a huge boost.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
22,117
1,792
That's impressive. 338 Win Mag performance.

JD338
 

26NosFan

Handloader
Apr 3, 2015
410
2
I have a nasty hankering for a big 35. I sure wish nosler would make a 35 to go with my 26. That said I have been looking at the Whelan or a 358 Norma but to be honest if I could find a decent rifle in 350 Remington I would be very happy. I've even thought about the 35 Sambar(358 WSM) since 325 cases are plenty and one step forming.
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,963
328
Never tried PP2000-MR but my 35 Whelen AI loves CFE223.
Mine is a M70 24" barrel J.E.S rebore 1-12 twist 4 grove with a long throat so I can use the 3.4" mag box.
Off the bench with (CFE223) my load and 200gr AB seated to 3.395" oal it will shoot .368"X.404" groups at 100yds with vel running at 2900fps.
The Ackely doesn't show pressure signs until it is dangerous and ready to ruin your rifle and your day so be careful how you load it. I try to keep my loads around 62K psi.
 

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
Based on case volume, I should still be at least a grain below max as compared to the standard Whelen. I have ZERO pressure signs, and that is all I can go on, but I could certainly dial it back a bit if needed.

I shot some of the Hornady Superformance 200 grain factory stuff, and it chronographed 2900 out of this gun.

I have not tried the 200s, but I got pretty lack luster groups from the 225 ABs.
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,963
328
5shot":3fsovu6h said:
Based on case volume, I should still be at least a grain below max as compared to the standard Whelen. I have ZERO pressure signs, and that is all I can go on, but I could certainly dial it back a bit if needed.

I shot some of the Hornady Superformance 200 grain factory stuff, and it chronographed 2900 out of this gun.

I have not tried the 200s, but I got pretty lack luster groups from the 225 ABs.
Usually you have to give the AB some jump to the lands. I can't help you much with OAL since my rifle is throated long similar to a Weatherby and can't reach the lands so my OAL won't help you much.
My go to load for the 225 AB and PT is 65.5 grs of CFE 223 and is below 60K psi. Vel is running around 2800 fps in Rem fire formed 35 Whelen brass.
Start out 10 thousandths off the lands and work back shortening the OAL it might come in for you.
 

SJB358

Ballistician
Dec 24, 2006
31,398
757
That 250 running 2750 is pretty serious HP. Not much reason to try much else unless you just wanna play around.
 

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
SJB358":vmujmehf said:
That 250 running 2750 is pretty serious HP. Not much reason to try much else unless you just wanna play around.

Yeah, it is all I think I'll need. I'm certainly not pushing for more velocity, but I will play around a bit with seating depth and see what happens. I am debating about scrubbing the barrel, but it really doesn't have that many rounds through it.
 

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
truck driver":capndg3q said:
Never tried PP2000-MR but my 35 Whelen AI loves CFE223.
Mine is a M70 24" barrel J.E.S rebore 1-12 twist 4 grove with a long throat so I can use the 3.4" mag box.
Off the bench with (CFE223) my load and 200gr AB seated to 3.395" oal it will shoot .368"X.404" groups at 100yds with vel running at 2900fps.
The Ackely doesn't show pressure signs until it is dangerous and ready to ruin your rifle and your day so be careful how you load it. I try to keep my loads around 62K psi.

I went back and took another look at this load to make sure I wasn't straying into the danger zone. I can easily get 3 more grains of powder in the case at my current OAL without any compression what so ever. Since the Speer data shows their max as a compressed powder charge, I think I am well below max. Feel free to correct me if that assumption is wrong.

I suppose the Chronograph could be wrong, and I will double check it against another to make sure all is well there. I am hoping I will get a chance to do that this weekend.
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,963
328
5shot":3qs6tto1 said:
truck driver":3qs6tto1 said:
Never tried PP2000-MR but my 35 Whelen AI loves CFE223.
Mine is a M70 24" barrel J.E.S rebore 1-12 twist 4 grove with a long throat so I can use the 3.4" mag box.
Off the bench with (CFE223) my load and 200gr AB seated to 3.395" oal it will shoot .368"X.404" groups at 100yds with vel running at 2900fps.
The Ackely doesn't show pressure signs until it is dangerous and ready to ruin your rifle and your day so be careful how you load it. I try to keep my loads around 62K psi.

I went back and took another look at this load to make sure I wasn't straying into the danger zone. I can easily get 3 more grains of powder in the case at my current OAL without any compression what so ever. Since the Speer data shows their max as a compressed powder charge, I think I am well below max. Feel free to correct me if that assumption is wrong.

I suppose the Chronograph could be wrong, and I will double check it against another to make sure all is well there. I am hoping I will get a chance to do that this weekend.
To be honest with you it is hard to give advise on a wild cat chambering with out having access to your rifle and brass since there are so many different signs to look for and every chamber can differ depending on the reamer being new or number of times it was sharpened. Velocity is one of the best guides but not the only one for pressure signs and you can't depend on the old flattened primer sign for pressure.

Preacher Jim sent me a few pieces of brass he had fire formed in the chamber of his rifle that wouldn't fit in my chamber till I full length resized it, this shows you not all chambers are the same like a factory chamber or similar in over all size.

I have purposely used the same 10 pieces of brass from the same lot to develop loads and check case life and watch the changes the constant reloading effects on the brass to see or look for trouble signs.
Brass flow, donuts in the case necks, stretched cases and rings burnt ahead of the case webbing are all things to look for just to name a few of the obvious.
This is where you will find the trouble signs of extreme pressure in an Ackely load.

After saying all of this remember I am no expert on reloading or Ackley cartridges and don't claim to be I only know my rifle and how to load for it.
(Disclaimer)
Your use of the information I provide is totally your responsibility.

The world of wild cat cartridges is totally different from the SAAMI standard cartridge's we know and use.
 

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
I have some freshly formed Nosler Brass, so I can grab 10 out of that batch and see what happens. I have 3 loadings on my Hornady Brass, but I have heard that it can be a bit soft, which is why I ordered the Nosler. I'll have to look for the indicators that you mentioned.

Since it was a new barrel, and not a rechamber of a standard Whelen, I have no idea what to expect velocity wise. Although, as I mentioned before, I was easily able to get 2900fps from the 200grn Hornady factory load.

The reamer was a new Manson BTW.
 

358 WCF

Beginner
Jan 31, 2020
146
7
Good information.

To add to the above in a 700 Classic standard 35 Whelen 22" barrel with 1.5-5x Leupold using new/old stock RP brass & WLR.

At 85* CCFE223/200 Horn. SpPt at 3.340" from 65gr @2718fps to 71.5 @ 2924fps. calling 70gr. @2902fps max. groups open from c.3/4" at 68gr. @2803fps.

PP2000MR seems to be a better choice in my rifle. Same box of bullet, primers & brass:

With same 200 Horn SpPt. at 70* from 70gr @2749fps to73 gr @2903fps. 72.5 @ 2882 shot around an inch but wind was switchy & gusty that day. Cases were full to almost overflowing so powder was compressed... a lot. Ran out of boiler room before pressuring out. Sierra #VI used Norma brass. Felt recoil went to a whole new level with some of the higher charges becoming much quicker & snappier from the usual push. I had to wrap the last 3 fingers on my trigger hand in an old rag to protect them from the trigger guard while at the bench. Not good loads to shoot free-recoil.

PP2000MR with same brass & primers & 225 Sierra at 3.300" at 80* went from 69gr @ 2741fps to 71.5gr @2884fps. No undue pressure signs. Pockets remain tight. This could be a great load with some adjustment. Groups with all loads were 3 & 1 with 3 hovering around 1/2" & the 4th opening to about 1.250". Case was full on all, so will say that this powder is less than the best for 200 gr bullets as virtually the same velocities were reached with 225s. Some PP Varmint is on the shopping list for the 200s. Again felt recoil crossed a noticeable line with upper charges.

Yesterday completed the initial 2000MR trials in my Whelen. Same brass & primers with 250 Speer Spitzer at 3.340". From 63gr @ 2502fps to 66.5gr @ 2642fps at 70*. No high pressure noted. The wind was brutal at the range yesterday so waiting for relative calm it took about forever to finish. Lots of horizontal in the groups but they still hung around an inch to 1 1/2".

It took so long that the ladder for PP2000MR with 200s in 358 Norma had to stop about 1/2 way thru as the sun got too low for reliable chronograph readings. More will be revealed. Maybe tomorrow if it dont rain.

Also notable is how clean this stuff burns.

Giving this powder a try in a 22-250 Ackley since the original can of IMR4350 ran out & the new jug is waaaaaaaay slower. RL17 didn't get it accuracy-wise. RL23 is identical to the old 4350 in my 300 H&H but couldn't generate the same speeds in the smaller case. An old bottle of AA2700 is close to the older 4350, but it's good to have newer options.

Edited for an omission & a typo.
 

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
Thanks for the data points. Looks like I am in the realistic range with my load. Still going to run it over another chronograph, and this weekend I am running 3 shot groups at 4 different seating depths (0.015" increments) and then declaring a winner with a couple weeks to spare before elk season gets going.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,113
11
Thanks for sharing your results those are some crazy speeds. I'll be trying it at some point I think with 225's or heavier.
 

358 WCF

Beginner
Jan 31, 2020
146
7
Glad to share. I forgot to write these were all 4 shot groups. The SD & ES numbers were pretty good with the 2000MR. The SD for all loads with all 3 bullet weights never exceeded 20 & there were enough single digits to show good uniformity. CFE223 was about double this with the 200s.
 

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
I ran my SD without the one errant velocity, since the others were so close, and it was 3.xxx . Pretty amazing. I'll have more data this weekend.
 

sask boy

Ammo Smith
Nov 4, 2007
6,000
5
That is some outstanding speed with a 250gr. bullet.
I am using RL15 & 225gr. ABs out of my 35 Whelen and thought I was doing well at just over 2800fps.
Thanks for the post (y).

Blessings,
Dan
 

5shot

Handloader
Jan 13, 2016
638
0
I made it out to my dad's this weekend and ran some rounds over another chronograph. The second chronograph confirmed the velocity from the first, so the 2750 is not an error.

I also ran a standard Whelen round over the Chronograph using Speer's max load of 66.2 grns to see where it was at. Velocity for it was 2675 fps with standard brass in the Ackley chamber. Everything seems to correlate pretty close to what Speer's data indicates.

The rifle is pretty finicky off the bench, and getting a tiny group has eluded me. First 2 rounds were almost touching, and then I threw the 3rd a ways out, but 1" or so is more than adequate for the hunting I will be doing here in NE Washington.
 

gerry

Ammo Smith
Mar 1, 2007
6,113
11
Those kind of speeds are in traditional 338 WM territory and not too far off what is possible in a 358 Norma. Just need to have Nosler release the 35 Nosler and some 250 gr ABLR or AccuBond bullets for those of us with faster twist 35 Whelen's :mrgreen:
 
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