Getting into the 35 Whelen Game

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
763
672
I filled the hole between my 338 Lapua and 416 WBY. This was done the poor man’s way , as I have a total of $740 (as pictured) into it. Everything was purchased new with a lot of shopping around.
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The bullets are the hold up now. I purchased a bunch of Nosler 225gr BTs. The seller sent them to someone else , so I’m waiting for them to make their way to me.
As for the CVA rifle it is nose heavy.
 

JD338

Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004
21,847
1,229
Congratulations. You are going to love the 35 Whelen. When compared to your 338 Lapua and 416 Wby, the Whelen is a big stick in a small bundle. It generates a lot of horse power from an '6 case.
JD338
 
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KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
424
387
That's a great looking rifle, and the price is nice, too. I have a feeling you will be very happy with it, and those 225s should be about perfect for everything.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
763
672
The other day my bullets showed up and I loaded up some with RL12 and sent them down the barrel. QL missed this combo badly. I was looking for 2600fps but it took me 3grs more to get there. 56 & 57grs got me there , but I’m starting to see some case web expansion. Reading pressure on a break action isn’t as easy as a bolt action.
I am a little disappointed with RL12 in this rifle for velocity , but I’m in the fire-forming stage.
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I loaded several different charges to get on paper and see what kind of group I can get out of the 225gr BTs.
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The picture doesn’t show the best , but the shoulder on the fired one on the right is nice and sharp.
 

D21ALASKA

Beginner
Oct 29, 2013
196
87
Been looking at that same rifle myself. Will stick with my 350 Rem Mag for most things but I feel that would be a great truck gun in the Whelen. Interested to see how she shoots for you.
 

noslerpartition

Handloader
May 26, 2018
898
170
That's a Bergara, right?
It is popular over here - but it usually needs some work on the rail.
If it doesn't shoot, look there first.
Then pay close attention where you rest the forearm.
If it works out for you as it is: congratulations!

I - and hundreds of others, had to do some fine tuning
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
763
672
That's a Bergara, right?
Well yes and no. CVA rifle with a Bergara made barrel.
No RL15 here , I still have plenty of RL12 to use up before I crack open a keg of Varget. I do have a dusting of W748 left , but my next move will be RL17. The throat seems long on this rifle so seating longer will give some room for RL17.
I am waiting for a little cooler weather to see how accuracy is on RL12 first.
 

NMachine

Beginner
Dec 22, 2021
10
12
You will appreciate that rifle being nose heavy, especially if you step up to 250 gr at some point. It will help with muzzle rise. IMR 4166 is another powder to add to the list. It behaves well in the Whelen.
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,792
312
Sorry about the no RL15. It seems to be the perfect powder in my three .35 Whelens. I cam run the 225 gr. TSX to 2720 FPS and accuracy was very good. I did run some H3335 with the 250 gr. Hornady SP and RN and the Speer Hot Core 250 gr. as well. Decent velocity and great accuracy as well.
Paul B.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
763
672
Since today’s weather was too humid to do anything constructive , I decided to squeeze some RL17 behind the 225gr BTs. I lengthen the COAL out to 3.450” and loaded 60-68grs. 68grs is a full case. Strapped on the Magnetospeed and the results are below.
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QL hit this one on the head. 68grs is coming in at 62400psi , which is a little higher than I would like. No need to beat up the brass so 64 and 66 are well under SAAMI’s 59000psi.
I loaded up some of 64 and 66 to try along with the RL12 loads.
 

Brinky72

Beginner
Jan 25, 2019
171
31
I had decent luck with CFE223 and AA2000MR if available. Those two produced great velocities in the newest Speer manual and good accuracy in my rifle. Although I’m using RL15 as I have five pounds of it that I picked up pre hysteria. I can get 2650 fps easy with 250’s and good brass.
 

Brinky72

Beginner
Jan 25, 2019
171
31
Since today’s weather was too humid to do anything constructive , I decided to squeeze some RL17 behind the 225gr BTs. I lengthen the COAL out to 3.450” and loaded 60-68grs. 68grs is a full case. Strapped on the Magnetospeed and the results are below.
View attachment 17321
QL hit this one on the head. 68grs is coming in at 62400psi , which is a little higher than I would like. No need to beat up the brass so 64 and 66 are well under SAAMI’s 59000psi.
I loaded up some of 64 and 66 to try along with the RL12 loads.
Beauty about the Whelen is that it kills efficiently whether your running it at 2400 or 2800.
 

FOTIS

Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
23,227
496
Nice! I might try some RL-17 with the 200 gr hammers.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
763
672
Well the CVA is work in process I learned today. I shot a few groups with the 225gr BTs with RL12 and RL17. First I had to get the scope dialed in , then a few groups.
Best of the day was a mid charge of RL12
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For some reason this barrel just wouldn’t cool down and it showed. I took 3 rifles with me today and rotated between them.
I shot a total of 5 groups with it and the last 3 had the first 2 shots within 1/2” and the 3rd about 1 1/2” lower left. It’s a good 2 shot rifle , but I guess for hunting the first shot matters the most.
The group posted is 55.5gr of RL12 , thats what I’ll work with this fall.
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,792
312
I thought Rl17 was a tad slow for use in the .35 Whelen. I ru 60.4 gr. Rl15 in my Whelen with the 225 gr. Barnes TSX bullet. I get 2710 FPS with groups running between .50" and .75". I never did try anything else. I will add that the load appears safe in my custom Mauser but has proved to be too hot in a Ruger M77 and Remington 700 Classic.
Paul B.
 
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