The .35 Whelen

By Chuck Hawks

The .35 Whelen was a popular wildcat cartridge for decades before being civilized by Remington. It is created by simply necking up a .30-06 case to accept .35 caliber bullets. The result is a powerful medium bore cartridge that does not require a magnum action or a magnum bolt face.

Like its ballistic twin the .350 Remington Magnum, the .35 Whelen works best with medium burning rifle powders such as H335, RL-15, IMR 4320, IMR 4064, and W748. Suitable .35 caliber bullets range from about 150 grains to 250 grains, with the 220-225 grain bullets representing a sound choice for all-around use.

Here are some .35 Whelen statistics of interest to reloaders: Bullet diameter is .358", Maximum COL is 3.34", Maximum case length is 2.494", and Maximum permissible pressure is 52,000 cup.

The Speer No. 13 Reloading Manual shows that 61.0 grains of H335 powder behind a Speer 180 grain bullet yields a MV of 2804 fps, and a maximum load of 65.0 grains of H335 powder gives the 180 grain bullet a MV of 2,891 fps.

Speer data also shows that their 220 grain bullet can be driven to a MV of 2515 fps by 59.0 grains of W748 powder. A maximum load of 63.0 grains of W748 powder gives the 220 grain bullet a MV of 2,560 fps.

53.0 grains of W748 powder drove the 250 grain Speer bullets to a MV of 2277 fps, while a maximum load of 57.0 grains of W748 powder gives the 250 grain bullet a MV of 2,350 fps. These Speer loads were developed in R-P cases and used CCI 250 primers. The test rifle was a Remington Model 700 with a 22" barrel.

Note: A full length article about the .35 Whelen and .350 Rem. Mag. can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2004, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.