35 Whelen questions

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by jvr, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. jvr

    jvr Member

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    On the advice from here I am buying a new barrel. For my 700 06 to convert to 35 whelen. Should I go Ai or standard. Pros and cons. Replace the factory recoil lug?

    Opinions appreciated
     
  2. RevJim

    RevJim Well-Known Member

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    I love the Ackley rounds...had a 35 Whelan AI for over 20 yrs. However, they are super easy to load too hot and not even know it! My favorite loads, and ones that I killed a lot of game with, ran on the heels of the 358 Norma Mag! I saw no "regular pressure signs, i.e. sticky bolt lift, flat primers, or ejector marks", but I was tickling 72K in a round that should not have been loaded higher than 62-65K! So, get you a 24" barrel and ream it to the standard Whelan. Use R15 and have a ball! It is a killer deluxe...less recoil but acts like a 338 win mag on game! And you don't need to replace the factory lug. That is really only helpful on big diameter, varmint weight barrels, and iffy at that! Do have your action Blueprinted/trued and pillar bedded when you get it rebarreled. Its worth the money.
     

  3. sable tireur

    sable tireur Well-Known Member

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    I have found the standard 35 Whelen to be perfectly sufficient as a hunting cartridge. There is no need to go to the sharper shoulder.

    Here is an article written by a friend of mine about his safari using the 35 Whelen:

    35 Whelen in Zimbabwe

    I agree with having the action cleaned up and blueprinted although I would insist on having a new recoil lug added to the build. The new recoil lugs are ground flat and you can have one just ever slightly bigger for almost no money at all. If you're getting the action/bolt blueprinted, get a new lug!

    Regards.
     
  4. RevJim

    RevJim Well-Known Member

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    I've only had one rifle built that I had the oversized lug put on. It was a Mod 700 6mm Remington in a varmint weight barrel. I have had many rebarreled Mod 70's, mostly Mod 700s. I've had several other actions from Mausers to Sakos pillar bedded/trued up and always used their recoil lug as well. I can see where a rifle made up for Long Range or Benchrest could benefit from every little bit of machining to make it accurate. In a "Sporter" weight, hunting rifle, especially in a cartridge like the Whelan, I could never tell any difference keeping the factory lug. Now, I need to add that I am not a bonafide Long Range hunter, my furthest shots have been right at 375yds on big game. I did kill an unlucky rabbit at 405yds with a Bushmaster Predator 223 once, ha. I certainly am not saying "don't do it", ha, its just for me, and I probably should have said that, it isn't necessary. It is much easier to use one when having a new barrel put on at the same time, of course, and they are cheap as dirt, somewhere around $40 each. It may give you that bit of 'panache", help your confidence level. :)
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, the AI is not necessary but it does give you more case volume and a more efficient powder burn and longer brass life. so this decision is yours. dies for ether round are very easy to find, so that is not a problem.

    If a 35 Whelen head space gauge is used to head space the chamber, standard 35 Whelen ammo can be use and fire formed with great accuracy while hunting. Magazine length ammo can be used and you will give up nothing.

    As far as the recoil lug, Always replace the factory recoil lug because they are NEVER perfectly flat.
    The 700 Rem uses a .187 recoil lug and I recommend replacing it with a ground aftermarket lug of .200 to .2285 because they are more than strong enough. Thicker recoil lugs are not necessary and some times weaken the stock because the recoil slot in the stock has to be opened up to except the thicker lug.

    As posted, have the action blueprinted and you wont regret it.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. toddc

    toddc Well-Known Member

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    Measure a stock recoil lug with a dial indicator. The needle will look like its on the ocean, up then down, up, down.
    For under $40 its a no brainer. I can't imagine a smith even building without a real lug. If the smith I was using didn't INSIST on a new lug......I would probably look for a new smith AND lug.
     
  7. RevJim

    RevJim Well-Known Member

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    While I can appreciate the viewpoints on new, thicker lugs, I still can't see what I have lost by going with the factory lug? I mean, my rifles are .5 to .75" shooters with several loads, and I have been doing that since my first rebarrel ( a 30-06 Douglas on a Mod 70 FWT Classic) back in '94. At least, for "me" I can't tell any difference in the field. But I will say again, for $40 or so, on a new barrel job, heck, why not? Its certainly not something that will "hurt"...
     
  8. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for the AI version and new recoil lug.
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Until long range shots became routine, It was not noticeable and 1/2 MOA was plenty good for many hunting situations. But with 1/2 MOA now being the starting point for accuracy in our game
    It is very important to squeeze every bit of accuracy out of these rifles. Precision in, precision out.

    The main reason is the thickness difference when you go around the lug. Factory lugs are punched
    and are normally several thousandths different from one side to another. The after market ones are cut and precision ground. If you go to the trouble to have the action blueprinted the receiver face and the barrel tenon shoulder are square and placing a factory recoil lug that is not perfectly flat negates any blueprinting.

    For a rifle to shoot sub 1/4 moa everything must be square and on the same center line. I personally will not use any factory recoil lug For two reasons, after you surface grind it the thickness is marginal and it is expensive. The second is that most aftermarket lugs are harder (The factory lugs have to be softer to be punched out) and combined with the material strength, the added thickness prevents any flexing when using the after market lugs.

    When everything is perfectly square and on center, rifles loaded with good ammo can potentially shoot sub 1/10 MOA or better.

    Just my opinion
    J E CUSTOM
     
  10. RevJim

    RevJim Well-Known Member

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    Good post JE...next time I have another Sporter rebarreled I'll try one...do you prefer the stainless or CM ones?
     
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I normally use a Stainless one because the custom barrel is normally Stainless. If the barrel is chrome moly I will use the chrome molly lug so any finish used will match the barrel.

    Ether material will do the job so I try to match the barrel. Lots of custom rifles have blued chrome molly actions and stainless barrels, so in these cases I prefer the look of the Stainless lug next to the
    stainless barrel. ( Function is most important, but looks matter also).

    J E CUSTOM
     
  12. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I agree on the lug and would also recommend The A.I.; although there is nothing wrong with the std. Whelen. Why leave performance on the table when you are going through the trouble to build a custom? The A.I. is a more efficient design and it is easier on brass as well. Mr. Ackley was my inspiration for creating the Sherman cartridges and I shot an A.I. for years. As far as pressure signs go; it is not a bad thing that a cartridge will take more pressure without stretching the brass. You will know when you have too much pressure if your brass life is suffering. We all like Lapua brass, and it will take more pressure than most other brands.........Rich
     
  13. thatguyshm

    thatguyshm Well-Known Member

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    The AI only gives you 2.1% more capacity or so, but online loads show an increase of 150fps or more. Think about what you are doing, blowing out a relatively straight walled cartridge. Yes I you are changing the shoulder angle, but not by enough to matter. If you keep it at safe pressures, you will not be gaining enough and want to keep adding more powder.

    And if you are getting something built, always replace the parts that are stressed the most, you won't regret doing it, but you may regret not upgrading your lug.

    Just my two cents..

    SHM
     
  14. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    There is such a thing as efficiency though. It is not always about capacity......Rich