.270 win to .35 whelen

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by HarryN, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I have a 1980 era Remington 700 ADL in .270 Winchester that I purchased new and it has relatively low bullet count.. I know this sounds strange for this forum, but I have always just used it stock from the box, iron sights, and it could shoot better than I normally can. Obviously, there is room for improvement from both the gun and the owner.

    Mostly it has been used for paper targets, but I originally purchased it for coyote hunting.

    Lately, I have been toying with the idea of having a second caliber - no really great reason actually, but a few small reasons.

    a) As CA shifts more and more toward copper bullets, I would like to retain or increase the knock down power - so pushing more toward larger calibers.

    b) I am thinking about wild boar hunting and I would like something with a large enough bullet to really bang one down with very little question at moderate ranges.

    c) It would be fun

    Since it has the same bolt face and many other dimensional similarities of the .270win, I am toying with the idea of the .35 Whelen.

    The basic question I have: - Is it feasible to buy a second barrel for this gun in 35 Whelen, have it fit up by a smith, and then switch back and forth (myself) between a .270 win and .35 Whelen as the mood strikes me ?

    We are talking about 100 - 200 yard shots, not really 1 00 yard shots, and I could re-aim it at a range as needed after a barrel swap.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Harry
     
  2. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not. Use the search bar top right corner to look up threads pertaining to barrel removal. Not every barrel comes off easy.

    Midway has some very basic video's on youtube covering some of the tools needed.

    Have you looked for a complete rifle in 35 Whelen?
     
  3. Garycrow

    Garycrow Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's feasible to make it into a switch barrel rifle. The gunsmith fits the new barrel and puts a witness mark to denote how far to turn in the barrel on the action. Obviously he'd have to pull the 270 barrel to do this so he'd witness mark that barrel also. He'd likely pin the recoil lug of the Remington receiver also. You'd have to buy an action wrench and barrel vise, but after it's all done you could swap them at will.

    As a practical matter though I'd recommend you not do it. I think you'll find that the novelty of swapping barrels would wear off quickly because you'd have to re-zero scopes etc. and it would generally be a pain in the butt. I'm betting that you'd do it once then the barrels would never get swapped again, resulting in all the work and expense being for nothing.

    You'd be better off buying or building a whole new rifle in 35 Whelen.
     
  4. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    You also need to understand that there is really no such thing as KNOCK DOWN POWER in as because you shoot a 35 cal bullet at such and such velocity that it will knock game down. Some game fall down from shock to the SNC or by breaking bone structure. Your 270 will kill a hog as dead as a 50 BMG if you put the bullet where it is supposed to go.
    If you want two calibers I suggest you get two rifles.
     
  5. okie man

    okie man Well-Known Member

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    just buy another gun in a larger caliber if you feel you need "more" gun . it will cost less than the machine work, tools and new barrel for a switch hitter! plus you'll have 2 guns. more is better
     
  6. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice. It isn't exactly what I wanted to hear, but at least it is consistent.

    A new barrel I can sneak into the house pretty easily, a new gun, not so much.

    One thing that I wonder about though, there are a lot of people who seem to buy a gun, and then re-sell it if it does not shoot "really well". This implies that the used ones on the market might not be that great.

    Following this logic, then I am going to still have to take that second gun and get it re barreled and at least the same money put into the machining + improvements + second scope.

    It doesn't seem like this is any real economic benefit, but perhaps the PITA of barrel swapping makes it worth it.
     
  7. bruce_ventura

    bruce_ventura Well-Known Member

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    Don't you have to remove the scope and bases to hold the action in the vise? If so, that would be a major PITA to do very often.
     
  8. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    If it is just "something different" with more power that you are looking for, you might want to consider the 270 Sherman chambering. This would simply mean cleaning up the chamber that you have with a Sherman reamer which gives you about 10% more case capacity than a std. 270. This would be an inexpensive conversion and you would have near 270 WSM performance. "CogburnR" (this forum) did that and some others are considering it.........Rich
     
  9. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    +1! Also, the .270 AI is not too far from the Rich's recommendation.

    Ed
     
  10. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the comments made regards - just buy another rifle in the caliber you want. However I will throw out an idea since you mentioned switching barrels. If the second rifle you buy is a Savage, you could switch barrels on that rifle with relative ease. They employ a barrel nut to hold the barrel on and a floating bolt head to allow the bolt to self align to the chamber (one of the reasons Savages shoot so accurately right out of the box).

    Anyway you can unscrew the barrel nut and barrel and screw in a new barrel (with a go headspace gage in the chamber for the new caliber), torque up the barrel nut and you have a new cartridge to shoot. If you are changing from standard to magnum bolt face or vice versa you have to also swap out the bolt head by pulling the pin that holds the bolt head on the bolt and putting on the new bolt head and reinstalling the pin. (You may also have to tweak the amount of protrusion of the firing pin.) All this stuff takes about 20 minutes. I use Weaver cross slot mounts or rail mounts and Burris Signature Zee rings to mount my scopes so the scopes just slide off the rail and slide back on when you are done putting the rifle back together.

    I have 3 Savages, a 260 Rem Long Range Precision target rifle, a 22-250 Rem 12 FV, and a 270 Win 114 Classic. The 260 Rem has been a 270 WSM but is now a 260 Rem again for the time being. The 22-250 is now a 7mm WSM but with p-dog season coming up it will go back to a 22-250 shortly - but with an new 8 twist barrel. The 270 Win (which had a nothing little 22" toothpick of a barrel) is now a 300 RUM with a 26" varmit contour barrel. I bought the 270 WSM and 300 RUM barrels for $100 each at surplus just for something to play with. Turns out the 300 RUM is a shooter and I'm having a hard time thinking about taking it apart though the new 26 Nosler is getting me to think about it. Varmit or bull contour new stainless barrels from McGowen can be bought off the shelf for $329. You can also get upscale barrels made for you such as Brux but that can take several months. I have one and it shoots like a dream and picks up zero copper.

    One main advantage of this concept is you can put a really nice scope on your Savage and use it to death with what ever flavor of the month barrel you are shooting. If you have 5 or 6 rifles instead of 5 or 6 barrels, it gets pretty spendy to put a Nightforce on every one. And as you said, it is way easier to hide a barrel than a whole rifle.
     
  11. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of the very useful replies and information. It certainly is much more complicated to make a gun / caliber selection than when I bought that rifle in 1980. Now I have to contend with not only the basics, but also the forced copper bullet conversion (with all of those ramifications), basic availability of components, and of course my much less robust shoulder.

    The savage idea sounds interesting, I will look into that.

    While there are benefits to staying with something in the size of 270, I already have the existing setup and really want to move up caliber wise to something 35 ish size. Also, the move to copper bullets, at least to me, means that 30 caliber rifles are sort of moved down a bullet mass to 270 like ratings, so that sort of makes a move to 30 caliber not different enough either.

    When you look at copper bullets in 270 / 30 / 338 / 35 caliber / 375, etc, 35 caliber has a much broader weight range than most of the others, from 110 gr up to 175 gr. Jumping to 375 it is hard to find anything under 200 - 250 gr.

    The idea of using 375 size rounds is just plain scary unless I load them with trail boss and commercial ammo looks like it is $ 4 - 5 per shot. Yes, a pad helps and so will a brake but I shot next to those at the range and it is really loud. That is not a "no" but it isn't my goal.

    I had this sort of silly idea of converting this gun over to 358 win or 35 whelen and pairing it with a single shot pistol of the same caliber, running reduced recoil loads for training, and then something more for a hunt. 358 win rounds and brass are hard to come by (I could form them) compared to 35 whelen, but it sounds like I need to rethink the whole concept.

    I had not really considered the expense level of putting some money into the 270 to clean it up, buy another rifle and clean it up, and then buy a customized hand gun and / or clean that up. Maybe I should just plan to rebarrel to the new caliber and forget the 270 version. It just seems like a waste of a barrel that isn't even broken in yet, but maybe it is the right path.
     
  12. Engineering101

    Engineering101 Well-Known Member

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    HarryN

    I sort of glossed over a very important comment that you made. Sorry I missed it the first time. You said:

    "a) As CA shifts more and more toward copper bullets, I would like to retain or increase the knock down power - so pushing more toward larger calibers."

    That tells me that you are under the impression that going to all copper bullets degrades the killing power of a given rifle. I have to tell you that I think the opposite is true. You put a 130 grain Barnes TTSX in that 270 of yours and it will kill much bigger and tougher animals than will say a Sierra Game King. A Barnes bullet will generally blow a hole clean through whatever you are shooting and retain almost all of its weight. For big tough critters penetration is the name of the game. I shoot Barnes in all my rifles as my number one choice. For example I have a 6 mm Rem stuffed with 80 grain Barnes TTSXs. I used to use 100 grain Sierra Game Kings. With the Barnes in their if figure I just upgraded kill-ability by maybe 100 pounds of animal. So... I would also rethink why you don't just use the 270. With Barnes bullets it will hammer anything you are likely to encounter.
     
  13. HarryN

    HarryN Well-Known Member

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    Engineering 101 - Thanks for the reply.

    You are right, I am under the impression that copper bullets will result in a reduction of "instant knock down power and range" for a given bullet caliber and length. I will admit that this comes more from reading and watching videos than from personal experience. Of course if this were not true, then why are civilians banned from firing tungsten and DU containing bullets ? W is pretty non toxic, so that is not a viable reason.

    Of course it is possible that putting really light bullets into a 270 can be used to increase the velocity, but it seems like this is just a good way to wear it out faster. My impression, is that this is sort of like a 223-06 effect, I think it is called being over bore. Lots of power and effort spent trying to nickel out a tiny bit of more performance.

    I would also like to do some hunting in areas where their might be some trees and twigs around with imperfect shots. A heavy 35 caliber or so bullet will likely be affected much less than a fast 270 round, at least according to the reading and videos I have watched.

    In order to achieve the same bullet weight, a barnes copper solid will need to be substantially longer than it's lead ( or tungsten if we were allowed) equivalent. On the surface, that is not a problem, but this also means that the barrel twist needs to be higher than an equivalent, higher density bullet or it will go unstable. If your rifle happens to be a high twist rate, you are in luck, but this fundamentally limits the max weight your rifle can fire for a given caliber to a much lower value, or you are faced with a barrel change.

    The second reason for my "impression" is that there are several factors which affect how quickly an animal dies:
    - Penetration into a vital area (going through might be good or bad, that is still unclear to me)
    - Energy delivery of the bullet to animal - in other words, if the bullet goes clear through, it does not deliver the energy as well as one that stops inside, or at least has dumped most of its energy. Going through certainly enhances bleed out.
    - Secondary damage from the bullet spin / internal damage from bullet spin / breakup.

    This is the area that I believe (and again have no personal experience to back it up) that the cutting edge bullets are better than the Barnes. Barnes shows their bullets as mushrooming, while CE shows them with an engineered 6 segment fragmentation, plus a stump to keep going through for penetration.

    If you did the same things that CE is doing in a denser bullet base, my perception (again, no personal experience yet) is that it would do better.

    I guess I am trying to ensure that even if a shot is not perfect, it has enough power to really drop the animal more or less on the spot, not after tracking along for a ways.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2014
  14. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Harry.......you make several valid points concerning bullet weights, twist, fragmentation, etc. I looks like you are doing a good job of trying to learn.
    The distance you shoot, the bullets intended use, and the intended target all figure into that. I personally like a bullet that fragments (somewhat) as long as it has sufficient penetration into the vitals of the animal. One thing that you mentioned, which is not valid, is "by firing lighter bullets faster may be harder on the barrel". Barrel life is not affected by velocity, but by heat concentrated in the throat area. This is a relationship of powder charge to bore diameter and pressure (primarily). This is where the term "overbore" comes from..........Rich