The 35 Whelen, a Range Report
Andries interest in the venerable 35 Whelen got me looking at my inventory of ammunition and I found that I was lacking greatly, down to my last 23 rounds in fact. I haven’t reloaded for it in quite some time and as I have opened a couple eight pound jugs of H4350 since then, a range session was in order to see if the newest jug shot any different than the last. My load is not in any book so I won’t list it here other than to say a 250 grain Hornady Spire point Interlock compresses the powder enough to make it “squeak” when I seat the bullet.
My rifle is a Remington 700 BDL that I purchased back in 1988 and has been a favorite for elk hunting since then. It’s topped with a vintage Simmons 3-9X40 in Weaver mounts. The rifle has a few “character dings” it received during a couple tumbles on slick, snow covered hillsides and from a horse wreck when we both took a tumble with the horse landing on the rifle while it was in the scabbard. Here it is shown in my “Bob”sled (it weighs 47 pounds and can tame even the most savage of beasts)
This rifle has always shot well and this range session proved to be no different, with the new loads printing exactly where the last ones did, 3 inches high at 100 yards. My 35 Whelen is no bench gun. Weighing only 7 ½ pounds with scope and shooting 250 grain bullets at 2470 feet per second it will get your attention, but the saying “I don’t feel recoil when shooting at game” is very true.
Not “our” best group, but as I said, from the bench she’s a handful and as I was shooting from only sandbags this particular day, I feel I should get a pass as "we" had also been shooting at my 9 inch steel plates out to 400 yards for practice. She doesn't recoil nearly as bad shooting from sticks, standing or sitting.
Happy Hunting and Safe Shooting!