35 whelen or 375 ruger

Discussion in 'Big Stuff--7mm, 30 Cal, .338+' started by remingtonman, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. remingtonman

    remingtonman

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    I’ve been wanting to get one in either caliber for some time now. Primary use will be black bear and deer hunting and if I go moose hunting or possibly big game hunting in Alaska which one would you go with? I want to hear from you big bore guys. For some reason the 35 whelen seems to really catch my attention
     
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  2. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    For good reason. The Whelen is a time, tested and proven big game rifle. Offered once in all the actions available, it's a real performer. Today it's popularity falls in with many of the old school cartridges but still hangs on with many big woods hunters for bear and deer. It's capable of anchoring the biggest north american game within it's range limitations. It's impressiveness over the 30-06 is surprising. Being the identical cartridge, it's caliber bullet weight combination is a special one. I'd chose the .35 Whelen between the two. If for no other reason, it's an old timer that still impresses. If you want to get it closer the performance of the .375 Ruger, make it a 35 Whelen improved.
     
  3. hillbillydruggist

    hillbillydruggist

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    35 whelen
     
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  4. daleboy

    daleboy Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have not owned a .375 Ruger ,so I can not comment on that . I am a big fan of the .35 Whelen , I have only used it on Whitetail deer . Thinking back on the shots taken and recovered bullets I think it would be a great round for moose and Alaska big game .
     
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  5. std7mag

    std7mag

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    Perhaps the 35 Whelen AI?
    While only a modest improvement in velocity, it's main benefit is better headspace control.

    At least that's what i've read. :rolleyes:

    The 35 Whelen is on my shortlist of cartridges i'd like to hunt with.

    If i were to buy 375 Ruger cases, i'd just end up necking them down to make 7mm LRM. :D
     
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  6. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    It's a tough comparison and one that probably isn't fair in terms of power and performance. The Ruger case capacity is probably 25% greater than the Whelen's allowing much heavier bullets pushed as fast as Whelen's trade mark 225 bullets. Improving the Whelen only gives about 3.5% more case capacity, helping velocity increase about 100-125fps. I think I once read the Ruger was designed to be the replacement for the 375 H&H. It's design is for dangerous game while the Whelen is a sporting hunting round. The Whelen still gets my vote.
     
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  7. Bill K

    Bill K Silver $$ Contributor

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    I would go with the 35 Whelen AI, but that is just me. Love the AI's. But for all around travel and buying fresh supplies of ammo, you would be more likely to find 375 Ruger available. So it is a toss up.
     
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  8. rockhound78

    rockhound78

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    35 Whelen, but don't forget the 375 H&H too. I would think if you went to AK, then both would be easy to find. Not sure about the 375 Ruger. Maybe someone from Alaska here could chime in about this
     
  9. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Yep latest and greatest. Factory ammo options sure keep up with the newest cartridges and very common oldies for sure. Seems the oldies like the Whelen and other very good cartridges have all but fallen out of touch to ammo manufacturers. Definitely demand driven for sure.
     
  10. Racebannon3855

    Racebannon3855

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    I just finished a 35 Whelen on a 1903 Springfield. I inherited a 1903 that had been sporterized in the 1950s. A local mechanic, machinist, gunsmith turned the barrel down and soldered the bolt. The late owners wife finished the fajen stock, it was a legend in our little town. By the time I got it years of shooting tracers on the 4th of July burned most of the rifling out of it. Not wanting to lose the look of it I sent it Jess @ JES Reboring and he made it a 35 Whelen. The stock was split from the tang up through the mag well so I used devcon and brass rods to put it back together. I also have a 338-06 on a Mauser X, that was a new barrel, not a rebore. If dies were easier to find I would have done a 375 Whelen.

    I hope the video plays. As things worked out I bought hundreds of 250 gr Hornady, Speer and Norma Bullets. They are all over twenty years old, still clean and in the original boxes. Having read online that old 35 caliber bullets are likely to suffer from the lead corroding I just had to see if they would in fact grenade. At a range of 10' they penetrated all but the last few water jugs. The hydrostatic shock broke the 2x8 they were on and the bulleted exited without hitting the last few jugs. This is very similar to what my 338 WIn Mag with 250 Partitions does. Not super scientific, but it proves that affordable projectiles work great at Whelen velocities. The video is slo-mo, it might not run. Just trying to make a happy distraction.

    The Whelen likes 4064 and I can make it from '06 Brass. Not sure how easy it is to make or feed 375 Ruger. Here in upstate NY the only powder that I have been able to get recently is 4064 and 3031. Lucky for me the Whelen likes the old reliables. The downside of what I did is the Springfield is heavy! That does help with recoil. (Elmer Keith never complained about the weight of his 1903 Whelen.) When the weather improves I wil cast some 310 gr flat nose projectiles, it shoots the 250s so well I should not have bought a mold!

    Sorry I wrote so much, just like the Whelen!
     

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  11. Racebannon3855

    Racebannon3855

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    Sorry, the video is not loading. About 12 water jugs and kept going. I expected the bullet to grenade, but it held together.
     
  12. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Sounds like the perfect cartridge for the Upstate Adirondack mountains
     
  13. Bill K

    Bill K Silver $$ Contributor

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    Read a article recently that the Ruger Alaskan model was one of the top choices and among the best sellers for guides and bush pilots in Alaska, in recent years. Maybe, like you said, someone from Alaska will chime in. I know my cousin in Anchorage has one along with the 44mag handgun, that he carries up there when out hunting/fishing.
     
  14. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    35 Whelen, not Ackley. Hands down the way to go. You don't need more speed, it's got enough. You don't need more power, it's got enough. It's a really impressive performer that exceeds your expectations given the "low" numbers.
     
  15. rsmithsr50

    rsmithsr50

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    I think just base on "not an odd ball" the 35 wins over a want to be ruger
     
  16. AKshooter93

    AKshooter93

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    Both are overkill for deer. If your goal is to eventually use it here in AK the. Go with the 375 Ruger. Don’t go use an AI for hunting in areas with dangerous game. I have nothing against the Whelen, it’s a classic and will work just fine up here. If I went with an -06 based case for up here it’d be a .338-06 just because it’s more versatile and has a better selection of bullets.

    Up here in AK we are not the top of the food chain when out hunting, so I would say bigger is better (within reason of course), because you never know when you may have to use that rifle to defend yourself. That gives the 375 Ruger an edge, and it’s a real popular round up here. But then again, a lot can be said for the -06 family. They are long and skinny cases, 17 degree shoulder, and a long neck. They were designed to feed reliably in machine guns, so the chamber and cycle so smooth. I use an -06 for most of my hunting and have never felt under gunned.
     
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  17. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    I compulsively get into various combinations almost never of which get actual hunting use. For bigger than .30 I have had a .338-06 and now a .375-.338WM. I friend of mine has hunted in Africa many times and his battery consists of a .270W, .375 H&H, & .416 Rigby. I paid attention to his descriptions of actual kills and his very favorable impression of the .375 H&H; sort of a go to caliber in Africa. Not having an action long enough for the .375 H&H and pre .375 Ruger I decided on the .375-.338 WM. Hopefully, I will get to hunt with my .375-.338, while waiting, I shoot the pointy 270 grain Speer BtHp and have made up loads for the somewhat pricy pointy 260 Nosler AccuBond: other hugely tough bullets are available. Performance on steel at 300 yards is impressive - makes targets jiggle real good with good audio effects. Now with IMR 4831 while waiting for H4350 to reappear.
     
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  18. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've always wanted a 338-06 and just haven't had the right excuse present itself yet. I agree, if the OP doesn't mind going a bit smaller, the 338-06 would be a real sweet choice. The practical hunter would say to go 338 Win Mag though so that you can walk into a shop and buy ammo if needed.
     
  19. remingtonman

    remingtonman

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    Thanks for all the info guys. I actually already have a custom savage 338-06 with a 21” barrel but have always wanted a 35 whelen instead of the 30-06 itself
     
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  20. bpd459

    bpd459 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Greetings,
    Don't overlook the 9.3x62. 286gr bullets at 2400fps and almost 4000ft lbs ME. Its worked for 115 years.
    Good luck,
    John
     
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