35 whelen or 375 ruger

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

  1. Evan

    Evan Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,309
    You may find that the 35 whelen does little that your 338 won't. There are some really great 338 bullets for big mean things you want to go down fast. That said, I don't see any reason not to have both just to see which you like better :D! That would be the scientific approach to this problem ;) that's what you should remember when acquiring a new rifle. It's for science!
     
    mikeinct and remingtonman like this.
  2. remingtonman

    remingtonman

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    I like your reasoning Evan lol.
     
  3. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2019
    Messages:
    877
    35 Whelan = good. I like the 180 grain barnes ttsx copper bullet's. They are more than enough for any game animal in North America. Very accurate.
     
  4. mikeinct

    mikeinct Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,136
    IDK jack about the 375 Ruger. But I love my 35 Whelan & 250 grain spire points. It is a shooter. My other med. bore is the old 375 ouch n ouch. It shoots very well with modest loads for me. Both like IMR4064 powder charges. except when downloading the 375. I use 65% dose of 4895. Pick the rifle you like the feel of in either cartridge you won't be disappointed. mikeinct
     
  5. yorketransport

    yorketransport

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    74
    I have both the 35 Whelen and 375 Ruger, and prefer the 375 Ruger. The Whelen is a 24” barreled ‘03 Springfield with a Douglas barrel in a beautiful wood stock. The 375 Ruger is one of the early Hawkeye Alaskans with the 20” barrel and the hogue stock. The Whelen is definitely the more attractive of the two, but the Ruger is more functional.

    The Whelen is fun gun and worked well on the critters I’ve shot with it, but the trajectory is pretty bad. My standard load in the 35 Whelen is a 225 Game king at 2625 FPS. Zeroed 1.5” high at 100 yards puts me a touch over 12” low at 300 yards. My standard 375 Ruger load uses a 300gr Game King at 2640fps and drops a little under 8.5”.

    The difference in the animal’s reaction to the impact between the two has been huge. I double lunged a cow elk at 340 yards with the Whelen and she took the hit and ran about 40 yards. I shot a slightly larger cow with the Ruger at 367 yards with an almost identical POI and the cow ran in a 10’ circle and was done. The sound if the impacts was night and day and the damaged done by the Ruger was much more significant. I honestly feel like the 340 yard shot was farther than I should have taken with the Whelen based on what I saw. I had similar results on other animals shot at shorter ranges with both guns.
     
    remingtonman and Racebannon3855 like this.
  6. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    3,894
    Without a doubt the 375 Ruger out guns the 35 Whelen. With Nosler 225 accubond ammo, 2750 fps is muzzle velocity. At 500 yards the 225 grain bullet is traveling over 2900 fps and still had over 1800 ft lbs energy. While understanding the difference on a game animal between the two, the Whelen is still pretty competent at 400 yards on an elk. I'm not sure I can say that at 500 but seems like plenty of velocity and energy left at 500 to accomplish the mission as well. I've shot some pretty big hooved critters with my 10mm and muzzle velocity with the 220 grain bullet is 1240 fps with less than 900 ft lbs of energy at muzzle. I've killed large whitetails and boars easily with that load around 40 yards. Much less energy at 40 yards. It's a matter of opinion mostly but ethics if range and accuracy is not taken into consideration. The Whelen is enough gun for almost any North American big game animal at 300-400 yards. I'd opt for the 375 Ruger if dangerous game was on the menu and a rifle was necessary to carry for back up. I don't think a wrong decision would be made on either choice.
     
  7. IdahoSharpshooter

    IdahoSharpshooter Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,167
    I have a 9,3x62, so I am a little biased. Otto Bock developed the cartridge for hunting Cape Buffalo, as a means of utilizing the standard 98 Mauser action. The Magnum Mauser was designed to use the 375 H&H cartridge. Hardly something a farmer/rancher could afford. Several years ago I had a gunsmith convert a Commercial FN Mauser that was a 375 to a switch barrel set up. He designed a collar set up that allowed him to fit a 300 H&H spare barrel to the 375. I was hunting Africa then, and felt it made a perfect rifle for the world. A scope for each barrel, and you are set.

    That said, the Whelen will not disappoint anywhere in North America. Or, most of the rest of the world.
     
  8. Kurz

    Kurz

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,341
    I was going to stay out of this given the overwhelming nostalgic support for the .35 Whelen. Then I remembered my old friend Al Borchardt and the article he wrote about his safari experience with that same cartridge. I couldn't resist posting this once more for the enjoyment of those hunters who admire the cartridge:

    upload_2020-3-22_11-43-19.png
    The rest of the article is found at this link:

    http://www.soulofacarp.com/africanhunter/firearms/35_whelen_zimbabwe_01.htm

    I knew Al for what amounted to about 23 years until his death. This safari was the culmination of his shooting experiences over in Africa. He was a true gentleman who loved Africa and hunting.

    Enjoy the story!
     
  9. 10XSHOOTER

    10XSHOOTER Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    218
    I love the 375 Ruger. Killed a Brown Bear in Kamchatka last year one shot. 260 Nosler accubond. Was running away about 80 yds. One shot, did a full somersault and died on the spot.
    Howa 1500 with 22" barrel.
     
  10. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Messages:
    3,894
    Hard to argue with those results. I think the Ruger would be just as effective if the Bear was running in the opposite direction...Right at you !!!
     
  11. rsmithsr50

    rsmithsr50

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    968
    must have been a small bear if it ran away from you!

    lol

     
  12. 1holeaddict

    1holeaddict

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2011
    Messages:
    592
    I don't mean to high jack the post but i'm looking for some pet loads for the 35 Whelen with 200 grain bullets. I have a Remington classic that i want to start loading for.
     
  13. PWS

    PWS Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2016
    Messages:
    102
    Whelen.
     
  14. spaniel

    spaniel

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2017
    Messages:
    157
    I have a wildcat which is essentially 35W AI performance. It is a great rifle on game.

    Only reason I'd step up to a 375 is if I was hunting grizz.
     
  15. IdahoSharpshooter

    IdahoSharpshooter Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,167
    jmho: if I need to step up from my 9,3x62, similar in performance to a 35 Whelen; the first number following the decimal point is going to be a 4--.

    As far as that goes, a good friend postulates "staying alive starts with a .5--.
     
    bpd459 likes this.
  16. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    4,212
    I had a 358 Norma Mag for years. Shot 225gr Partitions at 3030 fps. Very powerful, but not the best long range weapon due to limited bullet selection.

    I later built a 338-375 Ruger. Shooting 250gr Berger EH-VLDs at 2980 fps. Also very powerful, but much better performer at long range and more energy than the 358 Norma to boot. Penetration and terminal performance on vitals is top notch at all ranges.

    35 cal and 375 cal are limited on bullet selection. For Alaska bear hunting, I'd definitely go with the 375 Ruger. If you want a good all around performer at any range near or far, I'd pick a big 338 cal round.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020

Share This Page