Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-13-2005, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

Hi Guys,

I know that a few guys on this forum are Whelen fans.

I am trying to select a good deer bullet for the whelen.

I am looking for something that will expand rapidly and penetrate the breadth of a deer.

Initially I thought that the 220 grain speer flat point might be the way to go. My thinking here is that I can get these things to perform like 200 grain flat points (originally designed fr the .33 winchester) in the .338-06, which is unbelievably effective on deer.

I considered going with a 200 grain roundnose, like the one remington loads in the .35 rem, for the same reasons. I would be really surprised if I could push a 200 grain bullet fast enough to cause it to fail out of a whelen.

I am slo considering the 200 grain hornady spirepoint. I read the customer reviews for this bullet at and most folks seemed to think it was a great deer bullet for the .358. Now if it works well for deer in a .358 than it should work just as well in the whelen.

If anybody has used the above bullets in a whelen for deer please let me know. For that matter if anybody has a favorite deer bullet for the whelen I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-13-2005, 07:19 PM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

The 200 RN is a fine bullet but it is designed to work at a starting velocity of about 2000 fps. I'd not try to push it to maximum velocity from a Whelen. The Hornady 200 SP would do fine on deer. So would the Speer 220 or the Nosler 225BT which might be the best all round bullet out there for the Whelen. I've shot both deer and turkey with the 225BT and it's a fine choice.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-13-2005, 08:57 PM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

I have used the Speer 250 grain spitzer on whitetail deer with great results. At the time, I had worked up an elk load using this bullet and out of convenience, used it for deer. The Sierra 200 grain round nose bullet shot well from my Remington 700 Classic. I did "throttle them back" though. I never used this load for hunting before the 700 was stolen. The Hornady 200 grain spire points look very promising to me, and I intend to try them. The Nosler 225 grain BTs shot quite well out of that rifle. I intend to load some 225 grain Partitions as an "all-around" load. I now have a new Whelen, a Remington 700 CDL. As soon as I get her glassed up, I will get down to serious load development. Gee, so many great .358 bullets, so little time before deer season is upon us again. 8)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 05:55 AM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

The hornady 250gr RN works like a charm too!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 10:46 AM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

I have used the 200 grain flat nose in a Whelen on deer and you better pray that you hit no bone. It is like a a varmit bullet hitting a gopher. A real meat destroyer. :cry:

I have also used the 225s and the Hornady 250 RN. No real advantage to using them in the Whelen.

The 250 gr Speer SP works on deer, elk, and bear. Opens a nice wound channel, is ballistically similar to a 30 cal 180 grain, and shoots well to about 350 yards.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-14-2005, 02:39 PM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

I've tried the Hornady 200 gr. round nose on deer. The bullet was too explosive for my tastes. The chest cavity was literally turned to mush and the diaphragm was ruptured imploding the stomach contents into the chest. The bullet did exit on this but field dressing the deer was a pain.

Last year I shot deer with both the 225 Nosler Partition and Ballistic Tip. The Partition seemed to punch straight through with not as much damage as I would have liked. The Ballistic Tip exited and dropped the deer within feet giving me the best performance of any round I have tried in the Whelen. I did manage to kill a nice sapling with the 220 Speer Flat point this past year with nice explosive results. It was early AM and I didn't see the sapling between me and a nice 8 pt. and he got a get out of jail free. Didn't do the tree much good and I'll try the round again this year to see terminal results. I've been trying it out in a nice compact little Remington 7400 with an 18.5 inch barrel. I'm hoping the 220 does as I hope with this little combo for close range woods hunting.

I've tried the 200 Hornady spire pt in the 358 Winchester and was pleased with its performance. Most I have talked to also like that bullet for a light bullet in the 358 or Whelen either.

I've also loaded up some Sierra 225s and am awaiting a chance to get to the range to possibly try them in a Whelen HandiRifle.

Keep us posted with your findings. Good hunting.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-18-2005, 05:44 PM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

I have shot a grand total of 1 deer with the 225 Nos BT, however I was impressed. A frontal quartering shot at 40 yards that exited out if front of the right ham. No sign of fragmentation, and there was a profuse bloodtrail for about 30 yards. The bullet is also extremely accurate in my 700 classic. The 200 Hornady spire point is also very accuate, but I have not used it on game.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-03-2005, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

I finally got to do some load development in the Whelen.

I have completed my testing with the 220 speer and the 200 Hornady Spirepoint. I still have 3 more loads to test with the Ballistic tips.

By far the best shooting loading I have found is the 200 gr Hornady Spirepoint on top of 58.5 grains of 4320. According to my Manual this gives me in the neighborhood of 2700 fps in a 22" barrel. Five shots printed in a little less than an inch.

The 220 gr FP's wouldn't group any better than 1.25" and I started to get flattened primers.

It looks like the 200 gr Hornady will be the deer bullet.

I want to thank all of you guys for your advice.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 05:01 AM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen

Seems I've arrived a bit late in the piece but have you tried the Sierra GameKing 225gn SBT?
I don't use a Whelen but GameKings have always performed brilliantly for me in other cals and are darn accurate to boot.
Just a suggestion. :wink:


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 12:33 PM
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Default Deer Bullets for .35 Whelen


I have a M700 Classic 35 Whelen. Back in '88-'89, I used the Remington 200 gr Core Loct bullets. I killed 4 deer and recovered 1 bullet from a head on neck shot (bullet was in the right shoulder under the hide).
I switched to the Nosler 225 gr PT when it was introduced in '90 and killed another dozen+ WT Deer and a 250 lb Black Bear. I always had a nice exit hole and heavy blood trail on 1-2 deer. Every other deer dropped in their tracks from high lung shots.
I know Nosler PT's are not needed for WT Deer BUT, they work very well.
You might also want to consider the 225 gr Nosler BT. I have never used this specific bullet on game, but I have used the 140 gr BT's in my 280 Rem and they kill deer and Caribou like lighting.


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