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Hi all,

Been looking at barrelling one of my Mauser actions to a 35 caliber number for use on blackbears and woods elk. I have a 338 win mag that I really don't enjoy shooting but it certainly gets the job done - quickly. I was thinking of selling the 338 and building a 338-06 or 338 Hawk but when I calculated recoil, it didn't seem like such a good tradeoff in an 8 # rifle. My 338 (Rem 700) weighs 9 # loaded. It is a drag to carry around in PA hunting blackbears and in places I hunt in CO where my shots are less than 200 yards (timber) and 8 - 10,000 feet altitude. Carryied my 350 Rem Encore pistol this year and liked that real well but am limited to a single shot. Haven't killed too many animals with the second shot but it has happened twice due to cold fingers both times. I've become a big fan of 35 caliber since buying the 350 Rem even though the BC is lower vs 338 caliber but at less than 300 yards it don't matter. I will not shoot past 300 yards at anything. Regardless of BC or initial velocity, bullets drop like rocks after 350 yards. So my question: I know there are alot of 35 Whelen fans here at GBO and I was looking for opinions on the 35 Whelen and 358 Win. I could get attracted to the 358 Win because it will do alot of what the 35 Whelen will do but at 70% of the recoil. My goal is to get a lightweight (~8#) rifle with a lightweight 24" barrel mated to a McMillen stock and I don't want a muzzle break. I have them on several of my Encores and Contenders and they are too friggin' loud. I wear ear plugs when I hunt with them which is also a PITA. Thanks. :roll:
 

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Here is an article I found for the .358

The .358 Winchester was introduced in 1955 as a modern, short action replacement for the aging .348 Winchester, which was available only in the Model 71 lever action rifle. Although its case is smaller, ballistically the .358 Win. is nearly identical to the larger .348. This miracle is achieved through higher pressure, up to 52,000 cup in the case of the .358 Win..

The .358 case is simply a .308 Winchester case necked-up to accept standard .358" diameter bullets, and otherwise unchanged. The maximum overall cartridge length is 2.780" and it will function though all standard short action rifles.

The .358 Win. first appeared in the Winchester Model 88 lever action rifle and then (briefly) in the Model 70 bolt action rifle. Savage chambered the Model 99 lever gun for the .358, and for a time Browning offered their Model 81 lever action in the caliber. Browning and Ruger also built a few .358 bolt action rifles. Today only the Ultra Light Model 20 bolt action rifle is chambered for .358 Winchester, plus a few custom rifles built for discerning individuals.

The .358 is a fine woods cartridge, about as much as anyone could ask for short of a magnum, and it is compact enough to work through deadly lever action, pump, and short bolt action rifles. Given all of this, it has been a surprising sales flop. Evidently its paper ballistics were not impressive enough at a time when the North American hunter was pretty well sold on the virtue of high velocity. In reality, the .358 falls neatly between the .35 Remington deer cartridge, and the .350 Remington Magnum cartridge. It is recommended for all North American big game out to about 200 yards, except the great bears, and I certainly would not feel helpless with a .358 in my hands if suddenly confronted by an Alaskan grizzly.

The 2002 Federal, Hornady, Remington, and CCI/Speer ammunition catalogs do not show any factory loads for the .358 Win. This is a shame, as the .358 is too good a cartridge to be allowed to become obsolete. Winchester offers a single factory load with a 200 grain Silvertip bullet. To the best of my knowledge this is the sole remaining factory load for the .358 Winchester. At one time Norma of Sweden offered factory loads for the .358. The factory offerings used to include 200 and 250 grain bullets.

The current Winchester factory load propells a 200 grain Silvertip bullet at a muzzle velocity (MV) of 2,530 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 2,840 ft. lbs. The figures at 100 yards are 2,210 fps and 2,160 ft. lbs. Midrange trajectory for the 200 grain bullet is 3.6 inches over 200 yards, which makes the .358 Winchester about a 200 yard big game cartridge.

The discontinued 250 grain Silvertip bullet exited the muzzle at a velocity of 2,250 fps with ME of 2,810 ft. lbs. The 100 yard figures for that bullet were 2,010 fps and 2,230 ft. lbs. Midrange trajectory for the 250 grain bullet was 4.4 inches over 200 yards. As I said, the .358 Win. is about a 200 yard big game cartridge.

The reloader can approximately duplicate both of those loads, and cases can be easily formed from .308 brass if necessary. Hornady, Remington, Speer, and Winchester offer 200 grain pointed bullets, and practically everybody offers 200 and/or 250 grain round nose bullets. Many 250 grain spitzer bullets designed for the .35 Whelen and the .358 Norma Magnum are too long to work through the magazines of repeating rifles when seated normally in the shorter .358 Winchester case. Exceptions to this are the Speer 250 grain Hot-Cor and Grand Slam bullets. The latter is a very good choice for the largest and toughest game. Maximum loads can drive both of these bullets to over 2300 fps with over 2940 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy.

In addition, the reloader can experiment with the Speer 180 and 220 grain .358 Flat-Soft Point bullets. Speer recommends the 180 grain Hot-Cor bullet for all deer hunting and the 220 grain Hot-Cor bullet for black bear, elk, and moose.

The Speer Reloading Manual Number 13 shows that their 180 grain Flat-SP bullet can be driven to a MV of 2511 fps with 48.0 grains of H335 powder, and 2,732 fps with ME of over 2915 ft. lbs. by 52.0 grains of H335. At 2700 fps the tajectory of that bullet looks like this: +2.5" at 100 yards, 0 at 200 yards, and -11.3" at 300 yards. With this load the .358 becomes a 250 yard deer cartridge.

The Speer 220 grain Flat-SP bullet can be driven to 2328 fps by 48.0 grains of W748 powder, and 2481 fps by 52.0 grains of W748. The trajectory of that bullet at a MV of 2450 fps looks about like this: +2.9" at 100 yards, 0 at 200 yards, -4.6" at 250 yards, and -12" at 300 yards. I suspect that the 220 grain Speer would make an excellent all-around big game bullet for the .358 Win.

In the Speer Reloading Manual the authors write that, "The .358 Winchester is one of the best woods cartridges ever designed." I can only second that nomination.
 

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There really isn't enough difference in the two to decide based on that in my opinion. If the rifle you chose is a short action go with the .358. It is a long action go with the Whelan. You can load the Whelan down to the level of the .358 but can't load the .358 up to equal the Whelan. At same velocity with same bullets the felt recoil is so close I don't think you'd really know which you fired.

GB
 

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358 0r 35 whelen

I am going through the same issue on a new gun. I am looking for a backup to my 300 HH. I have decided to go with the 338-06. I just like the options of the 338 bullets, improved velocity and ease of rebarreling a 270 or 3006.
 

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GB is right!

I can load my Whelen down to .35 Rem., .358 Win. or shove 250's out fast enough to make you recoil conscience. The .358 is vastly underated as the Whelen. The 338/06 when compared to the .35 Whelen only beats it with the lighter bullets and not by much. Layne Simpson did an article on the comparison of the two and it was reprinted in Big Bore Rifles and Cartridge ISBN 1-879356-00-7. Your at the old delema again: does 200 fps matter to the deer.
 

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I've used the .35 Whelen a bit, though not as extensively as the .358 Win., .30-06, and .375 H&H. Killed my elk with it (.35 Whelen) this season - 250 grain Nosler Partition @ 2530 fps/one shot. It sure hits hard. A buddy of mine uses the .338-06 a lot. Any practical difference between the .338-06 and .35 Whelen is really a case of splitting hairs. The .338-06 has a wider bulllet selection, but the .35 isn't exactly lacking in that area either. If I lived in Daveinthebush's neck of the woods again, I would opt for the .35 Whelen (1st choice) or .358 Winchester and never look back. If I were hunting overseas (Africa, New Zealand, New Caledonia, etc.), I would stick with common/classic calibers due to ammo availibility.
 
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