.35 Whelen is a widely used wildcat cartridge that made it into the main stream. In the early 1910s and 1920s there was a need to develop a cartridge to work with .35 bullets. The ammunition expert Townsend Whelen had come out with the .400 Whelen. His colleague James Howe, modified the .400 Whelen design to take a 35 caliber bullet and utilized the 30-06 case and named the new cartridge as .35 Whelen. Remington later adopted it and started the mass manufacturing.
Remington made it to be used with 200-grain and 250-grain bullet. They chambered the new round it the Model 7600 and Model 700 classic rifles. The cartridge when used with powder like the W-748, fires bullet with a punch of 3500 foot/pounds. This is good enough to flatten big animals like an elk or moose.
Reloading manuals state that the .35 Whelen can be reloaded with .358" diameter bullet with case length of 2.5" and the pressure of maximum 52,000 CUP. .35 Whelen when loaded with 180-grain bullet and a suitable powder can fire the bullet at speed of about 2900 feet per second. If a 220-grain bullet is used speeds of around 2500 feet per second can be reached. While the 250-grain bullet will leave the muzzle at around 2250 feet per second.
Later on the .358 Winchester gave the .35 Whelen a run for its money and some what diminished its popularity. If lighter bullets are used, then the .35 Whelen can give a performance somewhat similar to .358 Winchester. However at heavier loads of more then 220-grain bullet, its speed drops. Some gun researchers suggest that a .35 Whelen loaded with 180-grain bullet shot from a 2 feet rifle barrel would gain a maximum speed of about 2400 feet per second. They also say that the hole bored in the target body by a .35 Whelen is better then even the 7mm Mauser. The .35 Whelen, though slowly losing its popularity, will remain as one of the finest cartridges ever made in the history of guns and ammunition.
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