The 35 Caliber

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin

You may have caught on from past blogs that I am a big fan of 35 caliber rifle cartridges. From the 35 Remington to the 358UMT, they get me excited. Growing up here in Missouri, I was exposed to hunting with lever actions in 30-30, 32 Winchester Special and the 35 Remington, but the 35 just looked cool. The bullet was almost as wide as the body of the case! The small shoulder was just enough to keep the cartridge in the chamber and my small shoulder was just enough to keep the recoil in check. Maybe that is why I like my 35 Whelen so much today, just more of a good thing. There are several 35 caliber rifle cartridges, most of which are overly powerful for a Missouri whitetail, but popular among knowledgeable shooters.

The 35 Whelen is one and the 350 Remington Magnum gives a very similar trajectory from a short action firearm. These could have been found in a factory firearm up until recently as could the 35 Remington from a Marlin 336. It is unfortunate that Marlin no longer chambers the 35 Remington as it is a fine hunting cartridge for most edible game in the US. When the big monsters come to sharpen their teeth on you, why not a 9.09 Eagle, 358 Shooting Times Alaskan (STA) or a 358 Ultra Magnum Towsley (UMT)? More than likely, you won’t find a rifle for sale in these larger cartridges; you’ll need to build, it but wow, what a performance. The STA can push Sierra’s 225gr GameKing up to 3,000 fps, but our bullet would be better served at closer range from a Whelen because it generates a slower velocity. The UMT can be made by necking up a 300 Remington Ultra Magnum and can push a 250gr bullet over 3,000 fps! That should keep you from getting eaten, but your shoulder may not like it. Regardless of your preference, there is a 35 caliber cartridge that can satisfy a wide range of necessities. Be safe till next time.

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1 Response to The 35 Caliber

  1. John Griffith says:

    Philip Mahin,
    I am looking to build a bolt action 35 Whelen. I will be using a Savage action, E.R. Shaw 24″ magnum contour, 14″ twist barrel. Wood Stock cut to my l.o.p. with a Limbsaver grind to fit pad. With scope and sling I believe weight will be around 8.5 pounds.

    I am wanting to develop 1 load for all hunting, whether its Whitetail, hog, black bear or Elk. Looking at loading a 225gr bullet for this purpose.

    I am 5’4″, 155 pounds, and some what recoil sensitive. Seriously considering putting a muzzle brake on. Not a fan of blast and increased noise, but I hate flinching and wa t the best accuracy I am capable off.

    What are your thoughts? Brake or no brake?

    Thanks, John.


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