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KinleyWater
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Posted: June 13 2017 at 12:55pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

For those who are interested, I made it out to the range with my Chronograph finally. Along with my brother, we tested handloads for his Mosin in 7.62x54r and my 35 Whelen.

The powder used in all loads was Reloader 15 - since that's what I have. Averages are 5 round strings, unless otherwise noted (caused by Chrono error). The test rifle is a war era Mosin, with the barrel cut to 20 inches.

The best accuracy received were with:
Brass: S&B (once fired)
Primers: WLR
Bullet: .311 180gr Sierra Pro Hunter
Powder: 44 grains
Velocity: 2472 fps (3 shot average)
Energy: 2442 lbs
Group: About 1.5 inches at 50yards.

Brass: S&B (once fired)
Primers: WLR
Bullet: .311 180gr Sierra Pro Hunter
Powder: OVERMAX LOAD
Velocity: 2627 fps
Energy: 2758 lbs
Group: About 1 inch at 50yards.

We also shot a 3 round benchmark string of S&B factory 182 grain FMJ.

Brass: S&B
Primers: S&B
Bullet: 182 grain FMJ
Powder: UNKNOWN
Velocity: 2579 fps
Energy: 2688 lbs
Group: Not recorded.

Analysis: I think the reloads performed exceptionally well. I can't comment on the accuracy as I was not the one shooting. However, I observed that 2 or 3 of the holes would be touching and the remainder in a wider pattern. I suspect some of that was due to variance in my charge weight and some due to the shooter. The velocity and energy from the shorter 20 inch barrel was superb. I know that the Sierra is a tough bullet, but it seems to me that the velocity would work fine for deer - or even elk. Thoughts from the community?

Okay for the Whelen, I was even more surprised. I have quite a few Hornady 200 grain FTX bullets which were made, unless I am mistaken, for cartridges along the lines of the 35 Remington. With that in mind, I intended to develop some minimum charge loads, so the load would be well within the performance envelope of the projectile.

The test rifle is a wonderful Remington 700 Classic in 35 Whelen with a stock 22 inch barrel. Again, the powder was RL-15.

Brass: Hornady (New)
Primers: WLR
Bullet: .358 Hornady FTX 200 grain
Powder: 54 grains (Hornady 9th ed minimum load)
Velocity: 2595 fps!
Energy: 2991 lbs
Group: Less than 1 inch at 50yards.

Brass: Hornady (New)
Primers: WLR
Bullet: .358 Speer HotCor 250 grain
Powder: 52 grains
Velocity: 2358 fps
Energy: 3087 lbs
Group: Less than 1 inch at 50yards.

Analysis: Wow! The Hornady manual lists the very rifle I was using as their test unit and gives 54 grains RL-15 an estimated velocity of 2300 fps. That's a difference of 295 fps! The manual lists 2600 fps at the max velocity for that particular bullet, so I wonder what a book max load might produce. My idea was to create a general purpose deer load for my Whelen, which was not abusive on recoil - I think that will do just fine. The other load was to come up with another general purpose load for the other bullet I had in quantity. 52 grains is a middle of the road loading for the 250 grain JSP in 35 Whelen. Hornady's 9th ed quotes between 2200-2300 fps for an equivalent weight InterLock. Again, the real-world load produced substantially more velocity. My thought is to use this load for black bear, though the FTX load might work well in that role as well. In any case, gents, let me know what you think.

Edited by KinleyWater on June 13 2017 at 1:00pm


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Ham Gunner
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Posted: June 13 2017 at 3:52pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I worked up my Mosin Nagant loads using IMR 4320 years ago before I bought a few gallon jugs of surplus Reloder 15. They are very similar in burn speed and bulk so I would think that you are fine with your powder choice. And from the velocity and accuracy results, I would think you done well.

Both cartridges at those bullet weights and velocities should do a great job on about anything you want to hunt in North America except for maybe the big brown or polar bears. But after reading about the Cree indian lady Bella Twin that killed a record sized grizzly with a .22 Long and a single shot rifle, I think maybe we get a little bit excited over nothing sometimes.    

Edited by Ham Gunner on June 13 2017 at 3:54pm


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KinleyWater
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Posted: June 14 2017 at 12:18pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

She was some woman, that's true!

I know big Alaska Browns are on his wish list, but not with that rifle... I hope. . Still, deer, black bear, feral hog, and maybe, just maybe elk. I think he;ll be fine.

I plan on making my Whelen my go-to. The idea of this load was to go slow and not generate massive amounts of recoil - it just isn't needed for harvesting whitetail. I still want the 250 grain HC for bear, just because I know you need to watch your buttocks.

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M700
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Posted: June 16 2017 at 6:16am | IP Logged Quote M700

I think that .35 Whelen is likely a GREAT choice for black bear, elk, etc... What a cartridge! I don't have one, likely never will, but I like 'em. A few of my friends have them, and tend to use them on anything heavier than deer.

Though I imagine they work just fine on deer too!

The old Mosin? Classic cartridge. I hope it all works out well, seems like it's doing okay.

Guy
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KinleyWater
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Posted: June 16 2017 at 1:26pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Thanks, Guy. Plan is to try for a bruin this fall. If I can, I'm going with a partner; I just don't look forward to the thought of dressing and hauling it out of the woods if I am fortunate enough to lay one down.

As for the Mosin, my brother and I are both extremely pleased with it's performance. If and when it is used, i will certainly post on it.

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