Friday, January 1, 2016

Why the 35 Whelen

35 Whelen Model 700 Classic
I'm a fan of modern tack-driving rifles, especially the various composite stocks firmed up with bedded actions, pillars, and free floated barrels which deliver shot after shot of accuracy in all manner of conditions. That's why I've surprised myself to have a new favorite rifle which is anything but "modern".

A while back I purchased a Remington 700 Classic in 35 Whelen. The rifle was likely first sold in 1988, the year the classic delivered 35 Whelens to the shooting public. Classics were sold for a number of years chambered in only one caliber for that year. 1988 was the year of the Whelen.

I've read that the 1988 Classic was one of the best sellers; but who knows if that's true. Nevertheless, it was notable in that it was one the few attempts by any major manufacturer to popularize the 35 Whelen. The attempt by Remington had very modest success. It seems that the magnum craze was just getting up to steam, and most hunters who wanted the horsepower of the Whelen opted for brutes like the 338 Win. Mag.

The 35 Whelen: Still Standing

35 Whelen is a powerful medium bore cartridge
I always find it interesting that so many hunters and shooters who have discovered the 35 Whelen not only appreciate it as an efficient killer of big game, but also are drawn to it's history.

Robert Boatman explains: "The .35 Whelen is still standing there, as good as it ever was, even though I would venture to say that a shocking number of American hunters have never even heard of it. It was this country’s first and perhaps best attempt to design an international cartridge, not only for North American elk, moose, bear, boar and bison, but also for Africa’s big antelope and other plains game including the eland which is the size of a horse, and the big cats of all continents, counting the tiger before he retired from the game and the jaguar before he left the Amazon and headed north to the Rio Grande. The actual fact is, the .35 Whelen has been used quite successfully on Cape buffalo and elephant as well."

 You can read the whole article HERE.