Case type Rimless, bottleneck
|Place of origin USA|
Parent case .30-06
|Designer Col. Townsend Whelen / James Howe|
The .35 Whelen is a powerful medium-bore rifle cartridge that does not require a magnum action or a magnum bolt-face. The parent of this cartridge is the .30-06 Springfield, which is necked-up to accept a bullet diameter of .358 in (9.1 mm). This cartridge is more powerful than its parent, especially in killing power on large game.
The .35 Whelen was developed in 1922 as a wildcat cartridge. Remington Arms Company standardized the cartridge as a regular commercial round and first made it available in the Remington model 700 Classic in 1988.
One version of its origin is that it was designed by Colonel Townsend Whelen when he was commanding officer of the Frankford Arsenal. In a 1923 issue of American Rifleman Col. Whelen refers to it as "the first cartridge that I designed" and states that, "Mr. James V. Howe undertook this work of making dies, reamers, chambering tools, and of chambering the rifles, all in accordance with my design." James V. Howe was a toolmaker at the Arsenal and later a founder of Griffin & Howe.
In his 1940 book The Hunting Rifle: Design, Selection, Ballistics, Marksmanship, Col. Whelen gives a different version of its origin after describing the .400 Whelen.
About the time we completed development of this cartridge, I went on a long hunting trip in the Northwest, and when I returned, Mr. Howe showed me another cartridge he had developed. The .30-06 case was necked to .35 caliber to use existing .35-caliber bullets. Mr. Howe asked my permission to call this cartridge the .35 Whelen, but he alone deserves credit for its development.
Suitable .358 in (9.1 mm) bullets range in weight from 150 to 300 grains (9.7 to 19.4 g). Using a 250-grain (16 g) bullet, the .35 Whelen will generate 3,500 ft·lbf (4,700 J) at the muzzle from a 24 in (61 cm) barrel.
The .35 Whelen is the ballistic twin of the .350 Remington Magnum. With the correct bullet choice this cartridge is suitable for virtually all thin-skinned large and dangerous game. The European designation for this cartridge would be 9 × 63 mm; with its wide bullet selection and high muzzle energy it is in the same echelon as the venerable 9.3×62mm.
It is possible to reload .35 Whelen cartridges with the same bullets used to reload .357 Magnum cartridges. Leading or bullet fragmentation within the barrel could be an issue with full power loads, so extreme care should be taken not to push the selected bullet beyond the velocity for which it is designed.
Lyman data shows the Hornady 158 grain (jacketed hollow point .356 diameter) Pistol Bullet #35750 can be driven to a MV of 1,546 fps by a maximum charge weight of 31.0 grains of Alliant 2400 powder using Rem 9 1/5 Primer and case and an OAL "over all cartridge length" 2.787". A maximum load of 23.6 grans of IMR SR4759 gives the 158 grain bullet a MV of 1,564 fps.