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Discussion Starter #1
So, I picked up a 35 Whelen from another member on here this summer. It's a really nice gun, but I'm having problems getting consistent groups. First off, it's a 700BDL that I mounted with an old Bushnell scope I had laying around. I tried the Rem factory loads and they won't group tighter than 5-6". I just picked up a box of the federal 200gr tonight to give a try this weekend. So this isn't a closed case yet.

My question is, does anyone else have any experience with this caliber/gun? I got it thinking that this might be my long range deer gun as the largest thing I have to this point is a 308(not really I have a 45-70 but that's short range). But with the groupings I'm seeing to this point I'm leery about even trying 200yrds for fear I'd have problems keeping them on the paper. The only other factory round I can find locally is the Hornady Superperformance, I am going to stay away from that as I loath ballistic tips for big game(I hunt to eat, not look at big holes where meat used to be). My worry is that even handloading might not get it to where I want it. BTW, I was planning on zeroing this for 200yrds with the expectation of using it out to 300.

Oh, and before anyone asks if it's me, no. I've been shooting it off a rest and I'm shooting it no different than any of my other rifles. Depending if they are scoped or open sights they all group fine. Two weeks ago I took a couple out to the range. I put the Whelen in the middle. Everything before and after grouped as I expected. So it's not me.
 

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First thing I would do is make sure the barrel is clean. Then I would put a scope on it that I know is good, and verify rings and bases are aligned and tight. Then I would bed/float it. I have seen 5" rifles go to 1 1/2" rifles just by bedding the recoil lug area and cleaning up the contact points on the barrel.

Double check your info on the Hornady ammo. I am sure Hornady (a bullet manufacturing company) would not load Ballistic Tips in their ammo. Even if they did, Nosler doesnt even make a 35 caliber Ballistic tip any more. Even if they did, a Ballistic Tip will not necessarily cause any more meat damage then alot of other bullets shot under the same conditions.

Good luck, Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll check the bedding tonight. I've never had this kind of problem with a factory gun. Maybe I just got lucky in the past.

The boxes on the Hornady were marked as ballistic tip. BTW, I work at a friends processing shop, so I see the carnage. A guy brought in a deer that had been shot with(I think) the Hornady ammo. Blew the bottom half of the chest clean off. There was so much shock from the round that both front shoulders were lost as well. And that was only out of an '06.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, it's not the barrel... Unless the fact that the sling stud seams to be threaded right to the barrel would make a difference. There is plenty of room between the stock and the barrel to slide a piece of paper in and run it up and down. Except where the stud is
 

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TRAPJAW said:
Ok, it's not the barrel... Unless the fact that the sling stud seams to be threaded right to the barrel would make a difference. There is plenty of room between the stock and the barrel to slide a piece of paper in and run it up and down. Except where the stud is
Most likely its not the stud, its just a high spot on the stock.

TRAPJAW said:
The boxes on the Hornady were marked as ballistic tip. BTW, I work at a friends processing shop, so I see the carnage. A guy brought in a deer that had been shot with(I think) the Hornady ammo. Blew the bottom half of the chest clean off. There was so much shock from the round that both front shoulders were lost as well. And that was only out of an '06.
Sounds like he hit it with a snow plow, not a bullet!:eek:

http://www.hornady.com/store/35-Whelen-200-GR-SP-Superformance/

http://www.hornady.com/store/searchammo.php?mode=search&main_cat=249&categoryid[0]=256&categoryid[1]=299&categoryid[2]=&page=1

I dont see any 30-06, Whelen, or any other caliber Hornady ammo using Ballistic Tips??? Why would a bullet manufacturer like Hornady, or any other, use a competitor's bullet in there own loaded ammo???

Good luck, Tony
 

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Two things come to mind:
1) a fouled barrel
2) a bad scope

My buddy's barrel was fouled and started spraying the target. Several cleanings and it's back on target.

I have put a couple scopes I "had laying around" on guns only to find they were faulty.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, your right. Stud is not attached to the barrel. Odd that that is the one place that it's touching. I'll have to tear it down and see what's going on.

I was mistaken which scope I put on it, it's a Simmons. I know it's not the scope, it's not loosing POI or having to be readjusted, and it was fine on my 22mag last summer. I just wanted to upgrade. Not to say that with the increased recoil it's a different story. Trouble is I can't afford to go out and get a new Leopold. I will look at the rings again, after all they are the Leopold one piece which I've read are a pain.

Before I go out this weekend I'll stop and pick up some copper solvent and give it a good cleaning and see if that helps.

IDK, I'm not about to spend $35 to find out whats in the box. The only bullets listed on the back are the SST and Interbond, which are both pictured as ballistic tips. They could be the FTX, but that is basically a ballistic tip too.
 

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What you describe is almost always bad scope/ or scope mounting. A 35 Whelen will knock the daylights out of that old Simmons, comparing to the 22 mag is no comparison.
 

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TRAPJAW said:
Well, your right. Stud is not attached to the barrel. Odd that that is the one place that it's touching. I'll have to tear it down and see what's going on.
Not odd at all. Most manufacture's leave a preasure point on the stock. I would not think that is causing your 5" groups.

TRAPJAW said:
IDK, I'm not about to spend $35 to find out whats in the box. The only bullets listed on the back are the SST and Interbond, which are both pictured as ballistic tips. They could be the FTX, but that is basically a ballistic tip too.
All of those bullets are loaded into ammo by Hornady. But; none of those bullets are Ballistic Tips, only Nosler makes Ballistic Tips. Hornady and other bullet makers have bullets that have a polymer tip like a Ballistic Tip. Im sure the loaded ammo is not the FXP, that leaves the 200gr and 250gr Interlock SP. Click on the links, they show the bullets and ammo available.

http://www.hornady.com/store/.358-35-CAL

http://www.hornady.com/store/35-Whelen-ammo

Good luck, Tony
 

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Joe the Logger said:
What you describe is almost always bad scope/ or scope mounting. A 35 Whelen will knock the daylights out of that old Simmons, comparing to the 22 mag is no comparison.
You nailed it, Joe...Put a proven scope on, mounted properly, and the OP's problem will disappear...
 

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I'll offer one other thing to consider....and I know this from shooting my own 35 Whelen.

The Whelen can provide a lot of whomp at both ends. It's not an elephant gun, but recoil can be stout.

I shoot 250gr Speers in mine at 2525-2550fps. It thumps.

That said, what type of rest are you using? Is it a metal rest? Is it bags?

Try these things (ONLY after verifying it's not a scope/other mechanical issue):

-Put a soft sandbag, folded up towel, or some similar item between the rifle and the rest.

-When you shoot, put your left hand on the objective of the scope, between the forward mount and the objective, right on the bell, so to speak. Do not press down, just lay your hand there. People will howl at me for that, but it works.

Why those two suggestions?

A hard rest reflects the harmonics/vibration of the rifle, which makes the rifle "jump" off the rest. My 35 Whelen, 300H&H, and 300WSM are all "jumpers". The towel/extra bag helps dampen that vibration/tendency to jump.

The hand on the scope does the same. No it does not affect point of impact or group size other than to help control recoil. I've tried this on several rifles with many shots on paper from 200 and 300 yards, and I've shot MOA or better groups doing so with all the rifles I've done this with. On the lighter kickers, I've shot with and without the hand in place, and it made no difference. On the harder kickers, I pulled in those errant shots I kept getting otherwise.

Also, make sure you snug that sucker up tight into your shoulder, and lean hard into the stock. Get a good, solid cheek weld, as well.

The Whelen is not forgiving of its shooter being overly gentle with it on the bench. Your position must be solid, and you must have the rifle under control. Doesn't mean you keep it from moving under recoil, it means you control it so that it recoils consistently. There's a difference. Get it tight in your shoulder, good cheek weld, and a solid, stable grip on the wrist with the thumb controlling the top of the stock's wrist firmly. Shooting the Whelen by just letting it flop about on top of the rest when you touch the shot off is asking for groups like you're describing.

I can shoot that way with a light kicker, but put some snort on the rifle, and it can't just be left to bounce around like that. Others will disagree, but having spent over a 100 rounds on the bench through my Whelen in the last two seasons, as well as the same (or more) through my 300WSM and 300H&H (Whelen is harder kicker than either of those), this is what has been shown to provide consistency for these bigger kickers off the bench.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
 

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Very good advice, tdd....the OP's technique may be at fault...

I hold every rifle I have over .300 magnum-size by its fore end when shooting off bags....most of them will jump off the bags if I don't...I'm talking about rifles with recoil, not .32 Specials, .35 Remingtons, etc...
 

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I am surprised that no one sees a problem with the stud touching the barrel.

I know that a lot of companies put pressure points in the stocks, but they are designed to be consistent. Even so, if your able to change the amount of pressure on the barrel you can still shift the point of aim. Not to mention all pressure points that I've seen are in at least 2 places. A stud would be in one place and in my opinion is likely to move slightly left or right.

A stud touching doesn't sound to me like it was intentional and the pressure might not be consistent depending where the bag is from shot to shot.

I would take the stud out, lay the rifle on the bags and check if it still touches anywhere. Then have someone saddle up and see with pressure on the butt that it is still free floating. You can sometimes get away with a small shim under the recoil lug to try free floating the rifle. If it shoots better than have it bedded.

Plus, so far he has tried one brand and bullet weight. I know when I work up a load for a rifle that I usually try several powder charges per bullet style and weight. He may just have identified a load that his particular rifle doesn't care for.

I do agree with getting a better scope. You have a $6-800 dollar rifle with a $50 scope on it.
 

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If its like every other Remington 700 that I have ever had apart its not the stud that is touching. Remington has the pressure point at that spot on the stock. If the OP removes the barreled action from the stock he should find a high spot of wood left in the area that the stud hole is drilled and the stud will be well below the barrel channel.

Good luck, Tony
 

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My first guess would a scope and/or scope mounting problem too.
That being said tho, I think Highcountry is on to something. For my sons first rifle I bought him a model 70 in .243. It shot terrible no matter what I tried to feed it. It wouldn't do better than about 3". I pulled the action out of the stock and found that the front stud stuck way up into the barrel channel. I pulled the stud out, ground it down enough that it wouldn't protrude into the barrel channel. Put it back together, went to the range and it shot under an inch with no other changes. It was like a different gun. If changing the scope and making sure that it's mounted properly doesn't do the trick, it's worth a try.
 

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Quite a bit of good advice here.My advice is change one thing at a time.When you find the problem its contained.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Problem is solved.

Two things. First, I picked up a sandbag yesterday and tried like TDD suggested. That brought the groups in a little better with the Rem ammo I've been using. But they still weren't that good. Then I switched to the Federal Fusion ammo I picked up. Yep, that was the problem. You'd think that Remington would make sure that their gun would shoot their ammo. Not the case.

I shot a 3 shot group and had to stop(since I don't have a spotting scope) and walk out to the target as I couldn't tell if I was putting them in the same hole or was off the paper with the second two shots. Go figure I had one ragged hole. So I went back and fired two more just to be safe. That's where I get upset with myself... They're still right there, but I think had I just shot a 5 round group they would have been through the same hole. Oh well, at least the problem is solved. Too bad the wind had to be howling today otherwise I would have moved over to 200. But I tried shooting my 223 at 200 and it was all over the place with a stiff cross wind. Thought it was prudent to just come back another day to dial it in.

Here's the target. Ignore the smaller hole, I blew one of the mending tabs off with one of the shots. You can kind of see the outline where it pulled all the printing off.
 

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Nice! That's lookin' pretty good right there! Hope you get to show us some pics this fall when you pile up a deer with it.

I killed two last year with my Whelen. Once you do that, you'll be completely smitten with the round. Mine is benched this year, but it's my fault...I think I botched the bedding I did on it. Have to do some problem-solving there, and then it should be back in the fight.

The good thing about rifles like the Whelen is that it WILL remind you when your bench shooting technique needs some attention. I can be lazy about that with 30-06's and lighter, but above 30-06 in recoil, I better be mindful of my technique, or it'll be a hot mess on the target.

Man, I can't wait to see what you think of the ol' Whelen once you see it whomp an animal or two....
 
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