.35 Whelen Ammo

The .35 Whelen ammunition category is revered by hunters seeking a powerful, yet non-magnum, big-game cartridge. Developed in the 1920s by Colonel Townsend Whelen and gunsmith James Howe, this cartridge was originally a wildcat conversion of the .30-06 Springfield to .35 caliber, offering enhanced performance for large game hunting. Officially standardized by Remington in 1988, the .35 Whelen provides an excellent balance of power and recoil, making it ideal for hunters who pursue large game in North America and beyond.

Intended Use: The .35 Whelen is particularly effective for hunting large game such as elk, moose, and bear. Its ability to deliver heavy, high-diameter bullets makes it suitable for thick-skinned or large animals, providing deep penetration and reliable expansion. The cartridge is also popular for hunters in areas with dense vegetation where shots at medium ranges are common.

Caliber/Size: Firing a .358 inch diameter bullet, the .35 Whelen allows for the use of bullets ranging from 180 to 300 grains. This versatility in bullet weight makes it adaptable to various hunting scenarios, from lighter, faster bullets for deer to heavier rounds needed for the largest game.

Performance Characteristics: Known for its robust terminal ballistics, the .35 Whelen delivers a flat trajectory and significant knockdown power without the excessive recoil associated with larger magnum cartridges. It maintains effective energy delivery at ranges up to 250 yards, making it a reliable choice for a wide range of hunting environments.

Material and Construction: .35 Whelen rounds are constructed with high-quality brass casings and typically feature a variety of bullet types tailored to big game hunting. These include soft point bullets for broad expansion, bonded bullets for maximum penetration, and controlled-expansion bullets designed to tackle the toughest animals while preventing over-penetration.

Brands and Manufacturers: This category includes ammunition from industry leaders such as Remington, Federal, and Norma, among others. These manufacturers are committed to producing .35 Whelen ammunition that meets the needs of serious hunters looking for effectiveness and reliability in their hunting cartridges.

A Brief History: The .35 Whelen began as a wildcat cartridge popular among handloaders for its ability to provide .30-06 Springfield shooters with a larger bullet for big game hunting. Its performance gained it a loyal following, leading to its eventual standardization and continued popularity among hunters.


  1. What is the effective range of a .35 Whelen? The .35 Whelen is optimally effective for hunting at ranges up to 250 yards, offering excellent accuracy and energy transfer for ethical kills on large game.
  2. Can the .35 Whelen be used for smaller game? While it is primarily designed for large game, the .35 Whelen can be used for smaller game using lighter bullet weights, although its power might be excessive for such applications.
  3. How does the .35 Whelen compare to other similar caliber cartridges? The .35 Whelen stands out for providing similar ballistic performance to more powerful cartridges like the .338 Winchester Magnum but with lower recoil and in a non-magnum format. It is a preferred choice for hunters who need a powerful, yet manageable, big-game cartridge.

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