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Short action 400 Whelen ( aka “400 SAW”) an exercise in boredom.

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06 March 2021, 09:50
ColoradoMatt
Short action 400 Whelen ( aka “400 SAW”) an exercise in boredom.
The 400 Whelen is basically perfect, as far as I can tell, for a practical (30-06 brass and actions), do-it-all, big bore cartridge. One can choose to punish ones self with a 6 pound 16” barreled carbine, or weigh ones self down with a 26”, heavy contour, 11 pound, easy kicking log. Light 41 mag pistol bullets through 400+ grain Elephant droppers are readily available, and can be handloaded up and down as one likes. To each his own. The standard action, standard bolt face, and ubiquitous standard ‘06 brass are what make the 400 Whelen so practical.
Being bored at the moment, and prone to idle speculation, I was wondering how far one could neck up the 308 win or 6.5CM/30TC case. I would think that, with 300 to 350 grain .410”/411” bullets, one could get 7/8 of the 400 Whelen’s performance, maybe more. There is no need at all for such a round. Short actions are really unnecessary for anything but target rifles. However, for those that irrationally think that short actions are the best thing since sliced bread, the 400 SAW just might be for you. Some folks like 358 Win over 35 Whelen, and 308 over 30-06. Just imagine: a six pound kimber classic 84M with a 16” to 20” that can kill your shoulder almost as dead as the business end killed your black bear.
Anyway, the round seems doable, but it looks like sticking to 300grain and lighter bullets would be most practical. As silly as this round might seem, it shares the practical attributes of the other whelen rounds: common brass, common actions, and standard bolt face. The 400 Whelen uses a .458” shoulder diameter. The 30TC and 6.5CM have .464” and .462” shoulders, respectively. Using the 30TC .464” shoulder would maximize case capacity, and give the best headspace. The original G&H .458” shoulder 400 Whelen has zero headspace issues, however. I’m guessing I’m not the first person to think of this theoretical round. Maybe the 1000th for all I know. I won’t be shelling out money for a reamer any time soon, or ever. I hope to have Tom Jackson build me a 400 Whelen on a Mauser action some day. Maybe a short action lover will take up this idea and make it a reality. What do ya’ll think?

One more thing. It seems to me that 308 brass would be easier to form than 6.5 Creedmoor, and 30TC brass is virtually nonexistent. I suspect that Starline 308 Match (small rifle primer pocket) would stand higher pressure than standard 308/6.5CM brass.


Matt
FISH!!

Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
06 March 2021, 18:47
jeffeosso
look up the 10.75x57
it's low pressure, so higher pressure in a 308 case will likely just about match it


opinions vary band of bubbas and STC hunting Club

Information on Ammoguide about
the416AR, 458AR, 470AR, 500AR
What is an AR round? Case Drawings 416-458-470AR and 500AR.
476AR,
http://www.weaponsmith.com
06 March 2021, 19:23
dpcd
A step in the wrong direction; in my world, all short actions will be banned. They serve zero useful purpose in a hunting rifle, especially a big bore one. I never understood why guys want to stuff ammo into a short action, when adding 1/2 inch and 3 ounces will solve many problems. Can't fathom it.
But a 308/400 would be easy to do, and I can make it. Or an 8mm/400. Easy to chamber. I would build them on 98 Mausers. Which, will already take a 400 Whelen, back to where we started. Lots of drama, for, exercise in you (readers fill in the blank).
06 March 2021, 20:51
ColoradoMatt
quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
A step in the wrong direction; in my world, all short actions will be banned. They serve zero useful purpose in a hunting rifle, especially a big bore one. I never understood why guys want to stuff ammo into a short action, when adding 1/2 inch and 3 ounces will solve many problems. Can't fathom it.
But a 308/400 would be easy to do, and I can make it. Or an 8mm/400. Easy to chamber. I would build them on 98 Mausers. Which, will already take a 400 Whelen, back to where we started. Lots of drama, for, exercise in you (readers fill in the blank).


That pretty much agrees with what I had to say about it.


Matt
FISH!!

Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
07 March 2021, 01:01
RogersGunWorks
I was just about to agree with DPCD, when I realized he had neglected the great American and manly-man ethos that bigger is better. Yes, you could have a .400 Whelen on a standard M98, but what about the best .40 caliber cartridge, the .450/400-3"? I lust for one of the on a nice Magnum Mauser. The .450/400-3" is great in my Ruger No.1 and would be orgasmic in a Mauser (big Mauser). I cannot decide which is the more satisfying: the sound a big cartridge like the .450/400-3" makes when it plunks home in the chamber of a single shot or double rifle OR the silky smooth operation & effortless feeding of a well adjusted Mauser.

Yes, I know all about overall cartridge lengthes and other minor impedimenta associated with a bolt action .450/400-3", but if one can ruminate about the virtues of an itty-bitty, short action .400, it is no less practical to imagine something bigger.
07 March 2021, 01:29
dpcd
You are, of course, absolutely right, and I have essentially built the 450-400 on a Mauser. Using 404 Jeffery brass, and using .410 bullets. However, you don't gain much over the 400 Whelen, which operates at much higher pressures.
07 March 2021, 01:30
ColoradoMatt
quote:
Originally posted by RogersGunWorks:
I was just about to agree with DPCD, when I realized he had neglected the great American and manly-man ethos that bigger is better. Yes, you could have a .400 Whelen on a standard M98, but what about the best .40 caliber cartridge, the .450/400-3"? I lust for one of the on a nice Magnum Mauser. The .450/400-3" is great in my Ruger No.1 and would be orgasmic in a Mauser (big Mauser). I cannot decide which is the more satisfying: the sound a big cartridge like the .450/400-3" makes when it plunks home in the chamber of a single shot or double rifle OR the silky smooth operation & effortless feeding of a well adjusted Mauser.

Yes, I know all about overall cartridge lengthes and other minor impedimenta associated with a bolt action .450/400-3", but if one can ruminate about the virtues of an itty-bitty, short action .400, it is no less practical to imagine something bigger.


The 404 Jeffery was the culmination of Jeffery’s attempt at putting the 450-400 (aka 400 Jeffery) in a bolt action magazine rifle. The original loading used 55 grains of Cordite and pushed the 400 grain .423” pills at 450-400 speed (2100 FPS or so). Dr. Alf Smith posted a pretty exhaustive article about the history of the 404 Jeff that he co-wrote. Either Jeffery or Rigby had Elley make up some experimental rimless 450-400 rounds. They may have been too long. Anyway, given the soft metallurgy of 1905 and Jeffery’s necessity to shoehorn the 404 into standard length 98 actions in early rifles, the choice to use 10.75mm bullets was made, and the rest is history. I wish that 10.75x68 Mauser brass was readily available. In modern rifles, it can duplicate the 450-400 or the 404 Jeff performance.


Matt
FISH!!

Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
07 March 2021, 03:32
boom stick
If I were starting from scratch, I would

A. use 9,3x62 brass and use the 300 grain 405 win bullets in one of the longer short actions that have a 2.9” or 3” max mag length.

B. Use shortened 400 whelen dies and a longer short action.

C. Trim the neck length of the 400 Whelen and use a longer short action

D. Spend the money on hunting, booze and cigars


577 BME 3"500 KILL ALL 358 GREMLIN 404-375

*we band of 45-70ers* (Founder)
Single Shot Shooters Society S.S.S.S. (Founder)
07 March 2021, 10:28
ColoradoMatt
quote:
Originally posted by boom stick:
If I were starting from scratch, I would

A. use 9,3x62 brass


That would be more ideal, case capacity wise, but it would take the common brass aspect out of the equation. If I did that, I might as well go ahead and use 284 Win brass. That would get pretty close to true Whelen performance. Using 300 grain .411” 405 Win bullets is part of the equation. If we are looking for a case with the widest base diameter, but is close enough to the standard 308 win base diameter to still work in most 308’ mags, how about the 6.5x55 Swede case? At .479”, it is .009” wider than the 308’s .470”, and .003” wider than the 9.3x62’s .476” base. I would prefer to stick with common 308 brass.

Come to think of it, using 6.5x55 would allow one to maintain decent headspace with .416” bullets. There is a thought. Wider case, wider bullet diameter should equal nominally lower pressure at the same velocity and nominally higher velocity at equal pressure.


Matt
FISH!!

Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
07 March 2021, 21:02
ColoradoMatt
Doing the numbers with the 6.5x55 case, it looks like you can get acceptable headspace with 6.5x55 brass and 10.75m/.423” bullets, assuming the brass isn’t too thick one you cut it down. However, again, this all moves away from the most common brass and bullets concept. I do have a couple boxes of .423” 347gr Woodleighs on hand...


Matt
FISH!!

Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
08 March 2021, 18:18
jpl
quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
A step in the wrong direction; in my world, all short actions will be banned. They serve zero useful purpose in a hunting rifle...


Hmm, I have the opposite opinion. I only have one long action that is used for a 338-300RUM. Everything else I have works in a short action (or smaller) and I'm always happy to have another inch of barrel instead of receiver (and bolt throw). I shoot 223 WSSM, 7mm WSSM, 7mm WSM, and 510 WSM all out of a short action. That pretty much covers the spectrum for me and I also have 10-round magazines that work with this setup.


09 March 2021, 18:21
wildmansix
Kinda the same concept as Ken Waters 416 Express (350REM Mag brass necked up to 416) but using more common brass and standard bolt head size.

kinda project for the guys that have time and $$$ on their hands and just want something different.
09 March 2021, 20:09
ColoradoMatt
quote:
Originally posted by wildmansix:
Kinda the same concept as Ken Waters 416 Express (350REM Mag brass necked up to 416) but using more common brass and standard bolt head size.

kinda project for the guys that have time and $$$ on their hands and just want something different.


I’ve been stuck in the North Dakota oil patch helping my company out that last month. Gets pretty boring after work and on the weekends stuck in a hotel room. That how this thread got started. I’ve got time to think, but not the money to play with the ideas. I reckon someone with both can take on this one, but as DPCD said, the original 400 Whelen will get the most interest and is the most practical.


Matt
FISH!!

Heed the words of Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984:

"Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
26 January 2022, 04:46
StalkerJack
Is it not true that MANY hunters, while over excited about the animal they've spotted and want to shoot, will short stroke a longer action? Don't shorter, fatter cartridges burn powder better than longer thinner cartridges?
I think for those reasons I'd like a .300 Ruger Compact Magnum necked open to .358 caliber, (about a 2 inch case) over the old classic .35 Whelan.


StalkerJack
26 January 2022, 08:29
MoreBS
quote:
Originally posted by boom stick:
If I were starting from scratch, I would

A. use 9,3x62 brass and use the 300 grain 405 win bullets in one of the longer short actions that have a 2.9” or 3” max mag length.

B. Use shortened 400 whelen dies and a longer short action.

C. Trim the neck length of the 400 Whelen and use a longer short action

D. Spend the money on hunting, booze and cigars


My Sako action is only 2.8", so I made my cases 2.170" long. 300 hawk, 300 Hornady shoot fine out of my Weatherby 240 case.

So maybe a mauser case?


Get Close and Wack'em Hard
26 January 2022, 21:21
dpcd
Working those actions the additional 3/8ths inch is way too much work for American hunters, it seems.
Another point on dreaming up wildcats, which is fun and easy; however custom dies cost a lot of money; maybe not a factor for AR members,
29 January 2022, 11:20
boom stick
405-284?
All the capacity of the 06 but short.
With a strict diet of 405 bullets you can do a longer case than the 308.


577 BME 3"500 KILL ALL 358 GREMLIN 404-375

*we band of 45-70ers* (Founder)
Single Shot Shooters Society S.S.S.S. (Founder)
30 January 2022, 05:22
MoreBS
https://www.petersoncartridge....brass/wildcat-tubes/


Get Close and Wack'em Hard
30 January 2022, 13:24
boom stick
Does anyone know what a 284-410 would do performance wise? In a short action, I can estimate 300@ 2400 and 400@ 2100. That sounds like a lot of fun in a small package. Perhaps a Savage 99. A 423-284 would be fun as well especially since the tip to canalure is shorter on traditional 404 Jeffery bullets.


577 BME 3"500 KILL ALL 358 GREMLIN 404-375

*we band of 45-70ers* (Founder)
Single Shot Shooters Society S.S.S.S. (Founder)
30 January 2022, 23:20
Atkinson
I see no reason for a short action hunting rifle, the difference in meters or inches is just too small to be of any practical use unless one has trouble with chewing gun and walking at the same time....

Use an 06 action and a 40-06 IMP, or a 40/338 sort of wildcat..I

In my case it would be a 40 Whelen or 40/338 win. or probalby a 375 or 416 Ruger..Yes an exercise in boredom, I can agree with the poster on that..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
31 January 2022, 00:44
GBE
If you want a 400g projectile at 2100fps from a short action then the .45 Blaser is your huckleberry.
It’s based on the wider, rebated .425WR case (brass available from Bertram, Bertram or Bertram…).
I doubt you would get the velocity you’re chasing from the smaller .284 case which to my mind runs out of puff when necked up to either .35 or 9,3mm


Formerly Gun Barrel Ecologist
31 January 2022, 18:57
MoreBS


Not tested on animals, but for smaller game they shoot well out of my 405B.
I would build the rifle for these bullets!


Get Close and Wack'em Hard
31 January 2022, 19:47
boom stick
The 405 belted is a wonderful round. I hope some day the brass gets made.


577 BME 3"500 KILL ALL 358 GREMLIN 404-375

*we band of 45-70ers* (Founder)
Single Shot Shooters Society S.S.S.S. (Founder)
01 February 2022, 01:43
MoreBS
Who makes Whelen dies?

Then shorten them to fit your length.

Reamer should be cut to headspace off the mouth. [ eliminates any head space myth of happenings] or use a mauser type action.

My .500 short headspaces off the mouth, it lets me use 50 Alaskan rimmed brass or WSM or Rum brass, I like choices. [ruger #3]

You need to find a action and determine the length of the case.


Get Close and Wack'em Hard
26 February 2022, 23:11
MoreBS
A resized 416 350 mag tip would travel about 2000 fps in a 20" tube. The 300 Hornady SP 2250. What a Great Timber Elk rifle. All the scope needed would be a Red Dot!


Get Close and Wack'em Hard
27 February 2022, 19:14
MoreBS
A scoop of HS6 and filled with Cream of Wheat, then fired in my test barrel cannon. Neck sized with 41 mag die gave me 60.8 grains of H2O. Shoulder is .456 The case is 2.035. It trimmed back to 2.030 nicely. Only did one Federal 308 case.


Get Close and Wack'em Hard
28 February 2022, 18:24
MoreBS
Just ran some data with a shortened 240 grain TSX, 2500 fps out of a 22" barrel. That puts this neat a 35 Whelen in energy.


Get Close and Wack'em Hard