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Short action 400 Whelen ( aka “400 SAW”) an exercise in boredom.
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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."
 
Posts: 3125 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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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

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Posts: 36191 | Location: Conroe, TX | Registered: 01 June 2002Reply With Quote
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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).
 
Posts: 14178 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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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."
 
Posts: 3125 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 256 | Location: Fayetteville, GA | Registered: 12 August 2004Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 14178 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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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."
 
Posts: 3125 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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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

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Posts: 27255 | Location: Where tech companies are trying to control you and brainwash you. | Registered: 29 April 2005Reply With Quote
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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."
 
Posts: 3125 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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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."
 
Posts: 3125 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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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.

 
Posts: 811 | Registered: 13 November 2008Reply With Quote
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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.
 
Posts: 233 | Registered: 01 November 2016Reply With Quote
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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."
 
Posts: 3125 | Location: Northern Colorado | Registered: 22 November 2005Reply With Quote
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