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Pre 64 .35 Whelen build #13999967 07/24/19
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AcesNeights Offline OP
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I have been on the Campfire long enough now to appreciate the depth and breadth of the collective knowledge contained here so I thought I’d put this up for discussion. I apologize if this topic is ridiculously common but I’m never shy. 😁

What would you do if you were building a 35 Whelen on a pre 64 30-06....from top to bottom but NOT with an unlimited budget.

I “inherited” a 1953 Winchester Model 70 30-06 24” bbl. with a Lyman All American 4x that’s in very good condition EXCEPT the rifle was forgotten about and left buried in a Wells Cargo trailer where, because of our moist climate, it started to rust and the stock was ever so slightly warped. The throat has the most rust and pitting but the rest of the bore is very good. The stock is in beautiful shape and since oiling it with Snake Oil and bringing it inside the house the warp is all but gone. The warp was only perceptible by looking at the barrel channel and with a swipe or 2 or the barrel channel tool and some proper bedding would be perfectly fine BUT I will be putting a synthetic stock on it.

My rough plan is to rebore (JES...?) to 35 Whelen, cut and crown at 21”, replace iron sight on rear dovetail of the sight “ring” bulge and install front site, Cerakote (?), synthetic stock I like the McMillan “McWoody” but I don’t like the price, mount a 1 piece scope rail and my primary scope along with a backup scope in the same type of rings as the primary scope sighted and torqued properly.
I like the Williams Ghostfire style rear peep and firesight style front site.

The 24” bbl is.600 at the muzzle and .630 at 21”. I’ve never rebored a rifle but don’t want to spend a fortune and I want to preserve the “lines” of the pre-64. I think I’d ultimately like a darker type stainless looking cerakote in a dark McWoody would be ideal. What stock design would be a good fit by keeping the “lines” of the old stock but not out of place on a 20 or 21” barrel?

What would you guys do if you were doing what I’m doing?

I want a shorter, faster handling, rugged rifle that I’ll likely use down here for Elk but mostly up in Alaska. Once we get the cabin built up at our place it’ll be left up there. I have always wanted a place in Alaska and a .35 Whelen. 😁

I’m sure I’ll have a bunch of questions as I go along but I want to thank you all in advance for your thoughts.


�Politicians are the lowest form of life on earth. Liberal Democrats are the lowest form of politician.� �General George S. Patton, Jr.

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Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000053 07/24/19
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Judman Online Content
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I did mine on a Remington, went sporter contour, @ 22" , went with a 1-12" hart, balances nicely. I think 22" is perfect.


Ping pong balls for the win.
Once you've wrestled everything else in life is easy. Dan Gable
Hey Bama, say, ocotillo....
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000059 07/24/19
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Judman Online Content
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Mcwoody would be cool, but I'd opt for a new snout verse re bore..


Ping pong balls for the win.
Once you've wrestled everything else in life is easy. Dan Gable
Hey Bama, say, ocotillo....
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: Judman] #14000111 07/24/19
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TxHunter80 Online Content
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Originally Posted by Judman
Mcwoody would be cool, but I'd opt for a new snout verse re bore..


Me too. Rebarrel now and restock later.

Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: Judman] #14000199 07/24/19
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AcesNeights Offline OP
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Judman, Thanks for your suggestions. It’s roughly $250 for rebore and if I don’t like it I can always go the new barrel route. I’m not looking for a long range shooter or hyper velocity speed. I’ve been a Barnes fan for 30 years and I don’t see that changing with this rifle, 225TSX at ???? (I’d be happy if I could get an honest 2700fps from a 20 or 21” barrel. I want a handy, reliable, compact thumper that won’t be obtrusive going from boat to skiff to alder thicket. I’m looking for a rifle that I handle and shoot well and that inside of 200 yards is instinctively easy.....This rifle will cover 99.9% of the shots I’ve taken and if I wanna reach out there I have tools for that as well.

This rifle fills the gap between the 45-70 and .338WM for the big stuff.


�Politicians are the lowest form of life on earth. Liberal Democrats are the lowest form of politician.� �General George S. Patton, Jr.

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Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: TxHunter80] #14000212 07/24/19
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AcesNeights Offline OP
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Originally Posted by TxHunter80
Originally Posted by Judman
Mcwoody would be cool, but I'd opt for a new snout verse re bore..


Me too. Rebarrel now and restock later.


I’ve heard nothing but good from guys that have rebored their rifles. Many guys said it shot better after the rebore than it ever had prior.

Curious as to why you wouldn’t rebore?

I do appreciate all the input. 👍


�Politicians are the lowest form of life on earth. Liberal Democrats are the lowest form of politician.� �General George S. Patton, Jr.

---------------------------------------------------------
~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000225 07/24/19
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Oh you'll love the chambering.. I've heard good things about jes too, I'd just go New. It'll cover over 95% of your killin needs.


Ping pong balls for the win.
Once you've wrestled everything else in life is easy. Dan Gable
Hey Bama, say, ocotillo....
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000242 07/24/19
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Re-bore wouldn’t bother me. I’d call JES though and see what he thinks about old Winchester steel.

Re barrel or rebore, I’d cut at 22” , bbl band, banded front sight, and mount a peep. Black nitride the works and put in a Echols legend in edge fill. smile


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Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000245 07/24/19
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I’d also go 9.3x62 but don’t think it’d make a lick of difference.


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Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000485 07/24/19
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I think it's a great idea. JES has a great reputation and fast turn around rate. Good prices too. Why Not?


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

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Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: bsa1917hunter] #14000490 07/24/19
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AcesNeights Offline OP
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Originally Posted by bsa1917hunter
I think it's a great idea. JES has a great reputation and fast turn around rate. Good prices too. Why Not?


That was my thinking anyway. I’m not building a custom long range rig or a one rifle for everything setup merely salvaging a nice old rifle with a crusty throat. It’s a niche thing and a short handy medium range—medium bore bolt gun fills that niche.

Thanks. 👍


�Politicians are the lowest form of life on earth. Liberal Democrats are the lowest form of politician.� �General George S. Patton, Jr.

---------------------------------------------------------
~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: MadMooner] #14000491 07/25/19
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AcesNeights Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MadMooner
I’d also go 9.3x62 but don’t think it’d make a lick of difference.


I ain’t using no bourgeois, commie, metric caliber for crying out loud.......I’d ruin the old Winchester’ heart. 😁


�Politicians are the lowest form of life on earth. Liberal Democrats are the lowest form of politician.� �General George S. Patton, Jr.

---------------------------------------------------------
~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000493 07/25/19
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JES has done four rebore jobs for me thus far. He does great work and will surely get more business from me. Since you want the look of stainless, why not do hard chrome instead? It's a much tougher finish than ceracoat.

I like your barrel chop idea. Jesse will cut the barrel to your preferred length for $25 or so extra. Then, it's easy to fit, rust blue, and install a NECG rear sight. McMillan has some good patterns for use of both scopes and open sights. Both Winlite models for example. My 9.3x62 is set up similar to what you're after, albeit with a 20.5" barrel. I use it with both the scope in talleys and with a talley peep. Here are some victims courtesy of the peep sight.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Last edited by pabucktail; 07/25/19.
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: pabucktail] #14000496 07/25/19
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AcesNeights Offline OP
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Thank you pabucktail. I’ll definitely look into hard chrome but I don’t want it shiny, when I think chrome my wee brain thinks of the Jennings style of chrome plating. 😂


�Politicians are the lowest form of life on earth. Liberal Democrats are the lowest form of politician.� �General George S. Patton, Jr.

---------------------------------------------------------
~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000497 07/25/19
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pabucktail Offline
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No, no, it's a nice matte and tough....

[Linked Image]

Courtesy of Mahovsky's metalife in Pennsylvania.




Last edited by pabucktail; 07/25/19.
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000531 07/25/19
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I had Randall Redman rebore a 1953 vintage M/70 for me more than 25 yrs. ago, I left everything else just the way it left Winchester. It shoots everything I feed it extremely well, for whitetails I have been using 225 gr. Sierra Game Kings and Noslers with IMR 4064 but have recently switched to 200 gr. Hornady RN over IMR 3031 which gives outstanding accuracy and great performance on game. In the off season I shoot lots of cast bullets and jacketed pistol bullets over a charge of 15 gr. Unique.

Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000727 07/25/19
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I’ve had a few done by JES and he’s done excellent work for me. His rifling has needed a bit of polishing of the bore but not a big deal though. They have all shot really well. I’ve always wanted to do the same thing to a P64 myself. I just haven’t found the right one yet.


Semper Fi
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: pabucktail] #14000729 07/25/19
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Originally Posted by pabucktail
No, no, it's a nice matte and tough....

[Linked Image]

Courtesy of Mahovsky's metalife in Pennsylvania.





That hard chrome looks darned good.


Semper Fi
Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: AcesNeights] #14000751 07/25/19
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patbrennan Online Content
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Are you okay with the sight bulge on the factory barrels? If so, carry on. What twist were you going with?
I personally would keep the barrel at 22" and would possibly have some recontouring done if I wanted to drop a bit of weight or adjust balance of the rifle. (something like a douglas contour with some weight taken off the breech end of the barrel). One thing you don't mention is the weight of the rifle.
If you are okay with the shape/look of it I'd also consider a stock from Mark Bansner, if you are willing to do some of the finishing yourself to keep costs down. From personal experience they handle recoil very nicely. I would also consider a stock from Brown Precision. If you email McMillan they will tell you which of their stocks they inlet for the pre 64 action (more than you probably realize), likely they have something you would like.
I like your project, it will certainly be a handy rifle to have for your intended purpose.

Re: Pre 64 .35 Whelen build [Re: MadMooner] #14000770 07/25/19
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Originally Posted by MadMooner
Re-bore wouldn’t bother me. I’d call JES though and see what he thinks about old Winchester steel.

Re barrel or rebore, I’d cut at 22” , bbl band, banded front sight, and mount a peep. Black nitride the works and put in a Echols legend in edge fill. smile


That’s probably the exact blueprint I’d use myself.


Semper Fi
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