400 whelen

todd

Active Member
i have a sporterized 98 mauser in 8x57 and next year i'm either going to rebore or rebarrel to the 400 whelen. (read https://web.archive.org/web/20101203...pace_myth.htm# to headspace it). i was going to do the 375 whelen but i already have a 9.3x57(.366"). and i can say that 4-something something!

since 150 lbs whitetails will be its main course, i'll only go 1600-1800fps in 350-400gr fn gc. i hunt in close cover, so 60+ yards is a loooong shot, 25-35 yards is more likely.

1944 98 mauser 8x57mm




i've been thinking of taking it to JES(i like that peep sight) but i might rebarrel it to 24"(it has a 22" barrel). i doubt that extra 2" is a make or break situation, but i like the 24" over the 22". the 98 mauser NEEDS a timney trigger and i'll go with richard's stock( Richards Microfit Gunstocks ), it will be a wolverine style and either a blue coral or black walnut stock.

i doubt highly that i'll get the chance to hunt elk or moose, but my sons' might and i'll just happen to have a rifle that they can use....it sounds good, don't it!!!
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Having done this project of making useable .400 Whelen brass, I am available for help if you need it. Your link doesn't work, by the way.
 

Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
I have an FN Mauser I've been threatening to turn into a 375 or 400 Whelen for years. I'll probably never get to it, but I will try t keep track of your project. Sounds like a winner, and I'd be keeping the peep sight too!
 

Spindrift

Active Member
Sounds like it will become a very effective woods rifle, that can flatten any game animal on the northern hemisphere. By the way, have you hunted with the 9,3x57? I don’t have any 9,3 rifles myself, but there are quite a few old x57 huskies in scandinavia, that usually can be bought for close to nothing. Should be a very good cast bullet cartridge, like .358 win on steroids.
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
If I had a few cheap Mausers a 9×57 would be high on my list over another .358 .

I read about the 400 Whelen a lot some years ago . Seems like there were 2-3 different shoulders , the best combination was forward about .05 and had a wider shoulder and a 60° shoulder ........but there ain't much should so .445 OD or more is almost a must to get by .

I sold a Seaco that cast .410-410 gr a while back , I think I have a few I cast to proof the mould . I'd send them along .
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Todd, Start buying new Remington 35 Whelen brass now and you will save yourself a lot of grief rather than working with 30/06. Find a copy of Custom Gunmakers of the 20th Century, Volume Two by Michael Petrov.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
I remember the hoopty on the 400 having some head space issues.
IMO going Ackley is really the best shoulder option, there still isn't a whole bunch there to work with but it is the most.


the 22 and the 9 are the only [realistic] X57 cases I don't or haven't owned yet.
it really has done well with all of them, I just have those 2 bases covered so well it's hard to imagine them jumping to the head of the line.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
The .400 Whelen was designed around an unfinished .30 Model 1906 case. Cases were made before the step of tapering the body. On an untapered case there is plenty of shoulder even for a 1903 Springfield firing pin strike. All the other shoulder designs are for using 30/06 cases and not the original design. Todd's big issue will be finding a reamer and dies that are the original design, that is why I recommend reading the definitive work in the book I referenced. FWIW
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
30-06 Ackley improved basic (straight wall) brass is still available. The .411 Hawk would me my direction of choice.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Ian, Do you think that would feed in an 8MM Mauser action? When I was looking at it, they were all on 1903 Springfield or Winchester Model 70's. On the Ackley brass, there is not much neck wall thickness going from .30 to .40, one of the hang-ups with 30/06 brass. One I worked with was on a pre-war Model 70 and the magazine was just barely long enough to let the cartridge up to feed. Since I don't do Mausers, I don't have a good handle on their feeding characteristics. Ric
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I don't know about feeding, Ric, but the 400 Whelen would lkkely require modifications anyway.

The ackley-improved basic brass is straight, "u neck to suit", and probably ream. The reason its called AI basic instead of '06 basic is the case body has the almost straight AI taper.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
Ian, very good to know that. I had never heard of that brass being available, as it would solve the issue of body taper on forming. It was the late 1990's when that project was going on for me. Luckily the action was a pre-Model 70 and soft Nickel Steel material and a cone breech. The recommended length would just barely fit into the magazine with the fat bullet wanting to come up too fast so the rim was ahead of the extractor.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
The two issues are the base of neck diameter and shoulder diameter. For 30/06 the base of neck is .340" and the shoulder is .441". If you try to make them out of 30/06 cases there is NO shoulder. You have to have the area behind the shoulder .458"+.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I mentioned the AI basic brass for this reason. Not sure how the AI taper compares to the original Whelan taper but it's something anyway and closer than .35 Whelen (too much) or straight basic cylinder brass.

I think the biggest hurdle may be obtaining the correct reamer and dies.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
if your die set makes that diameter you have the option of hydro-swaging the cases.
you'll lose some case length in the process [like .005ish]
Hornady will still make die kits to do it [for like not cheap money] and that would really be the easiest way to get cases 'fit form' from minute 1.