I recently sold my .30-06 and kept my .270 Winchester. Instead of getting another .30-06 would it be a good idea to skip the .30-06and get a
.35 Whelan? I sold the 30-06 because I really didn't like the rifle, it wasn't the caliber.
Getting another 30-06 in a rifle that you really like Would Never Be A Mistake! Nothing wrong with a .35 Whelen though either. Maybe find a used 30-06 or 35 Whelan in a rifle you really like and have a new barrel put on it chambered for the 338-06! That's a great cartridge and then you'd have an awesome in-between the 30-06 and the Whelen. Make it something extra special. I had a 280AI built on a controlled round feed Winchester Model 70 action with the classic wood stock. The stock was pillar and glass bedded, the new barrel was a Shilen 1-9 twist 24" in length. Had the trigger tuned to precisely 2.5 pounds and it breaks crisp and clean. The barrel and action were all coated in John Norrell Arms Moly Resin (used in the aerospace agency) in a matt black color to match with what the Leupold scope I put on it has. Made it personal and made it special. Love that rifle and doing something like this is a way to get just exactly what you want. Best of Luck!!
My brother, and dad both have Whelens. They both really like them.
35 cal rifles suffer in the bullet department like 25 cals do for the same reason. 338 and 6/6,5mm guns are a lot more popular and get shot quite a bit more. So you will have less bullet/round variety than any of the 338's.
That being said, the Whelen is a hard hitting all around great rifle that I find much more comfortable to shoot than any of the .30 cal and larger magnums. Personally I say go for it.
Had one, great gun but I hardly shot it and wanted something lighter and stainless. Sold it to @Teaman1 and bought a Kimber 30-06. Sent that off to JES and had it punched out to 338-06. I think a midbore like the whelen or 338 would compliment your 270 well, if you don’t handload the 35 has more factory ammo options.
I've been in the process of thinking about building a 338-06 for a few years. The rifle is still a 30-06 at this point, but it is a lot more enjoyable to shoot than my 300. Someday, it will be a much nicer rifle in either one of these 2 calibers. If you like the Whelen, I say go for it. It will be a cool rifle no matter what.
Depends what you want it for? Will this be a new build? Do you reload? not many rifles made in 35 whelen these days. Here are my thoughts- I had a ruger MKII that I had JES bore out to 338-06, but he said he didn't like the rifleing so turned it to a 35 whelen. Advantage of the 35 cal is cheap pistol bullets to plink with at reduced loads. The other advantage is bullets are designed for the slower (compared to magnum) velocities and have good expansion. That said BC is a non starter in 35 cal! but thats not what you get one for!
I did have a big disadvantage- the dreaded headspace issue! I had two different smiths look at it, check it out and try fixes all to no avail! I would have FTF issues about 10-25% depending on which ammo or reload. Had to jam the bullets to get it reliable. So needless to say I took that barrel off and went with a 9.3x62 mauser. haven't hunted with it yet, but it always goes bang when I pull the trigger!!
So if you reload and making a new build I would recommend the 338-06, if you want to use the 35 cal bullets I would definitely go with a 35 Whelen Ackley Improved for the better shoulder and tighter chamber specs. If you want a big thumper then look at the 9.3x62 if you already have a standard bolt, long action to build off. Otherwise there are many magnums to look at.
I too had a 30-06 re-bored to a 338-06 by JES. The rifle was a late 1940's Win Model 70 classic. So glad I chose to do this project and the result has been stellar. My smith was pleased with the quality work and quick turn-a-round from JES. The price of this service made it doable. Stock: Mike (Bayou Teche Guns) shortened the length of pull, eliminated some mass and added a grind-to-fit recoil pad. Metal: We kept the 22" original barrel length, and Mike swapped out the bottom metal with an aluminum floor plate. Some milling on the bolt knob was also part of the diet that lightened the rifle by over a 1/2 pound. Still far from a mountain rifle, with a 2X7X36 Kahles scope the weight is quite tolerable. Scope is equipped with Warren QD mounts mounted low and complements the rig. Recoil is pretty tame (less then a 300 Mag, similar to a 30-06) pushing 200 gr. AccuBonds at near 2800 fps. It hits hard, and is very accurate in my armature hands.