Three cartridges I have fairly extensive hunting experience with are the 30-06, 35 Whelen, and 300 Winchester Magnum. After reading the exhaustive information on each offered by Terminal Ballistics Research , I found that my real-world experience matched perfectly what was stated. Its always a good sign when you read about a cartridge or rifle, and find that your real world experience matches that which is written.
Terminal Ballistics Archive:
The .35 Whelen (and .35 Whelen AI) is an extremely versatile cartridge due to its ability to produce hydrostatic shock for fast killing on extremely light through to relatively large bodied game as well as producing deep and broad wounding.
The increase in frontal area makes the .35 Whelen noticeably superior to the .338” bore. When using the .338 bore, the hunter must at times be careful with bullet selection in order to avoid having a bullet that is too tough for the job at hand. The .338 bore excels on larger bodied deer but can on occasion be left wanting if lean animals are encountered. In contrast to this, the .35 bore firing bullets of the same weight displays far greater and much faster energy transfer. So much so, that we sometimes see bullet blow back as a result of hydraulic forces. In these instances, entry wounds may at times be as large as exit wounds. Furthermore, the .358’s can display this performance at mild impact velocities. The .358’s not wholly reliant on velocity in the same manner as the small bores. In plain terms, one cannot have a full understanding of terminal ballistics until one has studied this bore diameter and this cartridge in particular.
Away from the extremes and inside 300 yards, the .35 Whelen is highly effective. In my experience, this cartridge is most effective in the hands of those who mostly hunt bush / woods, but with the chance of open clearing, gully, or river flat shots. This cartridge especially suits those who want a relatively deep penetrating cartridge but also one that is versatile across a wide range of game weights.