The Whelenizer is back on the rack, I had a blast trying out my new cast loads down at camp over the weekend. I went with the idea of loading as I went, 5 rounds at a time, and I got a chance to survey all the territory between 42 grains and 50 grains of H4895. Accuracy was best between 42 and 44. I was able to break 2500 with 50 grains, however both the accuracy was poor and the velocities were all over the place.
My conclusions are as follows:
1) 43 grains of H4895 gave consistent velocity and decent accuracy. It was getting late in the day when I tried it, but I had a couple of 2-shot groups that would fit inside a 50 cent piece.
2) The velocity variations increased with the charge weight.
3) When it came down to it, I had to look back at the overall goals. I had a hand-cast lead bullet– check. It could bag a deer at 150 yards or better– check. 42-44 grains produced a pleasant amount of recoil and 46-50 grains did not buy me anything except more wear and tear on the shoulder.
4) The Whelenizer kept its distinctive and authoritative report with the new load. When it barks everyone on the neighboring ridges will know I’ve shot.
So what I am taking home is more like a hot 35 Remington than anything else. I call that a win. It fits a nice niche in my rifle rotation. The Whelenizer with 200 grain jacketed round-nose was always my designated “rain gun.” I took it out when I expected lousy weather, because it had a less-than-perfect stock. I acquired a stainless Hawkeye in 30-06 last year, and so I’m well covered if I want to sit in a toad-strangler and watch one of the pastures. The Whelenizer will be good for treestands as well stalking the cedar thickets.
This was my first attempt at loading at the shooting bench. The hardest part was getting a dead-level surface to mount the scale. I used a bubble-level app on my tablet and a couple copies of the local phone book (up two pages to the right, down three on the back, etc.) The other problem I had was trying to use a scale in something other than dead air. For the first part of the day, I had nearly no wind. However, even the slightest breeze would skew the scale. If I did this regularly, I’d build a box with a plexiglass door, and screw feet on the bottom for leveling, or just spring for a small electronic scale. Transporting the stuff was easy. I fit everything in a 20mm ammo can.