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.35 Remington

 

History

 
The .35 Remington is one of a family of cartridges that were designed for the Remington Model 8 semi-automatic rifle released in 1908.  Using an entirely new case design not based on any existing dimensions, the parent case was necked up and down to create cartridges in the calibers .25, .30, .32 and .35.  The case body was similar to, but slightly narrower and shorter than the modern day .308 Winchester case. 
 
Of the four calibers only the .35 achieved a measure of success. Designed primarily as a woods cartridge, .35 Remington ammunition was available in two weights - a 150 grain bullet at 2300fps and a 200 grain bullet at around 2000fps. In comparison to the .30-30, the .35 Remington produced adequate penetration with potentially broader wounding without any significant increase in recoil.
 
The .35 was initially used for hunting game up to the size of moose and brown bear; however, this cartridge is now more commonly used on game up to the size of Elk. The small following of the .35 Remington is quite unique to the U.S. Rifles in this caliber can be found outside of the U.S but are not as popular as other woods cartridge designs.  The .35 Remington has also enjoyed a following as an extremely effective pistol hunting cartridge utilized in the Thompson Center Contender hand gun.
 
Today the .35 Remington enjoys a small following among hunters who appreciate its balance of adequate killing power for hunting medium game from compact rifle platforms boasting minimal noise and recoil. This is both an effective and efficient woods cartridge design.
 

Performance

The .358 caliber has some wonderful virtues. One of the more significant is that the projectiles made for this bore are generally soft enough so as to ensure some measure of energy transfer, regardless of whether game are lean or relatively large. However, there are some caveats. Flat or round nose bullets tend to produce the most dramatic results while heavy and pointed bullets can sometimes cleave to their energy on lean game, though wounding is still vivid. In other words, this is a flexible bore but still requires some consideration, if we are to extract optimum results.
 
Although the .358 bore utilizes heavy bullet weights, many projectiles have quite low sectional densities. This is yet another factor that aids energy transfer - though it can limit penetration.  That said, mild impact velocities (.35 Remington) can (but not always) help minimize bullet blow up.
 
Generally speaking, the .358 tends to produce very fast killing at impact velocities above 2200fps. As bullets pass below 2200fps, we begin to see delayed killing (depending on shot placement), but so long as the bullet is capable of adequate penetration, game hit do not move far after the shot. Any game hit too far back towards the center of the body may bunch up and move only a short distance, allowing for a quick follow up shot as a means to bring about an end to the hunt in as humane a manner as possible. This I believe is one of the main virtues of this bore diameter.
 
As the impact velocity falls below 1800fps, killing becomes much more delayed. Many projectiles fail to produce significant expansion at these speeds, and it is here that we must refer back to lessons learned from the .357 Magnum. At 1600fps we are once again in need of a bullet like the .357” 180 grain XTP to ensure wide wounding. Having said this, the 180 grain Hornady Single Shot Pistol bullet (now discontinued) can perform well at low impact velocities.
 
The .35 Remington is the slowest in the .358 family. Factory loads tend to start slow, then lose velocity very quickly. Hand loads help boost power significantly and provide a major step up from the .357 Magnum. With full power hand loads we are no longer reliant on wide hollow point projectiles and can utilize both flat / round nose bullets to great effect along with some pointed bullet designs. However, the .35 Remington does shed velocity quickly. In plain terms, this cartridge does its best work inside 100 yards. Beyond 100 yards (1800fps) shot placement is critical, and beyond 150 yards (1600fps) bullets may altogether fail to expand depending on the individual bullet design and target resistance.
 
As previously mentioned, flat and round nosed bullets do tend to produce more emphatic results in the .35 Remington. After a period of experimentation (game hunting) it is not uncommon to become conflicted between the (sometimes theoretical) higher downrange velocity and flatter trajectory of a pointed bullet versus the emphatic performance of blunt nosed bullets (regardless of their velocity loss). As a side note, the same conflict can occur when using the more potent .358’s; and in some instances a magnum .358 may be chosen simply for its ability to drive blunt nosed low BC bullets to greater effective ranges. Provided the bullet actually holds together on impact after being driven at magnum velocities, it could be stated that one can never have too much of a good thing.
 
The .35 Remington is in essence a cartridge that can be utilized in the likes of the compact 336 Marlin lever action rifle, boasts moderate ‘rolling’ recoil and mild report, yet hits relatively hard; it produces a vivid wound if we snap shoot and fail to hit exactly where we aim and can also provide the opportunity to take follow up shots. Mild impact velocities also greatly aid penetration with raking shots. But in order to extract this good performance, ranges need to be kept relatively short.
 

Factory ammuntion

Factory loads for the .35 Remington are currently produced by Remington, Winchester, Federal and Hornady. Note however, that factory ammunition can at this time of writing be hard to find.
 
Remington still advertise both their 150 and 200 grain Core-Lokt loadings however the 150 grain loading is rarely seen in retail stores. The 150 grain pointed soft point Core-Lokt has an advertised velocity of 2300fps for a true muzzle velocity of around 2230fps. This bullet is not designed to be used in tube loaded rifles (Marlin 336); however, regardless of safety concerns (detonation) some hunters do use it in this manner (with the associated risk). This load is best suited for game weighing up to 60kg (132lb). This is a unique and potentially frangible bullet with a very low sectional density. For those who have no experience with the .358 bore, it is somewhat akin to a 110 grain .30 caliber soft point projectile, though more emphatic in its performance at mild impact velocities. The SD of the 150 grain Remington bullet is .168, the BC is .184. A typical 110 grain .30 caliber soft point has an SD of .166 and a BC in the mid twos. The .358 bullet has the advantage of greater weight and a wider frontal area for rapid energy transfer at low impact velocities. 
 
In contrast to this, a .30 caliber varmint bullet driven very quickly (3000fps) tends to kill quite quickly, but anyone who has ever reached ‘way out’ with these soft points (excluding V-MAX) will know that as the 2000fps mark is reached, performance is somewhat more ho-hum. Put simply, the .35 caliber bullet is more emphatic at these impact velocities and can be a remarkably good killer. Nevertheless, both the .30 cal 110 grain bullet and .358 cal 150 grain bullet share similar penetration limitations. In practical terms, this bullet does its best work on light framed deer. The pointed ogive does help to reduce immediate energy transfer and can aid penetration in gel tests, making this bullet look rather good in comparison to its heavier round nosed counterparts. But on game heavy bone can cause great problems. This bullet should not be used on heavily bodied deer unless deliberately taking rear lung shots. Note also that the 150 grain bullet sheds velocity very quickly, breaking 1800fps at just 100 yards. Beyond this range, performance declines somewhat rapidly.
 
The 200 grain round nose Core-Lokt is one of the best 200 grain .358 projectiles. The bullet form is a wonderful design, soft in nature, plenty of exposed lead and with a jacket made to ensure uniform expansion. This bullet never fails to please as far as bullet design is concerned. From an advertised 2080fps for a realistic 2000fps, the Core-Lokt can be relied on to penetrate vitals on lighter medium game from most angles while smaller framed animals can be taken or finished from tail on. This bullet can tackle elk sized game and can also be used on moose but deserves some prior consideration. Although mild impact velocities help aid penetration, the velocity loss with this load (and other factory .35 loads) is severe. By the time the bullet has reached 50 yards, velocity is down to 1800fps. Bullet expansion is still evident but wounding is mild, especially relative to large bodied game. At 100 yards the Core-Lokt is travelling at just over 1600fps, which poses further limitations as the bullet struggles to impart energy.  Unfortunately, the only way to improve wounding potential is to hand load to higher muzzle velocities. In lieu of this velocity, the hunter must try to use careful shot placement, keeping shots well forwards. But it must also be remembered that the Core-Lokt is a conventional bullet design, and it is therefore unrealistic to expect reliable or consistent penetration through large round ball joints (moose). In plain terms, on large animals keep shots well forwards, but on very large animals it can pay to avoid ball joints.
 
Winchester advertise their 200 grain PowerPoint at 2020fps, while Federal list the 200 grain Power-Shok bullet at 2080fps, both achieving true velocities of around 2000fps. Performance of these is similar to the Remington load in that it can be hard to find any major differences in wounding at such low impact velocities. Both the Winchester and Federal load require the same considerations with regards to wound potential versus very large bodied game. Lung wounds tend to be around .75” in diameter at ranges of 50 to 100 yards - wide enough to produce clean but sometimes delayed killing. Again, shots should be kept forwards.
 
Hornady produce a more unique load for the .35 Remington, the 200gr FTX. This bullet is well designed for the .35 Remington but with some limitations. True velocities from the Marlin 336 carbine are around 2150fps, approximately 150fps faster than other factory loads. The FTX has no trouble expanding down to impact velocities of 1800fps (140 yards). Forwards chest shots produce typically fast kills, while rear lung / meat saver shots do allow game animals to run with death occurring between 10 and 15 seconds thereafter (similar to other 200 grain loadings). Internal wounding is generally broad, while penetration is good but not exceptional. It appears that in this instance Hornady have determined that most of their customers do indeed intend to hunt deer and are not expecting to encounter heavy dangerous game while toting their beloved carbines. The emphasis has therefore been placed on wounding over penetration. The FTX has a BC of .3 which greatly aids velocity retention for downrange energy transfer.
 

Hand loading

 
With hand loads, the performance of the .35 Remington can be enhanced, not only in velocity but via projectile choice. The .35 Remington cartridge is only rated to a maximum pressure of 35,000psi, and in older rifles it is important to keep within these pressure limits.  The .35 Remington produces best results with fast burning powders in the H4198 to H4895 range (ADI 2207 to ADI 2206H). Brass must for the most part be sourced from factory ammunition.
 
Velocities for older rifles include 2200fps with 180 grain bullets, 2000fps with 200 grain bullets and 1800fps with 220 grain bullets.
 
In modern Marlin 336 rifles of sound construction the .35 can easily be loaded to drive 180 grain bullets at 2300, 200grain bullets at 2100fps and 220 grain bullets at 1900fps, with top (safe) loads 100fps higher than this depending on how far the hand loader wishes to experiment. The information ahead will be based around these full power loads of 2400, 2200 and 2000fps respectively.  In a very broad manner of speaking, such loads help keep velocities above 1800fps to ranges of and exceeding 100 yards.
 
The .358 caliber has the distinct advantage of being able to produce hydrostatic shock on medium game at much lower velocities than the smaller bores. Generally speaking, the .35’s produce fast killing at velocities above 2200fps (provided projectiles are matched to the job at hand), where the 7mm, .30 and .338 calibers, using conventional hunting projectiles, tend to produce hydrostatic shock at impact velocities of 2600fps and above. The .35 Remington does however straddle the velocity fence. Game may not go down immediately with every shot, but provided impact velocities can be kept high (ranges short) game do not run too far. However, before we discuss the various .358 caliber projectiles, I would like to briefly digress into the use of .357” projectiles in the Remington.
 
One advantage of the .358 caliber is that it is very close to the .357 caliber and it can be possible to obtain a degree of accuracy when using .357” projectiles in the .35 (.358”) Remington.  Many projectiles in the .357 caliber are designed with wide hollow cavities to promote severe wounding, and these bullets can secure game fast. As an example, it is no great trick to drive the 180 grain XTP at 2400fps. This velocity is very hard on the XTP; however, velocity is soon shed, and from 2300fps down the XTP can produce stellar performance on light to mid weight game. The .35 Remington also makes better use of some of the tougher .357” bullets that can at times underperform in the .357, such as the Speer Gold Dot hollow point. Ultimately, I would ask that the reader simply keeps these options in mind for potential experimentation. These loads will not penetrate in the same manner as a 200 grain bullet, but they do work exceptionally well at low impact velocities. This can be especially useful if working with older rifles or when following very mild reloading manual loads. In other words, if you intend to load slow, hollow point pistol bullets may be of some use.
 
Back to the .358 projectiles.
 
Speer produce two projectiles for the .35 Remington: the 180 grain flat point and 220 grain flat point, both being Hotcor bullet designs featuring very light core bonding.
 
Speer’s 180 grain flat point Hotcor bullet, designed specifically for this cartridge has been popular for decades - and with good reason. This bullet produces outstanding penetration considering its low SD. Although the Speer features a flat nose design, it does have a tapered ogive, much like a traditional pointed bullet that has had its tip cut short, and in some ways it is like the Norma Vulkan. Yet even with a tapered ogive, this bullet (so long as velocity is reasonable) achieves shoulder stabilization after expansion very quickly which aids deep and straight line penetration. The bonding of this bullet is light, yet seems to strike the balance of a measured weight loss for energy transfer while retaining its shank. This bullet should not penetrate as deeply as for example a 180 grain .30 caliber Hotcor - and yet it does, along with wide wounding.  This bullet can be driven fast without concerns of bullet blow up or over expansion - a very unique design.
 
The 180 grain Speer can be used as a general all around bullet for game up to the size of Elk from most angles. The Speer bullet kills relatively quickly at close ranges but as velocity falls to and below 2200fps, killing can be clean but somewhat delayed while producing a good blood trail for tracking. This bullet is one of the best available options for the .35 purely due to the fact that it can be kept above 2200fps for some distance as an aid to disproportionate to caliber wounding and therefore fast killing.
 
The 220 grain Speer flat point shares similar unique properties. This bullet provides a further increase in penetration, the shoulder stabilizes quickly, the expanded jacket folds back against the shank and penetration is very deep. This bullet can be used on light framed game from all angles but does its best work on game weighing over 90kg (200lb) which offer a good measure of resistance to maximize energy transfer at lower impact velocities. Close ranges are the key when using this bullet - preferably inside 75 yards.
 
Hornady make a variety of lighter weight .358 projectiles including the 180 grain Single Shot Pistol bullet (now discontinued), the 200 grain spire point Interlock, the 200 grain round nose Interlock and the 200 grain Flex Tip (FTX). Apart from the rubber tipped FTX, pointed bullets should only be used in box rather than tube magazine rifles. Having said this, there are some who use these pointed lead tipped bullets in tube magazines, a practice which I cannot condone.
 
The one advantage of the 180 grain Single Shot Pistol bullet is that it can expand and dump energy down to impact velocities of 1600fps. But now for the caveat: Hunters should not therefore expect this bullet to produce spectacular results at close ranges (2300fps). To the contrary, this bullet can at times fail to meet expectations. The SSP certainly dumps its energy quickly, however if pushed fast and used on tougher species animals (not necessarily larger), penetration can be very poor. The key factor here is to set realistic expectations. This is a bullet designed to excel at low impact velocities, and when used this way on light to mid weight game with cross body shots the SSP can work exceptionally well.
 
The 200 grain Interlocks (spire point and round nose) are both very soft projectiles. These projectiles work reasonably well at .35 Rem velocities and will handle tail on shots on game up to 60kg (130lb) as well as raking shots on heavier animals up to around 90kg (200lb).  Retained weight on ordinary cross body shots is generally above 160 grains; however, on raking or tail on shots weight retention is closer to 100 grains (very typical of this bullet design). The round nose variant does tend to dump energy very quickly and can at times produce blow back with entry wounds larger than .75” in diameter.
 
Any narrow wound channels with the 200 grain Interlock’s are more a function of low impact velocities combined with low frontal area retention (also applies to the Speer bullets). In these instances internal wounds may be around .6” to .75” in diameter which is certainly narrower than that which can be achieved with a high velocity cartridge (e.g. .270 Win @ 2.5” diameter), yet this should not be read as a sign of the bullet being too tough. These are very soft projectiles, and any decrease in wounding is as suggested relative to the fact that the .35 Remington is truly a mild cartridge.
 
Please note that it is not uncommon to come across aged Hornady .358” projectiles (auctions etc.) which are much softer than new projectiles. As a general rule, if the packet is heavily faded, the bullet jackets will be soft and the cores powdery. These bullets can be considered akin to varmint projectiles. When new the 200 grain Interlocks are a basic ‘deer bullet’. They are not in the same league as the Speer Hotcor when it comes to tackling larger bodied game. Age deterioration poses further limitations, though aged projectiles can be useful when hunting very light framed game.
 
The FTX as already described (factory ammunition) is designed to produce fast expansion at low impact velocities. Hand loads cannot really be driven any faster than factory Superformance loads. The FTX is well designed for close range work but it is not a large / heavy game bullet. Instead, the FTX is perhaps best described as an attempt to maximize performance on whitetail deer. Like an SST, this projectile loses around 50% weight on raking shots. If pushed too hard (or too fast in the likes of the Whelen), the FTX gradually and fully disintegrates. Yet again, this is a projectile that must be approached with realistic expectations. A 200 grain bullet sounds heavy to many hunters, yet design and SD must always be taken into account. The main advantage of this bullet is that it has the ability to create wide fast bleeding wounds. The FTX is excellent when snap shooting and can handle some raking shots. It also provides enough trauma, so that in case of a bad shot the hunter may be given the opportunity to take a quick follow up shot.
 
The 200 grain Sierra round nose Prohunter is stouter than the Interlock bullets and can be used where deep penetration is required on large bodied game. Results are not spectacular and wound channels reflect low impact velocities but this bullet is a clean killer of larger bodied animals from most angles bar tail on shots. 
 
Bullet makers also offer heavier round nose projectiles for the .358 bore, but these cannot be driven at reasonable speeds in the .35 Remington and wounding (width) becomes compromised. Furthermore, there is no great need for increased bullet weight in this cartridge. If one cannot do the job with the 220 grain Speer flat point, an entirely more potent cartridge should be selected.
 

Closing comments

 
The .35 Remington is a modest performer producing clean kills on medium game at bush / woods ranges with little fuss.   Shot placement is always a factor when using low velocity cartridges; bullets that strike the autonomous plexus produce a far different reaction on game than shots that strike the rear lungs. Yet having said this, the .358 bore can display superior performance in comparison to slow moving small bores when shot placement is less than ideal. A combination of the wide bullet diameter and soft projectile designs helps performance immensely and is one of the main virtues of this bore diameter.
 
Such performance should not however be used as an excuse for poor rifle accuracy or poor shooting technique. The .358 bore can be forgiving of shot placement, but it does not contain magical qualities. Let there be no illusion: The .35 Remington is the slowest of the .358’s and does its best work inside 100 yards, beyond which shot placement becomes ever more critical. And while the Marlin .336 may not be designed for 1000 yard match accuracy, those chambered for mild cartridges like the .35 Remington can often be coaxed to shoot extremely well. There is therefore no reason why the hunter should not take time to practice and build confidence at a 100 yard rifle range, even if one has the intention to hunt much closer.
Speer FP 2

The 180 grain Speer Flat point, impact 2300fps. Note that thew wound is disproportionate to the expanded caliber of the bullet showing great performance. Killing may be slightly delayed but animals never run far. Below 2200fps, wound channels begin to narrow. Below 1800fps, shot placement is critical.

Speer flat point

The 220 grain Speer flat point. It is rare to recover one of these as they seldom stay in game. Note how expansion has arrested nicely at the cannelure, the front section has a stable form while the jacket has swaged back to the shank. This performance is quite uniform across the velocity spectrum (including magnum velocities).

 
 
Suggested loads: .35 Remington Barrel length: 20”
No ID   Sectional density Ballistic coefficient Observed  MV Fps ME
Ft-lb’s
1 FL Remington 150gr PSP .168 .184 2230 1656
2 FL Remington 200gr RN .223 .192 2000 1776
3 FL Hornady 200gr FTX .223 .300 2150 2053
4 HL Speer 180gr FP .201 .236 2380 2264
5 HL Hornady / Sierra 200gr RN .223 .200 2200 2149
6 HL Speer 220gr FP .243 .316 2000 1953
 
Suggested sight settings and bullet paths       
1 Yards 50 100 150      
  Bt. path .27 0 -2.9      
2 Yards 50 100 150      
  Bt. path .54 0 -3.8      
3 Yards 50 100 150 175 200  
  Bt. path 1.2 1.8 0 -1.9 -4.6  
4 Yards 50 100 150 175 200  
  Bt. path .8 1.5 0 -1.6 -3.9  
5 Yards 50 100 150 175 200  
  Bt. path 1.3 2 0 -2.2 -5.3  
6 Yards 50 100 150 175 200  
  Bt. path 1.6 2.2 0 -2.3 -5.5  
 
Sight height 1.6” (Scope).
 
No At yards 10mphXwind Velocity Ft-lb’s
1 100 2.6 1812 1093
2 100 2.9 1627 1176
3 150 3.8 1773 1395
4 200 7.8 1725 1189
5 150 5.9 1631 1181
6 150 4.4 1625 1289
 
Note load 1 falls to 1600fps at 150 yards. Loads 5 and 6 break 1800fps at around 100 yards mark, then steadily lose velocity and ability to expand towards 1600fps.

35 Remington final
 
.35 Remington Imperial Metric 
A .460 11.68
B .458 11.63
C 13 Deg  
D .404 10.29
E .384 9.75
F 1.539 39.1
G .337 8.56
H 1.920 48.77
Max Case 1.920 48.77
Trim length 1.910 48. 5
 
 
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Copyright © 2007-2016 Terminal Ballistics Research, Ballisticstudies.com
 

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