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.358 cal - Hornady Interlock

Shown below is wounding created by a .35 Whelen utilizing Hornady's 200 grain Superformance factory ammunition.

This was a medium sized white tail deer and the shot was taken from only about fifty/sixty yards and from above. It was taken broad side, just below the spine, exiting at midpoint on the off side. The shot completely broke the back, to the point where you could turn the front half completely around so the legs were pointing top to bottom. Pieces of muscle were actually blown off the deer, found lying on the ground a distance from the carcass.

The hunter who donated these photos also stated: Having used the .308 and .30-06 for many years, it has been my experience that White Tail deer run, even the very well hit, for a varying  distance before collapsing. Often this is after being knocked down, they jump to their feet and off they go, this is so typical of White Tail. The two I have taken so far with the Superformance load collapsed instantly, not moving from the spot. The sound of the .358 striking is far more emphatic that that of a .308 cal. bullet Its a very noticeable Whack ! sound. The .358 diameter bullet seems to hit a lot harder than smaller caliber bullets of equal speed.

Note the diameter of the entry wound:

Entry 35 whelen WL

Below we see the exit wound.

35 exit 200gr Hornady WL

Velocity was chronographed at 2940fps.from a 24" barreled rifle with a typical long throat Whelen chamber. Hornady have managed to achieve excellent performance via the use of their high bulk density H4831sc type burn rate powder. Ordinarily, it would be imposible to fit this much H4831sc into a Whelen case.

The 200 grain Interlock is a partially (often fully) frangible bullet, ideal for light to mid weight deer species. This bullet allows for a degree of shot placement error when snap shooting and really maximizes the performance of the .358 medium bore. The .358 bore absolutely shines due to a wide range of bullets suitable to a wide range of applications. This example shows the .358 in the best light, the bullet weight and construction matched to the job at hand.

This particular load had in its favor:
High velocity
Semi / fully frangible bullet (depending on size of animal)
Wide frontal area for maximum energy transfer
Low SD for maximum energy transfer.

The limitations of this load are that it is somewhat too soft and has too low an SD for large bodied game. It is not therefore an all around bullet (if one exists). The 200 grain Interlock round nose bullet (Superformance features the spire point) transfers energy even faster. This bullet will at times produce surface bullet blow up and or blow back if meeting heavy resistance. I have also on occasion encountered bullet blow up and blow back on medium game especially with age annealed RN bullets, but in this instance, fragments continue on to reach vitals and kills tend to be emphatic and clean regardless of the point at which fragmentation occurred.

Other heavy round nose .358 bullets will at times produce blow back but not bullet blow up.

The .358 bore is generally easy to manipulate. A round nose bullet produces very rapid energy transfer, a spire point will offer more penetration, a light bullet will offer increased energy transfer, a heavy bullet will offer increased penetration. Each factor can be manipulated to produce meaningful, measurable results.


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We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.