@ 10:28 am (GMT)
Nathan FosterHi Ryan, unless you have an injury or special circumstances, it can be best to put recoil out of your mind and focus on both stock design and technique as per the book series and also some of the videos we have been making. It is really hard to have it both ways. If you want a change in performance, then there needs to be a change in power, embrace it. The 7mm Rem Mag is for example my wife Steph's pet choice. However she has been so sick of recoil emails lately that she is going to put a 7mm Practical together for herself. Steph is also a big fan of the .35 Whelen but over the past couple of years has been using the .358 Norma and really enjoying it.
The Whelen is a very good cartridge, the .30-06 would work but it may not give you the big change you are wanting unless you adopt the heavy loads given in the Cartridges book driven at full velocities. The 180gr Speer at a realistic 2700-2800fps is too close in terminal performance to your current load. There are many good cartridges, but if you are looking for a specific reaction and a significant change in performance, then you will need to make a significant change to your set up.
If you will not aim at the shoulder, then you will need a suitable bullet weight (160 grains minimum), bullet design (neither too soft or too stout) and an exponential increase in velocity (over 3000fps) to see a noticeable change. Or, you could go wide as Thomas said and make use of a 225 Hawk bullet in the Whelen. But also take note that Bobs suggested 168gr load will produce a slight change in performance with your shot placement compared to your current load. But also note that Bob personally prefers the forwards shoulder shot to anchor game fast.
It all depends on how far you want to take this. If you are bored and want to experiment beyond the .308, that's fine. However if you really want a change, then don't sell yourself short. Go the whole distance.
Just as an aside and for the sake of something more unique, I have just uploaded the following to the wound data base. It has nothing to do with this thread other than to highlight the fact that it is fun to explore: