Diameter of 350gr bullet made by Western Tool & Copper 1936

I need some help. I would like to know the diameter of the 350 grain bullet made by Western Tool and Copper in about 1936. I am trying to establish a bore diameter of the barrel used to fire form some ammunition using this bullet. The other bullets used were 400 grain Barnes solids. If anyone knows their diameter, that should also help as they were used to fire form the brass in the same rifle.

Thanks, Larry Wales

About what caliber is it supposed to be? And for use in what? Not that I have any helpful information however.

The .400 Whelen was loaded by Elmer Keith with a 350 grain bullet made by Western Tool & Copper. Charge was 63 grains of Du Pont 171/2 and Vo c. 2300 fps. It was fired in a Hoffman No. 1 rifle given to him by James V. Howe.

The caliber is 40 or 400 and I am trying to figure out if it was 408 or 411. Do you know what the bore of the 400 Whelen is?
Short story; 3 parts
There are 3 references and/or rifle examples for the .40 Newton caliber.
A quote exists in the old literature by David Swaney that 4 rifles were made by the Buffalo Rifle Co. (Newton’s Second Model 1924 Buffalo Newton rifle) using a 405 Winchester barrel in 405 calbier. His reference is quoted in a number of places altho no one else refers to these rifles and I am not sure where he got his info. These would have been 411 bore IF they were made.
Better info is available via letters and published ads in Outdoor Life that O.H. Elliott had a First Model 1916 Newton rifle and he stated Newton told him he made four of these. Elliott fire formed 500 rounds of brass for this rifle and sold it to a man going to Africa. He used the 350 grain Western and 400 grain barnes. This is the rifle I would like to know the bore diameter for.
The third part of the story is Newton put out chamber dimension tables for all his calibers in 1919/1924 just before he introduced the 40 caliber in one of his catalogs. These tables list the 40 Newton with a 408 bore. I have a rifle made by Fred Adolph (a close associate of Newton) with a 408 bore and the chamber dimensions shown in the 1919 tables. This rifle was made in 1922 just after the tables were published.
I am finishing my third book on Newton and would like to be as accurate as I can with data on the .40 Newton caliber.

Looked up 400 Whelen and in Sharpe’s book it is listed with 405 Win bullets and the 350 grain as someone replied in a post. That would probably mean the 350 was in .411.

My 400 Whelen sample is loaded with a .411" bullet

Donnelly’s book says .400 Whelen bullet dia. is 0.412". However that does not answer your original question regarding those made specifically by WT&C.

A comment made in COTW was that the .400 Whelen was problematic as there is not much of a shoulder to headspace on. And of course no belt or rim either.

If you have a rifle available, you could always slug the bore and make a measurement of the exact groove diameter.

I have one of the 400 Whelen cartridges loaded at Frankford Arsenal with a FA 22-R headstamp. It has a hollow point bullet which may or may not be a WT&C. Whelen used commercial bullets, and the WT&C would have been the one most available at the time. It measures .410" at the case mouth. If you think it may be a WT&C bullet I could probably pull it to make a better measurement.

There was an earlier thread discussing the Frankford Arsenal cartridges loaded by Whelen. You’d have to find it and see what it said. I don’t remember exactly.

Regarding the comment about the 400 Whelen not having an adequate shoulder for headspacing, the originals made at Frankford Arsenal were made from cylindrical Cal .30 cases. Later cartridges made from necked up 30-06 cases do have a smaller shoulder but they are not the original design by Whelen.


I saw a picture of something called a .400 Brown Whelen, which was probably someone’s (maybe Brown?) wildcat. It appeared to have a more cylindrical body with less taper than the .30-'06 case and a bit of a shoulder, and was stated to have a .411" bullet. Someone’s attempt to duplicate the original version? Google on “.400 Brown Whelen” for additional information, as all I know came from looking at a picture of it.

Dennis - The 400 BW is an Improved 400 Whelen made from 30-06 brass. It’s interesting that it is identical to the original 400 Whelen that was made from cylindrical brass and yet it has taken on its own identity. It just goes to show you that the only things new are those that we’ve forgotten.


From your earlier description of the original .400 Whelen, I suspected the .400 BW was the same thing.

Whether the bullet diameter used was .410, .411, or .412 would make little, if any, practical performance difference so long as there was adequate chamber neck diameter to allow some case neck expansion to occur upon firing to keep peak chamber pressure down. Typical SAAMI bullet diameter tolerances are greater than 0.002".