.400 Whelen
Type Rifle
Place of origin22x20px United States
Production history
DesignerTownsend Whelen
Designedearly 1920s
Parent case.30-06 Springfield
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
300 gr (Script error g) SP 2,300 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s) 3,522 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
350 gr (Script error g) 2,100 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s) 3,430 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
Source(s): 350gr - Barnes[1]

The .400 Whelen cartridge was developed by Colonel Townsend Whelen while he was commanding officer of Frankford Arsenal in the early 1920s.[2] The cartridge resembles a .30-06 Springfield case necked up to .40 caliber to accept bullets manufactured for the .405 Winchester.


Colonel Whelen asserted the very small remaining portion of the .30-06's 17° 30′ angled shoulder was likely to cause potentially dangerous headspace difficulties.[3] The headspace issue has been widely discussed. Frankford Arsenal machine shop foreman James Howe necked down cylindrical brass available in the arsenal manufacturing process to form cartridges with a .458-inch-diameter (Bad rounding hereScript error mm) shoulder to fit the chamber of his rifles. Experimenters had less success forming cartridges by enlarging the necks of .30-06 cartridges with .441-inch-diameter (Bad rounding hereScript error mm) (or smaller) shoulders,[4] but could form brass from .35 Whelen cases.[5]

Quality Cartridge has manufactured unformed, cylindrical empty brass cases headstamped for this cartridge.[6]


Griffin & Howe chambered custom-built rifles for this cartridge; and using neck resizing with cases carefully fire formed to the chamber in which the loaded cartridges were to be used, these rifles were reportedly very effective for killing elk, moose, and bear at ranges up to 400 yards (Bad rounding hereScript error m).[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. Script error
  2. Script error
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sharpe, Philip B. Complete Guide To Handloading (1953) Funk & Wagnalls pp.206&398
  4. Script error
  5. Script error
  6. Script error

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.