August 2007

All-Around .35-Calibers: We Pit Remington’s CDL Vs. the BDL

Remington’s Model 700 BDL survived when the ADL was put out to pasture. In the ADLs’ place came the Classic Deluxe, or CDL, guns. So, which of Big Green’s guns are better?

The pursuit of an all-around rifle for big-game hunting leads one to the so-called medium-bore rifles, simply because nothing smaller can do as much. The bigger cartridges can either be handloaded to lower velocity with normal bullets, or reloaded with lighter bullets to cut recoil. In this report we take a look at both bullets and bolt actions to see what hunters might like in a woods rifle.

First, we wanted to explore a medium-bore cartridge comparison, pitting the .35 Whelen versus the .350 Remington Magnum, two rounds we’ve not tested in the magazine’s history. Second, we have been curious to see how Remington’s three-year-old CDL line fares against the company’s standard-bearer, the BDL, which began in 1962.

To accomplish this, we got a .35 Whelen Model 700 CDL No. 27019, $907. This is our first test of the Classic Deluxe guns, which kicked off in 2004, the same year the inexpensive ADL line was discontinued.

Millions of Model 700s have been sold over the years, so when a 30-year-old trim designation is replaced, we naturally become curious about the new guy on the block. The standard, of course, is the BDL, but we were unable to get a new BDL in .350 Remington Mag. because, oddly, Remington today offers only one rifle in that cartridge, the Model Seven CDL No. 26369, $933.

Instead, we acquired a test .350 Magnum 700 BDL without forend tip, in like-new condition. They sell for about $750.

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