350 legend unprimed 100/bag

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350 legend vs 300 blackout

Introduced by Winchester and approved by SAAMI in January of 2019, the .350 Legend is a brand new cartridge with no parent case. This tapered case has a rebated rim allowing it to utilize the standard .223 bolt face found on many common rifles including the AR-15. Like many other AR cartridges, the .350 Legend only requires changing the barrel and magazine. This cartridge’s allure is that it can be used for hunting in several states that allow straightwall cartridges only, but it doesn’t have near the recoil of other AR cartridges that fill this niche. Utilizing .355″ diameter bullets, the .350 Legend is capable of impressive ballistics, without a lot of recoil. Several bolt action and AR-type rifles are being produced in this caliber, with new models being added all the time.

This is not loaded ammunition.

350 legend vs 300 blackout

While it has only been around for a couple years, the new .350 Legend cartridge has really taken off with certain segments of the North American hunting community after Winchester rolled out the cartridge at the 2019 SHOT show.

That may not make sense to some people at first, especially considering that the cartridge does not have extremely impressive ballistics on paper. Likewise, it’s most likely not the best choice for many hunting situations.

However, the .350 Legend is a relatively specialized centerfire rifle cartridge that was designed specifically to fill a very specific niche in the hunting world. Like any specialized cartridge that’s well designed, the .350 Legend performs very well in its intended role.

What hunters should be using the cartridge? Is the .350 Legend just the latest fad that will get overshadowed by the next high profile cartridge that comes along?

In this article, I’m going to discuss the history as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the .350 Legend in detail. I’ll also provide some information on how the .350 Legend compares to the .223 Remington and .450 Bushmaster cartridges to give you an idea of what sort of performance you can expect from the cartridge and so you can decide if it best fits your needs as a hunter.

Before we get started, I have an administrative note:

Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Thanks for your support.

350 Legend History

The folks at Winchester noticed a few years ago that demand for .450 Bushmaster ammo was pretty high in certain mid-western states. They investigated the situation further and realized that a lot of whitetail deer hunters were using the .450 Bushmaster because it was one of the more popular rifle cartridges that met the relatively strict definition of a “straight-walled” cartridge as required by hunting regulations in those states.

In particular, states like Iowa and Ohio require hunters to use a straight-walled cartridge during the modern firearm deer season. This also applies on public land in Indiana as well as in parts of southern Michigan.

Most modern cartridges like the .223 Remington (pictured below on the left), 6.5 Creedmoor, and .30-06 Springfield, are bottlenecked cartridges. A straight wall cartridge (like the .350 Legend in the center and .450 Bushmaster on the right) is exactly what is sounds like: the cartridge doesn’t have a shoulder.

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