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Old December 15, 2019, 10:54 AM   #76
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I did a chamber cast today--and as my luck would have it--this is the first one I blew and got the cast stuck. Had to hammer it out, so it sightly compressed OL and I couldn't get an accurate read on that--no big deal though. Admittedly a conventional mic of a lead cast isn't going to be absolutely precise--but close enough in my experience if something is really off.

As far as I could tell--the chamber on my Faxon 350 legend dimensions match up with SAAMI specs--with the bore of .346 and groove of .355. Except for the difference in twist (16 vs 10)--the 350 legend specs, in terms of the reamed bore, appear to me to be identical to the 9mm Luger (including the groove dimensions). I'm sure there's some sound philosophy behind the slower twist--I just don't know what it is.

Another thing--I was under the impression the case design was derived from the 5.56/.223--I read on Winchester's site that it's a totally new design and manufacture of the case is different--so I assume the case is "strong where it needs to be" considering the (IMO) unusual head dimensions for an AR design.
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Old December 15, 2019, 01:53 PM   #77
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Totally different case. Only the (rebated) rim dimension is the same.
My understanding is that the 16 twist is standard. (See below)
https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads...ng-Website.pdf
Did you say the Faxon twist is 10-to-1 ?
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Old December 15, 2019, 01:58 PM   #78
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No, the 350L is 16. It looks to me like they used the same bore reamer as the 9x19 but with less twist--the land/groove dimensions look the same as well.
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Old December 15, 2019, 05:51 PM   #79
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mehavey--I tried the bullet sizer today with the 180 358 hot core in the 357 die ( using imperial wax) and I couldn't get the thing to budge and I was leaning into with what I thought was approaching the limitations of the press. Looking into the die it looks like it may have a bit of chatter in the bore--even bullets that are .357 took some leverage to go through. Any ideas?
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Old December 15, 2019, 06:39 PM   #80
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Scratch the above--I did a bunch of cleaning of the die--some odd colored stuff came out--looked like maybe some oxidation of some sort was going on--in any event the 358 hotcores go through OK now.
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Old December 15, 2019, 07:25 PM   #81
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Scratch the above--.....
Once cleaned (BTW I never encountered the problem you ran into), they should go through smoothly using just nose oil,* much less true sizing lube/wax.

*(Yuck, you say. But pretty effective since it's actually lanolin)
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Old December 15, 2019, 07:34 PM   #82
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Once cleaned (BTW I never encountered the problem you ran into), they should go through smoothly using just nose oil,* much less true sizing lube/wax.
Looking into the body of the die it looked rough and covered with crystal--looking like stuff. Took some patches and rubbing down with cleaner to get it to a smooth shine. Why the funky stuff? Beats me.
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Old December 16, 2019, 04:55 PM   #83
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Enough parts were in so I decided to put the rifle together. The magazines aI ordered, last time I checked, were just emerging from behind the dark side of the moon on the way to the next shipment waypoint. So I had to shoot single-feed.
The rifle comes in just a hair under 8 pounds (I did stick a 6.8 mag in) and I figured that's pretty good for a 20" barreled AR. I used a cheap magpul fixed stock for the first time--my first reaction "where have you been all my life love." Rest is pretty standard stuff--aero receivers and rail etc.
I just got the thing finished as the sun was going down--so I rushed out to get the leupold 3 x 9 rifleman duplex scope on paper. took two shots to find the paper--the next 5 I shot for group. At 110 yds it's OK--nothing to write home about, but still heady stuff for what is more or less a 9mm magnum in my book.


The rifle failed to extract the brass--but honestly I was expecting some kind of issues with a carbine gas system on a 20" barrel. I don't know of any other AR barrel of that length that uses a carbine gas system. They must have their reasons--but it's a mystery to me. So I expect there be a bit of time while I have to play around with the gas system to get a happy gun.

EDIT: I was using what I thought was an adjusted gas block--it was set fully closed and I didn't bother checking. senior duh moment.
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File Type: jpg 350 legend american whitetail group.jpg (105.0 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg 170 american whitetail 350 legend labradar.jpg (44.7 KB, 94 views)
File Type: jpg 350 legend rifle.jpg (128.1 KB, 96 views)
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Old December 16, 2019, 11:29 PM   #84
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Your gun looks good and glad you got some bullets down range.

Some folks seem to get lucky with moa or better accuracy with standard guns/parts and no extra effort at all. Not me. Hopefully, with a little load development, things will tighten up.

2 MOA is good enough for a lot of hunting, but better can really help when you want to be able to stretch things out.
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Old December 17, 2019, 12:09 AM   #85
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Thanks. Chances are I probably caused less than optimal barrel bore conditions by having the gas completely shut down--I'll go out soon (snow storm in progress) and blow off the rest of the hornady stuff to see if things improve (notice it averaged almost 50 fps faster than they rate it). I'll start reloading soon too. Any nice recipes you know of?

The Faxon barrel was a tight fit in the aero upper--just the way I like them. The rex selenium comp fits nicely with it's thread adaptor--first time I've used one. I re-used a hiperfire trigger from a previous build. The best "new" part for me was the magpie fixed stock--at $29 a super bargain for a stock with no wiggle and somewhat shorter LOP than most other alternatives that are rifle buffer length. I'll be getting more of them for future builds.

I'd be reluctant to use the 350 legend on sizable game much past 150 yds based on the ballistics I've seen so far--I'm a bit skeptical of bullet opening/penetration performance as the velocity drops quickly.
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Old December 17, 2019, 06:29 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
The best "new" part for me was the magpie fixed stock--at $29 a super bargain for a stock with no wiggle and somewhat shorter LOP than most other alternatives that are rifle buffer length.
I use them with the 3/4 inch buttpad. It just about brings it to an A1 length.
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Old December 17, 2019, 06:42 AM   #87
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I suspect also that slight variations in bores dimensions might account for accuracy issues between various barrels. I'm going to test this theory eventually by firing a variety of diameter bullets between .355 and .357 through my barrel.
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Old December 17, 2019, 06:44 AM   #88
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I use them with the 3/4 inch buttpad. It just about brings it to an A1 length.
I actually prefer the shorter LOP, so it works for me as-is. I've detected a very slight up/down wiggle in the aft section--but still less than even the CTR which was my previous preferred stock.

I just checked the magazine retailer I ordered the 350L magazines from--I ordered two magazines over a week ago and they are still "processing" the order internally. I expect I won't have anything until the new year unless I make an order with someone else--exactly what I had to do to get the barrel.
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Old December 17, 2019, 09:06 AM   #89
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Just discovered QL has 350 legend specs in it! That should help a lot.
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Old December 17, 2019, 10:21 AM   #90
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I just spent some time putting some dummy rounds together--the problem (IMO) with the chambering became clear pretty quickly. Looking at Hodgdon's data all the cartridge OAL's come in well under the 2.26 spec except for hornady's and winchester's spire points. The overall bullet design must come very close to hornady's or winchester's--specifically the seating depth and distance to base of ogive from the base of the bullet--or else the bullet's ogive can easily jam in the rather short tapered throat when attempting to seat near the 2.26 spec. In my Faxon chamber it doesn't seem to make much difference whether the bullet diameter is .355 to .357--though perhaps it necessitates seating a .357 bullet a tad deeper in order to avoid that jam. At the moment the cartridge appears to be a one or two trick pony if you really want to explore it's potential IMO. I'm just guessing again--but maybe in the development cycle Winchester was faced with a choice of maintaining backwards compatibility to .355 bullets or develop something entirely new. Maybe that's why this appears to be a funky hybrid.

I'm purposely choosing a "problem child" .357 diameter bullet to see what happens for my first reloads. Hornady (factory ammo) brass has a length of 1.701 +/- .001--starline (bulk unfired) has 1.704 +/- .001
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Old December 18, 2019, 12:22 AM   #91
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The 170 and 180 gr bullets seem to perform very reliably both up close and not so close. As you get farther out, the bigger bullets may be subject to limits on effective range due to wind drift concerns.

For longer ranges, the flat shooting pointy plastic tip bullets seem to work pretty good. I have seen a number of reports of good performance at over 200 yards.

In my 357AR, I got 2 moa groups out to 200 yards with a custom cast 200 gr shooting at over 2000 fps. Cast bullets are less likely to give DRT results, but inadequate penetration is certainly not a worry for these loads.
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Old December 18, 2019, 02:07 AM   #92
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For longer ranges, the flat shooting pointy plastic tip bullets seem to work pretty good. I have seen a number of reports of good performance at over 200 yards.
Which tipped bullets are those, FTX's or winchester's extreme point? I was wondering if others were available, I can't find the extreme points as components.
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Old December 18, 2019, 06:44 AM   #93
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Googling 357AR lead to this source:
https://mdws.forumchitchat.com/post/...thread-9599562

I noted with GREAT interest as the author was working with the AR at 33+grain water volume vs 37+ for the Legend.
He was also working with QuickLoad as am I.
He was also working with Lil`Gun loadings that were entire consistent with extrapolation of my own from experience w/ the 200gr Lee RF and 38 special cases out of a 357 Mag rifle.

EVERYthing/EVERY powder/EVERY bullet/EVERY loadout I've tried were Utterly Predictable/reliable....Save Lil'Gun"



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Old December 18, 2019, 08:06 AM   #94
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That's one of the really irritating things about their "premature release" IMO--they list only a handful of pistol powders. Understandable to some extent since the bore IS a 9mm Luger bore slowed down, but I'm not convinced the powders necessarily are optimal. So we are to some extent wildcatters.

I tried a few test loads of berry's .357 158 gr RN's using H110 yesterday and had horrible results also--but I had completely forgotten that they use a very thin unbonded jacket. Guess who's in the penalty box this morning spending hours de-coppering their barrel?

A very kind forum member sent me a 350 legend magazine to further my "adventures"--I'm going to size Speer's 358 hotcores down to 357 and work up a load. Because the case has a taper to it--I trimmed my starline cases back to 1.701 making sure I used lee's included neck expanded both before and after the trim--otherwise the Lyman pilot easily gets stuck (I don't have a 350 L case holder for my Wilson case trimmer).

I'm still trying to figure out the "deer legal .357" state specs versus the actual .355 factory ammo that's being offered. IMO somebody is pulling someone's leg.

"It's the perfect cartridge, there was no collusion."
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Old December 18, 2019, 08:26 AM   #95
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I noted with GREAT interest as the author was working with the AR at 33+grain water volume vs 37+ for the Legend.
He was also working with QuickLoad as am I.
He was also working with Lil`Gun loadings that were entire consistent with extrapolation of my own from experience w/ the 200gr Lee RF and 38 special cases out of a 357 Mag rifle.

EVERYthing/EVERY powder/EVERY bullet/EVERY loadout I've tried were Utterly Predictable/reliable....Save Lil'Gun"
I'm thinking that powder load is reasonable--in and of itself I don't think it would generate dangerous pressure. Instead--I'm wondering if the bullet was "stoppered" at the mouth/throat and ran up the start pressure so high it simply expanded the longish and mostly unsupported case head? My gut feeling is that you can't safely stray very far from winchester's bullet profile for the 350L chamber.
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Old December 18, 2019, 12:15 PM   #96
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My first batch of hand-loads for development: 180 hotcores sized to .357 starline brass trimmed to 1.701.

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File Type: jpg 180 HC.jpg (229.2 KB, 82 views)
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Old December 18, 2019, 04:04 PM   #97
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I was going to wait for the weekend; but it looks like our weather is going to take a turn for the worse so I decided to go test the 180 hotcore loads today. Conditions were light winds but in the mid 20's--pretty cold for shooting bare-handed.



I started off with groups that were still in the 2 MOA range--when I decided to check the weaver mount--and of course it was very loose; a lot of ammo was wasted before I thought to check that. Since I read of many recipes using CFE BLK--I know from experience where it does well--AA1680 usually does as well or even better. However, I did not get the velocities that quickload told me I might, so that was a bit disappointing.

The use of 358 hotcores sized to 357 was courtesy of mehavy on this thread--I probably wouldn't have thought of it on my own had he not suggested it. Turns out it carries a couple of bonuses: It not only shoots well but allows a long seating in the chamber--going right to the canallure gets you around 2.27 but still conforms very well to the chamber. Despite the modest velocity I got with AA1680, it still leaves some extra room to work with.

I honest-to-God called the fourth shot in this five shot group as it broke, I knew I had pulled it and blew it. Otherwise, a pretty nice group compared to the ones I've shot so far.





This cartridge remains an "oddball" to me in an AR. It's true the felt recoil is significantly less than say a 5.56--but I find the concussive report tremendous--by a factor of several times that of 5.56. By the time I left after shooting 25 shots I had a bad headache and my teeth hurt. It's possible the R Silentium brake may have something to do with that--it has radial ports all around the brake which are pointed back. Even my iPhone siting next to the gun which I used for timing the shots got "stunned" a few times. My intuition is perhaps a significant amount of the powder's energy is getting wasted in muzzle blast--but I'm not sure about that. Interesting how I've read that other's find the muzzle blast very muted. Nothing I've shot including factory ammo so far is like that.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 350L180HCsized357 28.9AA1680.jpg (51.9 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg 350L180HCsized357 28.9AA1680lbradr.jpg (37.2 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2548.jpg (80.6 KB, 81 views)
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Old December 18, 2019, 10:49 PM   #98
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Stag,

My 357AR is 16.25" with only a thread protector. Recoil is much more than 5.56. Actually some of my early accuracy issues were scope mount and fore grip movement due to recoil. Blast is big but it did not bother me in any way

I am guessing you have a 0.357 bullet sizer and no 0.356 sizer.

The 0.357 seem to work for you, but sooner or later you should try out some sized to 0.356 and some 350L specific bullets at 0.355. If your gun shoots as good or better with smaller stuff, using the smaller stuff will run less risk of a failure to fully go into battery due to a dirty chamber.

As far a my reference to plastic tips, I was referring to the Winchester 150 and the Hornady 165. Most of the performance reports are probably factory ammo, but there are some reports coming from guys that load their own.

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Old December 18, 2019, 11:22 PM   #99
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Oddly enough--357 cartridges drop freely in and out of the chamber. My guess is that the tapered case, when trimmed back, allows for that. I spend a lot of time shooting big banging cartridges but this thing really takes me by surprise--though there truly is negligible felt recoil, at least on my rifle. I definitely will move to the 180 PowerPoints and 170 interlock next which are both 355. I'm not very interested in trying out pistol bullets that require very short COL's, most of them aren't designed for rifle velocities anyway. The winchester 150 gr extreme points look very interesting--probably no coincidence you can't find them anywhere except in winchester's loaded factory ammo. There are only a couple of choices really when it comes to 355 spire point bullets that work well with chamber--other than sizing down the hot core as far as I can tell. If nobody else steps up to the plate with bullets, I have a feeling this cartridge disappears from the market quickly. Another thing about sizing down the hotcore--that keeps you within the letter of the law in the 357 min requirement in the states that have them--I think the 355 actual bullets is a bit of "smudging" which invites the ire of Mr Overzealous warden, and almost every state has at least one.
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Old December 18, 2019, 11:36 PM   #100
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Ok, here is a summary of the 350L diameter stuff based on what I had previously posted elsewhere.

The 350L SAAMI spec allows 0.354 to 0.357 bullets and the bore is to be between 0.355 and 0.357.

The guns and factory ammo are being made very close to 0.355.

The choice to make the guns and ammo at the bottom of the allowed tolerance ranges is not typical and is a big part of the confusion.

The chamber neck in combination with the thickness of Winchester brass made it such that very few people could get reloads to chamber with 0.357 bullets. The first run of Starline brass was thinner and some found that 0.357 worked with Starline brass.

Others have been having good luck sizing down 0.357 and 0.358 jacketed bullets. Most are sizing to 0.356 (0.355 is not a standard Lee push through size).

The made for 350L bullets are generally very close to 0.355.

Note that the SAAMI spec for the 357 magnum allows bullet diameters from 0.355 to 0.358. Therefore, the state (Iowa) that specified at least 0.357 minimum diameter (instead of 35 cal), was not paying attention to the fine print when they wrote their rules. They wanted to allow the 357 magnum, but did not realize that an ammo maker can ship "in spec" 357 magnum ammo as small as 0.355. I think Winchester used this argument to get them to accept the 350L. Iowa has publicly stated that they are going to ignore tolerances and actual measured diameters and allow using the 350L because of what is on the side of the ammo box (0.357).

Last edited by P Flados; December 21, 2019 at 12:52 AM.
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