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Old February 16, 2019, 06:06 AM   #1
COSteve
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What Would You Think of a Ruger Mini in 350 Legend?

With SAAMI recently blessing Winchester's new 350 Legend (a straight walled .223 based case with a 35 cal bullet), what about a Mini chambered for it? I think in the Mini, the 35L would be fantastic. Deer and hog hunting with it would be great even at 200-250ydsyds which is a good max limit for an iron sighted hunting rifle. Winchester is currently offering five different loads for the new cartridge: a 150-grain Deer Season XP at 2350 fps, a 180-grain Power-Point at 2100 fps, a 160-grain Power Max Bonded at 2225 fps, a very affordable 145-grain FMJ in the USA ammo line at 2350 fps, and a Super Suppressed 265-grain load at 1060 fps.

Sighted in a 100yds and using a conservative BC of .222 (I've seen them up to about .300), the 145 and 150grn loads would only drop 16.3" at 250 yds, the 160grn load would only drop 18.5" at 250 yds, and the 180grn load would only drop 21.2". (The suppressed rd is a short range usage, not suitable for hunting so I'll ignore it's ballistics.) The 150 and 180grn hunting loads match the performance of the 35 Remington out of a 18" Marlin levergun which is considered a good choice for deer, elk, and bear in the North East.

Imagine what performance we could get with a bit of tweaking handloading our own ammo. Sandog has posted on Ruger forum to have gotten a few hundred fps higher than factory loads with his 125grn class 7.62x39 handloads. Think what you could do with a 150grn 9x45 handload. Think we could get to the 2,400-2,500fps range? If so, that's within spitting distance to .308/7.62x51 performance.

I've mentioned a 357 Maximum for the Mini for a few years but this is even a better solution as it's rimless and wouldn't need a custom mag solution. The 35 caliber bullet wouldn't have a high BC but for typical iron sights hunting ranges, it would be interesting. In a Mini 350 that would be a potent combination as Winchester's velocity numbers show it smokes both the 7.62x39 and the 300 BO's performance. Both in supersonic and subsonic loads, the 350 Legend surpasses them and in the case of the x39, you don't have to deal with the metric bullet .311/.312 vs .308 bullet diameter issues.

In addition, because you can use a .357/.358 caliber bullet, one could use both 35 Remington, .358 cal rifle and 357Mag, .357 cal pistol bullets which gives you bullet choices in the 110grn, 125grn, 145grn, 150grn, 158grn, 160grn, 180grn, 200grn, 220grn, 225grn, 250grn, 265grn, 280grn, bullet weights . . . . . . . that I know of. There likely are more.
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Old February 16, 2019, 07:51 AM   #2
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I've not heard of this 350 Legend round, but I don't keep up with the latest and greatest when it comes to calibers. Everything I've got has been around for 100+ years. As a fan of the 35 Remington, I must say I am intrigued. I question 200-250 yard shots on animals with iron sights. A paper plate at 100 yards is mostly obscured by the sights themselves. At 200-250 I'm not so sure I'd be able to see it at all, and I have good eyes. A paper plate would represent a pretty generous vitals area on a deer/hog sized target. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but I think that is beyond most people's ability with irons.
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Old February 16, 2019, 08:28 AM   #3
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Having owned a few, I have no interest in another Ruger Mini, but will likely give the round a try in an AR pattern upper.
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Old February 16, 2019, 10:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GarandTd View Post
I've not heard of this 350 Legend round, but I don't keep up with the latest and greatest when it comes to calibers. Everything I've got has been around for 100+ years. As a fan of the 35 Remington, I must say I am intrigued. I question 200-250 yard shots on animals with iron sights. A paper plate at 100 yards is mostly obscured by the sights themselves. At 200-250 I'm not so sure I'd be able to see it at all, and I have good eyes. A paper plate would represent a pretty generous vitals area on a deer/hog sized target. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but I think that is beyond most people's ability with irons.
First - You got to get out there and practice. I'm 71 yrs young and my 'Mini M14' below (a 583 Series I modified) has 'NM' like sights (Techsight Target aperture rear and thinned 0.50" wide front blade) and I shoot bowling pins at 200yds with it all the time. They're not hard to hit with practice and a bowling pin, while it's some 15" high is only a little over 4" wide at only about 1" of it's height which makes it a 2 MOA wide target for all of an inch with most of it even less, much less.

Second - I shoot my rifles most of the time (over 90%) at 200-300yds or over to keep sharp. Most of my arms are irons mounted and I even practice on the bowling pins at 300yds with it and my AR cabine but in truth, they are very hard to hit with irons at that range. I also have a Mossberg 464 in 30-30 and an M1A and shoot both of them at the 200yd pins as well. It keeps me sharp and paying attention to the fundamentals.

Third - Winchester just announced the 350 Legend at Shot Show last January so it's brand new. It's basically at .223 case blown out to a straight wall to hold a 35 cal bullet. A mini 450 Bushmaster if you will. CMMG already has a line of ARs chambered in it. I ran the ballistics and for their ammo and it's fairly impressive. The 3 hunting loads they offer are:

1) 150-grain Deer Season XP at 2350 fps with 1,839ft/lbs of ME, still over 1,000ft/lbs at over 175yds.
2) 160-grain Power Max Bonded at 2225 fps with 1,759ft/lbs of ME, still over 1,000ft/lbs at over 150yds.
3) 180-grain Power-Point at 2100 fps with 1,763ft/lbs of ME, still over 1,000ft/lbs at over 150yds.

Winchester claims that they produce more power than the 30-30, 300 BO, and .223 with less recoil than the 30-30 and HERE is a link to their website announcement:

Not to shabby for a carbine. That's decent hunting power and as I said, more than either the 7.62x39 in the Mini-30 or the 300 BO in the Mini-300. I handload and would love to try my hand at a number of those bullet weights I list in my first post.

Shameless picture of my Mini M14:

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Old February 16, 2019, 11:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GarandTd View Post
I've not heard of this 350 Legend round, but I don't keep up with the latest and greatest when it comes to calibers. Everything I've got has been around for 100+ years. As a fan of the 35 Remington, I must say I am intrigued. I question 200-250 yard shots on animals with iron sights. A paper plate at 100 yards is mostly obscured by the sights themselves. At 200-250 I'm not so sure I'd be able to see it at all, and I have good eyes. A paper plate would represent a pretty generous vitals area on a deer/hog sized target. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but I think that is beyond most people's ability with irons.
We shot at targets 300 to 600 meters with iron sights (M-16) , it was part of every soldiers qualification. I still shoot my Garand at 600 meter targets in military high power competition. The idea that iron sights aren't any good past 200 yards is nuts.
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Old February 16, 2019, 12:03 PM   #6
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I'm not saying irons aren't any good past 200 yds. I'm questioning ethical hunting kills with irons past 200 yards. There is a difference there. If I knick a bowling pin at 200 yards, it still falls over. If I knick a deer or shoot it's leg off at 200 yards it's not as simple. I currently only have a maximum of 100 yards to practice or test my skills and I do enjoy shooting with irons. I did not serve in any branch of the military. I don't believe that most hunters are taking 200 yard shots with irons.
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Old February 16, 2019, 12:06 PM   #7
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Why? It is already a perfect match for an AR. Spend $800+ on a rifle known to not be the most accurate, or $500-$600 to build a great AR?
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Old February 16, 2019, 12:06 PM   #8
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If you cans can pull it off, more power to you. It is beyond MY current ability.
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Old February 16, 2019, 01:42 PM   #9
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^
You mean "building" an AR?
Not only easy, but fun! But also quite adictive. Thought you just built one
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Old February 16, 2019, 05:04 PM   #10
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You mean "building" an AR?
No. I mean humanely and cleanly killing animals at 200+ yards with iron sights.
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Old February 16, 2019, 06:22 PM   #11
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Even though the rifle scope was invented in 1835, they did not come in to widespread use till after WW 2. An awful lot of game and enemy troops (deer sized game) were taken humanely and cleanly for 100 years before that. All my favorite gun writers from the 50's and 60's, Keith, Askins, O'Connor, et al, tell of deer and elk taken at 100's of yards with open sights. Your statement in your OP was that you question taking 200 - 250 yard shots at game with iron sights, and while you might not feel confident doing it, many people are and have done it.
I've never been a big fan of scopes and didn't even own one till the last five years or so because the eyes are getting old, and still really like a 1 or 2 MOA red dot better.
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Old February 16, 2019, 07:49 PM   #12
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I think I'd try a 9x39 before the 350 Legend.
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Old February 17, 2019, 04:26 AM   #13
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200 and 300 yard shots with iron sights are not hard. That’s just ridiculous, go shoot more. Fairly novice competitive shooters in service rifle (like me) can score all black standing rapid fire and that’s a lot harder than a single shot at a deer. We’ve begun to question everything as questionable I guess.


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Old February 17, 2019, 06:19 AM   #14
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I think "Mini-350" is a neat idea, maybe existing Mini variants could be rebarreled to 350 Legend.
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Old February 17, 2019, 06:29 AM   #15
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I think I'd try a 9x39 before the 350 Legend.
Well that's entirely possible with an exsisting Mini-30, becuse it would use the same bolt as a regular Mini-30, it would mostly involved a rebarreling and a follower change for the magazines, also a similar change could be done for a 6.5 Gren conversion although it would require a bolt change but that would also apply if you wanted to do a Mini-545 in 5.45x39.
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Old February 17, 2019, 01:24 PM   #16
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Oh yay, a new round that fits in an AR and essentially does what a .35 Remington does......yawn....
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Old February 17, 2019, 02:44 PM   #17
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Me thinks the round was introduced for those of us that live in states with straight walled requirements and can't hunt with rounds like the 35 Remington.

Those same laws have breathed new life into the 450 bushmaster.
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Old February 18, 2019, 06:49 PM   #18
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Why? It is already a perfect match for an AR. Spend $800+ on a rifle known to not be the most accurate, or $500-$600 to build a great AR?
Why? Because the AR platform is a cheap, plastic and aluminum, ergonomically abysmal design while the Mini mimics the naturally ergonomic design of the M1 Garand and M14, that's why. I trained in basic on the M14 and got stuck with the M16A1 in RVN and I can tell you, the M16 was junk while the M1 Garand/M14 designs are true battle rifles designed to put down the enemy at decent ranges, not just piss them off.

While I've had 2 RRA ARs since the early 2000s, a mid-length gas carbine and an A4 and both have RRA's NM triggers and are accurate and I've shot them a lot, I still find that they have the weaknesses of the M16. I only have 1 Mini-14 and got it in 2015, a NIB 583 Series with the stiffer barrel. I've tweaked it with some easy to do mods that cost about what a decent trigger for an AR costs and now my Mini is a 1¼" shooter at 100yds (and that's with iron sights).

That's why the ARs sit in the arms room while the Mini-14 gets all the love at the range. Why? Because I want a firearm that feels like one; not a cheap, plastic toy feeling gun. I want a carbine that's compact and comfortable to shoot and is accurate enough to hit bowling pins at 200yds with iron sights. I can do it with my Mini all day long and I'm 71 years young. Can you do it with your AR?
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Old February 18, 2019, 07:43 PM   #19
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People will build AR-15 based 350 Legend guns.

The round is very similar to the 357AR (1.6" long case, a.k.a Rimless Maximum). Although the 357AR has been around for a while, I did not get mine until the end of last year.

Feeding is tricky in the 357AR. The legend does not have any features that will help much.

The 357AR and the 350 Legend will not work with standard AR-15 magazines.

For the 357AR, we have been removing the side ribs in Magpul magazines and trimming the feed lips.

People interested in the 357AR (a better choice for most reloaders) are hoping that they will be able to use magazines made to work for the 350 Legend.

As far as a mini in 350 Legend (or the better 357AR), I am sure it is possible.

I am not sure of the work required, but again expect challenges getting it to feed.

If getting a custom barrel made, I strongly recommend a bigger bore. A 0.357 bore would be much better and would still meet SAAMI spec tolerance for the Legend. 0.358 should also work. Along with the bigger bore, go with max allowed (0.359") for the throat, but keep chamber depth as close to min (1.710") as possible.
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Old February 19, 2019, 02:31 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by silvermane_1 View Post
I think "Mini-350" is a neat idea, maybe existing Mini variants could be rebarreled to 350 Legend.
While is seems like a pretty sweet round?

Pretty long and high pressure for a straight-walled auto cartridge - might be sticky.

And I don't think Wolf Gold will be selling ammo for it at $5.39/20 box delivered, either.

As for a 200 yard straight-walled deer rifle?


The .357 Mag. from an 18.5" Bbl. with Factory AE 158 gr. JSP at 200 yards has 1138 fps/455 Lb-ft, and a 180 gr. XTP handload has 1270 fps/646 Lb-ft.

Both have a 130 yd. MPBR for 3", and a 12-14" holdover for 200 yards.


...so I guess I'll be waiting a bit on this one.






Red
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Old February 19, 2019, 04:16 AM   #21
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While is seems like a pretty sweet round?

Pretty long and high pressure for a straight-walled auto cartridge - might be sticky.

And I don't think Wolf Gold will be selling ammo for it at $5.39/20 box delivered, either.

As for a 200 yard straight-walled deer rifle?


The .357 Mag. from an 18.5" Bbl. with Factory AE 158 gr. JSP at 200 yards has 1138 fps/455 Lb-ft, and a 180 gr. XTP handload has 1270 fps/646 Lb-ft.

Both have a 130 yd. MPBR for 3", and a 12-14" holdover for 200 yards.


...so I guess I'll be waiting a bit on this one.






Red
Well there Red Devil some folks probably what to hunt with a semi for faster follow up shots, and like COSteve posted some prefer a mag fed non-AR long gun for the job, not to mention the states that only allow strait walled calibers for hunting, also not everyone wants to limit themselves to standard/regular magnum pistol calibers for hunting.
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Old February 19, 2019, 05:07 AM   #22
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new cartridge & a Mini

I think some type of medium bore 35-40 cal auto round is overdue (think .401 Win) , perhaps the .350L is the one. Seems were looking at .35 Rem ballistics from a case/cartridge that will feed through a standard AR action. All pretty interesting, as I was not aware of the .350L. It would seem, as a rimless straight wall number, that it will have to headspace on the case mouth, like an auto pistol. Some where I read that is not the best arrangement for a rifle, , can't recall all reasons why, but reloaders will have to really watch case length and crimp I'd think, especially with the pressures I bet this number develops working those cases.

I've posted regards my predictions for the future of the Mini many times before. I just don't see the Mini in any chambering long for this world. 'Tis a pity, cause I like the little carbines, but with AR's selling for nearly $300 less ( I saw new DPMS Oracles today for $400) I don't see how Ruger can make any profit on the Mini.......and you know what that means.

As a custom job, enough money can get you nearly anything. Getting the Mini proprietary mag to feed the .350L might be a real issue though. If/when Ruger discontinues the Mini, finding enough of genuine Ruger mags to tweak could be a real issue.

Now I'm gonna go an look up the .350L......
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Old February 20, 2019, 12:23 AM   #23
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Some where I read that is not the best arrangement for a rifle, , can't recall all reasons why
When it shows up, its usually in semi autos, where the big heavy bullet in a long case gets a good running start into the chamber only to be stopped by a very narrow shelf. Add in that most semi rifle designs are "push feed", and its not impossible that the closing bolt can shove the round past the headspace ledge before the extractor grabs it.

You don't often see this in semi pistols because the rounds are shorter, so there's less distance traveled, so less room to build up speed & momentum, and many designs feeding from the mag means the rim slips under the extractor before it hits the headspace ledge in the chamber, and the extractor keeps the round from going in too deep.

Usually.
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Old February 20, 2019, 02:53 AM   #24
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tha nks

44Amp,

Understood, thanks
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Old February 20, 2019, 10:27 AM   #25
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Call me crazy but im not trying to dial up 6 moa on open sights to make a 200yd shot on a deer. Dont like using "kentucky windage" on wild game either. The round may be a good one for straight walled case states but thats it. The 45-70 would be better down range and it actually has a bullet selection for handloaders. The mini 14 while a neat rifle struggles with accuracy and that thin barell is even thinner with a bigger bore.
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