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Old January 31, 2019, 12:46 AM   #1
craigmcm270
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Win. 350 Legend

This year at SHOT Winchester debuted their new 350 Legend. Now I don't have any experience with this cartridge, but their numbers seem skewed. Their saying that the "Legend" with a 150 grain XP bullet has more energy at 200 yds than a 30-30 150 grain bullet and more penetration than a 243 at the same distance. Their advertised energy at 200 yds for the "Legend" is around 900 ft/lbs. Their advertised penetration at 200yds is I believe around 12 inches. And this all happens with less recoil than a 243.

None of this makes sense to me as I'm looking at a box of Winchester Power Max Bonded 150 grain 30-30 ammo right now. It's advertised energy at 200 yds is 965 ft/lbs. Now I don't have a penetration diagram at 200yds for the 243, but I have to believe a 95 grain or 100 grain Nosler Partition would have well over 12 inches of penetration at 200 yds, let alone the 9 1/2 inches of penetration that they're advertising the 243 has at 200 yds against the "Legend".

To me it really looks like Winchester is really trying to fudge with the numbers to market this round. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure it has it's place where only a straight wall center-fire is legal. But come on!! At least advertise the correct numbers.
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Old January 31, 2019, 12:18 PM   #2
FrankenMauser
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The numbers are heavily cherry-picked, in order to make the cartridge look good. That's what marketing departments do.

Case in point:
The "fastest straight-walled hunting cartridge in the world" claim is BS. .444 Marlin beats their advertised 2,325 fps with several standard loads, let alone the Hornady Superformance load. (Advertised at 2,400 fps; and typically clocking 2,350+ in most standard barrels.)
I'm sure there are other cartridges that fit the bill, as well.

How Winchester/Olin is getting around that one, I suspect is the fact that .444 Marlin is a traditional 'straight-wall' design. By that, I mean it's a mild straight-taper cartridge, because true straight-wall designs don't play nicely with low quality or dirty chambers.
We call .444 Marlin a straight-wall cartridge, but it technically isn't. So, Winchester can punt it out of their data set on a technicality, even if the rest of the shooting world thinks their methodology is flawed.
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Old January 31, 2019, 01:51 PM   #3
NoSecondBest
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This cartridge isn't offering anything new that's not already out there. It's basically a rimless .357max. This cartridge is really targeting the AR guys, and those guys already are using a rimless .357 round in their AR's. It would have made a LOT more sense to simply make a lever gun in .357max and that gun could be used anywhere rifles are legal. Winchester marketing is cherry picking numbers as FrankenMauser has pointed out. They're advertising how much more power this round has over the .357max, when in reality most max users are loading well beyond (and safely) the book loads developed for revolvers thirty years ago. Any TC Encore will safely handle loads in excess of 50,000 psi and this is what they are routinely loaded for. Both of my .357max rifles shoot 158g bullets between 2400 and 2600 fps and I'm not even loading hot. I think it's a solution looking for a problem.
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Old January 31, 2019, 02:05 PM   #4
craigmcm270
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I 100% agree with you guys. I just don't like how they're throwing false numbers out there. Anyone worth half their salt knows that the numbers they're comparing the "Legend" against are false. I'd be really unhappy if I purchased a rifle chambered in this round just to find out how much it under performs. I'd love to see the actual ballistics on this cartridge.
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Old January 31, 2019, 02:22 PM   #5
ernie8
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I have been building bolt rifles and AR-15's to shot this cartridge for over 3 years . First it has a slight taper . It is not a rimless .357m , it is a necked up .223 . It performs best with 180 to 200 grain bullets . Any below 158 grains are not as accurate , do not work as well at distance and tent to over expand on game . It hits harder at up to 200 yards than the 300 bo or the 6.8mm . What it does is allow 30/30 performance , out of an AR-15 or a nice small action light bolt rifle with light recoil and muzzle blast . 200 = 2200 fps , 180 = 2300 fps , 158 = 2400 fps . There is a little more room for velocity as a .223 casehead and a bolt rifle or AR will hold more pressure than a T/C or lever gun . I do not go there as the accuracy and performance on game is fine at that level . It has been one of my more popular wildcats .
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Old January 31, 2019, 02:46 PM   #6
NoSecondBest
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ernie8, this new Win cartridge is not just a necked up .223 cartridge. Check out the cartridge dimension specs and you'll see that the base is larger. There are a good number of posts on other boards comparing the new cartridge specs to the .223 and the ability to use magazines interchangeably. It's not all that simple. Winchester truly made this a propriatery cartridge. I'm not so sure you can compare the action strength of the AR to the TC and say it's stronger. The Encore will handle some pretty impressive cartridge pressures.
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Old January 31, 2019, 05:12 PM   #7
ernie8
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I have not seen one of Winchesters cartridges yet , so I have not measured one . But the performance will be the same as what I am loading . I am using regular magazines .
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Old January 31, 2019, 05:25 PM   #8
ernie8
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Their specs do show a slight taper for the .350 . Mine also has a slight taper , base the same size , but they show a +.010 on the case head . I do not know how thick their base is , so I can not compare volume .
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Old January 31, 2019, 10:09 PM   #9
craigmcm270
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All I'm saying is the numbers they're advertising are false. They claim it has 906 ft/lbs at 200yds with a 150gr bullet. And that it has more energy than a 150gr bullet out of a 30-30 at the same distance. They're saying the 30-30 is at 680ft/lbs. Well I have a box of 150gr Winchester 30-30 ammo right here. At 200yds it produces 965 ft/lbs. Why lie about it? Why fudge the numbers? And I can also promise that a 100gr Nosler Part. out of a 243 is going to have greater penetration at 200 yds with it's much higher velocity, than the 350 Legend. Again why lie? It's not necessary. Just advertise the real numbers and let people decide if they want it or not. Just the simple fact they are skewing the numbers makes me think twice about purchasing a gun chambered in it.

Also, everything I've seen so far on how they're trying to market this gun, is for the guys in states who need a straight wall cartridge to hunt deer with a centerfire rifle. As I mentioned before, I'm sure it has it's place. And I can see how it may be a decent AR cartridge. But why skew the numbers, or make it seem like other cartridges, which they designed I may add, underperform compared to it, when they do not? Advertise the real numbers. That's all I'm saying.
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Old January 31, 2019, 11:37 PM   #10
P Flados
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The 350 legend is the fastest straight wall only if you are talking about only factory straight wall ammo and rounds that are legal in all the straight wall states (1.8" max case length).

It is designed by Winchester with details that make me think that the sole purpose is the selling Winchester bolt guns, primarily in straight wall states or in locations where the 35 cal (35 Remington) has a traditional following.

It will work in the AR-15 platform (check out CMMG), but is not optimized for this platform.

The 357AR (I have one) is the real 357 Max rimless. It is a better choice for those that like the AR and have no need for factory ammo.

The 357 Max, 357AR and 350 all can be loaded to essentially the same performance levels in comparable guns. These guns are all very comparable to traditional 35 Remington performance. All 4 rounds will do better than traditional 35 Remington performance when used with the right plastic tip bullet.

The SAAMI specs are out. The rifle bore, 0.355, is strange, but it is not a total disaster. People need to relax a little.

With the 0.357 min freebore, A 0.357 bullet will chamber ok and will size down in the barrel fine with no problems. They actually seem to call for 0.357 bullets in the factory ammo. If they allow 0.357 bullets, the chamber freebore really needs to be above min (0.357), the middle of the SAAMI tolerance or 0.358 should really be minimum target for actual guns.

0.358 bullets can be used, but for most they will need to be seated very deep to avoid jamming into an undersized freebore.

The 0.355 bore makes a mess of the supply chain for new bullets. Regardless of the factory choice, some will want 0.355 bullets. Although 0.357 will be best for any new bullets from general bullet makers (this size will work fine for all three choices), they know that some will be too paranoid to use 0.357 in a 0.355 gun and 0.357 will also not sell to many with 0.358 guns. They also know that there will be a very limited market for true 9mm rifle bullets. It really messes the most with those wanting new/better 0.358 bullets (basically you can forget it).

A 0.357" bore size and 0.359 freebore would have been just so much better.

I did some test conversions of 223 brass. The taper will be no big deal for the conversion (it will fire form), the bigger concern is the length. Converted cases came out 1.700 +/- 0.005. With the min/max of 1.71/1.72 on the 350 chamber length, some should work for most, but do not expect anything close to a 100% success rate. If your chamber is close to spec max, success rate will probably be very low.

And then there are the real issues with the taper. The 0.012" taper is much more than we use for the 357AR. I expect some will reload the 350 with standard 38/357 dies. They will be working their brass a lot. The standard 38/357 sizer might make a reasonable neck sizer, but most 350 reloaders will probably need to pop for a set of all steel 350 dies (that I assume will become available).

For custom guns, some may want to go for a "tweaked" 350. Stick with enough standard 350 dimensions to allow factory ammo to shoot, but use a 0.357 blank (at max per the spec), open the freebore up to the max (0.359) and make sure the chamber length is real close to the min (1.710).

Last edited by P Flados; January 31, 2019 at 11:52 PM.
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