The 350 Legend from Winchester


 anJerry Miculeck calls the Winchester .350 Legend a 'versatile round with legendary power.

That's a ringing endorsement from an industry legend, but some shooters may still be wondering, 'Why do we need it in the first place?'

What is the .350 Legend and what is it good for?

In short, the Winchester .350 Legend is a rifle cartridge designed to help hunters in states with strict regulations on the types of ammo they are allowed to use on the hunt.

Normally the restrictions limit hunters to using straight-walled ammunition only. If you are asking, 'What is straight wall ammunition?', straight wall ammunition is loaded into a case that has no shoulder (taper, if you will) at the point where the projectile rests in the case. The case is straight minus the bevel at the rim of the cartridge (the portion where you would find the primer in a centerfire round).

The idea is that straight-walled ammo allows an ethical kill during the hunt while preventing over-travel of the projectile in high-population areas. In short: keep the hunt effective and safe.

But don't allow yourself to limit the .350 Legend round to a hunting round only. That would be an injustice to the accuracy and power of this cartridge and its capabilities as a sporting round.


That's an idea every shooter of every discipline should celebrate.

When it comes to hunting in restrictive states like Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, the .450 Bushmaster has become one of the premiere calibers for staying compliant to the government's restrictions that mandate only straight-wall cartridges be used.

So, where does .350 Legend fit in? And does it do more or less than its straight-walled peers?

Winchester describes its .350 Legend as 'a hunting bullet far-better suited to deer than many of the choices available for handgun cartridges: streamlined for a flatter trajectory, large polymer tip for accelerated expansion, and a precision jacket and core for accuracy, penetration, and energy transfer combined with mild recoil'

Here are the basics of the .350 Legend:

  • Bullet Diameter: .357 inch
  • Shell case Length: 1.71 inches
  • Overall Cartridge Length: 2.26 inches

The .350 Legend cartridge carries twenty percent more penetration with twenty percent less recoil than the .243 Winchester while pushing out more energy than a 30-30, 300 Blackout or the .223 Remington.

Those stats alone give the shooter a reason to pause and consider the round's attributes. There's something to be said about carrying that much power in a round that brags about its reduction in recoil.

More specifically, shooters in restrictive states like Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio (where firearms hunting is heavily regulated) have begun to take note as the heavy-handed .450 Bushmaster is not as easy on the shoulder as many hunters would prefer.

Hunters also prefer rounds that help keep the hunt ethical as well as safe. The ballistics on the .350 Legend makes it worthy of hog and deer hunting but also allow it to drop off around the 250-yard mark making it less likely to travel beyond the hunting zone and into other areas.

North American Whitetail says the straight-wall restrictions help make the hunt effective and ethical:

"The fact that straight-wall weapons will allow hunters to execute accurate shots at greater distances is a huge positive and hopefully will result in a higher percentage of recovered animals."

Winchester highlights why some states deem the straight-walled cartridges necessary:

"DNRs in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio have taken into consideration that the flat topography of excellent Midwestern hunting areas does not lend itself to a well-suited backstop when the land lies near occupied houses and buildings. For that reason, it was decided that certain straight-walled cartridges provided added opportunity for gun hunters while reducing the risk of overshooting a target"

And as Guns And Ammo notes, hunters in these restrictive states began a love affair with the .450 Bushmaster because it fit within the parameters outlined in these regulations.

"Winchester took note of the increased interest in the .450 Bushmaster and decided that it was time to develop a cartridge that was more shooter-'friendly, less expensive, and more appropriate for deer hunting. Shooting deer with a .450 is like swatting flies with a sledgehammer.

Winchester figured out that using the .223 Remington as the parent case for its new .350 Legend was the way to go but taking .223 Rem. cases and transforming them into Legends would require three draw steps and some additional forming on a hydraulic press."

What Do I Need to Shoot .350 Legend?

In short: a new upper and new mags. Everything else (including the BCG, buffer, and spring) can remain the same.

Though it's built around the .223 Remington case, the .350 Legend case is modified to such a degree that the round requires its own magazines.

The .350 Legend will not feed out of a standard .223/5.56 magazine. However, it does work within the AR-15 platform's parameters - even using a .223/5.56 Bolt Carrier Group.

A standard AR-15, your favorite AR-15 trigger group, and standard AR-15 furniture (and AR-15 lower) will work with a .350 Legend upper to add a versatile hunting rifle to your collection.

What is the .350 Legend Balistic Advantage?

As designed by Winchester the .350 Legend is a .35 inch projectile built into a modified .223 Remington case.

The .350 Legend is a .35 caliber bullet in a .223 case that has had its shoulder removed.

It is the fastest straight-walled cartridge in existence.

Here's a comparative breakdown courtesy of GunDigest:

"This opens up a variety of options to hunters and sport shooters alike in states that restrict hunters to straight wall cartridges."


.350 Legend Ammunition is pretty competitively priced when compared to other straight-wall cartridges, coming in around one dollar per round.

Using, users can get a price comparison of different ammunition and its cost at several competing online retailers.

  • Ammo Seek shows .350 Legend with an average price of around $0.43 per round.
  • .450 Bushmaster shows an average of around $1.08 per round.
  • 30-30 Winchester comes in around $0.55 per round
  • 45-70 comes to you with an average price tag of about $1.18 per round.

Given the fact that .350 Legend outperforms each of these calibers in certain areas, and still offers effectiveness, legal compliance, and added benefits to hunters, it's easy to put .350 Legend at the top of your list of contenders for straight-walled cartridge hunting.


Can you shoot it in a .223/5.56 rifle since it is based on the .223 case?

No. Though it's built around the .223 Rem case, the .350 Legend utilizes a projectile that is .357 inches in diameter. The barrel has a .350 bore and a .357 groove. For perspective, a .223 barrel would have a .219 bore with a .224 groove.

Can I use my mil-spec BCG with 350 Legend?

Yes! The .350 Legend works with the AR-15 platform with only a few differences. To run a .350 Legend in your current AR-15 setup, you will need a new upper and new mags. Everything else (including the BCG, buffer, and spring) can remain the same.

Can you use standard AR mags with them?

No. Though it's built around the .223REM case, the .350 Legend case is modified to such a degree that the round requires its own magazines. You can find them here.

Can I use my AR15 lower with your 350 legend upper?

Yes. You can use your AR-15 lower with your .350 Legend Upper. The magazines will be different.

Can I reload 350 using casings from a .223/5.56?

No. From Winchester: "The 350 Legend was designed to maximize the effectiveness of a .357 diameter bullet loaded into a straight-walled shell case with an overall cartridge length of 2.26 inches. In doing so, an entirely new shell case was designed."

What are its benefits over 450 Bushmaster?

The .350 Legend offers a higher velocity and less recoil than the .450 Bushmaster. It also costs significantly less per round.

My state only allows for straight wall cartridges while hunting, can I use the 350 legend?

Most likely, yes. We would encourage you to check with your local DNR, but Winchester did its homework while developing the .350 Legend and proudly suggests that the caliber is compliant with straight-wall restrictions in most states. Please check your state's laws before using. 

Milton Mason
Very informative...I just bought a 350 legend barrel and plan on changing a 300blk pistol build I did into a 350 legend RIFLE and videoing the process to post on YouTube along with a handguard upgrade and other video's of builds for those just learning how to build an AR-15...
Can I shoot .223 out of my 350 legend bolt action rifle?
No. A .224” bullet won’t engage the rifling and would probably bounce down the barrel with gas blowing by the projectile.
Is this true on an AR platform that uses the same BCG for both the .350 legend and .223 round?
Danny Carrington
I have a couple of 350 legend stainless steel mags laying around from a previous 350 legend upper I don't have anymore. My question is can you shoot 5.56 ammo threw a 5.56 upper with these 350 legend mags, or do I need to change the followers to 5.56 in these mags to make work for 5.56 ammo.
Huh ? I've taken several deer with my .357 magnum revolver. Works fine for short ranges here in the NE. Too many oddball cartridges out there. NOW, another one ! Hmmmmmm ?
Yes a straight walled case for stayed that require one, that is a.357 diameter bullet. It's also being manufactured by Winchester and several others are now going to make ammo for it. so the problem is what with it being a new cartridge?
Yes, cause believe it or not, there is a whole country beyond your area where many people can use their second amendment rights however they please. World is bigger then your mind and ego, dimwit.
Steve Hoelzle
Can I use my Sightmark .223 bore sighting cartridge in my 350 Legend?
Greg Nowlin
Can I shoot a 350 legend in my single shot Pistol chambered for .357 maximum?
Brent Sample
Do y'all sell 350 ledgan uppers for my AR Andro ?
Eric B.
I'm curious to what the best gas system/length would be for this caliber in an AR platform, and to what barrel length. I've seen 16 inch uppers available in carbine length and upwards. Being an Ohio native, I would love to add it in as a break from the 12g slug, once in awhile.
I have an ar 15 upper, can I install a 350 legend barrel on it?
Scott Sanford
Looking for any information on a "functional" 350 legend magazine for an ar build. I have tried a couple different types with and without modification but no luck. @#** HELP!
Bullet diameter for the 350 Legend is 0.355 not 0.357.