The 35 Remington is very old and the 350 Legend is pretty new. It’s a clash spanning over four generations. Each has its fanbase, and very different things said about them.
The 35 Remington has slightly more power than 350 Legend, but they are very similar cartridges. Both fire a 35 caliber bullet of similar weight and velocity, and both have similar trajectories. The 35 Remington fires a slightly heavier bullet, but at a slightly lower velocity than the 350 Legend.
The 350 Legend has about 8 Percent Less Energy than 35 Remington.
The 350 Legend has about 1750 ft/lbs. of energy at the muzzle with a 180-grain bullet. The 35 Remington with a 200-grain bullet (all that’s available) has about 1900 ft/lbs. of energy at the muzzle. That’s 150 ft/lbs. less and around 8 percent difference. It’s a difference, though not a huge one. But, they’re often near equal by 100-yards.
Certainly not enough difference to put it in a separate class. That’s the difference you can expect if you shoot +P ammo instead of regular ammo. I’ve even seen that much difference between two rifles of the same make, model, and caliber, just because one happens to create a bit more pressure in the chamber.
Now, 8 percent is still a notable difference. And, even a small difference can make a difference when it comes to ethically harvest an animal. The higher muzzle energy of the 35 Remington does translate into more energy downrange, which does extend its effective range. Let’s look at some numbers.
This chart compares Federal round-nosed 35 Remington 200-grain bullet at 2080 fps, and Winchester round-nosed 350 Legend 180-grain bullet at 2100 fps.
|Bullet Energy Chart||50-yards||100-yards||150-yards||200-yards||250-yards||300-yards|
|350 Legend Winchester 180-grain||1483 ft/lbs.||1241 ft/lbs.||1034 ft/lbs.||862 ft/lbs.||718 ft/lbs.||615 ft/lbs.|
|35 Remington Federal 200-grain||1572 ft/lbs.||1279 ft/lbs.||1036 ft/lbs.||839 ft/lbs.||686 ft/lbs.||575 ft/lbs.|
Basically, there isn’t much difference here. Now, these two bullets are a bit old-fashioned, but are the traditional bullets used, and are the more common ones still used today. They aren’t very aerodynamic and slow down pretty quickly.
On paper, the Winchester 180p-grain 350 Legend barely outperforms the Federal 35 Remington. that’s because it has the slightest bit higher ballistic coefficient so it holds its energy better, but again, barely.
35 Remington and 350 Legend have About the Same Trajectory
|Bullet Drop/Energy Chart (100-yard Zero)||50-yards||100-yards||150-yards||200-yards||250-yards||300-yards|
|350 Legend Winchester 180-grain||+.4 in||0.0 in||-3.2 in||-9.8 in||-20.4 in||-36 in|
|35 Remington Federal 200-grain||+.5 in||0.0 in||-3.5 in||-10.7 in||-22.6 in||-40 in|
Let’s look at a more modern selection of ammo. This one uses non-similar ammo and has greater differences.
|Bullet Drop/ Energy Chart (100-yard zero)||50-yards||100-yards||150-yards||200-yards||250-yards||300-yards|
|350 Legend Hornady Custom165-grain||+.3 in|
|-2.7 in 1118ft/lbs.||-8.3 in|
|35 Remington Hornady |
These both have more energy and less drop than the round-nosed bullets. Their trajectory at 300 yards is definitely better than the 36-40 inches of drop the other bullets have. The velocity is about the same too. Velocity is what determines drop. Because the velocity is similar, the drop has to be similar too.
What I want you to really note here is the energy levels of the Hornady LeverEvolution. it’s much more powerful. Traditional 35 Remington loads are 200-grains at 2050 fps or so. Hornady has their 200-grain bullet supposedly going 2225 fps. That’s nearly 10 percent faster than standard, which kinda makes it a +P load in a way.
If you want to hunt big animals with the 35 Remington, that’d be the bullet to do it with. That’s the most powerful expanding bullet I have seen loaded in 35 Remington other than Buffalo Bore Heavy 35 Remington. The buffalo bore is 10 percent hotter yet.
With none of these bullets would I recommend shooting past 200 yards. sure, they have the energy to be lethal well past that, but a large amount of drop gets very hard to account for. If you shot for 300-yards but it was actually 250, you missed the deer. It’s just that once you hit 200-yards, the bullet has an awful lot of drop.
350 Legend is much more common than 35 Remington.
The 35 Remington is hard to find ammo for, but the 350 Legend is fairly common. There is hardly any 35 Remington ammo currently made. Only two well-known companies load 35 Remington ammo, and only in very limited quantities but 350 Legend is currently made by over a dozen companies.
I haven’t looked everywhere, but in my travels through Texas and Louisiana, out west to Montana, and through the Appalachians, I have not seen 35 Remington ammo in any gun stores.
In fact, the only 35 Remington I’ve ever seen on a store shelf was a dust-covered box I spotted in a dark corner of the tiny gas station in my town of Ensley Center. And the store clerk said it was there before he got hired. On the other side, I’ve seen 350 Legend in probably half the gun stores I’ve been in from Michigan to North Carolina.
As far as online sales, I can’t find any 35 Remington in stock. Midway USA (I like that company) has 4 options listed, and all four currently say “Unavailable, limited stock”. That’s just a crying shame, but it is what it is. They do have 350 Legend, 15 different listings, and half of them are currently in-stock. The 350 Legend is fairly popular now.
Given how the 350 Legend is fairly ballistically identical to classic 35 Remington loads, I consider it a fine replacement for it should you not be able to find ammo in the future.
Both are Great for Deer, Hogs, and Black Bear
Both the 350 Legend and 35 Remington are perfect for hunting deer, hogs, and black bears. For animals under 400-pounds, they will make a clean kill as long as you can make the shot. Old-school hunters used to say the 35 Remington will kill everything short of a polar bear. The 350 Legend will do everything a 35 Remington will do.
So, what does it take to kill a deer or black bear? Honestly, that’s hard to quantify. with a 35-caliber bullet, we basically want a minimum 600 pounds of energy and some expansion. Plus, the bullet needs to hit either the lungs (my preferred target) or the heart.
Most bullets in both calibers here will do that a bit past 200-yards. The more tricky one. is expansion. Not all manufacturers publish data for the velocity needed for good bullet expansion. The good news is, even with little expansion, it’s still a .35 caliber bullet. Some .30 caliber bullets only expand up to .35 caliber.
There’s an interesting conundrum here. A lot of old-timers say the 35 Remington is a “big ole gun” and will kill pretty big animals, but a lot of people want to know if the 350 Legend will actually kill a 150-pound black bear or whitetail. Do a bit of reading online and you will find people telling you that 35 Remington will take Moose.
Usually, the opinion is based on first-hand or second-hand experience too. Shucks, I mentioned 35 Remington to my day just yesterday and he interrupted with ” Ya know, my uncle Alec killed a bull moose in Canada with his 35 Remington back in the 60s”.
Considering how close the 350 Legend and traditional 35 Remington loads are, that impresses me. I wouldn’t look at a 200-grain bullet going 2050 fps and think “great medicine for a moose”, but I bet if I had to, I could make it work. At least moose are fairly easy to get close to. Like with deer, pop the lungs and stay away from the shoulder.
Given that I shoot deer with a 223, I guess the 35 Re Remington will take big animals is you hit the sweet spot, only take a perfect shot angle, and know how to track well.
The 350 Legend has Half the Recoil of 35 Remington
The 350 Legend has about 7 pounds of recoil and the 35 Remington has around 14 pounds of recoil. Both shoot similar bullet weight and velocities, but the way pressure builds up and is released creates significantly more recoil for the 35 Remington.
Personally, I got spoiled. I caught onto these low-recoiling guns and I like them. The 350 Legend has just a bit more recoil than a 223. I can shoot it all day without a flinch. With my back issues, I abandoned the bigger ones like 30-06 and ended up really having fun with the low-recoiling rifles like 350-Legend and 6.5 Grendel.
I don’t know any adult, or really any teenager who couldn’t handle the 35 Remington, but the 350 Legend is definitely better for young kids. I’m not saying the 35 is bad, just letting you know the 350 Legend does the same thing with half the recoil. Now, those Hornady loads do kick just a bit more yet.
35 Remington Shoots Slightly Heavier Bullets
Most bullets for 350 Legend are between 150 and 180-grains. Bullets for 35 Remington are generally 200-grains, but there are some specialty loads with 220-grain bullets.
The 35 Remington has used a 200-grain bullet for as long as anybody can remember. When it was more popular, bullet weights range from 135 to 220-grains. The 35 Remington was hailed early on as the do-all end-all rifle cartridge. It had claims like “low recoil, and “suitable for any animal in North America”.
There were loads of hard-hitting heavy loads for big animals and lightweight, fast loads for varmint hunting. There were even some low-pressure loads that shot lightweight bullets for small-game/target shooting. I think that’s pretty cool. Like a 12-gauge shotgun, options are suitable for everything.
I’d love to have cheap, lightweight, subsonic loads for plinking and shooting varmints in the garden. That just sounds fun. These days,35 Remington is only available in 200-grain, and once in a while, 220-grain. A lot of the 35 Rem guys load their own.
Midsouth Shooter’s Supply currently has 15 bullets in .358′ diameter, which would fit in a 35 Rem. the weights run from 180 to 250-grains. Bullets heavier than 220-grains may be too long for some action types though. Anyways, if you want the best selection and performance from a 35 Rem, you’ll need to roll your own or know a guy who does.
A common Custom load I’ve heard people creating has a 200-grain bullet going 2300 fps. Far faster than anything on the market. A general rule of making your own ammo is that you can get higher performance (with additional recoil) than factory ammo in any caliber.
I still prefer the 350 Legend, even though the 35 Rem is certainly pretty darn neat. for me, it comes down to cost and availability. most 350 Legend ammo costs between $30 and $40 a box. 35 Rem is more like $60-$80. I can’t warrant practicing at that price and have yet to get into making my own.
The 350 Legend is Available in Modern Rifles
Here’s another big point for me. I love the old-classic designs but have learned to love the Modern Sporting Rifle (AR-style). Sure, some of them can look a bit blocky and well, like a pile of legos, but the utility of them is outstanding. Plus, parts are cheap and readily available across the country, and there isn’t much that you can’t fix yourself.
If you Have an AR-15 already, you can get a complete upper in 350-Legend from Bear Creek Arsenal for $250 that will turn my rifle into a 200-yard bear and deer killing machine. I do actually recommend Bear Creek Arsenal. I’ve bought 4 Complete uppers from them and they all kill deer at 200-yards.
Just snap them on and you’re ready to shoot. You will need a 350 Legend magazine though, they don’t do well in a standard .223/5.56 one.
You can check out their 350 Legend in-stock uppers with this link. (I’m not paid for that, I just like them). They often have a few on sale or clearance too.
Once in a while, they need a bit of polishing done on the feed-ramp for certain bullets to work well, and they often need a brief break-in period. But, If you are looking for the best utility at the best price, I’ll recommend them.
Two other articles you might be interested in are: What is a Complete Upper? and Best Barrel Length for 350 Legend