I own a lot of rifles. One of which is a 350 legend. It’s one of my favorite calibers for hunting and self-defense.
350 Legend has an effective range of 250 yards for hunting. For large game like elk and bears, shots should be kept within 150 yards. After 250 yards, the bullet loses energy too fast to be practical for hunting. The maximum horizontal range of a 350 Legend is 3,250 yards.
I absolutely love the 350 Legend. It’s an amazing cartridge. I’ll answer all your questions in this article. Read on!
What are the Ballistics of the 350 Legend?
The 350 Legend is a mid-range hunting cartridge, ballistically similar to the 30/30. The 350 has average Muzzle energy of 1750 ft/lbs. and 18 inches drop at 250 yards. It usually fires a 150 or 180-grain bullet at 2100 to 2300 fps. It has a maximum point-blank range of 200 yards.
Most bullets on the market are between 145 and 180-grains. The published velocity runs from 2,300 to 2,100 fps, depending on bullet weight. Most ammo has around 1,800 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle and 750 ft/lbs. (enough for deer) at 250 yards.
The 350 uses a wide, heavy bullet. It has a fairly low ballistic coefficient of around 0.22, which means the sectional density is fairly low. That’s the reason It’s limited to 250 yards. Basically, the shorter fat bullet creates a lot of drag, which slows the bullet down somewhat quickly.
How far can you kill a deer with a 350 Legend?
The 350 Legend can reliably kill a deer out to 250 yards. It has incredible energy transfer, good penetration, and leaves a great blood trail. Deer hunters around the Great Lakes have proven it as a highly effective cartridge on even the largest deer.
When we talk about the maximum effective range of a hunting cartridge, we aren’t looking for a Hail Mary distance. We’re talking about the furthest “without a doubt” distance. With a 35 caliber bullet like the 350 Legend, we need a minimum of 750 ft/lbs. of energy. In other words, we need a minimum .357 Magnum energy level.
The 350 Legend maintains a threshold of over 750 ft/lbs. of bullet energy at 250 yards, but the energy drops off very shortly after. Once the bullet drops to 600 ft/lbs., it may or may not perform optimally.
Most hunting bullets need to be over 1,600 fps to function well, but the bullets used in 350 Legend are designed to expand reliably at much lower velocities, since the 350 runs at lower velocities than other rifles. in my experience, the hunting bullets function well anywhere from 2300 fps to 1200 fps.
The final consideration about max distance is bullet drop. Up to 200 yards, there is not much drop. in fact, if you sight in your 350 at 175 yards, the bullet will hit within 3 inches of your aiming point out to 200 yards. But, at 225-yards, you’ll have another 3-inches drop. at 250 yards, you’ll have to account for an additional 12 inches drop.
That means that in order to make a perfect shot at 250-yards, you’ll need to know the of your hunting load out of your exact barrel, and you’ll need to know within 5 yards of the actual shot distance. I strongly recommend that you just sight in at 175 and keep your shots within 200 yards. That’s easy shooting, just point, and bang. No worrying about the drop.
I have a very detailed article on how barrel length affects the max range of a 350 Legend. Here’s a link to it.
Scopes for the 350 Legend
- Vortex Crossfire II -sells for about $130 (best for 350 legend AR’s)
- Vortex Viper HS -sells for about $500 (best long range-capable scope under $900)
I wrote an in-depth review of them after owning and using both for years. See the Article below.
350 Legend vs 30/30 Ballistics Chart
The 30/30 and 350 Legend are quite similar ballistically. Both use bullets in the same weight class, similar energy and velocity levels, and a max effective range of 250 yards.
350 Legend- 180-grain Winchester Power-Point
30/30- 170-grain Remington Core-Lokt Soft Point
|Bullet energy (ft/lbs.)
|350 Legend 180-grain
We can see that the 350 Legend comes in just a smidge under the 30/30 in terms of bullet energy. Is it enough to make a difference? With these cartridges, the differences in energy are fairly minuscule. We can see that by 300 yards, neither cartridge has enough energy left to be adequate for hunting.
As far as trajectory, there is only about two inches difference in these cartridges at 250 yards. Both fall into the same category of medium to large game hunting rifles. They are great for deer and alright for elk, but aren’t really suitable for anything bigger.
The real difference here is that the 350 Legend is available in bolt-action rifles and AR-15 style rifles. The 30/30 is basically limited to lever-actions and is only made by two manufacturers currently. It’s also legal for hunting deer in the restricted areas of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.
Is the 350 Legend a Good Rifle for Deer?
The 350 Legend is an excellent deer rifle and is one of the most popular deer cartridges in Michigan and Ohio. It’s very accurate and packs a punch but has very manageable recoil.
If you’re looking for a good deer hunting rifle, the 350 Legend is a fine option. In fact, it’s one of the two calibers I recommend the most. Everything about this cartridge makes it a perfect Deer Hunting cartridge.
Every hunter needs an effective and trustworthy rifle. The 350 Legend is perfect for any situation where you aren’t planning on shooting 300-yards or further. In most areas, deer are taken at 200 yards or less. In fact, it’s usually much easier to get within 200-yards of deer than it is to make a 500-yard shot.
Most hunters don’t like to take a shot beyond 200 yards because, in all honesty, it’s hard to make it work in hunting conditions. If you don’t plan on making shots past 200 yards, the 350 Legend is a great option. In fact, I say it’s one of the best at that distance.
The 350 Legend usually has between 6 and 7 pounds of recoil. That’s less than half the recoil of a .308. Insanely effective at 200 yards and very low recoil? Sounds like a winner to me.
150-Grain vs 180-Grain Bullets for the 350 Legend
The 180-grain bullets have better penetration and more bullet energy. They have less drop and are better for heavy animals like bears or elk, as well as highly effective for deer. Lighter hunting bullets like the 150 and 145-grain bullets are more suited for deer and antelope than for larger animals.
How Does the 350 Legend Compare to the 450 Bushmaster?
The 350 legend has 30 percent less power than a 450 Bushmaster and has 70 percent less recoil. The 450 Bushmaster has a 50-yards more effective range than the 350 Legend. 450 Bushmaster shoots a 250-grain bullet at 2100 fps and the 350 Legend shoots a 180-grain bullet at 2100 fps.
Can 350 Legend Kill an Elk or Moose?
The 350 Legend is marginally effective on elk out to 150 yards, and really shouldn’t be used for moose. Elk have been cleanly killed with the 350 Legend, but you need to be fairly close and use the heaviest bullets to ensure enough penetration on a large elk.
Is the 350 Legend Good for Bear?
The 350 Legend is an excellent choice for black bears. The 180-grain bullets will fully penetrate and function flawlessly with a good shot on a large black bear out to 200 yards. While it may be used for Brown Bear, it’s not practical for large grizzlies.
The 350 legend is one of the most popular bear rifles around me. There have been tons of big Black Bears killed with the 350 Legend in the last few years. Remember how it’s very similar to the 30/30? Well, the 30/30 used to be the go-to rifle for bears back in the day. A lot of hunters used to even take brown bear with the 30/30.
We’re not talking about the Great Northern Bruins of Alaska, but the average brown bear in the continental US that weighs between 250 and 550 pounds. I’m not saying that I recommend the 350 for Grizzly. The 350 Legend is fine medicine for a 400-pound bear.
Best 350 legend Ammo for Hunting
All commercially available 350 Legend ammo will function and perform well for most hunting. Hunters seem to prefer the 180-grain Winchester Power-point for penetration at 250 yards. Hornady tends to make the most accurate ammo, but all name brands tend to be accurate enough to make good hunting shots.
Winchester’s 150-grain Deer Season XP is popular but doesn’t penetrate as well. It is not suitable for anything bigger than a deer. It’s designed to expand quickly and violently. It’s incredibly effective on deer, but on big animals, it may not fully penetrate. Hornady and Federal also make very effective loads for deer.
My best advice is to hunt with the heaviest ammo that shoots 1-inch groups at 100 yards in your gun.