The Illinois-based ammunition manufacturer Winchester knows all too well about state restrictions regarding hunting rifles and ammunition and has navigated the legal parameters to design and market specialized hunting cartridges for the modern sportsman. In 2019, American Rifleman’s Kelly Young broke the big story behind the company's previous launch in “Tested: Winchester’s 350 Legend.” Now, for 2023, Winchester is unveiling the latest progression in straight-wall cartridges: 400 Legend.
Winchester’s new big-bore cartridge announcement marks the latest chapter for the namesake firm. The new 400 Legend cartridge is set to deliver optimized ballistic and terminal performance for use out to 300 yards on America’s big-game and nuisance species, such as feral pig. The straight-wall design of the 400 Legend cartridge features a rebated rim and is designed to operate effectively in America’s rifle, the AR-15. Just as we saw with Winchester’s 350 Legend cartridge, bolt-action rifles were soon to follow the announcement. And given the fact that the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) has already approved the specifications of the new cartridge, it is safe to say that soon there will be a plethora of sporting options to chose from, whether it be semi-automatics, single-shot rifles or bolt-action types.
According to SAAMI’s literature on the new 400 Legend, the straight-wall cartridge is the same overall length as its little brother, 350 Legend, yet despite seeing a nominal bore increase of nearly 0.044” with the new .40-cal offering, SAAMI indicates a 10,000 p.s.i. reduction in pressure, comparatively, and the new offering has pound-per-pound higher velocity than the original Legend unveiled in 2019. All that to say, the new 400 Legend is a highly efficient cartridge. It recoils 20 percent less than 450 Bushmaster (a popular cartridge for MSRs) and unleashes 100 percent more energy than a 12-ga. slug at 100 yards.
“As the leader in cartridge development, the 400 Legend is a testament to our Winchester team that continues to prioritize innovative products and our world-renowned brand,” said Ben Frank, senior product manager for Winchester Ammunition.
Currently, Winchester has announced it will offer its Power Point load, featuring a 215-grain, lead-tipped bullet loaded to produce about 2,250 f.p.s. at the muzzle. The result is, reportedly, 20 percent more energy than .30-30 Win. and 25 percent more energy than its predecessor, 350 Legend. Winchester’s 400 Legend ammunition will begin shipping in July, and 400 Legend-chambered rifles will be offered in the coming year from: Mossberg, Ruger, Savage Arms, Winchester Repeating Arms, CMMG, and more. For more information, visit winchester.com.