“Pouring time and capital into the development of a new chambering is an incredibly dicey endeavor for an ammunition manufacturer, even more so when that design occupies a segment of cartridgedom that has historically been met with disinterest by American shooters,” wrote Managing Editor Kelly Young in “Tested: Winchester's 350 Legend. “And few rifle calibers have consistently drawn a collective yawn from the firearm community as thoroughly as has the .35.”
What Winchester accomplished with its 350 Legend was to blend the affordable (to make, anyway) .223 Rem. case with a 0.355" bullet at modest velocity—150 grs. at 2318 f.p.s. for its Deer Season loading. And its mild recoil impulse is another factor in the Legend’s favor.
“So, what does the future hold for 350 Legend? It has a lot going for it, and I think the potential for long-term success is there—maybe even enough to eventually live up to its rather vainglorious name. It’s an effective short-range hunting cartridge designed to function in essentially every type of action imaginable,” wrote Young.
“Developing a new cartridge may indeed be an uncertain proposition for an ammunition maker, but in the case of 350 Legend, I believe the calculus is pretty simple. If it is produced by Winchester in sufficient quantities that White Box on your local shelves can be counted on to always be there, at prices that rival .223 Rem. and beat the rest of the competition, and if the industry at large continues to buy-in—then I believe the cartridge has the legs to become a mainstay.”
He summed up with, “The 350 Legend is a good, simple idea, and those are often the best kind.” We agreed and named it Ammunition Product Of The Year.