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Range question

20 Jan 2020
@ 02:06 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

It's been 30 days since the NZ ban went into effect. Are the ranges more peaceful now? I live in the US. I'm usually the only one at the range with a bolt gun. In the time it takes me to shoot 30 rounds, a half dozen guys with ARs come and go, sending hundreds of rounds downrange. I'm not dissing them. I get that shooting is fun, and that there are competitions that I'm not into where ARs are used. It's just that the range I belong to is owned and operated by a non-profit conservation organization. I doubt they could keep the range open without the influx of dues from the gallery gunners, so I shouldn't complain. The last time I was there I had to move a rabbit with a nasty head wound from the road. It looked like a bullet wound. I should have put it down. Shooting wildlife is, of course, prohibited in the rules. This post probably belongs in the "Off Topic" category, but I do have a couple general rifle questions: 1) If the AR were banned worldwide, would the cartridge developers come up with something useful to hunters, instead of worrying about what fits in an AR? 2) Does Winchester think anyone who doesn't hunt deer in Ohio, Indiana, or Michigan will buy their 350 Legend?


20 Jan 2020
@ 09:23 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Range question
Hi Scott, its a bit of an odd game for manufacturers. Working military contracts / R&D helps to create a level of official recognition for a company. But mil or LE contracts do not always pay as well as some might imagine. This kudos can however be used to bolster confidence towards a company among civilian consumers. In such instances the consumers (general hunters) may end up funding military or LE development. This is not always the case but it does happen, based on my experience in this industry.

The .350 Legend is an example of the above. Market acceptance is currently a 50/50 gamble. The major problem with this cartridge is that it may be based on a 9mm bullet design. (Note / edit- this cartridge is promoted as being .357" but it is my understanding that the bullet diameter is actually .355". We are still waiting for ammo in NZ. I will try to confirm exact specs as soon as I am able to).

In truth, there is no difference in killing performance between two projectiles that vary by only 2 thou. A 180gr .355" projectile with an MV of 2200fps is a good thing. But common sense would dictate increased civilian sales had this been a .357" projectile design that could also have been utilized within other cartridges and carbines. It would have ensured mainstream success. Winchester will need fast and wide spread sales in order to ensure ongoing success of the .350 Legend (especially ammo availability) if this is indeed a 9mm. They basically need hype to get this going and need to ensure that ammo is shipped in quantity to as many retailers as possible. If the .350 is accepted by hunters, it will have greater appeal to LE. If it wins appeal among LE, this will further bolster confidence among civilians.

In my experience, Mil or LE agencies may play a wait and see game, watching the civilian hunter market. This is not a deliberate method of LE ammo / rifle selection. It is more an instinctual method of utilizing modern technology (common sense use of the internet and gun rags). Civilian hunters unknowingly perform a great deal of R&D for govt. Any online comment regarding rifle reliability or cartridge performance can be utilized as researdch. Market acceptance creates ongoing funding for manufacturers leading to greater availability of product along with the rectification of any previous issues. A point is reached where an agency may take interest due to widespread acceptance of a rifle or cartridge within the civilian market. The agency may then finally set about its own R&D or the continuation of previous R&D.

The above is a very rough explanation and is not always true of events. But it may perhaps shed a small amount of light on how the industry may operate at certain points in time.
20 Jan 2020
@ 12:33 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Range question
Thanks, Nathan. The posssible mil / LE applications of the 350 Legend hadn't occurred to me. It seemed a stretch to think that deer hunters in the 3 or 4 slug-only midwestern states that now allow straight-wall rifle cartridges would ditch their 12 gauge slug guns for a borderline-anemic new cartridge over a 450 Bushmaster or 45-70 (boom and recoil would presumably not be an issue for them), let alone that deer hunters elsewhere would flock to it. I suppose it will increase the overall quantity of lead flying down my range this summer!
20 Jan 2020
@ 03:46 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: Range question
On the .350 Legend:

When I first heard of it, I was immediately put off by the name. That has to be the most corny and ridiculous name for a cartridge that I’ve ever seen. I consider this sort of thing to be a big red flag, my B.S. detection system goes into hyperdrive, and I start digging through the claims and crunching numbers.

It took me all of 5 or 10 minutes to figure out that it sits squarely between the .357 Mag and the .35 Remington in power, and that it’s performance on game isn’t anything new or ground-breaking. Depending on bullet weight and construction, performance inside of 150 yards should be adequate but nothing that might be called outstanding. Winchester’s claims of 250 yards strikes me as quite a stretch, especially considering the tendency of many US hunters to avoid the front shoulder shot.

I’ve been trying to talk to people about it and get a feel for what drove them to get one, and they seem to fall into two basic camps:

- Guys who want the latest and greatest stuff and are easily swayed by marketing campaigns and other propaganda, not thinking about what the product actually is or does.

- Guys who use AR’s to hunt deer and have had poor experiences with the 5.56mm or .300 Blackout (golly gee, I can’t imagine why) but don’t think they can handle or don’t want to handle the .450 Bushmaster, .458 Socom, etc.

As for the AR’s, I’ve been hesitant and doubtful about the need for one since they became popular around here. I generally don’t miss my targets, I have almost never needed more than one shot to kill anything I’ve ever shot at, and I don’t care much for the ergonomics of the AR design. So I really don’t feel the need to get one. A compact .357 lever action is about the only thing my arsenal is missing, in a practical sense.

I’ve got my medium to large game hunting rifle, a pump 12 gauge for all-around utility, a very accurate little .22LR bolt gun, and a pair of .40 S&W automatics for personal and home defense. A compact .357 lever action is about the only thing my arsenal is missing, if I’m being practical and realistic about it, so I really don’t see any need for an AR.


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