When Winchester Ammunition introduced its latest cartridge, the 350 Legend, the shooting-and-hunting world rejoiced, as there was now another choice accessible in states that prohibit bottleneck cartridges for searching. Whereas the whole business was all “hydro-static shock” this, and “penetration” that, I needed to be the one individual to step away from the bench considering, “Hey, that’s enjoyable to shoot!” Whereas the brand new cartridge added to the brief listing of authorized cartridges in these choose states, it added to an excellent shorter listing of chamberings that I regard as “shootable searching rounds”.
Searching gear is often constructed round one facet: weight. Accuracy and luxury are sometimes sacrificed so as to make a firearm lighter and simpler to maneuver. As they’re meant to be fired solely a restricted variety of occasions, ammunition price is usually ignored as effectively. As one of many unique firearms and ammunition producers in America, Winchester Repeating Arms took all of this into consideration when it created not solely the brand new cartridge however the 350 Legend XPR rifle as effectively. This new chambering of its self-proclaimed “workhorse” is meant to take away any excuse for not training all yr ‘spherical.
After I unboxed the XPR, I observed that it had far more aptitude than your typical budget-minded firearm. With Winchester emblems pressed into the textured grip surfaces and sharp strains throughout the buttstock, it was fairly the looker. Mixed with matte-black metallic elements, it had a modern, stealthy look total. Throughout my chamber examine, I noticed the strong, three-lug bolt had a refined smoothness to it proper out of the manufacturing facility. Most weapons easy out by way of use, but it surely was good to have easy perform proper out of the field.
The usage of the three-lug design will increase accuracy by providing a self-centering impact, and likewise supplies a shorter bolt elevate. With the motion open, we noticed the barrel and observed that Winchester actually took benefit of the low strain of the 350 Legend cartridge and went as skinny as attainable on the contour. Within the store, we laughed, because it was virtually as skinny as a .410-bore shotgun that we had subsequent to it! This discount was exceptionally good, because it aids within the rifle’s stability and makes it a lot simpler to shoot unsupported.
As that is the primary XPR I’ve ever dealt with, I used to be fascinated by way of a separate bolt-unlocking button that allowed me to cycle the motion with the security on. Many rifles that embrace this characteristic often accomplish that with a three-position security, which is inherently extra complicated. Right here the security is both on or off, and if you wish to cycle the bolt, simply press the button in entrance of the housing.
After I bought the rifle on my bench at house, I performed with the MOA set off system a bit. This set off system permits the person to regulate not solely the pull weight however the overtravel as effectively. Out of the manufacturing facility, we confirmed a pull weight of nearly 4 kilos, however with a little bit room to develop I bought it down to three kilos, 1 ounce. All weights had been confirmed by a Lyman Digital Set off Gauge. The subsequent job earlier than hitting the vary was the set up of a scope.
Winchester makes base/ring combos that mount on to the receiver, eliminating a typical failure level. We used the 30 mm model of those to mount our Tract Toric UHD 4-20X optic. This scope is constructed with German SCHOTT glass and delivers a crystal-clear goal image, no matter mild situations. We carried out all of our accuracy testings on the 20X setting, because it gave us the very best sight image and the reticle was additionally the biggest. Though first focal aircraft, the crosshairs didn’t get grossly outsized, and we had been capable of simply determine the middle of our 100-yard goal.
With 145-grain FMJ and 180-grain Energy Level ammunition in hand, we headed for the vary. Check situations had been a bit frigid however absent of any wind,permitting for a good accuracy evaluation. We rested our check rifle in a Caldwell Rock BR Relaxation and positioned paper and metal targets downrange. Though I don’t often point out it, the FMJ ammo could be discovered at most on-line retailers for lower than $10 a field. That’s fairly huge information for a brand new centerfire cartridge, as often there isn’t a lot observe ammo round, and if there may be, you often pay by way of the nostril for it.
As this spherical was essentially the most economical, we used it to zero after which fired 5 5-shot teams that averaged 2.31 inches, with our greatest group measuring simply 1.94 inches. The Energy Level ammo gave me some terrific 4-shot teams however habitually tossed one spherical outdoors. Whereas we had a number of 4-shot teams that measured inside 1.5 inches, our total common with the identical check parameters was greater than 3 inches.
These accuracy outcomes are definitely acceptable, so long as your goal is at the least this huge, which we confirmed as we rang a six-inch gong 95 % of the time in nearly each conceivable discipline place. The purpose of impression on this purpose-built spherical was roughly 4 inches increased than that of the FMJ observe spherical, which is fascinating, as a result of standard knowledge would lead you to guess that the heavier bullet would impression decrease.
General, my time spent with the brand new XPR addition to the Winchester lineup was fairly favorable. Even with none muzzle machine, the 350 Legend was an absolute pleasure on the shoulder, and the barrel barely warmed up, even after dumping 20 consecutive rounds by way of it. This rifle is destined for prolonged vary use, and I hope to see the next capability journal develop into accessible.
Though sufficient within the discipline, the included three-round journal had us stopping ceaselessly to refuel. Apart from that, there have been no different qualms, because it produced acceptable accuracy, particularly with “white-box” ammo, and the delicate kick allow us to fireplace all of it day lengthy. If you add up the sunshine weight, low recoil and low price of ammo, you get one factor for sure: shootability.