350 Legend Performance: Feral Hog Hunt
When I saw the 350 Legend at the SHOT show back in January, I immediately wanted to test how it performed on feral hogs. Winchester developed the 350 Legend to be the fastest straight-wall case hunting cartridge in the world. Another goal was to provide more energy downrange, larger wound cavities, and better penetration than any other straight-wall on the market. You can see why I was excited.
CMMG Resolute 350 Legend
Since the caliber is so new, there are only a few manufacturers that make guns in 350 Legend. One of those happens to be CMMG with the Resolute in 350 Legend. The 350 Legend is a .223 case that is blown out to make it straight wall so when in an AR platform, it uses the same bolt and lower as your standard AR-15. CMMG jumped in and created the magazines designed to work with the 350 Legend. To my knowledge, CMMG was the first to create a 350 Legend rifle.
I opted for the Resolute 300 series that features an oversized ambi-charging handle, ambi-safety, Cerakoted receivers, and handguard plus a Geissele SSA 2-Stage trigger. This is on top of the M-Lok handguard, Magpul furniture, and CMMG RipStock.
However, there is one major drawback that I saw when first opening the box for the Resolute. The magazines only hold 10 rounds! While this might not seem like an issue for most hunters, especially if you are deer hunting, I am trying to eliminate as many feral hogs as I can. Sounders can be 30-50 feral hogs, and you might only get to reload once or twice. Having 10 round magazines limits the potential of this new gun and caliber.
The next thing that I needed for the hunt was some ammunition. There are only a few companies that currently make ammo, and they are Winchester, Hornady, and Federal. All of the various loads on the market are designed for deer, but the Federal 180gr Soft point looked to be the best for creating a large exit and dumping its energy into the more resistant hogs. I chose the Federal Non-Typical 350 Legend 180gr not only for its lead nose and 180gr weight but also the 2100 feet per second velocity that it delivers.
Bowers VERS 375
So, I’m a bit spoiled in that if a gun doesn’t have a silencer, I don’t like shooting it. Luckily Bowers just introduced their new VERS 375 silencer which is a perfect fit for the 350 Legend. Your normal 30 calibers silencers won’t work with the 350 Legend since it is a larger bore size and, once again, there are only a handful of companies that make a 375 silencer. Tom Bowers send me out the new VERS 375 and I was good to go.
The new Bowers VERS 375 is a 15.4oz silencer that is 8.6” long with a diameter of 1.75”. This is about the same length as most 30 caliber silencers on the market and lighter than most that are the same length. It was specifically designed for most .375 cartridges including all the popular safari calibers; .375 Holland and Holland Magnum, .375 Ruger, .375 Remington Ultra Magnum. However, it also works well on .338 Winchester Magnum, .338 Lapua Magnum, and 30 caliber centerfires like 308 and 300 Win Mag.
Pulsar XP50 LRF Thermal
For the thermal, I chose the Pulsar Trail XP50 LRF. I’ve been using the trail for a few years, and it has become my go-to for when I need to make farther shots. As you can see in the video, the built-in range finder let me know the last hog I was aiming at was over 200 yards. The 1.6-12.8x magnification range also allows me to adjust for those longer shots.
So, with all the gear squared away, how did it perform? I can say that the 350 Legend has the knockdown for small and medium hogs. If you watched the video, you saw that a fairly large boar took a hit to the shoulder and there was expansion and passthrough to the other side. The penetration and exits are great for a soft-shooting straight-wall cartridge. The exits were nickel to quarter size. I didn’t have a single hog run off. All but one hog dropped with one shot. Overall, I would say within 200 yards you should have no issue.
I would not hesitate to use the 350 Legend on deer or hogs. The only disadvantage right now is the magazine capacity. Once they have larger mags, then I can do more extensive testing and see how the caliber performs on more targets.
Todd is a retired LEO firearms instructor, avid hunter, and specializes in night hunting of invasive and pest species namely feral hogs. Pro-staff for several companies in the firearm industry. Todd runs the Lone Star Boars forum, YouTube channel and social media. An avid user of night vision and thermal optics he owns Huey Outdoors where he sells thermal and night vision.