357 Maximum vs 350 Legend: Choosing the Right Cartridge

357 maximum vs 350 legend

The 357 Maximum vs 350 Legend cartridges are two distinct options in the world of firearms, each with its unique characteristics and applications. The 357 Maximum, originating from Ruger in the 1980s, is renowned for its magnum-level power and performance, particularly in single-shot handguns and rifles. In contrast, the 350 Legend, introduced by Winchester in 2019, offers modern shooters a versatile straight-walled cartridge designed to meet hunting regulations in certain states. Both cartridges boast their own merits, making them popular choices among hunters, sports shooters, and firearms enthusiasts alike.

History and Development

357 Maximum: The Magnum Powerhouse

The 357 Maximum was introduced by Ruger in the early 1980s. Derived from the 357 Magnum revolver cartridge, it was designed for use in single-shot handguns and rifles. Its primary appeal lies in its potent performance, offering magnum-level power in a rifle platform.

350 Legend: The Modern Contender

On the other hand, the 350 Legend is a more recent addition to the firearms market, introduced by Winchester in 2019. Designed as a straight-walled cartridge,  Best 243 Ammo for Deer the 350 Legend aims to provide hunters with a versatile option that complies with regulations in states where straight-walled cartridges are required for hunting.

Ballistics and Performance Comparison

357 maximum vs 350 legend


In terms of velocity, the 357 Maximum typically outperforms the 350 Legend, propelled by its larger case capacity and higher pressure ratings. However, the 350 Legend remains competitive, especially in shorter barrel lengths.


When it comes to energy, both cartridges deliver substantial knockdown power. The 357 Maximum, with its larger bullet diameter and heavier projectiles, often exhibits higher energy levels compared to the 350 Legend.


In comparison to the 350 Legend, the 357 Maximum offers superior long-range performance because of its faster speed and flatter trajectory. This makes it particularly well-suited for varmint hunting and target shooting at extended distances.


While the 357 Maximum generates more recoil than the 350 Legend, it remains manageable for most shooters, especially when fired from a properly weighted rifle. On the other hand, the 350 Legend offers a more comfortable shooting experience with noticeably less recoil.

Applications of the 357 Maximum:

Hunting: The 357 Maximum is well-suited for going after medium-sized to large animals, including pigs, coyotes, and deer. It can effectively take down games at moderate to long range thanks to its powerful performance and trajectory.

Target Shooting: The 357 Maximum is a favourite among target shooters for both competition and pleasure shooting because of its accuracy and power. Its flat trajectory and manageable recoil contribute to consistent performance on the range.

Varmint Control: The 357 Maximum’s high velocity and energy make it suitable for varmint control, targeting pests like groundhogs and raccoons. 408 cheytac vs 338 lapua  Its versatility allows for effective use in both open fields and wooded areas.

Home Defense: While less common for home defence, the 357 Maximum can serve as a formidable option due to its stopping power and reliable performance. However, its overpenetration potential should be considered in indoor environments.

Applications of the 350 Legend:

357 maximum vs 350 legend


  • The 350 Legend excels as a hunting cartridge, especially for mid-sized animals like hogs and deer.
  • Its straight-walled design and moderate recoil make it legal and comfortable to shoot in states with specific hunting regulations.

Target Shooting:

  • While not as prevalent in target shooting competitions, the 350 Legend can still be enjoyable for recreational shooters due to its accuracy and affordability.
  • Its mild recoil and availability of ammunition contribute to its popularity among casual shooters.

Home Defense:

  • The 350 Legend can be a viable option for home defence, offering sufficient stopping power while mitigating concerns of overpenetration.
  • Its lower recoil compared to magnum cartridges makes it manageable for shooters of varying experience levels.

Compliance with Regulations:

  • In states where straight-walled cartridges are required for hunting, the 350 Legend provides hunters with a legal option that still delivers adequate performance.
  • This compliance factor has contributed to the cartridge’s rising popularity among hunters in regulated regions.

Cost comparison between 357 Maximum and 350 Legend ammunition 

357 maximum vs 350 legend

When comparing the cost of ammunition between the 357 Maximum and the 350 Legend, several factors come into play that influence pricing.

357 Maximum Ammunition:

  • The 357 Maximum cartridge typically uses larger bullets and more powder compared to the 350 Legend, resulting in higher production costs.
  • Due to its less widespread popularity compared to more common cartridges, such as the 357 Magnum or 38 Special, Federal Premium the 357 Maximum may have a smaller market demand, leading to potentially higher prices.
  • Additionally, reloading components for the 357 Maximum, such as brass casings and bullets, may be less readily available and more expensive compared to components for more popular cartridges.

350 Legend Ammunition:

  • The 350 Legend cartridge is relatively new to the market but has gained popularity due to its compliance with straight-walled cartridge regulations for hunting in certain states.
  • The widespread adoption of the 350 Legend by firearms manufacturers has led to increased production volumes, resulting in more competitive ammunition pricing.
  • The 350 Legend typically uses lighter bullets and less powder compared to the 357 Maximum, reducing manufacturing costs and contributing to its affordability.

In conclusion, while prices may vary depending on factors such as brand, bullet weight, and quantity purchased, 350 Legend ammunition generally tends to be more affordable compared to 357 Maximum ammunition due to factors such as production volume, market demand, and cartridge design.

Reloading options for 357 Maximum and 350 Legend

Reloading for both the 357 Maximum and the 350 Legend offers enthusiasts the opportunity to customize their ammunition for specific shooting needs. Here are the reloading options available for each cartridge:

Reloading Options for the 357 Maximum:

Brass Casings:

Bass casings for the 357 Maximum are available from various manufacturers and can be reused multiple times with proper care and maintenance. Options for both new and once-fired brass provide reloaders with flexibility in sourcing components.

Bullets: Reloaders can choose from a wide range of bullet weights and designs to tailor their loads for different applications. Options include jacketed, hollow-point, and lead bullets in various diameters suitable for hunting, 7mm Rem Mag vs 308  target shooting, and plinking.

Powder: Reloading manuals provide recommended powder types and charge weights for achieving optimal performance with the 357 Maximum. Powders suitable for magnum handgun cartridges are typically used, offering a balance of velocity and pressure.

Primers: Standard large pistol primers are commonly used in reloading the 357 Maximum and are readily available from major manufacturers.

Reloading Options for the 350 Legend:

Brass Casings: Brass casings designed specifically for the 350 Legend are widely available from manufacturers like Winchester and Hornady. Reloading with new brass ensures consistent performance and longevity of the ammunition.

Bullets: Reloaders have a variety of bullet options, including traditional rifle bullets and those specifically designed for the 350 Legend’s straight-walled case. Options range from lightweight varmint bullets to heavier projectiles suitable for hunting larger games.

Powder: Reloading data for the 350 Legend is readily available from powder manufacturers, and reloading manuals guide reloaders in selecting appropriate powders for achieving desired velocities and pressures. Powders suitable for use in rifle cartridges with similar case capacities are commonly used.

Primers: Standard small rifle primers are used in reloading the 350 Legend and are readily available from major manufacturers and reloading suppliers.

In summary, both the 357 maximum vs 350 legend offer reloaders ample options for customizing their ammunition to meet specific performance requirements. By carefully selecting components and following established reloading practices, enthusiasts can create tailored loads that optimize accuracy, velocity, and overall shooting experience for each cartridge.

Legal considerations for hunting and shooting with 357 Maximum and 350 Legend

Legal considerations for hunting and shooting with the 357 maximum vs 350 legend vary depending on jurisdiction and specific regulations. Here are some key points to consider:

Legal Considerations for Hunting:

357 maximum vs 350 legend

Regulatory Compliance:

Hunters must ensure that their chosen cartridge complies with local hunting regulations, including restrictions on calibre, cartridge type, and minimum energy requirements. In states where straight-walled cartridges are mandated for hunting, Cheap 350 Legend Ammo  the 350 Legend may be preferred due to its compliance with such regulations.

Seasonal Restrictions: Hunters should be aware of any seasonal restrictions or limitations on the use of certain cartridges, particularly during specific hunting seasons for different game species.

Public Lands: When hunting on public lands, hunters must adhere to additional regulations and restrictions imposed by land management agencies, including allowable cartridge types and hunting methods.

Firearm Type: Certain hunting methods, such as muzzleloading or shotgun hunting, may have specific requirements regarding the type of firearm and corresponding cartridges allowed.

Legal Considerations for Shooting:

Range Regulations: Shooters must abide by the rules and regulations of shooting ranges, which may include restrictions on allowable calibres, ammunition types, and target shooting practices.

Firearm Restrictions: Some shooting ranges or facilities may have restrictions on the use of certain firearms or cartridges, Winchester  particularly those with high muzzle energy or potential for excessive noise.

Noise Ordinances: Shooters should be mindful of noise ordinances and regulations governing shooting activities in their local area, especially in residential or urban areas where noise may be a concern.

Private Property Rights: When shooting on private property, shooters must obtain permission from landowners and adhere to any specific rules or regulations they may have regarding firearms and shooting activities.


Understanding and adhering to legal considerations for hunting and shooting with the 357 maximum vs 350 legend is essential to ensure compliance with regulations and promote responsible firearm ownership and usage. It is safe and legal for hunters and shooters to engage in their favourite pastimes if they keep up with local laws and regulations.


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