Best 350 Legend Rifles for Hunting – Ultimate Guide [2022]

What are the best 350 Legend rifles for hunting in 2022?

Released back in 2019, the 350 Legend is a relatively new cartridge specifically designed for deer hunters in the mid-west who are restricted to using straight walled cartridges. Not only has the cartridge been widely adopted by those hunters, it’s also surprisingly popular with hunters elsewhere who like the mild recoiling, yet surprisingly effective little cartridge. Not surprisingly, companies like Mossberg, Ruger, and Winchester produce a number of 350 Legend rifles for hunting deer, feral hogs, and other big game animals.

Similar to the .223 Remington in appearance in some ways, the .350 Legend was developed using a modern cartridge design process. As a result, it’s legal to use in all the straight wall states and will also function reliably in an AR-15. Firing a medium sized 150-grain or 180-grain bullets at a moderate velocity, the 350 Legend has gained a reputation for effectiveness on deer-sized game and even black bear.

The cartridge does not have an extremely long effective range, but easily has a flat enough trajectory for shots out to 200 yards or so. That’s plenty of reach for the vast majority of American whitetail deer hunters. At the same time, the cartridge has surprisingly mild recoil (less recoil than many 243 and 30-30 loads).

Indeed, a lot of deer hunters have switched over almost exclusively to the 350 Legend, even if they’re not required to.

As good as this cartridge is though, I wouldn’t recommend using it on really big game like elk or moose. In those situations, I’d stay away from straight-wall cartridges in general and go with other, more powerful centerfire rifle cartridges like the 7mm Remington Magnum or 300 Winchester Magnum instead.

Not all 350 Legend rifles are created equal and different situations require different characteristics in a rifle.

For instance, many 350 Legend rifles will work great for adult deer hunters who utilize tree stands or who need to take a shot across an open field. On the other hand, a youth hunter, or someone hunting whitetail deer or feral hogs out of a box blind would probably be better served by getting a more compact rifle.

The same thing goes for someone who wants an AR-15 in 350 Legend or a really compact “truck gun.”

Fortunately, there’s a wide variety of 350 legend rifles well suited for most big game hunting situations. So, regardless of whether you’re planning on hunting deer in a straight wall state like Indiana or Ohio, looking for a rifle for your child to harvest their first deer with, or if you just want a light recoiling deer rifle, there is pretty much guaranteed to be something for everyone on the list below of the best 350 Legend rifles for hunting.

In this article, I’m going to show you the best 350 Legend rifles for hunting deer, feral hogs, and other big game you’d reasonably hunt with the cartridge. I’ll also go over the pros and cons of each individual rifle and help you select the right rifle for your specific hunting situation.

It’s also important to realize the rifle is just a single part of the equation. Even the best rifle won’t be of much use without a high quality scope and without appropriate ammunition. Learn more about what I consider the best scope and factory ammo options for the 350 Legend at the link below.

Best 350 Legend Ammo For Hunting Deer, Bear, & Other Big Game

9 Reasons The Leupold VX-5 HD Is A Great Hunting Scope

Before we get started, here’s a disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Thanks for your support.

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s get started.

Winchester XPR

picture of Best 350 legend Rifles for Hunting winchester xpr

Winchester originally developed the .350 Legend cartridge and sent it to market initially in their XPR rifle. The Winchester XPR is the lower cost alternative to the Winchester Model 70 that Winchester Repeating Arms manufactures.

There was once a time where calling something a “budget rifle” was a polite way of saying it was junk. Fortunately, things have changed and the Winchester XPR is a great all-around 350 Legend hunting rifle that’s also functional and well built. 

The XPR isn’t a fancy rifle and doesn’t have a bunch of bells and whistles, but it’s still a good value option. Like most other centerfire rifles at that price point, the XPR uses a push feed action, an injection molded stock, and a detachable magazine. All things considered though, the rifle is still pretty accurate, lightweight, durable, and has a good trigger.

While it’s not necessarily large or heavy, this is a full size rifle that’s one of the bigger 350 Legend rifles available. Indeed, with a 22″ barrel, the Winchester XPR also has one of the longest barrels available in factory production rifles in 350 Legend for those who want to squeeze all the performance possible out of the cartridge.

The Winchester XPR does not come with an accuracy guarantee. Even so, these rifles are generally capable of very good accuracy.

In short, I think the Winchester XPR is an excellent 350 Legend hunting rifle for someone who wants a solid performing bolt-action deer rifle that doesn’t cost a ton of money.

BUY A WINCHESTER XPR HERE

Also Available At: Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam

picture of Best 350 legend Rifles for Hunting mossberg patriot super bantam

The mild recoiling, yet surprisingly hard hitting 350 Legend cartridge is very popular with new and/or small framed hunters. In fact, the cartridge is widely used by youth hunters in many states where straight walled cartridges are not required.

With this in mind, the Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam rifle is an ideal choice for those hunters. The big advantage of this rifle is that it has an adjustable length of pull which can be tailored from 12” to 13” to fit the individual hunter by adding or removing spacers from the stock.

The Mossberg Patriot isn’t a fancy or beautiful rifle, but it’s a great choice for someone who wants a compact and functional hunting rifle.

Like the Winchester XPR, the Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam also has a 22-inch barrel. However, the overall length of this particular model is shorter and it has an adjustable length of pull (which the Winchester XPR lacks) and can also “grow” with the hunter as he/she gets older. It’s also a little bit heavier to further tame the already mild recoil of the 350 Legend cartridge.

The Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam also comes with a 3-9x40mm scope.

All in all, this is a great option for young hunters that’s also pretty reasonably priced. It will also work great for smaller framed adult. 

BUY A MOSSBERG PATRIOT YOUTH SUPER BANTAM HERE

Also Available At: Guns.com

Ruger American Ranch

picture of Best 350 legend Rifles for Hunting ruger american ranch

Ruger’s American rifle has gained a reputation for being one of the most reasonably priced centerfire hunting rifles available in the United States. Like the Winchester XPR, the Ruger American Ranch is a great value 350 Legend hunting rifle that’s also functional and well built.

This rifle does not have a lot of bells and whistles or cool design features. However, it’s a very serviceable, practical, and reasonably priced 350 Legend rifle for many hunters.

Just like you’d think from the name, this particular model of the Ruger American Ranch rifle is marketed for ranchers and farmers who want to carry a rifle around with them all the time in their vehicle in case they need to use it on a coyote, a hog, etc.

So, this rifle is pretty darn small, compact, and lightweight. For this reason, I think it’s a great choice for deer hunters and can be more easily maneuvered in the tight confines of a deer stand than a lot of other rifles.

You will lose a certain amount of velocity by stepping down to a 16 inch 350 Legend barrel, but it probably won’t be an excessive amount because this cartridge is less sensitive to changes in barrel length than other cartridges.

Ruger American Ranch also uses a detachable AR style magazine, has a threaded barrel, features a free floated barrel and power bedding on the stock, sling swivel studs, a black metal finish, and also comes standard with a Picatinny rail.

The Ruger American does not come with an accuracy guarantee, but every single one of these rifles I’ve used over the years has shot surprisingly well.

All things considered, the Ruger American is an outstanding 350 Legend rifle for hunting a variety of game, but especially whitetail deer, feral hogs, and varmints. In fact, this is the rifle I’d recommend for a person looking for a 350 Legend hunting rifle that will work really well for most deer hunting situations without breaking the bank.

  • Length of Pull: 13.75″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:16″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes
  • Magazine Size: 5
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: No
  • MSRP: $659

BUY A RUGER AMERICAN RANCH HERE

Also Available At: Cabela’s and Sportsmans Warehouse

Savage Axis II

picture of Best 350 legend Rifles for Hunting savage axis

The Axis II by Savage Arms is another one of the most reasonably priced 350 Legend rifles currently available on the market. While Savage had a somewhat checkered reputation at one point, their rifles are generally better regarded these days.

In fact, some Savage rifles are capable of absolutely tack driving accuracy and are used by lots of hunters with lots of success each year.

The Axis II in 350 legend has a 4 round detachable box magazine, a black synthetic stock, a tang safety, and a user adjustable AccuTrigger (approximately a 2.5 to 6 pound trigger pull).

Additionally, the 18-inch barrel is a good balance of long enough for good performance with the 350 Legend cartridge, but not so long that the rifle is unwieldy. In fact, the rifle is VERY lightweight and is almost as compact as possible for a rifle in that chambering (more on this in a second).

Savage also makes a similar (but not identical) version of the Axis for left handed shooters. So, this rifle is a great choice for someone looking for the best left handed 350 Legend rifle. They also produce the Savage Axis II XP that’s otherwise identical, but comes from the factory with a Bushnell scope.

In that same vein, Savage also produces their Axis II XP Compact in 350 Legend as well. In addition to coming from the factory with a scope, this model has a shorter 12.75″ length of pull and is 1″ shorter overall. This particular model is an outstanding choice of a 350 Legend rifle for a youth hunter or a small framed adult.

For those who don’t know, the Axis II and Axis II XP both feature the Savage AccuTrigger (which the regular Axis lacks) and the Axis II XP comes with a scope. Correspondingly, the Axis II XP is more expensive than the Axis II, which is in turn more expensive than the base model Axis.

This is definitely not a high end custom rifle and it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles other, more expensive rifles have. However, like the Ruger American Ranch, the Savage Axis II is another very functional 350 Legend bolt action rifle rifle that will work well for someone with a smaller budget.

  • (in the regular Axis model, not the Axis II)

BUY A SAVAGE AXIS II HERE

Also Available At: Cabela’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Mossberg Patriot Walnut

picture of Best 350 legend Rifles for Hunting mossberg patriot walnut

The Mossberg Patriot Walnut is very similar to the Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam. Both rifles share the same action, but the Patriot Walnut has a walnut stock and is not adjustable for length of pull.

It’s also physically a little bit larger and heavier than most of the other options on this list of the best 350 Legend rifles. With the same 22″ barrel length as the Winchester XPR and Mossberg Patriot Youth Super Bantam, the Mossberg Patriot Walnut is also a great choice for getting a higher muzzle velocity from the 350 Legend cartridge.

All of those attributes combine to make the rifle a good shooting platform and further reduce perceived recoil. The 350 Legend is not ideal for use at longer ranges by any stretch, but this rifle has the attributes necessary to increase the shooter’s maximum effective range with the 350 Legend to the greatest extent possible.

I wouldn’t say they’re the absolute best 350 Legend rifles available, but they’re still really darn good.

BUY A MOSSBERG PATRIOT WALNUT HERE

Ruger AR-556 MPR

picture of Best 350 legend Rifles for Hunting ruger 556

Looking for a 350 Legend semi-auto rifle? The 350 Legend isn’t quite as popular in semi-automatic rifles as cartridges like the 223 Remington and 308 Winchester, but it’s still somewhat common and there are some good semi-auto 350 Legend rifle options.

In fact, the 350 Legend is dimensionally similar enough to the 223 Remington that the cartridge can fit and function in standard AR-15 style rifles. Of these, the Ruger AR-556 is a good choice for those who want an AR platform instead of a bolt action rifle.

The Ruger AR-556 is 350 Legend is basically an upgraded version of the standard Ruger AR-556 rifle. Loaded up with Magpul furniture, a collapsable butt stock, a full length top rail system, a two-stage trigger, a cold hammer-forged 16.38″ long barrel, and a free floated handguard, the AR-556 in 350 Legend packs a bunch of features into a relatively compact package.

This rifle tips the scales at just under 7 pounds unloaded and without a scope. So, it’s not too heavy and is reasonably compact. It comes with a standard 5 round magazine, but can use larger 10, 15, or even 20 round magazines as well. 

This big advantage of a semi-auto rifle that those rifle offer the ability to take an almost instant follow-up shot. This characteristic, combined with a large magazine capacity and the the ability to mount a night vision or thermal optic on top, makes the 350 Legend a good rifle option for situations like feral hog hunting (especially at night) where that can be really useful.

As is the case with the Ruger American Ranch, you will lose a certain amount of velocity by stepping down to a 16-inch barrel, but it probably won’t be an excessive amount because this cartridge is less sensitive to changes in barrel length than other cartridges.

Especially when combined with a suppressor and a thermal optic, this is a very effective rifle for a serious hog hunter. It will also work for personal protection at close range as well, especially when using ammo designed for that purpose like Winchester’s Defender ammo loaded with 160-grain bonded core hollow point bullets.

Though it will work great out to around 200 yards (potentially even farther), the Ruger AR-556 is not designed for long range precision work. Instead, this semi-auto 350 Legend rifle is best for hunters who want a rapid follow up shot on game at short to moderate range and it will work great in that role.

  • Length of Pull: 11.1-14.4″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:16″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes (includes muzzle brake)
  • Magazine Size: 5
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: No
  • MSRP: $1,269.00

BUY A RUGER AR-556 RIFLE HERE

Also Available At: Sportsman’s Warehouse

CVA Scout

picture of Best 350 legend Rifles for Hunting cva scout

Looking for a single-shot rifle in 350 Legend? In addition to making really good break action muzzleloaders, CVA also makes a few different single shot and bolt action rifles as well. In particular, the CVA Scout is available in 350 Legend and is definitely worth considering.

A nice feature of single shot rifles is that they can be made in a somewhat compact package without sacrificing barrel length. That’s the case with this particular 350 Legend rifle: it only has a 38″ overall length, but still has a 20″ fluted stainless steel barrel.

The rifle also has a good recoil pad to further tame the kick of the low recoil 350 Legend cartridge. The barrel is also threaded for a muzzle brake or suppressor and has a factory installed scope rail.

Furthermore, it may be disassembled without using tools for storage and/or transport. It’s a nice rifle for deer and hog hunting, but that tools-free disassembly is nice to have in a truck gun or for storage in case of emergency. Inexpensive takedown rifles like this are among the best rifles for those who want to keep a firearm on hand in a camper, boat, cabin, or truck just in case it’s needed one day.

Single shot rifles like the CVA Scout are also good options for left handed hunters and shooters. There aren’t many left handed 350 Legend bolt action rifles, but the CVA Scout is designed to be ambidextrous.

hog hunter lot of deer hunters

straight-wall cartridges

remington magnum modern cartridge centerfire rifle cartridges

This is not an ideal rifle for those who need a rapid follow up shot (though it can be reloaded faster than you might think). However, it’s a very nice rifle for those who prioritize a compact package for storage or transport as well as for those who just like CVA rifles or single shot rifles in general.

  • Length of Pull: 14″
  • Rifling Twist Rate: 1:16″
  • Threaded Barrel: Yes (5/8×24, thread protector included)
  • Magazine Size: 1
  • Accuracy Guarantee: No
  • Left Handed Models Available: Yes, this rifle is ambidextrous
  • MSRP: $406.00

BUY A CVA SCOUT RIFLE HERE

Also Available At: Sportsman’s Warehouse

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