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  • Post last modified:August 31, 2023

In this guide, let's break down 350 Legend VS 556 in detailed specs. Both rounds are their pros and cons when it comes to specific applications. 350 Legend is a great hunting round and 556 is much more readily available for training and defensive use.

Here are their differences:

350 Legend VS 30 30 – Key Differences

From a ballistics perspective, these cartridges are so similar that neither can claim to hit harder than the other. They are great for hunting, but not for home defense due to over penetration.

350 ledgend

350 Legend

The .350 Legend is known for shooting a 160-grain bullet at around 2,300 feet per second (1700 – 1800 ft lb energy), while the .30-30 typically fires a 150-grain bullet at nearly the same speed (1830 – 1850 ft lb energy). 

In terms of power, the .350 Legend has a slight advantage in certain matchups, but specific load comparisons may vary.

30-30 casing and bullet

30-30 Winchester

The .30-30 travels about 5% faster at the muzzle but drops around 20% less than the .350 Legend. The 30-30 bullet has higher ballistic coefficients (BC) at around 0.313 to allow flatter trajectories and better wind resistance than 350 legend BC around 0.259. 

350 Legend In AR15 Platform

Hunting – The 350 Legend has several advantages, including its compatibility with AR 15 type rifles. The cartridge was designed specifically for these rifles, which are not only popular but also easy to shoot, modular, lightweight, and easy to accessorize. The AR 15 platform has become a mainstream hunting rifle in recent years. 

saint victor 350 legend ar15

Recoil Performance – In addition to AR 15 rifles, the 350 Legend can also be found in a variety of rifle types including bolt guns and single shots. Another major strength of the 350 Legend is its low recoil, which is similar to that of a 5.56 round. This makes fast follow-up shots possible and reduces the risk of a bruised shoulder. 

Muzzle Performance – The 350 Legend also boasts minimal muzzle blast, with no real concussion or violent explosion at the end of the barrel. This level of comfort can be achieved with a standard 16-inch rifle, and the ballistics hold up well even with shorter barrels such as SBRs or AR pistols.

30-30 For Most Lever Action Platform

3030 rifle

Hunting – The .30-30 cartridge is commonly chambered in lever-action rifles and revolvers, which are popular for hunting and recreational shooting. Some of the most well-known .30-30 rifles include but not limited to:

  • Winchester Model 1894
  • Marlin Model 336
  • Henry Repeating Arms
  • Mossberg Model 464
  • Magnum Research BFR

Recoil Performance – The recoil of the .30-30 cartridge is moderate and generally considered manageable for most shooters. Overall it's about 11 ft lb of recoil force and it's way less than a 12 GA shotgun

350 Legend vs. 30-30 Winchester Dimensions

Bullet350 Legend30-30
Parent CaseUnique.38-55 Winchester
Bullet Diameter0.357″0.308″
Neck Diameter0.378″0.330″
Base Diameter0.390″0.422″
Case Length1.71″2.039″
Overall Length2.25″2.550″
Max Pressure45K PSI46K PSI
350 ledgend

The 350 Legend has a diameter of 0.357-0.003 in and the 223 has a diameter of 0.224 in. This difference also affects the neck diameter, with the 350 Legend having a diameter of 0.378 in and the 30-30 having a diameter of 0.330 in.

bear creek arsenal 350 legend upper

Check out 350 Legend AR15 uppers here

350 Legend VS 30-30 Trajectory Ballistics

In most caliber battles, one cartridge usually offers more power and speed across various loads and bullet weights. But in this case, the winner depends on the specific loads being compared.


The maximum effective range of the 350 Legend cartridge is around 250 yards with plenty of ballistic energy for hunting medium-sized game like deer, hogs, and coyotes. It's designed to deliver fast follow-up shots and has mild recoil, making it a good choice for hunters who want an easy-to-shoot rifle.

Both of these rounds are not designed for long-range shooting, so their trajectories are similar. However, the 30-30 rounds have a slight advantage.

The 30-30 Win shoots flatter with a 2.6-inch drop at 200 yards. It can effectively reach up to 300 yards, but a skilled sharpshooter with a well-adjusted rifle is needed to consistently shoot accurately at 300 yards. So, it's better to stay within 250 yards or less.

A 180-grain 360 Legend Federal load drops 9.4 inches at 200 yards and 34.1 inches at 300 yards. A 10 mph crosswind pushes the bullet 8.9 inches and 21.6 inches at those distances.

350 Legend VS 30-30 Ballistic Coefficient 

The .30-30 has a slight advantage at longer ranges because it's a bottleneck cartridge. It isn't a long-range powerhouse, but it can be loaded with more aerodynamic .30-caliber bullets that have higher ballistic coefficients (BC).

Among Federal's options, the highest BC for a .350 Legend is .259, while the highest BC for a .30-30 is .313. (For context, Federal's highest-BC 6.5 Creedmoor measures .607.)

The higher BC lets the .30-30 maintain a flatter trajectory and resist wind more effectively. This 170-grain .30-30, for example, drops 7.7 inches at 200 yards and 26.6 inches at 300 yards. In a 10 mph crosswind, the bullet moves 7.4 inches and 17.8 inches at those distances, respectively.

350 Legend VS 30-30 Cost

The 30-30 caliber has been around for a long time, so many manufacturers produce 30-30 ammunition. On the other hand, only a few companies make 350 Legend ammunition, which means it might be harder to find.

The cost of 30-30 ammunition can vary depending on factors like brand, bullet type, and where you buy it from. Typically it's around $1.2- $2.0 / round including target ammo and hunting ammo

The cost of 350 Legend is typically around $1.7 – $2.5/ round including target ammo and hunting ammo.

Since fewer people have a 350 Legend, more of that ammunition is usually in stock.

The 350 Legend is still pretty new, so not as many gun manufacturers make rifles for it. You can shoot 350 Legend from a 223 AR platform if you change the barrel and magazines. Ruger and Savage also offer a couple of bolt-action rifle options for the 350 Legend.

ammo shelf at the store

One of the best parts about reloading 30-30 is that you can store up 0.308″ diameter bullets. These bullets are popular for hunting with 300 Win Mag, 308 Winchester, and 30-06 Springfield. So you don't have to buy bullets that only fit one type of round.

The Legend is a new round, but more and more hunters in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and other states like it. That means more people are reloading the Legend too. However, the brass and 0.355″ diameter rifle bullets are harder to find and cost more than 30-30.

The bullet diameter is the same as a 9mm bullet, but you can't use rifle bullets and handgun bullets interchangeably.

In general, it's easier to reload the 30-30 because the materials are cheaper and easier to find.

Personal Defense Applications

350 Legend can be used for personal defense, but the problem is with its over penetration characteristics that make it not favorable inside a home or apartment. The same goes for 30-30 Winchester. However, if it's on a ranch with wide open space, then it's a different story.