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350 Remington Magnum

350_Rem_Mag

Introduced in 1965, a year before the sister chambering, 6.5 Remington Magnum, the 350 Rem Mag can rightly be viewed as the original factory short-magnum. Designed to work in actions normally chambered for the 308 Winchester and similar cartridges; this round delivers serious performance.

For reasons that will forever evade my understanding, for most of a century, gun and ammunition manufacturers actively resisted improving the state-of-the-art in cartridge development by insisting on sticking with the obsolete belted-magnum case design whenever looking to offer a more powerful chambering by using a larger-diameter case.

While campfire legends abounded as to what the belt was, what it did, what it represented, and why it existed, the simple truth is: it is nothing more than a modified rim, widened and with the rim cut placed along the length of the rim instead of forward of the rim.

 


 

The belt adds nothing to case strength and it results in a design that is hard to load in a box magazine and tends to feed roughly from the magazine even when it is properly inserted into that magazine.

The design might have made sense to Holland & Holland for use in its double rifles but it should have stayed there! In box-magazine rifles, the older bottlenecked rimless design is superior in every way and always has been.

Nevertheless, the 350 Remington Magnum offers surprising performance in a short cartridge. It can essentially duplicate 338 Win Mag energy but cannot shoot as flat. The biggest issue is the continuing lack of bullet choices in 35-caliber. Like the 8mm size, U. S. manufacturers have neglected the 35-caliber bore size. The Nosler 225-grain BT and Partition designed for the 35 Whelen are fine options in the 350 Rem Mag.

As a final note, many gun-writers wrote of the 350 Rem Mag as being the ballistic equivalent of the 35 Whelen and therefore having no advantage. They were wrong on two counts: first, the 350 Rem Mag has a significant ballistic advantage over the 35 Whelen; second, the shorter action used for the 350 Rem Mag makes for a more compact and faster-working gun; features some shooters find worthwhile.

As was a host of standard belted–magnum cartridges, this case was derived from the circa 1912, 375 H&H.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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