Smith & Wesson just introduced a new revolver chambered for the brush-bucking 350 Legend cartridge! Using their X-frame as the platform for the rifle cartridge the new Model 350 is 4.5 pounds of stainless-steel, firing-breathing goodness!
Shooting the New Smith & Wesson Model 350
The 350 Legend’s cartridge overall length required S&W to use their very largest revolver frame which had previously been chambered for 500 S&W Magnum as well as the 460 S&W Magnum. Its beefy cylinder places plenty of material around the 7 chambers to easily contain the 350’s pressures. S&W provides two stainless spring-steel moon-clips to retain all 7 cartridges. The big revolver can be fired without the moon-clips but you’ll need to push the empty casings out with a pencil or similarly shaped dowel as the extractor slides right past the straight walled cartridges extractor groove.
S&W’s first offering of the Model 350 comes with a 7.5” barrel with a full-length underlug giving the gun a much desired and needed muzzle heavy balance. The barrel’s top possesses an integral, serrated rib. S&W rifles the barrel with a 1:16” RH, 5-groove twist. For muzzle control the barrel features a port, just in front of the front sight, and S&W engineers cuts an internal expansion chamber inside the barrel. The port is designed to vent gas and drive the muzzle downwards to attenuate what would otherwise be substantial muzzle flip.
What impressed me the most about the new 350 was its lockwork. The double action trigger-pull registered at just 8.25 pounds! It is smooth and you can feel the cylinder bolt lock into place just before the hammer falls. Smith & Wesson equips the Model 350 with a standard width trigger, devoid of an grooves or serrations and with radiused edges for smooth double-action shooting. Cocking the behemoth’s hammer is easy and it possesses a sharply checkered spur as S&W understands that most shooters will take advantage of the gun’s light and crisp single action. My test sample’s single action required just 3.25 pounds of pressure to break.
I used the single-action mode when I sighted the 350 in with my target set out at 25-yards. Because of time constraints I was only able to connect with one ammunition source for test ammunition. Hornady was kind enough to send me 100 rounds of American Whitetail 170-grain Solid Point bullets.
The box lists its 350 Legend muzzle velocity at 2200 FPS from a rifle. From the S&W 350’s 7.5” barrel this round averaged 1500 feet per second or about 32% slower, but it still managed to churn up a whopping 849 Foot Pounds of Energy making this gun/load combo perfect for everything from pigs to whitetails. Accuracy was wonderful and I was extremely impressed with the new 350 and 5-shot groups averaged between 1.25 and 1.5” at 25-yards.
I was initially concerned about the recoil of the rifle cartridge in a handgun-at least until I fired my first round. It’s not bad! Really! The oversized Hogue-style finger groove grips as well as the gun’s weight and integral port all combine to make the new Model 350 an extremely accurate and fun gun to shoot! The high-pressure cartridge provides plenty of blast and concussion, but it is far from punishing. I was able to connect with boring regularity with my 50-yard steel target firing the gun single-action and was even able to score all of my hits on a steel target at 25-yards firing double-action.
My only criticism of the new M350 is that there is no easy way to mount an optic on the gun. S&W will undoubtedly offer something in the future-perhaps a Performance Shop offering that will allow users to take advantage of the 350’s amazing intrinsic accuracy and stretch the round’s legs out to 125-150 yards. Based on my all too short time with the S&W M350, its suggested retail price of $1599 represents a tremendous value for handgun hunters and revolver enthusiasts!
|Hornady 170-gr. SP American Whitetail||1,500 FPS||349 FPE||1.25-1.5-“|
On August 18, 2022, we originally reported:
Here comes the boom! The Smith & Wesson Model 350 brings large-frame revolver performance, via the popular .350 Legend cartridge. This wheelgun puts a new X-Frame revolver in play for hunting in straight-wall cartridge states and areas.
Smith & Wesson Model 350 Report
The .350 Legend debuted a couple of years ago, helping to drive the market of new straight-wall case cartridges specifically for hunting. Now Smith & Wesson doubles down on the trend, brining a new X-Frame revolver aimed squarely at deer hunters in straight-wall states. The Model 350 becomes S&W’s first revolver chambered in the cartridge.
The Model 350TM comprises a double-action/single-action revolver, built from stainless steel. It comes with a 7.5-inch, ported barrel, wearing a red ramp front sight and adjustable rear sight. A Hogue rubber overmolded grip helps provide solid purchase. The cylinder holds seven rounds, while moon clips help facilitate loading and unloading.
“The 350 Legend is one of the flattest shooting straight-walled cartridges on the market today,” said John Myles, Senior Manager of New Products, Smith & Wesson. “It is great for medium-sized game and especially whitetail hunting. If you’re looking for a hunting revolver, the Model 350 is it.”
The Model 350 retails for $1,599. For even more info, please visit smith-wesson.com.
Smith & Wesson Model 350 Features
- Model: 350
- Chambered in 350 Legend.
- Double Action/Single Action revolver.
- 7-Round Capacity.
- Stainless Steel Frame, Fluted Cylinder and 7.5″ Ported Barrel.
- Red Ramp Front Sight and Adjustable Rear Sight System.
- Overall Length of 13.5″ and Weight of 71.5 oz.
For those that don’t know, the straight-walled cartridge movement is here to stay. In certain states and hunting area, centerfire hunting season defines only the use of straight-walled cartridges or shotgun slugs. So it restricts the use of many traditional bolt-action rifles chambering cartridges such as .30-06 or .308 Win. But the Winchester developed the .350 Legend and other ammo companies followed. And this bad boy drastically improves performance and downrange energy delivered via a cartridge that fits these restrictive rules.
Smith & Wesson gives handgun hunters a really cool opportunity here. Pair one cartridge with your long gun, or simply get another good thumper for your handgun hunting pursuits. Built on the legendary S&W X-Frame, this should make for the kind of hunting gun to be passed down for generations.