First Look – Ruger’s New American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend

Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend

Josh Wayner for TTAG

I am fortunate to be among the first people to get hands on the brand new and just-announced Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend. While this is not a full-on review, I will touch on some of the features of this new gun and give an overview of the 350 Legend chambering.

The rifle itself is quite interesting in that it accepts AR-15 magazines. The gun ships with one, but it seems to feed pretty reliably with the FMJ variant of Winchester’s new 350 Legend ammo line.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend

Josh Wayner for TTAG

The 350 Legend itself was developed for use in the Midwest, where the 450 Bushmaster reigns supreme for our great tradition of deer hunting with straight wall cartridges. The 450 Bushmaster is a huge and powerful round that can sling bullets as heavy as 400 grains and can deliver performance that nearly equals the time-honored .45-70. Needless to say, the 450 BM is an exceedingly powerful and high-recoil round that is not much fun to shoot.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend

Josh Wayner for TTAG

In addition to being large and powerful, the 450 Bushmaster is also quite expensive. The amount of raw material needed to produce ammunition keeps the cost high, which makes practice difficult. The 350 Legend has addressed this with many low-cost options including practice ammo running about $10 a box.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Ruger’s rifle here has only seen a few rounds, but I’m looking forward to testing it completely in the weeks to come. I will be taking an in-depth look at the 350 Legend and what it offers Midwestern hunters and shooters all over the country.

The Ranch Rifle comes threaded for a suppressor, and the 350 Legend should work with most 9mm cans. That means the hunter wouldn’t need an additional suppressor for hunting should they already have one for their 9mm.

The 450 Bushmaster has difficulty being suppressed, as it’s too powerful for most .45 ACP pistol suppressors.

Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 350 Legend

Josh Wayner for TTAG

Overall I’m pleased with this gun so far. I will give you a longer full review to come and more content on the new 350 Legend. Keep an eye out for heavy subsonic ammo, more dedicated rifles, and handloading equipment in the months to come.

 

 

comments

  1. avatar Sodbuster says:

    “Ruger’s rifle here has only seen a few rounds, but I’m looking forward to testing it completely in the weeks to come. I will be taking an in-depth look at the 350 Legend and what it offers Midwestern hunters and shooters all over the country.”

    Wake me when you got actual info on the rifle’s performance. Otherwise just call this type of article what it is, an “unboxing.”

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      He already called it exactly what it was; a “first look”. As in; someone’s first impressions of… something. As in; A first look at… something… but all the facts aren’t in yet.
      Words mean things. If they didn’t, communication would not be possible.

  2. avatar jwm says:

    I wonder how much influence the .357 maximum had on the .350 design?

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Isn’t it just another “necked up .223 for an AR with different capabilities” round?

  3. avatar Wedge259 says:

    Assuming this runs at “rifle” pressures, I would assume a standard 9mm pistol suppressor is not strong enough to handle this cartridge?

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Yeah, I was wondering that myself.

    2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      It depends, most of the better 9mm cans, especially those designed more for sub guns (Dead Air Wolf 9sd, SiCo Omega 9k, Rugged Obsidian 9, etc..) can handle full power supersonic 300blackout. I cant imagine the 350 Legend is significantly more powerful from the standpoint of pressure and gas volume than that.

  4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I can see the appeal in an AR-15, but in a bolt gun I’d be a lot more interested in the .350 Legend if they had made it for a .308 length action. It’s supposed to outperform the .30-30 but it barely matches it with the old round nosed bullets. Hornady’s 160gr FTX in .30-30 far outclasses the Legend. My other gripe is that they don’t offer anything heavier than 180gr when it takes 200gr to match the sectional density of a 150gr .308 bullet. Lengthen the case a half inch and put in a 200gr and claim it rivals the .35 Remington. Sell the ammo for $12/box and now you’ve got a winner IMHO.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Governor Le Petomane,

      Unfortunately, the Midwestern states like to mandate a maximum case length that does not allow a longer case.

      Those states did that expressly to limit muzzle velocity (via limiting powder capacity).

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Whoa, I need more than that! Mandating a maximum case length for WHAT? I have never even heard of a 350 Legend, are you saying somebody has mandated a maximum case length for it? Or are you saying a maximum case length, period, like a .308 is illegal?

        1. avatar El Duderino says:

          Lots of Midwestern/Great Lakes states have strict regulations on cartridge dimensions for big game hunting.

          Most of them can be summed up with: “straight wall, shorter than .45/70.” Ruger has been buddy-buddy to this crowd at least going back to the Deerstalker .44 Mag carbine. I don’t live in those states but own a Ruger Ranch .450BM left hand rifle made specifically for those places.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Yep, I learned that today. I think I was thrown for a loop because .45-70 has an exemption in Iowa and it never occurred to me that it didn’t just meet the criteria.

        In lieu of a longer .350 Legend then I think I’d be more interested in a 1.8″ case length in .375 or .416 or something around there.

  5. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Wanted to by a Ruger American, went to look and hold one, it felt cheap in every sense of the word…I expected better coming from Ruger…

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      It is an entry level rifle. It is supposed to be cheap. But among cheep rifles it is the best of breed. What you are telling that you don’t want an entry level rifle.

      I have the Ruger American Ranch in the original 5.56/.223 chambering and it serves as an excellent complement to my Winchester Model 70s. it makes an excellent trail gun.

      1. avatar WI Patriot says:

        They’re junk, and as I stated, I expected better from Ruger, “entry” level or not…and for the pricepoint, there are better rifles to be had…

        1. avatar hal_greaves says:

          you sound like the kinda person that goes to the Cadillac dealership expecting to get one for the cost of a Hyundai

        2. avatar steev says:

          you say that they’re junk, but also say that you’ve only looked at and handled one. Did you shoot it?

    2. avatar El Duderino says:

      The stock is a $5 hunk of plastic. The bolt makes a weird “zzzzip” sound as it slides against the machining marks. Ruger bluing has never been all that pretty and mine was no exception until I Durakoted it.

      But my .450 will cloverleaf 3 shots at 100 yards all day long. I don’t have to worry about the usual scuffs and dings from brush hunting.

      If you want to lug a high grade rifle with a French Walnut stock, nitre bluing and case hardening, etc be my guest.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Pretty much my experience with the .243 Ruger American. It works and works well. For a decent price. And it outshoots my son’s .308 Savage that cost more.

      2. avatar Tex300BLK says:

        “I don’t have to worry about the usual scuffs and dings from brush hunting.”

        I’ve never understood where this sentiment comes from, every scratch and scuff on my Winchester M70 SuperGrade has a story attached to it. I cherish the wear on that gun. Your grandkids aren’t going to fight over $100 piece of tupperware with a plastic trigger guard.

    3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      If you’re willing to spend an extra $100 the Weatherby Vanguards are worth a look.

  6. avatar Madcapp says:

    That rife is fantastic, in 7.62×39. Wish Magpul made a stock for that.

  7. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Would someone please explain this straight wall thing in the Midwest. And which states. I hunted Missouri a couple of times. While I used my T/C Encore muzzleloader to kill a 10 pt. I had a 7mm Magnum at my disposal. Was I in violation if I had used it?

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Missouri is a normal state.

      The straight wall thing started in Michigan, I think. Iowa has it, I think Ohio. Maybe a couple others. I think they think hunters are a bunch of yahoos who will be launching .30-06 bullets at 30 degrees if they let them and they don’t want bullets dropping 5 miles away (3 miles is much better). Before Iowa adopted it was shotgun only, so it’s an improvement, but It would be nice if you could just use a .30-30.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Governor,

        I am thinking that the new areas opened to “straight-walled cartridges” may have actually started in Indiana, although I am not totally sure either.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Could be. Don’t ever take the word of a man named Le Petomane without checking on Wikipedia to make sure he knows what he’s talking about.

      2. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

        Wait a minute. This is not making any sense. I served with two guys from Ohio. This was the early ’80s. Fletcher was a deer hunter. He said he was restricted to shotgun, muzzleloader (technology of the time) and bow. SSGT Wilkerson was a varmint hunter. He went on to Delta as a sniper. His favorite rifle was a Ruger MK 77 in 25-06. He showed me hunting pics. So did Fletcher. So. Bottle neck cartridges are safe for varmint hunting, but not for deer hunting?

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘So. Bottle neck cartridges are safe for varmint hunting, but not for deer hunting?’

          Yep. However in defense of the states, if you’ve ever ventured onto public hunting land in Iowa during ‘shotgun’ season you’d probably be surprised that they let you hunt with slugs.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Gadsden Flag,

      As Governer Le Petomane suggested, many Midwestern states formerly had large hunting areas of relatively high population density where those states limited hunters to shotguns, handguns, and muzzleloaders only. The limitation was intended to ensure that stray bullets would not go much further than about 200 yards.

      Many/most Midwestern states have seen declining numbers of hunters for decades and wanted to do something to encourage more people to participate. Since shotguns often produce way too much recoil for children and women (and even some men, especially as men get older), those Midwestern states discovered that they could allow rifles with chamberings that limited case capacity and hence muzzle velocity to keep stray bullets limited to about 200 yards.

      The result: most Midwestern states (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Iowa I believe) now allow said rifles. Those rifles were traditionally Magnum pistol calibers which achieve a significant boost in muzzle velocity with long barrels. For example, a .44 Magnum rifle with a 22 inch barrel will launch full-power loads with 240 grain bullets at upwards of 1,800 feet per second. That provides excellent “knock-down” power to about 150 yards without anywhere near the recoil of a 12-gauge shotgun. And if you are satisfied with a maximum range of something like 100 to 125 yards, a rifle in .357 Magnum with full-power loads can do the trick with even less recoil than the same rifle in .44 Magnum.

      Of course this article illustrates a cartridge and rifle quite literally made for the limited allowable velocity/range of rifles in the restricted portions of Midwestern states. Given that there are something like 2 million hunters who could use and benefit from such a rifle and cartridge combination, I think Ruger and other firearm manufacturers will enjoy respectable sales.

      1. avatar Tim says:

        And, I think that other factor that (being a Pennsylvanian) I never understood about this, and Midwesterners most likely take for granted, is that the midwest is *flat*. Until I was driving through Ohio (to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, which is awesome!) I never realized quite how flat it was, and how there wasn’t any terrain to catch stray rounds from careless hunters.

        I think I even made a comment to my dad of, “Oh, now I can understand what those folks on TTAG are saying about the straight walled case restrictions here!”

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        AH! I see now! These new designs are mandated by governments for our own good. IOW, I have no need to even think about their capabilities or costs, unless my government has its hooks in my freedoms.

        I *thought* I was going to hear reasons why a new cartridge was superior to another, or to an established cartridge, not just another chapter in the trek toward .22 short for everything.

        1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          LarryinTX,

          Are you ready for the proverbial frosting on the cake? In Michigan you can hunt for coyotes with any rifle caliber that you want. You just cannot use that same rifle to hunt for deer or bear!

  8. avatar Patrick H says:

    I wonder if the 45-70 counts as a straight walled cartridge in those Midwestern states?

    1. avatar Josh Wayner says:

      No. Case is too long. 1.8″ max case length.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        Doh! Well that negates everything I said above about the .350. These are some pretty pointless laws.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        However – from the IA hunting regulations handbook;

        The following cartridges do not meet the
        above criteria, but are allowed: .444 Marlin, .375
        Winchester and .45-70 Govt.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Guv, the exceptions are just there to make it more confusing. Why not just give up, have all your nasty guns destroyed?

  9. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Yet another instance where the gun community has shown that these sorts of regulations are stupid. Go ahead, outlaw pistol grips. We’ll design around that. Outlaw detachable magazines. No big deal – fixed mags and charger clips have been around since the 1880’s. Outlaw center-fire rifle cartridges. No sweat – we’ll create a case that meets your silly reg, and then we’ll pack it full of powder, giving us center-fire rifle performance.

    Bottom line for legislators and regulators: You’re imbeciles. You probably think you can outlaw fire by outlawing Bic lighters.

    1. avatar GoBlue says:

      The regulations were put in as a restriction for the manufactures to get around, they were made as a guideline. In Michigan before the straightwall cartridges were allow the the lower 1/3 (most populated) was restricted to shotgun/muzzleloader only. You had to travel north of the “shotgun zone” to use a rifle.
      The regulation change opened up the ability to use a lower powered rifle in the southern zone.

  10. avatar Mary Prather says:

    Perhaps there is an explanation: why didn’t Ruger chamber the excellent Mini-14 in 350 Legend?

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Sounds like a ’14 could be chambered in it without much difficulty.

      But why bother? Ruger has a ’14 in .300 BLK already…

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        All fine, but .300 blk is not a straight walled case, therefore illegal.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        What about the cost of ammo. Apparently .350 can be had for 10 dollars a box. What does 300 blk cost?

        1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

          More than that for decent factory ammo.

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          .300 blk quality ammo is about $10 for a box of 10. I note that this ammo does not address the capacity of its “$10 box”.

  11. avatar Mark H says:

    A silly cartridge for three and a half states? What is is with the midwest and their goofy fetish for straight walled cartridges and hunter orange?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Mark H.,

      At least four of the Midwestern states have long and deep Progressive roots. As you should know by now, Progressive ideallogy considers the masses to be overgrown toddlers who cannot act responsibly and therefore requires government to take care of them. Hence pervasive laws dictating which firearm platforms and which clothing hunters must use.

  12. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Reply to Dyseptic Gunsmith’s comment that legislators in Midwestern states have unwittingly allowed center fire rifle performance:

    Not exactly. The requirement for rifles in the limited firearm areas (at least in Michigan anyway):
    — minimum .35 caliber
    — maximum 1.8 inches case length

    Those two combined requirements limit maximum effective range to about 150 yards with rifles chambered in Magnum handgun calibers and about 200 yards with this .350 Legend cartridge and the .450 Bushmaster cartridge. Beyond those ranges, the bullets are dropping like crazy and their velocities are falling below ethical standards.

    Needless to say, traditional centerfire rifle calibers such as .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, and .30-06 Springfield are nicely suited for taking deer at ranges well in excess of 350 yards.

    (Note: I tried to reply to Dyseptic Gunsmith’s comment two times and TTaG’s goofy security software keeps blocking me.)

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      All we need to solve the rainbow-like trajectory are bullets with higher Bc’s. The pills I see the .35’s using are pretty blunt. Put in a VLD pill and we could be very surprised with the results we get.

      eg, in the last couple of years, I’ve been playing with some bullets I’ve turned on a lathe (out of copper or brass) that I stuff into a 10mm case. Why 10mm? Because the 1911 pistol I have in 10mm isn’t a BarBQ grade pistol, and because it’s a rough/loose piece, it makes a nice shop mule.

      Anyway, when one quits thinking like a handgunner/CCW shooter (ie, I want a hollow point with a big, blunt looking front end) and thinks more like a ballistics nerd (I want a long bullet, with a tangent or secant ogive), you can get some interesting results in a small package. It might not feed through the magazine on a pistol, but you can single load some darn interesting ideas…

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        how hard is it to turn your own bullets? I’ve thought about dabbling in this a bit. I’m not sure my clapped out Atlas is up to the task however.

  13. avatar jim m borger says:

    in IOWA during january of this year it allowed center fired rifles for deer hunting in 2 counties for 16 days. new legistation for center fired rifles passed the house but didnt have time for the senate to pass, so maybe next year. jim from Iowa

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