Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-frame revolver (Image courtesy JWT for
Previous Post
Next Post


It didn’t take much imagination to come up with the name. Almost 20 years after Smith & Wesson introduced the X-Frame revolver and the .500 S&W Magnum to the world, Smith has taken a decidedly different turn with the X-tra large wheel gun.

For 2022, they made a middle-bore on the big frame. They call it the Model 350 and chambered it in .350 Legend.

I’m a huge fan of these huge guns and not just because JDub likes ’em thicc. The X-Frames are just made well. I don’t know if it’s because there’s lots of space to work with, or because the large amount of polished real estate makes any mistakes easy to see.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

Whatever the reason, it’s easy to see the quality throughout the Model 350.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

Particularly nice is how well the entire top of the gun is finished. Not only is the entire surface bead-blasted to a non-reflective finish, but the serrations continue in solid lines up through the ramp of the front sight.

Note that the port isn’t just a hole in the barrel, but a cut-out from the ramp of the front sight. This leaves the ramp forward of the port to continue up in an imaginary line to meet the edge of the front sight. It’s a great bit of functional design that looks classy on the big wheelgun.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

The wide top port of the compensated muzzle sits just in front of the pinned red ramp front sight. The adjustable rear sight has a square cut with a white outline, and the elevation and windage move with solid clicks (but only when you want it to, not under recoil).

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

The hammer spur is wide, flat, and very heavily textured. It looks right, but it also works right, giving the shooter solid purchase to work the gun in single action, even with winter gloves on.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

Take a look at that massive crane and the ball-detent. It’s all smooth, with no rough edges or machine marks (photo taken after all the shooting was done and not cleaned). Push the cylinder release and that seven-shot cylinder falls out with some heft. The release never failed to let go or catch back, nor would I have expected it.

The Model 350 does, unfortunately, include the internal lock. I find these nothing but an overcomplication and potential source for failure. That said, in all of the S&W guns I’ve fired and the tens of thousands of rounds I’ve fired through them, I think I’ve only actually experienced one lock up inadvertently. But, as my mom would say “It takes a whole lot of “atta-boys” to make up for one ‘oh shit.'”

Smith & Wesson has been filling cylinders with non-rimmed auto-loading cartridges for over a century. The technique is fairly simple — moon clips. The same goes for the Model 350.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

You’ll need to use the two supplied seven-round moon clips in order to load the revolver.  The moon clips are stout enough to hold the cartridges, but thin enough and wide enough that you can pull each round out without a tool. It’s a lot easier if you just load six, as your fingers will have more room to work.

Don’t expect reloading to be fast. All the casings come out together with a solid push of the plunger, but since it’s 7 long cases in a not-so-tight moon clip, they don’t hold perfectly straight.  That means a bit of maneuvering to get them to line up with their respective places in the cylinder. If the moon clips were thicker and held the cases more firmly, this might fix the issue, but then you’d likely want a tool to remove the empties.

It seems that the larger the revolver, the better the trigger pull feels, at least within the same action. That’s certainly the case for the Model 350. The single action pull weighs in at 4lbs, 3.5oz and the double action breaks at 11lbs 1.9oz, when averaged over five pulls on a Lyman digital trigger scale.

Like all modern S&W triggers, it’s a solid pull will very little stack toward the rear wall in double action, and nothing but a clean break on the single action.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

You’ll also find the same large grooved rubberized grip on the Model 350 as the other X-frames. These grips aren’t particularly attractive, but they provide a solid purchase on these notoriously heavy-recoiling guns, even when wet.

Except this gun isn’t heavy recoiling at all.

The entire X-Frame line screams “BIG GUN.” No matter what the barrel length, these are massive revolvers. The Model 350 is certainly no different. With its 7.5″ barrel, the gun weighs just a hair under four and a half pounds. That’s as big as the Colt Dragoons of yore, putting them squarely in the “saddle gun,” not “belt gun” category. If you want to carry this revolver into the field, it’s best in-hand, and second best in a solid chest rig, like the ones offered from Simply Rugged.

Of course, the reason for those damn big guns is because they fire damn big bullets. Originally designed for the .500 S&W Magnum, the X-frame needed every bit of that metal and a big ol’ cylinder to handle such a massive and capable cartridge. That goes double for the even more energetic .460 S&W Magnum.

The .350 Legend is no .500 S&W Magnum.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

The .350 Legend round was created by Winchester in 2019 specifically to comply with the laws that require straight walled cartridge cases for hunting. There’s really no parent case to the .350 Legend, but as the case has the same rim diameter of the .223 Remington, it’s fair to think of it as a straight-walled .223 with a .357″ bullet. The .357 Magnum and the .350 Legend barrels both share the same SAAMI barrel bore and groove diameter, and both should have a bullet exiting the barrel at .355″ in size.

A ballistic twin of the century old .35 Remington, the .350 Legend checks off a lot of boxes. It runs fine in lightweight bolt action rifles. It runs in AR-15 platforms with full magazine capacity. It’s fast, for a straight-walled cartridge. It’s legal in Ohio and public land Indiana hunts (and other straight-walled only areas) and it’s made in several varieties by major manufacturers.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

I’m hoping the .350 Legend is a lot more available in those areas that require a straight walled cartridge for hunting. I found a total of five boxes of 20 for this review in local stores, and I was able to order two more online. That’s four boxes of 145gr Winchester FMJs, 2 boxes of 160gr Winchester Power Max Bonded, and a single box of 255gr Winchester subsonics, for a total of 140 rounds.

Regardless of what round I fired, the Model 350 Legend is an absolute pussycat to shoot.  You’d never think there would be an X-Frame for the recoil sensitive, but this is it.

Two handed, double-crush and crossed thumbs is how all double action magnum revolvers should be fired, but this one shoots just fine single handed. Seriously, there’s not much to it it at all. The reason is obvious, and it’s not just the weight of the gun.

There’s no getting around the velocity lost that goes with dramatically shortening a barrel.  According to my chronograph on a Texas summer day, the same 145gr round that Winchester advertises as 2,350fps with a rifle leaves the muzzle of the Model 350 at 1,785fps. The 2,225fps advertised for the Power Max Bonded 160gr bullet dropped to 1,635fps ,and the 255gr subsonic round jogs out of the barrel at 846fps, putting that round about equal to a .45 Colt in terms of muzzle energy.

Those numbers put the Model 350 in some very good company. With the same diameter bullets, it’s delivering more energy than any .357 Magnum, but not as much as the rare and exceptional .357 Remington Maximum.

Combine that light weight bullet — compared to the .500s and .460s — with those speeds and 4½ pounds of gun, and you end up with an X-Frame your grandma can shoot, if she can hold it up.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

Of the three different rounds I had available, the 160gr Power Max bullet is the most appropriate for hunting whitetail-sized animals. From the Model 350, it’s barely subsonic at 200 yards. It’s generating about the same amount of energy at 100 yards as a 180gr .357 Magnum does at the muzzle.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

The Model 350 shoots like every other X-frame with a reasonable barrel length, pretty darn good. The revolver has a nice long sight radius and quality sights. Combine that with a solid lock-up, good cylinder throat/forcing-cone/bore diameters, and the recipe for precision is there.

One entire box of the 145gr FMJ round fit inside a 1.5″ circle. The 160gr Power Max bullet scored 1.1″ five-round groups, when averaged over four shot strings. A single five-round group of the 255gr subsonic load opened up quite a bit, to 2″. All groups were shot on a fouled bore, untimed, off bags at 25 yards.

I’d love to see what it could do with a magnified optic.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

With this level of precision and energy delivered right out of the box, I’d have no issues taking our little Hill Country whitetail deer any any distance under 100 yards. Shooting from the kneel, with my hands resting on a stump, I was able to shoot seven rounds in about an 8″ circle at 100 yards, with a couple rounds just outside the white. At that range, I’d limit myself to broadside shots, but at 50 yards, quartering or frontal shots should work just fine.

With only 140 rounds through the gun, I don’t feel like this was much of a test of reliability. That’s a shame, because this is one X-Frame that you could shoot all day long and enjoy it. Nothing went wrong at all with any of the rounds I fired, and I would have liked to fire a lot more. It’s a fun, easy revolver to shoot.

That’s what’s so different about the Model 350 when compared to the other X-frames. Sure, it’s fun to shoot a cylinder of .500 or .460, maybe a box. But, that’s a lot of sound and fury (not to mention expense) to deal with.

This X-frame chambered in .350 Legend gives the hunter an easy-shooting pistol capable of taking pig and deer-sized game at very common hunting ranges, especially east of the Mississippi. Fun guns get shot a lot and guns that get shot a lot tend to make good shooters.

Smith & Wesson Model 350 X-Frame Revolver
Image courtesy JWT for

Smith & Wesson chose a different path with the Model 350, and it worked. It’s really the only time I was ever interested in the .350 Legend cartridge. If you want an easy-shooting and capable hunting revolver, the Model 350 is a solid choice.

It’s a great choice for the new handgun hunter, and one of the best choices possible for folks brush and timber hunting in straight-walled cartridge limited areas.

Specifications: Smith & Wesson Model 350

Caliber: .350 Legend
Capacity: 7 rounds
Barrel Length: 7.5″ (19.1 cm)
Overall Length: 13.5 inches
Front Sight: red ramp
Rear Sight: adjustable
Action: single/double action
Grip: synthetic
Cylinder Material: stainless steel
Barrel Material: stainless steel
Frame Material: stainless steel
Frame Finish: stainless steel
Barrel Twist: 1:16″
Weight: 71.5 oz
MSRP: $1,599 (about $1500 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * * *
The simple mass of the X-frame series is an aesthetic in and of itself. Smith & Wesson does them justice with a satin stainless finish and solid design elements throughout.

Customization * * * *
You can swap out the front sight and there are aftermarket rear sights available as well. There are a few workable mounts for an optic. Aftermarket and custom grips abound, at a price.

Reliability * * * * *
Perfect for the relatively few rounds I put through it.

Accuracy * * * *
Nothing got below the 1″ at 25 yards mark, but plenty danced around it.

Overall * * * *
With the Model 350, Smith & Wesson has turned out a great, big gun in a not-so-big caliber. It’s an X-frame that you’ll actually enjoy shooting…and absolutely not a single deer in the woods will be happy about that.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Hard pass. I already have a 7 shooter in .357 magnum. It doesn’t require moon clips and I can practice with .38’s.

    • God created the .357 magnum. God saw what he made and it was good. And there was an evening, and there was a morning, the eighth day. – Genesis 2:4

        • Actually my first handgun was a .357 Blackhawk. Still my favorite cartridge. And besides, if God started with the.44 mag that would mean he’s capable of time travel to go back in time to invent the .357, and I’m not sure even God could do that.

        • The subject of this article is pretty similar to my Rohm 88 347 mag revolver. I think my revolver is just a little bit better though.

  2. .350 legend is basically a rimless.357 Maximum. A waste of money. Any Smith made after 1982 ain’t a real Smith.

    • “.350 legend is basically a rimless.357 Maximum. A waste of money.”

      Not for someone who lives where straight-walled cartridges are *required* for hunting…

      • Anyone with a brain knows that the .357 Max does everything better than the new kid on the block – the .350 Legend – and both are straight walled cases – but in a a rifle – all you get with either of them is basically the same as a .35 Remington – minus the muzzle blast and recoil – it was designed and works best as a pistol caliber – and yes I have four of the pistols – two T/C G1 Contenders – a Dan Wesson SuperMag – and a Ruger new model Blackhawk – though Mike Bellm has rebored many a single shot .357 Magnum Henry to the .357Max and he uses Ammo well above SAAMI specs – with excellent results.
        The bottom line – anything that the .350 legend can do – the .357 max does better – the .350 Legend fills a niche already adequately filled by a cartridge that’s superior in every way – just like the heavily marketed wonderkind 6.5 Creedmore – it’s more hype than substance

    • to Z

      quote———–Any Smith made after 1982 ain’t a real Smith.———-quote

      Good God, someone on this forum that is intelligent. Good Post “Z” I could not agree more.

      Fuck MIM Cast parts
      Fuck Two piece barrels
      Fuck cheap ass bead blast finishes
      Fuck gritty trigger pulls because of MIM Cast Parts
      Fuck early parts failures because of MIM Cast Parts.
      Fuck trigger locks that can lock up the gun when shooting it.
      Fuck pain in the ass Moon Clips
      Fuck Smith’s cheap ass EDM shallow burned in rifling (torch cut)

      Face Facts when you try and haul around a monstrosity like this you may as well just be done with it and buy a short barreled rifle carbine and in a much more powerful caliber.

      I would not buy any revolvers made by Smith today, none. Would you bet your life on MIM cast parts? Not!

      • Thank you sir. Nice to meet someone that knows real Smith revolvers fitted by craftsmen. Not the garbage assembled by unskilled labor.

      • Very true – it’s also the reason why my pre-safety 629-4 and 629-1 – 29-3 all are exploding in value – I have easily a dozen of them and got them all before the prices went nuts – doubt I paid more than $500 for any of them.

        People really can’t comprehend the issues with Metal Injection molded (MIM) parts – even the people who should know as it’s their business

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful and thorough review Mr. Taylor.

    While I would certainly enjoy having one, I cannot justify dropping $1500 on one of those. If it was $900 I might — MIGHT — seriously consider buying one. (I would buy a Henry Big Boy lever action rifle with polished brass receiver chambered in .45-70 Gov’t for $1150 at my local gun store before I would spend $1500 on that revolver.)

    As it stands I have a nice revolver and rifle chambered in .44 Magnum which I have and will continue to use for white-tailed deer hunting. For the uninitiated, .44 Magnum with 240 grain semi-jacketed softpoints or hollowpoints put a giant THUMP on white-tailed deer out to 100 yards. Every shot is guaranteed to be a pass-through no matter what angle the deer is facing you, at least when you use softpoint bullets anyway.

  4. This is interesting and something I might would seriously consider IF I were someone that already had everything else. This revolver seems to be more niche that anything else found in the possession of those with money to burn. I can see this ending up on the same level as Desert Eagle 50 in movies and safes for the rich.

    • Actually, this one would make a excellent first or second prize for raffles and sweepstakes. Pro-gun orgs and various other groups do this all the time. I’ve seen LGS’s do this as a grand opening kinda thing.

  5. I openly admit I’m not familiar with .350 Legend outside of reading about it, so this is an honest question: for what barrel length was the Legend designed? I imagine shooting this Model 350 would be a hoot (I’d love to try one, though probably not buy one), but would the short barrel length scale back the Legend’s intended power too much?

    Also, regarding the barrel’s finish along the top, I agree that a matte/dull surface is best. It might have been done via soda blasting, and not actual bead blasting. Soda gets the job done but is much kinder to finishes.

    • The .350 Legend was designed for a 20″ barrel (unlike the .35 Remington, .30-30, .223, .308, and most other rifle cartridges, which were all designed for 24″ barrels).
      It works well in 16″ barrels also, and Winchester gives velocity numbers for both 16″ and 20″ barrels for their .350 Legend ammunition.
      The .350 Legend performance out of a 20″ barrel beats the .30-30 out of the same length 20″ barrel. Few people have a .30-30 with a 24″ barrel, but if you do, then .30-30 out of a 24″ barrel will beat .350 Legend out of a 20″ barrel.

      • Try some Buffalo Bore deer grenades – if you want to see some serious thump
        I’ve taken no less that 100 bucks with a .44 magnum – in a Browning model 92 – a Thompson G1 contender – the Smith & Wesson 629-4 and 329PD – and the Ruger Redhawks.
        Started with the 240 grain jacketed softpoint – moved to the 240 grain Semijacketed HP (they worked best in the little Ruger deerstalker) – went then to the Speer 270 grain Gold Dots – and then the Hornady 300 grain XTP – but none of them hit with the authority that the 240 grain Deer Grenades do – though all of them were awesome on deer and even a few bears thrown in – all one shot kills.

    • 20″ rifle.

      It’s a “compliance” cartridge for the 3 1/2 states which require a straight wall or shotgun for deer hunting.

      It makes absolutely no sense in a handgun.

      • Mark H,

        It makes absolutely no sense in a handgun.

        Yes and no. For the person who enjoys hunting with revolvers, this revolver is a nice way to go and is allegedly capable out to 100 yards. The only other handgun platforms which are potentially capable out to 100 yards produce significantly more recoil.

        Along a similar vein, this could also make a good “survival gun”. It is smaller and lighter than a carbine or rifle of course. And yet it is capable of taking medium-size game out to 100 yards. You could wear it comfortably in a chest-rig or even carry it in a backpack “just in case”.

        • Out of a handgun, how is this better than a .357 Maximum/ .357 supermag? Or even good old .41 magnum, which fits in an N frame.

          Shame Jon didn’t chrony some loads. I’d like to know the actual performance numbers out a a pistol barrel.

        • Read much?

          “According to my chronograph on a Texas summer day, the same 145gr round that Winchester advertises as 2,350fps with a rifle leaves the muzzle of the Model 350 at 1,785fps. The 2,225fps advertised for the Power Max Bonded 160gr bullet dropped to 1,635fps ,and the 255gr subsonic round jogs out of the barrel at 846fps, putting that round about equal to a .45 Colt in terms of muzzle energy.”

        • Remember when I say “our little hill country deer”, that a deer around here that has a 160 inches of horns will feel dressed to 90 pounds. What I would take at a 100 yd on our deer I might reduce to 50 on the northern white tail or mulleys.

        • mark h,

          How is .350 Legend better than .357 Maximum or .41 Magnum out of a handgun?

          It (.350 Legend) appears to have pretty much identical ballistics to .357 Maximum so I do not see any advantage in that regard.

          As for .41 Magnum, this article and published .350 Legend ballistics suggest that .350 Legend is capable of ethically taking medium-size game up to 100 yards out of this revolver. I think the maximum ethical range for .41 Magnum on medium-size game is 75 yards. So, .350 Legend has a slight edge in that comparison.

          The most noteworthy advantage of .350 Legend over .357 Maximum or .41 Magnum in my opinion is commonality (if you have a rifle chambered in .350 Legend) and ammunition availability. I have never seen .357 Maximum and only rarely seen .41 Magnum ammunition at local gun or sporting goods stores. At the present time, I am seeing multiple choices of .357 Legend ammunition at multiple local stores. Of course that is less important if you hand-load or buy your ammunition from online distributors.

        • Mr. Taylor,

          … ‘our little hill country deer’, that a deer around here that has a 160 inches of horns will [field dress] to 90 pounds.

          Very true. The respectable BIG white-tailed buck that I shot “up north” was 172 pounds after field dressing. The really big bucks “up north” which qualify as “bruisers” will field dress upwards of 225 pounds. That means they are on the order of 275 pounds on the hoof. Those are monsters and you want a substantial firearm to take them down quickly. That is why I prefer .44 Magnum (or larger) when hunting those areas.

          As the saying goes, “There is no replacement for displacement.”

      • Straight wall compliance hunting may have been what they created and marketed it for, but that is not its strength. Its best use case is as the ideal cartridge for defensive use in the now popular AR pistols.

        As a straight wall cartridge, it has superior short barrel ballistics. It’s rimless and closely matched to .223 Remington dimensionally, so it’s an easy drop in replacement, and unlike the other straight wall cartridges available for the platform, it doesn’t require going to single stack in the magazines, so you still get high capacity.

        Its BC isn’t as good as .223 Remington, but for defensive use (not battlefield use) BC doesn’t matter.

        An AR-15 with a 7 inch .350 Legend barrel will yield muzzle energy comparable to a 16 inch 5.56 barrel.

        An AR-15 with a 5 inch .350 Legend barrel will yield muzzle energy comparable to the popular 10.5 inch 5.56 barrel, and with something like Deer Season XP will still have excellent terminal ballistics at defensive use distances.

        I see this revolver as something like the trend in revolvers chambered for 9mm. The cartridge isn’t the one you would design for a revolver, but it’s the cartridge you have for other firearms and so if you’re going to have a revolver, you want it chambered in it for convenience.

    • The cartridges that perform particularly poorly with short barrels are the ones that are necked. The greater the degree of necking, the more it depends on barrel length.

      A straight wall like .350 Legend performs quite well out of a shorter barrel. It’ll have much more muzzle energy out of carbine or rifle length barrel, but same goes for .500 S&W Magnum, .460 S&W Magnum, etc. Lost muzzle energy with the shorter barrel length will be about proportional between all of the X-Frame chamberings.

  6. “…not as much as the rare and exceptional .357 Remington Maximum.”

    You know, if they can cut the cylinder with tapered chambers to fit the 350 Legend, they oughta be able to cut them straight to fit the 357 Max. I wonder if there’s there a longer 357 Mag cylinder that fits this frame, that could be reamed out another 3/8″ to fit the Max.

    • Nope – been there – not possible – the cylinder is too short for such a long cartridge – but I also have well north of 1,000 rounds of .357 Max in various bullet weights and styles – Just bought 300 rounds of Remington 180 grain SJHP which brings me up to 1,000 rounds of them alone – it’s out there – if you look for it – and if you’re unable to find it there – or are too lazy to look for it – Ron Reed sells them – and I’m increasingly seeing it stocked in online vendors offerings.

      If you buy it – they will make it – and there seems to be a resurgence of interest

      For comparison
      Remington Core-Locked – .35 Remington – 200 grain RN – 2080 fps – 1921 ft#

      All from 8″ barrels
      Grizzly – .357 Maximum – 180 grain FN – 1850 fps – 1368 ft#

      Grizzly – .357 Maximum – 200 grain FN – 1675 fps – 1283 ft#

      Grizzly – .357 Maximum – 200 grain Wide Long Nose Gas Check 1675fps – 1380f#

      .357 Maximum – 180 grain XTP – 1800 fps – 1295 ft#

      .357 Maximum – 170 grain Speer Gold Dot – 1870 fps – 1380 ft#

      The .350 Legend cannot touch those ballistics

      What the .357 Maximum brings to the table – is a round as powerful as the .44 magnum – a flat shooter – with a range well out to 200+ yards (the Hornady 300 grain XTP loads are now good to beyond 125 yards) – and it’s a pussycat to shoot.

      If you don’t shoot lightweight bullets at high velocities and stick to 165 grains and above – you also don’t get the dreaded flame cutting on the top strap of your revolver.

  7. JWT,

    Which suppressor do you plan on adding? 🙂

    Looks like fun to shoot…even un-suppressed.

    (wink, wink…nod, nod…nudge, nudge)

        • The actual measured size of a particular commercial load is irrelevant. The SAAMI specs have tolerances.

          The SAAMI spec permits .350 Legend loaded bullets to be anywhere from 0.3570 to 0.3540. The spec for .357 Magnum permits loaded jacketed bullets to be anywhere from 0.3580 to 0.3550. They both have the same bore land and groove diameters.

      • Whoever wrote that Winchester blog is totally out of touch with reality, the reality of the hard goods. Just load a .358″ bullet in a Legend case and try to chamber it in a SAAMI spec chamber. You run out of neck clearance with a .358″ bullet.
        The chamber neck has to be opened up at least another .001″ for .358″ bullets.
        What do I know?
        Short answer, I chamber barrels to ammo, not to drawings. Paper and steel just don’t match in the real world. THE TRUTH ABOUT GUNS! Mike Bellm

        • The laws in some states require a .357″ minimum bullet and a straight walled case for deer hunting. There’s a reason why I was very careful and specific to write:
          “The .357 Magnum and the .350 Legend barrels both share the same SAAMI barrel bore and groove diameter, and both should have a bullet exiting the barrel at .355″ in size.”
          For anyone paying attention, this tells you what you need to know about bullet diameter.

      • I must say, Jon, the only reason I fell into this quagmire is my dedication to putting some logic into deer hunting & the merits of .35 cal. over all the monster, torturous .45s like .460 S&W that few can shoot accurately.
        I DO like the fact that S&W chose to put .350 Legend in this large X frame wheelgun. However, 1) the Legend factory ammo does little more than full pressure .357 Magnum ammo, and 2) the massive X frame will handle a lot more pressure than produced by the anemic Legend factory ammo.
        Pay attention boys & girls…… handload the 350 X Frame to potentials & you have something for deer & hog hunting maybe worth the price tag!

        OK ref your reply about state game laws requiring .357″ minimum bullet diameter….. Live by the specs laws fantasy land. So Mr. Fish Cop whips out a micrometer and measures the bullet diameter of your Legend ammo and finds you are breaking the law by .002″ with your .355″ bullets? Technically, you broke the law following the logic of your reply.

        As a shooter’s advocate, ref. SAAMI specs, to the extent the throat and/or groove diameter are larger than bullet diameter, the barrel is “shot out” before you even fire the first shot. SAAMI specs are written for the industry & insurance companies, NOT for the shooters! It is fraud, “detrimental reliance.”
        Shooters rely on the published specs and advertising claims to their detriment & come up short to the tune of millions of dollars collectively.

        What does matter is the actual size relationships between bullets, actual throat diameter where the bullet starts moving, and the groove diameter……. not paper specs written by the gun industry mafia for THEIR protection, not yours. SAAMI is not your friend! That is the truth if you live in the real world.
        If the truth isn’t good enough, what is?

        For the sake of the shooters, NOT the industry, don’t be like one well known gun writer clearly stated in a writers’ seminar, “Hello, my name is _____. I write words about guns for money.”

        Come here for a day.
        I’ll show you, straight up!
        When you change how you look at something, something changes.
        I’ve been bucking ignorance for a long, long time & good at it.

        Working for the guy pulling the trigger and NO ONE else,
        Mike Bellm

        • Mr. Bellm, big fan of your barrels and the Contender and Encore platform. Really wish someone would put new life into that brand, also owned by the same company that owns SW. I’m careful in stating bore diameter exactly as I have in order to try and make sure Mr. Fish Cop doesn’t have any more ammo.

      • Thanks for the recognition, Jon, and appreciation of the Encore & Contender platforms. Certainly consider me a resource if you have occasion to write about them. Aim small, miss small in writing, shooting, & life.

        Better yet, how about a Truth In Guns TC blog?
        What does it take?

        I won’t go into S&W wisdom related to shutting down the Thompson Center single shot line after 55 years of the growing number of avid followers. Hopefully at least the Encore platform will be picked up by another manufacturer. Sure hate to see it in the trash can of history. When I veered off into TC barrels in the back of my mind was the thought that after years of gun control threats always on the horizon, single shots would be the last guns we’d have before they outlawed spitballs, too.

        It so happens the discontinued high grade Luxus single shot rifle is a superior Encore barrel platform. Their barrel contour is slightly different, but their barrels lock up perfectly on Encore frames. The lugs and barrel shanks are IDENTICAL. Rights to manufacture, prints, & remaining parts inventory are for sale. Two main important points of the Luxus action/frame are the side hammer and the age old, proven buttstock attachment to tangs on the action via through bolt from the butt. I was well aware Bergara was making unfinished barrels for Luxus while I was a consultant to Bergara in Spain & also chambered a few barrels for Luxus in …… drumroll….. .357 Maximum.

  8. Meh… you can spend 2/3 as much for a revolver 2/3 the weight that fires a .44 mag and get more muzzle energy. Sure the ‘Legend’ probably has a higher BC, but that’s not going to amount to much at revolver ranges. Wouldn’t mind a .460 S&W (since I already have a .45LC), but hard pass on this.

    • The 460 Smith and Wesson revolver is a cannon – not sure what reviews actually mention this, but the Hornady 200 grain loads and the Buffalo Bore 300s and 360s with literally burn the hair on the back of your fingers after a few rounds. I can bench press almost 300 pounds and it’s hard on my wrists. Cool gun for sure, just a handful. Ear pro is a must – even when hunting. These days I’ve been taking my 8-shot Performance Center Smith 627 5″ as my second gun for deer hunting.

  9. Great. A 1600 dollar gun. Chambered in expensive very hard to find ammo. Thanks TTAG for thinkin bout us po folk. I am having a rough go just to keep my .357 fed. Some more reasonably priced featured firearms please.

      • All the cowboy rounds are apparently in very short supply. Not being a cowboy, I have never paid attention to such but I recently inherited some vintage new in the box. Is this typical before the chicom flu/Joe Obiden days that cowboy rounds are hard to find?

        • 45 Colt and 38SPL were never too hard to find, but 44-40, 32-20, many of the other once popular rounds became really challenging. Gotta reload.

  10. Ahhh bullshit, sale them new and improved.
    Elmer Keith .44 Special hot loaded .
    Give me back my bullots lenard skynard.

  11. Great review. Ever since this gun came out I was wondering what the velocity loss would be. I figured 500 – 600 FPS so I definitely appreciate you answering that. I have no intention of buying it, just interested in ballistics since I’m a nerd that way.

      • Probably due to the cylinder gap.

        You lost velocity, not only due to the shorter barrel length compared to a rifle, but also due to pressure/gases escaping out of the cylinder gap on that revolver. (Obviously, carbines and rifles do not have cylinder gaps.)

        Within the last few months I read something somewhere which suggested a rule-of-thumb for estimating how much muzzle velocity you lose due to a cylinder gap. Unfortunately, I do not remember the suggested velocity loss. An intuitive, educated guess is that you would probably lose about 100 feet-per-second muzzle velocity due to cylinder gap?

  12. The serrations continue in solid lines up through the ramp of the front sight on my Phoenix Arms HP22A as well. Not too shabby for 149.99 😁 Somewhat different use case though I suppose.

  13. I had a 460 xvr. It was a wonderful gun. It just needed a new cylinder every 500 rounds.

    I don’t know if S&W didn’t think people would shoot it, but I reloaded so it wasn’t too much money. After 500 rounds it went out of time. So I sent it back to S&W. (they paid shipping both ways) I got it back with a new cylinder and hand.

    500 rounds later it went back again.

    When I got it back I sold it and bought a Super Blackhawk in 454 Casull. Which was fine because most of what I shot in the .460 was actually 454. The brass was a lot less money.

    For what its worth, the SBH recoils a LOT more than the XVR. The SBH weighs 50 oz. The XVR weighed 65 oz. plus it had a brake

  14. Thank you sir. Nice to meet someone that knows real Smith revolvers fitted by craftsmen. Not the garbage assembled by unskilled labor.

  15. Jon, FWIW, powder charges in the Legend factory ammo I’ve pulled runs between 21 & 23 gr., the same anemic loads published for .357 Maximum that the industry has downloaded dramatically to an average of 40,000 psi, from the original 48,000 c.u.p. SAAMI spec. Bullets in all the Legend ammo I’ve pulled measure .355″. What is legendary truth in guns is “the industry” cutting out the little guy that creates a round & a following. Truth IS, I was straightening out .223 Rem cases that end up at the same 1.7″ and had prototype testing rimless .357 MAXIMUM AR and Savage barrels at least 5 years before Winchester jumped on it. To their credit, they did increase the head size and thus put more taper in the case, a good thing for feeding from a magazine. Both the anemic factory Legend ammo and published .357 Maximum data are at least 10% below what they should be running! Mike Bellm

    • Factory loads of most commercial cartridges are much lighter than the spec allows. The SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure for .350 Legend is actually 55k PSI. The SAAMI Maximum Average Pressure for .357 Maximum is 40k PSI.

      • psi vs cup, not equal of course, so the 48k c.u.p. in p.s.i. is what? Falling back on the original SAAMI 48k c.u.p. is the reality I still live in, and even in the old relatively weak Contender frames there is zero reason to not run either .357 Max or .350 Legend at the same pressure levels as 5.56 NATO….. assuming both are given a similar throat length.

        • Both numbers I gave are PSI.

          The discrepancy in numbers you’re talking about might be because of the different standards in measuring chamber pressure. CIP and SAAMI, for instance, report different max pressures because of where they measure from.

          I believe the old SAAMI spec you’re talking about used a different testing protocol and so gave numbers that aren’t directly comparable to the new protocol.

        • I tried to find everyone a simple chart for conversion between PSI and CUP – nothing can ever be that simple – do you have any idea how many ways there are to measure pressure – dozens and dozens – and that doesn’t take into account the metric/English systems
          That is complete insanity – when they all refer to different ways of measuring the same thing – just from different disciplines

  16. For 100 yards or less Iwould use my Marlin lever in 357 or my 92 in 45LC. But I don’t live or hunt in a state that requires a straight wall cartridge. None issue, but up here in the northwest in heavy treed areas it’s hard to beat a old 30-30.

    • Try a .44 magnum – a .35 Remington – and especially the can do powerhouse .444 marlin
      Every one of them outperform the .30-30 in the same format rifle – it’s really no contest – but each to their own.

  17. There’s the real deal 357 Maximum expert speaking and indeed Mike Bellm had shown everyone the wonders of the .357 Max – when everyone gave up on it due to the top strap flame cutting they saw on revolvers (flame cutting from propelling very light and ill advised loads at extremely high speeds just so they could say how fast the round was – a PR move that backfired).

    I took Mike’s advice and added a 10″ bead blaster stainless steel MGM 10″ bull barrel bored to his specs and never looked back – the gun is a sweet shooting longer range (easily 200 yard) single shot – with his special 2# trigger that makes for better accuracy – has virtually no recoil – and it hits with authority – top the rig with a Leupold EER 2X scope and you have a deer killing machine extraordinaire – though I must admit I did the same thing with yet another G1 contender in .44 magnum – and it is actually my favorite – though I often go back and forth between the two depending on where I’m hunting.

    In the Ottowa National forest – there are very few places you can see 100 yards anymore – since the damned fool west coast morons got the feds to stop all logging in the national forests – trees of massive girth are allowed to simply fall over and the lumber wasted – a move that benefits nobody – but hurts everyone – as there is very little food in a climax boreal forest – so you get less deer – less grouse – fewer birds – and higher cost for your lumber – and with all that dead wood littering the forest floor – you get a lot more forest fires – we get our lumber trucked in – despite being located in the National forest – how stupid is that!!!
    Protecting the virgin stands of hemlock is logical – but allowing section after section of soft maple to grow is a complete waste – it’s terrible lumber – crummy firewood – nothing will eat it – and it barely makes good pulp wood for paper mills – in essence it’s just a woody weed.

    Good forest management benefits everyone – but stupid is as stupid does – now you know exactly why mexifornia burns every year – utter stupidity – something never in short supply on the west coast.

  18. Powders pulled from Winchester and Hornady ammo is a ball powder that looks like 296/110, though industrial use powders vary in burning rates from cannister powders. Nonetheless, working with nearly all of the common powders in .357 Maximum over the last nearly 40 years, 21-23 gr. of most anything in range of applicable powders is nothing compared to fully reasonable potentials of either the .357 Maximum or the larger capacity Legend…… which is more correctly .347″, not .350.

  19. Ref:
    “The SAAMI spec permits .350 Legend loaded bullets to be anywhere from 0.3570 to 0.3540. The spec for .357 Magnum permits loaded jacketed bullets to be anywhere from 0.3580 to 0.3550. They both have the same bore land and groove diameters.”
    43 years of rechambering everbodies’ barrels made “within SAAMI” tolerances” is why I do NOT chamber to SAAMI specs. It is also one reason why some products shoot great, some mediocre, & some just plain stealing your $$.
    And NO, they do NOT have the same bore and groove diameters, not by a long shot!
    Reamer pilots don’t lie. Mike Bellm

    • Loaded bullets are not chambers. The bullets swage down either way. A few thou doesn’t make a big difference.

      As to the bore – the specs are the same.

  20. You are aware who you are chatting with right??? – Mike wrote the book on proper chambers and barrel bores – he is likely the top living expert on the subject and I seriously doubt you’ll be correcting him.

  21. Correct him on what? I’m quoting the spec. Now, if he chooses to ignore the spec, that’s on him, but he can’t blame the cartridge for “using .355 caliber instead of .357 caliber bullets” if the spec calls for .357 caliber bullets and he chooses not to use them.

    I don’t really care who he is. The spec is published.

    • Who gives a rip about the nonsense SAAMI publishes?
      It is a lot of just plain crap cheating shooters out of accurate guns.
      I assume you believe the TV national news propaganda because it is published.
      It’s the kind of thinking that is destroying our whole culture and the shooting sports
      we cherish.
      This blog is supposedly about TRUTH, not pandering bull…..

      Let’s expose the lies & get to the truth!

  22. You should care – he is the real deal expert – and I have no doubt he knows a lot more than anyone relying on specs written in a book by someone who knows less that 10% of what Mike does – not everything in the real world is so neat and tidy when you get down to the nitty gritty – just because it’s written doesn’t make it so.

    • No, I really shouldn’t care. Not in this case. An expert can choose to break from the specs to tweak performance, but that’s not relevant to what we’re talking about here. The spec for .350 legend bullet caliber is 0.3570. 0.355 caliber bullets are within tolerances, and are still large enough for a proper gas seal in a barrel that is built to spec.

      That’s the answer. Full stop.

  23. You are an insufferably arrogant moron – as is your review of the monster revolver that it will take a gun bearer to tote it through the forest – Do I have Smith & Wessons – many actually – but all of them (with the sole exception of the 329PD revolvers) are pre-safety .44 magnum models and .22 model 63’s – from a time in the past when Smith & Wesson meant quality – what they pass off now is cheap crap at premium prices – they are making big profits in the hear and now – while sacrificing their future – seems to be much of that going around as well as the prevalence of Metal Injected Molded (MIM) parts (they really go hand in hand).
    What has become apparent to me in this discussion – Mike is the real deal – whereas you sir are just another wannabe – a shill disguised as a gun writer – and you can’t fix stupid.
    With that I’m gone from this absurd post – some on here have a clue and have earned my respect – but you sir are not one of them.

    • I don’t need your respect and from your behavior I’m sure I wouldn’t find any value in it. That said, Mr. Bellm and I are in agreement. I’m not arguing with him.

  24. Nowhere near my cup of tea, altho perhaps it would be useful to handgun-only hunting, or back-country defense in Alaska. The recoil and muzzle-blast of a .35 cal round of that size in a revolver must be incredible! Might be an interesting carbine round tho

    • Recoil will be pretty light. It’s a very heavy revolver frame.

      It should have about half as much felt recoil as the usual calibers from an X-frame.

Comments are closed.