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350 Legend and Ohio deer hunting legality... I don't think it is.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by mcb, May 3, 2019.

  1. mcb

    mcb Member

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    So though my profile says I am in Alabama I grew up and hunted in Ohio for most of my life. I always dreamed of hunting deer with a rifle there, but for all the time I lived there it was a slug only state, though they did add handgun hunting in the late 1990's. Unfortunately I moved out of the state the year they allowed straight wall cartridges for the first time so I have not yet had a chance to hunted with a rifle in my home state. I have several rifles now that would be legal and given my Ohio roots I was intrigued by the 350 Legend.

    Now Ohio hunting regulates for rifles have change since it was first allowed in the 2014-15 season. The first two or three season it was rifles chambered in one of a very specific list of cartridges (like 357 Mag, 44 Mag, 45 Colt, 45-70, 50-90 etc). Since then the law has change and reads as follows: "All straight-walled cartridge calibers from a minimum of .357 to a maximum of .50."

    At first blush it would seem that 350 Legend would be legal. And I admit that from the first I assumed 350 Legend would be legal in Ohio but at the NRA show I stopped by the Winchester booth and was talking to a Winchester representative there about the 350 Legend. In the course of the conversation I asked specifically what diameter bullet the 350 Legend used and he replied, "9mm". I followed that question up and asked him specifically," You mean it uses a .355 diameter bullet rather than a .357 diameter bullet" and he replied in the affirmative.

    Now you would think .002 inch would not be a big deal but the regulation for legal handgun cartridge in Ohio reads with very similar language: "With 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger." In the case of handguns several years ago I called the ODNR office and talked to an officer about this regulation and asked if it would be legal to hunt deer with a 9x19mm handgun and was told it would not be legal. I asked him if a 38 Special handgun would be legal and he replied it would be. He indicated that the .357 caliber was very specific and was why 38 Special was legal and 9mm was not. So at least at that point in time when Ohio said .357 or larger than meant that very specifically.

    So if that interpretation has continued into the new rifle regulations, and as far as I can see there is no reason to believe its changed, and that the person I talked to in the Winchester booth was not mistaken on the bullet diameter, then it would appear that 350 Legend is not a legal deer hunting cartridge in Ohio.

    That was a lot of rambling... Thoughts from other Ohio hunters?
     
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  2. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    I'm not an Ohio hunter but I imagine a lot will be canceling their order for the 350 Legend for a 450 Bushmaster. What a bummer for the "Legend".
     
  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    like i said winchester could have made a nice round, but they ruined it with all the fibbing and fake hype. everything the 350L should have been they messed it up.
     
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  4. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    I’m sure it will be legal in Ohio
     
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  5. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I seriously doubt that anyone will be prosecuted for this. Over the years we've had similar laws that didn't make sense. They were eventually changed and ignored until they were.

    GA has no mag limit on rifles for big game hunting. But for small game shotguns are limited to 3 which mirrors federal migratory regulations. For years no one ever thought about big game shotgun hunters. They were all removing the plugs and hunting with 4+1, yet the law specifically said 2+1 for shotguns. Which made no sense for rifle hunters who could legally use 30 round magazines for big game. The law was always ignored and no citations were ever written.

    A few years ago an attempt was made to clarify the situation, but somewhere there was a lack of communication. The law now says shotguns used for big game hunting can be loaded with 5 rounds. Which means Mossberg 500's are illegal since they hold 6.

    We also used to have crazy, unenforceable laws about which handguns could be used. They got that right. Now the law simply says any centerfire handgun cartridge.
     
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    They come with a stick that makes them legal under Federal law to hunt migratory birds, could you not use that, just cut to a different length?
     
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  7. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I hope you are correct but I know for sure that 9x19mm handguns are not legal due to the regulations reading .357 or larger. That was confirmed with ODNR. I think if you ask them if a 9mm straight wall rifle cartridge is legal they are going to say no... As silly as that is.

    It will be interesting if this even becomes an issue or if anything official is every stated.

    Agreed but that still does not make it technically legal. Assuming the information I have at hand is correct I would bet doing-dishes-on-open-day-of-deer-season-instead-of-hunting that if you ask an ODRN officer is a 9mm straight-wall cartridge is legal he will tell you no.

    Ohio also had required shotguns to be plugged to 2+1 for deer hunting. The game laws now read that plugs and magazine blocks are not required anymore due the variety of rifles now legal but you still are not legally allowed to load more than 3 rds total in the rifle. That said I can legally hunt deer with my USPSA Limited gun running 20+1 rounds of 40S&W and be perfectly legal.

    Silly laws are silly...
     
  8. redneck

    redneck Member

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    I wouldn't risk it. Not that I think a warden is going to take a pair of calipers to a cartridge to find out its a couple thousandths under the limit, but they didn't call it the 357 legend, so just reading the head stamp could make them look twice.
     
  9. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    Well, “.357 caliber” may not be an absolute dimension, legally it might be considered a nominal dimension. I don’t know, do you? Do “.30 caliber” rifles use .300” bullets? If I loaded .355” diameter bullets in my .357 Magnum, would I be prosecuted? Nope. If I had a tight-bored Colt .357 (.354-355” was common on Colt Pythons) would that be illegal? Nope.

    Way too much overthinking here. Don’t like the Legend - don't buy one I don’t care. But this is really a legal issue, and few if any here are qualified to render a competent decision on the matter.

    .
     
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  10. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    SAAMI spec calls for .357.

    At least the SAAMI diagram on the Winchester website does...

    Probably a more reliable source than the booth guy, I guess
     
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  11. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    yeah I would get a hold of some ammo and mic. it.
     
  12. Redbearcat7

    Redbearcat7 Member

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    If the caliber is not listed in the regulations, then it is not legal. Size of the projectile is not relevant.
     
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  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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  14. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I am an engineer by profession so I overthink nearly everything I do if given the time to do it. It's just the nature of the beast between my ears. It also the reason I called ODNR back when I started handgun hunting in Ohio to get the clarification on 9mm being illegal and 38 Special being legal and the reason given at that time was the .357 diameter. I simply extended that logic that applied to handguns to the new information I received on the 350 Legend and the similar language in the regulations with regard to straight wall rifles.

    That said if I implied that my opinion state here or up thread was some official legal ruling I apologize. It is simply my opinion based on the info I have been able to gather. Information that could be erroneous and thus render my opinion incorrect.

    As someone that still has family land back in Ohio, some interest in the cartridge (especially if I get a compatible suppressor), and two lowers looking for an upper it seemed a good think to attempt to clarify. A call to ODNR would be prudent but I will give it some more time to shake out on its own. Might spoil my thread prematurely.

    Thanks LRDCCO. This seems something Winchester would have thought off. Ohio has to be a fairly large segment of their target audience for this cartridge. Maybe they did and I am rambling off in the weeds but it sure didn't seem they realized how Ohio regulations read given the way my conversation went.

    https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/350-Legend-CC-Drawing-Website.pdf

    The above link it to offical SAAMI's cartridge and chamber drawings for 350 Legend.

    The bullet diameter is specified as .357 -.003. 9mm bullet are classically .355 which puts it very close to the middle of the spec range.

    Groove diameter is listed as .355 +.002. Most manufacture I have had the privilege of seeing manufacturing prints for usually hold SAAMI nominal but with a tighter tolerance. This would again seem to indicated a 9mm not 38/357 grove diameter.

    From a purely legalistic point of view. I think this is going to be determine not with a micrometer but bases on some official statement of caliber by Winchester that is then ruled on by the Ohio Division of Natural Resources. It will be interesting to see how it falls out.

    Not true any more. As a narrated in my OP for both pistols and now straight wall rifles. In both cases when Ohio first allowed the new weapon to be used for deer hunting they stipulated a very specific list of cartridges that were legal. A few years after legalizing both handguns and later straight walled rifles Ohio has relaxed the regulation on both. Both are now simply .357 or bigger. An exact copy from the Ohio 2018-2019 hunting regulation pasted below:

    Handgun: With 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger. The barrel is measured from the front of the cylinder or chamber to the end of the barrel.

    Straight-walled cartridge rifles in the following calibers: All straight-walled cartridge calibers from a minimum of .357 to a maximum of .50. Shotguns and straight-walled cartridge rifles can be loaded with no more than three shells in the chamber and magazine combined.
     
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  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Good Lord, the .357Mag has the same bore/groove specs. It should be VERY clear that it's a .357, period. :confused:
     
  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    "Handgun: With 5-inch minimum length barrel, using straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger. The barrel is measured from the front of the cylinder or chamber to the end of the barrel."

    That's another thing I have an issue with. Rifles and shotgun barrel length is generally taken to be a stick dropped down the barrel to where it rests on the bolt face, and ends at the muzzle. Why aren't semi-auto pistols measured the same way?
     
  17. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Yeah I am not sure why Ohio is doing it that way on semi-auto pistols. What define the end of the chamber, the case mouth, free bore, and of the lead? And how exactly do you measure it. The ATF simulates from breech face to the distal end of the barrel or permanently attached muzzle device for most firearms. That said I believe the ATF measured revolvers the same way as stipulated in ODNR regulations. Measuring from forcing cone to the end, not including the cylinder for some reason.
     
  18. mcb

    mcb Member

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    The plot thickens... or not. I may have gotten bad info from the Winchester representative in the NRA booth. Which sadly does not surprise me that much. I should have asked and made sure I was talking to an engineer rather than a sales rep. ;)

    https://winchester.com/350-legend/faq

    At the top of this FAQ the bullet diameter is listed as .357

    The interesting thing though is if you look at the SAAMI spec for 9mm Luger 357 Mag and 350 Legend The dimension for lands and groove diameter for all three barrels nominal dimension is exactly the same. Lands: .346, Grooves: 355. Now both 9mm Luger and 357 Magnum have +.004 tolerance on those dimension. The 350 Legend has only a +.002 on its nominal bore and groove.

    Bullet diameter are list as:
    9mm Luger: .3555
    350 Legend: .3570
    357 Magnum: .3580 (.3590 for lead)
    All have a -.003 tolerance on the bullet diameter.

    One additional interesting data point is SAAMI always puts a minimum bore are for a cartridge and in many ways bore area is more critical than absolute land and groove diameters. 350 Legend share exactly the same minimum bore are as 9x19mm .0967 in^2 where 357 Mag has a very slightly larger minimal bore are of .0969 in^2.

    Pedantic ramblings no doubt...
     
  19. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Am I talking to myself here???
     
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  20. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Nope CraigC I hear you loud and clear
     
  21. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    The bullets are measuring .355" but it is throated to accept .357" bullets.

    It will be legal in Ohio, like was said, there's too much over thinking going on here...

    DM
     
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  22. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I believe I admitted to overthinking things up thread, its what I do sometimes. That said 9x19mm is in fact illegal to hunt deer with in Ohio and that is bases on nearly identical language (".357 or larger") in the allowable pistol hunting equipment. If more than one person at Winchester keeps saying 350 legend is a 9mm rifle cartridge rather than a .357 caliber rifle cartridge I suspect Ohio could make it illegal. And yes I think that would be very silly to do.

    ETA: If the cartridge is popular enough though it might force ODNR to relax or at least clarify the regulation also.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  23. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    Problem is, you asked about "specific" cartridges, and they are not legal. You did not ask about the Legend, and that's the over thinking part.

    Then by trying to switch to diameter as the standard, for "legal".. LOL

    DM
     
  24. mcb

    mcb Member

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    The ODNR is the one that called out the diameter as the reason they gave me as to why 9x19mm was not allowed but 38 special was. I just extended that logic to 350 Legend (due to similar language in the regulations) when the Winchester representative told me it was a 9mm bullet in 350 legend. It appears he may have been wrong and thus the concussions I drew would then also be wrong.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  25. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    Which is exactly what I said above... lol

    DM
     
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