Winchester 400 Legend: Why Another New Cartridge?

With less recoil and greater accuracy in this new straight-wall cartridge from Winchester, there’s no more need to slug it out.

by posted on April 17, 2023
Bachman 400 Legend 8

As one of the first people to use the Winchester 350 Legend cartridge in the field, I instantly loved it. The reason was simple: It possessed incredible knockdown power with minimal recoil. The cartridge was not designed for long-range shooting by any stretch, but for 200-yard and closer shots this was perfect. This became our go-to gun-and-ammo combination for all our youth rifle hunts, and also a great option for states with straight-wall cartridge requirements. At the end of the day, if a state allows both a shotgun slug or a straight-wall cartridge like the 350 Legend, I’d much prefer a kid shooting the 350 Legend … and even for myself. Less recoil, greater accuracy, and definitely more fun to shoot than a shotgun slug.

So now comes the question, why the 400 Legend? The demand was definitely there for the 350 Legend, but of course, like many things, it had certain limitations. For those hunters looking for more range with heavier bullet weight options, the 400 Legend does fill a gap. It has more than 25 percent more energy and greater penetration than the 350 Legend, with the energy equivalent to a 450 Bushmaster—but with 20 percent less recoil.'

With the Winchester 215-gr. Power-Point bullet, you get the deep penetration that’s needed for a quick knockdown, along with the accuracy needed for taking down big game. In comparison, the 400 Legend has 55 percent less recoil than a 12-gauge slug. For me, this is huge, having grown up in Minnesota where we lived in a slug-only zone. I began shooting slugs at the age of 12 and would have preferred the option of a straight-walled cartridge if possible. It also has 100 precent more energy than a 12-gauge slug at 100 yards, which is super impressive.

There is nothing wrong with shooting slugs, but I know that the recoil and accuracy of a shotgun slug can be hard for some people to manage both on the range and in the field. Also, more and more states are offering straight-wall cartridge options where only slugs were once available. I’m thrilled to see Winchester introducing innovative products that can help improve a hunter or sport shooters experience.

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