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400 Legend Ballistics From The Leading Ammunition Manufacturer

Written by Sam Jacobs Subject: Gun Rights

Winchester's new 400 Legend is an appealing rifle cartridge because sportsmen can use it to take whitetail, black bear, and other medium game in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and other states which prohibit bottleneck rounds for hunting.

This new straight-walled cartridge does have its limitations, though. Scroll through the spec charts below to better understand 400 Legend ballistics, its effective range, and how various bullets perform at the shooting range and in the field.

How Do 400 Legend Ballistics Compare to Other Rifles?

Have you ever wondered how the 400 Legend stacks up against other hunting cartridges like the 360 Buckhammer, 12 Gauge slug, 350 Legend, or 450 Bushmaster? In some instances it has less recoil, better knockdown power, and greater penetration – but is it better than what you're currently hunting with?

400 Legend Velocity

The rate at which the bullet exits the rifle barrel is the muzzle velocity, measured in feet per second (fps).

A longer barrel length generally produces a higher muzzle velocity, as it gives the propellant gasses more time to exert their energy against the base of the projectile. A bolt-action rifle with a 22" barrel will produce higher velocities than a carbine with a 16" barrel, even though you're firing the same 400 Legend ammo.

Its design and weight also play significant roles in how much velocity a projectile will exhibit at any point downrange. For example, polymer-tipped hollow point boat tail projectiles conserve velocity more efficiently than traditional soft point bullets, and heavier bullets tend to have lower muzzle velocities than lighter ones.

Handloads also tend to have higher velocities than factory-loaded 400 Legend ammunition. This is just one reason why reloading is so popular among competitive shooters and serious hunters.

The muzzle velocity of factory 400 Legend ammo normally ranges from 1,000 fps to 2,250 fps.

400 Legend Kinetic Energy

A bullet's kinetic energy is measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs). Muzzle energy reflects the force with which a bullet leaves the barrel. Heavier bullets tend to have higher muzzle energy, although velocity is a significant factor.

According to Savage Arms, "Winchester Repeating Arms claims the 400 Legend has the energy equivalent to the .450 Bushmaster but with 20% less recoil."

The Winchester Power-Point 215 grain soft point bullet has a muzzle energy of 2,416 ft-lbs. At 200 yards downrange, its kinetic energy has dropped to 1,132 ft-lbs.

400 Legend Effective Range

Like other straight wall cartridges, the 400 Legend cartridge offers a limited range for deer hunting.

Three hundred yards is about the maximum effective range for the 400 Legend in the hands of an average shooter. Highly skilled shooters might be able to push that distance out to 350-400 yards, on a good day.

Continue reading the full guide on 400 Legend ballistics and see comprehensive tables.

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