Winchester XPR Sporter in 350 Legend, First Impressions

Rifleman97

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Dec 28, 2017
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Just picked up this little sporter from my FFL today to finally be able to use a bolt rifle for deer hunting with my brother in Iowa.

First impressions out of the box. This is a DARN nice rifle for the $515 I paid for it, the stock looks great, it’s point-ability is on par with the best I’ve felt, the checkering on the stock is nice and sharp. As for the action, it feels very strong, but you can tell it’s a cheap action. Not because it catches, I can’t really explain it, it just feels really light and cheap. Seems strong enough though. You guys will have to feel it to know what I’m talking about, but you can definitely tell the price difference between the XPR and the 70 from it.

I got this from Sportsmans Outdoor Superstore. I would’ve gotten it elsewhere but it was the only place selling a model with a wood stock AND the “titanium cerakote” (Looks like stainless but isn’t) which is my favorite look for a rifle. Obviously I’d prefer a real stainless barrel but what can I expect for such an affordable rifle with a beautiful wood stock? I’m not at all upset about that.
About Sportsman’s Outdoor Superstore: their lead times are ridiculous. I ordered this gun mid October and just got it yesterday. Which, I was warned. But what got to me was the lack of communication. I even sent a couple emails asking questions about a couple of things and no one ever got back to me. So, consider yourself warned that they take forever to ship.

I went 350 legend because that’s what’s legal in Iowa, and I figured I’d do a lot of plinking with it since I bought 4 boxes of ammo from a hardware store for $60 total, so it’s relatively cheap to shoot compared to my 30-06 and magnums. And low recoil, so really a great practice gun.

I have the Talley Ring/base combo coming in a day or two, and I’ll be mounting an Athlon 1-6x24 Midas BTR on it, it’s got a 30mm tube. Really great scope for sub 300 yard shooting, which realistically is the furthest I’ll ever shoot this gun. If I’m shooting further I have my other rifles dedicated to long range.

Would I have gotten a 350 legend if Iowa didn’t have a straight wall cartridge limitation? No. I would’ve went 35 whelen for the nice 35 cal hole in the deer and the perfect amount of oomph. Or I would just use my 30-06. No need for magnums here since the type of hunting is much more close range than my magnums are built for. But I don’t think I’ll have any complaints about the 350 legend other than the fact that I’m having a hard time finding dies to reload. But for how cheap it is to shoot, reloading shouldn’t be necessary. I just prefer to have the ability to make my own ammo in these times.

For the XPR as a platform, my only complaint so far (I’ll find flaws after I shoot it enough to have an opinion) is that the only magazines available for it are only 3 rounds. My M70 in 30-06 can hold 5 rounds and isn’t detachable. I’d complain less if they made a 5 or 10 round as well for when you target shoot, or if they went the M70 route with a hinged floorplate and double stack mag that holds 5 or so rounds. Especially when the 350 is such a small cartridge compared to the other rounds the XPR platform can shoot, like the 300 win mag, 300 WSM, etc. I would also complain a little less if it came with 2 magazines. But it only comes with 1 magazine (despite them having sent reviewers for the XPR 2 mags.) But if you can find the magazines, they’re only about $20 each. Not dirt cheap, but not obscenely expensive either.

Let me know if you guys have any questions about this gun, the XPR platform, or the 350 legend and I’ll do my best to answer them. I’ll shoot it for the first time tomorrow when I get the scope mounted to it. I’ll probably upload more and better pictures later.

Might do a video review of it, and comparison of the XPR to the model 70. Let me know if any of you would be interested.
 

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