Behind the Bullet: 360 Buckhammer

posted on June 16, 2023
BTB 360 Buckhammer Lead

Used to be that hunting regulations were black and white, cut and dry, clearly spelling out the parameters and applicable firearms to be used within certain areas. For example, here in New York, firearm regulations were enforced county-wide, and each county would determine whether a centerfire rifle was allowed, or whether the county should be restricted to shotguns with slugs. This system didn’t always make sense, as the wide open farm fields extending to the base of the rolling hills in Schoharie County were restricted to shotgun use, while the more urban areas of my native Columbia County were free to grab a rifle. As time passed, many states and areas realized there were more specific means of staying safe, yet allowing hunters the best means of making a quick, humane kill.

Remington 360 Buckhammer ammunition.

One of the things I love about Americans is the way they will deliver an invention in response to a new law before the ink is even dry; the ridiculous New York-compliant AR stock is one shining example. So as those states in the Midwest which were historically limited to shotguns looked to allow some rifle cartridges—with a particular set of parameters—hunters began to search for ever-better means to fill that role. Many regulations require a straight-walled case, others a minimum of .358-inch-diameter bore, some specify a case length no longer than 1.80 inches. Cartridges like the .45-70 Government, .444 Marlin, .38-55 Winchester and .357 Remington Maximum were relied upon, and while all are viable choices, hunters wanted a more specialized cartridge to suit their needs.

Winchester’s 350 Legend was the first cartridge created with the amalgamated rules of the Midwest in mind, using a rimless, straight-walled case of minimum legal caliber to help flatten trajectories a bit. Remington has now given those hunters another option with the new 360 Buckhammer, a rimmed case, which I can best describe as the offspring of the .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington, but with a straight-walled case. Looking like a smaller diameter .38-55 Winchester or .375 Winchester, the 360 Buckhammer is based on the popular .30-30 case, shortened to 1.80 inches, retaining the 0.506-inch rim diameter, yet utilizing the .358-inch-diameter bullets so popular in the .35 Remington and .35 Whelen.

Remington 360 Buckhammer Core-Lokt ammunition with lever action rifle on grass.

Remington Ammunition—now a separate entity from Remington firearms—is loading two popular bullet weights in the .360 Buckhammer, reminiscent of those loaded in their .35 Remington. Both loads feature the time-tested Core-Lokt bullet—a cup-and-core classic—in a round-nose conformation which is safe to use in a rifle with a tubular magazine. The 180-grain load leaves the muzzle at 2399 fps, generating 2,300 ft.-lbs. of energy at the muzzle, while the 200-grain load exits the barrel cruising at 2217 fps, producing 2,183 ft.-lbs. of energy. The latter load offers an increase in muzzle velocity of 100 to 150 fps over the celebrated .35 Remington when using the same bullet weight.

Looking to the trajectory of the 360 Buckhammer, when using a 50-yard zero (perfect for a woods hunting rifle) you’ll see the 180-grain load drop 3.4 inches at 100 yards, and 16.3 inches at 200 yards. The 200-grain load will drop 4.1 inches at 100 yards and 19.1 inches at 200 yards. If you hunt open fields or an area where you can stretch things out a bit more, a 100-yard zero will help flatten things out a bit. Remington’s 180-grain load will retain 969 ft.-lbs. of energy at 200 yards—close enough for me to the fabled 1,000 ft.-lbs. required to be effective on deer-sized game (who came up with that number anyway?)—and the heavier 200-grain load will have 914 ft.-lbs. at the same distance. Looking at the sectional density (SD) of the two loads, the 180-grain bullet comes in at .201, and the 200-grain comes in at .223; in spite of the additional mass and SD value, I think the speedier 180-grain Buckhammer load makes more sense for the deer hunter staying inside of 150 yards or so.

Remington 360 Buckhammer ammunition case head.

The 360 Buckhammer was designed in conjunction with Henry, and it makes perfect sense for the lever gun platform—especially those with a tubular magazine—though Henry is also offering a break-action single shot.

I’ve already seen a wave of “Why do we need a new cartridge when we have the .35 Remington?” posts on various social media outlets, and that is par for the course when a new cartridge is announced. I’m not certain that the 360 Buckhammer is going to be the cause of hunters trading in their well-worn and beloved .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remingtons, but I do think it will inspire a large number of hunters in those states like Iowa, Michigan and Ohio to purchase a lever-gun in the new, compliant cartridge which can offer plenty of accuracy and striking power without the rainbow trajectory and recoil levels of the larger, heavier centerfire cartridges like the .444 Marlin and .45-70 Government.

Remington 360 Buckhammer Core-Lokt bullets mushroomed.

I know that for 90 percent of my hunting here in my native New York, the 360 Buckhammer would be a perfect choice, as it has the horsepower and bullet weight for whitetail deer and black bear inside of 150 yards, where the vast majority of hunting takes place. In a world of VLD bullets, 14x magnification scopes and magnum velocities, it is refreshing sometimes to head afield with a lever gun and round-nosed bullets. The Buckhammer should be welcomed into that family of cartridges which have embraced that formula since the 19th century.

Looking for previous installments of our "Behind the Bullet" series? We've got you covered.
30 Nosler
7-30 Waters
.370 Sako Magnum
.17 HMR
6.5 Weatherby RPM
.327 Federal Magnum
.450 Bushmaster
7mm PRC
.275 Rigby
.340 Weatherby Magnum
.416 Ruger
27 Nosler
.257 Roberts
7mm Weatherby Magnum
 .300 PRC
.350 Rigby Magnum
.450 Nitro Express
.17 Hornet
7mm STW
6.8 Western
.375 Ruger
.223 Remington
• 6.5x55 Swedish
.416 Remington Magnum
.300 Winchester Short Magnum
28 Nosler
6.5 PRC
.22 WMR
.458 Winchester Magnum
.22 Hornet
.280 Ackley Improved
.240 Weatherby Magnum
.458 Lott
• .264 Winchester Magnum
• .348 Winchester
33 Nosler
• .260 Remington
• .30-30 Winchester
• .416 Rigby
 .358 Norma Magnum
• .22 LR
• 7mm-08 Remington
• 8mm Remington Magnum
• .338 Federal
• .224 Valkyrie
• .338-06 A-Square
• 9.3x62mm Mauser
• .257 Weatherby Magnum
• .45-70 Government
• .300 H&H Magnum
• .25-06 Remington 
• .30-06 Springfield
• 6.5 Creedmoor
• .300 Remington Ultra Magnum
• 7mm Remington Magnum
• .470 Nitro Express
• .280 Remington
• .300 Winchester Magnum
• .270 Winchester
• .222 Remington
• .45 ACP
• .404 Jeffery
• .44 Remington Magnum 
• .41 Remington Magnum
• .243 Winchester
• .338 Winchester Magnum
• .357 S&W Magnum
• 6.5-284 Norma
• 8x57 Mauser
• .38 Smith & Wesson Special
• 7x57mm Mauser
• 9mm Luger
• .35 Whelen
• .454 Casull
• .375 H&H Magnum
• .45 Colt
• .22-250 Remington
• 10mm Auto
• .308 Winchester


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