Remington’s new .360 Buckhammer kicks less, shoots flatter than other straight-walled offerings

By Shawn Stafford

This year, Remington is adding a new cartridge to the straight-walled ranks — the .360 Buckhammer — and Henry has decided to build the firearm in lever action around the caliber.

Not growing up much of a rifle guy, a .22 long rifle was as close as it got for me. Smoothbore pump shotguns carried the brunt of hunting activities — from deer to birds to small game. At some point, the muzzleloader came into play, extending seasons, and eventually, my dad threw a .300 Winchester Magnum into the mix as “it would kill any animal I’d ever hunt.”

He was right, but as time passed, the abuse of the .300 was no longer a novelty, and hunting deer with it in the Midwest wasn’t legal. Then, things started to change as states in the breadbasket moved to allow pistol calibers (straight-walled cartridges) to be used for deer hunting. This included the southern portion of Michigan.

Things started to get exciting for me from a rifle standpoint. I quickly snagged a .44 magnum bolt action and fell in love. The rifle, coupled with a variable magnification scope, was deadly out to 100 yards. Then, some manufacturers got serious about helping us straight-walled guys out and giving us more options.

First, the .450 Bushmaster was released, and then more recently, the .350 Legend. It just so happened the .350 was offered in an AR platform, so I added one to my collection. This proved to be a more accurate cartridge while also allowing the bullet enough energy to be deadly out to 150 yards for deer.

As the straight-walled market is relatively young in the grand scheme of deer hunting, it hasn’t had much time to soak. Enter Remington into the picture. They saw a niche and began the development of the .360 Buckhammer.

.360 Buckhammer

Remington does not pay me, nor do I get a kickback for any bullet they sell. The information presented to you is based on personal experience with straight-walled cartridges and various rifle styles, coupled with technical information from Remington and Henry based on their research and testing.

Joel Hodgdon, marketing director for Remington Ammunition, said the cartridge was designed to meet states’ requirements allowing straight-walled cartridges.

Ballistically, if you’re in the market for a new straight-walled gun, the .360 is superior, he said.

The .360 is a 180-grain offering carrying 968 foot-pounds of energy out to 200 yards. The unwritten industry standard for the ability to kill deer-size game (with good shot placement, of course) is around 1,000 ft-lbs of energy, putting the Buckhammer on point. Even for die-hard 30-30 guys up north, the .360 has more muzzle velocity, less drop and more energy at the 200-yard mark.

.360 Buckhammer

When designing a brand-new caliber, you get to make the rules. Hodgdon said that Remington considered making the Buckhammer bigger and faster but opted not to in order to keep recoil mild. It makes the gun fun to shoot for both adults and kids. Remington provided a recoil chart of some famous straight wall and lever gun cartridges available to consumers for comparison.

The .360 kicks slightly more than the .350 and significantly less than the .450. Based on personal experience, a person of smaller stature shouldn’t have any problems behind the butt of something around the 14 ft-lb recoil mark.

Hodgdon said the new caliber and firearm will have a “nostalgic look and a new caliber feel.”

Henry’s Vice President of Communications Dan Clayton-Luce said, “Henry and its engineers are interested in anything new that shows potential.”

Clayton-Luce noted the performance of the .360 and that it takes the effective range of their lever guns from 100 yards out to 200.
As far as what offerings to expect from Henry, they will first roll out the .360 Buckhammer with an American Walnut stock and the X Model cladding. The X Model will have a threaded barrel for a suppressor if you want to go that route. Henry will eventually have a single-shot model available for the guys in Illinois so they can join in on the fun.

Remington has been making brass for the .360 since early 2023, and Henry unveiled the first two rifles at the NRA Show in April 2023. They plan to have both rifles and ammo available following the unveiling, but there likely will not be enough to fill the initial demand. As production continues, those who wish to fill our tags with a modern cartridge in a distinctly historic rifle this fall will have a chance to do so.

Both men were asked what their respective companies do to support conservation and the way of life we love so much. Henry maintains an entire arm of their company, Guns for Great Causes, that supports charitable efforts, including wildlife conservation and firearm safety education.
Remington proudly boasts on their site of partnerships with various national conservation groups. Hodgdon mentioned they also provide ammunition to youth shooting sports programs each year.

Regardless of whether you opt to head to the woods with the .360 Buckhammer in a Henry lever action or use your old standby, hopefully, you shoot straight and your freezers are full. Take a kid or new hunter to share the deer season’s joy.

Shawn Stafford has hunted and fished from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rockies and from the tip of Florida to Lake Superior over the last 35 years. Regardless, he always finds himself in Michigan chasing deer, managing habitat and enjoying outdoor experiences in the Great Lakes State.