360 Buckhammer Core-Lokt Ammo, Henry Levers & the BFR

by Tommy Grant

I’ve been tooling around this spinning rock for going on seven decades and have been shooting for over 50 of those years. In that time, I’ve seen a number of handgun and rifle cartridges come and go. Many of these cartridges were reinventions of the wheel, so to speak, and faded away. Last July, Remington Ammunition announced the 360 Buckhammer cartridge. I was ready to yawn and move along, but noticed that unlike a similar cartridge from a major competitor, it was not just straight-walled, but also had a rim. Hmmm… so, we have a new performance round that is perfectly suited to lever-action rifles, and could even be fodder for a six-shooter!

360 Buckhammer for Lever-Action Rifles AND Revolvers

Remington also had their thinking cap on as several states that used to require shotguns only for deer hunting have now allowed the use of certain rifles and handguns, shooting ammunition with certain specifications. As an example, Indiana used to be a shotgun-only state. Check the hunting regulations for your state to see what guns/ammo are legal for the game you’re after. 

How the 360 Buckhammer Stands Up 

Remington states that the 360 Buckhammer is, “…optimized for lever-action rifles.” Presently, the cartridge can be had with 180-grain or 200-grain Core-Lokt JSP bullets. Said bullets are .358-inch diameter and the cartridge case is 1.80 inches in length, with just a slight taper. Remington claims that the new round is, “deadly and accurate out to 200 yards or more.” Key features include 35-percent more energy than the 350 Legend, a higher muzzle velocity than the 350 Legend, 30-30 and 450 Bushmaster, plus less bullet drop at 200 yards. The Core-Lokt bullet jacket has a cannelure, which aids in high-weight retention and controlled expansion.

The July 2023 press release promised that Remington would have the ammo available by deer season, and they were true to their word. Of course, it helps to have guns for that ammunition, and as of right now I have two guns in hand chambered for the new Remington load. Just as Winchester and Colt did with the .44 WCF (.44-40) cartridge in the era of the Old West, with the Model 73 and Frontier Six-Shooter, Henry Repeating Arms and Kahr Firearms Group (Magnum Research/BFR) have carried forward the tradition making “companion” rifles and handguns for the 360 Buckhammer.

Henry Steel Lever Action 360 Buckhammer Side Gate

America’s rifle is the lever-action repeater. It was invented here almost 200 years ago and remains a popular choice for hunters. Henry Repeating Arms is probably the largest manufacturer of lever-actions today, with eight different models in 13 different calibers. Best of all, Henry firearms are all made in the USA. For the 360 Buckhammer, Henry has chambered their Steel Lever Action Side Gate. This is an old-style rifle featuring a blued steel barrel and receiver, mated with genuine American walnut furniture.

For you “Black Gun” folks, they also make an X-Model. A few years ago Henry began incorporating a side-loading feature on many of its lever-gun models. This makes keeping the rifle topped-off much easier, and Henry has retained the loading slot in the magazine tube. Unlocking the inner magazine tube and pulling it forward allows cartridges to be fed into the outer tube, and with the inner tube removed, loaded cartridges slide right out, and don’t have to be worked through the action for unloading. Ammo capacity is 5+1.

Classic Henry Touches

My test rifle has a standard-polish blue 20-inch round barrel with a 1:12” twist and is crowned for good bullet stabilization. Atop the barrel is a post-style front sight with a gold bead, mounted in a dovetail. The rear sight, also attached via a dovetail, is a semi-buckhorn, step-adjustable for elevation, with a removable white diamond insert just below the U-shaped sighting notch.

If you want an optic, the top of the receiver is drilled and tapped. Finish on the receiver and forend cap are a matte blue. The trigger has a smooth face and the hammer spur serrated. Dark-stained, with a soft luster, the butt-stock and forend are checkered and fitted with sling swivel studs, a black recoil pad is fitted to the butt. Wood-to-metal and metal-to-metal fit are first rate, as is the overall finish.

Magnum Research BFR in 360 Buckhammer.

Magnum Research 360 Buckhammer BFR

We all know BFR stands for Biggest Finest Revolver…right. Here’s another truly American gun; the single action (SA) revolver. A fellow named Sam Colt put the design on the map, and like the lever gun, the SA wheelgun just keeps selling like hotcakes. A song about a Ranger and his sixgun was entitled “Big Iron,” and I’m here to tell you that the BFR deserves that moniker. This all-brushed stainless-steel behemoth has a 10-inch barrel (1:12” twist), a 3-inch-long cylinder that’s 2.75 inches in diameter, and an empty weight of 5.3 pounds.

In 360 Buckhammer, the BFR is a six-shooter and the serrated hammer must be cocked for each shot; the cylinder rotates clockwise. The action has a transfer bar so you can safely load all six chambers. Loading is via a flip-open gate in the right recoil shield; when opened, it frees the cylinder to rotate right or left. The chambers in the cylinder are counter-bored and the cylinder is unfluted. A screw threads through the cylinder base-pin and into the barrel, securely locking it in place. The LPA rear sight is fully adjustable and the ramp front sight can be replaced with one having a shorter blade. Grips are plow-handle shaped and made of black rubber with pebble-grain texturing and Magnum Research logos molded into the sides. Fit and finish left nothing to be desired and it’s 100-percent USA made.

Remington Ammunition and Henry Accessories

As far as ammunition goes, Remington supplied me with 360 Buckhammer cartridges, both bullet weights in 20-round boxes. For the Henry lever-gun I wanted a sling, and Skinner Sights came to the rescue. A new product is the Biothane Super Sling. Constructed of a leather look-alike material, they come in black or OD green. They won’t crack, fade, peel, rot or stretch. The sling is held together and adjusted with Chicago screws, plus it comes with steel GrovTec QD swivels.

Another new Skinner offering is a 1-6X variable scope. It has a 30mm black anodized aluminum tube, with a 24mm objective, is 10.4 inches in length, and weighs 18.7 ounces. Eye relief is 4.0 inches, the scope is nitrogen filled, and the parallax setting is 100 yards. The reticle is SKO-1, BDC-marked for easy range holdover, plus there’s a 1 MOA red lit center dot. Other features include fully coated lens, flip-open scope caps, a power ring lever, and easy-click, covered adjustment turrets. It takes one CR2032 3V lithium battery. Skinner also sent me a Picatinny rail mount and rings. 

Skinner and Burris long-relief scopes.

BFR Acessories

I didn’t try to find a holster for the BFR, although you can get a Havana Brown leather Bandolier shoulder holster with belt strap for the 10-inch cannon on the Kahr Firearms Group website. I even thought about a Tactical Single Point Harness Rope Sling with Nylon Adjustable Shoulder Strap that I saw on the TEMU website. Too bad the BFR doesn’t have a lanyard loop in the butt. What I did get was a handgun scope from Burris.

This robust scope has 2X magnification; the 1.0-inch diameter, one-piece, solid tube will withstand the hardest recoil, and is nitrogen filled. It has long eye relief (10-24 inches), a Plex reticle, and high-grade optical glass, precision-ground lens, with a Hi-Lume multi-coating. An internal spring system allows the scope to hold its zero despite shock and vibrations. “Steel-on-steel” click adjustment turrets ensure repeatable accuracy. I requested the satin nickel finish on my scope; it also comes in black. The natural aluminum scope base came from BFR; Burris sent me satin nickel 1-inch Zee Rings to mount the scope.

Range Workout

Gun writers can tell you that some range sessions just seem doomed from the start while others are pure pleasure. This was a good day. The scopes on the Henry and BFR had been roughly sighted in at home using a laser bore-sighter. At the range it didn’t take much time or ammo to get them fine-tuned to the zero we wanted. It started out cold, so we waited a bit and punched some paper with another revolver I was testing before we did the chronographing. My old chronograph hates the cold, but we still got good velocity measurements for the 360 Buckhammer using the Henry lever-gun and the BFR sixgun. You can see those measurements in the performance tables. 

For accuracy evaluations we started with the Henry lever-gun. Three 5-shot groups with each of the two Remington loads were shot from the bench, using a sandbag rest, at 50 yards. Both my photographer/son Jordan and I did some shooting. The best five-shot cluster, according to my calipers, was 1.81 inches using the Remington 200-grain JSP load. Group averages using both loads ran from 2.15 to 2.23 inches The Skinner scope was set on 6X and I think groups might have been tighter, but the Henry trigger pull was creepy and had a 5-pound-plus pull weight that threw off some shots. With the BFR, we used the same bench and bag, but the range was reduced to 25 yards.

Shooting the BFR in 360 Buckhammer.

BFR Accuracy

The best five-shot group with the wheelgun was 0.94-inch using the Remington 200-grain JSP. Group averages were 2.30 inches for the 180-grain JSP and 1.34 inches for the 200-grain JSP. The trigger pull on the BFR was crisp, like breaking a glass rod, and the pull weight was 2.5 pounds. I put up a large bullseye target at 50 yards and shot five rounds of each of the Remington loads from the BFR and got a 10-shot group you could cover with your hand that measured 4.82 inches.

I did this from a kneeling position, but I would recommend use of this position in the field with this heavy six-shooter. A deer silhouette target that showed the vitals was shot at 50 yards with the BFR, and at 100 yards with the Henry; all 10 total shots hit in the lung area.

Findings in the Field

One item both guns could have used was a hammer spur extension. The scopes rear “bells” made cocking the hammers a bit difficult. On the BFR you must cock the hammer with aplomb due to the heavy cylinder. Slow-cocking it messes with the action’s timing and lockup. Recoil with the 360 Buckhammer in the 7-pound Henry wasn’t an issue. Recoil wasn’t terrible with the BFR, but after three shots with the BFR, using a two-handed hold, the index finger on my support hand was bruised and sore.

I ended up putting that fingertip on the front of the trigger guard and I adopted a basket-style two-handed hold while shooting from the bench. I’d suggest rubber grips that fill in the area behind the trigger guard. Both guns ran remarkably well overall. I did find the Henry doesn’t feed cartridges reliably when the gun is pointed straight up while the lever worked. All-in-all, I think the Henry/BFR 360 Buckhammer combo is a hit; just like the Winchester and Colt .44-40, and all I can say is, “Deer beware!” 

Contacts

Remington Ammunition

Henry Repeating Arms

Magnum Research/BFR

  • Shopkahrfirearmsgroup.com

Skinner Sights

  • Skinnersights.comremingtonammunition

Burris Company

Henry Steel Lever Action Specifications 

  • MECHANISM: Lever-action rifle
  • CALIBER: 360 Buckhammer
  • CAPACITY: 5+1 cartridges
  • BARREL: 20 in.
  • OA LENGTH: 39.0 in.
  • EMPTY WEIGHT: 7.0 Lbs.
  • SIGHTS: Step-adjustable rear, gold bead post front
  • FINISH: Blued steel
  • STOCKS: American walnut
  • MSRP: $1,057
Testing Henry and BFR in the new 360 Buckhammer.

360 Buckhammer Henry Rifle Performance 

Cartridge Ave. Velocity Best Group Average Group
Remington 180 gr. Core-Lokt JSP 2316 FPS 1.88” 2.15”
Remington 200 gr. Core-Lokt JSP 2119 FPS 1.81” 2.23”

NOTE: Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in feet per second 10 ft. from the muzzle by an Oehler Model 35P chronograph, and accuracy in inches for three 5-shot groups at 50 yards.

BFR Specifications 

  • MECHANISM: Traditional single-action revolver
  • CALIBER: 360 Buckhammer
  • CAPACITY: 6 cartridges
  • BARREL: 10 in.
  • OA LENGTH: 17.5 in.
  • EMPTY WEIGHT: 5.3 Lbs.
  • SIGHTS: Adjustable LPA rear, replaceable ramp front
  • FINISH: brushed stainless-steel
  • STOCKS: Textured black rubber
  • MSRP: $ 1528

360 Buckhammer BFR Revolver Performance 

Cartridge Ave. Velocity Best Group Average Group
Remington 180 gr. Core-Lokt JSP 2025 FPS 1.49” 2.30”
Remington 200 gr. Core-Lokt JSP 1883 FPS 0.94” 1.34”

On May 9, 2023, Ballistic reported:

Two new Henry lever-action rifles chamber the Remington 360 Buckhammer.

Get ready for the next evolution of the suddenly white hot category of straight-walled cartridges. Remington Ammunition announced the release of the .360 Buckhammer back at SHOT Show. And now Henry Repeating Arms brings the first lever-action rifles chambered in the big-game cartridge.

Here Comes the 360 Buckhammer

Henry developed the new Steel Lever Action .360 Buckhammer and Lever Action X Model .360 Buckhammer in conjunction with Remington. The result is a hunting rifle well-suited for most American big-game pursuits, with performance out to 200 yards.

Each rifle comes with a matte blued steel receiver and five-round capacity. The most notable difference between these two rifle platforms come in the form of different furniture. The X Model comes with black synthetic stocks with modern M-LOK and Picatinny attachment points. Meanwhile, the Steel Lever Action offers a more traditional American walnut stock. Keeping with the modern theme, the X Model offers a 5/1×24 threaded barrel and fiber-optic sights.

“While the past couple of years have been trying in a number of ways, these new releases are a testament to the fact that we have no plans to take our foot off the gas any time soon,” said Henry Repeating Arms CEO and Founder Anthony Imperato. “Whether you plan on picking up the new (Big Boy Revolver) or you will be among those taking .360 Buckhammer out for its very first deer season, we thank you for choosing to spend your hard-earned money on a Henry.”

For even more info, please visit henryusa.com.

Lever Action X Model .360 Buckhammer Specs

Lever Action X Model .360 Buckhammer
  • Caliber: .360 Buckhammer
  • Action: Lever-Action
  • Capacity: 5
  • Barrel Length: 21.375 inches
  • Barrel Type: Round Blued Steel
  • Rate of Twist: 1:12
  • Overall Length: 40.375 inches
  • Weight: 8.07 pounds
  • Receiver Finish: Blued Steel
  • Rear Sight: Fully Adjustable Fiber-Optic
  • Front Sight: Fiber-Optic
  • Receiver: Drilled and Tapped
  • Scope Mount Type: Weaver 63B
  • Stock Material: Black Synthetic
  • Buttplate/Pad: Black Solid Rubber Recoil Pad
  • Length of Pull: 14 inches
  • Safety: Transfer Bar
  • MSRP: $1,091

Steel Lever Action 360 Buckhammer Side Gate Specs

Steel Lever Action .360 Buckhammer Side Gate
  • Caliber: .360 Buckhammer
  • Action: Lever-Action
  • Capacity: 5
  • Barrel Length: 20 inches
  • Barrel Type: Round Blued Steel
  • Rate of Twist: 1:12
  • Overall Length: 39 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Receiver Finish: Blued Steel
  • Rear Sight: Fully Adjustable Semi-Buckhorn with Diamond Insert
  • Front Sight: Brass Bead
  • Receiver: Drilled and Tapped
  • Scope Mount Type: 63B
  • Stock Material: American Walnut
  • Buttplate/Pad: Black Solid Rubber Recoil Pad
  • Length of Pull: 14 inches
  • Safety: Transfer Bar
  • MSRP: $1,075

Remington’s 360 Buckhammer

Remington Ammunition officially launched the .360 Buckhammer back at SHOT Show in January. The goal: creating a “straight up better straight wall cartridge,” according to Remington. The new offering comes optimized for lever-action rifles, promising performance out to 200 yards or more.

“360 Buckhammer is a game changer,” said Jason Vanderbrink, President of Remington Ammunition. “Whitetail hunters in much of the country needed a straight wall cartridge that functions flawlessly in a lever action rifle – and doesn’t compromise on accuracy or terminal performance. I’m proud to say the engineering teams at Remington and Henry have delivered.”

Remington Ammunition .360 Buckhammer Core-Lokt

The new cartridge starts with two new Core-Lokt loadings: 180- and 200-grain options. Remington says more options will release soon. A box of 20 retails for $36.99.

360 Buckhammer Features

  • Ultimate straight wall cartridge
  • Accurate & deadly at 200 yards or more
  • Easy to shoot with low recoil
  • 35% more energy than 350 Legend
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,215-2,400 FPS 
  • .358 diameter bullets deliver deadly results on-game
  • Available in trusted Core-Lokt; 180GR or 200GR
  • MSRP = $36.99
  • Multiple lever-action rifle models, including a single-shot version, coming soon from Henry Rifles

For more info, please visit remington.com.

Bonus Blaster: Magnum Research BFR in 360 Buckhammer

Not to be left out, Magnum Research jumped into the .360 Buckhammer game with the recent update to the iconic BFR line of revolvers. The new BFR marks the first handgun chambered in the big thumper. This BFR comes with a 10-inch barrel and a 1:12 twist. Plow handle-style rubber grips help eat up the recoil. A stainless steel finish keeps it protected when you hunt hard in harsh climates.

Magnum Research BFR in .360 Buckhammer.

“We are super excited to work with Remington’s team in bringing the .360 Buckhammer to market,” said Brett Pikula, Magnum Research Master Gunsmith. “With its proven record as the ideal hunting handgun for the American sportsman, I am confident our customers will find this cartridge’s ballistic performance to be exceptional from the BFR.”

For more info, please visit magnumresearch.com.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?

Read the full article here

Related Posts