Indiana has some restrictions on what you can hunt with. Specifically, they restrict what a cartridge’s overall length can be if used for hunting. This year they increased it to 1.8 inches and A. J. Brown Arms is taking advantage of that with a new chambering.
What they’ve done is effectively shortened the .358 Winchester to an Indiana-legal length, without changing its ballistics. Both the .358 Winchester and the .358 Hoosier use .308 cases, and as such any .308 rifle or rifle in .308’s child chamberings, with bolts and extractors to match, can be converted to shoot Hoosier. (That sounds wrong.)
From the man himself: “This is not a wildcat boasting the highest possible velocity with the 1.800 maximum case length. However, it is a very practical wildcat. It offers economical basic rifle and brass costs, easily formed and loaded brass, and all the bullet velocity, energy, and accuracy needed to cleanly take deer up to the maximum distance at which probably 99 percent of the hunters are capable of accurately placing a bullet under field conditions.”
To be more specific, Hoosiers loaded with180 grain bullets make 2650 ft/sec, 200 grain bullets 2525 ft/sec, and A. J. Brown Arms will be offering custom bolt-action rifles and TC Encore barrels along with their new ammo for hunters all across Indiana.
Is this completely necessary? Not really. They’re deer, people hunt them with handguns. Is a cartridge matching the .358 Winchester a good thing? Both Chuck Hawks and and Speer have said that they consider “the .358 Winchester is one of the best woods cartridges ever designed.” Those are ringing endorsements.
Frankly, we like it ’cause it’s got Hoosier right in the name. Even if it means accidentally saying “Let’s go shoot some Hoosiers.”