Deer hunters take notice, we've found a rifle you didn’t know you wanted to shoot, in a caliber you didn’t know you needed. The new CMMG Resolute Mk4 chambered in .350 Legend is proof that there are some darn pleasant surprises in new guns these days. Guns.com gets the nitty-gritty details on a well-dressed .350 Legend rifle.
Meet the CMMG Mk4 Resolute 300
Launched simultaneously at the 2019 SHOT Show alongside Winchester’s XPR bolt-action as part of a splashy .350 Legend caliber announcement, this AR-platform has quietly set the standard for semi-autos in the new .350 Legend chambering. This carbine length, gas-driven semi-automatic is fitted with a 16-inch medium taper barrel.
The 1:16 twist rifling works to stabilize the wide range of .350 Legend bullets. The barrel is threaded at 1/2 x 28mm and dressed with a CMMG SV muzzle brake. All .350 Legend sporting rifles require a proprietary magazine and this rifle ships with a 10-round steel version. Five rounders are readily available as well.
Breaking Down the CMMG Lineup
For those unfamiliar with CMMG’s lineup, the Mk4 comes built on a traditional Mil-Spec AR-15 receiver, forged from 7075 aluminum, and then mated to an M4-style upper. The company essentially offers three levels of features, with the Resolute 100 at the lower end, then the 200, and our test model Resolute 300 fully loaded with options.
Aside from the Magpul MOE pistol grip and trigger guard, the accessories are CMMG’s own. There’s the CMMG RML15 M-Lok handguard, oversized CMMG ambidextrous charging handle, ambi safety, and CMMG RipStock six-position buttstock with an ambi sling plate. An upgraded Geissele Automatics SSA 2-stage trigger also graces the Resolute 300.
On the Resolute 300, buyers have the choice of 10 Cerakote colors for the metalwork, at no extra charge above the MSRP of $1,549. Hunters who don’t desire all the finish and frills can find an entry-level CMMG Resolute at $1,049.
About the .350 Legend
When Winchester launched the .350 Legend as the world’s fastest straight-walled hunting cartridge, most folks focused on the bolt-action aspect. The beauty of the cartridge’s design, though, lies in its ability to work with AR-15 style rifles.
CMMG offers not only complete rifles like the Mk4 but .350 Legend uppers as well. To fully understand why the .350 Legend has been catching on quickly, one must know a bit about the round. Winchester's website states the .350 Legend has more energy than .30-30 Win, .300 Blackout, and .223 Rem with less recoil than both the .450 Bushmaster and .243 Win. The round also sees 20-percent more penetration at 200-yards in gel when firing Winchester Deer Season ammunition. The main target market for the .350 Legend centers on states with straight-walled hunting restrictions.
Bringing the .350 Legend’s performance to those states is a game-changer for deer hunters, who will now be able to reach out further with a flatter-shooting round all with low recoil to boot. While the straight-wall case design should have been the center of the .350 Legend’s marketing universe, its low recoil, and relative affordability has made the round appealing to a broad deer hunting audience. At our local gun shop, both sporting rifles and bolt-actions chambered in the new round are among the top sellers for 2020.
Out of the box, the CMMG Resolute feels like a quality-built rifle. It is svelte, weighing just 7-pounds with our scope. It features slim lines, and the fit is exceptional, especially with the company’s RipStock. The RipStock adjusts quickly and easily. Its minimalist design also makes it easy to maneuver in blinds and brush. The rifle weighs in at 6.5-pounds with a length of 32.7-inches collapsed stock. Though a 10-round mag comes standard, 5-round mags are available for those in states with hunting capacity limits.
The trigger is off the charts, as we’ve come to expect from a Geissele Automatics bang switch, but it's unusual to find on an AR that we intend to take hunting. The rifle is lightweight and easy to carry, fires a potent round that is legal in most straight-wall states, has minor recoil, offers greater round capacity than most deer rifles, and best of all, gets the job done in the accuracy department.
CMMG is not known as a leading producer of sporting rifles for hunting, but that needs to change with its .350 Legend variants.
We topped our test CMMG with Leupold’s new VX-3i CDS-ZL 3.5-10x40 scope for both accuracy testing and hunting pleasure. We loaded our 10-round mags with a nice mix of factory ammunition. We shot all types of bullets and weights to include the Winchester Power Max Bonded 160-grain, Hornady Custom 165-grain FTX, Federal Non-Typical 180-grain, Winchester 145-grain FMJ, Browning BXR 155-grain, and Winchester Super Suppressed 255-grain OT. Every type ran through the rifle with complete reliability except a single FTF. We chalked this up to a faulty round of Winchester white box FMJ that had a solid primer strike but did not fire.
The CMMG-Leupold-350 combo fired MOA and sub-MOA groups with ease using each brand of ammunition. It seemed to enjoy dining on the Hornady Custom and Browning BXR. The Winchester Power Max Bonded was not far behind, though. We shot several 100-yard groups that were cutting cloverleaves. We hunters don’t spend nearly as much time with AR-platform rifles, but the CMMG exceeds expectations.
We fired the .350 Legend ammunition through a single-shot, multiple bolt-actions, and now multiple modern sporting rifle platforms. We can say, without a doubt, the CMMG Resolute 300 is the most accurate of them all -- much to our surprise! That's not to say the others were in-accurate, but rather the CMMG was just that good.
I’ve never given much thought to serious hunting with a modern sporting rifle, but a handful of exceptional designs have changed my mind. The CMMG Resolute 300 in .350 Legend has me itching for deer season. The rifle and the caliber make the perfect combination for Midwest Whitetail, brush busting, bear hunting, and especially southern hog shooting.
While new many new rounds come and go, the low-recoiling, hard-hitting .350 Legend is here to stay.