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375 Wby - Good Choice?

This is a discussion on 375 Wby - Good Choice? within the .375 & Up forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Monish, I likely wilkl go out next weekend or the one after that to do more practice with the rifle, ...

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    MarineHawk is offline AH Senior Member
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    Monish, I likely wilkl go out next weekend or the one after that to do more practice with the rifle, and I will chrono it then.

    Thanks Dugaboy.

    Am I corrrect Kelly and Dugaboy that you both have hunted exotic dangerous game many times? I have never hunted something like a brown bear before. I am spending a fair amount a hugely valuable time and money preparing and on the trip itself this September. I also may get the chance to hunt wolves and wolverine at long range. I am very excited. And my 3-yr-old and 6-yr-old want me to bring back a bear. FWIW, I plan to follow the guide's instructions, but hope to get as close as possible to any of these animals. But, say, hypothetically, if the chance to get a bear depends on, at the end of the hunt, taking a 250 yd shot when I have the time to get into position to do so---I'd rather make the decision as to whether or not to take that shot and have a successful hunt after spending so much time, energy, and money preparing for it, based on (A) my own inclinations; rather than (B) because I don't have a rifle adequate for the shot. I know a man who just shot a spring brown bear who he chased for hours, but was going over a ridge near dusk. He shot and killed it with one shot at 270 yds. He is somewhat embarassed because he doesn't like to shoot them at that distance. But he decided he wanted that bear and had a great shot at him. If I already had hunted dozens of brown bear and other exotic dangerous animals, and knew I could do so many times in the next few years, I likely would scoff at the idea of shooting a brown bear past 70 yds. But I haven't; I don't; and I want to keep my options open. My little Ryan and Miles want a bear!

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    Marinehawk my last comment to Dugaboy was a general one and not really directed at the topic of your original post.

    A couple of comments...............and do not take these as being directed at you specifically, because they are general comments based on past experience of having guided hundreds of clients.

    I can tell you that as a guide, I would be very hesitant to ever let a hunter I was guiding shoot a brown bear at close to 300 yards at any time, and most especially not at dusk as it is going over a ridge. Things go wrong all the time and just because someone can punch a hole in the right spot on a piece of paper at the start of the hunt, does not mean they are not going to muff it in the field.

    A fancy new rifle, chambered in a rip snorting cartridge and carrying lots of glass, does not mean they are capable of making a clean shot at 300 yards. In fact, as a guide, that would make me a bit nervous because it tells me that the rifle and quite probably the hunter, has not spent a lot of time in the field and certainly not together. On the internet everyone is very proficient, can shoot half inch groups and think nothing of dusting elk at 500 yards, but in real life most hunters can't shoot worth beans at 300 yards under the best of conditions..........let alone after chasing a bear around and taking a last minute shot at DUSK at that distance. The majority of hunters I have guided over 35 years are hard pressed to make an accurate shot at 200 yards under those conditions and I have met more than my share who couldn't be counted on to pull that off at 100 yards or less.

    And what if the shot was less than perfectly placed to drop the bear in its tracks? (Which would be about 90% of the time or more.) Under those conditions it would be tough to tell where the shot actually hit. The bear runs off and the hunters are faced with coming back the next day because they are not going to be sorting out a wounded brownie by flashlight. It is exceedingly common with bears for the blood trail to dry up very quickly and on many occasions there may not even be one in the first place.

    At that distance and with an animal that size most bullets will not give you a pass through and so the entrance hole is it. This quickly plugs with congealed blood, fat, and hair, the loose hide sliding around as the animal moves..................... not an ideal tracking situation. Big plantigrade feet do not help matters in a lot of typical bear habitat. In my experience you can also probably count on Murphy to throw in some rain or an inch or two of fresh snow overnight.

    The scenario you describe is a recipe for a disaster and it is exactly how way too many magnificent animals are wounded and lost every year. It may be expensive to hunt brown bears, but the bottom line................whether it is moral and ethical to take a given shot on dangerous game.............. is still the same whether the hunt costs $500 or $50,000.

    Sometimes you get lucky the first day, other times you go home empty handed after many days of giving it your best effort every day and hunting a given animal the way they are suppose to be hunted. That is hunting...........well at least that is what it use to be about. Certainly everyone wants to maximize their chances of success and a hunter going home empty handed is a let down for the hunter and it isn't good advertising for the outfitter, but there are lines that should not be crossed.

    When you do cross those lines and everything works out, everyone is happy...........and unfortunately it seems to encourage those involved to do it again in the future. They talk about it and it encourages others to do it, the majority of whom most assuredly do not possess the requisite skills to do it. Pretty soon we have a lot of people who don't even try to get close and worse yet, lose the ability or never gain the ability in the first place, of successfully stalking animals in different types of terrain and getting in as close as possible to increase the certainty of shot placement.

    When it doesn't work out the end result is an animal that is wounded and lost or worse yet, a close encounter with someone getting shipped off to the hospital afterwards.

    But these are just my opinions and many will disagree with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DUGABOY1 View Post
    I simply don't see the point in shooting a big Brown bear at over 100 yds unless he is already wounded, and about to get into the thick where he will be hard to follow and sort out! I guess I'm just too old and don't understand the P-dog rifle for dangerous game thing!
    I am solidly behind Dugaboy. IMHO unless already wounded I wouldn’t consider taking a long shot at a brown bear. There are a variety of reasons to support that position, the least of which being that it is simply not considered ‘sporting’ to do so. Or have the days of being of that mindset now passed?

    I do understand that there is a significant amount of pre-hunt time and effort involved, but that’s the way it should be. That’s what increases our skills. I do understand that there is a significant cost involved in a dangerous game hunt, but that’s partly why it’s considered a special hunt. I also understand that we have a strong desire to cap our hunt with a great trophy animal, certainly that’s why we went out hunting in the first place. But we’re not guaranteed of always capping our hunt in such a manner. It’s not a simple matter of pulling a can of beans from a shelf.

    As Kelly already pointed out, much of our perspective about hunting has really changed over the past 30 years or so.

    MarineHawk, whatever you ultimately decide I do wish you luck with your upcoming hunt
    There is only one degree of dead . . . there are many degrees of wounded

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    I hear what Kelly is saying about hunting. And I definitely can understand marinehawk's view too. I think hunting today, has gotten very, very expensive and it influences the way the hunt goes and our expectations at the end of the day. I watch all these outdoor shows of guys shooting at 550 to 750 yards and think....boy that was just nuts! And they will tell you they practice and do it everyday. Because of wind and other factors...300yds...is a long ways...and unless it was a broadside shot...forget about it. I have no problem with a 200 yd shot and a solid rest. But unless it's necessary...everyone should try to get as close as possible.

    The other thing is Tv and magazine articles....are marketing products...they are editted...they are not real life situations all the time...it's a story. I was just watching Bowhunter TV...where the guy shot a 49 inch moose....and admitted, he made a mistake and it was confiscated...shot it with a bow...didn't have 4 brow tines or 50 inch spread....but it was bow kill, making the guy believe it was alright to thread the needle and take the shot...right or wrong because it's hard to get close with a bow...he did the wrong thing and fish and game got a moose trophy!

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    . . . Kelly, your most recent post is absolutely superb as it truly tells it like it is. There is much truth, experience and food for thought in what you said. Had I seen it I wouldn't have bothered posting subsequent to it as I think you scored a real bulls eye.
    There is only one degree of dead . . . there are many degrees of wounded

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    MarineHawk is offline AH Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by enysse View Post
    I hear what Kelly is saying about hunting. And I definitely can understand marinehawk's view too. I think hunting today, has gotten very, very expensive and it influences the way the hunt goes and our expectations at the end of the day. I watch all these outdoor shows of guys shooting at 550 to 750 yards and think....boy that was just nuts! And they will tell you they practice and do it everyday. Because of wind and other factors...300yds...is a long ways...and unless it was a broadside shot...forget about it. I have no problem with a 200 yd shot and a solid rest. But unless it's necessary...everyone should try to get as close as possible.

    The other thing is Tv and magazine articles....are marketing products...they are editted...they are not real life situations all the time...it's a story. I was just watching Bowhunter TV...where the guy shot a 49 inch moose....and admitted, he made a mistake and it was confiscated...shot it with a bow...didn't have 4 brow tines or 50 inch spread....but it was bow kill, making the guy believe it was alright to thread the needle and take the shot...right or wrong because it's hard to get close with a bow...he did the wrong thing and fish and game got a moose trophy!
    I agree. I'm not looking to make a long shot. I rather would close within spitting distance of a bear. I think/hope my .375 Wby would be good at that too. The glass is a 1.25-8X scope. Even at fairly close range, with the 1.25 setting, I think it's pretty helpful. I have hunted plenty of game with my 2-7X scope on my 300 Win Mag and have "hunted" military targets with both scopes and open sights. I prefer a good scope. Even at moderate range. I like every advantage I can get, especially on a new dififerent type of hunt. After killing dozens of brown bear in the future, hypothetically, maybe I'll use open sights, a bow, or a spear, or something more challenging. FWIW, I practice a lot. And I take that very seriously. I do work very hard to be able to cleanly kill any animal I hunt. I made the best shot I ever have made, and possibly ever will make, 15 months ago on a whitetail buck sprinting through a clearing at 70 yds with almost no time to shoot. I have never missed or failed to quickly drop a mammal I have hunted in 23 years. Maybe I've been lucky, but I work very hard to to ensure the best. I shot company-high at the combat range in 29 Palms at random pop-up targets from 100-500 meters--and I fired less than a third of the rounds of most of the Marines in my company (appx 260 Marines). My company commander was astounded. I also will work very hard, within the guide's recommendations, to get as close to any bear I shoot in September. I'm not reckless, and take the opportunity very seriously. I just wanted the best possible rifle I can have within reason.

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    MarineHawk, what Kelly said is golden, and as he said his nor my comments are dirrected at you personally, but are comment on the changes in the mindset of hunters over the last 40 yrs or so that is the point we were making.
    Today it seems folks are hung up on shooting a mile away, and in my mind that has nothing to do with the hunting of large dangerous game.
    In regard to you posts on your equipment, In your defense, it seems you have prepared for every eventuality you could think of in your choice of arms. That alone is a refreshing change in the way most today go about things.

    The things you chose go right along with your experience with Marine teachings. This is to say that in the combat use, the only place a bolt rifle is used if for long range sniper use. Here a scope is a must, and doesn't need to be mounted so iron sights can be quickly used. Again a push feed action is fine for the military application, because the rate of fire is not as important as the hit, and you have all the time in the world to chamber the next round in concealment, so no irons are needed, and no jam is likely with lots of time to work the action. This is mainly the consideration for very long range shooting.
    That part seems to be taken care of, and the fact that the rifle is equipt with express iron sights as well as the scope is a good thing as long as the iron sights are practiced with and are on target for the verious ranges on the leafs, with the standing leaf dead on at 50yd max. The scope is of the correct power for short or long range, and that is very good. The only draw-back with the scope is that it is not in quality QD, return to absolute ZERO bases, so the scope may be removed, and replaced without loosing zero. Even if the scope were removed the bases you chose would have to be removed as well before the irons could be used. This is a must if you have to go into the weeds with that bear after he has had a hole poked in his gut at long range. On that level, as well, the choice of a PUSH FEED rifle was not the best choice you could have made for brown bear hunting.

    In any event, have a good hunt, and bag your bear to show those two boys! Please post a hunt report when you return with your bear. .................Good hunting!
    DUGABOY1 www.doublerifleshooterssociety.com
    "If I die today I have had a life well spent, for I have been to see the elephant, and smelled the smoke of Africa" qt by Damon(mac) McCartney

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    Kelly I put your above post in a folder and saved it! It is one of the best written responces to that subject I've ever read! Hope you don't mind me saving it to quote you with down the road when that explanation is needed!
    DUGABOY1 www.doublerifleshooterssociety.com
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    Dugaboy......I don't mind at all. Thanks for the kind words, I am glad you thought it had some merit.

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    MarineHawk is offline AH Senior Member
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    I have no reason to disparage any of the other .375s, but I just took a 9'-2" brown bear in SW Alaska with a 27-7/16" skull. I shot him offhand at 97 yards with the .375 Wby. My guide, who had been involved in more than 30 brown bear kills as a hunter and guide over 23 years, said that it was the quickest non-head-shot kill he had ever seen on a brown bear of any size. The bear bolted forward (what we later measured as) about 25 feet, spun violently to his right (guide said to bite what was biting him) and drove his face in the ground. The bear's movements only lasted about 1.5 seconds after the shot. No blood trail to follow.

    300gr NP exited the muzzle at about 2,830 fps and entered behind the right shoulder at a little more than 2,600 fps, blew up both lungs and who knows what else, and exited effortlessly into the blueberry bushes on the other side.









    My guide, with all of his experience, was amazed. I'm sure other .375s would have done well, but I'm not selling my .375 Wby anytime soon.

    FWIW, the scope was perfect. It goes from almost no magnification (1.25x) on up to 8x. I had it set on the low end, and as I was preparing to shoot, spent an entire 0.5 seconds or so and twisted it to about 3x for the 97-yd shot. If the animal had been further away, I likely would have had even more time. If it was closer, or threatening, leaving it on the 1.25x setting would have been perfect. For me (I concede not for everyone) my scope set on 1.25x gives me just as good, if not better, confidence and ability at quick shots at really close range as iron sights. My military-grade one-piece, three ring mount from Near Mfg. is bullet proof too. I took it off twice after sighting it in, and the POI changed not at all--really.

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    Nice bear, congratulations. Glad everything worked out nicely for you.

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    I love the 375 WBY--with the good bullets we have now its about as good as it gets!!!!

    Ed

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    Thanks Skyline.

    505ED, I really want to try the 350gr TSX in it. At about 2,550 fps (Superior Ammo in Sturgis says they can do that comfortably), it would as wide of a range of acceptable uses from short to medium ranges as about anything. If, as I hope, I get to go with my father to S.A. next June, I think it could cover all my potential bases in one gun.

    I know some think it's odd, but I love this rifle, and have become so comfortable with it during the last seven months, that I may use it on a lot of medium-to-large game. The recoil just doesn't bother me anymore. If I get to hunt any DG (up through buffalo) in Africa, I can't imagine needing also to bring a smaller rifle. Even during the bear hunt, after taking the brown boar, I switched to the Nosler factory 260gr AB loads (3,000 fps MV factory specs; chrono says a little higher) for any potential black bears, wolves, or wolverine. Because we had slightly diminished priorities of hunting (had to make noise working on the pelt, etc...) and the weather became so unseasonably hot during the remaining ten days, we barely saw a mammal for the last seven days. So I didn't get to use them (except occasionally to shoot the river before getting in the raft on rafting days for fun). I knew that they hit almost exactly two inches ot the right of the 300gr NPs. I clicked the scope eight clicks to the left and shot at the base of a reed at 100 yds in the river to demonstrate to the guide and myself that it was on. It was. In any event, the 300gr NP loads trully don't bother me anymore at all. I worked hard over the months to get that way. But was surprised in mid-August when I had (when practicing loading the first round from a bolt closed on an empty chamber) gotten distracted by another inquiring range shooter and forgotten that I had not loaded a round when firing one of the shots during a fairly-long range session. The rifle surprisingly (to me) went only "click," and, even more surprisingly, I was still looking at the bullseye. The 260gr AB load is even milder and has great down-range numbers--both in terms of drop and retained velocity. It almost rivals my best .340 Wby loads. And, as much as I like my .340 Wby Accumark, I have become so comfortable with the .375 Wby DGR, that I have a hard time wanting to carry anything else in my planned Maryland, Virginia, W. Virginia deer and black bear hunts this fall. Just so I don't abandon the poor guy, I probably will use the .340 on a possible NC pig hunt. The friend who hunts there, told me the farmland on which we would hunt is so overrun with big pigs, that you actually regularly can get long-range shots, and there is no limit.

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    Marinehawk,

    I really liked mine. It was just like yours except the bolt was on the correct side I shot just 300 grn bullets out of it and it was just effective on everything I pulled the trigger on--bear, elk, nilgai... I moved up to the 378 weatherby (poor choice) and wished I had my DGR WBY back. I'm eyeing a nice lefty 375 wby right now, just a little more than I want to spend right now. I'm paying off my last hunt with Louis at Spiral Horn and I booked with him next year. I've got a Nilgai hunt in october, and I need to get my Aoudad mounted. This hunting is keeping me working!!!!!

    I dont know how much you handload, but look into some H4350--this powder seems to work the best in the WBY

    bullets:
    300 grain barnes TSX
    300 grain GS custom HV (the 265's are pretty damn cool too)
    HV Bullets
    This guy will make 300 grain brass driving band bullets--I'd like to try
    S&H Super Precision

    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by 505ED View Post
    Marinehawk,

    I really liked mine. It was just like yours except the bolt was on the correct side I shot just 300 grn bullets out of it and it was just effective on everything I pulled the trigger on--bear, elk, nilgai... I moved up to the 378 weatherby (poor choice) and wished I had my DGR WBY back. I'm eyeing a nice lefty 375 wby right now, just a little more than I want to spend right now. I'm paying off my last hunt with Louis at Spiral Horn and I booked with him next year. I've got a Nilgai hunt in october, and I need to get my Aoudad mounted. This hunting is keeping me working!!!!!

    I dont know how much you handload, but look into some H4350--this powder seems to work the best in the WBY

    bullets:
    300 grain barnes TSX
    300 grain GS custom HV (the 265's are pretty damn cool too)
    HV Bullets
    This guy will make 300 grain brass driving band bullets--I'd like to try
    S&H Super Precision

    Ed
    Thanks Ed, but unfortunately I don't handload. In the short term, it would cost me more in time away from work and even materials than it would save me. As much as I want to do it, I just don't think I can do it properly and also spend enough time with my little boys and do my job well enough.

    Why don't you like the .378 Wby as well? If you handload, can't you just load it like a .375 Wby?

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    MarineHawk, congratulations on getting a fine bear.
    There is only one degree of dead . . . there are many degrees of wounded

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    Thanks Ed, but unfortunately I don't handload. In the short term, it would cost me more in time away from work and even materials than it would save me. As much as I want to do it, I just don't think I can do it properly and also spend enough time with my little boys and do my job well enough.

    Why don't you like the .378 Wby as well? If you handload, can't you just load it like a .375 Wby?
    Yes I can, but I liked my ol 375 WBY, it weighed more and balanced well. My 378 was built with a carbon fiber barrel in a hi-tec (basner) fiberglass stock. It is accurate just really light. I'm not blaming anyone other than myself. I get a little extream time to time, and should just stay in the middle thats where I'm happy!

    I'll have another 375 WBY soon!!!

    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big5 View Post
    MarineHawk, congratulations on getting a fine bear.
    Thanks Big5. I'm still on Cloud 9 and thanking the heavens and people like Skyline and other who gave me good advice here and elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 505ED View Post
    Yes I can, but I liked my ol 375 WBY, it weighed more and balanced well. My 378 was built with a carbon fiber barrel in a hi-tec (basner) fiberglass stock. It is accurate just really light. I'm not blaming anyone other than myself. I get a little extream time to time, and should just stay in the middle thats where I'm happy!

    I'll have another 375 WBY soon!!!

    Ed
    Ed:

    I see. I was going to get a .416 Wby until I found (see top of thread p. 1) an unfired, but used, .375 Wby dirt cheap (GB.com). I immediately put a hefty scope mount and a decent sclope on it. I also (against some advice) put a swivel stud on the stock and put a 12-oz-or-so bipod on it (quickly removable, but it absorbs recoil as much as anything). I also installed a Limbsaver pad and an 11oz mercury tube. It's about 11.5 lbs. It's less dainty than my 8.5 lb 700 BDL in 300 Win Mag, but a lot lighter than the M240 and M249 belt-fed guns I carried through Hell no too long ago. On a 15-mile-per-day above-treeline elk hunt, I would probably bring my 700 BDL. But for more limited travelling, my heavier .375 recoils about the same. And it hits hard. My guide truly was amazed at my bear's demise. He didn't/couldn't even get a 2nd shot off on him--he died so fast. He also was impressed with how the .375 Wby similarly exploded the river when it was my victim of boredom.

    When range firing, I used to great effect a simple shoulder-mounted Cabela's recoil pad (like a Past). It made a huge difference. Once I sighted it in and practiced a lot with it, I knew any shot that mattered would prodice no felt recoil at all. That was true. That's why I wouldn't mind having a hefty .378, but I don't think I would enjoy a light one.

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    I have not used the 375 Wby much but have seen it used on Buffalo a little..I have also witnessed Saeed Al McTourn kill probably 40 buffalo with a 375/404 and its pretty close to the same balistically, at least close enough to to give me a pretty good idea or how the Wby will work..Saeed has no problem at all killing big bulls with his rifle..He is a fantastic shot, but so should everyone who hunts be a good shot or stay home.

    I'd say your Ok with the Wby...Personally I just like the 40 calibers like the 404 and 416 Rem. for no particular reason since I have shot an awful lot of buffalo with a 9.3x62 and a 375 H&H..
    RAY ATKINSON

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    Last Post: 11-16-2011, 06:51 AM
  5. Ok which is a better choice
    By billc in forum Up To .375
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-06-2011, 11:59 AM

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