.375 H&H for Elephant???

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by gxsr-sarge, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Have any of you every used a .375 H&H (with Solids) for a frontal brain shot on an elephant (successfully, I might add)?

    I'm already planning my 2015 hunt (which includes elephant) and I'm curious as I already have a .375 Dakota 76. It'll be my first elephant hunt and I've always read that though legal, the 375 H&H is truly the "minimum" caliber.

    Alternatively, what other bolt-action calibers have you successfully used? I'm contemplating using either a 416 Rigby or a 458 Win or Lott.

    I have about a year and a half to torture myself with this decision so please bring it on!

    Best
     
  2. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    375, with a solid on a frontal is more than enough, with a Barnes Solid, woodleigh's, trophy bonded sledge hammers...

    I have seen them all perform extremely well, and while it might not posses the knock down power of the 500gr calibre's I'll tell you it is right up there in penetration..

    Added advantages as you know is the fact that it is easy to shoot and to handle, I don't believe that any professional hunter will hassle you when pitching up with your 375 in camp to hunt Elle..

    I have personal experiences, with
    375 H&H
    416 rigby
    416 weatherby
    404 Jeff
    458 win mag as well as Lott
    500 Jeffrey
    460 weatherby
    470
    505 Gibbs
    550 magnum
    500 a square
    To mention some of the top of my head, once again the 375 was up there with all of the big boys...


    My best always
     
  3. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    +1 on what Jaco says. I can tell you that the .375 and PMP 286gr Solid's penetrate very, very well on elephant brain shots. Personally though, I would be extremely pleased if you pitched up at my camp with a .404 Jeffery...
     
  4. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Now now doc your not being objective.... :) ;) :) ;) :) ;) Personally I would love it if he pitched up with a 460 by the I would not be............ Objective either... :) ;) :) ;) :) ;)

    My best always
     
  5. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Elite

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    +2 penetration with the 375 is more than ample. 404,460,500 Jeff, hell of a difficult to be objective......
     
  6. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    gxsr-sarge,

    I used my .375 H&H with a 300gr solid to take an elephant bull with a frontal brain shot back in '93. The bull was facing us at approximately 10-12 paces and he dropped straight down at the shot. Although I would likely use one of my larger caliber rifles today, my trusty .375 performed very well. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on elephant again.

    Good hunting to you!
     
  7. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Thank you all for your replies.

    I'd love to use my 375 for the elephant but the issue is also that it is scoped and I want to use open sights for the elephant. While I can remove the scope, I do foresee me walking in the field with my un-scoped 375 (on an elephant track) and spotting a nice Buffalo bull at 100 yards or even an awesome plains game trophy. I'd rather turn to the tracker and swap rifles than fumble to install my scope and hope that it has the same zero. So I guess I'm "stuck" taking another rifle. LOL.

    I'm leaning towards the 416 Rigby. I think it's a nice step up from the 375 (300 grains to 400 grains) and from what I've read, is nice to shoot. The 458, while definitely in the "big bore" family, is a bit heavier and has a harder punch. I'm one of those guys that would rather be deadly (as in exceptionally proficient and confident through more practice) with a slightly lesser caliber than a bit more "hesitant" using a big bore rifle.
     
  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    While a .416 Rigby can certainly be loaded down, a modern action loaded to potential pushing a 400gr bullet packs a recoil punch I didn't care for myself. Even with a 400gr bullet loaded down to 2400fps the recoil is about the same as a .458 Win pushing a 500gr at 2100fps.

    If you're interested in doing something totally different, you may want to consider a B&M rifle. I have a .458B&M which has the ballistics somewhere in between a .458Win and a .458 Lott. But, you'd be amazed at how these rifles with their stocks from Accurate Innovations have a very reasonable recoil.

    Take a look here: B & M Rifles and Cartridges - Home
     
  9. K-man

    K-man AH Veteran

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    Have you considered scope rings that are elevated so you can use the open sights below? I use a browning a bolt .375 and can use both open or my leuopold 2.5 x 7 . Shot a duiker at 200 yds with scope and buff at 10 yds without. My neck is a bit longer than some people so make sure you are comfortable looking through both. But if it gives you a good reason to get another gun, by all means go for it.!!!!!!
     
  10. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Sarge then you have made your decision, good luck and have fun... Remember if it's not straight on for the frontal it should be a no go.... :)

    My best always
     
  11. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    If I weren't hunting DG, i'd consider this idea. I think it may cover too much of the Ele despite my being able to see the open sights underneath the scope.

    See....I am justifying a new rifle! :p
     
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  12. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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  13. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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  14. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    If the brain is hit you will not have a problem. Its when the brain is missed that you will wish you had the 458.
     
  15. Guépard

    Guépard AH Member

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    If it seems 375 HH and solid are OK for brain shot (with good placement but it's same with other calibers I suppose) to shoot on heart is it better to choose soft point like swift A Frame or Barnes TSX for example ?
     
  16. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Nope. I would only use solids. .375 is fine to brain an elephant from any angle. About a bazillion have been brained by a lot less rifle than the .375. A 300 gr solid will also penetrate a shoulder or break a hip if it has to. A friend missed a frontal brain two years ago with his .375 and had to follow up with a crossing chest shot as the bull started to run away. The bullet transitted the lungs and he was down within a hundred meters.

    If you like your .375, then get detachable mounts. I use Talley or claws on everything I take to Africa. I usually follow trackers with a scope mounted and set on low power, and can have it off almost instantly for either a really thick approach or a follow-up.
     
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  17. gcolvin2005

    gcolvin2005 New Member

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    I have both a .375 H&H magnum and .458 Lott. I recommend using a shoulder pad when shooting. I have shot up to 20 consecutive rounds with both and my shoulder pad. No pain or problems of any kind with my shoulder either.

    You can have the pad under your shirt if it bothers you to show it.
     
  18. A.Sharpe

    A.Sharpe BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Personally I never give up a reason to buy a new rifle. The .458 would be a good addition to any arsenal .
     
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  19. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Elite

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    gxsr-sarge,

    Jaco Strauss knows what he is talking about, as do others here because they have shot, plus seen others shoot elephants with various calibers, especially the .375 H&H.
    They say it's good for the brain shot and I would trust them on their word for it.
    I have never shot one or even seen one shot, (except on video of course.)
    Therefore, I cannot recommend an elephant rifle.
    However, I am rifle enthusiast and with that, I say, why not have rifles for each purpose imaginable?
    Furthermore, it irritates our corrupt politicians so, that's all the more reason in my opinion.

    In other words I am +1 for sure with A.Sharpe here (never give up a reason to buy a new rifle).
    Also, if you get a .458 Lott rifle, and you become separated from your ammunition somehow, your PH likely might have some .458 Winchester cartridges left by a previous client/s (commonly that is just so in many African camps/lodges), and you can shoot it without any worry except possibly having to re-zero your rifle sights to the Winchester version.

    Likewise, just because you have a .458 Lott you do not automatically have to beat yourself to pieces with it, if you are only a mere mortal like me.
    I do not load my Lott to the gills as the recoil is no fun at 2300 fps.
    I shoot it at .450 NE velocity (a little over 2100 fps) and it is not brutal at all.
    Actually, it is kinda fun to fire it at that velocity and surprisingly quite accurate (many .458s are very accurate for some reason).
    Get yourself a .458, you've probably worked hard all your life and you deserve it.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
  20. Cable68

    Cable68 AH Member

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    I've done 2 pieces of advice given above: Talley QD mounts on my 375, and I also got a bigger gun 404 Jeff, which also has Talley QD mounts on its scope.
     

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