Is the .375 H&H strong enough

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by JOODOWD, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. JOODOWD

    JOODOWD New Member

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    Dugaboy I really enjoyed you post and was wondering what would be your first choice for Cape Buffalos, and why do you feel the .375 is to small for elephants?
     
  2. gei

    gei New Member

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    I have only hunted Africa once, took my cape buff with 375 HH loaded with North Fork softs. Shot him straight on walking to me, bullet took out top of heart & lungs, stopped at back of stomach, it was recovered and lost about 15 grains of weight.
    My PH recommended Swift A Frame, he was extremely impressed with performance of NF. Had 470 NE but woujd up shooting hum with 375.
     
  3. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    JOODOWD, sorry it took so long to respond, but I simply didn't see your post till today!

    The 375 H&H with a 300 gr solid is minimum for elephant in most countries in Africa. It will, and HAS killed thousands of elephants over the years, mostly by locals, and culling crews. Would I hunt elephant with a 375 H&H? absolutely, if that is what I had to use, and given the opertunetly. However, I would rather have something a little larger, if I was booking an ele safari. My choice would start at the .400 cal, and preferably bigger. Right now the rifle I would use is my 470NE double rifle, but I'd rather have a 500NE double rifle for a dedicated elephant rifle. If you can pick up a 458 LOTT bolt rifle, and learn it well that is what I would do, if the rifle you want to use is a bolt rifle. Make sure the rifle has quality iron sights, and do a lot of stump shooting with the rifle before you go so the rifle becomes an extention of yourself!

    The thing about useing the minimum caliber for any type hunting to me doesn't make sense, if you have a choice. The minimum is a designation that is placed on anything for a reason. One piece of advice though if you hunt ele, with the 375 H&H rifle do a lot of practice, and get where you can shoot that rifle in the dark, and hit what you are looking at, and study the anatomy of the elephant throughly before you go, so you know where the heart, and brain is from every angle.
     
  4. gei

    gei New Member

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    I FEEL LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO HUNT AFRICA WILL GET A LARGE RIFLE AND SELDOM SHOOT IT. WHEN THEY DO SHOOT IT, THEY ARE NOT USED TO THE RECOIL AND FLINCH. THE PERSON WHO HUNTED WITH JUST BEFORE ME SHOT A BUFF TOO FAR BACK, IT TOOK 16 SHOTS TO FINALLY STOP THE BUFF. ONE PROPERLY PLACED SHOT SHOULD HAVE DONE IT.

    PEOPLE GET INTRIGUED, THEM MUST HAVE THEIR SUPER DUPER MAGNUM, AND THEN CAN'T PROPERLY SHOOT IT.

    ANYONE CAN GET USED TO A 375 HH IF THEY JUST SHOOT IT A LITTLE BIT OFF STICKS INSTEAD OF BENCHREST.

    LOTS OF PEOPLE CAN'T SHOOT A 300 WIN. MAG.

    IF A PERSON CAN SHOOT THEIR 458 LOTT, IT IS GREAT, BUT MOST CAN'T.
     
  5. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    There are always at least two lines of thought on any subject! The elephant doesn't care which line you take, but the shooter might at the close of the day!:D
     
  6. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    This is all good stuff. But Dugaboys comments about relying on a PH to "pull ur nuts out of the fire" could not be more true. A few years ago I hunted with a PH that had to borrow a rifle to do the hunt with me. His double rifle had suffered some kind of problem. He was packing a borrowed mauser in .458. To get to the point the shit hit the fan. The floor plate fell open when he fired the back up shot and he and the trackers were then on the ground picking up bullets when the buff came back out of the bush at 30 feet. It all turned out fine with a brain shot. But it was that day that I started looking for something bigger. He is a well known PH but I wont mention his name. My 375 is great and I am sure I will use it again on buffalo. But my .500 will be within easy reach. I will never agian blindly feel that the PH can control the situation when things go wrong. Most times yes. But he isnt God.
     
  7. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Would I hunt elephant with a 375 H&H? Absolutely, because I have already done so at a time when my trusty 375 H&H was the largest caliber I owned.

    Even though I today own a couple of 416's and a vintage 470NE Rigby double, I would not hesitate to again shoulder my well used and very trusted 375 H&H on anything I faced. I do not pretend that it is ideally suited to all things and all situations, but I do contend that it is adequately suited to take down any big game animal.

    Attached is a photo of a bull elephant I took many years ago with my 375 H&H using a 300gr solid. The elephant went straight down from a single frontal shot to the brain at a distance of about 10 paces. Hopefully the accompanying photo will be clear enough to show the bullet impact wound and seepage on the bull’s forehead directly between his eyes.

    In any event, the 375 H&H is capable of even fully penetrating an elephant skull for a quick kill.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  8. Leeukop Safaris

    Leeukop Safaris AH Veteran

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    Great Post!

    This is a great post. Being a person who could only afford one rifle (rifles are expensive here in South Africa!) I bought a .375 H&H and have been extremely happy with it, both for my own hunting and backing up clients (although I would love to own a .416 Rigby!).

    Although I don't have a scope on my rifle now, I did at one time have a variable 1.25 to 4.5 power scope, with a long eye relief, on the rifle which served well for long distance and close up shooting.

    I have shot Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo very successfully using 286gr, PMP monolithic solids and the penetration is exceptional. 300gr soft nose are also great for normal game.

    The old addage of "putting the bullet in the right place" still holds true.

    From a .375 H&H fanatic!
     
  9. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    I love this forum because of these discussions. I am surprised that I did not see (unless I missed it) the recent survey done by AF about caliber choices for dangerous game. The survery of PHs revealed that the .375 H&H was the PREFERRED caliber of chioce for hunters by a margin of greater than 5 to 1. That is, the .375 was chosen 5x more than all other calibers COMBINED. At least I think it was a AF survey. I know I recently read it as I have been considering the same question. Assuming that a survey consisting of only the PHs who guide hunters of DG hunts would produce a valued data set on this quesion - hands down the .375 H&H wins as suitable for all DG and one step furtehr - is the caliber that PHs recommend to their cleints by a margin of about 5 to 1.

    I have a custom made .375 H&H built for my pursuit of the Big this up coming season. Because I can handle the recoil, and do shoot enough to know I can relieably handle a bigger gun, I also have a .458 LOTT. But make no mistake, I bought and will take the .458 Lott because I wanted it - not that I needed it - and it is open sighted - not because it is a "better" chioce than without a scope - it is because I wanted to hunt in a traditional manner. So, for me, it will be the .375 H&H (1x4 DG scope) for lion, leopard, and Bufs and an open sighted .458 Lott for the elephant - and that is only becuase that is what I want to take my elephant with - not because I feel like I need it.

    My PH has agreed that a gun porter can carry the .375 H&H while we are on the track of elephant in case it runs cold and we see someting else interestig.

    If you are the best all round African cartridge - its seem the venerable .375 H&H is the chioce. Most people can shoot it, hopefully well, and with today's bullets it will perform light years better than it did in 1912.

    If you chose anything larger - it is because you want it - not that you need it - and there is no better reason to buy a gun or go on safari than because you want to!

    Just one man's thoughts.
     
  10. AndresRam

    AndresRam AH Member

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    I really am very happy to have joined this forum because it's always a pleasure to share hunting and shooting with fellow enthusiasts!

    I really think the 375 is good enough for anything that walks this earth, but I am a big bore nut so if I was hunting Elephant I would be probably be doing so with a 416 Rigby or a double 470 Nitro Express. I have never hunted Africa but I intend to do so many times during the course of my life, and my dad did hunt Africa manyy times.

    My father was a 375 fan and he always told me that of the 6 buffalo he shoot in Africa, only two where one shoot kills one with a 375 H&H, and the other with a borrowed 404 Jeffreys, the other ones where shoot with much more powerful rifles from 416 rigby to 458 lott.

    He shoot his only Elephant in Zimbabwe also with a 375 H&H, but this was not planned it was a chance enconter with a herd that was marked as "problem" because they had ravaged a village near Matetsi (i think it was matetsi, anyway the outfitter was Roger Whitall) so he took the chance as it came and shoot a very old bull with it. He also shoot many animals with his 375 wich is by far of all the guns that he left me and my brother the one that saw more action around the world; that same rifle was used for leopard, lion, brown and black bear, elk, moose, caribou, and an array of african plains game, and come to think of it even couple of white and black tailed deer in the north of Mexico!

    So my point is, there are rifles that are "ideal" for diferent purposes in diferent situations, for example I personaly can't think of a better rifle than a 300 Magnum (take your pick!) for hunting sheep or goats in Asia, you need the power to anchor the Ram or Billy and the reach to make if necessary a very long shoot. and so forth; but the magic of the 375 H&H is that you can leave camp with your rifle not knowing if you will encounter a record book duiker of the buffalo of your dreams, and provided good shoot placement, wich is of course first and foremost, you can take every oportunity you have with confidennce that if you do youre part, the rifle will deliver.

    It is what it is, the best all round cartridge for Africa, provided that you are intending to hunt something big, difficult, that can bite scratch or needs to be hit with something hard. Because if you intend to hunt SA or Namibia and the biggest game you sought is Kudu, you may be better of with a 7mm, 300, or even a 338, but when Eland, Buff, or any one of the big ones are in the picture, then the 375 is at his home.

    That's my opinion from stories, a lot of reading and what not, but I vowe to the experts, and to this day I haven't shoot anything bigger than an Elk and have not headed to the woods or bush with the intention of shooting anything hauling a rifle bigger than a 338 winchester magnum; so I'll have a more valid opinion when I do some hunting in Africa and hopefully around the world! Until then, thank you guys for sharing your knowledge and stories, because next to reading, sharing stories and memories is the closest we mortals that have not so much hunting experience have to actually being there, and that's what keeps the fire burning!

    Cheers and good hunting!
     
  11. Salahuddin

    Salahuddin New Member

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    Is 375 H&H Magnum enough for cape Buffalo?

    Absolutely yes, provided that you use premium bullet and are able to place the shot accurately. A canon may not be enough on Cape Buffalo if placement of shot is wrong. With variety of premium expanding and solid 300 grain bullets, available now-a-days, 375 H&H magnum caliber is quite enough to take on the beast with ease and comfort.
    Each hunt and shooting angle will be different so do not expect broadside or ideal exposure of buffalo to shoot at when you are on actual hunt. Therefore, practice and seek advise from your PH where to place shot when you encounter the beast. Remember, you have to do maximum damage on first shot so put premium quality expanding bullet followed by flat nose solid for second or third shot if required. Heart and lung shots are easy to shoot with expanding bullets as they do enough immediate damage to get buffalo down and may not need a follow-up shot. Do not attempt frontal chest shot with 300grain expanding bullet as it may not reach vital organ but use flat nose solid within 40-50 yards.
    375 caliber is easy to handle and has ability to shoot any of the big five provided that you use premium bullets and know where to place the shot in different situations.
    This is my hands-on experience and I only use my 375 H&H magnum rifle for all plain medium, big, dangerous and very dangerous games.
    Salahuddin. Arusha, Tanzania
     
  12. Nyatiboss

    Nyatiboss AH Senior Member

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    HI Joodowd,

    I have hunted with a .375 H&H with scope and a .416 Rigby with iron sights for many years.

    Funnily enough, the Buffalo I have shot with the .375 have all fallen dead faster than those I shot with my .416. Probably greater accuracy & bullet placement helps !

    I have also shot a couple of wounded Elephants dead with my .375 after failed brian shots with a double .470 ( fired by someone else I hasten to add ! ).

    Shot well, the .375 H&H will kill anything you are liable to meet in Africa and is also perfectly sound for Plains Game as well.

    All best

    Tony
     
  13. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    I own a 375 H&H Parker Hale that originally belonged to Paul 'Kambada' Grobbelar. He shot over 5000 Elephant with this rifle on Elephant culling operations in the 60's and early 70's...need I say more?
     
  14. karibu

    karibu AH Member

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    I shoot many animals with 375 and feel more comfortable than using my 416 rig, I can put my bullet right in the place I want something that I can't do using my 416 or my 470 mostly of the time use the 375 I think is enough to hunt any animal in the world.
    I agree is not a caliber to stoop but is a great hunter caliber, unless I hunt a thick bush always carry or a double 375 or my christensen 375, all with a scope, 1-4 x24.
     
  15. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    Ok, I'm going to share my experience from a few days ago with my 375, model 70. This is my favorite gun in my cabinet and I shoot it very well. I hit a cape buffalo quartering to me at about 65 yards square on the shoulder. The 300 grain aframe broke his shoulder but did no further damage. The bullet did not penetrate the body cavity. We tracked him a few more miles and a few more hours. Eventually I was able to bring him down with a spine shot and then a heart shot.
    Now, before this event I would have said a 375 is all you need. My experience left me speculating on whether I would have left a bigger and more lethal impression on the animal if I had been using my 416 on the first shot. I would have liked more horsepower in this situation.
    I'm not knocking the 375 and stand by all those who have endorsed the idea that it is sufficient and tends to be the better choice do to the lower recoil. I'm just making a note here that it is the minimum on big game for a reason.
     
  16. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Rastaman, You didnt mention whether your bullet was soft or solid, I assume a soft if an A-Frame? Years ago, my second buffalo fell stone dead to one shot from my own .375, no finisher required. Shot was near 140 yards angling away and the bull just starting to trot. I lead him around the nose area and busted him in the neck/shoulder junction. Fell like he was poleaxed in a cloud of dust. One handloaded Hornady 300 gr solid of the old type. I often wonder about the trend of using a soft nose first on buff, followed up with solids. Going by your experience, perhaps with the .375 they should be all solids to ensure penetration.
     
  17. buckcurtin

    buckcurtin AH Senior Member

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    Shot 2 buffalo, 1st with 375H&H model 70 shooting 270gr.T.S.X & Banded Solid Ultra Velocity- 2850 fps loaded by Safari Arms Limited. Hit at about 35 yards broadside shot right through the heart/lung area, went about 40 yards and went down and wasn't going anywhere but ran up and finished with solid.
    Second shot with 404 Jeffrey made by Montana Rifle Company shooting Norma African PH 450gr. softnose and solids. Buffalo was 40 to 50 yards quartering towards me, Shot into lower left front with softnose[after misfire reloading the same shell working bolt very slowly so as to not scare the buff], buff was hit hard, ran parrallel to me stopped in front about 20 yards away and I hit through shoulder with solid and buff went angling away maybe 15 yards, stopped behind small bush and slowly dropped and gave death bellow. Walked up and aimed with another solid and another misfire. Saved that round.
    Had done all my range shooting except for one round with Hornady Dangerous Game Series ammo because it was less expensive. Sent gun back to Montana Rifle Company when I returned and they went over gun and ammo. Found the primer in misfire well hit, no explanation for misfire. Rounds on Norma were not standard lenght, slightly longer and found no problem with rifle. I had put maybe 40 rounds of Hornandy through gun without a problem.
    My conclusions, 375H&H is as effective as a 404 Jeffrey and shoot the ammo when practicing that you intend to hunt with. Neither my PH nor I paniced when the gun misfired. I kept watching the buff through the scope, my finger near the trigger and he very slowly opened the bolt to check to make sure a round was in it. I did mutter a few words i wouldn't use at church! Anyone want a few unfired Norma rounds?
     
  18. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Ses, I'm with you on that assumption. Shot placement every time.
    If you shoot that big hard bone with a soft bullet close up you had better have a solid in first. ( or go shopping for better solid bullets really fast)
    If you select your shot for the ribs you can use that soft.
    Having seen what a solid out of a .375 can do, I now know you great penetration and I won't ever shoot one at any animal with anything behind it.
     
  19. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hey Buckcurtin, I'll take those unwanted rounds! They work great in my .404!
     
  20. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    The swift a frame is a soft, I guess as a limited partition bullet the aframe is an improved soft. Regardless, the discussion was really about caliber and not bullet type. I still question whether my 416 with the same Aframe in 400 grain would have been more effective.
     

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