338 Win Mag vs 375 H&H vs 416 Remington

Gerard458

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Hello all, first post on here but I have been using this forum for a while now. Anyways I’ve currently got a 458 win mag that serves me well but I am looking for something a bit smaller for plains game and as a backup rifle if the 458 goes down. My gut is telling me that 338 win mag and 458 win mag would be the perfect combo for a safari but I’m just worried about the legal limit of .375 for dangerous game if my 458 goes down for whatever reason. Am I just being nervous about this or should I play it safe and go up to a .375 H&H or 416 Rem? Regardless of the caliber the rifle will be built with a model 70 action.
Thanks
 

BnC 04

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If your set on having a backup, I would without question go with the 375. Your load availability is great and ammo can be had almost anywhere if need be. Your 458 goes down for some reason then you have a versatile caliber to continue hunting.
Asking this bunch to give you a reason to buy another rifle is funny, one can never have too many on hand for the "in case" situation.
Great choice of action for your build by the way!
 

Wyatt Smith

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Plus one on the 375. It doesn’t give up much trajectory to the 338. Doesn’t kick much harder either.
You may want to consider a 9.3 62 or if you reload a x64
 

Gerard458

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Thanks for the replies fellas, I was leaning towards the 375 but just wanted some more experienced voices in the mix.
Thanks.
 

meigsbucks

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I took a .416 Ruger and .375 H&H on my first safari for that very reason. Buffalo was my main target and I wanted no matter what rifle I had in my hands able to handle a buff.
IMO:Now if you are looking to take one rifle for DG a .458 and one for PG, a combo of .458 or .416 and a .338 is a great combo.
 

Opposite Pole

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I’d go with a scoped 375. It will work well on PG and be a legal DG backup if 458 is out of order for whatever reason. There are bullets available for it from 230 to 350 grains making it a Jack of all trades. The only issue with 338 is that it’s not DG legal, otherwise it would indeed be quite a versatile combination with 458. As for 416, I think for a two rifle battery 375 and 458 will make for a far more versatile combo if PG is being considered, for a dedicateded DG hunt it would perhaps make more sense. I have a factory standard 416Rem Win M70 and it’s a decent rifle, just not as versatile as 375.
 

sierraone

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Whenever there is doubt, .375 H&H is always the answer.
 

flat8

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+ 1 for the .375 H&H.
 

Tra3

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+1 on .375.
I don’t have hunting experience with the .338. Maybe @Bullthrower338 will chime in as he has hunted with that caliber.

Will the backup gun have a 2nd purpose, such as hunting in NA?
 

Red Leg

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Everyone should own a .375. Once you learn to appreciate it, you can leave the .458 at home and quit dragging two rifles half way around the world. (y)

As much as I love the .375, it would not be my choice for a pure plains game hunt. On those, I have used my .338 - it performed superbly. If I were leaving on such a hunt tomorrow morning it would be with a .300 Win Mag (Blaser R8), not because I think the caliber in intrinsically better, but because I love the rifle. However, all of my recent trips have included a buffalo, and so the .375 has been my companion - again, in R8 form. It handles buffalo and PG easily with the same bullet, and I don’t have to wrestle two rifles through airports.
 

Bullthrower338

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The 338 is a very effective caliber, regardless which of the many are out there, 338-06 to the 340 WBY. In NA it is my go to in either a Win Mag or a RUM and I have never been disappointed in their performance on game whether it is a bull elk at 25 yards or a muley across a canyon. That being said, the question in the OP is about a back up to your 458 DG rifle. The simple answer is the 375 H&H. I would shoot buffalo all day and twice on Sunday with a 250 A-Frame from a 338 if it were legal where I was hunting but most likely it will not be so the 375 is the winner in this situation.
I also am getting tired of packing two rifles through airports and am considering most likely a Dakota Traveler two barrel set. 300H&H/400H&H is sounding very tempting to me this week!
I’d never try to dissuade anyone from purchasing a 338, I actually think the government should give one at birth along with the social security number and associated tax burden that comes with it. So buy one for plains game, odds are your 458 will keep on ticking and if not, your PH will have another heavy in camp for your use. But the 375 will do everything just as good if not better at typical safari ranges.
 

Tanks

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I am going with the battery of .458 B&M and a .375 H&H for the reasons above. Also, if somehow your ammo luggage goes awry the PH will be able to source .375 H&H ammo easier I think.
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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I was on the same fence last year with my safari. Primary target was buffalo with some plains game afterwards. I took 416 Rem Mag and 375 HH for the same reason as backup. This year,2020, I have another DG animal on my list but quite a few plains game also. I decide on 416 Rem Mag and 338 Win mag for this trip. Mainly because i need a cartridge with some distance on some of the plains game.
 

YancyW

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Just be to be sure, I would buy all three. They never expire.
 

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