.375 H&H Do Critics Exist?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Rifleman, May 7, 2015.

  1. Rifleman

    Rifleman AH Member

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    Since I began researching African hunting, I have seen .375 H&H doted on more than any other caliber. In my philosophy, nothing is perfect. So where are the critics? What are the realistic limitation of .375? When is it overpowered? When is it underpowered? Alternative calibers?
     

  2. TokkieM

    TokkieM AH Fanatic

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    Great caliber. Does everything well but does nothing exceptional. My choice is 9,3x62 simply because of rifle design ( I do however own both).
     

  3. brushmore

    brushmore AH Fanatic

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    Since I don't have a big bore yet and only in the research mode right now I can only give you arm chair analysis.

    I think the main issue is when you are hunting something that can easily kill you something bigger with more energy can't hurt. Shot placement is always key in my book so I'll leave that to the experts if that is really a legit issue. The other issue, which is minor and only pertains to bolt actions, is that it requires a magnum length action which adds some complexity to the manufacturing process. This is where the .375 Ruger has the advantage.

    Can you're have too much power??!! :A Too Cool:
     

  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    If I were to criticize it, the only thing I'd say is that it isn't a stopper rifle for DG. We can talk about bullet placement and bullet selection all day long in regards to this and I won't argue against any of that. But in the end while I have no direct experience but certainly can read, it is not the optimal choice when something that wants to kill you is closing fast and you intend on preventing contact.

    But I love love love my .375 and only plan on parting from it when I make my final departure. It will get handed down to one of my boys and if they decide to sell it, I will rise from the grave and haunt them the rest of their days!

    Alternative calibers going up for DG would be a .404 Jeffery or any of the .416's or .458's. The .458's will get your shoulder's attention as will a limited to potential .416 Rigby.

    Alternative calibers going down for PG would be the the 9.3's, .338 and .300's. My personal favorite in the strictly PG caliber would the .300WM. If paired with a .375H&H, I'm pretty much set for any and everything in Africa.

    But lots to choose from which makes it fun, so enjoy the research and the rifle that you choose! While I love to discuss calibers and the pros/cons of each, we tend to put way too much importance on this and not enough on bullet selection and placement.
     
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  5. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    375 H&H excels in its versatility. While you can kill almost anything with a .22LR if you put your mind to it, the 375H&H is at or close to the sensible minimum for largest game (9.3 probably the actual minimum). That does not mean I consider it inadequate, but it doesn't have the same margin in reserve that something bigger would have. To me, it's greatest weakness relates not so much to the round itself as to people's understanding of the round: far too many consider it the definitive dangerous game round. It is not and should be considered the beginning not the end of the spectrum of big-game hunting rounds. For many people it is a sensible maximum as well, but that decision should be made based on an understanding of where the 375 actually falls in the spectrum of sporting cartridges.
     
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  6. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    +1 with hunthardsafaris, from rabid field mice to Buff the 375 works, as Phil said, it is not a stopping rifle unless we are trying to stop the charge of the field mouse. Lol. I have found the 375 to put all NAmerican game down with authority
     
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  7. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    Wonderful caliber
    Shoot straight.Thats the way.
    You dont need stopping power.
    Show me the guest who stops Dangerous Game without a PH...............
    Foxi
     

  8. southernidahohunter

    southernidahohunter AH Member

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    It's hard to argue with 100+ years of reliable performance. Even the modern .375 Ruger(which is awesome too) is basically identical in performance to the H&H, just remodeled to fit in standard length actions. I expect the .375 H&H will deliver another hundred years of faithful service.
     

  9. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    There is a better caliber than the .375 h&h for pretty much every application I can think of. If I could only have one rifle though that would be it. I stopped a buffalo, brain shot a hippo, dropped a grysbok, and even took a klippie with a Texas heart shot and almost no damage to the chest (solids aren't just for DG ya know!)

    You just can't beat it for versatility and from the biggest to the smallest.
     
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  10. James Ledgerwood

    James Ledgerwood AH Member

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    I second that. I have shot everything from Elephant to African Wild cat with my trusty 375 HH it is the only gun I take to Africa. I hear a lot about stopping power Stopping power will not make up for for a problem shot . You you are more likely to make a problem shot with a hard kicking monster like a 458 and are less likely to get back on the target for a good second shot. Margin of error .What is that ? A shot in the heart lungs is the same with either caliber . A head shot where the brain is missed How much margin of error does a large kicking monster give you over a 375? 1 inch 2 inches I have never heard how much that is . If any one has information on that I would love to know
     
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  11. elmerfudd555

    elmerfudd555 AH Senior Member

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    Two of the big 5 (buffalo and male lion) with two bullets. The buffalo actually came off his feet at the impact centered on the shoulder. Im told that doesnt happen too often with 375 but it did this time. Yes he got back up but was blowing blood like a firehose out his nostrils and was now minus the use of his right front. Plus a totally unexpected, half a second to execute, slap shot at a gorgeous 16" Bushbuck in really thick cover that put him in the salt. That's why I love it. Yes, a couple of animals does not offer much of a sampling for statistics but look at some of the famous PHs over history that carried nothing else but a 375 H&H.

    I think that for many, if we are really honest with ourselves, it is the sensible maximum in tolerable recoil while maintaining the ability to place accurate shots.
    I know that I can comfortably shoot my Model 70 from sticks or the bench, am not afraid of it and can focus on executing a good shot. Both of my PHs have stated they were much
    happier to see me arrive with, and be able to shoot well, my 375 vs showing up with a Rigby or a Lott that I shot marginally with. Im sure there are better stoppers. Both PHs on my hunts
    carried 470NE Searcy doubles and we never got to test them because I was able to execute with little fanfare. I put over 300 rounds through my 375 from field positions and offhand in the 9 months leading up to my trip. Im not sure Id have had that kind of commitment and might have been fighting the flinches with a bigger bore. Im a little guy, 5-7" and 140lbs soaking wet. I think its Newton's law??? that comes into play when you are my size!

    Im planning elephant and leopard next. Was talking to my PH at the DSC show and thinking of a Dakota or Montana 404 Jeff with handloads to pull it up to "Rigby class" for elephant. He said great cartridge, by all means do it if you want but honestly, you could put the money towards taxidermy and just bring your H&H. It will absolutely do the job on elephant if we do our part correctly. Especially with the excellent solids on the market these days by Swift, Barnes and others. Taxidermy? What a stupid reason to not get another gun! But I digress....

    Great article in Sports Afield this month about Wally Johnson's sp? Model 70 375 H&H by the way.
     
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  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The guys who like really big bullets will smack the 375 as too small.
    That's about it.

    I have put holes through everything from Buffalo to Ruffed Grouse with one.
    They are all dead.
     

  13. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    No body can fault a 375H&H!!
     
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  14. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    I remember one time reading an article in a gun magazine called "The .357 magnum: Jack of all trades; master of none". The article went on to say that the .357 revolver does a lot of things "well", but nothing "great": it makes a fair hunting round for close range, is accurate (but not target accurate), etc., etc., I think maybe the .375 H&H falls into the same category..........I say "maybe", because I just bought my first rifle in this chambering a few weeks ago, so I can't contribute anything on a practical level. I will hazard to say, however, that if I was a P.H. and had some sort of dangerous game closing in on me and my client, I would want a rifle that they could actually hit something with, as opposed to a hard kicking super magnum that they tended to be afraid of (not that that applies to anyone here on the website!(y)) and did not shoot well, which probably got them in that predicament in the first place!;)

    Critics? Well..........my shoulder on Saturday after an afternoon of 2 1/2 boxes of ammo.
     

  15. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    my safari operator in Zimb (round 300 culling elephants with .375 ) said:
    .500 is for cowards :whistle:
     

  16. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I agree with Tokie. 9,3 x 62 is a sensible alternative to 375 H&H. 9,3 x62 is may favorite caliber.
    Witold
     
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  17. Pondoro

    Pondoro AH Fanatic

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    Well, that is easy to say until an elephant frontal attacks at short range, then bigger is better..
     

  18. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have a .375 H&H and I love it. I used it on elephant once, and I have to say I felt a little under-gunned. I know it can do the job, because it did the job, but afterwards, I thought if I had just a few more grains, I might have felt more comfortable.

    Now I have a .404 Jeffery which I used on buffalo, and felt better shooting 400 grains rather than 300, though there is no question that a .375 is perfectly fine for buffalo. And this year will try a .416 on buffalo. But that's as high as I feel I need to go.

    Obviously this is psychological. Objectively this feeling doesn't really stand up. But there you are.
     

  19. blackdog001blackdog001

    blackdog001blackdog001 AH Senior Member

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    I've made two trips to Africa and both times the PH was gratified to see me show up with a 375 H&H. My trip last year to Namibia - 4 animals, 4 shots.
     
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  20. Pondoro

    Pondoro AH Fanatic

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    The .375H&H is a splendid cartridge...I love it and have used for all my PG in Namibia via moose in Norway....it is in a way like a big .30-06..

    I would gladly hunt cats, buffalo and hippo with it too.....but would feel undergunned for elephant. I am sure its ok if a brainshot is offered but what if a heart/lungshot is the only offered..?

    Would hesitate to take such a shot with a .375....some .40 - .45 caliber is better, if not more.
     
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