.375 H&H for Elephant???

gxsr-sarge

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
119
Reaction score
13
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI, DSC
Hunted
US, Zimbabwe, RSA
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
 

JacoS

AH legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,263
Reaction score
1,175
Media
95
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI, PHASA, IPHA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
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
 

DOC-404

AH elite
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
1,243
Reaction score
262
Media
57
Hunting reports
Africa
1
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..

+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...
 

JacoS

AH legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,263
Reaction score
1,175
Media
95
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI, PHASA, IPHA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
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
 

peras

AH elite
Joined
Apr 24, 2012
Messages
1,808
Reaction score
2,053
Media
710
Articles
2
Member of
PHASA HSC
Hunted
South Africa,Zimbabwe,Mozambique
+2 penetration with the 375 is more than ample. 404,460,500 Jeff, hell of a difficult to be objective......
 

Big5

AH fanatic
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
782
Reaction score
781
Media
4
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Member of
SCI Life member, NRA Life/Benefactor member
Hunted
USA, Canada, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Spain, Russia
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!
 

gxsr-sarge

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
119
Reaction score
13
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI, DSC
Hunted
US, Zimbabwe, RSA
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.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,107
Reaction score
7,408
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
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.

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
 

K-man

AH elite
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
1,713
Reaction score
2,903
Media
51
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
Spain, Alaska, RSA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, British Columbia, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
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.!!!!!!
 

JacoS

AH legend
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Messages
2,263
Reaction score
1,175
Media
95
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI, PHASA, IPHA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
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.

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
 

gxsr-sarge

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
119
Reaction score
13
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI, DSC
Hunted
US, Zimbabwe, RSA
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
 

classicsafari

AH enthusiast
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
270
Reaction score
59
Media
45
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Aus, New Zealand,New Calidonia, Mongolia, Zim and Moz
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.
 

Guépard

AH veteran
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
118
Reaction score
47
Location
All around the world !
Media
4
Hunting reports
Africa
3
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 ?
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
5,781
Reaction score
15,196
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
264
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
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 ?

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.
 

gcolvin2005

New member
Joined
Jan 9, 2012
Messages
8
Reaction score
3
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
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.
 

Velo Dog

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
3,377
Reaction score
4,971
Location
Anchorage
Media
58
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
NRA Life Member.
Hunted
Africa 5 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
Personally I never give up a reason to buy a new rifle. The .458 would be a good addition to any arsenal .

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.
 

Cable68

AH member
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
48
Reaction score
52
Media
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI,DSC,DU
Hunted
Namibia, RSA, Zim, Cameroon
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.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
35,542
Messages
663,329
Members
60,161
Latest member
nalmek
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris wrote on jfowler812's profile.
hi Mr fowler

im happy to do these deals for 2021

i will knock off 10% off each deal if you take 2 so $18000 per package

look forward to your response

regards
Mule deer and Colorado elk seasons almost done! Hunters driving farm roads, looking for racks, their PH driving them along, I ask that you not pull into my drive. The buck behind me, on the boundary line of the GMU somehow knows. The hunter laughs, I would invite you in to see my Searcy rifles but social distancing prevails, darkness arrives and the buck slides away into secret tree grove...
Boyd Brooks wrote on Skinnersblade's profile.
Ellwood Epps has 1 box of 25-20 in stock. Look them up on the web. They are located in Orilla Ontario.
Lkhntr wrote on Warpig602's profile.
On the vx6 2-12 what does the zl2 stand for?

Thanks, Oliver
bowjijohn wrote on AfricaHunting.com's profile.
Many thanks for re formatting my article for the forum

I served my time in both the bush and during the bush war

I hope it did it justice

Education is where it is at - without it the wild places are history

You - sir - are well placed to make a difference

J
 
Top