375 Rifle Choice

tarawa

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Well, I have been out of town working and saving my pennies. I just had to add another .375 to the fleet of safe queens. Every time I read one of Monish's posts about the "Emperor" of cartridges, I had the urge to buy one of the Winchester Model 70 Safaris. I called CDNN today and placed my order. I got the last one that they had in stock! I should have it by Friday. I already have the Remington 798, but I have never been comfortable shooting a gun with a Monte Carlo stock. I was going to restock it, but buying the Winchester was cheaper. Someday, I may even be able to use it in Africa.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Well I finally got out and shot my M70 today. With a September bow hunt for elk, October deer hunt for my son and just a crazy overall schedule this fall I hadn't had the opportunity.

I loaded up some 260 grain Accubonds over 66 grains of IMR 4064. This was the lightest load in that powder. No particular reason for that powder except that I had it for loading my son's .308. The bullet choice was simply because that was what was available in Nosler and .375 at the time.

I have read hear many times how the .375 H&H had a reasonable recoil and that it was more of a push on you versus a sharper crack. I have to say however I couldn't believe it in my mind. Well, I was wrong and am glad to say it. As mentioned I loaded on the light side, but I was very pleasantly surprised how reasonable the recoil was. I shot 20 rounds, about half of which was with the lead sled. But I shot the other half standing up, including two 4 round "burst" shots.

As for the M70, well I was already partial to Winchesters and I still am. Trigger is very crisp, the action very smooth. I guess there are better rifles out there, but for $1000, it seems to me a great buy. I was not able to get bases for the rifle at the Sportsman's Warehouse nearby so I shot open sights. I've got some Warne quick detach rings and bases on the way from Midway USA, hopefully they'll be hear this week. I'm looking forward to shooting this rifle with a scope on it and see what the accuracy is like out of the box.
 

richteb

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Just purchased a Ruger Alaskan inn 416 Ruger as a second rifle for buffalo. Although it seems to shoot pretty well, the reliabilty of feeding was a lot to be desired for a DG rifle. In addition mine came with bent extractor claw. If the quality of finish of mine is anything to guage by then be prepaired to take your new rifle straight to a gunsmith to sort it out. Must say I am disapointed in the finish as compaired to the early Mk I's.
 

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I got a very good buy on a Ruger Alaskan in 375 Ruger this summer. I sent it to Hill Country Rifles for bedding and accurizing before I even shot it. Asked them to be sure it fed perfectly. Gun shoots 3/4" groups and feeds very smoothly. RL 17 is giving 2700 fps. Recoil is noticeable but very manageable. I have cycled a couple of hundred rounds through it without a hitch. I plan to use it with 300 gr North Fork bullets on Buff in May.
 

Ticonderoga

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Hello everyone, new member here, this is my first post.

Have considered buying a .375 for a few years now and will likely pull the trigger this spring when I return from Afghanistan.

I eventually plan to head to Africa and thought that the .375 H&H would be perfect for an Africa trip and some Elk/Moose/Bear in N. America.

I've always been a fan of practice, practice and am amused at the range when I see a guy with a two thousand dollar 1911 .45 that he's had for 5 years and not a scratch on it. I think that the guy with the "off the shelf" .45 who's put a few thousand rounds through it will always have the drop.

That in mind, I'd like to take my .375 deer hunting and to the range and out of doors to do some off hand shooting, snap shooting, over the sticks, and at targets of various ranges with and without the scope.

With all that in mind, I'd like to have a tough rifle. The CZ seems to be getting a lot of good praise, I haven't seen one complaint about it yet (and I've read a LOT of boards and articles). I have however, seen a lot of complaints of guns "broken" from the factory from Winchester & Ruger. For example, here is a review of the Mod 70 from a customer at Cabellas:

Be prepared to tackle issues with any of these FN Model 70's before you can take it hunting. On my Safari model, the bolt sleeve lock was way too long and had to be filed before the bolt could be disassembled. It is supposed to be a "field strippable" bolt. Also the barrel mounted swivel stud's hole was too small to allow a swivel to be inserted. I had to drill it out. In both cases the service dep't said they would do it or I could, but since I have sent 2 FN Model 70's into the service dep't and got them back the same or worse than they were before, I just did it myself. Problems I have had with other FN Model 70's include creepy triggers, unrelable feeding from the magazine, and the total inability to close on a chambered round not from the magazine (despite what the manual says). I just think there is inadequate inspection of the subcontracted parts. Each gun has different issues. When the service dep't can't even fix basic problems like feeding issues I call it quits on Winchester.

Cabela's: Winchester Model 70 Safari Express Rifles

I've seen a lot of complaints like this about Rugers, Winchesters & even had a buddy with a Remington 700 broken from the factory. I haven't ever seen a complaint like this about the CZ 550 which pulls me towards this gun somewhat. I am interested in the Winchester Safari but would like to hear more from others who have recently purchased one. Perhaps the factory has worked out some of the bugs?

I digress: the one thing that was most important to me when selecting a rifle was that I wanted it in stainless. I plan to spend many a day in the filed with it, perhaps a Canadian or Alaskan trip and I'd really like to have a stainless gun. It is quite shocking to me that neither the Winchester or the CZ come in stainless. I would probably take a Ruger, but they don't seem to have anything in .375 H&H stainless, or do they? I checked their website and all of their current production rifles (in stainless) seem to be in .375 Ruger. I won't buy that round just on the principle of Ruger making me buy their round if I want one of their guns. Just like I won't buy an Ipod because I don't want to be locked into "Itunes." It just seems like an infringement of my freedom...?

I've read quite a few stings of posts here and have picked up some invaluable information, so, thanks to all for that.

If anyone has a suggestion for a stainless/synthetic combo in .375 H&H I'd love to know it. And, does anyone have an opinion if some of the manufacturers will start to offer H&H in stainless?

I suppose, for the price, I could just take the CZ and if it gets a bit of rust in Alaska, I should refer to my basic belief that a gun is a tool and not a decoration, it should be used and look used.
 

browningbbr

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Ticonderoga,

CZ's are not without their issues too. I did considerable research before buying a moderately priced big bore and found several posts about feeding problems and bolt-binding in the CZ. I checked out a few of them at gun shops and found a couple that did not have smoothly-sliding bolts. There are also a handful of shops that specialize in "tuning" and correcting problems with CZ 550, so that indicates that the problem is not isolated. (One of them is American Hunting Rifles - American Hunting Rifles - CZ Owners)

If you have the skill and time to work through the issues that can come with the Ruger, CZ or Winchester, you might want to chose from these brands. If not, with any of them you may have to spend some extra money getting the "bugs" worked out.

Otherwise, you can look to rifles that are semi-custom for about 2x the money. For example, I have not heard of anyone having problems with H-S precision rifles.

In the end, I bought a Ruger in 416 Rigby. I did have to do some minor gunsmithing to get the blade extractor to spring up more quickly. Other than that, it has worked well through 180 rounds of practice and load testing.

My $0.02 for what it is worth.

- browningbbr
 

copperhead

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"I digress: the one thing that was most important to me when selecting a rifle was that I wanted it in stainless. I plan to spend many a day in the filed with it, perhaps a Canadian or Alaskan trip and I'd really like to have a stainless gun. It is quite shocking to me that neither the Winchester or the CZ come in stainless. I would probably take a Ruger, but they don't seem to have anything in .375 H&H stainless, or do they? I checked their website and all of their current production rifles (in stainless) seem to be in .375 Ruger. I won't buy that round just on the principle of Ruger making me buy their round if I want one of their guns. Just like I won't buy an Ipod because I don't want to be locked into "Itunes." It just seems like an infringement of my freedom...?" - Ticonderoga

Let me start by saying THANK YOU for your service! I returned home in 2005 myself and I pray for you. Now, about your post. The .375 Ruger is now being picked up by other manufacturers, and I believe that CZ has a rifle chambering in that caliber now but please verify that with them and some research. As for the other reason I went with that caliber for DG, which I hope to hunt within 3 years, comes from my service experience. When in a "stressful scenario" bad things happen usually by mistake. I looked at the shorter cartridge in a standard length action as something I was used to rather than a magnum action as I hunted most of my life with that size action, therefore in an emergency situation I didn't and don't feel I will accidently short stroke the bolt. I am training with the Ruger to further ensure no problems when and if needed in that kind of scenario. I own the African version of the Hawkeye and love the rifle. It is my first Ruger rifle ever, so I am not simply a fan of theirs. As for the ammunition availability in Africa, I thought long and hard about this. I spoke with my outfitter while planning my hunt in September and offered to send a couple boxes to him in advance, with him assuring me that he would let me know they arrived, etc. to be in addition to what I take over with me. He was open to this idea and I felt comfortable doing that. I recently read about some cases where ammunition was borrowed from PH's due to lost ammunition and some were reloads, by unknown poeple, and so on. That scared me as well so I developed a plan to use MY ammunition even if mine was lost in transit. Remember the "5 P's" when going on an expensive hunt is my advise. That is Poor Planning means Piss Poor Performance! Good luck!
 

enysse

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I think the stainless steel models sell pretty well in most calibers...but for DG...everyone is "old school" and black matte seems to be the selling standard....and manufactures have to sell what people want.

I think the Ruger Stainless steel and black stock models are ugly for Big game rifle...I'm sure they shoot well...but I'll take a CZ 550 in wood anyday of the week. And I love Ruger...absolutely love them....but a Big Bore should be a thing of beauty in my opinion...and that is my 2 cents on the subject. My dad hates all synthetic stock and stainless steel barrel guns....and he is far from the only one out there. I do a lot of hunting with my Ruger 243 Win. 26 in heavy barrel, varmint gun...except for the fact i use it for deer hunting and antelope hunting. That gun takes a beating and is never off and I never clean it....stainless steel and that laminate stock where made for hunting a lot.
 

Ticonderoga

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I think the stainless steel models sell pretty well in most calibers...but for DG...everyone is "old school" and black matte seems to be the selling standard....and manufactures have to sell what people want.
I'm going to disagree with you on this point. I've searched for a week now, 2 to 4 hours each day, been to thousands of websites and all of the stainless CRF guns >$1500 are sold out.

Looking at the forums (this site and others), every time a Win 70 .375 CRF stainless goes up for sale its snatched in 24 hours.

The Kimber stainless $2200 MSRP is sold out and on back order at half of the retail shops that carry it.

I believe that there is a HUGE demand for a CRF .375 in stainless.

As for beauty, I think that the Mod 70 and Talkeetna in stainless are objects of beauty too :cool:

Model 70 Classic, Stainless, -- Winchester Repeating Arms -- Historic Product Model

Kimber > Rifles > Specialty Rifles > Talkeetna™
 

enysse

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Well maybe I'm behind in my thinking....are the wood/stainless steel selling well or the synthetic stock/stainless steel for Dangerous Game? I guess I could see the wood/stainless steel selling well...but I'm surprised if everyone is going to stainless steel and synthetic stock.

When ever I go to a fancy gun show...wood/blue barrel...sells anything out by a factor of 10 in the big calibers. And most guys tell me they will never deviate...for a big bore.
 

One eye

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Well maybe I'm behind in my thinking....are the wood/stainless steel selling well or the synthetic stock/stainless steel for Dangerous Game? I guess I could see the wood/stainless steel selling well...but I'm surprised if everyone is going to stainless steel and synthetic stock.

When ever I go to a fancy gun show...wood/blue barrel...sells anything out by a factor of 10 in the big calibers. And most guys tell me they will never deviate...for a big bore.
I don't think you are "behind" at all. I have never like stainless or synthetic guns. For me, its good walnut and blued steel. Spend your hard earned money on whatever you want and get out there and shoot as much as possible.

While it is not one of the OP's choices, I am personally partial to the Ruger #1s and love that classic single shot look and feel.
Dan
 

RayAtkinson

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I really like the .375 with 300 gr. bullets for about anything, and with solids I even like it on elephant.

My choice of rifle is a Mauser 98 custom or FN followed by a control feed M-70 and I prefer the pre 64s...I custom stock my own rifles.

You can never go wrong with a .375 H&H as long as you understand bullet construction and use the right bullet for the job at hand..On buff I want a GS Customs FN solid or a Northfork cup point..Softs on a frontal shot tend to slide over and go between the rib cage and shoulder and then you got a problem with your probably well placed shot..
 

.416 Rigby

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The Kimber Caprivi is a well made, accurate .375. I'm pleased with mine. Only issue is that the catalog states the magazine holds 4 rounds. While you can cram 4 rounds into the magazine, feeding of the first round is unreliable. With three rounds in the magazine, it feeds smoothly and reliably every time.

The rifle is ready to go right out of the box and needs no gunsmithing. Just shoot it a lot before you go. Mine prefers Federal Barnes 300 grain loads in both solids and the TSX. Both shoot to the same point of impact and average about an inch and a quarter (consistently) for 3 shots @ 100 yards.
 

Ontario Nimrod

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Ty,

This is an old thread, so maybe you've already found what you're looking for. If not, you might want to have a look at the Sako. I have a model 75 Stainless Synthetic in .375H&H and I love it. I bought it for brown bear in Alaska, but so far the closest I've come to that trip is a recent black bear hunt on Vancouver Island. They don't make the model 75 anymore, but I think the current versions (model 85; model A7) are also available in the same configuration). By the way, I also have a Ruger Model 77 MKII Magnum in .375H&H which I've used in Africa, and I really love that gun too. I also have the same gun in .416 Rigby and in .458 Lott, but haven't got to use them yet.
 

fhm3006

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cut an inch or two off the barrel of that Win model 70 and you will be very pleased with the gun
As i am in the market for (probably) a new M70 375 H/H (Saf Express) i have read almost every post on AH about the .375's and never came across this type of suggestion before - untill now.
I am confused by this comment - why would anyone want to cut off 1-2 inches of its barrel? Am i missing something here...??? Where's the wise men - help please?
 

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I am thinking they like the shorter barrel for DG hunting in thick cover, but the mod. 70 only comes in a 24-25 inch barrel. So cut off a couple of inches. Me I wouldnt. But I like the shorter lighter guns. And not a fan on winchester.

As far as finish...I looooove stainless with the hardwood stock. It gets no better than that. Very few out there.

As a side note....I love this tread...we all sound like a bunch of politicians arguing over the economy! Lol it great!
 

DOC-404

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I am confused by this comment - why would anyone want to cut off 1-2 inches of its barrel? Am i missing something here...??? Where's the wise men - help please?
..it's all quite simple,old chap,some hunters have long ones and some hunters have short ones..! :cool:
 

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fhm3006

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..it's all quite simple,old chap,some hunters have long ones and some hunters have short ones..! :cool:
Fkn wise ass!:doh2:
Haven't you noticed i specifically asked for 'wise men' to comment!:sarcasm:

Seriously - i don't get it! I understand the shorter barrel-issue for DG close-ups as RickB explained. I believe any rifle's barrel length were designed / tested by the manufaturer / engineers during the models manaufacturing to establish the exact length for the specific barrel for optimum performance / accuracy. Would'nt the performance / accuracy be jeopardized due to shortening the barrel - harmonics-issue and all that tunes?
I suppose dusting up DG at 70 yards that 2 inches less will not make a difference on accuracy - that may be it - but then the rifle cannot (i suppose) be used for hunting over longer distances and is exclusive for short distance shooting? Personally I feel it is a waste of versatility by doing this 'shortening thing'.
 

RickB

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I disagree! I cut the barrel down so I have an excuse to buy another gun for long range shooting! :D

Ok back to being serious. I agree about the factory design, but like you said at less than 100 yards it won't matter. But like politics, and Chevy vs Ford, people have their favorites. Some people are willing to cut there winchester down just so they keep their winchester.
 
 

 

 

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