Advice for .375 H&H purchase needed

Tra3

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Thank you all in advance for advice. Having read the threads regarding different brands in .375 H&H I’m curious to see if there are any updates now that we are in 2019. Some parameters:
I really like the 3 position wing safety.
I am 5’8” and 158 lbs of marathon-running elk hunter. I might use the .375 for elk hunting, but my 7 mag works great.
It would be for buffalo and plains game on Africa trip #2 in Namibia, 2020.
A rifle is a tool that is made to get used hard (and the cleaned!) a scratch is a badge of earned honor.
CRF seems quite important.
So it seems I’m in the Winchester model 70, Kimber or Montana rifles. Blaser looks awesome, but seems expensive (Dakota also).

What suggestions do you have? A lot here think the Winchester is the best value (more money for practice ammo, scope, another animal etc). I own Kimber and Winchester rifles in smaller calibers.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Have a safe full of M70's including a Safari Express in .375HH. It was a shooter right out of the box as is the one owned by another friend of mine. And I read the same result from others who have the FN made versions. If I had a complaint it's that Winchester makes the rifle in 3 DG calibers and basically the weight and balance is likely best in the .416Rem version. The .375 is a little forward heavy, but go ahead and try to take this rifle from me.....:E Nono:
 

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You are on the right track. Try to handle one of each you are considering and if you can, buy the one that fits you best. Secondary, define what you are willing to spend and narrow it down that way.

Agree with Phil that the best Winchester Safari Express is the 416 Rem Mag;) But the somewhat heavy 375 is very easy to shoot. I'd much prefer to carry the 416 version on a DG hunt that requires much walking and possibly shooting off hand.
 

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All great guns. I would through the CZ550 into the mix. Some say the action is rough or it has a tendency to jam. Mine is smooth as silk, and I had to watch a 'how to' video to get mine to comply with the jamming issue. It is built like a tank, well finished with beautiful figured walnut. It is one of the most accurate guns I own.
 

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sierraone

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As previously suggested...M70 .375 HH using 300 gr Barnes TSX for buffalo, and you can go down to 235 gr factory ammo for lesser game such as elk if you choose.
 

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the Win M70 in 375 is the best bang for your buck if your going for a 375. the M70 in 416 RM is by far superior though... I LOVE mine.

the CZ 550 in 375 was my first medium bore rifle. its a nice rifle but isn't quite up to the quality of the M70. the one thing its got that the M70 doesn't is the single set trigger which I really enjoyed.

-matt
 

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How is the recoil between the .416 and the .375? I’ve shot the .375 and am comfortable with it. I think my 7 lb Knight ultralight muzzleloader pushing 300 grain scorpion pt Gold on 120 grains of blackhorn 209 is similar to the .375. I have not shot a .416. Other posts indicate the barrel in the .375, .416 and .458 are the same in the Winchester, thus the .416 being the best balance. Double duty for elk would be nice, but I don’t “need” another elk rifle (yet).
 

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Other posts indicate the barrel in the .375, .416 and .458 are the same in the Winchester, thus the .416 being the best balance.

this is correct, they use the same barrel for all three chambering's. the 375 will be muzzle heavy and the 458 will be too light.

How is the recoil between the .416 and the .375?

hard to explain... it will have more recoil then a 375 but most people find the 416's to be very manageable. I fire a 300gr Barnes TSX at 2700fps from my 416 RM and the recoil is there but its nothing compared to my 500 NE. shooting a 416 isn't much of a challenge for most people with maybe the extremely skittish people being the exception. I would recommend you avoid shooting the gun off a bench though.

Double duty for elk would be nice, but I don’t “need” another elk rifle (yet).

the 416 RM would make a fine elk cartridge, ive used mine on impala and white tail's... no tracking needed! if you use the right load in the gun then it would be suitable for shots out to 200 yards. the warthog in my avatar was killed with my 416 M70 at just over 140 yards (that's a 416 RM cartridge on his nose).

-matt
 
D

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My PH suggested that the .416 Remington is a great choice for a person who is going to hunt elephant and buffalo on a regular basis. He recommends a .375 for the hunter who might do those species occasionally but who hunts plains game primarily. He describes the .375 as "more than adequate" for DG. This is a funny thread because I have been going through the same debate. It was settled yesterday with a used .375 M 70 based on reviewing dozens of threads on this forum and hearing lots of good things. FN gun from SC, and so pristine I had to as them if it was actually used. I found it at a local shop that rarely has larger calibers because there is no market for them in my area, and after handling it I realized that this was the one. It fit perfectly.

I love my 9.3 x 62 but the .375 is legal for DG just about everywhere and I just wanted one.

Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Jeff, Good choice, and if for some reason you decide to sell you will have little problem finding a buyer for a M-70 . If it does not have scope mounts or scope, be sure to buy the best you can afford. My choice for mounts in descending order are QD EAW, QD Talley and the others. Scope Swarovski, personally I like the older PH model with the dangerous game reticule. The newer Z6i is very nice, but I prefer the older model. I buy them up when I find them, but its been awhile.

If scope mounting is not your specialty. Find a COMPETENT gunsmith who will do the installation with you present, you want to be sure to get the correct eye relief and since you will be hunting Africa it will probably be hot, so wear a light weight shirt. Rifle fit is important and I feel that most factory American stocks tend to be a little on the short side. You can add up to 1/2 inch with a proper Kick Eez or Limbsaver magnum pad and they sure work, especially if you follow the heavy bullet for calibre trend that some hunters are going with.

One last thing you might want to think about is sight your rifle in with the iron sights before the scope is installed. The day may come that you will need them and if you do things have already gone wrong so you do not need another problem!
 

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Hope you will post a picture of whichever one you decide on.
 

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The Blaser R8 is indeed a truly awesome rifle.
 

Bas

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If you get a 375 don't forget Cutting Edge Bullets and Lehigh make bullets down to 175-185 grains. A 200 gr. Sierra pushed to the max makes a very ugly wound on deer.
 

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First, don't take this the wrong way. :) R8 is a very good rifle :) (a friend of mine own one) and it has become the benchmark for production straight pulls. I would however not be totally comfortable with using it for DG. Like all (overly) engineered productions rifles it has had it fair share of issues (less than many other to be honest). More important though, Handspannung (Manual Cocking System) is a no for me due to the fact that they are difficult to quickly cock with the rifle to the shoulder (at least for me). Rifles with manual cocking systems may also often have shorter firing pins which increases the risk of no ignition. Rifle preference is always subjective. I have never hunted Africa, but I would prefer a less advanced rifle when conditions are tough and maybe even one with a controlled feed.
 

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All great guns. I would through the CZ550 into the mix. Some say the action is rough or it has a tendency to jam. Mine is smooth as silk, and I had to watch a 'how to' video to get mine to comply with the jamming issue. It is built like a tank, well finished with beautiful figured walnut. It is one of the most accurate guns I own.
CZ does build a great rifle. Just be sure to try it on for fit first. The ones I have at least feel bigger and thicker than my M70's and M77's. Which is a good thing as I have larger hands and the full handful seems to help control recoil, at least I notice it on the 505 Gibbs;)

Nothing beats a good fit.
 

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First, don't take this the wrong way. :) R8 is a very good rifle :) (a friend of mine own one) and it has become the benchmark for production straight pulls. I would however not be totally comfortable with using it for DG. Like all (overly) engineered productions rifles it has had it fair share of issues (less than many other to be honest). More important though, Handspannung (Manual Cocking System) is a no for me due to the fact that they are difficult to quickly cock with the rifle to the shoulder (at least for me). Rifles with manual cocking systems may also often have shorter firing pins which increases the risk of no ignition. Rifle preference is always subjective. I have never hunted Africa, but I would prefer a less advanced rifle when conditions are tough and maybe even one with a controlled feed.
I have hunted Africa a bit and quite of bit of that with the R8 - to include a bit of dangerous game. I also own more than a couple Mauser based rifles. I am totally comfortable with the R8 and find it in many ways superior to my Mausers, Ergonomics are perfect, second shot is the quickest of any legal repeater, and I don't own a rifle with a better trigger. And what "fair set of issues" has it had - exactly? The R93 allegedly had problems, but the R8 seems very robust indeed. My own sampling is admittedly limited. But in addition to myself, I know at least half a dozen folks who hunt the R8 regularly worldwide. They are all experienced with a wide range of makers and actions, and they hunt the R8 because they believe it is a superior rifle. Also, one of the most abused observations about Germanic firearms is their "over engineering". Frankly, that is a crock. I own Teutonic SxS's, OU's, drillings, Bockbuchsflinte, and double rifles (to include a Baser S2) - they all function flawlessly. Just as good as any British rifle or gun with which they share the gun room. Just saying.

The cocking mechanism is just as fast as any other rifle I own. Like most things, it just takes a bit of practice. It is essentially the same as used on the K-Gun and it works there as well. It is also the safest mechanism in the field today short of an empty chamber. No knock on the 98 and its ilk, but I have hunted Africa with both, and the R8 has become my favorite firearm over its "less advanced" predecessors.
 

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I'll add to the Blaser recommendation. I have the R8 with a Monza stock in .375 H&H. I'll hunt buffalo with it in April and May. I haven't hunted with it yet but have shot a few boxes of ammo at the range. Out of the box scoped and boresighted by my gunsmith it shot 2 inch groups at a hundred yards. Now that I've gotten used to it I can get 3 shot groups at an less than 2 inches. Mine has a 12 oz kick stop in the but that makes the recoil similar to my .300 WSM and completely manageable. The more I shoot it the less I notice the recoil. I am going to try some custom ammo and see if I can get my groups tighter before April. The cocking switch took some time to get used to but I actually like it. At the SCI conventions and the NRA show I tried out every .375 and .416 I could find. For me the Kimber and the Blaser were the two rifles that felt right in those calibers. Since I didn't hunt last year I went with the costlier Blaser and have no regrets.
 

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Tra3, you and I are about the same physical size, but I suspect there are many moons difference in age:ROFLMAO:! I use a 375 H&H and have it now in two rifles, a MRC and a Kimber Talkeetna. Big difference in weights. I got the stainless/synthetic stocked versions after hunting in Alaska and nearly ruining a beautiful Kimber Classic.

I shot a 416 Rigby and 458 Lott, but my recovery time (getting back on target) was quite a bit longer than for the 375. Hopefully it will never be needed. Their recoil was brutal compared to the 375s.
You might want to find someone and shoot each for comparison.

I know everyone says the 416 does a better job on buffalo, but then so does the 458 Lott and the 470 NE. I have only killed one and the 375 did it’s job. It all depends on what your main purpose is and what you want to handle. Everyone’s pain threshold is different. Me, I’ll stick with the 375 H&H.

Best of luck in your decision!
 

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Im going to jump on the Win M70 bandwagon here.. I've got an M70 stainless classic in 375 H&H. It is a superb rifle.. It feeds anything/everything well.. is accurate.. reliable.. affordable.. and between the stainless and synthetic stock, its pretty impervious to weather and the general beating the typical hunter will expose a rifle to on an elk hunt (or a plains game hunt)..

My one and only complaint is its a little bit barrel heavy.. but that hasnt been a problem for me.. I like a gun with a little extra meat on it, and it isnt so barrel heavy that it puts the natural balance point too far out from where I typically like it (center of the magazine)...

Being a stainless with a synthetic stock my gun isnt "classic" africa.. but it would meet all of your stated needs and requirements (CRF, 3 position safety, weathers well, etc..)..


On the .416 discussion.. I had a chance to shoot my 416 Taylor, a 416 Rem Mag, and a 458 Win Mag all side by side this past week... The taylor is an absolute joy to shoot.. I literally can tell no difference in recoil between it (shooting 400gr TSX) and my 375 H&H (shooting 300gr TSX).. it is going to be my primary africa/buffalo gun from this point forward.. its one and only draw back that I have found is ammo.. you pretty much have to be a hand loader or you are SOL with the 416 Taylor..

What was surprising to me was the recoil from the 416 Rem Mag really wasnt all that much more heavy than from the 416 Taylor.. it was a bit sharper.. but was also very manageable shooting 400gr A-Frames.. I wouldnt hesitate to use a good 416 RM for PG or DG (or elk)..

There was a noticeable jump moving from the 416 Rem Mag to the 458 Win Mag though.. still manageable.. but significantly more sharp and a much harder push as well..

Granted, caliber isnt the only factor when it comes to recoil.. stock design, rifle weight, etc.. all play a role.. but in this case all rifles were similar in weight (not more than a few OZ difference between then) all had traditional "american" straight stocks.. all had the same recoil pad (decellerator), etc.. while the 416 Taylor was the softest (truly comparable to a 375 H&H) the 416 RM was absolutely easy to shoot.. I am convinced that anyone that can handle a 375 H&H can also handle a 416 RM pretty easily..
 

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