Advice for .375 H&H purchase needed

Red Leg

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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.
Keep working with it, and find the loads it likes. My .375, .300WM, and 6.5x55 barrels all shoot sub-MOA thumbnail groups.
 

Blue Moon

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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.
I would say the that the Merkel Helix is probably the quickest straight-pull on the market. Ejector problems (replacement of ejector spring); too large headspace in some rifles; too weak/short firing pin (replacement of firing pin or bolt) are some of the issues I can remember. I discussed this thing with a gun dealer who had stopped selling Merkel Helix and he said that that they always get a number of rifles back each year regardless of brand due to way of modern production with less craftsmanship involved. Blaser (and Sauer and Mauser, same group) has definitely a good quality production and they are probably among those with the least issues. I am also fan of German rifles and a pre-war drilling is high on my wishlist. I nearly bought a Blaser Bockbuchsflinte the other year. I agree that walking around with a de-cocked rifle is probably the safest thing only after an empty chamber. However, I have a safety concern when people are cocking the rifle before raising it to the shoulder which is something you see all the time due to the fact that it requires some force to do it. Steel Action and Strasser are by the way two straight-pulls that I would like to get my hands on and test. I would like to clarify that I like many things about the Blaser and is definitely not opposed to owning one. They are definitely good rifles. Guns are subjective things. ;)
 

5shot

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The only input I can add is that IF you plan to use it with open sights, handling them is the ONLY way to know if the gun is right for you. I handled everything I could get my hands on at SHOT, and the only gun that I could throw up and have the sights anywhere close (and for me they were right on) was the CZ 550 Safari Mag with the hogback stock. Everything else was way high (looking at the bottom of the front sight base). Since open sights are used for quick shooting, having to find them would certainly detract from that.

A new stock would certainly fix the issue with any rifle, but that does add to the cost.
 

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There is another M70 option that is a bit lighter than the Safari, check out the M70 Alaskan.

I posted pics and load development in this forum last year, do a quick search if you are interested in this option.
 

BigSteve57

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+1 for the Blaser as I own a Kilombero with .375 H&H barrel bought with it originally and a recently acquired .300 Win Mag barrel.
See that's the thing with Blaser...so you want a new rifle? So get a new barrel.
Oh you shoot left handed? Then get the lefty bolt.
I just love these rifles.

Re the .375. I really think the .375's reputation was well established before modern bullets & propellants. Modernization has pushed the .375 to beyond its original performance. I think that's true for all modern ammunition; all boats have been raised so to speak.
 

Shootist43

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Tra3, the right choice for you is the one that fits your shoulder and your wallet. The Winchester M 70 375 H&H safari Express I purchased last April fit both of my "appurtenances" well. Generally speaking a Winchester that is fed the ammo it likes regardless of caliber is hard to beat in the accuracy department.
 

colorado

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I love my CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery but it has had some work done on it. For a 375 H&H I would go with a Win M70. Buy one where you can touch it and run the action.
 

wesheltonj

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I own a SAKO Classic in 375, and I think it's a little on the light side. That said, I am a SAKO person, quality gun right out of the box. However, if I was starting over from scratch, Blaser would be the way to go. I will admit that Blasers that are not the nicest looking guns, except for the full stock ones. Of the straight pull the Merkel looks better, but apparently no 375 option.
 

ve7poi

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Blaser R8 in Safari pro in 458 Lott plus 300 win mag safari barrel both shoot extreamly well had the 500jeffery barrel but couldn’t get bolt head so sent it back.
Straight factory ammo so far no need to hand load ammo but do just for fun haven’t found anything that will out shoot VOR-TX in either caliber so far..
 

Philip Glass

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I personally wish I had bought the R8 years ago before I bought all these other guns. You should seriously consider it. The reliability and versatility can’t be matched. It’s silly what the people say about the safety being hard to manage.
On my leopard hunt I was charged and my gun malfunctioned (long story here on AH) I was relating this story clearing guns in ATL to a well experienced and well known hunter. He said that’s why I use the R8! It’s basically a semiauto.
Best of luck!
Philip
 

sestoppelman

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Any new rifle can be a bit fussy till broken in a bit. The CZ seems to have built a reputation for feed issues and such which can all be solved. I have owned several CZ rifles and BRNO rifles as well and but for one, a custom shop .404, all performed perfectly. The .404 had to make a trip to Triple River to get its bolt face opened up, but was excellent after than and like most CZ rifles very accurate. But given the ones you mentioned I would agree with the others that the M70 would be pretty hard to beat.
 

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I own most of what you're looking at. A Kimber Talkeetna 375 H&H, Sako 85 Kodiak 375 H&H. Ruger Alaskan 416 Ruger and Winchester 70 416 RM. My two 375s weigh in at about the right weight for a 375.
The Kimber is 8lbs 6oz with Leupold vx3 1.5-5×20 scope in Leupold steel PRW rings.
The Sako is 9lbs with a Leupold vx2 2x7×33 in Sako optilock rings.
The Ruger Alaskan 416 weighs 8lbs 12oz with a Leupold vx 3 1.5-5×20 in steel Ruger rings. (A little light for a 416, but very packable)
The Winchester 70 416 is 9lbs 13oz with a Leupold vx3 1.5-5×20 in Leupold steel QRW rings.
These are all about optimal weights for their respective calibers.
I feel the Winchester 70 375 is a bit heavy for caliber, although it's a very nice rifle.
So, I would get the 416 in that rifle.
If going with 375 H&H I would take a good look at the Kimber Talkeetna or Sako 85. And maybe take a look at the MRC as well. Of course Remington, Weatherby and Browning make 375s in lighter weight rifles as well, if you don't mind push feed rifles.
 

colorado

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Any new rifle can be a bit fussy till broken in a bit. The CZ seems to have built a reputation for feed issues and such which can all be solved. I have owned several CZ rifles and BRNO rifles as well and but for one, a custom shop .404, all performed perfectly. The .404 had to make a trip to Triple River to get its bolt face opened up, but was excellent after than and like most CZ rifles very accurate. But given the ones you mentioned I would agree with the others that the M70 would be pretty hard to beat.

Agree. I love my CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery. The 500 Jeffery is a notoriously hard cartridge to make feed and function smoothly. My CZ 550 was a great bargain and well worth the effort that I had Triple River and AHR go through. I had one in 375 H&H and it had no issues. I just feel it's a bit heavy for a 375 H&H, just right for a 450 Rigby or 500 Jeffery.
 

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I own most of what you're looking at. A Kimber Talkeetna 375 H&H, Sako 85 Kodiak 375 H&H. Ruger Alaskan 416 Ruger and Winchester 70 416 RM. My two 375s weigh in at about the right weight for a 375.
The Kimber is 8lbs 6oz with Leupold vx3 1.5-5×20 scope in Leupold steel PRW rings.
The Sako is 9lbs with a Leupold vx2 2x7×33 in Sako optilock rings.
The Ruger Alaskan 416 weighs 8lbs 12oz with a Leupold vx 3 1.5-5×20 in steel Ruger rings. (A little light for a 416, but very packable)
The Winchester 70 416 is 9lbs 13oz with a Leupold vx3 1.5-5×20 in Leupold steel QRW rings.
These are all about optimal weights for their respective calibers.
I feel the Winchester 70 375 is a bit heavy for caliber, although it's a very nice rifle.
So, I would get the 416 in that rifle.
If going with 375 H&H I would take a good look at the Kimber Talkeetna or Sako 85. And maybe take a look at the MRC as well. Of course Remington, Weatherby and Browning make 375s in lighter weight rifles as well, if you don't mind push feed rifles.
I agree with TOBY458 but will add that the fit of the rifle is just as important to mitigating recoil as the weight.
A properly fit 450 Rigby will feel and shoot better than an ill fitting 375 H&H.
Find the brand/make/model of rifle that fits you well as a starting point and go from there.
 

Rider717

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Keep working with it, and find the loads it likes. My .375, .300WM, and 6.5x55 barrels all shoot sub-MOA thumbnail groups.

That's the plan. .375 ammo makes a day at the range expensive!
 

Ridgewalker

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That's the plan. .375 ammo makes a day at the range expensive!
You can usually find some cheap PPU 375 on ammoseek.com to practice with. If you reload, Hodgdon’s website has some low dollar light practice loads using 235 gr Speer SP and Trail Boss. I use this load quite a bit for practice. It also works well for rabbit hunting. Learning to carry, mount, sight and trigger pull is important time to develop muscle memory. As you get nearer Safari time you need to move up to full power repeating the scenario and be sure to add in sticks to the process.
Also if you have a similar action in 22LR or 223 where ammo is cheap, that will help train your brain. But you have to move up to the full power loads as you near time to go.
JME&O Best of luck however you train!
 
D

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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!

I did a quick search to learn more about the PH reticle, but found several different images that had that designation. Can you describe the one you are recommending? Is it three crosshairs that do not quite intersect (two horizontal and a lower half-vertical)?

Thanks,

Jeff
 

BC.Pat

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Just my 2¢, but as it has not been mentioned yet. The Ruger RSM in 375; its a bit clubby and heavy. But these help with the recoiled. I have a friend that is about your size and he was surprised at how little the rifle recoiled. He liked it so much he bought off me.
They can found quite reasonable used. Lots of good sage advise here as usual, shoot as many as you can before you purchase.
Good Luck.
Pat
 

IvW

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The main problem with switch barrel systems are if something happens to the stock you are screwed..adding a extra stock may be a good idea.
 

Shooter375

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I bought a Kimber Caprivi in 375 H&H. I love it.
20181103_163631.jpg
 

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