Barrel Length for 375 H&H

MBIZI SAFARIS

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Morning All, I had the feeling that most big bore quality barrels can shoot well down to 22" barrel length if you take your time to find the optimal load/brand of powder and the right bullet. This is from a 416 Taylor shooting in a 22" Lothar Walther barrel. 68,2 gr Vihtavuori N540 and Northfork 400 gr Soft on 80 yards. I will not go under 22" in a mag calibre or a calibre with with larger case volume.

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Rob404

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Morning All, I had the feeling that most big bore quality barrels can shoot well down to 22" barrel length if you take your time to find the optimal load/brand of powder and the right bullet. This is from a 416 Taylor shooting in a 22" Lothar Walther barrel. 68,2 gr Vihtavuori N540 and Northfork 400 gr Soft on 80 yards. I will not go under 22" in a mag calibre or a calibre with with larger case volume.

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ChrisG

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I don't think you need to worry about much going all the way down to a 20" barrel in a .375 H&H, though mine is a 23" and it still hits all the right numbers as far as velocity vs. what the load data says it should be doing. There has been a lot of hoopla I've read in recent years about how short barreled guns don't burn all the powder in the barrel and spit it out at the end to produce the flash (some gun writers still cling stubbornly to this myth.) This is not true and has been proven false over and over since the 1940's but still the legend persists. You shouldn't worry about it. It is an urban legend. If you are getting too much flash, change your powder. Faster burning powders, as a rule, produce less flash because the pressure is lower at the muzzle.

All modern rifle powders are have burned all they are going to burn by the time the bullet reaches between the 6" and the 12" mark for the most part. If hasn't been burned up by that point, it isn't going to burn and will be spit out of the barrel unburned and scatter across the ground. Have you ever seen a snubby .44mag shooting heavy h-110 loads over snow? Thats what happens when not all the powder is burned up in the barrel. It looks like fleas everywhere.

Anyway, Big bores use their pressure much more efficiently than do long overbore cartridges like the Weatherby's and the RUM's. Velocity loss will be minimal until you get below 20". If you are having a flash problem, switch to powders that have a flash suppressant, or use a lower pressure loading. Flash is caused by the incomplete ("oxygen-poor") deflagration(burning) nature of most powders. the gases produced by the powders incomplete combustion are flammable (Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Monoxide, etc.) When they slam into the atmosphere at 2,500 degrees and mach 4,like they would from a short barrel, they naturally all go up once enough oxygen has been introduced unless they can be cooled rapidly by either a mechanical device (flash supressors break up the high temp shockwave proceeding the gas) or by insulating them much like a shielding gas (flash suppressant, different salts used to be used for this, I am not sure what they use now.) This is why muzzle flash appears to start several inches from the end of the muzzle. Black powder is still burning most of the time by the muzzle and you get the distinctive orange fireball emanating from the bore. Smokeless doesn't do this.

Anyway, back to your original question.... you shouldn't worry much about shortening barrels for cartridges that are not immensly overbore. Going really short has an effect on all cartridges so I wouldn't personally go below 20". Shortening a barrel also makes the barrel stiffer and decreases barrel whip, theoretically increasing accuracy but at the cost of some velocity (target shooters typically have longer barrels to increase velocity not accuracy.) This has diminishing returns as well but I have found that my 16" barreled guns usually shoot just as well and are less finicky than my 22-24" barreled guns.
 

marcelpb

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Any big name factory ( ruger, winchester, sako, remington, etc...) ofering a 20 - 22" barrel in 375 H&H ? Or only custom built rifles?
 

sheephunterab

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The Sako Kodiak is 21 1/4. I had one for a while and it was a real shooter!
 

bassasdaindia

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i was just about to reply as well with the Sako Brown Bear and Kodiak
 

bassasdaindia

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I once had a Sako Brown Bear in 375H&H , I sold the rifle and later purchased a Ruger Alaskan in 375 Ruger , to be honest I much prefer the Ruger Alaskan .
 

petrusg

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The Mod 70 Safari Express already has a comfortable length barrel, leave it as is! Perfectly balanced and 100% functional at the standard lenth
 

IvW

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22-25 inches, in general it should be fine as it comes from the factory. I would not shorten it.

Personal preference though, just make sure you do not negatively affect the balance of the rifle.

For me too much emphasis is put on "swinging ability", pointability etc. 99.9% of the time you as a client will be shooting off of shooting sticks or some form of rest and this is not a bird gun after all.

Rather stick to a rifle that fits you and is balanced and that you are comfortable with.

Shorter barrels lesson powder burning time(especially in a magnum) which may affect ammo performance. Depending on how much you shorten the barrel, muzzle flip may increase which in turn increases recovery time on your second shot. Muzzle blast will also increase with a shorter barrel, all in reason though.

Again anything between 22-25 inches will work fine and if you are happy with it go for it, I cannot see any real advantage of a 22 inch barrel vs 24 inch. You ain't going to shoot faster or better or be more comfortable carrying a 22 inch vs a 24 inch for all practical purposes in Africa, the difference is just too small.

Go with what you personally prefer.
 

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I do like shorter barrel rifles for hunting as well. But I dont have any magnum calibers with short(er) barrel lengths. Just getting a feel from guys that have more experience.

Sako have the Brown Bear and Kodiak.
The muzzle blast us something to behold.
The 20 inch barrel means that velocity will drop off a bit but not material in the likely hunting distance you'll encounter.
Personally I suggest a 24 inch barrel for velocity reasons and muzzle blast being directed away from you.
Suggest you don't get any barrels that reduce the recoil as the muzzle blast us just horrendous.
I further suggest a rifle of reasonable weight rather than light to reduce the felt recoil.
Hope this helps??
 

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I have a TC Encore barrel chambered for 375H&H at 20" in length. It started as an experiment at work one day (I work in the shooting Hunting industry), as I wanted a 375 small enough to put in a new case Storm was developing. It required a 20" barrel with my TC Encore frame to fit.

I purchased a 24" barrel (industry priced as it gets quite expensive trying to run these little tests) and began testing with a factory Hornady DG load. 24" first, had it cut and recrowned at 22", shot again, and then cut and recrowned at 20". A friend of mine did similar tests on a 308 and 300 win, you can see his blog online, though he didn't recrown between tests.

and behold, the 20" barrel had just over 120 FPS difference in velocity from the 24" with factory loads on average. I'll need to check back on my drives to find the data, but i want to say the average was about ~25-~30fps per inch.

The barrel is a heavy prohunter barrel and I noticed very little, if any more muzzle rise. As for handiness, it suited my purpose of a small cased truck gun. The need for a shorter rifle in Africa may not be as needed for hunters as most of the hunts may not require it, but if you were building a great NA all around rifle as well as a Africa rifle, it makes perfect sense. I've swung barrels around trees too many times to count and crawled and slid under bushes where saving a few inches keeps me unnoticed from a wobbling branch.

my .02...
 

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I guess I use 375 H&H differently than most, because I use it as a general purpose big game caliber with lighter bullets, not a dangerous game caliber (I have 416 and 458 for DG). So I prefer a longer, slimmer profile barrel.

I have shot many African plains game and North American game with a 25" barreled rifle shooting the Barnes 250gr TTSX. The extra barrel length and lighter profile barrel makes the 375 a very easy to carry rifle that has a punch out to longer distances. The 250gr TTSX load out of this rifle has a flatter trajectory than a 30-06, and hits harder than a 300gr partition with less recoil. A 250gr TTSX traveling over 2800fps really puts the hurt on critters. I have shot bears, an elk, big hogs, and a Gemsbok at 300 yards with my 375 and feel perfectly comfortable doing it.



 

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MerlinMc

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I guess I use 375 H&H differently than most, because I use it as a general purpose big game caliber with lighter bullets, not a dangerous game caliber (I have 416 and 458 for DG). So I prefer a longer, slimmer profile barrel.

I have shot many African plains game and North American game with a 25" barreled rifle shooting the Barnes 250gr TTSX. The extra barrel length and lighter profile barrel makes the 375 a very easy to carry rifle that has a punch out to longer distances. The 250gr TTSX load out of this rifle has a flatter trajectory than a 30-06, and hits harder than a 300gr partition with less recoil. A 250gr TTSX traveling over 2800fps really puts the hurt on critters. I have shot bears, an elk, big hogs, and a Gemsbok at 300 yards with my 375 and feel perfectly comfortable doing it.




My approach as well. I have a 25.5" barrel in my Blaser R8s and can get almost 3,000 FPS MV with 250 gr projectiles. I use Hornady's GMX. I've shot all sorts of DG and PG with this set up. Cape Buffalo, multiple crocs, hippo, a wide variety of PG. Despite being small (<150 lbs) and lanky, the rifle is very comfortable to shoot. Recoil is manageable and not too loud (no muzzle brake). I have a Leupold scope with a firedot reticle of my 375 barrel; the firedot can work as a red dot sight on moving targets.
 

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My 375h&h has a 24" barrel.

I think this is about right. I can happily achieve the published factory velocities (2450-2500 with a 300) and it isn't so long as to be unwieldy.

Out of preference, id stick with 24 or so for most rifles i think. Maybe 22 for stuff like 308 that does well with short tubes

Al.
 

RayAtkinson

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Any advantage between 20 and 24 inch barrels, in fact even 26 inch barrels is from too many gun rag articles and a over active imagine perhaps, of which we all suffer in the gun world...I have used 20, 22, 24 and 26 inch barrels, I justified the one I had at the time, over the years it dawned on me I was just playing games, 6" o metal on the end of a rifle has no effect at all if we approach the subject objectively...sometimes one feels better so we go inot a justify mood to serve our needs....I like a 20 inch in the thick stuff, but Ive used a 26 in the thick stuff and never had a problem, Ive made long shots and short shots with all barrel lengths, made no difference, I finally decided a chunk of iron .610 in diameter and weigh more or less than 4 or 5 ounces, was the size of my pocket knife and had no bearing on much at all...I used to feel like I shot better off hand with a 26 inch mod. 70 pre 64, but learned later on that a little heavier 20 inch did the same thing. Velocity difference and trajectory is no different unless the writer is trying to make a point in some magazine article. Just my two bits.. my favorite these days is a 24 inch, for no reason what so ever and may change again and again, but hey Im running out of time, oh well!!!
 

curtism1234

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I guess I use 375 H&H differently than most, because I use it as a general purpose big game caliber with lighter bullets, not a dangerous game caliber (I have 416 and 458 for DG). So I prefer a longer, slimmer profile barrel.

I have shot many African plains game and North American game with a 25" barreled rifle shooting the Barnes 250gr TTSX. The extra barrel length and lighter profile barrel makes the 375 a very easy to carry rifle that has a punch out to longer distances. The 250gr TTSX load out of this rifle has a flatter trajectory than a 30-06, and hits harder than a 300gr partition with less recoil. A 250gr TTSX traveling over 2800fps really puts the hurt on critters. I have shot bears, an elk, big hogs, and a Gemsbok at 300 yards with my 375 and feel perfectly comfortable doing it.

I have been kicking around the idea of the 375 in the Browning X-bolt - should come in right at about 8-8.25 pounds scoped. I have an iron sighted 375 that I am going to keep that way. Being I can't take multiple 375's on a hunt, I may look at the X-bolt in 338 win mag
 

MerlinMc

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My approach as well. I have a 25.5" barrel in my Blaser R8s and can get almost 3,000 FPS MV with 250 gr projectiles. I use Hornady's GMX. I've shot all sorts of DG and PG with this set up. Cape Buffalo, multiple crocs, hippo, a wide variety of PG. Despite being small (<150 lbs) and lanky, the rifle is very comfortable to shoot. Recoil is manageable and not too loud (no muzzle brake). I have a Leupold scope with a firedot reticle of my 375 barrel; the firedot can work as a red dot sight on moving targets.

Here is my R8 with the 25.5" 375 barrel.

Blaser R8 Ultimate with 375.jpg
 
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Newby

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Here is my R8 with the 25.5" 375 barrel.

R8s are a bit misleading. The quoted length includes the locking recess and the metal behind it. Actual length bolt face to muzzle is closer to 24.75".

Add the compactness achieved by the design to the cribbing on actual barrel length and an R8 is going to feel, and be, much more compact than a genuine 25.6" in something like a Rem700LA, let alone a BRNO 602.

I also notice that you have the front sling stud in the knuckle smasher position, as distinct from the Euro out of the way position. Does that cause any issues with the 375 ?
 

450 Dakota

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Mine have 25 inch. I'm taller and overswing short barrels. Like long barrels on shotguns as well.
 

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