Barrel Length for 375 H&H

Forrest Halley

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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 ?
I have an Encore in .375 and it has the swivel stud on the forend as well. I have fired it light and I have fired it heavy and I have never been bitten nor bruised. I ride my fingers right on the stud too. I think it's an old wives tale.

I think the real advantage is lower carrying on the shoulder in brush. Other than that it's a dead giveaway for a magnum rifle.
 

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I have an Encore in .375 and it has the swivel stud on the forend as well. I have fired it light and I have fired it heavy and I have never been bitten nor bruised. I ride my fingers right on the stud too. I think it's an old wives tale.

I think the real advantage is lower carrying on the shoulder in brush. Other than that it's a dead giveaway for a magnum rifle.

Yeah, I'm torn on the barrel band swivel too.

On the one hand it carries better and looks 'proper', on the other I can't use my sling for positional shooting for fear of shifting the POI. A .375 isn't so heavy recoiling that I'd fear for my fingers, but a .458 might be a different story.

Pros and cons for sure, but I think I'd tend towards keeping the barrel band, for aesthetic if nothing else.

Al.
 

Forrest Halley

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Yeah, I'm torn on the barrel band swivel too.

On the one hand it carries better and looks 'proper', on the other I can't use my sling for positional shooting for fear of shifting the POI. A .375 isn't so heavy recoiling that I'd fear for my fingers, but a .458 might be a different story.

Pros and cons for sure, but I think I'd tend towards keeping the barrel band, for aesthetic if nothing else.

Al.
Thank you for the comment on the POI. Have you actually tested this out? I haven't, but it runs through my mind. I am of the opinion that the barrel thickness might well negate much of the negatives we envision. On my .458 I don't think I'd be deflecting the barrel much at all. On my .375's there is a chance. I don't think anyone is really using shooting slings on these guns. The slings all seem to be designed with comfort and/or expensive leather trim in mind.
 

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Thank you for the comment on the POI. Have you actually tested this out? I haven't, but it runs through my mind. I am of the opinion that the barrel thickness might well negate much of the negatives we envision. On my .458 I don't think I'd be deflecting the barrel much at all. On my .375's there is a chance. I don't think anyone is really using shooting slings on these guns. The slings all seem to be designed with comfort and/or expensive leather trim in mind.

I have indeed.

Slung up (pretty tight) with a ching type sling in prone, mine shoots around 2" low at 300. Win 70 safari profile. With a bipod on it at the same distance its around 2" high.

It's really not that much and it'd not matter for hunting, but it mans I don't use that rifle for sporting rifle comps any more (plus the obvious disadvantage of 20x rounds of .375H&H including 8x prone)

Al.
 

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I love messing around with my 375HH Whitworth, I can load 300g and get a respectable 2583fps(not a max load) or swap scopes(quick release) pop in some 235g and get 2923fps for distance shooting not to shabby for a 375, next will be some 200g just for fun
Good idea on the quick release scopes sighted for different bullet weights.
 

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Thank you for the comment on the POI. Have you actually tested this out? I haven't, but it runs through my mind. I am of the opinion that the barrel thickness might well negate much of the negatives we envision. On my .458 I don't think I'd be deflecting the barrel much at all. On my .375's there is a chance. I don't think anyone is really using shooting slings on these guns. The slings all seem to be designed with comfort and/or expensive leather trim in mind.
I had a barrel band on my CZ550 375H&H.
When I put tension on the sling to "lock-up" my shooting position...
POI shifted down & left.
I then started practicing without the sling and everything was fine.
We set the sticks up with two legs in front, one to the rear and lean slightly into the sticks.
No problems at the range or while in Africa.

We currently have Blaser R8's and hers has a stud mounted on the stock, mine does not.
However, it's a pretty simple process to add one to mine.
We both carry with the sling on the barrel band stud, but don't use the sling for shooting.
As with all things...subject to change.
 

BeeMaa

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Forgot to add...
The CZ 550 had a 25" barrel and I had it shortened to 22".
I also added a mercury recoil reducer to the stock.
Loved carrying that rifle and it balanced perfectly at the magazine.


Very happy I shortened the barrel on the CZ.
The 375 barrel for the R8 is 60cm (23.6") and it also shoots great and is well balanced.
Here's a pic of the two R8's, hers with the 375H&H and mine with the 416RM.


I consider 22-24" about perfect for most hunting calibers out to 350 yards.
As you can see from the responses, there are many opinions on barrel length.
Best to consider the primary role of the rifle and go from there.
 
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Forrest Halley

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@BeeMaa I have considered the sunken ball detent swivel mounts for just that reason. Make a second swivel on a sling and you're in business for cranking down or a bipod with no signature when not in use.

That's a pretty sweet brace of boomers you have there. Looks like a range box. Do you run scopes on the indoor range? Or only outdoors?
 

Forrest Halley

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@Alistair ⅔MOA shift isn't going to break me at 300 yards. Don't know what my dope is for the .375 at that range anyway. I think the .458 gets there in about three bounces.
 

BeeMaa

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@BeeMaa I have considered the sunken ball detent swivel mounts for just that reason. Make a second swivel on a sling and you're in business for cranking down or a bipod with no signature when not in use.

That's a pretty sweet brace of boomers you have there. Looks like a range box. Do you run scopes on the indoor range? Or only outdoors?
Like to see how it turns out for you with the sunken ball detent swivel mount.
At this point, I'm accustomed to shooting off sticks without using the sling.
However, I do recognize that using one will most likely improve my results.

We run scopes all the time, but they are in Contessa QR mounts so we take them off frequently.
No problems holding zero and can be removed in about 2 seconds if needed.
Here's the 375 with the scope on my rifle.
 

Newby

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I have an Encore in .375 and it has the swivel stud on the forend as well. I have fired it light and I have fired it heavy and I have never been bitten nor bruised. I ride my fingers right on the stud too. I think it's an old wives tale.

I think the real advantage is lower carrying on the shoulder in brush. Other than that it's a dead giveaway for a magnum rifle.

This old wife has had several nasty encounters with forward studs, particularly those that are set rearward to facilitate bipod mounting.

Usually just "ouch - that hurt", but also one severe bloodletting from a bipod when shooting offhand. Only one blood letting because I very seldom have a bipod hanging off my rifles.

My 8.25lb 375 seldom, if ever, bit me because the stud was a long way forward and because I kept my knuckles away from it.

How you can have your knuckles up against the stud on a snappy rifle and not get whacked escapes me.
 

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Cz550 come with 25” barrel, one fella with experience suggested shortening them. He is tall but like the quick handling and close shots.

I would think 23 and upwards no problem , shorter if fit for purpose.

I want a 21” barrel on a .308 or similar for hunting, just a little different than standard and possibly a good compromise for scrub and open country when walking for hunting.
 

Forrest Halley

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Like to see how it turns out for you with the sunken ball detent swivel mount.
At this point, I'm accustomed to shooting off sticks without using the sling.
However, I do recognize that using one will most likely improve my results.

We run scopes all the time, but they are in Contessa QR mounts so we take them off frequently.
No problems holding zero and can be removed in about 2 seconds if needed.
Here's the 375 with the scope on my rifle.
That's really cool to have mounts like that. I'm running Warne base and rings on my Model 70 and Encore .375's. on the Ruger .375 it's a PA Warne because of a mixup in the mail order. I'm not going to scope the Lott. Too quick in recoil.
I think I will have to send the Model 70 in to someone to have the countersunk swivel done. I think it might happen if/when the Mac stock and Sunny Hill fairy comes by.
This old wife has had several nasty encounters with forward studs, particularly those that are set rearward to facilitate bipod mounting.

Usually just "ouch - that hurt", but also one severe bloodletting from a bipod when shooting offhand. Only one blood letting because I very seldom have a bipod hanging off my rifles.

My 8.25lb 375 seldom, if ever, bit me because the stud was a long way forward and because I kept my knuckles away from it.

How you can have your knuckles up against the stud on a snappy rifle and not get whacked escapes me.
I cheat. I grip the ever loving heaven out of the rifle and use the AR shooting style thumb over the barrel. Hand and rifle move together and no I don't see it in the scope. It works and there's a flute for my thumb. If I didn't have the weird recoil fins on the stock, I'd fill it with #9 shot(the fins get pushed out) and almost be able to shoot it one handed. Encores with thumbhole stocks filled with shot are offhand shooting dreams. I love the bullpup-like balance.
 

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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 ?

I've done this measurement using the barrel length to the bolt face for an R8 compared to a R700 with the same barrel length. The difference is right at 0.75" measuring to the bolt faces, so consistent with your 24.75" calculation. If measured traditionally from the base of the barrel the measurements are the same. I wish Blaser would footnote or otherwise transparently disclose this fact. When ordering a custom barrel, it's good to keep this difference in mind.

The forearm for the rifle shown in the picture has a fitting for Blaser's magnetically bipod, which is excellent as an aside. Ordinarily, the sling fitting would be on the front of the forearm. I have never had a knuckle smashing incident with the 375 or any other Blaser barrel with this forearm. I have fired the 375 in this configuration from every imaginable position--standing, sitting with and without bench, prone, off sticks, off a tripod, off a tree limb, etc. I have fired at fast-moving targets at close range and still targets at all ranges. Knuckles are thankfully unscathed, at least so far!
 

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It's all personal preference but I like a 24" barrel in a bolt action rifle, with the balance point in the middle of the magazine floor plate.
 

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It's all personal preference but I like a 24" barrel in a bolt action rifle, with the balance point in the middle of the magazine floor plate.

I think that you have hit the nail on the head. To me a shorter barrel simply moves the balance point of the rifle further back. This makes it feel quicker to move and perhaps 'feels' lighter and quicker into action. Funny things is, shotgun pros seem to agree that you need some weight and barrel length (not to much !) to help with moving targets. IvW also pointed out short barrels = more noise and more barrel flip and less velocity. 5 " will probably cost your 100 fps or more.

I had a really good think about this a few months back. My rifle has 25 " CZ factory barrel. My rifle didn't feel right in my hands. I also felt the recoil. So I realized that more weight would probably help. I didn't feel like the long barrel ever hampered my shooting or walking in the bush. So I added weight-drilled holes in the butt and added cartridge cases filled with lead. So now the rifle balances around the magazine plate. Weight between the hands and the rifle weighs more but feels more responsive and quicker in the hands. Maybe the cutting down of barrels has more to do with balance ?
 

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I own two 375 H&H on Brno ZKK 602 actions, one has a 24" thicker barrel the other the standard 25" thinner barrel. Both balance well the one I use in the thicker stuff and the other in the more open areas, not that I think there is any difference in handling, just different loads that I use for different applications and game.

Chopping too much off a barrel is not something I recommend especially in a magnum DG rifle, yes it needs to balance but 20" barrels are not something I recommend.....
 

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I'd agree with the comments above on balance being the most important factor.

I do a lot of competitive driven boar competitions at the range, which was what the .375 was bought for. Balance and more generally mass is a major factor.

My .270 that I've used in the past weighs about 7.5lbs and has a 22" tube. Comparing using that to a 10lb 375 with a 24" safri profile barrel is apples and oranges.

I'd say its similar to the difference between a light side by side and a clay shooting o/u. The side by side is light, whippy and eminently pointable, but it requires active effort to keep swinging it and can easily drift off line with even small inputs. The o/u on the other hand requires deliberate effort to start going, but once it is, the sheer momentum keeps it moving on line and it's all more settled and deliberate.

It's the same with the rifle. A light short gun with a rearward balance point is easy to start, easy to stop and easy to carry, but is highly sensitive to user inputs, shakes, breathing etc. A heavy rifle with the weight further towards the front hand is much steadier in aim, be it moving or say off-hand, but at the cost of needing more manhandling to get it going. Recoil is also more manageable as well.

For what it's worth, I think for moving targets the heavier gun has the edge. You don't see many pro clay shots using anything much under 8.5lbs these days after all. For static shots, it's personal preference, but I like the steadying effect of that heft and a more weight foward balance.

Al.
 

Major Khan

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During my 10 year career as a professional shikaree , I observed that all of the .375 Holland & Holland magnum caliber pre 64 Winchester Model 70 rifles used to have 25 inch barrels . The later push feed designs had 22 inch barrels . I personally consider 24 inch barrels to be ideal for a .375 Holland & Holland magnum caliber rifle . Long enough to burn all of the propellant powder . But not so long , as to become unwieldy to the average sports man .

Of course , this is dependent up on each and every individual sport man’s height , weight and build .
 

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