Best .375 H&H bullet weight? And Best bullet in that weight?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by shuter, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Brian

    Brian AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Video/Photo:
    6
    Likes Received:
    74
    For high-end bullets, I would put NorthFork bullets and Cutting Edge bullets at the top of the list. They have excellent terminal ballistics and have an great "bore riding" design/construction with multiple driving bands of the right bore diameter for a solid core bullet. (They are barrel-friendly and are rated for use in double rifles. Some other popular solid core bullets are not so good in this regard. Not everybody likes the TSX bullet.)

    Cutting Edge Bullets have outsanding bullets for plains game and dangerous game. They have one of the best solids for dangerous game and best expanding bullet for plains game. ( See B&M Rifles & Cartridges who have done a lot of thoughtful research on bullets. Don't get too side tracked by their emphasis on short barrelled rifles. It's Michael's prudent research on bullet desin/performance that relate to this thread.) I used a CEB 300 gr. solid bullet on a Cape Buffalo. I liked it. Have never used their expanding bullets but have a batch loaded up and waiting for me in Africa for next hunt.

    NorthFork has two solids. I have used one of their 300 gr. Cup Point Solid on Buff and really liked it. Their Soft point bullet is highly rated as well for plains game. Some people might find it holds together too well for small animals. I have used it a few times on Blu Wildibeest. Excellent!

    Swift bullets are my first choice of the non- botique bullet. I have never had a failure with them and have never heard a bad thing about them. (That is not the case with TSX and GS Custom bullets.) They have a bullet for every kind of animal. I have used them with full satisfaction on everything from shoulder to neck shots on wildebeest and gemsbok. I like Swift bullets for plains game. People do well with Swift bullets on Cape Buffalo too, I'm told.

    I assume that you will be hunting both dangerous game and plains game. Use heavy bullets for DG and any weight in .375 will work for plains game.

    Your new Model 70 is from the new FN factory. It is one of the finest production bolt action on the market. When I get a new rifle I like to pretend I'm a gunsmith and clean up the action and glass (Devcon) bed it. The new Win 70 is one of the few rifle in the price range that that doesn't need any stoning work done to the trigger or action. In my opinion they are outstanding rifles.

    Also, For those big calibres, in Africa, velocity/trajectory is much over rated. Except for places in the Eastern Cape there are very few long shots. ( I just don't take long shots any more. I like to sneak a little closer.) You don't need or want max. loads. It's all about shot placement and bullet performance in Africa.

    Cheers, Brian
     

  2. Brian

    Brian AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Video/Photo:
    6
    Likes Received:
    74
    For high-end bullets, I would put NorthFork bullets and Cutting Edge bullets at the top of the list. They have excellent terminal ballistics and have an great "bore riding" design/construction with multiple driving bands of the right bore diameter for a solid core bullet. (They are barrel-friendly and are rated for use in double rifles. Some other popular solid core bullets are not so good in this regard. Not everybody likes the TSX bullet.)

    Cutting Edge Bullets have outsanding bullets for plains game and dangerous game. They have one of the best solids for dangerous game and best expanding bullet for plains game. ( See B&M Rifles & Cartridges who have done a lot of thoughtful research on bullets. Don't get too side tracked by their emphasis on short barrelled rifles. It's Michael's prudent research on bullet desin/performance that relate to this thread.) I used a CEB 300 gr. solid bullet on a Cape Buffalo. I liked it. Have never used their expanding bullets but have a batch loaded up and waiting for me in Africa for next hunt.

    NorthFork has two solids. I have used one of their 300 gr. Cup Point Solid on Buff and really liked it. Their Soft point bullet is highly rated as well for plains game. Some people might find it holds together too well for small animals. I have used it a few times on Blu Wildibeest. Excellent!

    Swift bullets are my first choice of the non- botique bullet. I have never had a failure with them and have never heard a bad thing about them. (That is not the case with TSX and GS Custom bullets.) They have a bullet for every kind of animal. I have used them with full satisfaction on everything from shoulder to neck shots on wildebeest and gemsbok. I like Swift bullets for plains game. People do well with Swift bullets on Cape Buffalo too, I'm told.

    I assume that you will be hunting both dangerous game and plains game. Use heavy bullets for DG and any weight in .375 will work for plains game.

    Your new Model 70 is from the new FN factory. It is one of the finest production bolt action on the market. When I get a new rifle I like to pretend I'm a gunsmith and clean up the action and glass (Devcon) bed it. The new Win 70 is one of the few rifle in the price range that that doesn't need any stoning work done to the trigger or action. In my opinion they are outstanding rifles.

    Also, For those big calibres, in Africa, velocity/trajectory is much over rated. Except for places in the Eastern Cape there are very few long shots. ( I just don't take long shots any more. I like to sneak a little closer.) You don't need or want max. loads. It's all about shot placement and bullet performance in Africa.

    Cheers, Brian
     

  3. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    870
    Video/Photo:
    39
    Likes Received:
    644
    I wish North Fork made a 600g bonded soft point for my 500 Jeffery. Can't go wrong with North Fork bullets from what I've been told.
     
    1dirthawker likes this.

  4. shuter

    shuter AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2014
    Messages:
    319
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    140
    Hunted:
    Oregon, Montana
    Thanks much for the detailed response, Brian!
     

  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    8,424
    Video/Photo:
    53
    Likes Received:
    6,139
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    I just checked their website and I must say I was surprised to see the biggest in the softs was 450gr, which should do well regardless, but I'd think they'd have something at least in the 500gr range or so. They will be at DSC and I'll have to ask them why the don't.
     

  6. PaulT

    PaulT AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,091
    Video/Photo:
    145
    Likes Received:
    599
    Member of:
    S.C.I. International. Rowland Ward. Sporting shooters Association of Australia. Australian Deer Association.
    Hunted:
    Aus. N.Z & Zim.
    "For high-end bullets, I would put NorthFork bullets and Cutting Edge bullets at the top of the list.",
    quote by Brian.
    (y)(y)(y)(y)
     

  7. Brian

    Brian AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Video/Photo:
    6
    Likes Received:
    74
    I think you are right. 450 gr might be ok in a monolithic ( no lead ) bullet but your 500 Jeffrey, would love to spin a 550 Aframe, I would think. Lets check Ammo Guide to se what folks are using there. Brian
     

  8. Ado

    Ado AH Veteran

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Video/Photo:
    1
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Member of:
    SSAA, RW, SCI
    Hunted:
    Australia, South Africa, NZ
    I use 300gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claws for springbok to buff... Never had any problems and got a 98% retention from the buff I took last year.

    My Dad uses 270gr TSX, and they work a treat as well.

    Really lots of great options to choose from...

    Ado
     

  9. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,214
    Video/Photo:
    29
    Likes Received:
    191
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    I use 250 gr TTSX in my 375 Ruger and I feel 100% confident to use it on anything up to and including buffs.

    I also like the 340 gr Rhino bullet if only short shooting distances is expected.
    I would love a 325-350 gr Norma Oryx .375 bullet for short range Plains Game hunting.
     

  10. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    702
    Video/Photo:
    4
    Likes Received:
    640
    What is the best bullet and the best bullet weight really depends on what it is one is trying to do. I think my son (13 years old) summed it up well recently regarding his 243. I had him using a Barnes TSX for the last two trips to Africa but he shot a couple deer with a fairly light cup and core and he got some really spectacular wounds. Broadside shots only. He said, "Dad, these bullets are really good for deer broadside. They are better than the TSX, not for everything, but for our deer broadside. The TSX is way more versatile, but this bullet does this thing really well."

    And he is right. The TSX is a deep penetrating bullet with modest expansion. A faster-expanding bullet will give a wider, but (generally) shallower wound channel. Whether that is better or worse depends entirely on what one is shooting. The lesson is generalizable. The more specialized the bullet, the less versatile.

    So the question of what is the best bullet can come down to "what are you planning to shoot with it?" But, in the case of the 375 H&H, I think the answer may not be to ask another question. The great strength of the 375 is its versatility. It is the almost universal answer to the "one rifle" question. And as nearly universally proclaimed as more than needed for the lighter game and less than optimal for the heavy dangerous game, but good enough. If it is accepted that the main point of the 375 H&H is its versatility, then I think the bullet should also be versatile. To me that means deep penetration. The 300g Barnes would be fine, as would other bullets. In my opinion, the lighter bullets are more specialized and better (perhaps unnecessarily better) for the uses for which they are better, but lose versatility. Likewise, the specialized extra heavy bullets may be better on the bigger game (perhaps unnecessarily better) but lose versatility on the low end.
     
    Pheroze likes this.

  11. Paul Homsy

    Paul Homsy AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    69
    I realize this is quite an old thread, however I use the Greenhill formula regularly. While it provides a very good indicator of possible stability and twist rate, there are some outside factors that get into play. Aside from the internal factor which is the rate of twist, temperature, altitude and speed, all play a role. I don't know if someone brought this up because I haven't read the entire thread, but a bullet that isn't optimally stabilized doesn't achieve its designated ballistic coefficient.

    Speed helps somewhat but not all that much, perhaps one or two percent. In order for a bullet flying at 3000 fps in a 30 caliber barrel with a rate of twist of 1/11 to have the flying stability factor of a bullet shot at that speed in a 1/10 twist, that one inch difference requires the bullet fired in the 1/11 twist to be 1500fps to 2000 fps faster ... meaning it is nearly out of the question to compensate with speed.

    Altitude makes short work of compensating. At 8000 feet of altitude a bullet that is not properly stabilized at sea level may be (generally is) perfectly well stabilized. Even a 3-4000 feet difference is substantial. A bullet shot at one range can be better stabilized than at another range situated at lower elevation.

    Temperature is also a factor that affects stability more than speed, the hotter, the better. Not by as much of a margin as altitude but it does improve stability substantially.

    A factor of 1.5 is a "stable" bullet. It if is less than 1.5, then, it may be stabilized but the ballistic coefficient may be 2-3 or more percentage points short...

    Another element that is very important and that cannot be calculated accurately using formulas that incorporate bullet length (they all do) is bearing surface. My firsthand experience was shooting a silhouette rifle in the mid 1980s. A Sako in .308 with a MacMillan silhouette stock and a Canjar set trigger, topped with one of the latest fixed 15. Leupold scopes with adjustable turret for windage and elevation. The set up was superbly accurate. To 100, 200 and 385 metres. I shot a 168 grains Hornady BTHP bullet. For longer range work on the steel rams at 500 metres (547 yards) I was shooting a 190 grains Sierra BTHP. The rate of twist in my barrel was 1/12. The 190 grains Sierra bullet shot groups of 1/2 to 3/4 inches at 400 yards. Not 1/2 a moa at 100, but actual sub moa groups at 400 on a regular basis in practice.... I was quite happy with its accuracy as it toppled every ram it hit meaning it was still flying true at 500 metres. Muzzle velocity was approximately 2450 fps. The stability factor of that bullet calls for a rate of twist of 1/10.35 (any standard 30 caliber bullet would stabilize it very well). 1/12 was well short.

    After I started to use the various formulas for bullets stability I decided to give Sierra a call. I was told that the reason that particular bullet was very stable in a 1/12 twist was because of its purposely short bearing surface of .379 for a total bullet length of 1.375. A bearing surface of 28 % !! This was done to allow it to be shot in different barrel twists. While I shot it regularly at 1500 feet in altitude, I competed at 4000 feet which enhanced the bullet's stability. While still not achieving its potential ballistic coefficient. Sierra gives a B.C. of .51 for this bullet, (I had to call to obtain it). What it may have achieved in my rifle at 4000 feet of altitude was probably closer to .43 to .45.

    Applying the Greenhill formula, squaring the diameter in thousands of an inch, multiplying by 150 and dividing by 1.375 the result would have definitely made anyone believe the rate of twist of my barrel wasn't adequate.

    Bearing surface alone isn't sufficient a criteria to judge. Some target bullets that are extremely long with very moderate bearing surfaces will simply not stabilize unless one is using the appropriate rate of twist or close to it in their barrels. The weight of non bearing surfaces do affect stability in flight. The Sierra bullet I shot is still made and is exceptionally well balanced for an older product. It was then a heavy for caliber bullet, nowadays the heavy for caliber bullets weigh 30, 40 and even 50 grains more and are finicky to stabilize but when it is done, they have phenomenal ballistic coefficients.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to rates of twist. A fast rate of twist will stabilize better but at very high speed will help disintegrate light bullets with lighter jackets as soon as they are in flight. They will not take the centrifugal force exerted on them which is why varmint barrels often have a slower twist. A fast twist with conventional bullets does enhance accuracy but also raises pressure somewhat and may lose 1 to 1.5% in speed. A slower twist relieves pressure somewhat and enhances speed by 1 to 1.5%, at times, less. Caliber plays a factor as well. The smaller bores being more sensitive. The heavy bores are also less finicky when it comes to stability. Their bullets not being exceptionally long.

    There are no hard and fast rules. Bullets that are supposed to need a 1/9.5 twist may stabilize in slower twists. This includes long target bullets. i.e, 220 grains in 30 caliber which would require at least a 1/10 twist rate but it would stabilize a bullet that shows a requirement of a slightly faster twist. There is some give. Rate of twist is very important but not as critical and unforgiving as one may think. It does however vary from one bullet manufacturer to another. The quality of a bore plays a big part in how well a bullet is stabilized because of the uniformity of high end barrels but at equal twits quality only serves to achieve accuracy not faster gyroscopic speed.

    I know this is lengthy but I felt inspired by the topic. Forgive me if it is too long.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
    Mekaniks and Ridgewalker like this.

  12. Paul Homsy

    Paul Homsy AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    69
    The rule for hunting is to shoot what is very well stabilized at sea level in colder weather, rather than the conventional 59 degrees often used as part of the formula to determine stability. This is important if one is going on a coastal Alaskan hunt for example where shots will be taken at sea level in cold temperature. Then the calculations for a particular projectile should far exceed the 1.5 cutoff point of stability.
     
    Ridgewalker likes this.

  13. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    870
    Video/Photo:
    39
    Likes Received:
    644
    I like the 300g A-Frames at 2700 fps and the 350g Woodleigh HD Softpoints at 2500 fps for big game in our 375 Weatherby.
     

  14. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,292
    Video/Photo:
    178
    Likes Received:
    3,914
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    I don’t know that my two trips with only a 375 H&H will help your decision, but here is my experience.
    Took factory Barnes 300 TSX and factory Hornady 300 DGS. Killed buffalo (2 shots and 1 from the PH, but the first was a heart shot that would have been enough), bushbuck (1 shot) and bushpig (1 shot) with the Barnes. Killed duiker with Hornady solid.
    Took hand loaded 250 TTSX and killed croc, sable, eland, black wildebeest, warthog and caracal. All 1 shot except croc which I shot 3 just for insurance. The only bullet that didn’t completely penetrate was the eland which was a quartering facing shot. It still fully penetrated to the skin on the off side.
    I use two scopes in quick release mounts. 1 Leupold 1-6x for the 300 gr and 1 Leupold 2-12x for the 250 gr.
    I am testing loads using 300 and 350 gr NorthFork for my next buff and a 235 Barnes TSX for lion.
    Hope this helps your decision. Swift’s get really good reviews as well. If I didn’t reload, I’d look seriously at Swift’s factory A-Frame load, Federal’s factory A-Frame, or Remington’s factory A-Frame. I believe Double Tap also loads it. I would see which ever one shot best and go with it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018

  15. Paul Homsy

    Paul Homsy AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    69

    I'm curious about your 350 grains load. I have a 375 H&H improved. Did you achieve the 2500 fps with ease ? Hot load, middle of the road ?...I've never shot heavier than 300 grains in it.
    thank you much !

    Paul
     

  16. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    870
    Video/Photo:
    39
    Likes Received:
    644
    It's a middle of the road load in our rifle. I've loaded them to 2550 fps with no pressure signs, easy extraction. Since our (my sons claim it too) rifle weighs about 7.5 lbs unloaded with a Leupold 2-7x Firedot scope, recoil is the limiting factor with the 350g bullets, not pressure. Rifle pic below

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2018
    Paul Homsy likes this.

  17. Paul Homsy

    Paul Homsy AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    69
    Thank you ! And that is a light rifle!!! Nice rifle and very nice bear !! Congrats !!
     

  18. swantrip

    swantrip AH Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    23
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    South Australia
    Member of:
    SSAA / ADA / SCI
    Hunted:
    RSA / Canada / Australia (all states)
    Dont rule out Woodleigh Bullets when looking around. Their PPSN comes in both 270gn and 300gn. Great bullets that hit well above their weight.
     
    1dirthawker likes this.

  19. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,728
    Video/Photo:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2,469
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    BASA, CHASA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
    300 gr bullets for general hunting and 340-380 gr bullets for DG, is all you need in the 375 H&H.
     
    1dirthawker likes this.

  20. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    378
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    518
    300 gr swift A frames or 300 gr north forks softs would do anything you need a soft to do. also NF has a percussion point that expands more rapidly for cats and i suspect some plains game. shot my wildebeest with a 400gr percussion point, pass thru, seemed to work great.

    i have seen some barnes 300 gr out of a 375 h&h that did not open up that great in the 300 gr wt. acted like bullet velocity was not fast enough.

    i guess it depends on what you intend to shoot with the gun, however, 300 gr bullets in the 375 h&h have been doing AMAZING work for more than a hundred years.
     
    Paul Homsy and IvW like this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice