Blaser R8 375 H&H and Second Barrel Advice

Fastrig

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Sitting here specing out a new Blaser R8 with a magnum bolt, a 23” 375 H&H semi-weighted fluted barrel with sights, quick detach rings, scope, and breakdown gun case. This will be my DG rifle for Africa. Thinking I should just go ahead and add a second “long range” barrel to the package as the breakdown case is setup for two barrels and scopes. Have seen the Blaser “safari package” done this way to include a 25.5” 300 win mag barrel but if I was going to do this I’d probably lean towards a 338 win mag instead as I prefer the heavier hunting rounds it can use for a harder punch on large game, i.e. elk, moose, big bears, out to 500-600 yards. I’m planning on going to Alaska again for a coastal brown, moose, and caribou hunt at some point and have been reading a number of posts where folks chose the 300 over the 338, and others the other way around. Would appreciate your alls thoughts as this is going to be a significant investment. Thanks!
 
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BigSteve57

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Sitting here specing out a new Blaser R8 with a magnum bolt, a 23” 375 H&H semi-weighted fluted barrel with sights, quick detach rings, scope, and breakdown gun case. This will be my DG rifle for Africa. Thinking I should just go ahead and add a second “long range” barrel to the package as the breakdown case is setup for two barrels and scopes. Have seen the Blaser “safari package” done this way to include a 25.5” 300 win mag barrel but if I was going to do this I’d probably lean towards a 338 win mag instead as I prefer the heavier hunting rounds it can use for a harder punch on large game, i.e. elk, moose, big bears, out to 500-600 yards. I’m planning on going to Alaska again for a coastal brown, moose, and caribou hunt at some point and have been reading a number of posts where folks chose the 300 over the 338, and others the other way around. Would appreciate your alls thoughts as this is going to be a significant investment. Thanks!

My choice to accompany my R8's .375 H&H was a .300 Win Mag. The .300 Win Mag is a pretty flat shooter that really gets out there with enough energy for larger game like Elk. I've never owned a .338 but for bigger game you already have the .375 H&H. The .300 Win Mag is also available pretty much anywhere if you need to acquire some locally.
 

Wyatt Smith

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Seems like a lot of overlap to me having both a 338 and 375 barrel to me, not that it’s bad just depend on what you want. I think I’d go with a 375 and 300 mag combo though a 338 is a bit much on a whitetail.
 

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I am a big fan of the R8. To Africa, I simply bring it in it’s .375 configuration. I have taken everything from Suni to Cape Buffalo with it. I am off to the Kamchatka in March and will use the .375 for those large bears. All that is a long way around to say that my second barrel needed to be a world-wide general purpose caliber. Hard to beat the .300 Win Mag in that role.
 

Fastrig

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Thanks guys! Have owned both the 300 and 338 WM and both were excellent. My son has the 300 and a buddy has the 338. The 338 was my bear gun but the 375 would obviously be better in that role. Was going to take my Mauser 9.3x62 on the brown hunt, but then we decided to extend and try our hand on caribou and moose. I've read that when caribou hunting to expect longer shots, 400-600 yards, which isn't really in the 9.3 or 375's normal use range. Since I only want to take a single rifle config was thinking the 338 would fit well for both bear and longer shots for the caribou, the moose I'm not concerned about with any of these calibers. Am I all wet on the distances for the caribou? Never hunted that critter so am gleaning most of this from the web, and we all know how that can go :) I'm not keen on going after a coastal brown with a 300 WM. It will get the job done with proper rounds and shot placement, but that's a bit under gunned IMO. I do carry a heavy side arm but that is a last resort and want that big brown to drop from the rifle shot. Now if the caribou shots are more in line with the range of the 375 H&H, then this is all moot and I'll just take that, or the 9.3, and call it a day as that would be the best of the options for the browns. Again, appreciate your all's insights and experience.
 

Fastrig

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Seems like a lot of overlap to me having both a 338 and 375 barrel to me, not that it’s bad just depend on what you want. I think I’d go with a 375 and 300 mag combo though a 338 is a bit much on a whitetail.

LOL....yea that 338 would probably blow that little white tail in half :) I've got a nice 308 win that I use for white tail, hogs, etc. The Blaser R8 is really only going to be used on DG and larger game for the most part, though I'm taking Red Legs advice and using the 375 for everything in Africa.
 

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Actually, I would recommend as a second or third barrel a 308. With the 375, no real need for a 338. But of course one can never have too many guns.
 

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Set the irons up for your bear load and the removable scope mount for a 260gr accubon for the longer shots and just use the 375 for everything. Or get two scopes one for 300-350gr and one for 250- 260gr is also an option. Saves you money and simplifies the gun locker.
 

Fastrig

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Set the irons up for your bear load and the removable scope mount for a 260gr accubon for the longer shots and just use the 375 for everything. Or get two scopes one for 300-350gr and one for 250- 260gr is also an option. Saves you money and simplifies the gun locker.

Hadn't thought about the two scope option matched to the grains....good idea. Love this site!!
 

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Relative to your Caribou question, may very well depend on the terrain. Where we hunted on the AK peninsula, terrain allowed us to position ourselves ahead of moving groups, all our shooting was 250 and under. Took mine at about 125 yards. Now we sure could have tried shots much further, but did not. I’d check with the outfit you are hunting with, but would lean towards the 300 WM out of the cartridges you have mentioned for Caribou. 338WM if doing a combo with one rifle. Most of us used rifles in the 270 - 300WM class
 

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Hi Fastrig,

If your Alaskan Guide / PH cannot put you inside of about 250 meters maximum, for a prone position shot, on a mature caribou bull, you have hired the wrong guide.

Best regards,
Velo Dog.
 

Fastrig

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If your Alaskan Guide / PH cannot put you inside of about 250 meters maximum, for a prone position shot, on a mature caribou bull, you have hired the wrong guide.

Okay, THAT was what I was looking for....REAL distances to expect. Haven't hire a guide yet but that is VERY helpful. Thank You!!!
 

Fastrig

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Relative to your Caribou question, may very well depend on the terrain. Where we hunted on the AK peninsula, terrain allowed us to position ourselves ahead of moving groups, all our shooting was 250 and under. Took mine at about 125 yards. Now we sure could have tried shots much further, but did not. I’d check with the outfit you are hunting with, but would lean towards the 300 WM out of the cartridges you have mentioned for Caribou. 338WM if doing a combo with one rifle. Most of us used rifles in the 270 - 300WM class

Thank you!!! That helps a bunch!! I could take the 375 H&H or the 9.3x62 with these ranges....
 

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Set the irons up for your bear load and the removable scope mount for a 260gr accubon for the longer shots and just use the 375 for everything. Or get two scopes one for 300-350gr and one for 250- 260gr is also an option. Saves you money and simplifies the gun locker.
Holy bank account! Am I reading this right? A scope per load? :eek:

I guess with the right lottery ticket...

I have 2 barrels and a scope to go with each. I have 4+ different loads that I use with the 2 barrels.
So I just jot down the scope settings in each case. But I'm a cheapskate I guess. :D
 

Fastrig

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Holy bank account! Am I reading this right? A scope per load? :eek:

I guess with the right lottery ticket...

I have 2 barrels and a scope to go with each. I have 4+ different loads that I use with the 2 barrels.
So I just jot down the scope settings in each case. But I'm a cheapskate I guess. :D

Was thinking a 1-6 or 1-8 for DG and a 2-12 or 1.7 - 13.5 for the long stuff :) Blaser's barrels are about the same price as a good scope, i.e. way over priced, so it's probably about a wash at the end of the day.
 

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Hadn't thought about the two scope option matched to the grains....good idea. Love this site!!
I think that is nuts for Africa.

I use 300 gr on everything. Reaches as far as I will ever shoot on that continent, and I am assured of having the right bullet and scope combination whenever I need it. Simple is good.
 

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I am a huge .338 fan, but to go along with a .375, I think it is a bit redundant. I’d opt for the .300 mag. Between those two, you should be good for just about any situation. But just to make sure, you may want to add that .338 and a 7mm mag, .257 WBY, .30/06, .270, .243, 9.3x62...
 

Fastrig

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I think that is nuts for Africa.

I use 300 gr on everything. Reaches as far as I will ever shoot on that continent, and I am assured of having the right bullet and scope combination whenever I need it. Simple is good.

Still like the two scope idea though....one for DG and one for longer shots on PG :) Can never have too many toys ;)
 

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Well my thought process is that I use iron's for my 300 Gr Aframe and CEB solids. and us a scope for a 260gr Nosler Accubon load for elk and bear.
The comment on a second barrel for his R8 really isn't needed at the 375 will do most any task you would look for in a mid bore. Since If he got a 300 or 338 barrel it
would most likely use a scope to, why spend the 800-1000 on a second barrel. I know allot of people that don't want to jack with a scope once that have it dialed for their loads. So just set one for the 300gr DG and one for a 260 or lighter that you would use for longer range shots. Just one way of thinks about it.

I have no problem dialing a scope up and down all day with my precision rifles. I know for my non double rifles where shoot out to 300 so use what works for you.
 

Fastrig

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Thanks again everyone for your insights and advice....think I’ll get one barrel in 375 H&H for now as that looks like it will be fine for the caribou and definitely the best for the big browns. Now have to decide on the stock/receiver option, too many decisions :)
 

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