Blaser R8 375 H&H and Second Barrel Advice

BeeMaa

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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.
Agreed.
Keep it simple and use a premium 300 grain bullet like the Swift A-Frame.

As for the 2 scope thing - it's not a horrible idea to have 2 scopes, just a pain to be packing it everywhere "just in case".
 

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

One added thought, if this is a one and only Caribou hunt for you, I’d consider a worst case. Big bull at 350 -400 and no way to close the gap. So while you can probably get to 250 and under for a kill at some point, you can’t always on a given bull. I’d plan to be able to shoot to 400 or what ever your max range is and try to get it under 250 if I could. I chose a 280 for the task, but could have made the shot with a 30-30 on my hunt. If you are going multiple times, not as big of an issue imo.
 

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Hi again Fastrig,

For a combination grizzly and caribou hunt, IMO the best rifle would be a scoped .375 H&H, with either 300 grain A-Frame or 270 grain A-Frame.
Grizzly are quite dangerous when wounded and the .375 will work well in the unlikely event you have to follow one into the thick riverine foliage.
This is of course if your scope is not so huge as to be in the way during a very close range encounter.
(My .375 Brno Mauser has iron sights and a simple 4x scope on it, in Alaska Arms brand lever rings).

The banks of our coastal rivers are essentially jungle conditions.
We even have thick grass growing 5 to 6 feet high in some places.
Bears like to lay down in this stuff and have a nap sometimes.
While salmon fishing, I have almost stepped on them in the long grass, more than once.

Other cartridges come to mind as well for this combination hunt.
9.3x62 Mauser, .35 Whelen, .338 Magnum, .338-06 would probably all work well but, the .375 would be my choice, due to the bear portion of your hunt.
And, I would only bring one loading to use on both species, to avoid having to think about what ammunition is which and so forth.
I recommend Swift A-Frame bullets as the best choice but, there are other excellent ones available these days as well.
(But just use A-Frames and you will have no disappointments).

As for caribou, they are amazingly not impact resistant.
Part of this is perhaps due to the fact that they are not as large as they appear on the treeless tundra.
A large caribou bull’s body is only about the same as a mature red hartebeest bull and nowhere near as tough, not even close.
I have shot several caribou very dead with 130 grain .270 Winchester and 150 grain .30-06.
I’ve even done one in very thoroughly, with a 125 grain Sierra bullet from my .30-30.
Many are taken by locals with cartridges like the .243, .257 Roberts, .25-06, .260 Remington, 6.5x55, .30-30, 7.62x39 and so-on.
(I think the .243 is pushing your luck though).

That said, I’ve also shot them (and our black tail deer as well) with the .375 and to its credit, there is usually less meat loss with it than with the .270 and .30-06, in my experiences.
Even the dreaded “cup and core” Speer brand 235 grain semi spitzer has been generally easier on the edible meat than the smaller bore cartridges have been for me.

When you’re in a tent, out in the middle of nowhere, it’s the wee hours of the morning and you hear a grizzly sniffing around your camp, it is comforting to have a .375 and some heavy / bonded core ammunition for it.

Cheers,
Paul.

PS:
Bring best quality rain gear.
 

Fastrig

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Hi again Fastrig,

For a combination grizzly and caribou hunt, IMO the best rifle would be a scoped .375 H&H, with either 300 grain A-Frame or 270 grain A-Frame.
Grizzly are quite dangerous when wounded and the .375 will work well in the unlikely event you have to follow one into the thick riverine foliage.
This is of course if your scope is not so huge as to be in the way during a very close range encounter.
(My .375 Brno Mauser has iron sights and a simple 4x scope on it, in Alaska Arms brand lever rings).

The banks of our coastal rivers are essentially jungle conditions.
We even have thick grass growing 5 to 6 feet high in some places.
Bears like to lay down in this stuff and have a nap sometimes.
While salmon fishing, I have almost stepped on them in the long grass, more than once.

Other cartridges come to mind as well for this combination hunt.
9.3x62 Mauser, .35 Whelen, .338 Magnum, .338-06 would probably all work well but, the .375 would be my choice, due to the bear portion of your hunt.
And, I would only bring one loading to use on both species, to avoid having to think about what ammunition is which and so forth.
I recommend Swift A-Frame bullets as the best choice but, there are other excellent ones available these days as well.
(But just use A-Frames and you will have no disappointments).

As for caribou, they are amazingly not impact resistant.
Part of this is perhaps due to the fact that they are not as large as they appear on the treeless tundra.
A large caribou bull’s body is only about the same as a mature red hartebeest bull and nowhere near as tough, not even close.
I have shot several caribou very dead with 130 grain .270 Winchester and 150 grain .30-06.
I’ve even done one in very thoroughly, with a 125 grain Sierra bullet from my .30-30.
Many are taken by locals with cartridges like the .243, .257 Roberts, .25-06, .260 Remington, 6.5x55, .30-30, 7.62x39 and so-on.
(I think the .243 is pushing your luck though).

That said, I’ve also shot them (and our black tail deer as well) with the .375 and to its credit, there is usually less meat loss with it than with the .270 and .30-06, in my experiences.
Even the dreaded “cup and core” Speer brand 235 grain semi spitzer has been generally easier on the edible meat than the smaller bore cartridges have been for me.

When you’re in a tent, out in the middle of nowhere, it’s the wee hours of the morning and you hear a grizzly sniffing around your camp, it is comforting to have a .375 and some heavy / bonded core ammunition for it.

Cheers,
Paul.

PS:
Bring best quality rain gear.


Thank you very much for this!!! I've been up in your neck of the woods once on a brown bear hunt and can't wait to come back again....beautiful country!! I'm going to be buying a Blaser R8 375 H&H and will bring that or my Mauser 9.3x62 as I think either would work well.
 

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Thank you very much for this!!! I've been up in your neck of the woods once on a brown bear hunt and can't wait to come back again....beautiful country!! I'm going to be buying a Blaser R8 375 H&H and will bring that or my Mauser 9.3x62 as I think either would work well.

Sounds good, and if you think you will have a little spare time while in Anchorage, give me a shout.
As for your rifle ideas, they sound pretty workable.
Lately, live ammunition for the 9.3x62 is becoming more common on store shelves here as time goes along.
But, ammunition for the .375 is still much more available in Alaska, especially farther out from Anchorage (Kodiak, King Salmon, Cold Bay, Sitka, Skagway, Etc), in case the baggage apes loose your luggage with your ammunition in it.

I prefer turn bolt rifles, such as the ‘98 Mauser and some of its descendants.
Not sure if Winchester still makes their stainless / synthetic Model 70 in .375 any more.
But if they do, it seems as if it’d be as close to perfect for coastal Alaska conditions as I could imagine.
However, you have mentioned the Blaser straight pull type rifle.

My understanding is that, Blaser has by now worked out the reported issues with the breach bolt, of those particular rifles, sometimes failing to lock up properly.
So, even though I definitely favor the much older turn bolt design in rifle mechanisms, nonetheless it is not my hunt, it is yours.
And, your idea of getting one of the newer model straight pull rifles, in caliber .375 H&H will likely work out just fine.
They are reportedly very accurate.

If whatever rifle you bring is not especially corrosion resistant (as is the case with every rifle and shotgun I own), common Vaseline is what I have had my best luck with, in keeping rust away.
In super cold weather, it can freeze solid (ask me how I know lol) so, I have learned to use it sparingly.
Anyway,
Cheers.
 

Fastrig

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Sounds good, and if you think you will have a little spare time while in Anchorage, give me a shout.
As for your rifle ideas, they sound pretty workable.
Lately, live ammunition for the 9.3x62 is becoming more common on store shelves here as time goes along.
But, ammunition for the .375 is still much more available in Alaska, especially farther out from Anchorage (Kodiak, King Salmon, Cold Bay, Sitka, Skagway, Etc), in case the baggage apes loose your luggage with your ammunition in it.

I prefer turn bolt rifles, such as the ‘98 Mauser and some of its descendants.
Not sure if Winchester still makes their stainless / synthetic Model 70 in .375 any more.
But if they do, it seems as if it’d be as close to perfect for coastal Alaska conditions as I could imagine.
However, you have mentioned the Blaser straight pull type rifle.

My understanding is that, Blaser has by now worked out the reported issues with the breach bolt, of those particular rifles, sometimes failing to lock up properly.
So, even though I definitely favor the much older turn bolt design in rifle mechanisms, nonetheless it is not my hunt, it is yours.
And, your idea of getting one of the newer model straight pull rifles, in caliber .375 H&H will likely work out just fine.
They are reportedly very accurate.

If whatever rifle you bring is not especially corrosion resistant (as is the case with every rifle and shotgun I own), common Vaseline is what I have had my best luck with, in keeping rust away.
In super cold weather, it can freeze solid (ask me how I know lol) so, I have learned to use it sparingly.
Anyway,
Cheers.

I’ll be going with a couple of friends of mine and they’re the ones making the arrangements, I’m tagging along as their backup , but if there is some extra time in Anchorage I’ll definitely let you know and hopefully we can have a beer, or two, together.

The Mauser M12 Max 9.3x62 I picked up earlier this year has quickly become my favorite rifle, been spending a lot of time with it. It has a nice laminate stock so imagine I’ll bring it over the new Blaser R8 as I’m going to order the Blaser with an upgraded wood stock and that isn’t the best stock for coastal Alaska. The Mauser has a 22” barrel with excellent sights, is compact and light, cycles rounds smoothly/quickly, holds 5+1, and is very accurate, i.e. a great bush gun. At the advise of AH members, I’ve settled on the Norma 285 grain Oryx ammo and am dialing in with that load now. I hear you on the luggage gorillas, but hopefully the hunting gods will be looking out for me and my ammo will make it without issues :).

Chuckled a bit at your advise on Vaseline. My granddad used Vaseline every year at the end of hunting season when he packed his guns away. When I store a gun away, it gets a Vaseline treatment first. Never had one rust at all when I’ve used it.

Thanks again for the advise and hopefully I can buy you a beer when we get to Alaska. Cheers back at you :)
 

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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!
I’ve just got my Blaser R8 ProSuccess In stingray leather. I bought custom barrels fromJ Sip & Sons In .375 Ruger and 6.5PRC. They say the 6.5 PRC hits game at distance equally to .300 Win. With less recoil and more accuracy. I find the Blaser selection of calibers to be antiquated and heavy on Euro calibers. I mean they have .375 Blaser which does not exist in this country but no .375 Ruger? I’m glad I foundation J Sip.
Have fun choosing your new barrel!
 

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I’ve just got my Blaser R8 ProSuccess In stingray leather. I bought custom barrels fromJ Sip & Sons In .375 Ruger and 6.5PRC. They say the 6.5 PRC hits game at distance equally to .300 Win. With less recoil and more accuracy. I find the Blaser selection of calibers to be antiquated and heavy on Euro calibers. I mean they have .375 Blaser which does not exist in this country but no .375 Ruger? I’m glad I foundation J Sip.
Have fun choosing your new barrel!

Glad you found them too!.. I have a .416 Ruger on its way for my R8 from them as well. Thanks!
 

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Which 300 win mag load are they comparing that to? If that were true the 264 win mag would be more popular than 300 today. If they compare it a 150 grain flat base maybe. But the 190 boats tails have some very impressive BCs
 

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I’ve just got my Blaser R8 ProSuccess In stingray leather. I bought custom barrels fromJ Sip & Sons In .375 Ruger and 6.5PRC. They say the 6.5 PRC hits game at distance equally to .300 Win. With less recoil and more accuracy. I find the Blaser selection of calibers to be antiquated and heavy on Euro calibers. I mean they have .375 Blaser which does not exist in this country but no .375 Ruger? I’m glad I foundation J Sip.
Have fun choosing your new barrel!
6.5PRC vs 300WM (a 7.62mm bullet) and you are saying they have the same terminal performance on game?
At what distance are you expecting to be taking game?
Comparing a 6.5mm 143 or even a 156 grain bullet to a 7.62mm that can go all the way up to 220 grains is not apples to apples.

According to Hornaday website:
300WM 200 grain bullet @ 500 yards - 2157 fps & 2066 ft-lbs
6.5PRC 143 grain bullet @ 500 yarss - 2248 fps & 1604 ft-lbs
 
Last edited:

Kawshik Rahman

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When a hunter is purchasing a rifle with change-able barrels , the objective is to make the weapon versatile. My clients have used all three of the calibres you mention . The magnum .300 by Winchester , the .338 by Winchester and the magnum .375 by Holland and Holland. I would recommend the magnum .375 with an extra barrel calibrated for magnum .300 by Winchester. While a .338 by Winchester is a fine cartridge ( a client killed a Royal Bengal tiger with one shot using a rifle of this calibre ) , l have not found the .338 by Winchester to be capable of doing anything which a magnum .375 by Holland and Holland is not capable of doing . It is quite similar , if only a little less powerful .
On the other hand , a magnum .300 by Winchester is an excellent cartridge for non dangerous creatures ( l understand the term is plains game ) at longer distances and l have always liked it more than .3006 . It was a also very popular choice among many clients for leopard and had a very flat type trajectory . Even though none of my clients have used it on Royal Bengal tigers , l am speculating that since a client killed three tigers using a .3006 , a magnum .300 by Winchester could easily do it too , although it would not be as safe as a magnum .375 from Holland and Holland
On a related subject , The English brother of this calibre , the magnum .300 by the firm , Holland and Holland was used by His Excellence , the Maharaja of Bhopal in a magazine rifle to successfully hunt 78 Royal Bengal tigers from the back of an elephant . Unfortunately , in 1972 the Indian Government under Indira Gandhi had all of His Excellence’s 40 fire arms confiscated and destroyed . The rifle was pictured on the news papers.
 

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I took my R8 with the 375 and a 300 WSM. I also have a .30-06 barrel now that I didn't have when I went to Africa. The good thing about the 375/300 Mag combo is you can use the same bolthead for both, all you need to change is the barrel. I used the 375 on buffalo and steenbok and the 300 short on everything from springbok to roan. I liked having the 300 because I had a lot of shots over 250 yards and felt more comfortable on those shots with the 300 vs. the 375. Can't go wrong with the R8. I also liked the smaller Blaser travel case to carry the setup in. Very easy to maneuver through airports with the smaller case.
 

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I’ll be going with a couple of friends of mine and they’re the ones making the arrangements, I’m tagging along as their backup , but if there is some extra time in Anchorage I’ll definitely let you know and hopefully we can have a beer, or two, together.

The Mauser M12 Max 9.3x62 I picked up earlier this year has quickly become my favorite rifle, been spending a lot of time with it. It has a nice laminate stock so imagine I’ll bring it over the new Blaser R8 as I’m going to order the Blaser with an upgraded wood stock and that isn’t the best stock for coastal Alaska. The Mauser has a 22” barrel with excellent sights, is compact and light, cycles rounds smoothly/quickly, holds 5+1, and is very accurate, i.e. a great bush gun. At the advise of AH members, I’ve settled on the Norma 285 grain Oryx ammo and am dialing in with that load now. I hear you on the luggage gorillas, but hopefully the hunting gods will be looking out for me and my ammo will make it without issues :).

Chuckled a bit at your advise on Vaseline. My granddad used Vaseline every year at the end of hunting season when he packed his guns away. When I store a gun away, it gets a Vaseline treatment first. Never had one rust at all when I’ve used it.

Thanks again for the advise and hopefully I can buy you a beer when we get to Alaska. Cheers back at you :)

Sounds good, hope to see you guys here some day.
I do however understand that layover schedules can sometimes be too short for side trips.
So either way, I wish you the best of luck in your hunting trip up here.
 

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I took my R8 with the 375 and a 300 WSM. I also have a .30-06 barrel now that I didn't have when I went to Africa. The good thing about the 375/300 Mag combo is you can use the same bolthead for both, all you need to change is the barrel. I used the 375 on buffalo and steenbok and the 300 short on everything from springbok to roan. I liked having the 300 because I had a lot of shots over 250 yards and felt more comfortable on those shots with the 300 vs. the 375. Can't go wrong with the R8. I also liked the smaller Blaser travel case to carry the setup in. Very easy to maneuver through airports with the smaller case.

Is the case you have the Blaser Pelican safari case or their two barrel ABS case? Looking at both and leaning towards the safari case as I know a Pelican will keep everything safe and sound.
 

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I have the 2 barrel ABS case type C. Triple locks and latches, holds 2 scopes on mounts, 2 barrels, one stock and receiver, 2 bolt housing and triggers with spots for 2 barrel hex keys. All nice and neat and secure. Traveled from SC through Atlanta to J'oburg then Kimberley and back from Port Elizabeth, J'oburg, Atlanta to SC. Everything made it and the case stayed secured and tight the whole time. Well worth it. And like I said: very easy to carry everywhere compared to a 2 rifle long case. And much lighter.
 

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I have the 2 barrel ABS case type C. Triple locks and latches, holds 2 scopes on mounts, 2 barrels, one stock and receiver, 2 bolt housing and triggers with spots for 2 barrel hex keys. All nice and neat and secure. Traveled from SC through Atlanta to J'oburg then Kimberley and back from Port Elizabeth, J'oburg, Atlanta to SC. Everything made it and the case stayed secured and tight the whole time. Well worth it. And like I said: very easy to carry everywhere compared to a 2 rifle long case. And much lighter.

Thank you very much....was looking at that exact case but couldn't find any reviews on it so didn't know if it would make the Africa trip or not....the safari case had some reviews and all were positive which is why I was leaning that way. Thanks again as I like the layout and size of the ABS case better and it's a couple hundred dollar cheaper to boot.
 

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