Dangerous Game Rifle Caliber for an Enthusiast

Opposite Pole

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Nothin to worry about. I watched a ton of videos of people shooting the 375 from the bench and it doesnt look too bad. Especially with a good recoil pad of some sort and heavy enough rifle.

It is really not bad. Start standing, get the feel of it and move onto the bench later. Make sure to mount the gun correctly and alternate between the heavy rifle and airgun or rimfire so you don't develop flinch.
 

IvW

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375 H&H, 404 Jeff and 500 Jeff in bolt..

375 H&H Flanged mag, 450/400 NE, 500/416 NE, 470NE(maybe) and 500 NE in double
 

EZRider

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Also while we're on this topic for anyone in the know - how would you compare the .375 H&H to the .458 WM or .458 Lott?
I own a CZ .375 H&H and have fired the .458 win and .458 Lott many times. All three calibers are very manageable standing from heavy rifles (all CZ 550 rifles).
I shoot my .375 easily off of a bench but I will NOT shoot the Lott without a Lead Sled or recoil pad.
 

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What is this lead sled I keep hearing about? Shoot it handle it or step down?
 

clintonius

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OP, where are you located? If in the US, send me a PM. I saw a new M70 .375 in stock somewhere about a month ago and I would guess it’s still there. Happy to tip you off to the location if you’re having trouble finding one.
 

IvW

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Ha ha, it’s a thing that keeps a rifle steady for sighting in! Seriously, better than a bag in that regard.
Not needed for a .375 but load development off a bench with a Lott...
Well I use biggest caliber 500 Jeff and have never had the need to use nechanical help......
 

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1618083871381.png

What is this lead sled I keep hearing about? Shoot it handle it or step down?
Designed as a rest for shooting, you can add lead birdshot in bags down in the base (hence the name), or other type of weight, to reduce recoil.
 

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Nothin to worry about. I watched a ton of videos of people shooting the 375 from the bench and it doesnt look too bad. Especially with a good recoil pad of some sort and heavy enough rifle.
If you can handle the recoil of a 12ga, then the 375h&h will be a cake walk !
 

fourfive8

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I you reload, the options expand quite a bit. That is if you can find components!!! I have used a Win 70 416 Rem on both PG and DG hunts and find no fault with it. Handles about like my 375 HH with a little more recoil. 400 gr 416 bullets have a little more authority than a 300 gr 375 bullets. History of course favors the 375 HH. Ballistics favor the 416 if you can handle the extra recoil. The only way that over pressure or sticky bolts come into play in the 416 Rem is by either using certain factory ammo manufactured in the late 1980s or early 1990s in a heat soaked rifle or overloading your reloads. That early ammo factory 416 Rem probably didn't have the best bullets anyway. Use more currently manufactured factory ammo or reload using superior, temperature insensitive powders at reasonable velocity objectives and you will have no issue with the 416 Rem. Ignore the basic pressure rules with ANY caliber and you will get sticky extraction or worse.

Your best bet in making the decision would be to find both a 375 HH and 416 bolt gun and maybe even a 45 cal of some flavor and shoot for comparison. Of course try to use comparable stock designs. Most people can learn to shoot and handle the recoil of a 375. Move up to 416 and some start finding it a little too much at around 50 ft lbs of recoil. Move up a little more to a 45 cal producing 75-80 ft lbs of recoil and the crowd thins significantly. :)
 

Jarrah

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If you can handle the recoil of a 12ga, then the 375h&h will be a cake walk !
That's exactly what I found with the .375

At first I was scared of it because I really didn't know what to expect, all I knew was that those rounds looked way bigger than anything else i'd ever fired.
I actually carried the gun around the bush with me hunting a few times before I was game to fire it!
Of course eventually I did, and then wondered what all the fuss had been about because after all that it was no problem at all, especially from a standing position.

My first rifle when I was younger was an old double barrel Leige 12G side-by-side (it's all I could afford at the time as a student) with 2 triggers which was date stamped 1914 or something and that thing kicked like a mule.
If you can handle both barrels at once using 12G solids then a .375 is certainly no worse than that so you really won't have a problem.
 
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I would start with the Winchester model 70 in 375 H&H, take your time and learn to shoot it well. After you can go to the bigger calibers, you will have the basics down for handling the recoil. I shoot up to a 505 Gibbs and it’s a learning experience to handle recoil.
 

Captain Munro

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I watched Ron Spomer shoot a 416 Remington from the bench and he was not crying after any of the shots. It did not look too bad. Plus the rifle was an exquisite Dakota 76. I would like to have something like that or better one day!
 

ldmay375

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I totally agree with all of this. One does not need to squeeze the last bit of velocity out of any cartridge. I load to near maximum, no need to attempt to better published data. And above all be it hand-loads or factory ammo, it should be function trouble free.
As to recoil:
I certainly consider the 458 Lott with full house 500 grain loads in a different category of recoil than the 375 H&H / Ruger and 416 Remington / Ruger. My 375’s and 416’s, I pretty much shoot just as I do my 338.
The 458’s, which admittedly I do not shoot that much, I handle a bit differently. I will say that last summer I was becoming more comfortable with a 458 Lott. But, there are some awkward field positions that I would shoot my 416 in without hesitation, the 458’s not the case.
This year, I shot a moose in the forehead with my 416, I was upright on my knees peering through a hole in the brush. I am not sure that I want to do that with my 458 Lott. Maybe, but it will take a bunch more rounds down range to achieve that comfort level for me.

I you reload, the options expand quite a bit. That is if you can find components!!! I have used a Win 70 416 Rem on both PG and DG hunts and find no fault with it. Handles about like my 375 HH with a little more recoil. 400 gr 416 bullets have a little more authority than a 300 gr 375 bullets. History of course favors the 375 HH. Ballistics favor the 416 if you can handle the extra recoil. The only way that over pressure or sticky bolts come into play in the 416 Rem is by either using certain factory ammo manufactured in the late 1980s or early 1990s in a heat soaked rifle or overloading your reloads. That early ammo factory 416 Rem probably didn't have the best bullets anyway. Use more currently manufactured factory ammo or reload using superior, temperature insensitive powders at reasonable velocity objectives and you will have no issue with the 416 Rem. Ignore the basic pressure rules with ANY caliber and you will get sticky extraction or worse.

Your best bet in making the decision would be to find both a 375 HH and 416 bolt gun and maybe even a 45 cal of some flavor and shoot for comparison. Of course try to use comparable stock designs. Most people can learn to shoot and handle the recoil of a 375. Move up to 416 and some start finding it a little too much at around 50 ft lbs of recoil. Move up a little more to a 45 cal producing 75-80 ft lbs of recoil and the crowd thins significantly. :)
 

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IvW

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View attachment 397189

Designed as a rest for shooting, you can add lead birdshot in bags down in the base (hence the name), or other type of weight, to reduce recoil.
Where is the John Deere badge? Strange looking contraption......

You use it in the field as well?
 

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I watched Ron Spomer shoot a 416 Remington from the bench and he was not crying after any of the shots. It did not look too bad. Plus the rifle was an exquisite Dakota 76. I would like to have something like that or better one day!
I have Mod 70 416 Rem Mag and it's a fun rifle to shoot. Very accurate as well. Certainly a 375 H&H is more versatile, more of a classic, and will with all likelihood be "all you ever need", but if you get a chance to try a .416 , I recommend it. If you have ever shot 12 gauge slugs from a pump shotgun, the 416 feels quite tame in comparison.
 

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Hello again Captain Munro,

1.
Regarding the Lead Sled, I totally agree with those who say it should only be used to develop an accurate load and / or to zero your sighting arrangement for your favorite factory load, never ever for general practice.
That said, I do not own one.
Nonetheless, I have kept my own freezer full for a tic over 50 years of hunting at home, here in N. America.
And, I’ve kept the braai sizzling throughout 5 trips to Africa.
So, apparently a Lead Sled is not exactly required but, indeed it does look like a good tool, (strictly for load development as mentioned).

2.
Perhaps my brain is too far gone with the years and mileage, to discern much difference in recoil from hard kickers.
Anyway and however, I recall that with full power ammunition, fired from Model 70 rifles, (very popular here in Alaska), recoil from both the .416 Remington and .458 Winchester felt about the same to me.

3.
For those who compare firing a 12 gauge slug to firing the .416, I would agree, provided the shotgun slugs are the 3” version.
Prior to retiring from my 28 year career, I was required to fire a certain amount of 2 & 3/4” ammunition, both buckshot and slugs, from both Model 870 Remington pump and Benelli M-1 semi-auto shotguns, several sessions each year.
Although recoil, especially from the pump gun, was “sporting”, I did not remember it being as snappy and somewhat harsh as the .416 Remington cartridge, fired from the Model 70 rifle.

4.
In case anyone might know somebody who cares......
Yours Truly’s favorite hunting cartridge is the .375 H&H.
It is IMO the best of the best for here in Alaska, as well as the parts of Canada where grizzly and polar bears are common.
In Africa, the .375 is my preference for so called “plains game”.
I’m told that with today’s extra tough bullets, (such as the 300 grain A-Frame, 350 grain Woodleigh, etc., etc), it is also quite good for buffaloes, both African and Australian varieties.
This is not to mention N. American bison, for which, apparently the .375 is also a real peach.

5.
Captain Munro, it is worth repeating that sooner or later you will want a .375 so, might as well get one now and be done with it.
You won’t be sorry if you buy either the current production Model 70 Winchester or the sadly discontinued CZ Model 550 Magnum.
Likewise, I believe it was IvW that also recommended the Brno Model 602 Magnum, tragically long ago discontinued.
(My own .375 is the Brno 602, with simple Zeiss 4x scope in Alaska Arms brand lever rings and of course, the original Brno express sights still in place).

Blah, blah, blah, out,
Velo Dog.
 
Last edited:

Captain Munro

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Hello again Captain Munro,

1.
Regarding the Lead Sled, I totally agree with those who say it should only be used to develop an accurate load and / or to zero your sighting arrangement for your favorite factory load, never ever for general practice.
That said, I do not own one.
Nonetheless, I have kept my own freezer full for a tic over 50 years of hunting at home, here in N. America.
And, I’ve kept the braai sizzling throughout 5 trips to Africa.
So, apparently a Lead Sled is not exactly required but, indeed it does look like a good tool, (strictly for load development as mentioned).

2.
Perhaps my brain is too far gone with the years and mileage, to discern much difference in recoil from hard kickers.
Anyway and however, I recall that with full power ammunition, fired from Model 70 rifles, (very popular here in Alaska), recoil from both the .416 Remington and .458 Winchester felt about the same to me.

3.
For those who compare firing a 12 gauge slug to firing the .416, I would agree, provided the shotgun slugs are the 3” version.
Prior to retiring from my 28 year career, I was required to fire a certain amount of 2 & 3/4” ammunition, both buckshot and slugs, from both Model 870 Remington pump and Benelli M-1 semi-auto shotguns, several sessions each year.
Although recoil, especially from the pump gun, was “sporting”, I did not remember it being as snappy and somewhat harsh as the .416 Remington cartridge, fired from the Model 70 rifle.

4.
In case anyone might know somebody who cares......
Yours Truly’s favorite hunting cartridge is the .375 H&H.
It is IMO the best of the best for here in Alaska, as well as the parts of Canada where grizzly and polar bears are common.
In Africa, the .375 is my preference for so called “plains game”.
I’m told that with today’s extra tough bullets, (such as the 300 grain A-Frame, 350 grain Woodleigh, etc., etc), it is also quite good for buffaloes, both African and Australian varieties.
This is not to mention N. American bison, for which, apparently the .375 is also a real peach.

5.
Captain Munro, it is worth repeating that sooner or later you will want a .375 so, might as well get one now and be done with it.
You won’t be sorry if you buy either the current production Model 70 Winchester or the sadly discontinued CZ Model 550 Magnum.
Likewise, I believe it was IvW that also recommended the Brno Model 602 Magnum, tragically long ago discontinued.
(My own .375 is the Brno 602, with simple Zeiss 4x scope in Alaska Arms brand lever rings and of course, the original Brno express sights still in place).

Blah, blah, blah, out,
Velo Dog.
I agree with the 2 3/4" buckshot, I can shoot that all day. I am all for the 375 to start, but the future holds the 416...and the 458...and...Anyhow, I emailed CZ and they straight up told me there was not enough interest in the Safari rifles to continue them.
 

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