Don Heath's 'All Round Rifle'

JPbowhunter

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The whole problem with a rifle or cartridge that does it all is that it excels at nothing.
I dunno, to me that's one of the sayings that sounds good at face value but if you think about it doesn't hold up. Take a 9 3 or a 375, plenty of things they excel at which is the exact reason they're considered all rounders.
 

ZG47

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I suspect that lack of pressure issues and reliable feed with that beautiful shoulder angle and case taper had a significant bearing on the matter. Anyone who actually uses tools for his/her living, appreciates the value of appropriate taper, especially when one piece has to quickly slide into another. QD hydraulic hose/tool fittings for use with towed and/or tray -loaded hydraulic power units and their associated power tools for remote site work, are a perfect example of ‘taper is good’.
 

bruce moulds

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never overlook the 9.3x64.
the 300 swift aframe at 2550 puts it right up there with the 375.
in a 30/06 length action.
at the other end there are a good range of lighter bullets of many constructions.
and there are also solids.
this is an underrated round, and due to low popularity factory offerings are a little scarce.
more use would create more factory ammo options, but for now reloaders derive its full benefit.
bruce.
 

Alexandro Faria

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Sure, but there's a lot more to "the perfect all-rounder" than just performance. One needs to consider legality and availability as well, which you have done, I concede. It's a pity the 9.3 brenneke isn't more popular. I feel that legal minimums really put the ax to some potentially brilliant cartridges. That being said, they're a reality that must be considered.

Someone else suggested the 375 Weatherby and I must agree completely. It really fits the bill nicely and gives a bit more oomph than the H&H. Add this to the fact that you can use H&H cartridges makes it awesome, be it at reduced velocity. There is some concern over feeding issues due to the angle change, but I've only spoken to 1 guy who had any issues and his smith fixed it up nicely...
 

bruce moulds

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A.F.
let's not let reality get in the way of a good theory.
firstly, like i said, you need to be a reloader to fully take advantage of this case.
secondly, the legality issue is certainly a thorn in the side.
is there so much benefit in improving the 375 h&h?
in its favour is ammo availablity and feeding from mag to chamber.
the one i had would, if the 300 gn bullet dead on at 100, put the 270 about 2" high, and the 235 another 1" higher.
this offers great versatility on many types of game and situations with the one sight setting.
on the other hand the 416 rem can use bullets from 300, 350 and 400 gns, but have no experience with relative zeros.
higher recoiling rifles are harder to shoot.
to each his poison.
bruce.
 

bruce moulds

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just a question re the law.
we often read about rounds like the 9.3x62 and the 8x68 and the 8mm rem mag being used for bigger game.
where they are legal, surely the 9.3x64 would have to be as it is the best of them all?
just not elephant.
bruce.
 

Eric Anderson

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I dunno, to me that's one of the sayings that sounds good at face value but if you think about it doesn't hold up. Take a 9 3 or a 375, plenty of things they excel at which is the exact reason they're considered all rounders.
The general consensus on this board is that the .375 and 9.3 are acceptable, but less than ideal for stopping a charge.
I could use my .375 for a raccoon, but there are much better choices.
Much better choices for long range shooting, much better choices for defense, ect.
Nobody is arguing that both those cartridges can't do many things, but that with the exception of dangerous and big game hunting, there are usually better options.
 

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I recently read and re-read the article by Don Health entitled The "All Round Rifle" And Other Slippery Shibboleths'

In the article, Don discusses his requirements for the one rifle to do it all in Africa, which are briefly outlined below:

  • The rifle must be able to drive a bullet through to an elephant brain from any angle;
  • The rifle must be accurate enough and flat shooting enough for use on plainsgame under local prevailing conditions;
  • The rifle must be easy to shoot and absolutely reliable;
  • A selection of bullet types must be available that are suitable for taking all size classes of game from dik dik to elephant efficiently;
  • The cartridge chosen must be easy to reload, and economical to practice with;
  • The scope should have a setting of 2x or below for use on dangerous game;
  • The ammunition should not be so bulky as to preclude easily carrying 20 or 30 rounds;
  • The rifle design should facilitate rapid follow up shots.

In terms of cartridges he concluded that the 375 H&H was too long, the 9.3x62 was just adequate in power, and that the 376 Steyr was anaemic. He did write that if the 376 Steyr had been designed to fit a standard 30-06 length action instead of a short action it would have been 'the ultimate general purpose cartridge for Africa.

This brings me to the 375 Ruger. Is this the cartridge Don Heath had envisioned? Any thoughts?
having known and hunted with Don, his carry gun and preferred gun was a 9.3x62 for everything but elephants- there the gun was sxs 500/416
 

Nkawu

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having known and hunted with Don, his carry gun and preferred gun was a 9.3x62 for everything but elephants- there the gun was sxs 500/416

Thanks for the info! Can you shed any light on his particular rifle?
 

fsrmg1

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My all around rifle is a custom FN M98 9.3x66 Sako that I am very happy with. In the past, I had a 9.3x64 twin to it that I was equally happy with. The only difference was 5 rounds in the magazine vs 3.

I also had used a Win 70 375 H&H Mag quite a bit in the past and to be honest, I don't think I could notice any difference between them under real world conditions.

If I was going to do it all over again and build up another rifle, I would give strong consideration to the 375 Ruger on a standard '06 length action.
 

ronp

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Thanks for the info! Can you shed any light on his particular rifle?
All I remember was a Mauser custom in 9,3x62 plus a 500/416 ?? double rifle

there is a great article he wrote for me posted on the Norma website under cartridge of the month on mauser. Don was a gifter writer and the article is a great read on the history.
www.norma-usa.com then scroll to cartridge of month click on and select article
 

John J

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All I remember was a Mauser custom in 9,3x62 plus a 500/416 ?? double rifle

there is a great article he wrote for me posted on the Norma website under cartridge of the month on mauser. Don was a gifter writer and the article is a great read on the history.
www.norma-usa.com then scroll to cartridge of month click on and select article
Would you look at that! Haha Nice way to drive sales.
Screenshot_20180901-174119_Chrome.jpeg
 

Newboomer

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My choice for all around? 375HH with a variety of Barnes bullets. 350g loaded pretty hot for DG, 235s or other for PG. Works for me.
 

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I suggest that an all rounder is dependent on the shooter rather than energy or velocity and so on.
I suggest that the bullet placement is a component of the all rounder because in essence, it’s the shooter who can place the shot.
 

Newboomer

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To be sure. Bullet goes only where the shooter sends it. Good bullets in the right machine help.
 

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