Favorite Rifles Above .308 Caliber

Kevin Peacocke

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375 Flanged magnum. It is a true classic, just the right velocity and does it all. Made just for doubles, when the H&H magnum was the upstart kid, this was the solid serious brother that knew it's mettle all along.
 

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The 9.3x62 that I bought "just because" my first African safari was once scheduled for 2020. :(

After 549 rounds down range since May, I can't wait to take it to SA in 2021!

We all get groups from time to time that are above our pay grade or normal ability. The one below from my last time out was one of those - 3 shots in 1.5" with the 9.3 at 219 Yards.
From the sticks.

Maybe I've got this mid-bore thing about figured out. :)

CZ550 9.3x62 250 NAB 229 Yds 11-2020.jpg
 
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WAB

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The 9.3x62 that I bought "just because" my first African safari was once scheduled for 2020. :(

After 549 rounds down range since May, I can't wait to take it to SA in 2021!

We all get groups from time to time that are above our pay grade or normal ability. The one below from my last time out was one of those - 3 shots in 1.5" with the 9.3 at 219 Yards.
From the sticks.

Maybe I've got this mid-bore thing about figured out. :)

View attachment 376759

That’s impressive.
 
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If we are going bigger than .30calibre or .308 diameter then all I have is a .375H&H, I might happy with that.

Bigger than .308, the old ..303 at .311” were very common in Australia once and probably tested on almost any animal we have .

I have it on good Authority that’s the .35 Whelen punches above its weight without going to a magnum. But maybe I could get Bob and Bruce arguing over the .35Whelen vs the 9.3x62 hmm,

:Cigar::A Stirring::A Popcorn:
@CBH
Chris you wound get us arguing but as you know the 35 Whelen properly loaded with modern powders and projectiles leaves nothing to be desired. It's still the best medium bore to come down the turnpike since the late 1920s.
Bob
 

CBH Australia

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Morning Bob
 
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chris,
make that the 9.3x64.
like i said before, it is too much cartridge for many bullets good in the x62, including speer, t.u.g., and nosler partition.
in fact i nearly stopped testing it based on its abysmal performance with the partitions.
switching to swift aframes, 286 and 300 gn, made it sing.
for lighter bullets than that go to barnes x.
the power of a 375 in a 30/06 length action, even using the 30/06 mag unchanged.
in fact my next calibre down is 7mm, and there seems to be no need for anything in between.
bruce.
@bruce moulds
I agree with 2 good calibers even if spaced well apart there is no need for a filler cartridge.
You have the 9.3 and 30 cals
I have the 35 Whelen and my fast 25 and don't see the need for anything inbetween.
Bob
 

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@bruce moulds
I agree with 2 good calibers even if spaced well apart there is no need for a filler cartridge.
You have the 9.3 and 30 cals
I have the 35 Whelen and my fast 25 and don't see the need for anything inbetween.
Bob
Because they make them.

We are shooters and we buy guns that appeal to us, it’s hard to say no.
 

typilotguy

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Interesting question. I don’t have any big bore rifles. The biggest is my Ruger 300 Winchester Magnum M77. I really enjoy it. I thought the recoil would bother me. It doesn’t. I think the volume of the rifle had me freaked. I would like to try a 375 H and H to see if I could handle it. I am confident I could. I believe shooting 12 gauge slug guns can be a similar recoil. Thanks for this question.
You know, I had the same concern before I shot my .375 H&H. I have shot a .300 Win Mag for years (also in M77s), but really don't enjoy the caliber from the bench without a brake. My Ruger FTW Hunter came equipped with one, and I must say...it really mitigates things.

At any rate, I was a little hesitant about squeezing the first round off of the H&H. I was delightfully surprised. Not bad at all. Side by side, I would MUCH rather shoot a .375 H&H than a .300 Winnie. The former is more of a fast shove as opposed to the harder, faster, punch of the latter. This is even with 300 grain loads vs. 150 grain loads.
 

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You know, I had the same concern before I shot my .375 H&H. I have shot a .300 Win Mag for years (also in M77s), but really don't enjoy the caliber from the bench without a brake. My Ruger FTW Hunter came equipped with one, and I must say...it really mitigates things.

At any rate, I was a little hesitant about squeezing the first round off of the H&H. I was delightfully surprised. Not bad at all. Side by side, I would MUCH rather shoot a .375 H&H than a .300 Winnie. The former is more of a fast shove as opposed to the harder, faster, punch of the latter. This is even with 300 grain loads vs. 150 grain loads.
Do you think rifle mass plays any part in this?
I have both in different rifles, I once had a .458wm.
I have shot them all at different times , I'm comfortable with the ,375 on sticks. First round with my current .300wm kicked hard on the bench. Changing stocks and recoil pad tamed it a little.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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I am really not widely experienced on recoil, but I just know the little I know. My Verney double in 375 Flanged Mag weighs 7.65 pounds. My Ruger No1 in 375H&H scoped weighs 9.87 pounds. The Verney fits like a glove, you more like cuddle it than hold it. The Ruger is less so. You don't even notice the recoil of the Verney, serious, especially free standing. I love this set up.
 

typilotguy

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Do you think rifle mass plays any part in this?
I have both in different rifles, I once had a .458wm.
I have shot them all at different times , I'm comfortable with the ,375 on sticks. First round with my current .300wm kicked hard on the bench. Changing stocks and recoil pad tamed it a little.
Oh, undoubtedly it does, as too does stock design. However, both my .375 and .300 are ballpark- 7.94 and 7.8 lbs, respectively (according to manufacturer websites). I know recoil is quite subjective, but again, rest assured...in rifles of comparable weights in similar configuration...the .375, to me, is significantly more pleasant to shoot than a .300 Winchester Magnum.

I'm not sure if you are familiar with black powder muzzleloaders...but in a sense, the recoil in the Holland is similar to those. Feels like the push rather than the punch you receive from most centerfires.

Don't get me wrong, you know when the gun speaks, but it won't loosen your optic nerve, crush your shoulder, or rattle your fillings out.
 

Rick HOlbert

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Realizing and acknowledging that there many factors / experiences that can influence one’s likes. I have been pondering the rifles that I like the most for actual use.
I normally hunt in a wet environment, so this has considerably influence on my choices. My hunting is usually specifically moose in rather dense foliage areas. I think these cartridges would cover anything from deer size through large bears and bovines.
These are my favorites for the day:

416 Ruger, stainless Ruger rifle 20” barrel, aftermarket trigger and fiberglass stock, 1-6.3x24 scope

375 Ruger, stainless Ruger rifle with 20” barrel, aftermarket trigger and fiberglass stock, presently a 1.1-4x24 scope. This scope is subject to change, but has worked well for several years.

375 Ruger, stainless Ruger with aftermarket 23.5” barrel, aftermarket trigger and fiberglass stock, 1.5-8x42 scope.

338 Winchester, Ruger stainless rifle, aftermarket trigger and fiberglass stock, 1.5-6x42 scope. This scope is also subject to change. Though it has also worked well for years. Probably either a 1.5-8x42 or 1.7-10x42 will take its place.

325 WSM, Kimber Montana, 1.7-10x42 scope.
I have to admit that I have a weak spot for medium bore rifles. Having use them quite a bit here are my 3 favorite calibers,
Ruger M77R (tang safety) .358 Win. A real thumper with modern reloads and 225grn. A-Frames
Zastava M70 9.3X62. Again modern reloads give 85% of what a 375 H&H delivers
Winchester M70 (pre-64) 375 H&H
All 3 have been used in Namibia with outstanding results. All are scoped with 1.5-5X or 1-6X scopes.
 

ldmay375

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Kevin,
I definitely agree about rifle fit. It certainly makes a difference to me. Particularly noticeable from the rifles that I have had the stock length of pull cut to my length. And of course, handling in general is faster and more pleasing also.
 

ldmay375

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Rick HOlbert,
I agree on the passion for the medium bores. You have some nice ones there. Those cover a lot bases.
I go through a bit of mental battle each moose season on the choice of rifle. The candidates are always the same, 325 WSM, 338 Winchester, 375 Ruger or H&H, 416 Ruger or Remington.
I have a few rifles under 8mm, and certainly would use on deer sized game, maybe. But, my real enjoyment begins with 8mm with 200 grain bullets through and including the 416’s with 350 grain bullets.
Were I am long range shooter, I would consider the 30’s and under.


I have to admit that I have a weak spot for medium bore rifles. Having use them quite a bit here are my 3 favorite calibers,
Ruger M77R (tang safety) .358 Win. A real thumper with modern reloads and 225grn. A-Frames
Zastava M70 9.3X62. Again modern reloads give 85% of what a 375 H&H delivers
Winchester M70 (pre-64) 375 H&H
All 3 have been used in Namibia with outstanding results. All are scoped with 1.5-5X or 1-6X scopes.
 

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