First time out with new .375 H&H

shuter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
352
Reaction score
173
Website
www.roboliveauthor.com
Media
16
Hunted
Oregon, Montana
By way of background, up till today I'd never fired a more powerful rifle than my fairly heavy and relatively comfortable Sako 75 .338 Win Mag. I've also fired some heavy .45-70 loads in my Marlins and Ruger #1's, both of which pack a hefty punch as well. But typically, I'm shooting my .223 bolt-action varmint rifles, AR-15's and my .270 Win and .300 WSM hunting rifles...and suppressed .22 rimfires and .17 HMR's every chance I get, of course.

As I posted last month, I finally picked up the honest to goodness "African Rifle" that I've always wanted! Got a Winchester Model 70 Safari Express in the grand old .375 H&H. Anyway, I finally got it to the range today and I was surprised at the trepidation I felt prior to the first trigger squeeze. I'm 50 years old and have shot all my life, but I had mind games going on today! The upshot is that it seemed to recoil a bit more than my .338 Sako, but it was manageable for me. The rig weighs right at 11.25 lbs. loaded (Leupold 1.5-5x in Warne mounts), so it's no lightweight. But the balance is very nice, and the rifle has a tremendously solid feel to it.

After 20 rounds at the bench I'd had enough though! The ammo was Hornady 270 grain Superformance, which averaged 2,782 fps for 5 shots over my chronograph, by the way. Pretty hot stuff, I guess. It took a few rounds to get it close, then I fired three 3-shot groups at 100 yards, and the last 4 hammered the 200 yard gong into submission!

None of the three groups were worth bragging about overall, but each group had the first 2 shots touching or nearly so, until the 3rd shot flew 1.5-2" out. I think the rifle really wants to shoot, and I also think that I'll have a different mindset next time out. The recoil was stout, with what I gather are pretty hot loads, but the scope has plenty of eye relief and the Decelerator pad helps. Can't wait for the next time, and also can't wait to load up some of the 300-grain Accubonds I picked up.

Anyway, just babbling, but wanted to share my first range session with the .375.
 

Rob404

Bronze supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
3,696
Reaction score
4,675
Location
Chaska Minnesota
Media
54
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
NRA, Member Minnesota Horse and Hunt,,Caribou Hunt Club
Hunted
Illinois,Wisconsin,Michigan Limpopo Province South Africa
375s are a bit of a Surprise the first time out but settle in to be reasonably comfortable if there is such a thing,enjoy your M70 it's a fine Rifle
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
23,023
Reaction score
17,615
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
24
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
Yeah, it's quite the jump from shooting a .270

Now that your mind games are over and you can quit "guessing" what the recoil will be you can get on with just shooting it.

Have fun.
 

JustinC

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
564
Reaction score
465
Location
South Africa
Media
26
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
PHASA, DSC, SCI
Well done for getting 20 rounds off on your first go, Africa awaits?!

Regards
 

Velo Dog

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
3,550
Reaction score
5,353
Location
Anchorage
Media
58
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
NRA Life Member.
Hunted
Africa 5 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
Hi Shuter,

In the H&H version, a 270 grain bullet at nearly 2800 fps, is pretty hot.
Firing 20 rounds of that stuff from the seated position/shooting bench, indicates that you are a better man than I am (not that it is saying much any more).
But, since you're accustom to shooting hot .45-70 loads in both your Ruger single shot and especially your Marlin lever action, I am not surprised that you made it through all 20 shots of those hot .375 loads from the bench.

A couple suggestions that have helped me mitigate recoil might hopefully be of use to you.
In the .375 H&H, my favorite load is the 300 gr Hornady Round Nose at 2400 fps.
Not only is it easier on my shoulder but it is easy on some of the smaller species I have shot with it (duiker, klipspringer, Sitka black tail deer, etc) and yet extremely effective on rather tough animals like wildebeest.
It shoots plenty flat enough for consistent big game heart-lung hits out to somewhere around 250 to 300 yards.

In Nevada, I have even squarely hit jack rabbits with it out to about that distance, after they stopped to look back at me.
Likewise, I have used the good old Nosler Partition 300 gr at that rather tame velocity with great satisfaction.

Also, when shooting anything with much recoil in general, I place the rifle butt slightly out of the "shoulder pocket" and slightly onto the pectoral muscle.
You already have a plenty heavy rifle which greatly helps tame some recoil so, that is good (mine is a 30 or 40 year old Brno 602, similar in many ways to the CZ 550 of today, including the proper weight for this cartridge).

Last but not least, once my sights and/or scope on any rifle are properly adjusted so that a few shots (3 to 5 approximately) are centered on a paper target, I only shoot it from the bench very seldom after that.
Shooting while seated on a sturdy shooting bench/table can be brutal with very hard kickers or even medium hard kickers, like the .375 H&H.
Not only that but, shooting benches are hard to find out in the bush so, making the field positions your second nature is wise, especially from sticks.

I do train quite seriously from sticks and off hand after the rifle is hitting on center though.
Continually striving for tiny little groups with a big game rifle does not interest me much after it is zeroed to whatever distance is appropriate to the job I plan to use it for.

Some of my larger than .375 H&H rifles frankly have too much recoil for me personally to shoot from sitting/elbows on my knees and/or from kneeling and prone.
The above .375 load however is such that I can fire it from standing for many shots and from all those positions for at least few shots here and there (very few from prone - LOL).

Well, at this stage I guess that's about all the news that's fit to print.
So, cheerio for now,
Velo Dog.
 
Last edited:

ActionBob

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
3,901
Reaction score
6,367
Location
Central Minnesota
Media
97
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
NRA life, DSC, SCI
Hunted
Minnesota, Texas, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, British Columbia, Argentina, Kansas, Macedonia, Austria
Not being a reloader, I started out with the low end federal 270 grain loads... then moved up to 300 grain which was noticably more stout. Then the loads you used and hunted pg with them.

Then on to a 416 rem mag which was noticably more frisky but very manageable. Add elephant and buffalo for that... And I have a 505 gibbs now but can't say it would be the wisest choice for a general hunt, but under the right circumstances, yes Perhaps. For now 3 shots in a session is enough.

But wow it sure made the 375 into a sweet little thing!
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
6,704
Reaction score
19,628
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
285
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
5
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
One of the truly great inventions of this bright new century is the "lead sled". I use one for sighting in almost everything now and then do most of my range work from sticks or field positions (primarily sitting). With two standard bags of shot, a .375 only creates muzzle blast. I don't use it with a fine double, but it tames a bolt gun wonderfully. The only other suggestion would be the same as ActionBob - buy a .404 or .416. They both have a unique ability to put a .375 in perspective. :)

And I never fire twenty rounds from the bench!
 

shuter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
352
Reaction score
173
Website
www.roboliveauthor.com
Media
16
Hunted
Oregon, Montana
Thanks again for all the input guys. I will look at the lead sled and I realize firing from the bench with big kickers isn't a good thing. But for getting a specific load sighted in precisely, don't you all use a benchrest?
 

thi9elsp

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
984
Reaction score
927
Location
USA
Media
24
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
Life Member: Buckmasters, NRA, RMEF, DSC, SCI, and CCA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique
One of the truly great inventions of this bright new century is the "lead sled". I use one for sighting in almost everything now and then do most of my range work from sticks or field positions (primarily sitting). With two standard bags of shot, a .375 only creates muzzle blast. I don't use it with a fine double, but it tames a bolt gun wonderfully. The only other suggestion would be the same as ActionBob - buy a .404 or .416. They both have a unique ability to put a .375 in perspective. :)

And I never fire twenty rounds from the bench!

I bought and shot my CZ550 404 last year. You are dead on the money. Boy is my CZ550 375 sweet! I'm shooting Federal 300 grain TBBC (softs / solids) and I believe they both run around 2400 fps. I bought Hornady 400 grain solids for the 404 which are around 2300 fps.
 

shuter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
352
Reaction score
173
Website
www.roboliveauthor.com
Media
16
Hunted
Oregon, Montana
One of the truly great inventions of this bright new century is the "lead sled". I use one for sighting in almost everything now and then do most of my range work from sticks or field positions (primarily sitting). With two standard bags of shot, a .375 only creates muzzle blast. I don't use it with a fine double, but it tames a bolt gun wonderfully. The only other suggestion would be the same as ActionBob - buy a .404 or .416. They both have a unique ability to put a .375 in perspective. :)

And I never fire twenty rounds from the bench!
Thanks. I suppose "perspective" is everything!
 

thi9elsp

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
984
Reaction score
927
Location
USA
Media
24
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
Life Member: Buckmasters, NRA, RMEF, DSC, SCI, and CCA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique
So, now you have a solid reason to buy another gun!
 

ActionBob

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
3,901
Reaction score
6,367
Location
Central Minnesota
Media
97
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
NRA life, DSC, SCI
Hunted
Minnesota, Texas, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, British Columbia, Argentina, Kansas, Macedonia, Austria
If buying another gun slows down a trip to Africa..... don't buy the gun. However hot 375 loads vs. mild one can even show you a lot of perspective. This I can almost guarantee you, you will not notice any recoil when you shoot your first animal in Africa with it! No matter what the load.

Can't say I really want to shoot my 505 off a lead sled. That recoil has to go somewhere and I don't want it screwing up the beautiful stock on that thing. I think to sight it in, we have some tall tables and I can build up a nice big pile to support the gun on and shoulder fire it from there, hopefully standing up..... I would love some practiced advice on this!
 

thi9elsp

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
984
Reaction score
927
Location
USA
Media
24
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
Life Member: Buckmasters, NRA, RMEF, DSC, SCI, and CCA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique
If buying another gun slows down a trip to Africa..... don't buy the gun. However hot 375 loads vs. mild one can even show you a lot of perspective. This I can almost guarantee you, you will not notice any recoil when you shoot your first animal in Africa with it! No matter what the load.

Can't say I really want to shoot my 505 off a lead sled. That recoil has to go somewhere and I don't want it screwing up the beautiful stock on that thing. I think to sight it in, we have some tall tables and I can build up a nice big pile to support the gun on and shoulder fire it from there, hopefully standing up..... I would love some practiced advice on this!

Please turn the video cam on so that you can post the result. I want evidence that you are still standing afterwards!
 

Jfet

AH elite
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,400
Reaction score
2,069
Media
68
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Member of
Outdoor Tomorrow Foundation,NRA, Life Member DSC
Hunted
Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Namibia, South Africa, and Now Spain
So, how does your shoulder feel today:sneaky:
 

ChrisG

AH elite
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
1,042
Reaction score
1,212
Location
Adirondack Park, NY, USA
Media
44
Articles
1
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NAHC, NRA, Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation.
Hunted
USA, Canada
Congrats on getting out to shoot the .375! I love mine! I have a Winchester Model 70 as well! It does take some getting used to on the recoil jump. Like you, I stepped up from a .338 and a .45-70, and while the recoil feels more stout, it doesn't give me a recoil headache like the .338 did with 250 grain bullets at 2650. I think it has to do with the recoil velocity. Anyway, enjoy it! I take mine out every two weeks and put about 10 rounds through it for practice from different field positions shooting at tannerite. It gives you a surprise when you get a good solid hit. I handload 270 grain bullets with Reloader 17 to about 2700 fps. It has become rather fun!

I too am someday hoping for a trip to Africa. Someday, I will make it happen.
 

shuter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
352
Reaction score
173
Website
www.roboliveauthor.com
Media
16
Hunted
Oregon, Montana
So, how does your shoulder feel today:sneaky:
Funny you should ask. Pretty sore:) I also fired 20 .45-70 rounds through my Marlin. They were only the 300 grain/1,800 fps factory stuff, but still. Yeah, pretty sore.
 

shuter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
352
Reaction score
173
Website
www.roboliveauthor.com
Media
16
Hunted
Oregon, Montana
Congrats on getting out to shoot the .375! I love mine! I have a Winchester Model 70 as well! It does take some getting used to on the recoil jump. Like you, I stepped up from a .338 and a .45-70, and while the recoil feels more stout, it doesn't give me a recoil headache like the .338 did with 250 grain bullets at 2650. I think it has to do with the recoil velocity. Anyway, enjoy it! I take mine out every two weeks and put about 10 rounds through it for practice from different field positions shooting at tannerite. It gives you a surprise when you get a good solid hit. I handload 270 grain bullets with Reloader 17 to about 2700 fps. It has become rather fun!

I too am someday hoping for a trip to Africa. Someday, I will make it happen.
Funny you should mention headache. I woke up with a rare headache today, but none yesterday. Hmmm. I sound pretty wimpy complaining when most of you guys are shooting REAL bigbores and not whining! Gotta get used to it and get off the bench, I suppose. Having to strategize must be one of the things that makes the big bores fun!
 

shuter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
352
Reaction score
173
Website
www.roboliveauthor.com
Media
16
Hunted
Oregon, Montana
If buying another gun slows down a trip to Africa..... don't buy the gun. However hot 375 loads vs. mild one can even show you a lot of perspective. This I can almost guarantee you, you will not notice any recoil when you shoot your first animal in Africa with it! No matter what the load.

Can't say I really want to shoot my 505 off a lead sled. That recoil has to go somewhere and I don't want it screwing up the beautiful stock on that thing. I think to sight it in, we have some tall tables and I can build up a nice big pile to support the gun on and shoulder fire it from there, hopefully standing up..... I would love some practiced advice on this!
Good point on the lead sled and recoil "going somewhere" Bob. Anybody have any instances of stock splitting, etc. when using a sled?
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
6,704
Reaction score
19,628
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
285
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
5
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
Good point on the lead sled and recoil "going somewhere" Bob. Anybody have any instances of stock splitting, etc. when using a sled?

There is a lot of speculation on forums that shooting off a lead sled must be hard on a rifle. I have had no issues, though as I stated I won't shoot a fine double off of it. I also use it strictly for sight-in or zero verification - not a lot of rounds on any given rifle. Finally, it is not like setting the rifle in concrete - more like having a really stout subordinate fire the thing. There is "give" in the sled and the lead. Anyway, I have been very happy with the utility of mine.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,654
Messages
719,766
Members
67,346
Latest member
WilimClark
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
Rickmt wrote on Leica Sport Optics's profile.
will Leica Amplus 6-2.5x15x50 fit on a pro success Blaser with low mount?
 
Top