I’ve Got An Idea!

.375 for practice?

  • Yes

    Votes: 25 92.6%
  • No

    Votes: 2 7.4%

  • Total voters
    27

Philip Glass

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We are always discussing calibers for hunting PG in Africa here on AH so I had an idea. There is always the discussion of getting guys to move up in caliber a bit from their typical deer hunting rounds to have a little more knock down power for the much tougher African game. Actually it is typically some folks debating that they can easily kill all the PG in Africa with their deer guns provided they have a good shot.
Y’all know my opinion is to “use enough gun” and try to understand that Africa and its game are unforgiving.
I like to find solutions instead of just simply sharing my opinion so here we go. If we go back in time a few years I was one of those guys who was a little recoil sensitive and wanted to just keep shooting my .30-06 for everything. I was pretty good with it and I was used to the 180gr loads that had stomped my shoulder terribly as a skinny teenager. Enter the DG world and I had to get busy working with larger calibers and you know that story. From .375 to .416 and now on to .470, I’m not saying I like it but I can do it!
So for the guy who is dreaming of safari or has it booked and making plans why not go out an buy a .375 just for practice. Just to learn to shoot and get used to the recoil on their own time. Then when they go back to a .30 cal it feels like nothing. Now there is the Mossberg Patriot that you can buy for $400 there is no reason to not have one if you like this idea. Combine it with an inexpensive scope and you have a nice little gun to go shoot and dream of Safari!
What do you think?
 

Zambezi

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My knee jerk response is that this may cause flinching etc to develop and will be carried over to the 30 cal... but if you can handle the thump of the .375 then just stay with it. The .375 will be great for PG so no need to bother with going back to the .30 cal.
 

Randy F

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We are always discussing calibers for hunting PG in Africa here on AH so I had an idea. There is always the discussion of getting guys to move up in caliber a bit from their typical deer hunting rounds to have a little more knock down power for the much tougher African game. Actually it is typically some folks debating that they can easily kill all the PG in Africa with their deer guns provided they have a good shot.
Y’all know my opinion is to “use enough gun” and try to understand that Africa and its game are unforgiving.
I like to find solutions instead of just simply sharing my opinion so here we go. If we go back in time a few years I was one of those guys who was a little recoil sensitive and wanted to just keep shooting my .30-06 for everything. I was pretty good with it and I was used to the 180gr loads that had stomped my shoulder terribly as a skinny teenager. Enter the DG world and I had to get busy working with larger calibers and you know that story. From .375 to .416 and now on to .470, I’m not saying I like it but I can do it!
So for the guy who is dreaming of safari or has it booked and making plans why not go out an buy a .375 just for practice. Just to learn to shoot and get used to the recoil on their own time. Then when they go back to a .30 cal it feels like nothing. Now there is the Mossberg Patriot that you can buy for $400 there is no reason to not have one if you like this idea. Combine it with an inexpensive scope and you have a nice little gun to go shoot and dream of Safari!
What do you think?
Either you were listening in on the conversation I had with my wife just last night or this is a cool coincidence.
We'll go with the latter. :)

I shoot 180 gr though my .30-06 as my go to for most everything. We were discussing the cancellation of this year's trip and consequently possibly bumping up to something more when the time comes. So that was exactly what we were discussing...picking up a .375 and start working with it. Thanks for bolstering the idea. She still thinks I'm nuts but maybe not because of this one now.
 

Shootist43

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Phil, I agree with you whole heartedly. One caveat I might add is that you get into reloading at the same time or as soon as possible. Factory ammo is a little pricey but reloading can negate that. Besides that the 375 H&H can be used with a lot of different weight bullets and powder charges so the "building" of recoil tolerance can be done in "steps."
 

AZDAVE

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I had to smile and laugh at the title of this thread "I've got an idea." boy have those words cost me a few $$$ over the years but also made lifelong memories.

Walking/crawling through a clearcut are in alaska my buddy Scott and I had a similar discussion on helping people learn to handle larger calibers. I agree with you idea and the ability of the 375 to handle different bullet weights that @Shootist43 stated in his post.

Afeter getting accustom to my 500 Jeffery most everthing else has a felt recoil of a whole lot less
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I think the overall idea is great. But I would be cautious on what rifle I'd recommend. I'm not an expert on the Mossberg Patriot, but from what I've read they're a fairly light rifle. Light rifle in a .375 (Ruger or HH) and a new shooter to that big of a caliber is contradictory to the goal here.

I'd rather see someone looking to move up buy a properly weighted CZ, Ruger or M70. Or even one step further in perhaps being a little on the heavy side. Sure the Mossberg can be had for $400 or thereabouts, but if due to light weight it turns the shooter off or they develop an incurable flinch, then what was the point.

Furthermore what will that rifle be worth on the used market? How many of us here on AH that are experienced with the caliber and hunt with them would be interested in the Mossberg? Some perhaps, but I'd guess it's a much more limited market. I'd rather see that new shooter spend more for a used rifle from my list above that will better hold it's value, so if they do decide to sell they'll end up with less out of pocket expense in the end. And if they don't decide to sell, then they'll have something they do want to hunt with.

Just my two cents!
 

Cam Moon

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Thoughts on a Browning in 375HH? Not sure what model or anything. Possibility from "a friend of a friend".
 

machinistbutler

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Thoughts on a Browning in 375HH? Not sure what model or anything. Possibility from "a friend of a friend".
I recently picked up a Belgium Browning safari in 375. It has the FN Mauser action. Beautiful rifle , I have the same rifle in 338 Winchester.

I am not sure how recoil would be in the lighter A bolt rifles, could be a bit snappy.
Screenshot_20201026-135650.png
 
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PHOENIX PHIL

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Newboomer

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Go with a Win 70 Safari Express. They are heavy enough to mitigate a lot of recoil at 11 lbs scoped and loaded. I use a Past shield for range work and the recoil is not bad. It's more of a shove than a jab. Light loaded 235 gr are a good load for getting used to a heavier caliber. Once you get used to the caliber, it will be your one and only for everything.
 

Ridgewalker

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JMO, but I believe both Philip Glass and Phoenix Phil have presented two valid options for a potential learning and possibly DG use tool. Now the option is up to the newby heavy hitter hunter.
”Dip your toes in the water“, or jump in totally!
 

C.W. Richter

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I never felt the recoil of a 375 was punishing at all-quite pleasant to shoot, actually! If the gun weight is sufficient, it's not a problem(esp using 270 gr factory loads). Very accurate! IF i were to take a 30-06 to Africa, I'd rather use 200-220 gr slugs as their superior SD will pay dividends. My son spent some time one summer culling Namibian Oryx on meat hunts using 30-06s exclusively and 220 gr bullets to great effect (just like Hemmingway.) On the other hand, using some typ mass-produced plastic 7.something pound American gun in 375 might be a totally different experience! My first was a Steyr-Mannlicher S/T (w/ the spare full mag in the butt stock for added heft and recoil reduction and that huge cold-rolled barrel-and slickest action 'ever experienced) and the second a more weatherproof do-it-all Montana 1999...with talleys, scope, etc. weighing in at 11-13 lb proved to be just fine. It's my son's after he shot a 43" buff between the eyes at 15 min to dark on the last day of a hunt...He says I can borrow it back, if needed. :p
 
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CoElkHunter

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Thoughts on a Browning in 375HH? Not sure what model or anything. Possibility from "a friend of a friend".
I have an A Bolt in .338WM that I’ve hunted with for many years now. I’d buy one in an A Bolt or preferably an X Bolt in .375 tomorrow if the price was right. Extremely smooth action and very accurate.
 

fourfive8

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375 HH in a good hefty bolt gun shouldn't be an issue for inexperienced large gun shooters of most any experience level... if done the right way. Too many stupid videos out there showing boyfriend idiots handing heavy recoiling rifles or pistols to their girlfriends then recording the effect- really classless, low rent, beerthirty brain power on display :(

A very nice reduced recoil load in the 375 HH is the 60% H4895 load and 300 gr cheap bullets - I have a bunch of old 300gr RN Hornadys that work perfectly for the purpose. I loaded 39 gr of H4895 under some of the 300 gr Hornadys last Saturday and took my 15 yo stepson to the range so he could shoot a "big" gun for the first time- a Winchester 70. He is from a nongun background and culture. He has learned to shoot 22rf quite well beginning at age 13. He has shot my 270 with mild loads a few times. He is extremely recoil shy so I have to go slow. He stepped up to the plate and shot 3 times and said that he could feel a little bruise start on the last shot so we quit. He showed no signs of flinching and held a pretty decent group at 50 yds. After shooting, he said he is ready to tackle a full power load next time. I know he has been telling all his buds at school about shooting the big 375 :) They've all have been talking about deer and elk hunting the last couple of weeks and most of them shoot 308s, 7 Mags and 30-06s.

Load some mild loads, pad up well and use good hearing protection- then even a 375 is doable for most new shooters who have only shot rifles like 243s and 308s. .... and NO BRAKE! :):)
 

Fastrig

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A 375 at 9.5-10 lbs scoped isn’t bad to carry, will mitigate a good chuck of recoil, etc. I’m putting Edwards recoil reducers in mine which will reduce the recoil about 40-60%. Will be like shooting a 308 win at that point. Recoil is not your friend, so do what you need to in order to reduce it between manageable weight and recoil reducers.
 

thriller

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My knee jerk response is that this may cause flinching etc to develop and will be carried over to the 30 cal... but if you can handle the thump of the .375 then just stay with it. The .375 will be great for PG so no need to bother with going back to the .30 cal.
Well when I give myself a flinch I go and use my 458 or my 3 1/2 inch 10ga single shot. I know this is not the way most people do it but that feeling of oh this is just a pop gun works great for me.
 

375Fox

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I like the idea of everyone getting a 375, but I think I have regretted every cheap gun I’ve bought. If someone decides to buy a 375, I think they need to spend a little more money for a better rifle such as a model 70 or a Ruger.
 

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