Is the .375 caliber minimum for dangerous game outdated?

Roller

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With modern bullets, is the .375 caliber minimum really needed these days? Take out elephant and rhino, how many of you would be comfortable ethically hunting buffalo and the big cats with a smaller caliber?
 

WAB

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I was impressed with the 9.3x62 on my wife’s Cape buffalo. I like my Lott but I have to admit that it got the job done quite handily.
 

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With modern bullets, is the .375 caliber minimum really needed these days? Take out elephant and rhino, how many of you would be comfortable ethically hunting buffalo and the big cats with a smaller caliber?
Africa is a big continent. Go to Mozambique and use anything you like 7mm or larger on dangerous game.

Lots of buffalo and lion were killed by American sportsmen between the wars with the 30-06 and bad bullets. Lots were wounded and lost as well. I have no doubt that a 250 gr Swift A-Frame or TSX from a .338 will cleanly kill a buffalo. That said, my .375 buys me a couple of more mms and grains of insurance while being just as versatile as my .338.
 

mark-hunter

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With modern bullets, is the .375 caliber minimum really needed these days?

Legal requirement in most of the countries, for dg. So, needed in fact! (de facto i de iure)

I would put it in a different way: with modern bullets and powders it gets even better!!!
 

WAB

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Legal requirement in most of the countries, for dg. So, needed in fact! (de facto i de iure)

I would put it in a different way: with modern bullets and powders it gets even better!!!

As Red Leg points out there are exceptions that make it a very good question. Moz and Zim are two examples.
 

mark-hunter

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This is true, and in some countries 9.3x62, and 9.3x64, 9.3x74R would be considered as minimum.
But 375 would cover all options.
 

BeeMaa

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With modern bullets, is the .375 caliber minimum really needed these days? Take out elephant and rhino, how many of you would be comfortable ethically hunting buffalo and the big cats with a smaller caliber?
Forget ethics for a moment.
What is the reason you would want to hunt with less than a .375 or 9.3mm?

The minimum was set for a reason...a reason written in blood several times over.
Just wondering what yours are.
 

Roller

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Forget ethics for a moment.
What is the reason you would want to hunt with less than a .375 or 9.3mm?

The minimum was set for a reason...a reason written in blood several times over.
Just wondering what yours are.
Who said I did? Personally, I plan on bringing a 416 Rem Mag. However, "the" minimum was set prior to a lot of advances in bullet and powder technology. Hence, the question.
 

lwaters

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The 338 was originally loaded with 200 250 and 300 grain bullets. I have read there was an over penetration problem with some 300 grain bullets. It would shoot through a buffalo and wound or kill the one behind it. I feel if you can shoot a 338 you will have no problem with a 375.
 

TOBY458

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In my opinion a 338 seems to recoil more than a 375 H&H. Something about the higher velocity just seems to make it punch you harder. Maybe the recoil is just "faster" and hits you all at once more than the 375 does.
The 9.3x62 is very friendly, and if recoil was an issue, that's the rifle I'd gravitate to.
In fact, the very first time I hunted Buffalo (in Australia) I took 3 large body bulls with 375 H&H loaded to 2450 fps with 300gr Barnes TSX. Almost identical ballistics to what can be achieved with the 9.3. I honestly wondered why anyone would need more gun as a hunter.
 

TMS

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Are we still re inventing the wheel? If you out hunting enough dangerous game , you don’t want less than 375, I have dropped 2 elephants with 9.3 , wasn’t out of choice, can be done but not the best option.
 

Royal27

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Are we still re inventing the wheel? If you out hunting enough dangerous game , you don’t want less than 375, I have dropped 2 elephants with 9.3 , wasn’t out of choice, can be done but not the best option.

I hate when trolls who don't have a clue come online and comment about things they know nothing about.

Hey.... Wait.... It's Simon! ;)

Welcome back to the posting side. :A Banana:
 

318AE

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I was interested to see where this would go. When the 375 min standard was set, common advice from some hunters was to strictly use solids on buffalo, much like the common advice on elephant today. Cup and core, not bonded, not partitioned, not monolithic soft bullets were pretty unreliable by today’s standard. Some on this board, are now advocating there is not necessarily a place for solids in buffalo hunting today, given the exceptional performance of modern softs.

Perhaps another way to ask the question, one in a context of complete conjecture, given only two choices, would you hunt a buffalo with a 35 Whelen and 250 gr Swift A-frames, or some Berdan primed Kynoch 375 H&H softs from the 50s? The issues with the 70 year old cordite propellant aside, I think the 250 gr Swift a-frame is a better choice. Again, complete conjecture, but some of today’s mid-30s’ with modern bullets likely exceed the performance of the 375s when the standard was set. (A 250 gr Swift a-frame may outperform today’s legal, entry level Prvi Partizan 300 grain softs, and Remington’s 270 grain softs)

The standard was set for a good reason, and that reason was mostly lousy bullets. When 60% weight retention is common, you just need to start with more.

What doesn’t any of this really mean? I might use a 333 Jeffery with a 300 gr Woodleigh the next time I hunt buffalo in Mozambique, for the nostalgia of it. I like to take those old guns hunting. If so, I’ll have a 450/400, 416 or the like as well, so if the situations are not appropriate, unreasonable comprises are not made.

The simple answer? Use a 375...
 

YancyW

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I don't have much personal experience, but I did hear Craig Boddington tell of a group at a book signing that he would likely use a 338WM for most buf hunting if it was allowed.
 

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