Is The .375 H&H Strong Enough

DUGABOY1

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Is the .375 H&H Strong Enough


.375 Holland & Holland

Gentlemen, the 375 H&H rifle is a "ONE RIFLE FOR THE WORLD" type of invention. The old 1912 three six bits, with proper placement and a quality bullet, will kill anything that walks, crawls, or flies. However, the 375 H&H is NOT a big bore, it is a medium bore, and is minimum in most countries for the big five larger than the Leopard. It is one of the all time best choices for the big cats in Africa, and India. It is adequate for all the animals in the dangerous group in the world and is probably the most suggested caliber for the client hunter in Africa for most things up to and including Cape Buffalo. I will say here and now, the only "ONE SHOT KILLS" I have ever had on cape buffalo have been with the 375 H&H, paired with a 300 gr Nosler Partition bullet, when the brain, or spine was not hit. All others have taken at least three shots regardless of caliber or bullet type, again when the brain was not hit!

Is the 375 H&H my first choice for Buffalo hunting? Absolutely not, would I hesitate to shoot buffalo with the 375 H&H, again absolutely not.

The caliber is light for buffalo, and lighter yet for elephant, and My choice would be something in the .400 class on up to the 500NE, preferably in a good double rifle.


.375 Holland & Holland

The old rag that says the client hunter is always backed up by a PH who usually has a better chambering for when the crap hits the fan! I do not agree with that line of thinking. When things go South, who made the rule that says the PH isn't going to be the one hit first, leaving you to pull his nuts out of the fire. It has happened more times than one, I assure you. When taking on dangerous game one needs to be prepared to defend himself, and the PH as well!

There is a reason why this game is called dangerous, but more than that, they are unpredictable at times. To me this indicates the need for more than the minimum required for that purpose.


.375 Holland & Holland

The sky is not falling, and if you want to hunt with a 375 H&H because of it's great versatility, then do it, I have on many occasions.

I have three rifles chambered for the 375 H&H cartridge, and that used to be my back up rifle for my bigger rifle, and served very well for plains game, yet was legal for the big stuff if my big rifle broke. All my 375s are fitted with quality iron sights, and scopes mounted in quality quick detach mounts that return to zero absolutely. No big game hunting rifle should ever be slick barreled with no iron sights. If something happens to that scope the irons can finish the stalk, or the whole hunt if need be.

.....................Good luck, and good hunting with your 375 H&H:D


.375 Holland & Holland
 
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CAustin

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Great article and good pictures.

I think it is the best all around caliber and we see our clients grab the .375 H&H more often than not, regardless of the fire power options on the truck.
It can just do it all and in Africa anything can happen!
The versatility of the .375 make it a great choice...
It feeds well, shoot all types of ammo well, penetrates, can reach out when needed and people seem to shoot it well.
 

curtism1234

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An old post brought back to the top; I'd be interested to see what opinions have changed the last 10 years.

It seems the 375 has a couple more good factory loads/bullets out there. It also seems more and more folks come to this site saying "I am somewhat new to hunting and this is my first trip to Africa - I want to hunt Cape Buffalo" --- seems like instant gratification and not a well thought out plan.

That being said (and I will disagree with Dugaboy1), I believe in distinct roles for the hunter and ph - namely make a good first shot and from there don't pretend you know what you are doing.

Roles of the hunter: make a good first shot, allow be steered by ph to location for final shots if buffalo is broken down, and stay where you are if all hell breaks loose (shoot if you can, but don't confuse the ph)

Roles of the ph: don't pressure a hunter to shoot, get the hunter into a good location for follow ups, and take over anytime when the hunter is not 100% in control. If the buffalo is ultimately put down by the ph, so be it; it's his job to make sure all parties go to sleep unharmed that night.
 

IvW

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The single most useful caliber any hunter can use for Africa from the smallest to the largest animal from 0-300 yards with ease....
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Bullet Safaris said it all, "people seem to be able to shoot it well." Add Curtism's point of the role of the client being to make a good first shot and it all falls into place. Speaking for myself, I am not a wonderful shot and even worse with the big bores, but I can handle my 375's well and admit that it is my upper limit of competency. That is the same story for my three hunting buddies too, and watching the fourth guy scatter his 457 Lott all over the place it goes for him also, but he just wont accept it!
 

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Yeah, and I like the cat in first pic!
 
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An old post brought back to the top; I'd be interested to see what opinions have changed the last 10 years.

It seems the 375 has a couple more good factory loads/bullets out there. It also seems more and more folks come to this site saying "I am somewhat new to hunting and this is my first trip to Africa - I want to hunt Cape Buffalo" --- seems like instant gratification and not a well thought out plan.

That being said (and I will disagree with Dugaboy1), I believe in distinct roles for the hunter and ph - namely make a good first shot and from there don't pretend you know what you are doing.

Roles of the hunter: make a good first shot, allow be steered by ph to location for final shots if buffalo is broken down, and stay where you are if all hell breaks loose (shoot if you can, but don't confuse the ph)

Roles of the ph: don't pressure a hunter to shoot, get the hunter into a good location for follow ups, and take over anytime when the hunter is not 100% in control. If the buffalo is ultimately put down by the ph, so be it; it's his job to make sure all parties go to sleep unharmed that night.
@curtism1234
Very well said.
Bob
 

Tanks

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...

Is the 375 H&H my first choice for Buffalo hunting? Absolutely not, would I hesitate to shoot buffalo with the 375 H&H, again absolutely not.

The caliber is light for buffalo, and lighter yet for elephant, and My choice would be something in the .400 class on up to the 500NE, preferably in a good double rifle...

I have three rifles chambered for the 375 H&H cartridge, and that used to be my back up rifle for my bigger rifle, and served very well for plains game, yet was legal for the big stuff if my big rifle broke.

I agree with the OP. Jut like him, I would use my .375 H&H for plains game and back up if my big bore broke. With 300 grain Barnes TSX @ 2,550 ft/s it is good enough for PG at distance and buffalo if needed to.
 

MarkB

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For me the 375 is an awesome caliber, I used for many PG and DG including elephant, wish I had a big bore, just because, not because the 375 is not/was enough. Also great here at home, dropped grizz and a few moose. Probably even better with todays tough meant for heavy game bullets, for me its the bullet and where it goes that matters. Not a few mm in cartridge. If it was not for this dam Covid I would be enforcing my opinion starting this weekend, now will use on moose and elk this fall before next Junes postponed safari.

MB
 

Nhoro

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and watching the fourth guy scatter his 457 Lott all over the place it goes for him also, but he just wont accept it!

Ha -that was me shooting next to you on the range so I can only assume that I was the guy scattering my 458 (not a 457) Lott (shooting win mag ammo) - off sticks with open sights. If only I had been one of the guys with a lead sled on the bench and a scoped 375........ :whistle:Then I could have really shot !:ROFLMAO:

So I managed to 'scatter' 2 different loads- (different bullet weights,powders and velocities)into 2 x 2.5 " groups each about 6 inches apart. Both groups were 3 inches high because I just got a bigger bead on my front sight-0.75 mm bigger equates to 3 inches high at 50 m.

Would it have been any different with a 375 H&H because of reduced recoil ?-maybe,but I am quite happy with 2.5 " off sticks with open sights at 50 m even if I can't handle recoil !

Back to the 375 H&H. Can anyone truly say it is not capable ? It will get the job done if you do your part to get out and practice.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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No Nhoro, it isn't you, relax! I wont mention his name, but he was with Kev and I the week before. I guess the fact that you can handle it and shoot accurately and my buddy can't reinforces my point that the whole recoil-accuracy thing is not an absolute, and each shooter has a recoil accuracy upper limit. Mine is definitely 375.
 

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I own a .470, a 500-416, and a .404. I shoot then all extremely well. However, the more I travel the less I like to be encumbered with extra baggage and weight - particularly extra rifles and ammunition. I have used one of my .375's on all four of my buffalo hunts - not because I didn't have an alternative, but because I had no other single rifle and load that was so versatile on a hunt where an old duga boy represented one end of the game spectrum and a duiker or suni the other. At least for the hunting I have done in Africa, the .375 has simply been the better, not just acceptable, solution.

I probably also have a North American rifleman's bias as well. If I am using a "rifle" with which I have fast diminishing confidence as my intended target gets much beyond sixty meters, I don't feel like I am using much of a "rifle" - but something more like a glorified slug gun. I suppose it is why my Blaser S2, with 200+ yard capability has been to Africa with me and my .470 has not.
 

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Based on the sporting calibers brought to India by my clients , for shikar ... My favorite caliber in the entire world is the .375 Holland & Holland magnum . Back in those day ... My favorite make of factory loaded ammunition would have to be :
> 300 grain Winchester Western brand Silver Tip soft point cartridges
> 300 grain Remington Peters brand steel jacketed round nosed solid metal covered cartridges .

I did not like Winchester’s solid metal covered cartridges in this ( And the .458 Winchester magnum ) caliber , because Winchester used cupronickel jackets in these bullets . As did Hornady ( From 1962 , onwards ) . But the Remington Peters solid metal covered cartridges utilized steel jackets , and were flawless .

In 13 of India’s 30 states , the .375 Holland & Holland magnum was the minimum legally permissible caliber to be used by foreign client shikarees ... For the hunting of royal Bengal tigers , gaur bison and Moheesh water buffalo .
8234DB14-4F29-469D-AC8F-68BA38C17A35.png


Since a foreign client shikaree could only bring 2 fire arms and 250 cartridges ( Per fire arm ) in to India , for shikar ... Any client who had a royal Bengal tiger , gaur or Moheesh on the menu ... Invariably brought along a .375 Holland & Holland magnum caliber or .458 Winchester magnum caliber rifle ( There were literally no other large bore caliber rifles or cartridges available , back in those days ) . Around 65 % of our clients would opt for the .375 Holland & Holland magnum .

I would personally recommend this caliber for ALL the Indian game species ... Barring Moheesh or gaur . Even Moheesh or gaur could be properly secured with the .375 Holland & Holland magnum caliber ... Provided that the shikaree was shooting the Moheesh or gaur from a perfectly broad side position , and had taken a perfect double lung shot by using a 300 grain Winchester Silver Tip soft point cartridge .

For frontal chest shots on Moheesh or gaur , by using solid metal covered bullets ... I would be far more comfortable using a .458 Winchester magnum caliber rifle , loaded with fresh Remington Peters brand 500 grain round nosed steel jacketed solid metal covered cartridges ( Which , if fresh ... Would deliver a velocity of 2130 feet per second ) . They would create far larger wound channels ... When used for body shots on these massive Indian bovines .

In modern times , the advent of new semi soft point bullets ( Which work with a controlled rate of expansion ) makes the .375 Holland & Holland magnum a perfectly acceptable contender for Moheesh and gaur . Trophy Bonded Bear Claw , Rhino Solid Shank , Barnes TSX or Swift A Frame bullets could all be expected to reliably punch adequately large wound channels ... In to these massive Indian bovines , when body shots are taken .

E3D8AA43-925F-4750-BB09-27C6827DA543.png
 

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Based on the sporting calibers brought to India by my clients , for shikar ... My favorite caliber in the entire world is the .375 Holland & Holland magnum . Back in those day ... My favorite make of factory loaded ammunition would have to be :
> 300 grain Winchester Western brand Silver Tip soft point cartridges
> 300 grain Remington Peters brand steel jacketed round nosed solid metal covered cartridges .

I did not like Winchester’s solid metal covered cartridges in this ( And the .458 Winchester magnum ) caliber , because Winchester used cupronickel jackets in these bullets . As did Hornady ( From 1962 , onwards ) . But the Remington Peters solid metal covered cartridges utilized steel jackets , and were flawless .

In 13 of India’s 30 states , the .375 Holland & Holland magnum was the minimum legally permissible caliber to be used by foreign client shikarees ... For the hunting of royal Bengal tigers , gaur bison and Moheesh water buffalo .
View attachment 355151

Since a foreign client shikaree could only bring 2 fire arms and 250 cartridges ( Per fire arm ) in to India , for shikar ... Any client who had a royal Bengal tiger , gaur or Moheesh on the menu ... Invariably brought along a .375 Holland & Holland magnum caliber or .458 Winchester magnum caliber rifle ( There were literally no other large bore caliber rifles or cartridges available , back in those days ) . Around 65 % of our clients would opt for the .375 Holland & Holland magnum .

I would personally recommend this caliber for ALL the Indian game species ... Barring Moheesh or gaur . Even Moheesh or gaur could be properly secured with the .375 Holland & Holland magnum caliber ... Provided that the shikaree was shooting the Moheesh or gaur from a perfectly broad side position , and had taken a perfect double lung shot by using a 300 grain Winchester Silver Tip soft point cartridge .

For frontal chest shots on Moheesh or gaur , by using solid metal covered bullets ... I would be far more comfortable using a .458 Winchester magnum caliber rifle , loaded with fresh Remington Peters brand 500 grain round nosed steel jacketed solid metal covered cartridges ( Which , if fresh ... Would deliver a velocity of 2130 feet per second ) . They would create far larger wound channels ... When used for body shots on these massive Indian bovines .

In modern times , the advent of new semi soft point bullets ( Which work with a controlled rate of expansion ) makes the .375 Holland & Holland magnum a perfectly acceptable contender for Moheesh and gaur . Trophy Bonded Bear Claw , Rhino Solid Shank , Barnes TSX or Swift A Frame bullets could all be expected to reliably punch adequately large wound channels ... In to these massive Indian bovines , when body shots are taken .

View attachment 355153
I very much enjoy reading your first hand wealth of experience and knowledge. What a joy I think it would be to share some time listening to your experience while we enjoyed a drink, a fire and I your company. I read and dream of the experiences you write about.

Thanks

MB
 

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375 H&H Magnum.. Yes, it is enough gun. With the use of the BEST PREMIUM bullets, even better!!
I have shot many buffalo, but only one ellie, with my 375's..when I decided to do more elephant hunting I upgraded to a 458 Win Mag again with PREMIUM ammo and have had huge success.
My son shot his first ELEPHANT, one shot, stone dead, in Caprivi last year.. You got it, 375 H&H MAGNUM.
Obviously, for those with bigger boomsticks, use them by all means and the risk is lessened, provided the shot placement of the INITIAL shot is spot on
 

Major Khan

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I very much enjoy reading your first hand wealth of experience and knowledge. What a joy I think it would be to share some time listening to your experience while we enjoyed a drink, a fire and I your company. I read and dream of the experiences you write about.

Thanks

MB
Thank you so much for your kind words , Mark . It is my utmost privilege that you enjoy my writings so much . Should you ever visit Bangladesh , some day ... It would be my honor to take you on a hunt for cheetal deer , kakar deer , Bengal Bush Boar or Asian Sloth Bear . Free of charge , of course .
 

MarkB

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I have been close, India and Shri Lanka in 2017. Many visits to Malaysia, and Thailand but regrettably never made it to Bangladesh. I will certainly look you up if the opportunity arises.

Thanks

MB
 

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