Pairing with a 30-06: 375 or 416 Ruger?

Tarwathie

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I would like to get a Ruger African in either 375 or 416 Ruger. The purpose would be for buffalo in Southern Africa and perhaps Northern Territory as well. I love the Ruger 77s and have a Ruger Guide Gun in 30-06. For a dangerous game rifle, I like the idea of having an identical action.

I recently was able to try both the 375 and 416 Ruger, about 10-12 shots each, some off hand and some from a bench, both with the brake. I feel a difference but it's not dramatic and the 416 would not be a problem for me to get in lots of practice.

With a 30-06 for plains game, I could use the 416 for buffalo and possibly larger plains game. The idea would be that the 30-06 is good for just about everything below buffalo, so why not get the extra margin for the buffalo rifle?

Alternatively, the 375 is good enough for buffalo, and it's unlikely that I'll have opportunities to hunt lots of them. Maybe it makes more sense to get the "just enough" gun for the big brother of the 30-06.

What do you all think? With a two gun battery, one of which is a 30-06, do you have any arguments in favour of 375 vs. 416 for the buffalo gun? Thanks.
 

IvW

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The 375 H&H can do everything the 30-06 and the 416 can do.

The 30-06 and it sounds like you shoot it well, would be an excellent choice for your light rifle.

The 375 H&H with appropriate bullets would be an excellent choice for the larger PG as well as buffalo or elephant for that matter.

30-06 paired with a 375 H&H makes a very sensible 2 rifle African battery.

Just make sure the Ruger feeds properly from a full magazine and when cycled at speed before you buy it.(In 375 H&H it should be fine in 416 it may well not feed correctly)
 

1dirthawker

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tarwathie,

aside from ivy's comments that i agree with, i think the 375 might be a better all around choice for use back home as well, maybe on a grizzly, or a moose. i use my 375 ruger regularly on both.
 

sgt_zim

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If you get the 375, you might as well go with the brush gun length of 20" - right at the same velocity as an H&H in 24". I know you said you want the African, so if you really want the African, do the 416.
 

Bullthrower338

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416, although I don’t own either of the Rugers, the 416 would be my choice of the two. I always kinda liked the ultra ugly hogue stocked stainless rifle. Has a serious business look to it and would be handy in a bush plane
 

CAustin

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I have both calibers and love them both. I have used the 416 Ruger on game from elephant down to warthog with excellent results. The 375 I’ve used on springbuck all the way up to hippo with excellent results. The 416 I can see myself using for bear up in the north woods so I say go big and your set.
 

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I have a .416 Ruger and a .375 H&H. I have used both on black bear and can tell you that the difference on an animal that size is negligable. Never shot a 2000lb bovine, but next Fall I will be heading to Wyoming for a Elk hunt. I will be bringing the .375 H&H. The .416 is all well and good but I shoot the .375 better at longer range. I currently load the .375 with a 300 grain woodleigh protected point and I shoot either the 400 grain hornady softs or 340 grain woodleigh PP out of the .416. Both of them are absolute hammers on anything in North America. If I were to ever head to Alaska for a coastal brownie I would likely bring the .416 with a 400 grain partition or Woodleigh RN with the large exposed lead tip. Either will do what you want of them but the .375 is probably the most versatile

Oh, and the Ruger Hawkeye African is a lot of rifle for the money! The only thing you may have to do is tweak the magazine box so that it doesn't spit loaded rounds out of the gun when cycled hard. My .416 did that initially until I fixed it. Also, You might think about changing the recoil "pad" on the back. It comes with a hard rubber pencil eraser 1/2" thick. Swap it for a nice pachmeyer or similar and it will be a beaut to shoot!
 

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Bigger is always better for a DG rifle so I would go with the 416 Ruger if you want a DG only rifle. If you want an all around rifle for PG and DG you may want to go with the 375 Ruger. I would lean towards the 375 Ruger but I all ready have a 416 Rigby in the safe so I'm covered for DG. The selection of factory ammo is also better for the 375, I don't have an issue with Hornady DG ammo but some people do and Swift now loads a 300 grain "A Frame" for the 375 Ruger.
 

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If you already have the 30-06 for the plains game, might as well step up the the 416 for the dangerous game.

The 375 is a 1-rifle do it all caliber, that doesn't really excel at any one thing but can do anything.

Since you are bringing 2 rifles and hunting plains game and dangerous game, you might as well bring 2 specialized rifles that fit into each role better.
 

Tarwathie

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The 375 H&H can do everything the 30-06 and the 416 can do.

The 30-06 and it sounds like you shoot it well, would be an excellent choice for your light rifle.

The 375 H&H with appropriate bullets would be an excellent choice for the larger PG as well as buffalo or elephant for that matter.

30-06 paired with a 375 H&H makes a very sensible 2 rifle African battery.

Just make sure the Ruger feeds properly from a full magazine and when cycled at speed before you buy it.(In 375 H&H it should be fine in 416 it may well not feed correctly)

Thank you. I had been looking at the Winchester Mod 70 in .375 H&H. It's also a fine rifle, but I really like the way the Ruger Hawkeyes are put together and I want to have my DG rifle in the same action.

My liking for the Hawkeye is with full knowledge that there have been some problems with the 416 Ruger feeding. My understanding is that this was more with the earlier ones. The 416 Ruger is based on the 375 Ruger case, so the problems when they occur seem to be from the fatter bullet when there is roughness in the feed rails, and sometimes poor alignment of the magazine box. I've seen lots of guys chime in that their 416 Rugers feed flawlessly, so the design works, it's just that sometimes they don't come out of the factory the way they should. Ruger will make it right regardless, and I'll be buying this gun with at least a year or two of lead time before I take it to Africa.
 

Tarwathie

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I have a .416 Ruger and a .375 H&H. I have used both on black bear and can tell you that the difference on an animal that size is negligable. Never shot a 2000lb bovine, but next Fall I will be heading to Wyoming for a Elk hunt. I will be bringing the .375 H&H. The .416 is all well and good but I shoot the .375 better at longer range. I currently load the .375 with a 300 grain woodleigh protected point and I shoot either the 400 grain hornady softs or 340 grain woodleigh PP out of the .416. Both of them are absolute hammers on anything in North America. If I were to ever head to Alaska for a coastal brownie I would likely bring the .416 with a 400 grain partition or Woodleigh RN with the large exposed lead tip. Either will do what you want of them but the .375 is probably the most versatile

Oh, and the Ruger Hawkeye African is a lot of rifle for the money! The only thing you may have to do is tweak the magazine box so that it doesn't spit loaded rounds out of the gun when cycled hard. My .416 did that initially until I fixed it. Also, You might think about changing the recoil "pad" on the back. It comes with a hard rubber pencil eraser 1/2" thick. Swap it for a nice pachmeyer or similar and it will be a beaut to shoot!

Thanks. I love the traditional look of the red rubber pad (or, plate maybe it should be called), but I realize lots of guys swap it out for a recoil absorbing pad. I'll just see how it goes.
 

Tarwathie

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Thank you, everyone, for your replies. The 375 vs. bigger discussion has taken place in various contexts on this forum. My interest here is specifically when paired with a 30-06, and it looks like one can make good arguments either way.
 

IvW

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Bigger is always better for a DG rifle so I would go with the 416 Ruger if you want a DG only rifle. If you want an all around rifle for PG and DG you may want to go with the 375 Ruger. I would lean towards the 375 Ruger but I all ready have a 416 Rigby in the safe so I'm covered for DG. The selection of factory ammo is also better for the 375, I don't have an issue with Hornady DG ammo but some people do and Swift now loads a 300 grain "A Frame" for the 375 Ruger.

True only if you can shoot the "bigger" just as well.

Diversity of a good all round medium bore may well be better for a visiting hunter.
 

meigsbucks

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There is only one plains game animal in Africa that the .30/06 is on the light side for: eland. So what you're looking for is a buffalo rifle that could be used on eland. Both the .416 R and the .375 R will do the job. I took the buff in my avatar with a .416 R. I also took seven head of PG with the .416 and used my .375H&H on only three head of PG.
That said, you can't beat a .375, H&H or Ruger, for versatility. It is probably carried by about half the people who hunt buffalo. If you don't kill your buffalo with a .375, you didn't place your bullet well.
Me, I just prefer a .416 for buff but wouldn't have any issue using a .375.
By the way, I think Alexandro Faria's post has rifle combo's pretty much pegged... At least for me.
 

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I have both .375 and .416 Ruger. I shot my buffalo with the .416. I agree the .375 is the most versatile gun for Africa but the buffalo can take a lot of lead! I am a fan of using plenty of gun.
Philip
 

Tarwathie

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I have both .375 and .416 Ruger. I shot my buffalo with the .416. I agree the .375 is the most versatile gun for Africa but the buffalo can take a lot of lead! I am a fan of using plenty of gun.
Philip
Have you found the 416 feeds ok? It sounds like some guns need polishing for the feed rails, whereas others are perfect out of the box.
 

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I've taken 3 Australian Water Buffalo with a 375 H&H, 1 Australian Water Buffalo with a 470 Nitro Express, 1 American Bison with a 308 Win., and 1 Cape Buffalo with a 416 Rem Mag. So far, none have ran over 30 yards after being hit in the right place. So, I would say shot placement and bullet selection is the most important thing. I recently had a conversation with my PH in Africa about the 375 vs 416 on cape buffalo, and he told me that he sees very little difference in the two calibers, if the shot placement is correct and a good bullet is used.
 

BeeMaa

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There is no replacement for displacement.
Take the biggest caliber you can shoot well, for most it's the 375.
When the caliber starts with a 4, the more experienced shooters seem to do better handling the recoil.
If you are comfortable with the 416 and not flinching or missing, go that way.
Either will do well with proper shot placement and quality ammunition.
 

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