The .375 Holland & Holland Flanged Magnum

Norma-USA

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There are but a few times, in the history of cartridge development, where a designer has touched upon true genius. I can name some off the top of my head – the 7x57mm Mauser, the .30-’06 Springfield, the .404 Jeffery – but in my opinion none rivals the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum. That cartridge - irrespective of continent, hemisphere, or latitude – is what I consider the single, most useful cartridge ever invented. Few could come up with any flaws in its design or performance, save that perhaps the velocity was a whisker too high for dangerous game, causing expanding bullets to set up too quickly and for solids to actually over-penetrate. Perhaps that statement held a bit more water in decades past, when we didn’t have the premium bullets we have today, but it is the only actual complaint I’ve ever heard from those who use it on a daily basis.

In this modern-era of firearms, the bolt-action repeater is, undeniably, the most common firearm you’ll see when hunting dangerous game, but that wasn’t always the case. The single-shot rifles and double rifles were, at one point in time, as popular, if not more popular than the bolt guns. While the .375 Holland & Holland Belted Magnum that we all know and love today works absolutely perfectly in a bolt gun, the wizards at Holland & Holland recognized that they needed a rimmed version for use in the double guns and single-loaders that were so popular in 1912. So, the little sibling was introduced: the .375 Holland & Holland Flanged Nitro Express.

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Using case dimensions similar to the now-famous rimless version, the .375 Flanged case is 0.200” longer than the belted version, with virtually the same shoulder angle.

The performance of the two cartridges is often considered identical, however the Flanged version runs at a muzzle velocity of 2,400 fps with a 300-grain bullet, while the Belted runs at 2,550 fps with the same projectile. While some wouldn’t consider a difference of 150 fps to be a big deal, I’ve learned that sometimes it can be a huge difference.

In preparation for my first safari, I read the ink off the pages of Kevin ‘Doctari’ Robertson’s The Perfect Shot, in which he made a very valid point, that struck a chord immediately. He listed the classic safari cartridges - those cartridges which had an impeccable reputation in Africa - and to my disbelieving eyes, I couldn’t find the .375 H&H on the list. Wait, what?!? I’d just purchased a Winchester Model 70 in .375 H&H, specifically for this trip; how could he possibly exclude such a classic cartridge? Was he mad? Dr. Robertson went on to illustrate a great point: all of the other classic cartridges ran at a muzzle velocity of 2,400 fps – what I would find out is a sort of ‘magic’ number – while the .375 H&H Belted Magnum had a muzzle velocity of 2,550 fps. That small, yet consequential, difference showed its face in his numerous experiences with the performance of many of the popular bullets of the late 20th century. Dr. Robertson had great results when he reduced the velocity to 2,400 fps, further extending the effectiveness of the .375 H&H Belted Magnum.

_MG_5521-2.jpg


What’s the point of all this? The .375 Flanged already operated at this velocity, and the answer was in front of us all along. Many famous hunter/writers – John ‘Pondoro’ Taylor coming immediately to mind – sang the praises of the .375 Flanged in the single-shots and double rifles, having no issues with bullet breakup or over-penetration, and actually coming to rely on the .375 bore as a totally reliable all-around rifle for their day-to-day encounters with the biggest beasts on our planet, from tiger to lion to buffalo to elephant.

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Should you be lucky enough to possess a double rifle in .375 Flanged, or to find a decent specimen available for purchase, Norma’s African PH line of ammunition features exactly what you're looking for. Built around a pair of Woodleigh 300-grain bullets – one a soft-point expanding and one a full metal jacket ‘solid’ – that feature the same nose profile that the Kynoch projectiles of yesteryear had and that were used to regulate the vintage double rifles, the Norma ammo gives a muzzle velocity of 2,400 fps, for just over 3,800 ft.-lbs. of muzzle energy. Producing ammunition for the classic rifles of our forefathers is one of Norma’s fortes, and the .375 Flanged is perfect example of just that. I like the fact that due to the wisdom of the folks at Norma, those old guns have a new lease on life.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Funny thing, i have been reading on the same subject and i came to exactly the same conclusion. The 375 flanged apprars to tick every single box. I own a Ruger No1 in 375 H&H and have taken a buffalo, zebra, warthog and impala with it. All ok, but the itch is there for a double. So i did heaps of research, not to mention handling side by side Heym’s, Chapuis and Verneys. The Verney felt the best, but the next problem is that i cant justify a double for another buffalo only, i need an all round gun. Ant that means a scope. Then i came across the O/U doubles, and suddenly another box was ticked. I know SxS doubles can be scoped, but O/U is more logical. So next week i am going to heft a Verney Carron O/U in 375 Flanged, and i predict the Ruger will soon be sold to make way.
 

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Bert the Turtle

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Nothing wrong with a 375 flanged if your idea of an all-around rifle is a single shot or a double.

I think a bolt rifle makes more sense as an all-around rifle. If the extra 150fps of the belted worries you, use a monometal bullet, use a 350g bullet, or download by 2 grains of powder and have at it.

If I were to spend the money on a double rifle, it would be in something heavier than a 375. Or a .22 because that would be fun.
 

Rock375

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Any opinions on the 9.3 x 74r? It’s probably on the light side for Buffalo and possibly not legal in some areas. I believe it would be perfect for Eland and a lot of fun in a double. I shouldered a couple Chapuis in both SxS and O/U at DSC. Very nice light doubles.
 

Jfet

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Put a deposit on the Verney 375 Flanged Magnum double. Has anyone got anything to relate on actual buffalo hunts with this calibre?

Congratulations on your new rifle!!!(y)
Will this be the rifle from the Double Gun Store in Nashville?
 

AZDAVE

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Congratz on your new double. I look at yours and the 470 VC that was also bought by a AH member while I was at the show. I have a VC in 450/400 and just love how it shoots.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Congratz on your new double. I look at yours and the 470 VC that was also bought by a AH member while I was at the show. I have a VC in 450/400 and just love how it shoots.
Thanks AZ Dave. Is your double a SxS or O/U?
 

Jfet

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No, i live in Africa,

I did not do a good job at reading the spoor. :A Banana Sad:

It says over in you avatar that you live in Africa.:)

Congratulations again on the new rifle. It was this thread that started the ball rolling on me buying my new double rifle. :A Banana:

Looking forward to reading about the adventures of your rifle. (y)
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Will yours be a side by side or over under? You plan on fitting a scope? I will be, but cant find much on whether to sight the scope into the top or the bottom barrel? The top seems more logical as the rib, and therefore the rail will be parallel to the top barrel, but someone said the bottom barrel?
 

Jfet

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Will yours be a side by side or over under? You plan on fitting a scope? I will be, but cant find much on whether to sight the scope into the top or the bottom barrel? The top seems more logical as the rib, and therefore the rail will be parallel to the top barrel, but someone said the bottom barrel?

Mine is a side by side. Right now I can see the front sight very well. However, I am not opposed to putting a red dot on the rifle.

If it were me and I actually have no clue. I would set the scope to the barrel that you will fire first. This will be a learning experience as this point is discussed by more knowledgeable members of the forum.
 

Alistair

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I guess it's personal preference, but I would think that sighting the scope to the bottom barrel would be more logical. In a standard o/u double, the bottom barrel is the front trigger, which usually has a better LOP and often a slightly lighter or crisper break. Most people also shoot the front trigger first. As such, this barrel would be the 'precision' first shot.

On a related note, you occassionaly see o/u doubles, especially in lighter non DG calibres where the front trigger is a set trigger for this exact reason. A chap I know at the rifle club has a german made 9.3x74r o/u with this feature. I think the literature and adverts of the time of its production (mid-1980's) referred to this featue in terms of high seat shooting of boar.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Spent hours yesterday at the gun shop handling my new Verney Carron O/U 375 Flanged Mag, what a beauty it is. Comes up on point every single time, is this just luck, or a trait of O/U? Balance is excellent, and at just 3.47kg you hardly notice weight at all. No scope mountings, so will need to add a rail and had advice upon that. Has to be especially cut apparently. You are correct Alistair, the scope will be set up to the bottom barrel/front trigger system. My next question to ponder is whether a Swarovski Z8 1-8x24 will take me out to 200m? That is the maximum distance i plan shooting at, but will need it I think for a gemsbok especially.
 

Gareth flanged

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Put a deposit on the Verney 375 Flanged Magnum double. Has anyone got anything to relate on actual buffalo hunts with this calibre?
Yes, I took a good buffalo last year with a kreighoff double in this calibre with a 270 hornady soft point through shoulder/heart on a side shot. No complaints at all and strangely accurate at 100m on the range (buff was 30 m)
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Well done Gareth! I cant wait to get the permit for my Verney double. What brass do you reload with? I seem to have bought up the last of the Bertrams stock in SA, any idea where else you can get these cases? What powder load did you use?
 

WAB

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The Z8 1-8x will work perfectly. More than enough magnification for a 200 yd shot. Congrats on a beautiful rifle!
 

Gareth flanged

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Hi Kevin

The brass is from kynoch in the UK but I think Norma make it too.

http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/

80 grains N160 from vihtavuori

3.725 COL

The hardest part of the process was finding a softpoint and solid combo that regulate to the same point. It's trial and error but a useful tip was to use a powder that left very little space in the case.

"Shooting the British Double Rifle" by Graeme Wright is a very, very good book for anyone with an interest.

Good luck with the permit

Gareth
 

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