View Full Version : 375 H&H vs. 375 Ruger

July 5, 2007, 10:36 PM
Do you think the 375 Ruger makes the 375 H&H obsolete, or is it merely a different flavor? From what I've seen, the "only" advantage is the cartridge's shorter length being easier to cycle in a bolt gun. All else seems a duplication of the H&H...including the pressure. I'd just hate to think I should've gotten the Ruger instead of the H&H.

July 5, 2007, 11:07 PM
Nothing is obsolete until it is replaced by something better.

Carbeurated engines in large vehicles are obsolete because fuel injection is more efficient.

New cartridges do not make old ones obsolete. In fact new calibers are only introduced to sell more new guns.

.270 WSM will not out do the .270 winchester at any reasonable range. Same thing can be said about any of the WSM rounds and the cartridges they were supposed to replace.

The .375 H&H will never fade away because it is established and cannot be gotten rid of.

You said yourself that the Ruger round is a ballistic twin. You have a classic...a piece of history not some newfangled "super round" that will fade away in 10 years.

July 5, 2007, 11:47 PM
I don't think the .375 Ruger obsolete's the .375 H&H. But, the reason I decided to keep a loaner Ruger Hawkeye Alaskan in .375 Ruger was because it duplicates the H&H magnum ballistics in a shorter action, and A SHORTER BARREL. That means (with a 20-inch barrel) a shorter over-all rifle, and a slightly shorter bolt travel in the standard length Ruger action.
For me (coupled with the don't-care-if-I-scratch-it ugly Hogue stock), that means a markedly shorter rifle to push through thick bushes and heavy timber, without losing anything ballistically, and a slightly quicker action to work than with the longer true magnum length H&H actions.
I don't get too excited about most of the new calibers that come out, but this one impressed me enough to buy after I was finished testing it. It goes to the Idaho bear country in the ATV with us at the end of the month.
It happens to be the most dead-on shoulder mount I've ever tried in my entire life. Those express sights are just simply right THERE in front of my eye as soon as the rifle hits the shoulder.
I wouldn't suggest it'll ever replace the H&H version, but for those who appreciate the overall package in the Hawkeye versions (even with the slightly longer barrel on the wood-stocked rifle), this is just a much handier gun to stow & carry. For me, it's the sum of the parts, not just a slightly shorter action.

July 6, 2007, 10:15 AM
No cartridge will unseat the 375 H&H for sheer romance. Just like there are a bunch of 30 cal's that should make the "obsolete" 30-06 go away, it just doesn't happen.

The 375 Taylor (a 338 Win Mag necked up to 375) duplicated the older H&H as a wildcat and never caught on. The 376 Steyr can duplicate the H&H but doesn't offer any price breaks on a rifle or ammo. Now the 375 Ruger joins the fray with the same benefits as at least two previous cartridges that didn't unseat the old H&H.

I think it has to do mostly with the history and romance of the Holland & Holland mystique. You can't send a bunch of 375 Rugers to Africa to commercial hunters like Wally Johnson and build a reputation over decades of use. It is just a different world now. Maybe the 375 Ruger will catch on in Alaska hunting the great bears, but then again maybe not, you never know.


July 6, 2007, 12:15 PM
I think having options is great. But what this boils down to is marketing to sell guns (which I don't have a problem with.) The H&H isn't going anywhere. If either one is going to give it will be the Ruger. I personally hope that it doesn't just because I do like a little spice in life.

July 6, 2007, 12:50 PM
I agree with that, stinger. Options are great. I hope the Ruger round will have a loyal following. My take on the arrival of updated cartridges is always a positive one...more choices in our sport. My (unfounded?) concern was to see things replaced or forgotten. There've been lots of rounds relegated to the dumps...some didn't perform, some just weren't accepted for any number of reasons. When I really think about it, it'd impossible that the H&H would be truly cast aside. Maybe I should've worded my post as, "Will the Ruger be more popular than the H&H?". Even that, based on what everyone's been saying, is highly unlikely.

BTW, that history of the H&H is what made me get it in the first place. I don't/can't hunt easily where I am, but taking the grand daddy to the range is unbeatable. :D

August 25, 2007, 01:46 AM
Just pull the trigger on both rifles and you will come to realize the virture of the H&H. The taper of the case makes for silky feed. The more I study, the more respect I have for pioneers of the catridge industry. I purchased the 375 R African and quickly found myself in an abusive relations ship! If Ruger releases a 375 H&H Hawkeye I will certainly trade up.

August 25, 2007, 03:54 AM
Well, Ruger screwed up the .480 Ruger, why won't they do it to the 375 Ruger?

They'll fail to offer the cartridge in a reasonably priced gun, or, one with a decent barrel on it. They'll make a very small run of rifles, sell them out, then say the cartridge didn't create enough interest, and, I'll never, ever even see one. I WANTED a .480 Ruger alaskan. Guys couldn't even get me one around here. NEVER SAW ONE.

The market, since it fits in a 30-06 length action, is to put the round in a 30-06 average priced gun. They won't do that. They'll hold out for 375 H&H priced rifles, and, why would I go with a short action, when I can get 6 in a CZ 550, and, the gun is a dream to shoot?
Double Tap is loading 5000 ft lbs of energy light, and heavy rounds, putting the 375 in 458 Win mag territory.

Which do you take on Safari, a 375 H&H, or a Ruger?

You'll see lots of folks that go with the round, because they are either paid, or, given free ammo, and guns. Nothing wrong with it, it's just not around like the 375, and, maybe, in another 100 years, it will have the respect of the 375, but, I doubt it will be around 5 years, let alone 100...

Socrates J.D.

August 25, 2007, 07:31 AM
I like the .375 Ruger for 3 reasons.
#1. 30-06 length.
#2. It is something new!
#3 it is something new by Ruger!!!.

But In all reality.. Dad has a .375 H&H. His comment was "Nice gun. But my
.375 H&H will do everything it will. Even if you cut down the barrel on the H&H and lost velocity as compared to the Ruger it is still better. In Alaska, Africa, or some backwoods store if you are going to find shells for either it will be the H&H. I like Ruger but the H&H is better all around".

And I have to say I agree. If Rugers .375 stays long enough shells will be found like the H&H then I might buy one... But until then I will get something that has easy ammo avalability.

Mike Irwin
August 25, 2007, 09:51 AM

The .375 Ruger makes everything obsolete, even the .22 Long Rifle and the 9mm Luger!

If you look back through history, there are a LOT of cartridges that have made other cartridges "obsolete."

The .300 Savage and the .308 made the .30-06 obsolete.

The .30 Remington made the .30-30 Winchester obsolete.

The .280 Remington made the .270 Winchester obsolete.

Only problem is... No one told the people who were using those obsolete rounds.

The only way a cartridge goes obsolete is when interest drops off in it so much that the gun and ammunition makers no longer chamber it.

Good examples of obsolete rounds are the .45-70 Government, the .38-40 Winchester, and the .32-20, among others.

What? They're not obsolete?

That's the beauty of cartridges. At one time they all were effectively obsolete. It was almost impossible to get loaded ammo, guns, or in some cases, components for those cartridges for a long time.

Sure, some users held on, but effectively all were deader than door nails.

Then nostalgia kicked in.

The two groups probably most responsible for resurrecting obsolete cartridges are the Black Powder Cartridge Rifle shooters and the Cowboy Action shooters.

I never thought I'd see rounds like the .40-60 Winchester, .45 Schofield, .44 Russian, .38 Long Colt, and .50-70 Government become standard, or close to standard, production items again.

The only truly obsolete cartridges, ones that were once quite popular, are the rimfires. Rounds like the .41 Remington derringer, the .44 Henry, the .25 Stevens and the .32 Long. I really doubt that you'll be seeing those in standard production ever again.

August 25, 2007, 10:41 AM
As I said- I like the Ruger version in a shorter and lighter gun that offers the same ballistics. Do the H&H rifles do the same job? Yes, but in a longer & heavier gun.
Will the .375 Ruger be around for a while? Who knows? The .375 Ruger obviously fits a niche market, since it won't be carried by your average deer hunter, so it's entirely up to the market. It won't be a case of Ruger screwing anything up by making a short run & dumping the guns. It'll be totally a matter of whether people buy in sufficient numbers to justify keeping it in production.
What's a "reasonably priced gun"? Have you checked street prices on the Rugers?
There's certainly nothing wrong with the barrel on my Alaskan Hawkeye, accuracy is more than sufficient for what the rifle will need to do for me.
I bought my sample because I like what it is and what it does, period. I didn't get it for free, and no, you won't see "lots of folks go with the round because they are paid, or given free ammo, or guns". Ruger doesn't give these things away.
Like any other new product, it'll be up to the market to decide on longevity.
If you don't like the idea, don't buy one. :)
I'd been thinking of buying a BRNO H&H earlier this year, and I'd heard stories over the years that it's possible to out-run a Ruger bolt action by cycling it too fast for the ejector to engage empty brass. I'd never seen that in my Ruger bolts, but I deliberately tried this Alaskan as fast as I could with no ejection problems whatever, ditto running it slowly.
Since I'll personally never see Africa, the question of which one I'd take on safari is irrelevant in my case. But, in the bruinlands that I do visit, this gun is near perfect for me.
Individual choice, like anything else. :)

Great Wazoo
August 25, 2007, 12:16 PM

I have seen a number of writers say that the accuracy is adequate on the Ruger Alaskan. I don't recall seeing anyone post what the accuracy they are achieving actually is.

What kind of groups are you getting at 100 Yards?

The reason I ask is that I think of the 375 as a versatile round that is easily effective out to 300 yards. If the Ruger is shooting three or four inch groups from a rest at 100 yards then its accuracy really limits its effective range.

August 25, 2007, 12:37 PM
I would have bought a Ruger .480 Alaskan if for no other reason to have Jack Huntington turn it into a 475 L, or, better, his 500 JRH. Shot one, liked it. NEVER SEEN A .480 ALASKAN IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS. lost sale. Ruger puts the cartridge out, NEVER PUT THE ROUND IN A SA, RUGER, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR 480, DON'T YOU?????

Only one I shot was a guy with more money then sense, wanted 2k for it.

Now, Jack won't talk to me about the Ruger. Why? 9.3 x62. End story. Been around for 100 years, kills jacks to elephants, and, its' been doing it for over 100 years. Figures same as I do, if Ruger actually supports it for 10 years, right before we die, might be worth considering...

Socrates J.D.

PS: here's a REAL rifle, and, a REAL cartridge at work, with one of the best gunsmiths in th e world shooting:http://i45.invalid-sanitized.localhost/albums/f99/Socrates28/500%20Nitro%20Express%20and%20375/Jackshooting375inrecoil-1.jpg
Jack Huntington, his brake design, my CZ 550 375 H&H.

August 25, 2007, 01:31 PM
Hi Waz,

300 RNFMJ under three inches
300 RNSP under three inches
275 SP under two inches

That's off the bench at 100 yards with factory express sights.
It's necessary, in making comparisons, to consider the overall package. The 20-incher I have is regulated to 50 yards. Ruger does not intend this gun to be used out to 300. That doesn't mean it can't shoot that far, if you want to set it up properly for long range shooting you certainly can. A scope would probably make a noticeable difference, how much would depend on the shooter.
Since I intend to use this one strictly for possible large animal encounters in the high country, what it may do beyond 50 yards is irrelevant for my purposes. :)
As I've noted before, neither the .375 H&H nor the .375 Ruger was ever intended for long range shooting. They can, they just weren't designed with that in mind.

Entirely a matter of individual preference & needs. While the rifle you picture may very well be a supreme example of the gunmaker's art, it's gotta be at least six inches longer and 2-3 pounds heavier than my .375 Ruger Alaskan, and near useless in the type of close-in dense forest country where I need my rifle to quickly protect against a charge inside 50 yards. That Long Tom would not carry well, it would not shoulder & acquire sights-on-target instantly like this 20-inch Ruger does, and it would not come out of a horse or ATV scabbard anywhere near as fast as the Ruger.
You are talking apples & oranges. I freely grant you your choice for your applications, and despite your obvious antipathy toward Ruger, you might grudgingly admit that it could possibly have a use for others with differing needs & preferences. :)


August 25, 2007, 05:09 PM
I don't see it unseating the .375 H&H in Africa because it's lower case capacity would almost certainly make it a higher pressure cartridge. It seem that most professional hunter would prefer not to have to worry about sticky extraction when hunting dangerous game.

August 25, 2007, 06:45 PM
Do you think the 375 Ruger makes the 375 H&H obsolete, or is it merely a different flavor? From what I've seen, the "only" advantage is the cartridge's shorter length being easier to cycle in a bolt gun. All else seems a duplication of the H&H...including the pressure. I'd just hate to think I should've gotten the Ruger instead of the H&H.

There is always a very vocal crowd that runs out and buys the latest and greatest. They of course inform the world just how clever they are by being in the fore front, and how much better the new thing is compared to the old thing.

From the data I have seen the 375 Ruger is an excellent cartridge. And my old loading books are full of excellent cartridges, like the 308 Norma Mag, 7 mm Sharpe, 350 Remington magnum, 358 Norma Mag, 8 mm Remington Mag, etc. All excellent, all very hard to find. Soon to be on the list of obscure cartridges will be the Remington short magnums, and the Winchester short magnums.

The basic problem in the introduction of a new cartridge, is does it really offer that much more than same old, same old? The boring old cartridge often has logistic advantages that can be very important. When you are in a far away place, sometimes what is behind the small counter is all that stands between you and a blown vacation.

The boring old cartridge will have lots of components, lots of loading data, and lots of positive experience behind it.

That is a tall hill to climb for any new cartridge. And few ever see the promised land.

After a couple years, the trail blazers dump what was the next big thing, as they chase after the latest trend.

I believe that is what is going to happen to the 375 Ruger. Expect to see it collecting dust next to the 8 mm Remington magnums.

August 25, 2007, 08:12 PM

That is about the 47,000th time I've seen that picture, and frankly, I'm getting a little tired of looking at those legs. Could we take another, or at least crop it down. :D

August 25, 2007, 08:27 PM
What Jseime, Socrates, & everyone else said. Ruger round ==> flash in the pan, just like 95%+ of new rounds are. .375 H&H ==> Classic that has and will continue to live on. You made the right choice. BIGTIME.

August 25, 2007, 10:47 PM
He may have made the right choice for him, but he didn't make the right choice for me. His gun simply will not do what I bought mine to do, and for me that's the bottom line. :)

I am no fad buyer. My needs are specific in certain areas, and the guns that fill them are chosen for specific reasons.
Normally, my mountain bear rifle is a Marlin Guide Gun shooting heavy Garrett .45-70 loads. Chosen for its power, portability, and very quick handling. It is no fad gun for me, I certainly did not choose it to inform the world of how clever I am by being in the forefront, and that caliber was equally certainly not chosen because it was the latest and greatest. The only rifle I've worked with that has ever come close (for MY needs) to rivaling what that Marlin offers me is the new Ruger Alaskan. I could not care less about being trendy, or about showing you or anybody else how clever I am. I buy guns that impress me, for whatever reason, not guns that I think will impress anybody else.
Some new calibers are winners, some are a flash in the pan & disappear quickly.
Geeze Louise, if you don't like the idea of a .375 H&H in a shorter, lighter, handier, and otherwise ballistically identical package, don't buy one! I've listed some areas where, for me, it does offer significantly more than the older round; if those don't apply to you, then buy what does. :rolleyes:
It may very well collect dust, or it may take off. Either way, it's immaterial to me. I've got mine, and once I get dies & components stocked, I can keep mine going as long as I'll need to.
The original question was will the new cartridge obsolete the old one, and I think pretty much everybody here agrees that it won't. But, for some of us, the Ruger's just a better choice for certain applications. :)


August 25, 2007, 10:51 PM
I don't know. I've owned a 375 H&H, and there is a lot of romance, history and fantasy built into the decision to buy a medium-bore rifle like the H&H. But other folks obviously like different flavors, so other options sell. I think the 375 Ruger is a good round, but it will not likely obsolesce the H&H because it has limited usefulness, just like the H&H, without the history and without outperforming it either price-wise or availability-wise. The way to make anything obsolete is to put more of the new product in circulation at a reasonable price. I haven't seen any 375 Ruger rifles at the range yet.

BTW, case capacity of the 375 Ruger is almost identical to the 375 H&H.

August 26, 2007, 04:55 AM
Ruger gave Phil Shoemaker one, and, he's taking it bear hunting for the same reasons you suggest.

Phil has long been a proponent of the .458 WinMag, which fits in a short action, and, for a short range stopping rifle is a considerably better choice then either the 375's. Stinger:
I like that picture since it's Jack Huntington shooting my gun.:D

I will show you what a short range stopping rifle should be:



Now, that's a Merkel double, in 9.3 x 74. Jack got off both barrels in under a second, hitting two jugs, about 10 yards apart. AMAZING shooting. The gun weighs about 6.5 pounds, the barrels feel like my 22lr. It comes up straight, quick, and on target. Recoil was pretty much non-existent, using 286 grain bullets at around 2400 fps. Yet, that little gun will kill an elephant. Cost wasn't bad, but, I didn't have 5 grand at the time...

The 9.3 x 62 has been filling the light, compact 375 Ruger role for over a 100 years, and, it's a world standard. With near the same ballistics as the above, but in a 30-06 length action. In fact, the 9.3 kills as well as the 375, yet does it with less recoil.

So, let's see: everyone wants a rifle that is light, yet kills like the 375 H&H. We already have one, better known as the 9.3. CZ makes em, well, and inexpensive. For that matter, just rebarrel your 30-06 to 9.3.

You want a light, short range rifle, be ready for the worst, you'd rather have a 458, wouldn't you?

Socrates J.D.

I kept the barrel on my rifle long for long range shooting, and plains game. I also bought it before I had a chance to shoot a 500 Nitro Express, and, a 450 Nitro Express double.
I can shoot either with a reaction of,
"That wasn't bad." And keep going. I wish I'd had the chance prior to buying, since I've got about 300 rounds of brass, and, 225 of that is still unfired Weatherby ammo that I bought for a song.
I also agree that I would like a shorter rifle, but, without a scope for close range stuff. The CZ sites are pretty good, and, I like the Brno action. It's pretty much unmatched, and, it's the standard for dangerous game rifles, at least at the pro hunter qualifying in S.A.

I wish I'd bought a 458 Winmag and had it opened up to 450 Lott, in the CZ Safari grade rifle. My two gun battery is actually going to be the 9.3, and a Lott. However, past 200 yards the bigger case starts giving the 375 an advantage, and, while you could load the 450 Lott to 3000 fps with a light bullet, you'd need detachable scope mounts or something like that. Also Lott recoil usually takes care of most scopes...

August 26, 2007, 07:37 AM
If the 375 Ruger with a shorter barrel can match the H&H ballistics then I'm all for the Ruger. The shorter action combined with a shorter barrel is a better handling rifle. The WSM did the same compared to the longer belted magnums, but most folks are saying they won't abandon their belted rounds, but hey how many of us actually have belted magnums that becomes first choice come range and hunting time. josh

August 26, 2007, 10:15 AM
Cool thread.

August 26, 2007, 11:58 AM
One thing we may agree on, and it's that Merkel. If I had that kind of money, my mountain rifle would be one.
As far as the 9.3 goes, it's not exactly common on the dealer shelves where I live, and I'd be just as happy to go with a more easily obtained caliber. The 9.3 is hardly what I'd consider a world standard. Good cartridge, but it offers nothing to beat my Ruger, in a boltgun.
In comparable barrel lengths of 20 inches, many of the more powerful bigbores lose velocity & downrange energy. Most were developed for longer barrels.
Having nothing here in the office on the 9.3 I Googled velocities and found Chuck Hawks saying a typical 9.3 factory load runs a 286-grain bullet at 2362 FPS.
My Ruger launches the Hornady 275 softpoint at 2760, the 300 FMJ at 2578, and the 300 RNSP at 2674.
Your 9.3 energy is 3532 at the muzzle.
At 10 feet where I set up my chrono:
Ruger .375 275-grain SP energy is 4651.07 Ft/Lbs
Ruger .375 300-grain FMJ energy is 4426.79 Ft/Lbs
Ruger .375 300-grain RNSP energy is 4586.17
I see no advantage in switching to the 9.3 in a conventional rifle, and since I can't afford a double, I think I'll just stick with what this Ruger offers. In what way do you consider the 9.3 to be superior?

The Ruger round does duplicate H&H velocities, in a shorter barrel.


August 26, 2007, 12:39 PM
Rifles in niche cartridges may very well fit in to the needs of a few people. Off the top of my head the, common niches are fastest, shortest, biggest. Accuracy is not a niche because everyone expects the new thing to be more accurate than the old thing. Light recoil does not sell well because no one wants to be thought of as a sissy!:o

However, go to a gunshow. Look at the wonder sticks and see what sells. When Bubba Joe picks up your thunderstick in that niche cartridge, and you tell him that you will throw in the dies, bullets, brass, watch his expression.

Most Bubba Joes are interested in going out and shooting the thing. Load development for Bubba Joe is putting a milk jug up, at 50 yards, and shooting at it. When Joe has rotated the scope knobs sufficiently, and in random order, and finally hits the milk jug, the rifle is sighted in.

Bubba Joe is not interested in a handloaded proposition. He wants to go to Wally Mart, or that small country store that has ammo, and buy ammo.

So watch Bubba Joe's expression when you tell him about all he needs to do is reload for your thunderstick in that niche cartridge and everything will be OK.:rolleyes:

And, you will find, the rifle will stay on the table, even though it is priced $50-75$ less than the same rifle in 270 Winchester.

Maybe, 44 years later, you will be able to get your money out of that pre-64 264 Winchester Magnum, because that rifle has been out of production long enough that people want the action for its parts.

The barrel will be tossed in a corner.

August 26, 2007, 01:26 PM
One of the other things that appeals to me in this gun is that I don't have to do a thing to it beyond attaching a sling. Normally, I'll have the trigger addressed & a real recoil pad installed, frequently aftermarket sights. No need here for anything. The stock won't shift with the weather, no need to bed anything. The sights are dead on out of the box (rare in itself for me), they're perfect for the role this gun will fill for me, and the factory recoil pad even works as a recoil pad.
There's just nothing I need to do to it but sling it & load it.
None of this may mean anything to Bubba Joe, as noted, but to more knowledgeable and dedicated riflemen, it can. Bubba Joe is not going to be chasing whitetails with an H&H .375, anyway. The H&H .375 is entirely a niche gun in itself. The vast majority of owners buy the caliber for either Africa or nostalgia/cool factor. It's never had a huge presence in the deer fields of this country.
For those who want a .375 Magnum strictly for its historical and nostalgia value, the features that I bought this gun for may also be meaningless.
Are there harder hitters? Certainly. Are there more traditional calibers? Absolutely. Are there prettier rifles? Yup. Is there more of an "Ooooh Aaaaahhhh" factor to other guns & calibers? Sure. Are there other configurations that shoot farther? Yeah. Do I want the H&H Mag to disappear? Hell no! :eek: If I had the money for a safari, I'd almost certainly look at another rifle. :)
Get the gun that does whatever job you need done, done. Or, get the gun that you want, just because. If you're strictly into nostalgia, you'll go one way. If you're strictly into flash & dazzle, you'll go another. If you're into purpose, you'll check around and pick up what works for you.

August 26, 2007, 05:13 PM
First off if someone gave me a new wildcat, and it was a nice rifle, already gunsmithed, I'd be the first person to keep it..
The Merkel was a real bad situation for me. I'd just spent a bunch of money on some great pistols, for cheap, and, I go up to the shop, and they have two Merkels for testing, prior to sale, and, I could have picked one up for cost, turned around, sold it, and made 3 grand.:(
Or kept it.

Now, you argue the Ruger has more velocity and energy. Who wants more energy? The 9.3 X 62, the bolt version of the 74, has been taking everything in Africa for over a 100 years, and, it's very common, over there. It penetrates, with solids, well enough to kill elephants, and, more energy just means more recoil. More is not always good. The 9.3 is also very common in Europe.

At the velocities you mention, penetration actually decreases due to bullets deforming. Your still not going to turn the 375 Ruger into a stopping rifle, so, accurate shot placement, and rapid followup shots are more important
then energy.

Denis: You must excuse me, but I got a good laugh out of your argument about the 9.3 not being avaliable in your area, but, I suspect you are the only one in your area with a Ruger 375, unless they are giving them away. Also, I wonder if your local walmart is going to carry any 375 Ruger anytime soon? Just look at how well Ruger supported their actually VERY good cartridge, the .480, for reference.

Now, the 375 is one caliber that is well established as not fish nor fowl. It will kill everything on the planet, but, it's not a stopping rifle. The only real way to help your 375 is to load heavy bullets, read 350's, soft points, and that might kick it up to the 416 class. It's still not a 458 Winmag, or Lott, and, that's the bottom rung of the stopper class.

We've had two really big brown bears taken in Alaska by guys around here, and shots posted on the wall. Both bears took ELEVEN SHOTS from 375 H&H mags. Both hunter and backup, in both cases, used 375's. Doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies. Animals deserve a cleaner, faster death then that.

Phil Shoemaker has used the 458 winmag in Alaska for a long time, but, like you, is now giving the 375 a try. At the ranges you shoot bears, and, with his shooting ability, that shouldn't be a problem.

All that said and done, the 375 is where most people stop being able to shoot, due to recoil.

If you read Gary Reeder's blogs, he seems to have settled on the 375 in hand cannons as the most recoil acceptable, and, yet it does kill, if not cleanly everytime, very well.

Here's some history on the 9.3.


Also, this experience pro hunter, Ganyana, picks this as his favorite cartridge:


Both my gunsmiths, who could, and do have just about any caliber they want, have 9.3 x 74 double rifles for their everyday rifles. They use them on everything from deer up.

Those same folks also have doubles, one in 450 Nitro, the other in .500 Nitro express, for when the going gets tough, and, that's what they are taking on Safari, though they do want to take my 375 for plains game..

Socrates J.D.

August 26, 2007, 06:55 PM
IMO, both the 375 Ruger and 204 Ruger are answers to questions that don't exist. I doubt that the 375 Ruger or 204 Ruger, while good cartridges will ever become very popular. Like the 45GAP will never replace or eclipse the 45ACP, the 375 Ruger will never replace or eclipse the 375 H&H. Just my .02

Great Wazoo
August 26, 2007, 07:32 PM

Thanks for the low down on your guns accuracy. That is pretty much what I expected from a Ruger.

I think the .375 Ruger Alaskan is intriguing. It could be a versatile Elk, Moose, bear rifle. But a good Elk rifle/cartridge could really take advantage of better accuracy.

August 26, 2007, 10:45 PM
You're kinda all over the board on this. :)
You proudly show off your .375 H&H and call it a "real" rifle. Then you tout the 9.3 as a "world standard". Then, after I give you figures that show the .375 Ruger equals your H&H .375 and leaves your 9.3 trailing behind, you tell me the .375 is no good as a "stopper", you ask "Who wants more energy?", and you tell me the more energetic .458 and so on are essentially the only way to go. :rolleyes:

In the context of what I've been describing as MY needs right here in River City, it's irrelevant what's going on in Africa. The North American continent does not have the same thick-skinned beasts that are typically hunted in Africa with the heavy bores. Bullet performance will tend to be markedly different on a large brown bear than it will be on a water buffalo or elephant. Again- apples & oranges.
As far as your other statements on ballistics go, I'd strongly disagree that at the velocities I mention penetration "actually decreases" due to bullet deformation. That depends largely on bullet construction, and can't be considered valid as a blanket statement. "More energy just means more recoil"? No, more energy in conjunction with a properly constructed bullet means more penetration, and in large thick-skinned African game (as well as larger thin-skinned domestic bears) penetration is vital.
And, again, it matters not how popular your 9.3 is in Europe. I'm not in Europe, and Europe doesn't have the high country bear population of the American Northwest. I'd also feel safe in saying that European 9.3 boltguns are, like your CZ fishing pole, much longer than my compact Ruger. (What the Europeans are carrying in doubles also makes no difference to me, since I'm too financially challenged to spend that kind of money on a rifle.) Do they hunt dangerous game (aside from moose) in dense forests? Are they susceptible to being charged by large angry teeth & claws in their forests? Don't care about what they take to Africa. I'm talking about home use.
No, given that the .375 Ruger has been out less than a year, it's not found on every ammo dealer's shop in the neighborhood, nor would I expect it to be. Conversely, I don't recall seeing 9.3 on many shelves around here, either, and it's definitely had plenty of time to catch on. Another apples & oranges situation.
Comparing the availability of a European cartridge of whatever age against a brand new American round is hardly realistic. :)
Reeder's .375 handcannons are totally irrelevant. I'm talking about rifles.
Ganyana's preferences in Africa are also irrelevant, to me, here and now. Different terrain, different animals.
Soc, really- don't buy the Ruger. It appears it would only cause you great unhappiness. :( I certainly don't want that. You spend your money on African rifles, I'll spend mine on Utah & Idaho rifles. Deal? We could possibly both end up just as happy as if we knew any better. :D

Happy to oblige. :)
Stick a scope on one & see what it does for you. My old eyeballs are not the best, and those express sights are built for quick acquisition at close ranges. Glass could surprise you.


August 26, 2007, 11:46 PM

I'm just saying, I changed. I bought the 375 H&H, and, it has a particular purpose. For what you are using the ruger for, I'd chop the barrel on my CZ a bit, and take the scope off, maybe try and find a lighter stock.

But, for what you are after, I'd want a 450-500 grain soft point, in 458 caliber, or a Barnes X. That's just me. By the way, your ruger, or my 375 is quite capable of putting in 5000 ft lbs of energy at the muzzle. However, for a defense gun, I'd rather have caliber, and, bullet weight, the fpe. Bears have responded well to .458's, and, it's been THE recommended round for bear defense for a long while, at least in the Alaskan forest service. As I said, if they gave me a Ruger, or, I got a great deal on one, like I did on my CZ, I'd grab it, and run with it.
If I was in your spot, I'd grab some 350 grain woodleighs, load em up, and be pretty content with your rifle. In fact I AM sort of in your spot, but with the 375 H&H. It's not the 9.3 which would take care of any hunting needs I have. It's not a stopping rifle, nor is it configured like one. But, it's what I've got, right now. As for your location, I didn't know.

Phil Shoemaker is one of the most experienced guides in Alaska. He's always used a 458 Win mag. This year he's with you, since Ruger gave him a 375 Ruger. We'll see how it works for him. For your situation, I'd rather have the 375 Ruger then the 9.3 or my 30-06. If I was in your spot,
I'd buy a 458 win mag, or Lott, but, that's just me.

What's the mag capacity in the Ruger?

What does it weigh?


Socrates J.D.

August 27, 2007, 12:40 AM
For your purposes & preferences, I am delighted you have your .375 H&H. :D
For mine, chopping off four or more inches of barrel in the H&H would not give me the same velocities I get in the already short barrel of my Ruger with the .375 Ruger ammo. I'd lose, and that would negate the whole purpose of having a .375 caliber rifle as a foot & ATV rifle.
The situation would be largely the same with any of the larger bore calibers you're mentioning. Cut those 24-26 inch barrels back to 20, and you WILL lose velocity. A loss in velocity equates to a loss in energy, and I do happen to believe that energy is an important factor. Bullet weight alone does not guarantee sufficient penetration, and penetration is critical in the kinds of scenarios I intend to carry this rifle for.
In Africa, overall rifle length is generally not a major factor. Traditionally, weight has also run toward the heavy side. In that context, the .375 Ruger may offer nothing superior to the H&H .375. I need the same performance, but much shorter and markedly lighter, to match the country I travel in my Yamaha Rhino. Quick in a scabbard, quick out, easy through the brush, quick to shoulder, quick to fire, relatively quick on followup shots, and something without pretty wood that I'll feel guilty about scratching up.
Bigger guns with bigger and harder recoiling calibers are sorta counterproductive in all those areas.
Shoemaker may like the .458, others up there feel pretty good about a .338 as a starting platform. I've heard of forest service types toting 12 gauges with slugs. My .45-70 Guide Gun, with the right loads, also has a decent reputation as a bear buster.
I'm not promoting the Ruger as the ideal "stopping" gun, just saying it won't supercede the H&H version, but it does pack some wallop, and Hornady tells me it's dropped American bison quite well. Admittedly, not a pissed-off bear, but still a sizable animal.
Mag capacity is three rounds. Ruger lists the weight as 8 pounds, unloaded. My bathroom scale isn't precise enough to come much closer, so I'd go with that.
In my old age decrepitude, weight is a factor, and a 12-pound rifle I ain't gonna carry. An 8-pounder I will. :)
Thanks for agreeing not to buy one. :D

Mike Irwin
August 27, 2007, 11:45 AM
"The 9.3 X 62, the bolt version of the 74, has been taking everything in Africa for over a 100 years, and, it's very common, over there. It penetrates, with solids, well enough to kill elephants, and, more energy just means more recoil. More is not always good. The 9.3 is also very common in Europe."

You could insert .375 H&H in that passage and everything would be equally true.

It would also be true that the .375 is probably far more common world wide.

I can go into most decently sized gunshops in the United States and have a pretty good chance of finding .375 H&H ammo.

I'd probably only get a blank stare if I went into most gunshops and asked for 9.3x62...

"More is not always good."

When you're dealing with animals that can grind you into a fine paste in less than a heartbeat, I'd have to say that more IS always good.

If you want to get right down to it, though, Karamajo Bell proved that both the 6.5x54 MS and 7mm Mauser with FMJ round nose military bullets were exceptional elephant killers as long as shot placement was correct.

I'd suggest ditching that overly powerful, overly recoiling 9.3x62 and get yourself a 6.5. :)

August 27, 2007, 11:12 PM
Mike: We're getting old, and lugging around a full sized CZ in this case isn't what Denis is after.

He got a full sized, 375, in a light, 30-06 size gun, and, it's tuned already, for very little. I got the same in 375. Given a choice, I'd have a 9.3, and a 458 Lott, setup much like his Ruger, or, for that matter a 458 Winmag, for a stopping tooth, claw and paw rifle. But, instead I've got a 30-06, and a 375 H&H. I'm not going to sit up long winter nights complaining about the cruel fates that force me to buy a CZ reps display gun, with fantastic wood, for pennies.

Dennis wants a light, holster type gun. He's willing to have only 3 rounds, vs. my CZ's 5 plus one. I also think I'm going to be able to find cheaper ammo then he is. How about a dollar a round for this stuff?
Some store had 200 rounds, or maybe it was 225, and they wanted to move it, so it was on sale for something like 25 dollars a box, plus shipping. Heck, the brass is worth that.

That's another point about both the Ruger and the 9.3, brass is expensive, ammo is too, and, since a lot of people don't have either in the U.S. you are less likely to stumble on a great ammo deal.

However, once you have the brass, and, you better reload for these calibers, really, you are set.

As for a bear stopping rifle, that should really start at the 458 Winmag. None of these rifles have been considered stopping rifles for big dangerous game. They have been considered excellent hunting rounds for anything.

Still, your odds are so incredibly slanted in your favor in not becoming bear food, I don't think it's worth the expense, and, if you can't handle, and shoot the 458, it is about 10-20% more recoil with 500 grain bullets then the 375, in a light rifle.

That's another rap on the 375. It has a tremendous amount of energy, and, can be loaded on paper, to within 10% of the winmag, yet, it's considered two steps down in stopping power. Guess bullet weight, and caliber, is more important then FPE, at least in stopping dangerous game.

Socrates J.D.

August 27, 2007, 11:47 PM
Nothing wrong with getting a good deal on a CZ Magnum rifle.
I like their workmanship, tested a CZ in 6.5 earlier this year, full Mannlicher-type stock. Shot very well, nicely built. Damn near kept it. That was when I got to looking around at their heavier rifle offerings & idly percolating the idea of acquiring one.

I did look at a couple of the big boomers at the SHOT Show CZ booth last year. The 3+1 mag capacity on the Hawkeye Alaskan leaves the body slim enough to carry one-handed quite comfortably, not so with the CZs. Those are just plain BIG rifles!

Having noted your concerns about the .375's inadequacy in stopping bears, the very first time it gets me killed by one I'll be the first to admit publicly that you were right. :D

Till then, I think I'll just assume the risk and the responsibility, and soldier on with it.

The Ruger longgun will also be backed up by a Ruger short gun, which may help offset the 4-rounds on board. Either a four-inch .44 Mag Redhawk with Garrett 330 Hammerheads, or a Flattop .44 with his lightweight 310s.
Nothing is 100%, but we each make our own choices & live or die by them.

August 28, 2007, 12:23 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again: stick with common cartridges or you will be sorry. You will be away from home, forget your ammo or run out, and be forced to find some under less than ideal conditions. I guarantee you will see it happen. Given that we're talking about .375's here, it's reasonable to say you'll be away from home chasing something with that. I for one absolutely refuse to endanger a possibly $10,000+ weekend on account of having the new cool wonder whiz the gun writers are banging the typewriters about. If you want to do so, take your trip and when you get back from it I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn for your next purchase.

In case you move on too quickly, I shall reiterate: IGNORE THIS ADVICE AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE AND PERIL.

Mike Irwin
August 28, 2007, 12:57 AM
"That's another rap on the 375. It has a tremendous amount of energy, and, can be loaded on paper, to within 10% of the winmag, yet, it's considered two steps down in stopping power."

None of the "medium bores," which the British define as being up to about .416 to .425, are considered to be true "stoppers" in the elephant or other large game sense of the word yet the .375 H&H is, far and away, the top candidate for the most useful all-around world-wide hunting round.

In the hands of a good shot it's considered to be more than adequate for elephant or Cape Buffalo while still providing a comfortable margin of power for shots in tough situations. And its trajectory will allow it to handle shots on plains game that are beyond rounds like the .458.

August 28, 2007, 03:20 AM
I guess it comes down to the situation. If I'm alone, with no backup, I want a 458 Lott. Lee Jurras once wrote me about going to Africa for the first time with a 458 win. His guide saw his soft points, and said he was selling them. Lee said why.
Guide had a good point. We turn a corner, there is an angry cow elephant. Brain shot only. Your softs won't make it through, and, she gets us.
Solids only. Prepare for the worst.

Also, with a 458 Lott, you can load down to 300 grains, 3000 fps, and, with a monometal bullet, that might be a fairly effective plains game round.;)

I've got a couple friends who design cartridges and bullets.
One has designed a VERY wide metplat solid, and heavy for the 454. Says it's been proven on bears beyond his expectations, and, beyond what he expected. He lives in Alaska, so he gets more chances then most.

Have another friend and gunsmith, Jack Huntington. Jack designs cartridges, and his most notable is what is now called the .475 Linebaugh. He took it, turned the rim down fit it in a FA 83, and it works great. Jacks also designed the .500 JRH, a short 500 S&W, that fits in an FA 83, and, it's better in the BFR regular frame.

440 grain bullet, 950 fps, or 430 grain at 1350. Jacks shot asian buffalo, bison, beefalo, that's a steer cross with a bison, and both loads have about the same effect as a 375 H&H on game.

Anyway, Dennis has a nice rifle, and, it sounds like a good North America rifle. He's also got a .44, and, with Garrett's bullets, that isn't bad, either.;)

Socrates J.D.

September 17, 2007, 02:28 PM
Well, well, well, who would have believed it? Guns and Ammo gives an objective cartridge review. The Oct 2007 issue has a review of the 375 Ruger, and there are a number of things that really show that this cartridge is not long for the world.

First of which is that it operates at 63,000 psi. That is how it pushes the same weight bullet around the same velocity of a 375 H&H in a smaller case.

The author found trying to duplicate factory loads lead to sticky bolt lift.

Maybe if he was using that round in 120 F weather, he would have discovered sticky bolt lift with factory rounds.

There is an advantage to operating at lower pressures. The 375 H&H got a reputation based on reliability and predictability. All around the world. Especially in the hot places, with nasty big animals.

Another thing was that the cases were extra thick. To contain all that pressure. Which means you might need to put a pipe on the handle of your sizing press to get enough leverage to size the case.

I have done that small base sizing machine gun fired 308 brass.

The author hit on a bunch of other issues too.

Four thumbs up for G&A.

If you have a 375 Ruger, buy a bunch of cases now. Once they are out of production, they will be hard to find.

September 17, 2007, 03:47 PM

Ruger strikes again...

I've found it really noticeable when moving from 40k to 60k, and, most of the time, the extra velocity isn't worth the recoil.

Most 375 loads are too high, pressure wise, or, because they use cheap powders. The beauty of the big case was adequate velocity, with low pressure, and, while not a 9.3, still low recoil.

Nice that G&A actually wrote a good review.


September 17, 2007, 04:16 PM
If you have a 375 Ruger, buy a bunch of cases now. Once they are out of production, they will be hard to find.All you have to do is go back to the parent cartridge, in this case 404 Jeffreys. It's available. Has been for almost 100 years. Of course, you could use any of the Ultra Mag rounds as base brass (338 RUM, 300 RUM, 7mm RUM).

September 17, 2007, 05:21 PM
The .375 H&H is established. I almost think you can argue the fact that the H&H version will make the Ruger version obsolete. Other than a shorter action, it really doesn't do any thing different and it certainly isn't an established cartridge. If I were going to buy the H&H version or the Ruger version, I'm going H&H for two reasons. First, it's been around since 1912 and I wouldn't worry about it dying any time soon. Secondly, I'm guessing there are a hell of a lot more cartridge options for the H&H verse the Ruger.

Simple decision.

September 17, 2007, 07:14 PM
All you have to do is go back to the parent cartridge, in this case 404 Jeffreys. It's available. Has been for almost 100 years. Of course, you could use any of the Ultra Mag rounds as base brass (338 RUM, 300 RUM, 7mm RUM).

True, but it really makes reloading for this cartridge a bear if you have to start with some other cartridge brass and do the neck sizing, trimming, to make a useable case.

Such issues would make resale very difficult.

As for the Remington Ultra Magnums, are they long for this world?

September 17, 2007, 09:33 PM
I am suprised that the Guns and Ammo article said that the ruger case was smaller then the H&H when everthing else I have read says just the opposite. According to most articles (including August 2007 Handloader magazine) the ruger case is approximately 6% larger.

I just dont see the 375 ruger going anywhere. I dont understand why people bad mouth a cartridge without even trying it. The 338 winchester was slow to take off and now it is found in all of those tiny stores out in the boonies.

September 17, 2007, 11:04 PM
By all means, if you see no utility in the cartridge don't buy it. :)
But, again, I think you're missing the point.
It's a PACKAGE, not just a cartridge. I can get .375 H&H ballistics out of a rifle that's at least six inches shorter and nearly 1.5 pounds lighter than a CZ Safari Magnum, for example. For my needs, which include short distances, heavy brush, and potentially close threats, but no elephants in 120-degree heat, it offers a tremendous advantage over the typical .375 H&H Magnum boltgun.
On foot in such terrain, being a cranky & lazy old guy, why would I want to lug around a 46.5-inch 9.4-pound rifle that requires 40 acres to turn around, when I could get exactly the same performance from a 40.75-inch 8-pound rifle?
True, the CZ (which I'm not, by the way, knocking at all) can carry two more rounds than the Ruger, but at the expense of a greater girth at the carry balance point.
Both calibers, .375 old and .375 new, are niche guns, and both have value.
As a PACKAGE, I'm quite happy with my Ruger, and that oogly rubber stock also has its advantages. (Speaking of which, if you have an Alaskan, Hogue is recalling that stock. They'll replace it for free, you don't need to send the rifle or old stock to them.)

September 18, 2007, 02:24 AM
Well Denis, enjoy your rifle.

If I wanted a lightweight, short barreled gun, I'd probably go with something like the 458 Win mag, load 350 grain, to 400 grain bullets, at some absurd velocity, and have kind of what you are after. Or, more my style, a 458 Lott with a 300 grain bullet at near 3000 fps, using monometal bullets...

Actually, I think the Ruger is fine for a number of things, and, if you have one, keep and use it.


September 18, 2007, 09:16 AM
The 375 H&H will be around looooong after the Ruger is dead and buried. Every gun of the 30-06 class compares itself top the 30-06. Same with the .375 H&H class of cartridges, they all compare themselves to the .375 H&H.

September 18, 2007, 10:10 AM
I really wonder what is the cartridge that has taken more Alaskan Bear than any other. My bet would be a .338 win mag.

Ed Stevenson


He used the 45-70 a lot. Also his 1895 in .375 Scovill and .411 hawk. Also read that he liked the .35 Whelen.

Hey Wildalaska if you out there! What cartridge to you see more coming into there that is used for Bear?


September 19, 2007, 03:03 PM
I have a BRNO 602 on which I had the barrel shortened from 25" to 20". It makes it much handier for the thick bush we work and hunt in here in Western Canada.

Here is the range test that I did in order to find out how much velocity I had lost by shortening the barrel by 5 inches.

Chronograph setup was 20' from muzzle. I started at 15' but the chrony didn't seem to like the muzzle blast :D

Federal Power Shok 270 gr SP:

25" barrel: 3 shot average: 2700 fps

20" barrel: 8 shot average: 2638 fps

Velocity loss: 62 fps

Winchester Supreme 270 gr Fail Safe: I didn't test this load prior to shortening the barrel so I'm listing the factory data.

24" barrel: 2670 fps

20" barrel: 3 shot average: 2599 fps

Estimated velocity loss: 71 fps

The recoil from the carbine was stout from the bench. Even with the Past recoil shield, a dozen rounds was about all my shoulder would take.

I tested it with a Bausch & Lombe 3000 3x9 in Warne QD's. I grabbed this off of my BRNO ZKK 600 30-06. It now has a Vari-X III 1.5x5x20mm.

I was very surprised by the shift in POI from the ZKK600 to ZKK602.

It required 78 clicks up and 15 clicks right to get it to shoot +2.5" at 100 yards.

By the time I got it dialed in I was starting to flinch so I will accuracy test the carbine the next time I get to the range.

The 3000 has decent eye relief but I still felt a very light scope kiss on one shot.


The average velocity loss resulting from shortening the barrel from 25" to 20" was 66 FPS.

The recoil and muzzle blast is strong but manageable, especially when shooting off hand. The muzzle flash was visible in bright sunlight and may be a factor in low light conditions.

The carbine points and handles much better than the rifle. The LOP seems to be fine as is.

The express sights print absurdly low at 100 yards with the 100 yard leaf. I have replaced the fron sight (#7 CZ) with a lower sight white bead.