View Full Version : Who uses a .375 H&H for hunting?

April 11, 2012, 03:30 PM
I've got this urge to get one after shooting a guy's at the range this weekend. Didn't kick any worse then my .300 Win Mag. Anyone use one and for what? I might look silly carrying it deer hunting although I know a guy who's used one here in Wisconsin for years and claims it doesn't do as much damage as my .300 Win Mag. I bought a .270 last summer to give the deer a break from my .300. :D

April 11, 2012, 03:54 PM
It's having it's 100th birthday and has proved that it's a very fine cartridge .Powerful and accurate it will take anything in Africa .With today's fine premium bullets it's even better !
Most people can handle it and it's trajectory is like the 30-06 . Little meat damage as damge is only a problem with high velocity and fragile bullets.

April 11, 2012, 07:43 PM
My hunting buddy uses his .375 occasionally for whitetail here in Kentucky. I have seen him take a doe with with it at 75 yards or so. The doe was hit a bit high on a broad side shot but she was dead before she hit the ground. The bullet entered her about two inches above her lungs and literally blew a tunnel threw her the size of a $.50 piece. I believe he used Remington 270gr Soft Points which I believe was the lightest he could find.

Is the .375 a bit big for whitetail? Matter of opinion I suppose but I didn't find the damage any worse than some deer I've seen in the back of hunter's trucks. I don't know if you hand load, but I would think you could really dial up some very nice whitetail rounds if you do.

I say if you want to hunt with one and don't mind the recoil, by all means do so. It might leave a bigger exit wound but you certainly won't vaporize half your deer.

big al hunter
April 12, 2012, 12:27 AM
I have a buddy that swears that it is the best elk killer around. I prefer 50 cal. muzzle loader or 338 win mag. For the price of a box of 375 shells I can shoot a long time with my ML.:)

April 12, 2012, 12:44 AM
Back when I owned a 375 H&H I shot everything with it (I read too many stories by Peter Capstick and Finn Aagard back then). Worked just fine, didn't tear up the meat or get it all bloodshot. The only problem was the 10 pound rifle, but back then I was young and strong. As I got older, I went back to my 7X57 and a 7 lbs rifle.

April 12, 2012, 09:42 AM
My dad used his pre-'64 Model 70 for everything from jackrabbits on up.

He used the jackrabbit shooting for practice for deer during the '50s and '60s. He got to be pretty good at hitting running jackrabbits. The deer discovered that too.

Sadly, as he aged his interests changed and he sold it.

April 12, 2012, 10:48 AM
I used one when I was in Alaska. I found when hunting those little Sitka Blacktails the ammo don't open up. It kills the little suckers anyway but these deer live in Brown Bear country. Just felt more comfortable with my Model 70 375.

Now the only time I carry it is when I take my Granddaughter elk hunting. I figure if she muffs a shot, I'll have a better change of anchoring it so I don't have to chase down wounded critters.

The OP is right, it doen't kick near as much as some of my other heavy rifles like my 458 WM and 416 Rigby.

phil mcwilliam
April 12, 2012, 09:27 PM
I'm 47 years old & have been hunting for most of those years. I'd never shot anything in a rifle larger than a 30-06 until last year when I went hunting in Zimbabwe.
The guide provided myself & a mate with a .375H&H Magnum. On the first day we sighted the .375H&H using the front of the Toyota Landcruiser as a rest. I went first & recalling all I'd heard & read about the hard kicking .375, I shouldered the rifle with fear & trepidation & fired a 3 shot group. My mate went next.
We both agreed this rifle, being a heavy barrel, actually kicked less & was quieter to shoot than our 30-06's back home. On this 2 week plains game hunt to Zimbabwe a 30-06 became available for us to use, but we both decided to keep hunting with the .375's.
I've been contemplating getting a .375H&H myself, but would look at getting a heavy(10 pound) rifle, which I know makes the .375 a pleasure to shoot.
The .375H&H mainly punches big holes through anything you shoot. We even used it on Duiker, a small 2 foot high deer, with the same result- large hole punched through, but you would probably get more meat damage & destruction using a .243 or .270 for the same shot on such a small deer.
My mate & myself took Eland, Wildebeast, Giraffe, Zebra, Impala, Warthog, Duiker & Baboon with the .375 H&H & it performed superbly.

April 12, 2012, 10:35 PM
First of all, you gotta take into consideration who you're hunting with. My hunting is, or I should say was upstate NY before they operated on my 65 year old back. For deer hunting I used one of three rifles:Griffin & Howe custom mauser .270 w/2.5 Lyman Alaskin, Steyr Mannlicher Model M 7x57 w/Leupold and Winchester 94 SRC 38-55. They were all great, even when I saw no game, which was 90% of the time. Maybe it was the aftershave.

Around 7, or 8 years ago I decided to bring up a nice Custom german mauser that was worked on by G&H, with an engraved G&H mount w/2.5 Lyman Alaskin scope, nice safari sling, 375H&H. I have a few guns that I'd never bring into the woods, or even shoot, but this one's been used and I wanted to use it as well.

Looking at these guy's guns it looked like I was wearing a tuxedo at a barn dance. They all started laughing at me and kept saying I can't shoot bears. It went on and on non stop for 4 days. Even while in the head it wouldn't stop. I woke up one morning and my gun was in the rack wrapped in toilet paper. You don't insult a german gun with toilet paper, so it went back into my case. These guys had a couple of Marlin .35's, a Remington 700 30-06, etc., the typical NY guns. All I could say is that if a deer crossed my path it would've been dead. I brought it home unfired like usual.

The 375H&H is a great rifle to shoot and don't listen to people about the terrible recoil, cause terrible it's not. It's accepted in Africa for the big 5 and certainly could be used on non dangerous game. Just make sure when you go hunting that others have guns similar to yours.

April 13, 2012, 10:02 AM
.375 Ruger for elk and antelope:D

Irish B
April 13, 2012, 11:07 PM
I agree with Phil on the kick. The 375 I played around with kicked less than many 30-06s and 300wms. The weight of the gun does play a factor though. I love that gun and would love to have it for elk, moose, bison, and bear.

April 13, 2012, 11:30 PM
To each his own. Shoot what you are comfortable with. For deer in brush and heavy timber, my 30-30. If you have to reach out, then .270. For elk 300 Win Mag or 30-06. Has always kind of been what kind of stuff we are hunting in. Do not really need all of the above, but if you have them you need to dust them off once in awhile. Good luck to you all this season!

April 15, 2012, 10:52 AM
I took a pronghorn buck at 250 yards with my .375 Ruger, does that count? ;) 270 grain Hornady bullet went stern to stem entering the left rear quarter and exiting the right side base of the neck. Didn't do much damage to the meat either, dropped that wounded buck right in his tracks.

April 15, 2012, 01:20 PM
The 375 I played around with kicked less than many 30-06s and 300wms. The weight of the gun does play a factor though.

If your 375 kicked less than a 30-06, it must have weighed a LOT more than the 30-06!

phil mcwilliam
April 15, 2012, 06:27 PM
Natman, don't underestimate the importance of the weight of a rifle in reducing felt recoil. The .375H&H Magnum I used in Zimbabwe was a custom heavy barrel Remington that weighed over 10 pounds. This 10 pound .375 weighs around 42% heavier than say a 30-06 at 7 pounds. The 42% increase in weight does a lot to counteract the 50% increase in recoil, & I stand by my claim that this particular .375 actually felt like it kicked less than a 30-06.
I did also hunt with a Whitworth Interarms .375H&H Magnum that was probably around 7 pounds weight, but was fitted with a muzzle brake. Although the recoil didn't bother me even with this lighter rifle, I didn't like hunting with it as the muzzle blast left your ears ringing after every shot.
.375H&H rifles weighing around 10 pounds are a pleasure to shoot. Like I said, if I was ever going to consider buying one, I'd get a heavy rifle & keep away from the light weights.

April 15, 2012, 08:21 PM
The 375 270gr bullet at 2690 ft/sec from a 10 lb rifle has about 50% more recoil energy than does a 180 gr bullet at 2700 ft/sec from a 7lb rifle.

That doesn't tell the whole story, however. The ergonomics of the stock, shooter expectations, and so on have a lot of influence on perceived recoil punishment.

For a discussion and a different recoil calculator, try looking at http://shootersnotes.com/articles/taming-recoil/

April 15, 2012, 08:53 PM
Who uses a 375 for hunting? Someone who wants to kill something and who doesnt care to eat it! Or maybe who has money to spend on ammo and money isnt a big deal.

April 16, 2012, 02:11 PM
Natman, don't underestimate the importance of the weight of a rifle in reducing felt recoil. The .375H&H Magnum I used in Zimbabwe was a custom heavy barrel Remington that weighed over 10 pounds. This 10 pound .375 weighs around 42% heavier than say a 30-06 at 7 pounds. The 42% increase in weight does a lot to counteract the 50% increase in recoil, & I stand by my claim that this particular .375 actually felt like it kicked less than a 30-06.

I'm not underestimating the effect of weight on recoil at all. Like I said, if a 375 kicked at all like a 30-06, it would have to be a lot heavier, and a 42% increase is a lot in my book.

May 19, 2012, 12:17 AM

You are incorrect. Let me explain:

A few years ago my oldest brother came to MT to shoot a Bison. His intent was to use a Sharps in .45-70, which he did, but he brought his .375 H&H just in case. He grew up here hunting white-tails, and when I told him there were surplus tags available over the counter we bought 3 apiece. I used a .257 Roberts/100gr, and he used his .375 H&H/.270gr. We each shot 3 does the following day. His deer exhibited no more damage than I would have expected from a .30-06/150gr.

The reason for this is simple: The heavier, tougher, .375cal 270gr SP expands very little on a deer sized animal.

Art Eatman
May 19, 2012, 08:53 AM
farmerboy, the whole idea--no matter which cartridge is used--is, "Don't shoot 'em in the eatin' meat."

May 19, 2012, 10:37 AM
My hunting buddy swears by his H&H and uses it with great sauces on black bear in Maine. He does admit that he originally bought the H&H for African plains game and leopard which worked flawlessly.

If you don't reload, check out the price of ammo, sometimes we get caught up on a particular calibre for its historical attraction and appeal rather than its realistic usage. Then again, there are some who gravitate to "odd" calibers...yes I'm one of those.

May 19, 2012, 12:32 PM
I am on my 2nd barrel in my 375H&H
Yeah..........I have shot it a lot.

I have owned and used many many rifles in my life, but if I had only my 270 Winchester and my 375H&H, I would not be wanting to hunt ANY big game animal no matter where it was located.

Throw in a 222 or a 223 and I can even specialize some.

The 375 is still the best world-wide all around hunting cartridge ever made--- in my opinion.

May 19, 2012, 02:35 PM
I'd have to ask first how much is the ammo and how hard it is to find. And could you hit a deer in the head at 200 yards if you tried and how much does it kick? Naw I think I'd stick with my 223, 22-250 and 30-06.

May 19, 2012, 08:03 PM
I am in Wyosmith's camp. If I were forced to have just one rifle, it would be the .375 Magnum. There are places where the 30-06 is not permitted because it is too small.

My dad used his very effectively on rabbits and other varmints.

If I were permitted a second rifle, it would be a long debate between the .223 Remington and the .243 Winchester. Even though I am enamored of the .243 Winchester, the .223 would probably win because of ammunition cost and the fact that the .375 does very well for anything that one would hesitate even for a millisecond with the .223 Rem.

May 20, 2012, 02:33 AM
I used one quite a bit for hunting a few years ago. Ended up using it a lot more on duty to DLP brown bears in town. It's now used strictly as a DLP gun and stands by on alert close at hand during bear months.