When I was a youngun, I always got down n dirty with a thrity-thirty. Ever since I've live here in Alaska, that same rifle I grew up shooting, has collected nothing but dust. Due to my fully-evolved preferences in rifles and cartridges, anything 30 caliber is kind of ho-hum, boring, and too common for my tastes. I sent the rifle off to JES for a rebore to 375 Winchester, outfitted it with a lyman peep, pacmyer fitted recoil pad (which really isn't fitted btw), sling swivel kit, refinished stock, and slicked up the action. I did most of the work some time ago, but didn't get it finished until a few weeks ago.
For the unknowing, a fairly new model 94 in good working condition is plenty strong enough to be rebored to 375 Winchester. There are a few "torture test comparisons" done on the model 94, and it flat-out handled more purposeful abuse than a model 336. The loads I'm pushing don't even come close to 52,000 PSI. I believe they're more in the ball park of 42,000-44,000 PSI. Honestly, the model 94 will handle anything a Marlin 336 can handle and carries more strength in barrel threads, and the locking mechanism. If you've ever looked at a 336, it has this dinky little piece of metal that engages a flat spot in the bottom of the bolt, while the model 94 has a large chunk of metal that completely locks the entire rear of the bolt. It's not as strong as a model 92, but it can certainly handle the 375 Winchester. Sorry, but I'll remain a huge Winchester lever rifle fan for life. The levers aren't stationary on a model 94 like a 336 (which impedes comfortable carry at the balance point), and is a heck of a lot lighter than a 336 too. Sorry, I don't need a scope for a 200 yd. gun either.
Now, after distinguishing the facts as to why I prefer the Winchester, and addressed the Marlin purists before they hi-jack the thread, let's have a "cartridge 101" about the 375 Winchester and how it compares to a similar and well respected cartridge. No, put down the reloading manuals, I'm not claiming that a 375 is similar to a 35 remington like they do (because it's not). The 375 winchester vs the 454 casull lever rifle:
255 grain barnes original 375 wincester:
1977 fps. (my pet load) 100 yds: 1745 fps. 200 yds: 1522 fps
muzzle energy (ft. lbs):
2,250 ft. lbs. 100 yds: 1725 ft. lbs 200 yds: 1311 ft. lbs.
454 casull/250 grain xpb:
Muzzle velocity: from a 20" rifle barrel (from what I've read from reliable sources):
1,950 fps Max 100 yds: 1,550 fps 200 yds: 1230fps
muzzle enegry (ft. lbs.):
2100 ft. lbs. 100 yds: 1380 ft. lbs. 200 yds: 840 ft. lbs.
It's as powerful as a 454 casull lever rifle up close, but with less pressure. It substantially exceeds 454 power out at 100 yds, and at 200yds the difference is ever more obvious. A model 94/375 can't hold the same amount of cartridges, but this is a non-issue in my opinion, because my rifle holds six in the tubular magazine (why would i need more than that?). Yes the model 92 (and it's clones are relatively light), but my rifle weighs 5 lbs 14 oz. after the re-bore, that's plenty light enough if yah ask me. I'm not crapping on the model 92/454 casull toters, I'm simply trying to articulate the usefulness or a 375 Winchester compared to a widely popular and well respected cartridge, to those who know little about the 375 Winchester.
Now that I've addressed the model 92 clone toters (based off what I've read in this forum), maybe, just mayyyyybe......we can shed some positive light on this cartridge/rifle combo?
CCI Bench Rest Large Rifle primers, 255 grain Barnes Originals, Winchester Brass and Alliant Reloader 10x
I chose Reloader 10x because it's slower burning than reloader 7 which is the preferred powder for the 375 Winchester. I theorized, that I'd run out of case capacity before I reached heavy pressures. Well, that's just what happened:
I started with 6 bullets loaded at 33 grains(1790 fps), 34 grains(1840 fps), 35 grains(1878fps), 36 grains(1920), and 36.5(1977 fps) with a slightly full case. I could have probably fit more powder, but why? No need with decent velocity, and obviously mild pressures.
Measurements and close observations ensued with every fired case. The primers didn't even flatten with any of these loads. It's reasonable to assume they are within 42,000-44,000 psi.
Anyhow, just wanted to report some load development on a great cartridge that IMO belongs in a Model 94 (no "big bore 94 needed). If you have an old 30-30 Model 94 that's in good shape but is collecting dust, it only costs $225 to get it rebored. Opt for the 3-groove, it's supposed to give good velocity with less pressure. Stick with reloader 10x, it's slightly milder than the reloader 7/375 Win. loads. Won't say anymore about it, other than a picture here n there of a dead moose or bear in the hunting thread with this little rifle. Hope to see a few more decades of use with the ole 94: