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Thread: 375 H'n H versus 338 WM, felt recoil

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    Default 375 H'n H versus 338 WM, felt recoil

    If I had a 22 LR cartridge for every time I've heard someone say that the recoil of the 375 is more pleasant than that of a 338 WM, I'd have almost and extry brick of same.

    Mathematically Speaking, a language I've yet to master, the recoil from the greater cartridge is, is MUCH greater, but the statement and at least the perception persists.

    My question is,,,,, "Is this true"???? And if so, why? Why is the statement made? Why the perception, etc. ???

    I hadda 338, but I've never fired a 375. I have fired a shootgun with heavy slugs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    IMy question is,,,,, "Is this true"???? And if so, why? Why is the statement made? Why the perception, etc. ???

    I hadda 338, but I've never fired a 375. I have fired a shootgun with heavy slugs.

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    Smitty of the North
    I'd say the perception is mostly due to the fact that .375s on average weigh an extra pound or more than the average .338. If both are fired from 8 pound rifles fewer people would make such a comment........
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    I've had a few samples of both. I love the .375... hate the .338.

    It's totally true the .375 has more foot-pounds of recoil than the .338...but a couple other factors come to play.

    The .375s typically come in a heavier rifle than most .338s and that absorbs some of the kick. .375 also runs low MV which means it hits slower (albeit harder) which is kind of the same thing as a 12ga or a muzzleloader. Lots of energy coming at you (comparatively) slowly.

    .338 is a lot of kick, MVs are higher and the guns are typically lighter- so even though it's less foot pounds than a .375, you feel more of it and you feel it faster.

    If you ever have the misfortune of firing a very light .375.... it has all the bad manners of the typical .338 and more energy to boot.
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    don't have any trigger time on a 338. but my 300 kicks "faster/harder" than my 375. i believe alot of it is due to weight. the 375 is more of a push. and i enjoy shooting it more than my 300.

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    Yeah, one would expect that the 375 would be chambered in a heavier rifle, and rifle weight, and stock fit, is always a factor in felt recoil.

    I've often heard this "perception" or "fact" justified by a difference in the quickness?? of the recoil, due to the 375 having a long sloping shoulder and the 338, a sharp shoulder. ???

    I have no idea if this is valid, but the belief that there is a difference, somewhere, is common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spdcrazy View Post
    don't have any trigger time on a 338. but my 300 kicks "faster/harder" than my 375. i believe alot of it is due to weight. the 375 is more of a push. and i enjoy shooting it more than my 300.
    Yes, I've heard that often, "A push for the 375, versus, a kick, for the 338".

    Apparently, many folks feel, they can feel a difference in the suddenness of the recoil.

    We are able to distinguish slight differences. I usta be able to tell the difference in my 280, shooting 150 grain or 165 grain FLs. It was a very lightweight rifle.

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    To me its as you said the speed of the kick the 338 seems harsher, or quicker. The .300 Mags have a quick recoil also which hurts me, the 375 H&H is slower which I can react to. Or that has been my expereince.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kk alaska View Post
    To me its as you said the speed of the kick the 338 seems harsher, or quicker. The .300 Mags have a quick recoil also which hurts me, the 375 H&H is slower which I can react to. Or that has been my expereince.
    Thanks kk:

    Does anybody HATE their 375s? Because of the recoil? Honestly, I've ran into quite a few 338 owners or former owners, who hate the 338.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I've had a few samples of both. I love the .375... hate the .338.

    It's totally true the .375 has more foot-pounds of recoil than the .338...but a couple other factors come to play.

    The .375s typically come in a heavier rifle than most .338s and that absorbs some of the kick. .375 also runs low MV which means it hits slower (albeit harder) which is kind of the same thing as a 12ga or a muzzleloader. Lots of energy coming at you (comparatively) slowly.

    .338 is a lot of kick, MVs are higher and the guns are typically lighter- so even though it's less foot pounds than a .375, you feel more of it and you feel it faster.

    If you ever have the misfortune of firing a very light .375.... it has all the bad manners of the typical .338 and more energy to boot.
    Pretty much lines up with me.

    In fact one of my 375's weighs only 7 pounds bare, the way I always shoot it. That thing pops you like crazy, to the point you don't even want to shoot it from a bench. Three fast shots with 300 grain bullets from the bench has given me brief double vision. All shooting is offhand. Make it heavier? HELL NO. It's my carry gun and a treat. My heavy rifle is a maiden's kiss in comparison, but so heavy it's just not that much fun to carry.

    As for hating a 375? Never happened to me, even the light one. But I've hated most of the 338's I've owned or shot.

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    My thought is that the 338 family of cartridges are the "perfect storm" of velocity and bullet weight that generate unpleasant recoil. As has already been noted, the velocity of recoil is generally faster with the 338 over the 375 H&H ctg. And generally, but not always, the 375's are often significantly heavier rifles. All that being said, the 338's are my least favorite rifles to test fire. But I have great respect for the 338 win mag, as I have seen it perform very well down range. But I don't want to own one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    My thought is that the 338 family of cartridges are the "perfect storm" of velocity and bullet weight that generate unpleasant recoil. As has already been noted, the velocity of recoil is generally faster with the 338 over the 375 H&H ctg. And generally, but not always, the 375's are often significantly heavier rifles. All that being said, the 338's are my least favorite rifles to test fire. But I have great respect for the 338 win mag, as I have seen it perform very well down range. But I don't want to own one.
    I agree but my least favorite to test fire are the huge African dangerous game guns that have been coming in the last couple months here . . . 500 Jefferies, 450 Ackley Mag, 458 Lott, 458 WBY on light little rifles with just irons . . . ouch man OUCH!
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    Chuck Hawks recoiled table (columns are rifle weight, recoil energy, recoils velocity.


    .338 Federal (210 at 2630)8.0 21.9 13.3
    .338-06 A-Square (200 at 2800)8.0 23.9 13.9
    .338-06 A-Square (250 at 2500)8.5 28.2 14.6
    .338 Win. Mag. (200 at 2950)8.5 32.8 15.8
    .338 Win. Mag. (225 at 2780)8.5 35.2 16.3
    .338 Win. Mag. (250 at 2700)9.0 33.1 15.4
    .35 Whelen (200 at 2675)8.0 22.6 13.5
    .35 Whelen (225 at 2525)8.0 25.0 14.2
    .35 Whelen (250 at 2400)7.5 27.9 15.5
    .375 H&H Mag. (235 at 2700)9.0 29.5 14.5
    .375 H&H Mag. (270 at 2690)9.0 36.1 16.1
    .375 H&H Mag. (300 at 2530)9.0 37.3 16.3
    .375 Dakota (300 at 2600)8.5 44.5 18.4
    .375 Wby. Mag. (300 at 2700)10.0 47.3 17.5
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

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    So the HH shooting 235s has less recoil energy than WinMag shooting 225s?

    But of course several hundred less FPS.

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    Just a thought- it seems most .338 mags are scoped and I have seen an awful lot of .375's that are not. May not make sense to some, but with recoil- seems like not having to worry about scope cuts plays into it a bit. I have fired lots of rounds of heavy goose loads from strange angles and never complained about recoil (till the next day). Just my .02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    Chuck Hawks recoiled table (columns are rifle weight, recoil energy, recoils velocity.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm
    Now, I'm really CONFUSED.

    Picking out loads from that group, with the SAME weight rifle, and similar velocities, the "Recoil Velocity" is MORE with the 375, (which has a 20 grain heavier bullet.)

    375 H&H Mag. (270 at 2690) 9.0 36.1 16.1
    338 Win. Mag. (250 at 2700) 9.0 33.1 15.4

    While the effect MUST be there, I'm not sure now, if recoil velocity is the total explanation. OR, correctly calculates the effect.
    Using those figures,,,,, Both the Recoil Energy, and the Recoil Velocity are greater with the 375, yet many claim they feel more PAIN from their 338s.

    Maybe, 338s are chambered in rifles that are too light for the cartridge, and the 375s the opposite. ???? If that's not too simplistic an explanation. Remember, we're ALL Scientitists, here.

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    I don't know the technical answers to your questions, but I can tell you I LOVE shooting my .375 H&H. Its an honest 10 lb. gun with a scope on it, I'm sure that helps. I watched a fella shoot a savage (I think) that was much lighter than my Whitworth and it beat the crap out of him, even with a break on it, mine has no break.

    One other observation, I've played with probably a dozen or so loads out of mine and there is a SIGNIFICANT difference in recoil among the various loads. I don't recall the exact combination, I think WIN760 and 300gr. partitions, gave me a headache as I approached (did not reach) max charge, and I usually stop a grain or two from max.

    One of my favorite loads is 250gr Sierra SP a few grains above minimum, I believe with IMR-4064, I'd have to double check. Anyhow it is fairly easy to shoot .75 MOA and recoil in my heavy gun is more polite than a 12ga. shooting mag loads.

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    I don't enjoy shooting any heavy recoiling rifle. With that said I think the .338 is a great hunting caliber. Work up a load, get it dialed in, and go hunting with it. For recreational shooting I prefer to leave the .338 in the safe.

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    My 375 in a Remington XCR feels like a "big push" much like a 12 gauge. The only time I shot a 338 was in a ruger m77 all weather. Most of the "push" vs "kick" is from the cartridge itself. A straight walled cartridges tend to have a "push" were the shoulder on the 338 gives it a "kick".

    I would shoot my 375 all day if I could afford to do so....

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post

    I would shoot my 375 all day if I could afford to do so....
    now thats truth...

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    The hardest kicking gun I own is a featherweight Ithaca 37 with a 22 inch barrel. It shoots Winchester SuperX slugs into a 3 inch group at 100 yards and I've never shot a deer past 75 with it. I have replaced the stock on it a couple of times and have a spare stock on hand in case or for when it splits again. I hunt mostly with a muzzleloader these days so the Ithaca is semi retired. I think I have fired 5 rounds through it in the last 10 years and had 5 dead deer to show for it. It wears an old Weaver 2.5x scope and if the scope ever goes bad then I'm going to buy a new scope and send the gun scope and 100 bucks to Andy and ask him if he will pretty please zero it in fer me!

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