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Thread: Soft shooting but good 375 moose bullet/load

  1. #1

    Default Soft shooting but good 375 moose bullet/load

    My wife and I put in our 6 drawing entries each for moose, and I already can't wait to start hypothesizing the most appropriate load for her. She likes shooting and is a great shot with a 22, but she's certainly on the more sensitive side of the spectrum. We'll certainly practice a lot more with light loads, but I'd like some input on the best 375 cal hunting bullet. We're trying to keep from having to buy another rifle and scope set up.

    I'm looking at this one and loading down to 375 winchester levels. Any better ideas? I'm not too worried about finding appropriate powders and developing accurate loads, as I'm experienced with that, but I really can't go shoot a bunch of bullets on test moose.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    OP, while you may not want to buy another rifle, that might be your best option! Get a rifle for the wife that fits her in a caliber that she can handle. In my opinion, while the 375 is a good caliber, there are other calibers that work just as good on moose and just about everything else, other then big bears.

  3. #3

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    I agree with Bearcat - nothing will ruin a person's desire to shoot and accuracy quicker than a heavy recoiling rifle. A bad shot with a large caliber is always worse than a good hit with a smaller one. With that being said I wouldn't hesitate to use any of the traditional style bullets from Hornady, Speer or Sierra. Nosler Accubond would be a dandy. Lots of range time will help too.

  4. #4

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    I think you're right on the money loading a 200 grain bullet to 375 Winchester velocities- aka, 1800-2,000 fps. It will be a maiden's kiss on the back end compared to full 375 H&H loads, while a dead certain 100-150 yard killer on the front end. It would kill further, but 150 is going to be about right for max range when considering trajectory.

    That's more than theory. Years ago I whacked a moose at just under 100 yards with a 357 Herrett pushing a 200 grain bullet to 1800 from my Contender. DRT. Bud of mine whacked his moose at 125 yards a couple years later with a 35 Remington rifle pushing a 200 grain bullet to 1950fps. DRT.

    Both moose died as quick as I've ever seen with any caliber.

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    One problem with trying to minimize your .375 Magnum for the wife is that those are usually large, heavy firearms. She should be carrying a firearm that fits her, is not too heavy, and is comfortable for her to shoot.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Ever think about adding a limbs aver pad on it?
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 377PFA View Post
    I agree with Bearcat - nothing will ruin a person's desire to shoot and accuracy quicker than a heavy recoiling rifle. A bad shot with a large caliber is always worse than a good hit with a smaller one. With that being said I wouldn't hesitate to use any of the traditional style bullets from Hornady, Speer or Sierra. Nosler Accubond would be a dandy. Lots of range time will help too.

    I'm aware of the new rifle method and may end up going that route, but did you read the original post? I'm researching light 375 cal bullets designed for 1800-2300 fps impact. I'll be downloading the cartridge to be as soft recoiling as a "mooseable" cartridge can be. And with the rifle being 9lbs (which I'll carry for her), a short length of pull with all of the butt-stock spacers removed, and probably a limbsaver pad (thx GrassLakeRon), the rifle will fit her and be light recoiling.

    Believe me, if I can't find a good solution for her with my 375, I'm happy to use it as an excuse to get a semi auto 308 or 30-06.

  8. #8

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    Your biggest challenge might be coming up with a load you like. Dunno whether this helps, but for lighter loads in 375 I resorted to the Speer 235's. A little too stoutly built for 375 Winchester velocities I'd guess, but in both my 375's, IMR-4064 turned out to be a dandy when launching the 235's at 2200-2300 fps. Might well turn out that IMR-3031 is on the list of good powders with the 200 at 1800-2000. Guesswork, but with at least one toe resting on the solid ground of experience.

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    I think the 235 gr is a good route also. I have used the bullet at 2700 and with the additional velocity reduction it should be a honey for your honey!

  10. #10

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    Just found some notes that might help on the powder choice. Back almost 30 years ago a bud thought he needed a 338 in the worst way, but it beat the holycrap out of hime (his words) and he was afraid of it. As a result he couldn't hit a barn while standing inside it.

    At that time Hornady made some flat nose 200 grain 338 bullets intended for the old 33 Winchester (sadly Hornady no longer lists them). It was intended for velocities below around 2200fps. I picked up 1k of the bullets for next to nothing on a closeout, and went to experimenting with my bud's rifle. Turned out that IMR-3031 was the ideal powder (I won't list charges), giving 2100 over my chronograph and turning in 1 1/4" or so groups at 100. Sighted in 2" high at 100, it was a credible 200 yard load.

    In his heavy rifle (around 9# as I recall) it seemed to recoil much less than any 30-30 I've shot. He shot it lots and got real comfortable with it. Took a double handful of deer, then two elk, and last I heard a couple of moose. He still uses the load, though he now has the confidence and ability to shoot factory equivalents.

    On a side note, I was loading so many rounds for him I got pretty near sick of it by the time I'd gone through the 1k bullets. Got him set up with his own reloading outfit and he bought 5K bullets somewhere at a huge discount. Last time I talked to him he was really whining because Hornady quit making the bullet and he couldn't find any more from any source. And he was almost through the 5k.

    I'd sure try 3031 with your setup. But if the rifle and your wife like that 200 grain bullet, I'd sure buy lots and store them away for the future. Odds are pretty good they won't be making it for too many more years.

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    While I do like the .375, and they are versatile, I agree with the others in that I would get another rifle for her.
    I would look at a 35 Whelen, or .338 06 or even an 8mm 06. Any would take a nice moose, weigh less, have a shorter bolt throw, and carry more ammo. You could pick up a nice Mauser in one of these calibers for very reasonable. The 8mm-06 is an easy rechamber for a standard 8x57 at a very reasonable cost. Loading these rounds is simple, and less cost than your .375 bullets and loads. You could custom cut the length of pull to her, which is likely (not always of course) less than your own. Fitted with a nice recoil pad and excellent optics (or even open sights) you have a very functional, versatile and economic alternative.
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    Buy a box of cast bullets (500) for the 375Win and load them to 2100/2200. Cheap enough to shoot a bunch and they kill very well. If they still recoil too hard back them down to 1800/1900. The bullet you linked to would work fine but so would a cast bullet and much cheaper for more practice.

  13. #13

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    That's a good suggestion, though faster than it needs to be. I launch a 220 grain cast bullet (actual sized diameter .378) at 1750fps from the 38-56 Win in my Model 1886 Winchester, and it flat smokes the game. I'm using Lyman #2 alloy (a little softer than wheelweights) for a bit of expansion, and I've never recovered one from deer or elk. I'd expect the same from moose. It seems to have about half the recoil of even standard factory 45-70, as you'd guess from those ballistics out of a 10# rifle.

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    Yep, 1700/1800 would work fine. Most moose are shot under 150yds and any shot in the heart lung area will put a moose down. Just don't expect them to drop instantly. The last moose I shot I hit twice through the lungs one of which went through the heart. The first hit showed no reaction, the second it dropped. This was with a 180gr Speer 30 cal at about 2900. Both were pass through and I believe a cast 220 at 1700 would give pass through as well.

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    Hawk makes a 375 flat nose for the 375 win in 200g. Might be the ticket. Hornady still makes a 230g I think that is made for the slower velocities. Most other bullets are made to expand at higher velocities I would think.

    No reason a 200g bullet won't kill a moose at 100 or so yards going slow if the bullet is constructed to do so.

    But really, just go buy another gun. You know you want to. Heck, go buy two.

  16. #16

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    I agree with the 235 grain bullet we loaded that for my son when he was 12 and he shot a 6 foot black bear . It was mild and he was able to shoot the rifle a lot. Since you will be there anyway as back up that is a great combo.

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    I load a 280gr Cast bullet in my 375 Ruger that doesn't kick any harder than my 30'06 when loaded to 1800-1900 FPS, they shoot into an inch at 100 yards when I do my part. I load them over IMR4198. I also load a 350gr cast to the same velocity, but the recoil is a bit stiffer. I shoot a lot of cast in my 375 just to get additional trigger time.

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