375 H&H-long range factory cartridge?
If "someone" had sold all their rifles except for a .375 H&H with the intention of picking up a long range/lighter weight shooter in say a .270 Win or .300 Win (but waited too long as well as ran out of money) and was forced to carry his M70 on a planned caribou and goat hunt….what factory .375 cartridge would you choose?
The rifle has only had 300 grainers fired through it, and was used to take a bear at relatively close range. I don’t know squat about potential long range performance of the caliber. If equipped with this rifle and an opportunity at a 250 yard goat appears-can I feel good about pulling the trigger? Since most alpine hunters use something else…there isn’t a whole lot of information posted on the virtues of the .375 as a mountain goat gun.
Characteristics on the ballistics of chosen round, and tips about sight in at the range would be appreciated.
You can try conley precision cartridge co.'s 210 grain barnes load, it drops about 6.5 inches at 300 yards.
A 300 gr zeroed at 200 yds will still be in the kill zone at 250 yds and going a good 2000 fps. Personally I'd opt for a 270 gr and zero it at 250 yds, and be good to go to 300 yds and still going 2000 fps. The lighter faster bullets also shed their velocity faster, and really don't gain you anything at long range.
The 375 H&H will effectively kill way out there, the real issue is knowing the exact range of game, the trajectory of your load, and placing the crosshairs appropriately, or better yet having an elevation turret so you can dial in the drop and hold right on the vitals.
Typical pointed 270 grain factory loads have virtually the same trajectory as pointed 180-grain factory loads from a 30-06. If you're familiar with the downrange performance of that round, you'll slip right into shooting the 375 at the same distances.
The federal 260gr accubond load is a decent long range load for most big game also.
Either the 260gr or 270gr bullets will get the job done at extended ranges.
If your looking for factory loads check out Hornady's Heavy Mag line of ammo with the 270gr InterLock @ 2850fps +/-, should perform very well on caribou. Try to keep you're shots behind the shoulder with the velocity of this load as it can be exlosive if you hit bone inside 150yds.
With experience and knowledge gained through practice on the range, a shot out to 350yds is very doable with the 375 H&H.
I haven't tried the Heavy Mag Griz, but based upon your experience, I'll definitely give it a try.
I suspect most bullets in that weight range will meet your trajectory needs TC1, and it will be up to you to decide about the details of bullet construction.
Most of the old time bear guides I know depend on the Remington 270 grain Core Lokt, and have never had reason to change. Their reasoning for picking the 375 over any other caliber kind of falls in line with your thinking. A summary of their views goes something like this:
"Visiting sports dream about charges, and on the rare cases those happen the Core Lokt works fine. More important for us are the bears that go the other way when wounded. Think long shots, very long shots sometimes, at the south end of a north bound bear. You gotta hit them first, then the bullet has to go through them the long ways. At those ranges the Core Lokt still expands but penetrates well."
I'd buy several different 260-270 grain loadings, see which your rifle likes best, then decide whether or not the bullet construction meets your criteria.
Most lighter bullets for most calibers shed velocity at a higher rate than most heavier and similarly constructed bullets. These are the facts, and they apply in most instances. For example, the following are two factory loads, one with the 270-grain FS, and the other with a 300-grain FS:
Winchester 270-grain FS, rifle sighted +2.0" at 100 yards.
Muzzle = 2670 fps / 4275 foot-pound /
100 yd = 2447 fps / 3570 foot-pound /+2.0"
200 yd = 2234 fps / 2994 foot-pound / 0.0" (200-yard zero)
300 yd = 2033 fps / 2478 foot-pound / -9.1"
400 yd = 1842 fps / 2035 foot-pound / -28.7"
500 yd = 1664 fps / 1662 foot-pound / -54.5"
Winchester 300-grain FS, rifle sighted +2.4" at 100 yards.
Muzzle = 2530 fps / 4265 foot-pound /
100 yd = 2336 fps / 3636 foot-pound / +2.4"
200 yd = 2151 fps / 3082 foot-pound / 0.0" (zero)
300 yd = 1974 fps / 2596 foot-pound / -10.0"
400 yd = 1806 fps / 2173 foot-pound / -26.9"
500 yd = 1649 fps / 1811 foot-pound / -58.4
As you can see, even though the lighter bullet is loaded at the factory 140 fps faster then the heavier and similarly constructed one, somewhere around 300 yards the lighter one has already shed most of the extra velocity. The 300 grainer was sighted at 100 yards almost 1/2" higher than the 270 grainer, but the difference of POI at 300 yards between the two is just 1". It means that you could still shoot the heavier one as flat as the lighter by sighting your .375 H&H at just under +3" at 100 yards. In my view the heavier one is superior to the lighter (similarly constructed) one, simply because with the rifle properly sighted both bullets hit pretty close to each other at 300+ yards, while the heavier still packing more energy than the lighter, and similar speed to it.
The .375H&H is not necessarily a long range cartridge, except for those who understand that 300 yards is a long shot. I have always used a .338WM, but long ago I decided that 300 yards was my limit should I ever decide to shoot game that far.