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Thread: Newbie here

  1. #1

    Default Newbie here

    I just discovered this forum a few days ago when researching rifles. I am impressed by the amount of great information posted here, and the courteous replys.

    For a little background on myself - Kalispell, as most of you know, is a very gun-oriented area. I have been lucky enough to know some of the folks involved in the trades here.

    I knew Mel Smart, who developed the laminated stocks that Serengeti Arms now makes, graduated high school with Brian Sipe of Montana Rifle Company, have been friends for many years with Les Bauska, the oldest practicing barrel maker, Jim Baier of Halfmoon rifle company, Jerry Cunningham, Ken Howell, and others.

    I also count Jerry Fisher & Tom Burgess as friends.

    What drew me here was gathering data, opinions, and loads for a .375 H&H. I was lucky enough to acquire a very nice Classic model 70 Super Grade in 7mm Magnum, and even luckier in getting Conrad Gerega to work the action over and install a SS Winchester barrrel in .375.

    He trued the action, reworked the rails to allow 4 shells in the magazine, opened the action a bit, and glass bedded the action.

    Since the SS barrel came with sights, I put on a leupold VXii 3-9x in Leupold QR mounts.

    My first reaction to shooting it was liking the lack of kick. I know the 10.5# weight helps, but it is far more pleasant to shoot than my Ruger 77 in .338 with either the factory or the McMillan stocks.

    Now I am working up loads for it. I plan on using the rifle for everything from Whitetails on up, and would like to stick with the 270 grain Nosler Partition bullets. (I love the 210 Noslers in the .338 - great results!)

    Does anyone have a pet load they would care to share, or tips on reloading this great old cartridge?

    Thanks in advance, and thanks for this great forum.

    Jim

  2. #2
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    Default Welcome Jim!

    Jim,
    Congrats on your .375H&H!! It is a great old caliber with many fans here in AK...me being one of them. You should get quite a few responses to your question. I've reloaded it for years, and it is a pleasure. After experimenting around with different powders, I think you'll find that RL-15 will be your go to powder for this cartridge...it's all I ever use these days when working the .375H&H. For the past few years I have exclusively loaded various Barnes X bullets in 270, which I can push pretty fast, and they have been real performers on big game...I've yet to recover a bullet. In the past I did well with 260grn Partitions and RL-15 (accuracy for me was best on the slower side...69-71 grains seemed to be the best charge range for my rifle...as always start low...you know the rest). By the way Partitions only come in 260's and 300's for this caliber, unless there's something new that hasn't made its way north.
    Again, welcome to the forum...and you're right...the people here are not only helpful but respectful as well...Murphy runs a tight ship.
    Doc

  3. #3

    Default

    Doc, thanks for the welcome. Sorry for the weight error - my nickname is Re-Typo. Yes, I meant 260 grain.

    I haven't used the RL powders, using mostly the old-fashioned IMR 4350-4895-4064 range. I guess it is time to branch out a bit.

    Is there any special reason for using the Barnes X instead of the partitions other than the ten grains of weight?

    Jim

  4. #4

    Default

    I agree about the RL-15, and Nosler performance in general. It's especially good in the 375.

    Having said that, don't overlook that Speer 235 for your deer and even your elk hunts. I've zinged a lot of deer with the 375 and in general prefer their reaction to the 235 over heavier bullets. Only one elk with it (Roosevelt 6x6 @ 150-175 yards), and did not recover the bullet. Wound channel was "just right" and no sign of breakup, but no heavy bones encountered along the way.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Welcome to the forums Kalispell Jim! Whitefish/Kalispell and Missoula are my old stomping grounds. Born in Whitefish and grew up between there and Missoula. Moved to Fairbanks from Missoula in 1991. Lots of Montana boys at these forums. I too am impressed with all the info here. It has helped me a lot.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  6. #6
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    Default

    Jim,
    To answer your question, I pretty much exclusively load the 270gr. X's for my .375 because it is my "fall" rifle, i.e., I use it up here in the fall when I'm hunting moose and brown bear. I've taken both with this combination and it has performed perfectly for me. Also, my .375 likes the X's...not all rifles do, although I think the new Triple X's seem to be more universally digested across different calibers and rifles as opposed to the original X's. Lastly, I think I'm just getting set in my my ways, and when I find something that works great I'm good to go and move on to another reloading/gun project.
    Doc

  7. #7
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    Default 375 Loads

    Jim,

    Welcome to the forum. You are in rifle country, and in good company. Do you guys still have a good bull or two around there?

    You're in good hands here, but I'll try to add a little. My 260 Partition load is 72.0 of RL-15 and I have taken several animals with that load. I use 75.0 grains with the 235 grain Speer bullet for a good deer load. That is a very good, inexpensive bullet. I use H4350 with the various 300 grain bullets. I have hauled a 375 around a lot and it is to me the caliber to compare everything else to. It is accurate, shootable and will reach out as far as I can or care to. There are about a zillion good bullets available for it. Straight forward to load for. Only a couple of points I would bring out. I only neck size, or partially F/L size, and don't set the shoulder back at all. This does help stop the stretching because the cases do tend to grow a little and need to be trimmed regularly.

    You'll enjoy the 375, it's a real performer

    Again, welcome, we look forward to your input.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8

    Default 375

    Jim:

    I envy you your location and range of contacts.

    I've shot about every bullet out of my Sako Fiberclass 375 that is on the market.The 260 Nosler , while a bit shabby in the BC department, works wonders on game.

    My rifle likes 73 R 15. Out of a 21.5" barrel (shortened with the installation of a KDF), this load does 2670 instrumental.As you know, Nosler lists this as max, so approach it from 4 grains below.

    I don't remove the KDF in the field.If you do, it is akin to taking a BOSS off a Browning or Winnie...POI will change.Also, the brake offers muzzle protection in case of a sudden slip of fall.

    Personally, I never "hear" a CF rifle go off in the field. My attention is elsewhere.

    This load, with a Leupold 6X42 up top in Leupold mounts, will crowd an inch all day. I wish it had a dink better loading density, but clearly the harmonics on this rig are very good.

    With the brake on, experienced hunters compare it to a light 270...very mild recoil. If Sako put a better pad on the McMillan stock (this one, circa 1988), it would edge ino the ***** cat range.

    All in all, it is my "go to" rifle.Have shot everything from rabbits and dassies to 700 lb Kudu and big Gemsbuck with it. I call it "Big Thunder"...when it speaks, something hits the ground.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Here's a website that is dedicated to the .375 H&H you might find interesting.

    http://webpages.charter.net/375magnum/

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks for the tips. It seems like not too many of the hunters/shooters here in NW MT use the .375, they seem to like the 300 magnums and the short magnums better. Thus I headed north for better info.

    This Flathead country still has some good hunting, but most of the serious hunters head to eastern Montana now for elk or deer and want as flat shooting a rig as they can get.

    Brownbear - I looked at the Speer 235, but it seemed like it might be a little light for elk or bear. Sounds like it might be ok, tho.

    Snyd, you will find that this valley has changed a lot in the last 15 years, and is changing even faster now. More closed roads, less area to hunt in, and more pressure on the accessible areas. BTW, if you ever traded used books in kalispell, we may have met - I run Blacktail Mountain Books here, been doing so since 1979.

    Doc, thanks for the update on why you use the Barnes.

    Murph, Nice to see a navy vet, too, being one myself.

    7STW - Though I love this area, it is changing too fast and I have to admit a move to AK looks better all the time. As far as calibers go, I have this pattern of getting a rifle, using it with factory ammo, then working up Max loads for it, then trading it off for a bigger caliber and repeating the process.

    This pattern started with a 30-30, but will probably end with this .375. It is big enough.

    Just to toss out two more quick questions...

    Anyone use the 300gr Sierra for larger game?

    Case stretching: is there a problem with head separations if one is careful about neck sizing only? I did consider going to a 375 weatherby as the sharper shoulder should help on that.

  11. #11

    Default

    Never had a problem with case stretching or head separation in the 375, w/ or w/o neck sizing. But then again, I don't hotrod loads.

    I haven't shot any game with the 300 Sierra, though I was on hand when a good bull moose was shot at around 200 yards. Angled forward through the liver and out the shoulder from the left size. Still going as far as I can tell. Fine perfomrance in any case, though in all other calibers I've always been a little suspicious of Sierras inside 100 yards. Probably the most reliable expansion I know of very long ranges, though.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Jim,
    I've not used the 300gr Sierra's at all.
    I have NEVER had a case head separation, even after multiple (read that "a whole darn bunch") of reloadings with the same brass...and I do tend to load on the hot side with the 270 X's (76 grains of RL-15). However, I do full length size each time.
    Doc

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