Info on .375 Alaskan rifle cartridge???



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  • Info on .375 Alaskan rifle cartridge???

    I met a good guy at the range this afternoon, and he said his buddy has a Winchester model 70 rifle that has been rechambered to .375 Alaskan. He has shot .375 H&H in it, and the case comes out with a much straighter wall, and a sharper shoulder angle. (The barrel was originally a .375 H&H).

    It seems to me that I heard of a gunsmith on the Kenai Pen that may have designed this cartridge, but I am really not sure.

    Anyway, he would like to get a set of dies for it if anyone has them or knows how to get a set.


  • #2
    I have never heard of a 375 Alaskan. A google search turned up a few hits mostly to midway. They also mention the Name "McGowen" as part of the name. Most of the Alaskan cartridges I have heard of are based off of the 348 winchester, but that would be unlikely to be seen in a bolt gun and 375 H&H would not chamber if that was the case.

    I number of 375's are Based on the 375 H&H with straightened sides and steeper neck angle. These include the 375 H&H Ackley Improved and the 375 Weatherby.

    The best corse of action would be to do a chamber cast and find out exactly what is there.


    • #3
      It's definitely not an Ackley Improved

      Bandhmo--thanks for the info. He mentioned that they had measured a fired case, and it didn't match up with the AI. He might have a one-off wildcat here. It's probably a good cartridge design, but it might be cheaper to get it rebarrelled than to get set up for this one.


      • #4
        + on the casting

        I remember reading about a 450(?) Alaskan (I think) that was created by a fella on the Kenai. Probably some sort of deviant of that incantation. I also recall that there were a few of those chambers marked with the 'Alaskan' moniker that were not quite what was expected. (not quite conforming to the spec). Either way it sound like a good chambering and a cast would reveal the truth. Bet it packs a wallop.

        See here:


        • #5
          Send three or four fired cases to rcbs and for $$$? they will send you a set of dies to fit. Used to be about $100 but I don't know now. Much easier than a rebarrel. Went in to one of or local gunstore custom gunshops a few years ago to have a new barrel put on a 270. The guy told me about $700 would do it. Never went there again.


          • #6
            The only gunsmith on the Kenai Peninsula that I know of who has the equipment, etc. to do the things you describe is Clifford Hugg, 260-5871. He is in Soldotna and based on what I have seen of his operation he could build just about anything anyone might want, and perhaps quite a few things that you only think you want! I won't pretend to know all of the gunsmiths on the peninsula but I bet if someone else down that way has his capabilities he would know who they are.



            • #7
              The man who came up with the .450 Alaskan was Harold Johnson in the 1950's I think. There was an article about him in Handloader awhile back, but I can't remember exactly when. I believe his shop was in Cooper Landing, and according to the article he left Alaska in the early 1960's and eventually went into selling industrial diesel engines, oddly enough.



              • #8
                If it was Harold; his son Jeff is still in Anchorage. Works at Equipment Source International. (ESI)


                • #9
                  What you are describing is a 375 H&H Improved which among others includes the 375 Ackley Improved, 375 Weatherby, 375 JRS, and the 375 H&H Magnum Improved with the greatest case capacity (by about 1 grain more of H20 than the others). I would have to suspect that you may have one of the above....but labeled as a 375 Alaskan vs someone's wildcat. Having Huntington or RCBS make a die from a cast of the chamber is good advice and will certainly be cheaper than a new barrel.
                  "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"


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