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My next project! 375 WSM?

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  • My next project! 375 WSM?

    I've mentioned on this forum about a new FN Winchester model 70 Featherweight in 325WSM that sits in my gun cabinet. I really like this rifle but the gap in the shooting line up that it fills belongs to my 338-06. It will never see any use as is.

    I am lacking a .375(besides my 375 Winchesters). I played with a Howa in 375 Ruger for a while but it was very straight stocked and was a cheek slapper.

    I have been considering sending my 325 WSM to JES Reboring and have him rebore it to .375. Then have the 24 inch barrel cut down to 20 inches and have a good set of sights installed.

    I would suspect better performance than a 375 Scovill and performance that would be on par with or just behind a 375 Taylor.

    I have 300 rounds of WSM brass and several boxes of different .375 bullets to play with so it just seems like the right thing to do!

    Have any of you done one of these yet? Thoughts..pro and con! Thanks EKC

  • #2
    Now you have my sincere attention.

    I've been scratching my head about this ever since the WSM line appeared and narrowed it down to a .358 or .375. Either would be fine, but I think I had started leaning toward the 358 for the better BC of the 250's, compared to the 270's in .375. But of course I already have a couple of 375 H&H's I'm real happy with, one with a 20" barrel. If you do it before I do and post glowing results, I could just as easily swing with a 375 anyway.

    Long as you're expanding necks, have you taken a look at 416? I don't know what else is out there with similar case capacity, but that might make an even better short barrel thumper. You've already got the M70 on hand, but my mind was originally wandering toward the BLR in 325 as a starting point. Any of the three calibers would result in a lever that I'd find a lot more useful than any of my others, I think.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    • #3
      I can see some merit in a .375 WSM. Less than a .375 H&H and more than a .375 Whelen in a rifle that's a bit handier than either. That is enough reason to pursue it EKC. Though if you're going to the trouble and expense of a semi-wildcat then you might consider a 9.3 on the WSM platform....Lots of good bullets to choose from and at the very least it'd be something to talk about.
      Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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      • #4
        A couple of years back a friend of mind, John Noveske, came over to hunt spring bear with me - He showed up with a 416 WSM with an 18" barrel on a model 70 action and it was a sweet "little" gun - I can't remember now what it chrono'd but it was very surprising, it was not unpleasant to shoot and quite accurate - I tried to buy it but he wouldn't let it go and I've been slightly haunted by it's image since - I think a 375 WSM is a grand idea and 20 - 22" seems perfect for the pipe

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        • #5
          I have heard plenty of times that the WSM wasn't worth doing in more than the 325 for the manufacturers and that 358 was about the biggest you should go in a wildcat. Funny thing is that I have never heard anyone give hard data to back up those statements so I am definitely interested to see this come together.

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          • #6
            Any ideas about case capacity once it's re-sized to .375 with an adequate length neck. Any quick load people out there to come up with velocity forecasts?

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            • #7
              I have actually loaded........developed the load date for this cartridge. All the WSM wildcats from 6.5 up to the 416. I have dies from Redding and Dave Manson has made the reamers for this series. A smith in Fairbanks has made guns in this chambering and I used his rifles to develop this load data. I believe barrels were 20 or 21 inches. The dies are now non-custom and cheaper than custom of course. I have data and I do like the performance it is a very efficient cartridge. Lots of horse power from a little powder.
              Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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              • #8
                I too am very interested to track along with this project as I am thinking one of these would take precedence over all others for my "next" - I wonder if there would be enough barrel left in a rebore from a 325 ?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Murphy View Post
                  I have actually loaded........developed the load date for this cartridge. All the WSM wildcats from 6.5 up to the 416.
                  What kind of ball park velocities did you get from the 35, 375 and 416 Murphy?
                  "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                  Merle Haggard

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BrownBear View Post
                    What kind of ball park velocities did you get from the 35, 375 and 416 Murphy?
                    I just logged on to ask the very same thing! So Murphy if you don't mind sharing? I'm all ears especially in regards to the 375WSM. I might even bring it down and let ya shoot it iffen ya let me pick your brain some!

                    I had a conversation with Jess at JES Rifle Reboring today and it's on! I will be sending my rifle his way next week. Will also see about getting a set of dies ordered.

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                    • #11
                      EKC if your doin this on the mod 70 featherweight aren't you a bit concerned it will be a kicker without more weight???
                      May be lookin at a porting job if rig is too light weight, so shortening that bbl to 20in and adding sights may be a problem?
                      When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Smokey View Post
                        EKC if your doin this on the mod 70 featherweight aren't you a bit concerned it will be a kicker without more weight???
                        May be lookin at a porting job if rig is too light weight, so shortening that bbl to 20in and adding sights may be a problem?
                        Not really, the stock design on the model 70 fits me well. It's not near as straight as the Howa in 375 Ruger. The truth is the Howa just didn't feel good when shouldered. I have a 458 Win mag with a 20 inch barrel that doesn't weigh much more than the 325 Featherweight and it kicks plenty but it's not punishing!

                        I like this gun so well that I can man up for the recoil. The Howa in 375 Ruger didn't have that going for it.

                        I never liked ported barrels or muzzle brakes , just to old fashioned I guess(or hard headed)!

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                        • #13
                          I'm with elmerkeithclone: also don't care for ported barrels or muzzle brakes. Never cared for barrels shorter than about 21" or 22" either...causes more muzzle blast, and less velocity. I think the 325WSM would be a superb round opened up to 375. Maybe Winchester will do just that.

                          Marshall/Ak
                          "I love my country...it's the government I'm scared of"

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                          • #14
                            been thinkin' alot about this project and I think for MY needs a 338 WSM would fit better (I think somebody calls it 338 redneck) I don't want to highjack this thread but I would like to hear if anyone knows this wildcat

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                            • #15
                              I had a 416 WSM built up by Gary Junk in Fairbanks on a Ruger 77 MKII that started life as a 350 Rem Mag. Used a Mcgowen 20" stainless barrel and had it contoured to match the Hawkeye Alaskan barrel profile which allowed me to order the banded front and Alaskan rear sights from Ruger. Had those installed and it bedded to a Mcmillan classic.

                              I have a 700KS Safari and a highly customized M70 Classic Stainless and when it comes time to hunt, that little ruger is so light and handy that you always want to grab it instead of the heavier ones. It will put 5x 340gr Woodleighs over 4895 into 1.25".

                              So in the end, go for it, 375 or 416, you will love it.

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