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.375 H&H for deer

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by goalie, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. goalie

    goalie Well-Known Member

    I usually muzzle-load for deer, but this year I am going to Hawaii during muzzle-loading season, so it looks like I am going to go rifle hunting with one of the guys I usually muzzle-load with and his uncles on a bunch of private land. Anyhow, I could always borrow my brother's .270, but I already have a .375 H&H, and the Sierra manual has a reduced load for a 200gr bullet that they say is good for deer hunting. I was wondering if anyone has shot some whitetails with a .375, and if so, was it that big of a deal to just use the regular "light" bullets (you know, the 235ish grainers) on them, or if I should try the "downloaded" deer load?
  2. killzone

    killzone Well-Known Member

    that is just fine

    you'll have people say that its too much gun but its OK. it worked just fine for me and its not that big of a hole ... Its like 338..
  3. dakotasin

    dakotasin Well-Known Member

    never used a 375, but have used a 338 loaded to full honk.

    use the 375, but i would strongly advise against loading down. use the 'real' loads.
  4. yorec

    yorec Well-Known Member

    I knew a guy who claimed the .375 made best deer gun since it cored a hole that was .375 inches all the way through the animal no matter the angle. Said of course it worked better penetrating stem to stern no matter the angle with a slug that was as large in diameter all the way through as most other "deer rounds" full expanded at terminal performance. "They would always have two holes to bleed from instead of just an entrance wound." He espoused solid bullets for this and said he only ever had to chase his deer a few dozen yards and a hundred yards a couple of times or so... :rolleyes: When I asked what kind of blood trail the deer would leave he just looked at me blankly and said he just walked to where it dropped, never noticed much blood. Said that he didn't have a need to track them since he knew he missed if they kept running! :eek: :fire:

    I think it would work fine using ammo that would function in the deer's body apropriately. Coring a hole is not the same as imparting energy. Use a bullet that will expand inside the deer's body - exit wounds are not nearly as important as the internal damage caused by energy transfer during expansion. The internal bleeding and organ shock is much more important that letting fluid out of the exit wound.

    My wife shot a deer yesterday that illustrated this very well - it was hit high in the back at over three hundred yards. (Custom .270 Win with 130 gr Sierra GameKings) Of course the hit anchored it, paralysing the deer, but what was interesting was the amount of bloodshot in the lung tissue I discovered on cleaning it. It was everywhere and I doubt he would have survived to run much after the shot even though the bullet never entered the ribcage. No bullet or bone fragments did either - I looked. The lungs were intact and had not external marks on them, but they were still out of commision from the high energy wound striking so solidly right above them.
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    I've killed a couple of deer with the .375H&H. It makes a fine deer round. use a good 250 gr or 270 gr bullet loaded up to about 2600fps or so I use a 270 at 2650fps.

    Blood shot is minium and the bullet expandes just like it should and exits. Drops deer real nicley if you hit them in the vitals. If you don't they'll run off just like any other rifle.

    The .375H&H will do less meat damage than your average small bore high velocity deer popper like a .300 mag or a .270. and it shoots just about as falt as a .30-06.

    The .338win is just about a ballistic twin to the .375H&H. The only difference being that it is so often associated with Afrian dangerous game hunting that people mistakenly think that the round is only suitable as an "elephant gun". Nothing could be further from the truth.

    It does just about everything a .338 does and develops almost the exact same velocities and energies for a given sectional density and weight bullet.

    When peiople hear .375H&H they think Africa. When people hear .338win they think North America. It is a psycological misnomer and a conspiracy I tell you!!
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

    The Remington Core Lokt'd 270 grain load --"Blood shot is minium and the bullet expandes just like it should and exits" .
    For Caribou and the occasional big white tail or mulie out of state I use the Rem 270 load above, as that is what the gun is sighted for. OR I load a 250 Barnes X Bullet to 2800 which hits lower than the 270 load, being dead on at 100yards(instead of 1.5" high as the 270 is) and keeps pretty flat to 400yards, which is a hundred yards farther than the 270 load.
    I like a .375H&H for all hunting. However in close cover a .35 Rem or 45-70 is just as good up to 100 yards and under 500 pounds game weight. A .270 or .308 is prolly a better specialised deer load. NOTHING is better than the .375 H&H as an all around big game cartridge, all this considered IMHO. :cool:
  7. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    If I had to pick only one rifle for use in Africa, it'd be the .375 H&H. I've taken everything from springbok to buffalo with it, and it is truly a superb all-rounder. You should have no trouble using it on typical American deer - just tailor your ammo selection to the intended target.
  8. pmc

    pmc Member

    Works great

    I have hunted with my 375. My deer load is 235 Speer over 74 gr of RL-15. Makes good for about 2600 fps. It hammers 'em.

  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    I've used a cast 200 grain bullet in my .35 Brown-Whelen, loaded to about 1800 fps. At any reasonable range, it penetrates completely and leaves a very nice blood trail -- not that you need it, since the deer is usually found lying within sight of the spot where first hit.
  10. salty

    salty Well-Known Member

    Nice choice - keep your bullet speed down, use a heavy grain bullet and you will hammer 'em down with min. meat spoilage. :neener:
  11. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Well-Known Member

  12. Myles

    Myles Well-Known Member

    I like .375 Winchester as an all-around rifle. Deer, Hog, Black Bear.

    I see now reason why .375 H&H loaded down wouldn't be just fine.
  13. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    I am really glad to hear that a lot of people are making sense. I get tired of threads with everybody downing people who use a little too much gun. They seem to think that anything bigger than a .243 will render half the deer inedible. Not true at all. With the proper bullet, the bigger cartridge will be no harder on the chops than the smaller ones. Go for it.
  14. schlockinz

    schlockinz Well-Known Member

    It'll poke a nice hole, plus, you don't have to worry about the blood shot meat that a faster bullet can produce.

    I wouldn't hesitate to take this round, might even take it over others like the 257wby, but then again, I'm going after white tail this year with a 45-70 for fun :evil:
  15. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    The problem with the .375 is that, first of all, for most people it generates too much recoil. A handloader can load it down, but someone who doesn't handload is stuck with factory loads.

    Next, it's expen$$$ive. Factory ammo is sky high, and brass is expensive, too if you're a handloader. The bullets are expensive, and that case just eats up powder.
  16. saturno_v

    saturno_v Well-Known Member


    You are right, but on average the 338 shoot flatter and with the same bullet weight has the advantage of higher SD.

    However I would not call them exactly ballistic twin (again, talking about average loadings)...the 375 has a bit more muzzle energy but the 338 has better retained energy downrange (with the same bullet weight the 338 tend to have a better BC).

    Definitely they almost completely overlap in terms of general hunting performance...still some nonsensical laws in some African countries ban the 338 WM from being used against lions....it is quintessential stupid but this is the way it is....maybe this is one of the reasons why the 338 has not gained more popularity in Africa.

    I own a 338 and I want to buy an "African cartridge" rifle to add variety to my firearm collection.....definitely I will not look for a 375...too close in performance to what I already own, I think I will opt for a 458 Win Mag or a 458 Lott.

    In North America the 338 Win Mag is the most powerful chambering commonly found in inexpensive quality rifles (Tikka, Weatherby Vanguard, Savage, Mossberg 4X4, etc..), you can buy a brand new one for $400 or less....definitely is not the case with the 375 H&H....
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009
  17. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Well-Known Member

    Saturno, what about the .460 Weatherby?
  18. schlockinz

    schlockinz Well-Known Member

    How about a 45-70 in a ruger No. 1?
  19. saturno_v

    saturno_v Well-Known Member


    I'm sorry but a 45-70 in my book doesn't qualify as an African cartridge (for "African" I mean Elephant/Rhino/Hippo rifle)...I want something from 5000 ft/lb and up :evil::D


    The 460 is very nice but extremely pricey (even used, you cannot put your hand on one for less than $2000-2500k where I live)
    I do not reload and even few rounds for fun at the range would cost me a fortune.

    The 458 Win Mag is the classic Big 5 safari cartridge "on budget" (both ammo and rifles)...a poor man Elephant round!!! :D:D

    I can find used 458 rifles in excellent condition for less than $1000 and before the ammo crisis I could occasionally find 458 ammo on sale for $40-50 a box in some big stores like Cabela's or Sportsman's Warehouse.

    I like the 458 Lott because you can shoot the more "economical" 458 Win Mag in it.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  20. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Well-Known Member

    I didn't know about that, nice switch out, I wish I could shoot other .300 mag ammo in my .300 wby, I do see what you're saying about the .460 being expensive.

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