Is my Man Card in Jeopardy? .375 H&H Mag is too much for me

Your man card is in jeopardy only if you attach a muzzle brake. As for owning a .375, I think the Rule of Eight applies, meaning if you have eight or more rifles in your collection one of them should be a H&H Magnum. My wife and I subscribe to this rule and have now become a three .375 family. She got her first one as a wedding gift from the Dr. who delivered her. She seldome shoots hers, which is the Pre-WWII M-70 at bottom of pics. At top is a M-70 done over by Griffin & Howe sometime back in the 1950's. Our 3rd .375 is a M-70 currently at a custom gunsmith having new wood and bottom metal fitted. IMG-3075-2.jpg IMG-3077-2.jpg
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I bought a Sako .375 H&H Mag from a buddy awhile back to help him out.
He picked it up with a group of rifles and had not ever shot it.

I had no need for it, but I love playing with all sorts of rigs.

Searching the 'net, it sounded like it would not be a punishing rifle.

I can run my .338LM round after round and keep a smile on my face.
My 45-70 is a bit abusive, but tames way down with the suppressor.
This Sako knocks me into next week!!!

This cartridge has an amazing history and is still relevant today.
I was really looking forward to tinkering with it.
I don't have a desire to down load it. That kinda defeats the purpose of having it, in my opinion.

I am not a fan of getting rid of guns.
I always end up regretting it.
However, I think this one has to go.

Has anyone else ended up in this situation?

Do we lose our Man Card or just get hit with a few Demerits?

I would reload it. Cast bullets have turned many a hard kicking rifle into a solid, enjoyable hunting gun. 8mm Mauser, 45/70 and .458 Winchester mag to name a few. .375 H&H would be an excellent candidate.
I have three different loads that I commonly use for my 375 H&H. One uses a 250 grain bullet at moderate speeds for use in the USA (range and game load), one is a medium load with 270 grain bullets that is used for plains game in Africa, and the third is a full house load with 300 grain pills for large/dangerous game. There is quite a bit of difference in the recoil level of these loads when fired from my M70 SE, and the moderate loads are not too bad. Truthfully, I don't enjoy shooting the 300 grain load from a bench at all. Nobody that I have ever met really enjoys heavy recoil.

On my rifles chambered in 416 RM or larger I sight them in from a standing bench rest. Using a standing bench is the only way that this old fellow can tolerate the big ones, and even then firing more that a few rounds through them will give me a headache.
I shot a friend’s.375 H&H a few times off of a bench. The recoil wasn’t noticeably more than my .338.

I do know he was loading a light bullet, 235 grains. But he was loading those light pills hot.

10 gauge single shot, with 3.5” loads, at a stationary target rocked my fillings loose. Swinging on a moving target, not so much.

A .50 caliber bolt action was probably the hardest kicking gun I’ve shot. But I shot it offhand so it wasn’t terrible.
Wow! Lots of great comments, suggestions and questions.

Let me start by saying thank you.

So... here goes....

Loads were factory 270/gr & 300/gr.
Shooting off of a bag and bench.

I agree that standing when shooting makes a big difference.
I agree that 3 1/2 magnums in a shot gun are no fun at all.
I agree that when you are actually shooting at your quarry, you never feel or even hear the rifle.

I put a slip-on squishy pad on it. It wasn't much help.

I like the "rule of eight"! I would definitely be a candidate.

I am no stranger to snuggling up tight on a rifle.
I'm going to say that my form was not a factor.

As for down loading it, I feel like that negates the purpose of having a heavy hitter like the .375 but I am not 100% opposed to it.
I have looked into it.
I have H4895, Primers, 270/gr bullets and 20/pcs of brass that are prepped and ready to load.

I honestly am not interested in re-stocking it and spending money on making modifications.
I picked it up to play with and add another cool rig to the toy box (as is).
FYI You have to cut the butt pad off of the Sako. I'm pretty sure it is made out of repurposed Hockey Pucks!!!

Pigs are the target of choice.
They are fun to hunt and make for some really good eating.

My average shot is around 125 yards, as well as being at night.
The iron sights are a white line and a white dot.
I'm going to venture to say they are for fast acquisition at close range.

With that said, I'll need to scope it if I want to hunt pigs.
That's an expense I wouldn't mind, if I looked forward to pulling the trigger again and again.
Right now, I don't.

There are a lot of good posts here.
Y'all sure are making me want keep monkeying around with it.

Maybe I'll down load it and see what I think.
Everything is sitting right here. All I have to do is decide on the powder charge.

Thanks again everyone!
I live in Alaska and helped my buddy sight his 375 HH at the range. I think it took me like 12 shots. I literally got a nosebleed from the concussion while doing so. Im not a novice shooter. Its less painful when shooting in real life instead of behind the thing trying to sight it in.

You get to keep your man card. Takes more being a man of being able to know limitations, likes, or dislikes than to just continue doing something because of what others may think.
It's good to know your comfort level.

I have shot the 375 H&H . Passed on 458, 50, 460/500 wildcat pistol & the 505 Gibbs. No charging elephants in this neighborhood.

Stock fit made the 45/70 Marlin & a S&W 30-06 rifle hurt more then the 375. Some 12 slugs gun may get your attention , also.
It's good to know your comfort level.

I have shot the 375 H&H . Passed on 458, 50, 460/500 wildcat pistol & the 505 Gibbs. No charging elephants in this neighborhood.

Stock fit made the 45/70 Marlin & a S&W 30-06 rifle hurt more then the 375. Some 12 slugs gun may get your attention , also.

I have had my fill of 12/g slug guns and I don't even own one.

I was helping a co-worker years ago get an 870 rigged for a hunt. He was invited to Ohio by some friends and was told he had to hunt with a slug gun.

He bought some sort of "saddle" scope mount. I put it on and mounted the scope for him.
We went and tried to dial it in. After a few rounds, the mount broke. That thing kicked something horrible!!!

Long story short, I found a stock that collapsed on / into itself. It was rigged with springs and cables.
I don't remember the name. It did work as advertised.

No slug guns for me! LOL
Practice and a good recoil pad go a long way together. While not very recoil sensitive, I don't think someone who is less of a man. What makes a real man is above the shoulders, and not at shoulder height, so I was taught.
Are you willing to endure a broken collar bone or detached retena? I don't go for those 20 year old bravado games any more because I'm no longer 20. If there is nothing you really want, just keep it. If you have a special gun you've wanted I'd trade or dispose of it to get that instead. I'm the first guy to give a fellow grief just for fun, but I'm also the kinda leader that congratulates good and smart decisions. I inherited a 45-70 and I'll continue to enjoy my powder puff metallic Silhouette loads with trail boss.
I don't much mind handgun recoil but have always been a wuss when it comes to rifles. Something about having the violence at arm's length rather than right up in my face...

So anything much more than a .243 gets on my nerves. Yet one of my favorite rifles is a .416 Rigby. The key: I don't shoot full power loads very much. Terry Wieland's Dangerous Game Rifles was a bit of a revelation for me in that he suggested not only that reduced loads were OK for a "serious" rifleman, but that anyone who didn't use them was a bit of a fool. The idea is that nobody - not even the most hairy-chested African bwana - is capable of extensive practice with a .375+ class rifle without developing a flinch, so the only reasonable way to develop complete competence with your heavy is to shoot lots of reduced loads and just a handful of full-power ones.

I took that to heart in a big way and worked up cast bullet loads with Trail Boss and 5744. A typical practice session includes fifty or so rounds, and maybe five of those will be full power. Call me a sissy if you will, but I enjoy that big rifle - and know how to use it!
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I have a Mossberg Patriot in 375 Ruger. Similar ballistics in a standard length action. Had to add weight to the stock to be able to shoot it. Nowhere near as nice a rifle as your Sako. Full bore rounds for elk season. Sight in, use successfully, and wait for next year. But, you can load it to 375 Win levels and use it on the range with hard cast lead bullets as you like. I’m sure the same can be done with 375 H&H
.375 H&H is a recoil crazy, 100 yo cartridge to kill elephant. Men ate raw meat with a side of blood and worked in Coal Mines back then. And that was before breakfast.

All our man cards are relative! lol
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I used to pride myself in being able to shoot anything I could get my hands on and enjoy it. This included a six gauge shotgun, 458 #1 Ruger, seven gauge live pigeon gun and various 45-70s, 44 mag handguns plus.
Several guns hurt me. Dad's Model 12 3" duck gun with #4 buck (I was fifteen, 140# and wearing a t-shirt). A Benelli Nova and 3 1/2" turkey shells and an H&R Buffalo Classic 45-70. A Red hawk 454 was stupid.
Arthritis and age have tempered my enthusiasm for self flagellation and now I am content with my well fitting trap gun, my "normally" chambered handguns, and can still shoot a hundred 12 ga shells on the field in an enjoyable afternoon. No, your man card is intact.
My .375 is a .375 Ruger rather than a .375 H&H. I have not shot a factory load to date. I most enjoy shooting 235 grain Speer Hot-Cors over Varget. 78.0 grains gives me 2,900 fps, a moderate load capable of taking everything I'm likely to hunt. I need to see if I can duplicate a 300 grain dangerous game load just to see what it feels like. I say keep the gun and load it for purpose. No need to beat yourself up with a Cape Buffalo load here in the U.S.
Shooting off of a bag and bench.
This probably varies widely by individual but this is a huge difference for me. A standing bench was mentioned above, this is the way the fine English gunmakers test their big bores. Never hunched over them on a sitting bench.

Put it this way, the last time we had a family reunion, my 60yr old 100lb aunt shot up all my .416Rigby ammo and was disappointed when it ran out. It was a near-max 400gr handload. Don't remember which powder.
never been a fan of excessive recoil. I find gloves help, a shoulder recoil pad, a good butt pad on the firearm, and a good fit, or at least very solid shooting posture and position. not sure I would even bother firing that myself, so - you one upped me, if that helps with the man card.
I bought a Sako .375 H&H Mag from a buddy awhile back to help him out.

This Sako knocks me into next week!!!

Has anyone else ended up in this situation?

I've fired a few hard kickers. My 458 kicks more than a 375, but it's a slow kick, OK, a BIG slow kick, but you can roll with it a bit. I find it less unpleasant than something like a 300 Weatherby, which while it kicks less than a 458, delivers the recoil as a fast, sharp blow, like getting punched by a boxer. And yes, don't shoot them off a bench, use a standing rest.

The one gun I've gotten rid of because of recoil was a Ruger No. 1 Tropical in 375. That gun gave a kick that was big AND fast, and thoroughly unpleasant. So down the road it went.