.375 H&H

Question:

I will be elephant hunting in Botswana next year. Is a .375 H&H with a 350-grain solid enough gun?


Answer:

Yes, it is. Karomojo Bell proved to the world that even the .256 MS (6.5x54 mm), the 7mm Mauser (7x57 mm) and the .303 British, with 160-, 175-, and 215-grain steel-jacketed solids, respectively, were adequate, provided shot placement was perfect and the bullet reached the brain.

I presume you'll be backed by a competent, suitably armed professional who will help out should things not work out as planned so I have no hesitation in recommending this fine, Africa proven caliber/cartridge combination. The .375 H&H was the choice of professional elephant hunters like Harry Manners and it is the minimum recommendation for PH backup work. With regard to huge bodied, thick-skinned creatures like elephants, a larger caliber and heavier bullet will always be better, but only if shot placement is equally as good. If it isn't, the .375 H&H, which is certainly more shooter-friendly, is definitely “enough gun.”

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Question:

I am having a custom rifle built and have narrowed the caliber to either the .375 H&H, .404, or the .416 Rigby. I would like to use the rifle for hunting and back up use in Alaska for brown bear, and moose and hopefully take it to Africa someday. All three calibers have their good points and I am really having a hard time making up my mind.


Answer:

I could write a book on your question. In fact I have covered all this pretty thoroughly in my latest buffalo hunting book, Africa's Most Dangerous. It has an extensive chapter of caliber and bullet selection which I think you'll find interesting.

To be honest, I think you'll get more use out of a scoped .375 H&H than you will with either of the other two you mention. Nothing beats the H&H for versatility. With 210-, 235-, and 250-grainers it can shoot as flat as a .30-06 and with modern 350- and 380-grainers it hits almost as hard as the .400s. It'll cover the whole African spectrum better than the other two will if that is what you want.

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Question:

If someone had the intention of only taking one rifle to Africa to shoot mostly plains game, but would also like to hunt buffalo, elephant, and lion, would you say that the best all-round affordable caliber is the .375? The .375 was recommended to me for both distance and capability to kill (understanding that the PH would be able to “stop” an elephant or buffalo with his rifle), but I would love your input on the matter.


Answer:

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