Introduced in 1912 by the British company of Holland & Holland, the .375 caliber soon became one of the deadliest calibers in existence for versatility, reliability, accuracy and stopping power. It is rather a larger caliber but with high velocity and a flat trajectory, the bullet has unprecedented accuracy.
Along with its accuracy, it boasted unprecedented stopping power for nearly all game that is hunted on the planet, including elephant and rhino. These are two big game animals with thick hide and craniums that bullets need to penetrate for that quick clean kill that all hunters desire.
The image below shows how the .375 H&H compares to other cartridges of the same caliber, she is quite a big round at just over 3½ inches long.
.375 Holland and Holland magnum caliber rifles are
as popular today as when they first appeared nearly one hundred years ago. Rifles
chambered for this caliber are not too heavy or too elongated to tote
around the bush. Many quality rifles today that adopt this caliber have
exceptionally smooth and positive bolt operation.
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The best rifle to have that is chambered for this caliber would indeed be the bolt action, there is no need for semi-automatic fire, as the shooter can trust in the fact that only one shot is needed to down game. The .375 H&H shooter rarely needs a follow up shot on wounded game that other calibers can sometimes warrant.
SOME EXAMPLES OF THE .375 H&H RIFLE
Below is the Remington 786 Safari bolt action rifle chambered for the .375 H&H Magnum. This is one of the most successful rifles chambered for this caliber.
Below the Mauser is still a very popular choice for a fine hunting rifle, made even better when a fine pair of telescopic sights are fitted to it though. This version is the M03. It is light, uncomplicated and easy to bring to bear on the target.
Below is pictured the CZ 550 Safari bolt action hunting rifle in .375 H&H Magnum, this very popular rifle is also easy to handle, quite light and fires the big caliber quite well with the expected sharp recoil.
A.K.A THE NITRO EXPRESS
It is possible that the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum formerly know as The Nitro Express is possibly the greatest rifle caliber of all time. Many suggest that it is perhaps too big and too powerful, maybe even a case of overkill, but when you are hunting big game or taking long distance shots then you need all the power and accuracy possible for that clean kill or bulls-eye shot...and the .375 H&H Magnum can deliver both.
The .375 H&H will drop a deer dead on its feet and not smash up the meat any more than say a .270 or .300 caliber would. Furthermore the .375 H&H Magnum has been the undisputed champion for bagging dangerous game right the way up to Cape buffalo and elephant with a single shot kill.
Be it moose, big bear or elk the .375 H&H Magnum can be depended on where other calibers may slacken off to a two round kill, the second round being more of a coupe d' grace shot on the downed, stricken and still alive game. The .375 H&H Magnum delivers a super flat trajectory over and beyond 400 meters when using spitzer type ammunition and delivers a knockout punch like comparing Mike Tyson to a middleweight.
One of the only draw backs of this caliber was the poor variety of bullet heads for the shooters all favorite pastime of hand loading. This is now changing and changing fast as Nosler, Speer, Hornady, African Grand Slam and even the popular Barnes X- and MRX bullets are now catering for the .375 H&H Magnum, this along with the amount of custom bullets of controlled expansion design has given the kiss of life to this venerable old round.
A Sierra 300 grain spitzer boat-tail or a 250 grain Grand Slam bullet has been proven to be an ideal and unbeatable round for maximum penetration instant kills on African antelope, Cape buffalo and big Elks, and at longer ranges than the more common calibers.
If hunting dangerous game such as African lion and Brown bear then of course a controlled expansion round is really the only serious option and the Nosler Partition or the Barnes MRX are fantastic choices.
Below is some information about the Nosler partition.
The Barnes MRX has a patented Slivex® core that is surrounded by an all copper body. The manufactures say that the dense tungsten based core makes the MRX bullet shorter than their other counterparts and gives increased penetration of the toughest hide even heavy bone.
The streamlined polymer tip gives a flatter trajectory and enhanced expansion at longer ranges, upon impact the MRX expands into four tough copper petals that double the bullets original diameter creating maximum shock and tissue damage at short or long range. The special multi rings cut into the bullets base offer great accuracy and reduce fouling in the barrel.
Sierra also offer a couple of bullets that should suit any hunter armed with the .375 H&H Magnum.
Also the .375 H&H Magnum needs a good powder to shove that slug up the barrel and two of the most popular powders are IMR-4064 and also H4895. These powders burn at an excellent rate giving enough combustion and pressure build up to fire the bullet at an optimal velocity.
Overall the .375 H&H magnum is an excellent choice for the hunter, be it big game, silhouette or long range target shooting. The recoil of this big caliber is one that the shooter of course has to get used to, but all rifle shooters are accustomed to the kick that almost every rifle gives apart from .22, so it should not present to much of a problem for the experienced.
Below is a ballistics table for the technically minded.
There are many custom rifles that can be sought and bought, off the internet, from gun shops, shooting brochures classifieds etc. There are a nice range of Custom .375 Holland & Holland Magnum rifles from a company called Kilimanjaro. I will feature some of their best selling ones below. Images courtesy of Kilimanjaro Sporting Rifles.
.375 H&H Kilimanjaro African
.375 H&H Kilimanjaro Kessler African
.375 H&H Kilimanjaro Merlin
.375 H&H Kilimanjaro Jaguar
.375 H&H Kilimanjaro British Express
.375 H&H Kilimanjaro Eastman
All of these rifles respectively feature some nice custom tuning, custom parts and fine custom detailing. Such as stainless steel barrels, diamond blur checkered bolts, diamond fleur engraving and ebony forearm end caps.
Case hardened scope clamps and foresight protectors are a nice Kilimanjaro touch of class and elegance. Traditional case hardening is done by cyaninde dipping and amongst its other virtues, also renders an eloquent and colorful pattern on the steel.
Special case hardening with engravings and exhibition grade Turkish Walnut stocks also befit many of these rifles. The example shown below is quite superb.
They are of course all chambered to fire the one shot one kill, high power .375 Holland & Holland Magnum cartridge. The diamond cut patterns on the bolts of these rifles is also a nice touch of class.
Overall I am quite impressed with the Kilimanjaro range of .375 H&H Magnum rifles and would love to own one of these one day.
Check out their website by clicking the logo above. I am not affiliated with this company and don't get paid to advertise them. They are just great guns to feature on this webpage.
Page created June 20th 2009. Updated November 11th 2012.