BRNO 602

.375 H&H Archaic

Q: I own a Brno ZKK 602 in .375 H&H that I started reloading for. But I’ve struck problems with partial case head separations after only two or three reloads. Is there any solution for this? I’m aware that there are many good bullets of conventional 270gn and 300gn weight and of course the 285gn Speer Grand Slam that I used with excellent success in Zimbabwe last year to take kudu and eland. However, the .375 doesn’t shoot all that flat, and I want to use my rifle for deer hunting with light bullets like the 235gn Speer. I would appreciate any advice you offer about getting around my problem with case life and also a good deer load with the 235gn Speer. I’ve been using the peep sight on my gun but would like your advice on what scope and mount to choose that will stand up to the heavy recoil.
– Alan Parsons

A: Having had considerable experience with the .375 H&H I am well aware of its shortcomings. It doesn’t shoot as flat as some of the other smaller calibre magnums, or hit as hard as others. It is actually a compromise, but it’s more than adequate for most dangerous game anywhere in the world. The only drawback to the .375 is its 1912-vintage case. The long taper and small shoulder results in very smooth feeding, but it’s archaic. I struck the same problem you have and found that cases needed trimming after only a couple of reloads.
I recommend you do what I did with my post-64 Model 70 Winchester and have your rifle rechambered to .375 Weatherby Magnum which will give you an extra 200 fps and make the rifle shoot noticeably flatter. In the standard .375 a charge of 86gn of W-760 drives the 235gn Speer at 2828 fps; in the .375 Weatherby 85gn of AR2208 got 3050fps. But the velocity of the heavier bullets was also boosted – 2886fps with the 270gn Hornady, 2820fps with the 285gn Speer and 2750fps with the 300gn Nosler Partition. The sharper-shouldered case with minimum body taper seldom needed trimming and had no partial head separations. Since the .375 isn’t an ultra-long range outfit and is generally used for larger game animals, the most sensible choices are either a fixed 2-1/2x, a 3x or a low range variable of 1-1/2-4x or 1-3/4-5x. Because the .375 has a magnum length action, avoid compact scopes with objective bells larger than the scope tube which will require extension rings and preferably choose a lightweight scope with 1-inch tube that won’t put too much pressure in the rings under heavy recoil. Warne rings No. 5001B have an extension which fits in a recess in the side of the action bridge to provide a solid anchor point.




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