.375 Ruger Or .375 H&H?

Top .375 Ruger, below .375 H&H
Top .375 Ruger, below .375 H&H

Q: I am tossing up which calibre rifle to buy for a buffalo-scrub bull hunt in the N.T in May 2019. I told the gunshop that I was working on a budget and the guy suggested I get a Ruger Hawkeye in .375 Ruger rather than the more expensive Kimber Caprivi or a Winchester Model 70 Safari Express in .375 H&H. He also said that rifles for the .375 Ruger have a standard length action and are more compact and handier. Since I’ll only need two or three boxes of ammo either cartridge will be fine. I’d like your opinion about both rounds and the Ruger rifle? Also, what kind of scope should I put on it?
Robert Matthews

A: I’ve shot about 126 buffaloes with the good old .375 H&H and only a handful with the .375 Ruger, but that was enough for me to prefer the .375 Ruger. For one thing a rifle with a standard length action is handier and quicker to operate for a fast

Nick dropped this bull in its tracks with a 300gn solid travelling at 2660fps from a Ruger Alaskan in .375 Ruger.
Nick dropped this bull in its tracks with a 300gn solid travelling at 2660fps from a Ruger Alaskan in .375 Ruger.

follow-up shot should it be necessary, and the .375 Ruger is ballistically the equal of the longer .375 H&H. The rifle I used was a Ruger Hawkeye with a Hogue stock which absorbed a lot of the recoil making it comfortable to shoot. I used Hornady ammo shooting 300gn solids at 2660fps and they were very effective. I prefer solids to soft-points as they’ll break both shoulders on a bull standing broadside-on, penetrate the skull on a brain shot, plough through chest muscles to reach the boiler room on a frontal shot or on an angling shot. I can recommend the Hawkeye which has Rugers sturdy ring mounts. For a scope I’d suggest the Leupold VX2 2-7×33 Matte Duplex which will handle the close shots on buffaloes and longer shots at donkeys and pigs.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.