.375 Ruger
One of two buffaloes Nick dropped in their tracks with a .375 Ruger using 300gn solid Federal factory ammunition

What’s best? .375 Ruger versus .375 H&H

Q: I own a Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 and I am pondering whether to rebarrel and convert it for either the .375 Ruger or the .375 H&H. 

The rifle will frequently see use in the NT and on a planned African safari for Cape buffalo and selected plains game. I will use factory ammunition — a 270gn soft point for plains game and 300gn solid for buffalo.

Which cartridge would you prefer? Why?

Edward Carstairs

A: My good friend Ken Harding asked me exactly that same question a few years ago. He had purchased a Sako L61 Finnbear action new in the box and commissioned Rob Spittles to build him a custom rifle. 

No contest; I advised Ken to choose the .375 Ruger and he is very happy with the rifle and cartridge.

I have had a lot of use from my Winchester Model 70 in .375 H&H, accounting for around 160 buffaloes. Later, I had another Model 70 in .375 Weatherby Magnum which is a better round in every way and a big improvement over the standard H&H. 

Why do I prefer the .375 Ruger? Though my experience of the .375 Ruger may be limited, and it doesn’t quite equal the ballistics of the .375 Wby Mag, it comes in a more compact package and cases don’t need fire-forming.

The modern .375 Ruger case is beltless and shorter (65.5mm or 2.580”) in length, with a 30-degree shoulder and has minimum taper, dropping from .532” (13.51mm) at the base to .515” (13.08mm) at the shoulder. 

Case capacity of the .375 Ruger is just about ideal for the .375 calibre. 

Both cartridges work at a maximum chamber pressure of 62,000psi, giving the Ruger a slight edge over the H&H in velocity and energy.

Factory ammunition drives a 270gn bullet at 2840fps with 4835ft-lb of energy at the muzzle, and a 300gn bullet at 2660fps with 4713ft-lb.

The .375 Ruger fits in a .30-06 length action, which makes it handier and faster handling. And that’s all of my why! 




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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.