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View Full Version : .375 Ruger or .375 H&H?


Will C
January 10, 2014, 01:36
I have a rifle in each caliber. They both seem to drop game with equal aplomb, however I'm trying to thin the herd and reduce the number of guns and calibers in my collection.

The H&H is an old Sako with a butter smooth action and has been around the block - bluing wear, stock needs refinishing etc. The other is a Ruger Alaskan, stainless with factory black finish and 20" barrel. They both bark, they both kick (Sako a little less due to magnaporting) and they are both fairly heavy with the optics mounted. But, I like having a .375 in my hands when hunting in brown bear country.

Really torn here as to which needs to go. I like the Sako for its beautiful lines, handling qualities and super smooth action. The Ruger is blocky and not comfortable to handle, but tough as nails and here in the coastal rainforest the stainless/synthetic construction is a big plus.

It's probably gonna come down to the chambering. The H&H of course is a long established cartridge and isn't going away anytime soon. Any opinions on whether the .375 Ruger is a passing fad or has some real staying power? Which rifle should be the "keeper"??

Andy the Aussie
January 10, 2014, 01:46
H&H...!!!!! Because I both love that round AND the Sako it rides in....!!!!!!!!! I don't think that Ruger has built a rifle that should sit at the table with an (older at least) Sako... ;)

MAINER
January 10, 2014, 11:26
Geeez! Was hoping for a harder question. :rolleyes:

Rugers abound, run the Sako around the block again. You'd never forgive yourself if you sold it anyway. :tongue:

grumpy1
January 10, 2014, 11:57
While I believe the 375 Ruger has round has its advantages, I don't know it if has the staying power. Living in Alaska, I would look at which you can get ammo for the easiest. Spend a day hitting all the gun/ ammo stores in your area and see which you can find more often.

If it were me, I'd sell the Ruger and take the money and spend some of it in re-finnishing the Sako. Living where you do I would look at one of the new paint type finishes. Most are every bit as good stainless steel. Also if you ever do get to the dark continent the H&H will be a bonus there to if your ammo doesn't arrive with you, as most PH's will have some in there camp.

When the 300 WSM & RSAUM came out, I really like concept of the round and what it had to offer. Both rounds are almost identical, SAMMI almost didn't recognise the Remington round. I put a self imposed time limit of 5 years before I allowed myself to buy one. I figured that would give it plenty of time to sort out which was going to stay for the long run. I think Remington dropped the SAUM calibers from its line up last year or so. When I bought mine, finding ammo for the SAUM was hard now its really hard.

Hope this helps

Andy the Aussie
January 10, 2014, 16:26
OK... had this one since 1983, I was 14 when I snapped it up, even THEN I knew I wanted a H&H...

http://i997.photobucket.com/albums/af98/Andy_the_Aussie/Guns/M70_375No2_zps389392b3.jpg (http://s997.photobucket.com/user/Andy_the_Aussie/media/Guns/M70_375No2_zps389392b3.jpg.html)

... about 12 montsh ago I came across a like new 1980s vintage Sako H&H... I have never been tempted to part with the Mod 70 EVER before that. I am still disappointed in myself for NOT grabbing the Sako AS WELL as the Mod70.

Aeroscout
January 10, 2014, 16:39
+1 for the H&H

Been there done that....has all the t-shirts.

ByrnieMac
January 10, 2014, 16:57
H&H!! I'm sure the Ruger is a great rifle, but if it were me, I'd hold onto that Sako. I've wanted a H&H for a long time now. Eventually I'll get one, and I would love to get my hands on a nice Sako.

BTW Andy: Beautiful rifle you got there!

legion489
January 11, 2014, 16:40
OK, will the .375 Ruger be around in 10-20-30 years or another "WTF is that?" collector's cartridge? Is the .375 Ruger available where you are, or probably anywhere for that matter? Will the Ruger stock break if shot enough? EVERY person who has shot a Ruger in a magnum cartridge (including most gun writers for the gun rags, and a few have actually stated this in print) has said "YES IT WILL! Sooner or later, it breaks if shot enough!" Is the SAKO (pronounced SOCK-O. A SAY-CO is a watch) going to go up in value when sold to knowledgeable shooters? Yes. Will the Ruger? Maybe. Well it is YOUR rifle, choose which one YOU like more.

JohnnyV1966
January 11, 2014, 17:47
Years ago while putting in my work hours at my Gun Club working as an RO, I got to help someone sight in a 375 H&H Magnum. At first I was somewhat intimidated by the size of the cartridge and difficulty the guns owner had. I then proceeded to fire four shots and sighted in the rifle for its owner at 100 yards. Very easy to handle, very manageable recoil and very accurate I put in those four rounds all within an inch and a quarter.

Given your comments, my limited experience shooting one, along with the comments of other posters I think I would tend to favor the SAKO in 375 H&H Magnum:bigangel:

SWOHFAL
January 11, 2014, 19:24
OK... had this one since 1983, I was 14 when I snapped it up, even THEN I knew I wanted a H&H...

http://i997.photobucket.com/albums/af98/Andy_the_Aussie/Guns/M70_375No2_zps389392b3.jpg (http://s997.photobucket.com/user/Andy_the_Aussie/media/Guns/M70_375No2_zps389392b3.jpg.html)

... about 12 montsh ago I came across a like new 1980s vintage Sako H&H... I have never been tempted to part with the Mod 70 EVER before that. I am still disappointed in myself for NOT grabbing the Sako AS WELL as the Mod70.

Other than salties, what's down under that needs a .375 H&H?

Oh, the rifle looks nice. Did you refinish the wood at some point?

Andy the Aussie
January 11, 2014, 19:36
Other than salties, what's down under that needs a .375 H&H?

Oh, the rifle looks nice. Did you refinish the wood at some point? ... Asiatic Buffalo, Bantang, Scrub Bull and Sambar. It is also my favourite pig rifle of all time... :D :D Salties are best taken with .308 or smaller....or so I hear...

Yes, had the wood done this year and the Williams "Obendorf" bottom metal added as the two piece Winchester type SUCKS. Just about to start working on loads for Cape Buffalo, I need to explore factory loaded options as well.

Andy

tigerfans2
January 11, 2014, 19:47
Back in the mid 70's a buddy had 3 Sako mags, a .375, a .300 and a 7mm Rem. He said they all 3 had the same barrel outer diameter, I never mic'd 'em but the .375's recoil was a bit stiff it seemed.

That being said the only firearm that I've ever regretted selling was a standard grade Sako .338 mag.
Sell the Ruger, it has neither history nor panache

SWOHFAL
January 12, 2014, 00:22
... Asiatic Buffalo, Bantang, Scrub Bull and Sambar. It is also my favourite pig rifle of all time... :D :D Salties are best taken with .308 or smaller....or so I hear...

Yes, had the wood done this year and the Williams "Obendorf" bottom metal added as the two piece Winchester type SUCKS. Just about to start working on loads for Cape Buffalo, I need to explore factory loaded options as well.

Andy

Is that an oil finish or did you lay on a really low-gloss urethane?

Andy the Aussie
January 12, 2014, 00:47
It is an oil finish mate.

SWOHFAL
January 12, 2014, 01:23
It is an oil finish mate.

That's what I thought and hoped. I assume you're going to use the local brand and go with Woodleigh solids for buff?

Will C
January 12, 2014, 02:13
Well, the Files have spoken and it wasn't even close - the Sako H&H is the keeper by a mile. Shouldn't have trouble offloading the Ruger with spring bear season coming up in a few months. So here's a picture of the winner (at bottom) with a few of her stablemates (I like M70s too). Maybe one of these days I'll be able to take magazine quality photos like Andy - but probably not. :)

<a href="http://s1337.photobucket.com/user/ccotta/media/RiflePics01-11-14003_zpsd6757752.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1337.photobucket.com/albums/o677/ccotta/RiflePics01-11-14003_zpsd6757752.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo RiflePics01-11-14003_zpsd6757752.jpg"/></a>

gaijinsamurai
January 12, 2014, 23:28
Good decision! :)

Andy the Aussie
January 12, 2014, 23:57
Maybe one of these days I'll be able to take magazine quality photos like Andy - but probably not. :)
.... just send that Sako on over and I will take a whole batch of pics and send them back in exchange... :) ;)

I assume you're going to use the local brand and go with Woodleigh solids for buff? .... 50/50 between those and Barnes. The PH is telling me he favours Barnes, but I like the big Aussie pills as well... :) :)

skeeterbay
January 28, 2014, 01:15
Andy, I haven't the need for the solids so I couldn't comment on them but I have been tinkering with the Woodleigh round nose soft points in 9.3, 8mm and the PP's in 30 cal, (30-06 and 300win mag). I have been VERY pleased so far.

While not heavy game, this past deer season the wife and I managed to do a double on two bucks with the 9.3. It was the only gun with us at the time. I shot mine at about 125yds and it knocked him to the ground dead without out step. I bolted a fresh round and handed it to the wife. The second buck trotted about 50yds farther when the wife let him have it. He ran less than 50 feet and dropped.

Both shots were clean through. Both shots broke the off shoulder. Mine turned half the lungs into gel. The wife's tore the heart apart. Not bad for a gal in her 60's standing non supported on a trotting deer? Surprisingly both deer had very little meat damage on the off shoulder. I imagine it would have been worse had the round been higher velocity.

Accuracy has been good in all calibers and I am becoming a big fan of the Woodleigh's.

Andy the Aussie
January 28, 2014, 01:48
Thanks for that mate, they do have lots of fans out here already !!! I just need to find the time to set up and work some loads, then get to the range !!!:blackeye::blackeye:

Aeroscout
January 28, 2014, 01:56
Andy, I haven't the need for the solids so I couldn't comment on them but I have been tinkering with the Woodleigh round nose soft points in 9.3, 8mm and the PP's in 30 cal, (30-06 and 300win mag). I have been VERY pleased so far.

While not heavy game, this past deer season the wife and I managed to do a double on two bucks with the 9.3. It was the only gun with us at the time. I shot mine at about 125yds and it knocked him to the ground dead without out step. I bolted a fresh round and handed it to the wife. The second buck trotted about 50yds farther when the wife let him have it. He ran less than 50 feet and dropped.

Both shots were clean through. Both shots broke the off shoulder. Mine turned half the lungs into gel. The wife's tore the heart apart. Not bad for a gal in her 60's standing non supported on a trotting deer? Surprisingly both deer had very little meat damage on the off shoulder. I imagine it would have been worse had the round been higher velocity.

Accuracy has been good in all calibers and I am becoming a big fan of the Woodleigh's.

That's the beauty of big heavy bullets.....They knock things on their ass and they don't tear the crap out of things...even if you hit bone.

Lightweight 7mm mag bullet would have killed them both just as dead at those ranges....but more than likely both the off shoulders would have been purt much destroyed.

mike minihan
January 28, 2014, 13:01
I use my .375 Hollands on elk every year. They go dead right there. I shot two
deer with it to see for myself about ripped up meat,it didn't happen. I also
would keep the Sako and tell the Ruger goodbye. Mine is a Winchester 70.

Will C
January 28, 2014, 23:40
I use my .375 Hollands on elk every year. They go dead right there. I shot two
deer with it to see for myself about ripped up meat,it didn't happen. I also
would keep the Sako and tell the Ruger goodbye. Mine is a Winchester 70.

We hunt deer with "heavies" a lot here. My go to rifles are a .338 and a .375 depending on where I'm hunting (specifically, what kind of bears frequent the area). I've discovered over the years that the big magnums usually go through a deer cleanly unless you hit a big bone like the shoulder, or if you happen to shoot lengthwise through the animal. A lot of folks here prefer the head shot, which leaves most of the edible meat intact no matter what kind of cannon you're shooting.

In 2006 I used the .338 to shoot a deer that was running away from me after having been shot once already. I didn't know at the time if it was wounded or not (turned out to be a lung shot) so I took the "Texas heart shot" as it sprinted for cover. That slug entered the hindquarter and drove right up the spine. Ruined all the backstrap, one hindquarter and most of the shoulder meat. The bones basically shattered and the pieces became secondary projectiles. For a head shot or a poke through the ribs the big guns work good but I pick my shots very carefully now to avoid making a mess of the animal. I still prefer a .270 for deer any day, I just don't want to face down an angry brownie with one (or a pissed off moose either).

skeeterbay
January 29, 2014, 14:19
Years ago I lived in the interior of Alaska. At first the only gun I had to hunt with was a Garand. I used it up until I could afford a decent big game rifle. Eventually I picked up a used 375HH and a used 300win mag. These two calibers covered anything I wanted to hunt up there.

VALMET
January 29, 2014, 15:18
H&H...!!!!! Because I both love that round AND the Sako it rides in....!!!!!!!!! I don't think that Ruger has built a rifle that should sit at the table with an (older at least) Sako... ;)

This^^^^^^^^