Lightweight .375H&H bullet results?

Dave King

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2001

Welcome to Long Range Hunting.

I don't see a problem with using a bullet like the Sierra 250 SBT or others in the 375H&H.

The trajectory of the 375 H&H with a bullet like the Sierra 250 SBT and a muzzle velocity of 2700 (I believe this is attainable) is very near that of a 30-06 or 308 Win with a little bit heavy bullets (180 & 175). Folks shoot the 308 Win to long range (1000 yards) very often and I see no reason the 375 can't do well to 600 yards.

The one little fly in the ointment is that the 250 Sierra and I'd imaging other lighter bullets don't have a very high BC (.370 for the 250 SBT in 375). This would equate to a greater loss of velocity and energy that a 308 or 30-06 with higher BC target bullets.

To 600 yards the 375 should easily be a fine shooter and have a respectable trajectory.

If one were to use a Leupold scope with the 16" calibrated reticle (cross hair to either post tip being 8") and sight in 4" high at 100 yards the very top of the lower post should be about dead on at 500 yards. The 4" high zero would be half way to the lower tip of the upper post. With a setup like this a hunter could shoot smallish game at 100 yards with a little hold-under, have a 265 yard zero, hold half way to the tip of the lower post for 400 yards (bullet will strike 3" below point of aim) and hold at the tip of the lower post for a 500 yard shot (bullet should strike 5" below point of aim).

Hope this answers a little of your question, other will reply too.


P.S. This is based on a ballistics program and some quick mental math, the atmospherics are at Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP). If you're high altitude and warm (>59 degrees) you'll be better off, if it's low altitude and cold you'll be worse off.

[ 07-13-2002: Message edited by: Dave King ]
I am new here, and I appreciate the way you usually respond to posters. For that reason alone, I have decided to ask some questions in relation to using .375 H&H lightweight bullets from 235 to perhaps 250-grains. Would it be possible to use lightweight bullets to shoot paper targets or even small game at long range?

I understand that a .375H&H does its best when bullets around 300 grains in weight are used, but my question above does not pertain to getting the biggest punch possible form a .375H&H rifle within 300 yards, but instead to your experiences with lightweight bullets use to attain flatter trajectories at longer than usual ranges.

I don't use the .375H&H cartridge, but this question has come up every now and then at other forums, and the persons asking the questions have been "hammered" by other .375 users. I use a .338WM for moose hunting in Alaska, and so far have been very successful. My shots have been from 100 to 300 yards, but I try to get as close as possible, and don't intend to shoot past 300. But for some reason, I can't just ignore the fact that at least in theory some .375 H&H shooters should be able to shoot the intended game and target indicated above with lightweight bullets that are already available for them on the market.
Thanks for the replies. For years I have theorized that one may be able to take advantage of the complete ballistics ranges offered by all bullets for an individual gun. Nowadays there are very tough and lightweight bullets that allows a "one gun hunter" to get the most from that specific gun without having to buy another rifle.

Of course, I would not use a fragile lightweight bullet to shoot a moose or an elk at any range, but I have thought that a lightweight bullet allows a hunter to kill some small game at extended ranges or at least to punch holes on paper farther than usual. Heavier .338 bullets from 230 grains and up are my favorite for my type of hunting.
Good to see you here, Ray.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. You know how some people (especially on other boards) are "stuck in their ways...." It would be blasphemy to load a 375 with light bullets! Almost as bad as taking a push-feed to Africa (even if only going after the non-dangerous stuff)!

I'm assuming you're talking about the type of guy that wants to use his 375 on a deer or caribou hunt in open country and doesn't need a 300 grain A-Frame or Woodleigh to kill the little thing but would like a bit better trajectory. In this case I think it's a great idea. This type of hunter probably won't be using a rangefinder, so trajectory is very important and using lighter bullets can make a significant difference.

I did the same thing with my 300 Win for many years...hunting deer and antelope with 130 Barnes XBT's launched at over 3660 fps. Talk about flat shooting! Back then I didn't have a rangefinder and wouldn't shoot at a distance that anybody here would consider "long." But it gave me an extended "point blank" range, less to worry about. And it doesn't take a 180 or 200 to kill a whitetail.

However, such a guy must know his limitations. Contrary to what many on other boards have said, you can't turn a 375 H&H into a 300 mag just by loading lighter bullets. The low BC of the bullets is the limiting factor. A big cased 30 or 338 with similar weight bullets will shoot flatter, buck the wind better, hit harder and penetrate better at extreme ranges than the 375. They are simply better tools for the really long range job.

But that's no reason for a hunter such as the one described above not to gain a little trajectory advantage with lighter bullets.

I shoot a .375 H&H, and do load it with light weight bullets. I have used 180 HP (originaly made for the .375 Win lever gun), and als 200 grain bullets. It shoots well, is accurate.

If ("IF" HA!) I were to go to Africa, I would keep a bunch of light bullet, full power loads for Jackel, Hyena, and Baboon.

I shoot the 250 sierra's out of my 375 improved at 3150 fps. I wouldn't hesitate using them on game. Like Dave said the BC is horrible and I agree about 600 yards would probably be about it. My range goes out to 650 yards now and after 500 this load really starts to fall off.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR> You know how some people (especially on other boards) are "stuck in their ways...." It would be blasphemy to load a 375 with light bullets! Almost as bad as taking a push-feed to Africa (even if only going after the non-dangerous stuff)!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are correct about that statement. In fact the guy who asked the question at another forum got nailed a few times by other .375 H&H shooters. I will have to tell him to look here for the right answers.

Thanks again for the replies.
The 375 H&H is my all around hunting cartridge.

While I primarily shoot 300s, I also have fun with the 250 grain Sierra bullets. They are quite accurate in my old pre-64 M70 and make great practice chasing jackrabbits and coyotes.

I have tried the Speer 235s, however, I cannot get a load worked up that will stay under 1.5" @ 100. May be the long throat.

I've been carrying a 375 for more years than a lot of "experts" have been hunting and I'll load it with whatever I want!

Play around and have a good time. It is the most versatile cartridge, in my opinion.

Oh, and don't forget to try your hand on some prairie dogs with the 250s....they generally stay down pretty good!


What about the 260 grain AccuBond? It has a high BC and is significantly more aerodynamic than the 250 Sierra. Following Dave's lead of "what ifs", I ran some available information through a ballistic program and came up with these results:

BC = 0.473
Muzzle velocity = 2900+(at working pressure)
250 yard zero yields:
+2.7" high @ 100 yards/2717 ft.lbs.
-35.6" low @ 500 yards/2008 " "
-102.7" low @ 700 yards/1669 " "
-218.5" low @ 900 yards/1183 " "
-301.9" low @ 1000 yards/1001 " "

I'm waiting for the GS Custom site to come back up so that I can get some information about the HV .375 bullets. I have used some of their .338's and 30 cal. with very good results and they come with a fairly high BC.

Thanks, that's just the sort of advice I'm looking for. I've been loading groove bullets - which weigh 271 grains on my scale, the Groove bullet website lists a BC of .401 and a SD of .29

My load is 66.5 garins of Alliant's Reloader 15. I also loaded up a few test rounds with 75 grains of IMR 4350, but that is a slightly compressed load so I'm maxed out in case capacity even though it is at the book minimum load.

If you could give any info from the software on those loads I would appreciate it greatly too!
How incredibly refreshing to find that I'm not the only one with long range aspirations who has a lot to learn!

I am not a competitive shooter and my shots on game are well under 300 yards, but there is something in me that demands the ability to someday hit milk jugs at 600.

Beyond that, I want to do it with my hunting rifles (a factory stocked 375 H&H Win M70 topped with Leupold VariII 3-9).

The hold over for a 375 H&H factory load is obscene past 300 yards, so I have made the mental leap to the idea of loading lighter projectiles in an attempt to flatten trajectories.

I know nothing about ballistic coefficients etc. and while I would love to eventually reach the state where I am comfortable shooting at game beyond 300 yards, at this point I am just plinking at long range.

I see that Speer makes a 200 grain bullet that sells for about $11/50. If memory serves Barnes makes a 210 grain premium bullet that might be just dandy for white tail too. For cheap plinking I see that Bullet Barn just introduced a 375 caliber lead bullet that retails for $29 per 200 ct. Not sure about the accuracy potential of a gas checked lead bullet but at that price it's worth a try. Now if I could just find cheaper powder source....

I've been loading R-15, but a full case of R-15 in each cartridge eats a pound of powder about every 100 shots. Any suggestions?

In fact, I'd welcome any input on tuning the 375 H&H Winchester M70 into a long range rig. This is too good an idea not spend a summer's range sessions exploring.
Mike I do a lot of shooting with a 210gn Barnes X in .375H&H, I load it over 73gn of H4895 or VV N140, still 73gn.

Gives gives 3000fps exactly, while still being (apparently) fairly light in my rifle.
You could most likely go faster but I odn't think you'd gain much.
Tradjectory is not great as these bullets have a BC .341.

I used it for moose in Canada and I use it on deer and pigs here where I live with very good results.

I've got this Ruger Mag in 416WBY I shoot (not so much lately) at LR, out to 700 yards for the most part. I'm switching to lighter bullets this year, benn shooting the 400 XLC, but have some GS Custom 330gr HV's to try out. I'll drop to 350's or 300's and try them in the Barnes if they don't work, or I can't get any more from 330's GSC.

The .375 260gr Accubond should be a sweet bullet for LR.

The 210 or 235gr should go 3000 pretty easy, maybe 3100 or faster with the 210 I'd think.
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