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Discussion Starter #1
I like the 300 Winchester magnum as my big rifle; that is because I do not hunt the big bears anymore and hardly ever hunt where they are around. The 338 Winchester magnum has an advantage, but to my way of thinking, to get that full advantage, one needs to use the 250-grain bullet. For a dedicated large bear rifle, one should begin with the 338 and work up in cartridge and caliber.

The 338 Winchester is a good choice for bear, so are 340 Weatherby Magnum, 338 Remington Ultra Mag, and .338-.378 Weatherby Magnum. Although I think this last one is a bit of a cannon.

Sectional Density (SD) is the relationship of a bullet's diameter to its weight; it is a ratio that determines penetration when velocity is held constant. Given equal bullet construction, a high SD means deeper penetrating qualities, and an SD approaching or exceeding .300 is a good benchmark. Sd is also related to ballistic coefficient (BC) and this determined rate of retained velocity.

I believe the 375 H&H can do about all the 338 Winchester magnum can do and more. This caliber allows one to choose quality hunting bullets from 225-grain to 300-grain, which has an SD at .305, which is very respectable. There is also the 350 grain Woodleigh, but this one tops out at 2400 fps in hot loads and would be close to what one would expect from a .416, it has a high SD and gives super penetration. The lighter bullets will have a lower SD and although the 250-grain .375 is not equal to the SD of the 250-grain .338 at .313, the effectiveness of the .375 bullet is plenty good for Elk and African plains game hunting and one other benefit, if you are confronted with caliber restrictions, the 375 still make the grade.

The 375 H&H has the power to take any bear down well and with the 300-grain bullet, penetration is excellent, The 300-grain 375's SD of .305. Yes, this means that, if bullet construction is similar, a 250-grain .338 bullet will out penetrate a 300-grain .375. Yet the .375 has its own virtues; it hits harder and if you place any stock in such concepts as the Taylor knockdown formula, the 375 has quite an advantage over the smaller .338. One thing I like is the .375 is a real step up from the .308, the 270-grain bullet shoots relatively flat, close enough to the 338 Winchester magnum for open hunting, about the same trajectory as the 205-grain from the 338 Winchester magnum and the 180 grain from the 30-06, such that it delivers good performance at about the same range, but with greater terminal energy. I like as well as a full 100-grains more bullet weight than offered for the .308 and offered in many good bullet selections. It seems an ideal choice. The 375 H&H can also reloaded down and using the 220 grain bullet Hornady designed for the 375 Winchester, this will do well on deer and hogs, The rifles in the caliber vary in weight, so if you plan little bear hunting, you can buy a lighter rifle and have easier carry. I know some old hunters who eschew anything bigger then a 30-06 besides the 375 H&H and their reasoning seems logical.

It still stands to reason that a 250 grain .338 at the same velocity as the 300-grain .375 will penetrate deeper, then consider the full length magnum can move the bullet faster than the 375 H&H can push its 300-grain, Would you prefer something like a full length magnum, such as the 340 Weatherby, or the 375 H&H?
 

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CHar, I understand the premis of your post only thing is it doesn't work out that way most of the time in the field. I have owned used and seen used the 375 H&H I own have used and sen used a 338 Win and the in the field on game performance is virtualy identical. The SD aruement is a losing one, because I have seen many many lower SD bullets out penetrate high SD bullets. I have put game on the ground quicker on average with the 338 than the 375. Why, luck of the draw in my humble opinion. The difference in calber is not as important as a proper bullet and the guy pulling the trigger IMHO and experience.

I put large Bull Moose and Grizzlys on the ground with the first shot with big bore revolvers. Animals are not impressed with numbers on a sheet paper and react accordingly
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Greetings Char. I kinda chuckled at the title line. You know, the deer part. Good post though on the .375 H & H.
Thanks cvc944,

I had to toss that in because my old fishing buddy, Hank uses his 375 all the time and hunts mostly Missouri and he uses a light load with the Hornady 220 flat nose bullet. Another old buddy, Bill, hates recoil and uses the 243, he has several and he thinks Hank is nuts. We all know how we are about rifles and calibers; you cannot get much agreement because there is an art to arguing calibers.

I do really think the 375 H&H is a great round when it is needed, otherwise, the 300 Winchester magnum will do it all for most of us.
 

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Animals are not impressed with numbers on a sheet paper and react accordingly
My sentiments exactly.

My experience with big guns and big critters, although limited, has been very telling. In 2006 I got a one-chance shot at the south end of a very large northbound PA black bear. I was carrying my .375 Weatherby. At 50 yards the .375 diameter 250 gr. Sierra GameKing (far from a premium bullet and low on the S.D. scale) caught him about 6 inces right of the tail and 6 inches below. The bear dropped on the spot (other than a goodly downhill roll). Upon inspection the bullet had penetrated a full 5 1/2 to 6 feet of bear, stopping in the front of the chest cavity, by way of smashing the right hip. All the figures in the world may not have predicted such devastating performance.

As for .338/.375 comparisons, the .338 Win roughly pairs with the .375 H&H. The H&H still has an edge of ft/lbs. And don't discount the frontal area advantage. The .340 Wby roughly pairs with the .375 Wby. Again, a slight edge in energy to the .375 bore.

I am completely sold on the .375 Weatherby for things that need killing and need it right now. It would not be my first choice for elephant. But I would use it if I ever got the chance. As far a big critters in N. America, it just doesn't get much better. 30-06 trajectory with 250-300 gr. bullets and 3000 ft/lbs retained energy at 375 yards......... an elk and moose hammer if I ever saw one. ;)
 

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The Moose and the bear were simply hammered and the one shot put downs were impressive and dramatic despite only having 1578 FPE.
FPE is another number on paper that thank god the animals are unaware of


 

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The 35 Whelen is worth considering. My Remington 700 CDL with its 24" barrel can drive 250gr bullets at nearly 2600fps using less than 60grs of powder. Always excellent results on deer, elk and moose.

I haven't tried lighter bullets yet, but I'm sure it could drive a 200gr bullet at around 2800fps.
 

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IMHO THE 338 WILL do anything that needs doing in the U.S. and AK. The B.C. of longer bullets is better than 375 and it shoots flatter with less damage to your shoulder. ( I bought a new one last fall and need justification-----help me out here guys!:rolleyes:
 

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BIG fan of the 338 Winchester here. I lucked into one of those rare rifles that shoots nearly all loads to the same POI, just so happens it's a 338. I zeroed it over 20 years ago and the adjustment caps haven't been off the scope since.

It does kick like a rented mule off the bench, that's why I don't shoot it off the bench! When there is hair in the scope it doesn't kick at all. And I find the 338 to destroy less meat on a whitetail than the more "appropriate" whitetail calibers like the 243 and 270.
 

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The 35 Whelen has been killing critters of all sizes since the good Mr. Whelen started working on it. Good handloads are the equal of many 338mag factory loads without the recoil and expense. It would do serious harm to most critters walking plant earth
 
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The 35 Whelen has been killing critters of all sizes since the good Mr. Whelen started working on it. Good handloads are the equal of many 338mag factory loads without the recoil and expense. It would do serious harm to most critters walking plant earth


I'm a little confused by that statement...
 

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This question is like asking to list a great commute vehicle that will also tow a 40' long travel trailer: You wind up with way more "vehicle" than you need for the one, to accommodate the other.

This is basically a question of what will consistently anchor a big bear and has little, if anything, to do with the obvious redundancy of being able to dispatch a little ol' deer, with the same gun. To that end, there are plenty of cartridges that will do the job, from 12 gauge slugs, to big-bore handguns, to rifle rounds, dusty and new. If I were inclined to pursue a grizzly, or something else with the capacity to hunt me back, my options would start around an 8mm Rem Mag and go up to a 458 Win Mag. Lots of good bear-stopping options in that range, but none of them are good deer guns, unless you slow 'em way down and/or use bullets designed to expand against light resistance.
 

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Ray, I'm with you. Give me a 9.3x62mm Mauser.

CD
 
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I'm a little confused by that statement...
Now I'm confused. I thought it was a plain enough statement.

Since he first took the gun to the woods, and started experimenting with loads and such, the Whelen has been killing critters. The Whelen was developed as a working mans' alternative to the .375H&H without the expense of the H&H.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Could a .300 Win Mag kill a grizzly bear with a headshot?
Of course.

Now believe the man who has killed these bears with the 300 Winchester magnum, it does a good job on the biggest bears. I can say the same for the 30-06 and 35 Whelen, wiich was a Griffin & Howe project name in honor of Townsend Whelen who developed the 400 Whelen.

The matter here is if one has a special rifle for large bears. Then, I think it practical to consider the .338 caliber and the .375; they are both good and I would favor the full length magnum .338 on an 8mm Remington case, similar to the ICL Grizzly, which is based on a blown out H&H case, where as the other is just necked to .338; these come close to 340 Weatherby numbers and when handloaded make little difference, both will push a .338 250-grain bullet along at 2850 or better with superior accuracy over the 340.

Now the question comes down to practicality, if one want just one rifle this size, then the 375 H&H has more applications; it has today more bullet choices than and other caliber except the .308 and perhaps the .284. If I had to choose one big rifle that geave me a bit more insurance than my 300, I would pick the 375 H&H.
 

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The 35 Whelen has been killing critters of all sizes since the good Mr. Whelen started working on it. Good handloads are the equal of many 338mag factory loads without the recoil and expense. It would do serious harm to most critters walking plant earth
The 35 Whelen is a good catridge , as are many others, but you can't take a round with less veloicity and a much lower B.C. and say it will do whatever a 338 will. If you do your shooting at 100 yards or less, terminal effects on game should be very similar. The 338 makes efficient use of the extra prowder it burns. It's a lot more than noise and recoil. A long high B.C. bullet will reach out and touch something without needing to lob a bullet in on a hail mary shot.
 

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I am a huge fan of both the 35 Whelen and 338 Win Mag. Right now, my favorite load for the 338 Win Mag is 72gr of RL22 and a 275gr Speer Semi Spitzer. It crosses my chronograph at 2650, and is very accurate in my 338. I have it zeroed at 200, and out to 300 it is MOA. I haven't taken it to 400 yet, but I expect it to maintain MOA. It carries alot of power, and will penetrate about anything here in NA with no issues. My favorite load for the Whelen is 59gr of RL15 and a Speer 250gr Spitzer. that bullet crosses the chrono at 2580, and shoots very well at 200. I haven't shot it further, but I suspect it would be fairly easy to make hits out to 350 or so. I don't have a 375 so I can't say anything about it, but both the 338 and 35 Whelen are pretty close to one another using similar bullets. If I was hunting big bears, the 338 would get the nod, just cause it does have some extra oomph, and shoots a little flatter. I like the bigger, heavy bullets. Less chance of a failure to penetrate, and they probably won't blow up on anything, even up close. Scotty
 
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