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.375 Ruger

History

For those of us who love potent cartridges one of the ongoing bug bears of the M77 Ruger long action has been its rather short magazine (87mm / 3.425”).

The advent and acceptance of the .404" beltless magnums gave Ruger an opportunity to develop a potent magnum without having to alter their inexpensive cast action design. By having Hornady shorten the basic Remington Ultra Magnum case design (or by loosely copying the Dakota proprietary cartridge design depending upon how one looks at it) Ruger were able to create a potent .375 cartridge. Many expected that this would lead to a whole family of Ruger magnum cartridges but these never eventuated, perhaps due to the fact that the Ruger magazine was still not all that well suited to the now very long Hornady bullets. Instead, Nosler developed their own modest length cartridges to suit the Howa action (Nosler M48 rifle).

The first Ruger .375 rifles and Hornady ammunition were released to the shooting press in December 2006. Full production did occur until later in 2007. With various loads running between 2600 and 2800fps, the Ruger packed plenty of punch for large North American game.

Initially, the two Ruger M77 rifles designed for the .375 Ruger were the Hawkeye African and Hawkeye Alaskan. The Hawkeye African featured a wood stock and blued 23” barrel furnished with open sights. The Alaskan rifle featured a Hogue plastic stock and 20” barrel, again with open sights. The steel of the Alaskan was chrome moly rather than stainless steel as one might expect on an all weather rifle. Both the African and Alaskan weighed around 9.5lb (4.25kg) with scope and sling which is to be considered light for a potent medium bore. The more recent Guide Rifle utilizes a laminate stock and stainless steel barrel and action.

At the time of writing (2017) the .375 Ruger has maintained high popularity.

 

Performance

The Dakota, Ruger and Nosler cartridges are essentially wider versions of the basic 2.5” belted magnums (.264 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, .338 Win Mag). A main strength of these cartridges are in their ability to produce optimal performance in long actions which lack generous magazine lengths. Additionally, the .375 Ruger yields around 6% greater case capacity than the .375 H&H. While not earth shattering on its own, the wide and compact case is more efficient than the Holland & Holland which enables the Ruger to obtain similar results from a short 20” barrel while a 23” barreled Ruger boasts higher velocities than a 25” barreled H&H.

On light through to medium game the .375 Ruger produces fast emphatic kills along with wide free bleeding exit wounds when used at close to moderate ranges. It is both forgiving and can be more humane than the small bores in bush hunting situations as poor shots taken with the .375 generally slow game down fast, allowing quick follow up shots. This is one of the great virtues of the medium bores and why it is such a shame when hunters label them as being suitable for big game only.

The .375 Ruger is extremely well suited to large bodied game. Those who hunt in Alaska would be hard pushed to find a better cartridge than this. Although bullet construction is always the most important consideration for fast and clean killing. A poorly selected .375 caliber bullet will always be vastly more forgiving than a poorly chosen .30 caliber bullet when facing the likes of Alaskan Brown bear. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how very useful this (and other .375 kin including the H&H) can be in this manner.

On heavy dangerous game many experienced hunters would agree that the .375 caliber is adequate but less forgiving than calibers above .400” if shot placement is not exact. In my own experience when shoulder shooting bovines the .375” bore works best when using the toughest of bullets at impact velocities well above 2600fps. The Ruger should therefore be considered very mild in this regard. When hunting large thinned skinned game the Ruger can be used with great success out to ranges of around 500 yards. But when hunting heavy game it is best to get very close.

Versatility is a key word when considering the .375 bore. The Ruger cartridge may not be ideal for very light framed game or the very best for extremely heavy game, but as a general-purpose cartridge it is extremely well balanced. One simply cannot overlook these factors.

As for the Ruger rifle, while very cheap and often displaying poor accuracy out of the box, the M77 action can be accurized and made into an extremely reliable rifle. Such rifles can be a true please to own once bedded and tuned. The left hand rifle options are also greatly appreciated.

Readers are however advised to take note of the muzzle brakes on the current .375 Ruger rifles. Ruger have cut down the barrel lengths of their rifles so that they are not overly long (no longer than a regular 26” barreled magnum) or cumbersome when fitted with muzzle brakes. Unfortunately, this puts the blast near the shooter, more so from the 20” barreled rifle. It is potentially unwise to have a brake fitted to a short guide rifle to be used around clients. Without due protection the Ruger brake can cause immediate hearing damage and a temporary loss of sight should gases blow back into one’s eyes from the short barrel. Even with protection, by standers can receive a hefty blast. These problems can produce terribly delayed reactions (follow up shots). A superior stock forend design would help a great deal to aid to recoil reduction and allow many users to do away with the brake altogether. In any case, leave it to the reader to experiment and decide which methods and materials prove best for his or her individual situation.

For those who wish to build or re-build a .375 Ruger: a basic 24" or 26” barrel rifle of sufficient heft mated to a straight line stock with a generously wide forend is the key to easy shooting. Many medium bores get a bad rep for recoil simply due to poor stock designs. If the rifle is to be used at long ranges then a longer rifle action such as the M700 will allow long bullets to be utilized within the magazine box. All of these subjects (including Ruger accurizing) are covered in great detail within my book series. The title of the series may be ‘Long Range’, but the subject matter is highly pertinent to finding one's mojo with the medium bores whether used in close or out long.
 

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Factory ammunition

Hornady currently produce four Superformance loads for the .375 Ruger: the 250 grain GMX (homogenous copper bullet) at 2900fps, the 270 grain SP-RP Interlock at 2840fps, the 300 grain Dangerous Game Expanding (DGX) at 2660fps and the 300 grain steel jacketed Dangerous Game Solid (DGS) also at 2660fps. These velocities are recorded in a 24” test barrel and in sporting rifles, results have averaged out to show that the 23” African loses an unnoticeable 25fps while the 20” barreled Alaskan rifles lose on average 100fps (the typical 25fps/inch). Having said this, small differences in bore tolerances within individual rifles can lead to a wider range of velocities. It is also worth noting that Hornady’s Superformance loads for the .375 H&H almost duplicate the .375 Ruger loadings, though without the same level of efficiency.

The 250 grain GMX is a serious big game bullet. This is best employed at very close ranges in order to keep its impact velocity well above 2600fps. Used in this manner the GMX is able to produce very high physical and nervous trauma on game weighing up to and exceeding 600kg (1300lb). As an aside, this is a very good bullet weight with regards to the actual construction of this bullet. Barnes for example produce a 270 grain bullet but experience leads me to believe that this really only comes into its own on the heaviest of animals or in the most potent of .375 magnums. In the Remington Ultra Magnum for example, the heavier weight and higher velocity can result in higher over all trauma or what we might call stopping power regardless of the misunderstandings within this subject. Apart from these factors a 250 grain .375” homogenous copper bullet can prove to be the more emphatic killer when used in either the .375 H&H or Ruger. This combined with very select shot placement, keeping shots well forwards on the shoulder, can allow us to drop very large animals in their tracks.

The 270 Interlock Recoil Proof Interlock bullet featured in the .375 Ruger loading is a slightly modified version of the traditional Interlock. This bullet differs quite simply in that it does not have any exposed lead at the bullet tip, similar to the Remington CoreLokt. This change was made to prevent deformation of bullets under recoil. Apart from this small change, the RP Interlock performs the same as the traditional bullet. Used on medium game at ordinary hunting ranges expansion on impact is extremely fast and exit wounds often very large, in the region of 3-4” in diameter. The 270 grain bullet is useful on game up to 320kg (700lb) with all but tail on shots. Tail on shots should be limited to game under 80kg, however on larger game tail on wounds created by the Interlock are often severe enough to allow follow up shots. On medium weight game from a muzzle velocity of 2740fps in the 20” barreled Alaskan the 270 Interlock produces very fast kills out to around 235 yards or 2200fps, the longer barreled African at 2815fps gains a negligible 25 yards. Beyond these ranges shot placement becomes somewhat more critical on lean animals which pose little resistance to help initiate expansion. A safe minimum impact velocity for this bullet is 1800fps or around 430 to 450 yards. Do however keep in mind that the BC for this bullet is low (.380) therefore wind drift is a concern.

The 300 grain DGX was, up until October 2017, a basic cup and core bullet but utilized a steel jacket with copper guiding. Anyone who has used Russian made steel jacketed soft point ammunition (often found in .223 and .308) will have at least some experience of how such ammunition can perform. By utilizing a round nosed form this bullet penetrated in a relatively straight line after expansion though when used on heavy bone, the hard steel jacket could prevent the bullet from obtaining a fully even mushroom form. Nevertheless, this economical projectile design was ‘acceptable’ for hunting game weighing up to 600kg (1300lb). Now, as I set about releasing my research, Hornady have finally adopted core bonding. This should (note the unqualified ‘should’ of hoping and guessing) allow for more uniform mushrooming and quite possibly an outstanding bullet. This is the third iteration of this projectile design.

The DGS bullet is also steel clad. This projectile is in essence designed to be used for taking CNS shots on the heaviest of game. The tip of the DGS is flat to aid stability (prevent tumbling) during penetration but can also provide a small degree of hydraulic trauma during penetration. Having said this, the DGS is in no way the same as a bullet which has been specifically designed for maximum hydraulic trauma. Instead, the DGS seeks to find a compromise between terminal performance and smooth feeding from the Ruger action. This is a very economical bullet for hunting heavy game. Those who wish to body shoot heavy game with this bullet must understand that wounding will be limited. If used in this manner the hunter must attempt to break heavy bone while also trying to angle shots through the autonomic plexus (see Game Killing section). In some cases the broadside shot is not always the most suitable for this and instead it can be better to wait for a shot which places the animal lightly quartering on, allowing the bullet to strike the very center of the shoulder ball joint, after which the bullet can then pass through the forwards portion of the lungs. If the hunter can visualize both the point of the shoulder and forwards portion of the lungs and ‘work the angles’ according to the situation this will increase the ability of the bullet (any bullet) to produce a fast kill. Unfortunately, this is something that comes more naturally with time and experience.

 

Hand loading

As with most medium bores the .375 Ruger produces best results across all bullet weights with powders in the IMR / H 4350 range, though the faster Varget burn rate can work very well with light weight bullets. Average working velocities from the 23” African include 3050fps to 3100fps with 225 grain bullets, 3000fps to 3050fps with 235 grain bullets, 2900fps with 250 grain bullets, 2850fps using 260 grain bullets, 2800fps for the 270 grainers, 2700fps with 300 grain bullets and 2450fps with 350 gain longsters. In the shorter Alaskan rifle, figures average 50 to 75fps below these and in custom 24” barreled rifles, readers should add 25fps.

It is worth noting that some rifles can exceed the averages listed here by up to or more than 100fps. That said, hand loaders must be careful not to make general assumptions based on any published data as there is a great deal of variation in bullet shape and jacket thickness in the medium bores, especially with regards to premium bullets. Environmental temperatures also have to be taken into consideration as loads developed in cool weather may prove totally unsuitable in hot climates. Test barrel lengths must also be taken into consideration when observing published data. Nosler, as an example, show loads yielding 2880fps with their 260 grain bullets but these velocities were taken in a 26” barrel. As always, the hand loader must let the individual rifle and its brass speak to him or her. And yes, it is most certainly worth chasing velocity in the .375 Ruger but never at the expense of safety. Those who want the highest possible velocities may wish to adopt a custom rifle start with a generous barrel length (my own preference is 26” to keep the blast and noise forwards while taming recoil). Alternatively, look to the .375 RUM, the .378 Weatherby or the even larger .375 Chey Tac. Otherwise, see the .375 Ruger for what it is, an affordable and extremely useful medium bore.

On the subject of high velocity, a hot .375 will produce rather stout recoil. But understand this: if you cannot test shoot this rifle without using a lead sled, do not expect to miraculously become Matthew Quigley in the field without it. You cannot drag your sled into the mountains with you so you might as well get used to shooting the rifle without it. Further to this, do not be quick to blame poor accuracy as being the result of a ‘hot’ load. In many cases a lack of sturdy epoxy bedding and/or shooter error will cause groups to grow well before the actual load itself is anywhere near high pressures. But in cases where the design of the rifle simply produces intolerable recoil (as many do), one may simply have to lose 100fps or utilize a brake. That or seek a superior stock design.

Due to the fact that the .375 Ruger produces somewhat similar performance to the .375 H&H, a full discourse on projectiles can be found within that text. The following will focus on a smaller number of select bullet designs of interest, organized by bullet weight rather than brand.

Those who wish to hunt light framed game at bush / woods ranges or in semi open country, where shots are not long, may wish to consider using the 200 Grain Sierra flat point bullet (BC .200) designed for the .375 Winchester. This bullet can be driven fast (though the 1:12 twist rate can limit accuracy above 2950fps), or utilized as a mild load using reloading book data for the 300 grain bullet weight resulting in muzzle velocities of around 2600fps. At 2600fps this is a very hard hitting load and fast killing out to ranges of around 90 to 100 yards, producing clean but sometimes delayed killing down to impact velocities of around 1800fps or 200 yards. The Sierra can be pushed out to a maximum impact velocity of 1600fps or 270 yards however shot placement is critical. By the same token wind drift is a major concern and to this end, the 2600fps load really is best used at close ranges. At 2950fps recoil may be stout yet this load is somewhat easier to use for ‘general’ hunting where shots may occur anywhere from 5 yards to 200 yards and further if the need arises. And yes, the Sierra bullet can suffer very high weight loss at high impact velocities, but it kills well. From a muzzle velocity of 2950fps the Sierra kills with style out to ranges of around 170 yards (2200fps), thereafter producing clean but sometimes delayed kills out to 270 yards (1800fps). At 270 yards a 10mph cross wind send the Sierra flat point a full foot off course. Although the Sierra can expand at 1600fps or 340 yards the wind drift is near two feet. Any human or rifle error will invariably result in slow killing. Therefore to say that the Sierra can expand at 1600fps only relays a part of the picture, especially when its expansion is both limited and very much reliant on some degree of resistance (shoulder muscles and bone) in order to be at least partially effective. Combine this with the difficulties of longer range follow up shots and well, the reader should see the obvious here.

Although no longer listed, a quick mention must go to the now discontinued 225 grain Hornady Interlock. Loaded to velocities anywhere between 2950 and 3100fps (and higher in some rifles), this was a spectacular medium game bullet. Fast kills could be expected out to ordinary hunting ranges of around 300 yards with room for shot placement error. To say that performance was spectacular is an understatement. Hornady would do well to bring this bullet back or offer an SST or ELD-X alternative.

The 235 grain Speer can be put to very good use in the Ruger. The faster it can be driven the better its performance as a lighter medium game bullet, utilizing impact velocity to increase target resistance and therefore help overcome its bonding. This bullet is most spectacular at impact velocities above 2400fps but displays vivid performance down to 2200fps. Between 2200 and 1800fps shot placement is the key on lean game.

The 235 grain Woodleigh Weldcore protected point is ideal for larger bodied medium game. The Woodleigh is a fast killer of light framed game at bush / woods ranges but is somewhat underutilized in this role. The Weldcore bullet really comes into its own when the going gets tough, an emphatic killer of large and tough bodied deer and Antelope when used out to ordinary hunting ranges. The Woodleigh handles raking shots relatively well but is prone to lose a great deal of its sectional density if used to take Texas heart shots at close ranges. Wounding is severe however if used in this manner.

The 235 grain Barnes TSX is the toughest of the light weight .375” pills with regards to major manufacturers. The 235 grain TSX generally does its bets work above 2600fps on game weighing up to 450kg or around 1000lb. Between 2400 and 2200fps the TSX produces clean but delayed kills. Below 2200fps killing can be very slow. The BC of this bullet is very low at .270, therefore, the faster it can be driven the better in order to ensure high impact velocities. From a muzzle velocity of 3000fps the TSX breaks 2600fps at around 115 yards, 2400fps at 180 yards and 2200fps at around 240 yards.

Of the conventional medium to heavy weight bullet designs the 250 and 300 grain Sierra Gameking bullets can prove immensely useful. Both feature near double thickness jackets compared to the smaller bore Sierra bullets and both feature tougher cores. The 250 grain bullet works acceptably well on smaller deer species at close to moderate ranges but its true forte is on large bodied deer. Loaded to 3000fps the 250 grain Sierra (BC .371) breaks its 1800fps limit at around 520 yards.

The 300 grain Sierra Gameking was, to use Sierra’s words, designed for large thin skinned African game such as Greater kudu and Eland along with large North American Game including moose and Brown bear. In other words, and for the most part, large bodied deer and antelope weighing up to and around 600kg (1300lb), a very reasonable assessment. Both of the Gameking bullets are designed to be used in an all-round manner (close and extended ranges). My one concern with this bullet is the potential for over expansion and limited penetration when taking quartering on shots on potentially dangerous animals weighing above 450kg (1000lb) at close ranges. Apart from this the Sierra has great merit. Few others offer such a wide level of wounding. Loaded to 2700fps (BC .480) the 300 grain Gameking breaks 1800fps at around 580 yards.

The 270 grain Speer BTSP is a soft bullet designed for large thin-skinned game. This projectile really comes into its own when used at extended ranges on game weighing over 150kg (330lb), though it works well on lighter body weights at close to moderate ranges. Readers are advised to experiment utilizing this as a part of a dual load (premium bullet for close ranges / Speer BTSP out long) when tackling large body weights. Loaded to a muzzle velocity of 2800fps the 270 grain Speer (BC .430) breaks 1800fps at around 520 yards. Those who wish to push the envelope and shoot further need to understand that this bullet can produce very poor performance at long ranges, depending on shot placement and target resistance. Otherwise, this is an outstanding bullet design.

With regards to long range shooting the Sierra 350 grain match bullet may seem appealing for long range work but it is not designed for killing. This projectile is also too long to be housed in the Ruger M77. Those who wish to experiment with it for hunting will need to utilize either a custom action with a generous length magazine box or be prepared to single feed loads into the M77 action. If this projectile is to be used for killing the meplat must be modified. Even then, performance can be limited should the SMK fail to meet enough resistance or if ranges are pushed too far versus the diameter of the meplat. Those who wish to shoot big game at long ranges are advised to utilize the Rocky Mountain ULD bullet design. By the same token, be wary of high weight retention projectiles that supposedly dump vast amounts of energy yet then defy physics by maintaining their form and weight. For more information on this subject please read The Practical Guide To Long Range Hunting Cartridges.

Of the premium middle weight projectiles there are several which can be put to use in the .375 Ruger to good effect. The premiums can be divided into those that are relatively soft in nature versus those which are truly tough.

The 260 grain Partition is very useful for hunting game weighing up to 450kg (1000lb). Expectations are the key when using this bullet. The Partition will shed weight, but in doing so, it creates a very wide internal wound. From a very mild muzzle velocity of 2750fps, its soft front core ensures full energy transfer out to a range of around 200 yards or 2200fps. Between 2200 and 2000fps (280 yards), killing is clean but can be somewhat delayed. Beyond 280 yards, shot placement is extremely important (forwards shoulder) to help ensure full expansion, the Partition reaching the end of the line at 1800fps or around 360 yards. In rifles which yield full velocities of 2850fps, the 260 grain Partition breaks 2200fps at around 235 yards and 1800fps at around 400 yards.

The 260 grain Nosler Accubond was designed for use on large bodied game. However, as suggested elsewhere within this knowledge base, this bullet can also prove to be neither fish nor fowl, being too soft for close range work on large game (and downright dangerous for hunting clawed game) while being too stout for extended range work. There are certainly many rave reviews of this projectile to be found in gun rag write ups and online articles. Unfortunately, while these authors may well have had successful results, such information tends to create unrealistic expectations and overconfidence in this projectile design. This can lead to disastrous results on large, heavy bodied animals. Readers are advised to employ extra caution when using this bullet (and the heavier Accubond) in the .375 caliber on large bodied game or better still, avoid it altogether. Yes, the .375 bore is forgiving, but it has its limits.

The 250 grain Swift A-Frame is, in the most basic sense, a bonded version of the Partition bullet. This bullet is at its best when used on large bodied game such as bear or moose at closer ranges (above 2200fps or inside 250 yards depending on muzzle velocity). This projectile can tackle heavy game, but here is where we can also run into trouble. In my experience the larger the animal, the more we need to get up to or above 300 grains bullet weight simply for the sake of energy. A heavy bullet can afford to shed some weight and mass (energy transfer) as a means to promote trauma. If using a lighter bullet we need to think about increasing retained weight after impact and using velocity to (hydraulic force) to promote trauma. It is for these reasons that as much as I like the Swift and Woodleigh medium weight bullets, I do not see them as being ideal for heavy game. Instead, I simply see them as being more useful on game weighing around or more than 450kg (1000lb) where angling shots are expected or where there is a chance of having to tackle animals of exceptional size for their species. On the other hand, pretty much all of the 250 grain .375 bullets mentioned with this text, both premium and non-premium, will tackle a 600kg Eland bull due to the nature of its weight distribution. Such are the contradictions we may find when discussing this subject.

When hunting tough game weighing between 450 and 600kg (roughly 1000-1300lb) using a medium weight .375” bullet it really is hard to go past a homogenous copper bullet design utilized at close ranges as a means to increase hydraulic force. Two useful medium weight copper pills include the 250 grain Barnes TTSX and the 250 grain Hornady GMX, both producing similar performance. These bullets do their very best work at impact velocities above 2600fps. While expansion may still be fully evident at 2200fps, hunters targeting heavy game would do well to consider 2400fps as a wise cut off point for wide wounding.

Of the heavy weight premium bullets the 300 grain Nosler is the softest. This projectile is most useful where lower impact velocities are to be expected or where game weights are between 300 and 600kg (660 to 1300lb), though 600kg should be considered the upper limit. The combination of full bullet expansion plus around 30% weight loss help the 300 grain partition to produce massive internal wounding across a wide range of impact velocities. The further we go below 2600fps the more useful this bullet weight shedding (no core bonding) can be. The 300 grain Nosler Partition is ideal for large Alaskan game out to ordinary hunting ranges.

The Woodleigh and Swift 300 grain bullets are optimally suited to close range work on large heavy game, achieving a good balance of expansion versus penetration. Both are go-to bullet designs for game weighing around 600kg (1300) but, like the TSX, are best used at very close ranges where energy is high. At impact velocities of 2600fps or slower neither can be called emphatic. The trouble is that the larger the animal (or further the range) the more we may find ourselves simply under gunned when taking shoulder shots with a .375 caliber rifle. In any case, both the Swift and Woodleigh are far more reliable for hunting bovines than the 300 grain Partition bullet. The new Hornady 300 grain bonded DGX should (there is that ‘doesn’t actually know for sure should’ again) prove equally effective.

The Barnes 270 and 300 grain TSX projectiles work best when driven as fast as safely possible and used at close ranges on heavy game weighing between 600 and 700kg (1300 to 1540lb) or more. Of the two the 270 grain bullet tends to strike the balance regarding velocity versus penetration. Seldom will I ever choose the 300 grain bullet. When I do, things are pretty serious. Again, getting close with an accurate rifle is the key. Near enough is not good enough, practice, stalk well, wait, pick your angles, and break bone.

The 350 grain Woodleigh round nose and protected point bullets come into their own on the heaviest of game where they are able to shed some weight and SD but continue to produce vivid wounding to a much deeper level than their 300 grain counterparts. There is certainly some merit to these bullets when facing game weighing over 700kg (1540lb). The key here is to put aside notions of extremely fast kills. As a researcher, I tend to look for the poleax effect as this subject interests me as a matter of research. But there are some animals which are just so large and tough that unless we were to use a Chey-Tac, or perhaps a .50 BMG, there is simply no way they are going to go straight down with ordinary body shots and there is no point chasing maximum velocities. This is where the 350 grain bullets can come into their own; the round nose where a wide range of game weights may be encountered and the stouter protected point for dedicated heavy game hunting.

Regarding the solid bullet designs: these are most useful for CNS shooting. Of the solid bullet designs, the round nose solids are gradually being superseded by flat or concave tip bullets capable of producing some measure of hydraulic force. This force is nothing more than the acceleration of water away from the path of the bullet, hopefully leading to a wound channel larger than the bullet diameter. At the time of writing there are now many buzz words used to label and describe bullets that are designed to enhance hydraulic action. The names at times are meaningless. The rules here are rather simple; the more the momentum of the bullet is interrupted on impact the greater the energy transfer (hydraulic force). The more streamlined the bullet the lower the energy transfer. Velocity is an additional key factor as this increases target resistance further. That said, the wounding potential of any solid bullet design is always less than that of an expanding bullet. But in the case of Solids, the bullet maker is focused on deep, straight line penetration on very heavy game. This is the primary consideration. However, it is good to see the likes of Woodleigh working towards optimal hydraulic force potential through the creation of their concaved solid bullets. Hornady on the other hand, have placed some focus on smooth feeding. By using a very basic lead core bullet with a partially flat nose, the cartridge OAL is kept short and without cramping powder space, while at the same time ammunition will generally feed smoothly from a box magazine.

As always, but especially when using solid bullets, shot placement is the key. To aim behind the shoulder simply underutilizes these bullet designs - a bonded soft point bullet would have been entirely adequate for this. It is vital that the hunter understand how to work his angles when using these bullet designs and that his rifle is accurate. Too many times I hear of a hunter stating that his gun only groups 3 MOA but this should be fine for very large animals. 3 MOA over the bench and with a sled equates to around 6 MOA in the field if the hunter can keep his cool and more likely 9 MOA in real word conditions. If you do not truly love shooting these big guns and challenging yourself don’t put animals through your ignorance. Love what you do and do it well.

 

Closing comments

The .375 Ruger is a splendid cartridge for medium game in bush / woods hunting situations, it is an exceptional performer on large bodied game and a modest performer on heavy game. The compact case is extremely well suited to a very wide range of rifle actions. One could go so far as to call it the medium bore work horse equivalent of the ever reliable .308 Winchester.

Beast 1 crosshair WL-897

This feral cattle beast weighs around 600kg (1300lb). Although very large, his cunning friend hiding in the vegetation behind him weighs around 900kg (1980lb). To put either animal down on the spot requires both a tough bullet and careful shot placement. Impact velocity is also a key factor. In this instance, I waited a long time for smaller bull to quarter on so that I could take this photo for demonstration purposes. The neck / shoulder junction is also exposed, offering a fast killing point of aim.

 

Suggested loads: .375 Ruger

Barrel length: 23”

No

ID

 

Sectional Density

Ballistic Coefficient

Observed MV Fps

ME
Ft-lb’s

1

FL

Hornady 250gr GMX

.254

.430

2875

4588

2

FL

Hornady 270gr SP-RP

.274

.424

2815

4750

3

FL

Hornady 300gr DGX/DGS

.305

.275

2635

4624

4

HL

235gr Speer, Barnes TSX,

Woodleigh

.239

.301

3050

4853

5

HL

250gr Sierra BTSP

.254

.375

2900

4668

6

HL

270gr Speer BTSP

.254

.429

2800

4699

7

HL

300gr Sierra BTSP

.305

.475

2700

4855

8

HL

300gr Woodleigh PP

.305

.380

2700

4855

 

Suggested sight settings and bullet paths

 

 

 

 

1

Yards

100

256

295

325

 

 

 

 

Bt. path

+3

0

-3

-6

 

 

 

2

Yards

100

247

285

300

325

350

 

 

Bt. path

+3

0

-3

-4.5

-7.4

-10.8

 

3

Yards

100

185

215

250

 

 

 

 

Bt. path

+2

0

-2

-5.4

 

 

 

4

Yards

100

262

300

325

350

 

 

 

Bt. path

+3

0

-3

-5.6

-8.7

 

 

5

Yards

100

255

293

325

350

375

400

 

Bt. path

+3

0

-3

-6.4

-9.6

-13.2

-17.5

6

Yards

100

250

289

325

350

375

400

 

Bt. path

+3

0

-3

-6.9

-10.1

-13.8

-18.1

7

Yards

100

240

279

300

325

350

400

 

Bt. path

+3

0

-3

-5.2

-8.1

-11.3

-19.9

8

Yards

100

200

232

250

 

 

 

 

Bt. path

+2

0

-2

-3.5

 

 

 


Sight height 1.6” (Scope).

No

At yards

10mphXwind

Velocity

Ft-lb’s

1

300

7.1

2261

2836

2

300

8.4

2135

2732

3

200

5.6

2029

2742

4

300

9.8

2165

2446

5

300

8.5

2180

2637

6

300

7.4

2194

2886

7

300

6.9

2165

3121

8

200

3.8

2246

3360

 

300 yard wind value (very) roughly doubles at 400 yards.

 

375 Ruger final

 

.375 Ruger

Imperial

Metric

A

.532

13.5

B

.532

13.5

C

30 deg

 

D

.515

13.08

E

.405

10.29

F

2.180

55.36

G

.305

7.75

H

2.580

65.53

Max Case

2.580

65.53

Trim length

2.570

65.2

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