The .375 H&H Magnum: When Everything is on the Menu, Including You

Updated on April 7, 2018
LJ Bonham profile image

LJ Bonham is a semi-subsistence hunter, hunting magazine editor, and firearms enthusiast who lives in the Rocky Mountains.


Up Close and Personal with Animals that Can Kill You

“Why do you drag that heavy African safari gun around the Rocky Mountains?” My hunting partners asked, incredulous anyone would bring such a powerful caliber on a mule deer and elk hunt.

Why indeed? My memory flashed back to the previous season. I had stood on an abandoned logging road two hundred feet below a pine dotted ridgeline for over an hour. I waited for the deer I knew would filter down through the timber in the late afternoon. Something dark caught my eye in a Douglas fir stand. I turned. Out walked a moose calf, unconcerned I was there.

“Not good,” I thought. Then the calf’s mother appeared – all seven hundred pounds – fifty yards away. She fixed me with an icy glare. I was not welcome. We eyed each other for ten, long minutes while she pondered whether to stomp me into the grass and knap weed with sharp, frying pan sized hooves.

I dialed the Leupold scope to its lowest magnification and slipped off the Winchester Model 70’s safety. I would get only one chance to live if momma moose charged. Fortunately for all, she gave a derisive snort and escorted baby back into the timber the way they had come. It took a good while for my heart to stop pounding in my ears. The big Nosler bullet in the .375 Holland & Holland’s chamber had been all that stood between me and serious injury or death.

The moose could just as easily have been a grizzly bear or mountain lion, both common in those parts, and my faith in Holland & Holland’s hundred year old angry animal stopper had been re-affirmed.

L-R: .375 H&H, .338 Win Mag
L-R: .375 H&H, .338 Win Mag | Source

The .375 H&H Story

The .375 H&H magnum was born in 1912. African big game hunting’s golden age was underway. English aristocrats had been joined by Americans—flush with new money from an energetic economy—and European colonial farmers. The newcomers were armed with Mauser designed bolt action rifles. More affordable than the nobility’s custom built double rifles which had been the norm. The bolt actions carried more rounds but lacked cartridges powerful enough for Africa’s largest game animals. Also, a hunter needed several doubles on hand to deal with both the Big Five plus plains animals such as impala and zebra.

The new adventurers and farmers wanted a cartridge for their magazine fed rifles versatile enough for everything they encountered. English gun maker Holland and Holland saw this need and designed a revolutionary cartridge to satisfy their new customers. It had a long case for the cordite gunpowder then in use, and almost no shoulder to eliminate jams in a bolt action. This sleek case presented a problem; the narrow shoulder would not head space reliably in the firing chamber. They solved this with the raised belt from their .400/375 Belted Nitro round introduced in 1905. The belt wrapped around the case head just in front of the extractor groove, and provided enough bearing surface to position the cartridge secure in the chamber. This case went on to father dozens more magnum cartridges throughout the twentieth century.


What Makes the .375 H&H So Special?

What makes the .375 H&H so special? Versatility. When first introduced, the .375 used three bullet weights: 235, 270, and 300 grains for light, medium, and large game. Unlike most cartridges, the .375 will generally shoot any bullet weight to the same point of impact. This allows the hunter to carry loads for all anticipated situations and not re-sight for each one. Also, the recoil is much less than other dangerous game calibers such as the .416 Rigby or classic Nitro-Express loads.

The 235 grain load was not popular and it disappeared soon after introduction. American and European ammunition makers embraced the cartridge and it has been produced ever since. Today’s factory loads usually offer either a 270 or 300 grain bullet. The 270 is ideal for light, medium, and large, non-dangerous game. The 300 grain is intended for large and or dangerous game. Both loads can be used on lighter or heavier game than intended in a pinch.

Hand loaders can choose bullets from 200 grains up to 350. This covers every game species that walks the earth from antelope to elephant. Loaded with 250 to 270 grain bullets, the .375 has a trajectory similar to the .30-06, the most common game cartridge in the world, so it can reliably drop even moose sized animals out to four hundred yards, and beyond.

The 300 and 350 grain loads are the choice for a one rifle dangerous game hunt, either in Africa or North America, and can still take deer/elk sized game to three hundred yards if needed.

The .375 H&H magnum: versatile, powerful, accurate, and manageable. Recommended by African Professional Hunters and Alaskan guides alike. The do it all, gold standard big game cartridge.

.375 H&H vs its old adversary, the Cape buffalo

The Power of the Mighty .375 H&H!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)