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Safari Calibers: The 375 Holland and Holland

The .375 H&H is synonymous with big game shooting. A legend in its own time, it has been used on every continent to harvest game and defend food stores. The 375 Holland and Holland has become a living legend, known by almost everyone, and who the very mention stirs up the life, excitement and adventure of wild hunts across the African Continent where hunters risked life and limb at the hands of the most lethal collection of wild game found anywhere in the world. Whether being poisoned by some snake, trampled by Rhino, gored by a Cape Buffalo, or eaten by Tiger, the 375 H&H was there for it all.

Originally developed in 1912, the was the first Medium Bore rifle to deliver the stopping power required for big game. Its long tapered shell allowed it to hold a significant amount of powder which in turn was able to generate proper hunting velocities at lesser pressures. The belt located directly before the extractor groove was designed as stop-block to ensure positive and consistent head space. Although the .375 H&H was not the first belted magnum (.400/375 Belted Nitro Express 1905-1938), it was the first one to become widely accepted among the hunting community as a reliable and effective big game round. I was quickly produced in the bolt action express rifles and soon would become one of the most desired calibers of big game hunters.

Being a medium bore casing, the .375 H&H is considered undersized for Cape buffalo and elephant but has dropped more than its fair share either species. It also shot remarkably flat which was ideal for plains game. Rather than trying to lob a piece of lead into the intended target, the trajectory of the .375 H&H made for an effective plains gun for animals out to 300 yards and beyond.

There have been hundreds of various calibers produced with the idea of big game hunting. Many of them have improved on the ballistic performance of the .375 Holland and Holland but none have been so extensively accepted by the hunting community nor produced by the gun industry. The caliber is still prominent in modern rifles. Before their demise, Winchester produced the Model 70 Safari Express in 375 H&H. Currently, the Remington 700 and 799, the Ruger M77, and the CZ 550 are all factory produced in the 375 H&H. Propelled by legend and pronounced by history, it will continue to spread in reputation and will continue to be available through out time.

Kelsey Hilderbrand is an avid shooter, hunter, collector, outdoor writer, and founder of High Mountain Hunting Supply