Disclaimer: 375ruger.com is in no way affiliated with Ruger. All opinions expressed on this page are my own. That said...

Welcome to my fan page of 375 Ruger.

by Mario Vodopivec, Sep 2nd, 2015.

While this site is being developed, I will start by explaining why I think 375 Ruger is a great cartridge that's here to stay.
  1. It's as powerful, and then some, as the much older 375 H&H.
  2. It fits into standard-length action. That makes rifles lighter, and less expensive to make.
  3. It doesn't have that ugly magnum belt that servers no purpose in most cartridges (if it has a shoulder, it doesn't need the belt), and is detrimental to case longevity (if you reload, you know the bulge problem belted magnums develop).
  4. It doesn't have a rebated rim that, for example, WSM cartridges do.
  5. Shorter and fatter case (than 375 H&H), at least in theory, improve accuracy of the cartridge. While I cannot with certainty claim that this is more than just a theory, my 375 Ruger rifle has been exceptionally accurate with the very first load I tried.
In other words, in my view, 375 Ruger is a flawless cartridge - in the same sense 30-06 is.

Now the downsides (and there are always some, for everything):
  1. Shorter and fatter cartridge (than 375 H&H) requires more attention when making rifle action in order to make sure that it feeds properly. My own Ruger rifle had an obvious feeding problem (more about that later) that I was able to resolve. Note that once you have a rifle that feeds properly, this is no longer an issue - what I am saying is that manufacturers (in this case Ruger) have to invest more effort to make 375 Ruger rifles feed smoothly than they have to do for 375 H&H, whose longer and more tapered case is less sensitive to action imperfections.
  2. 375 Ruger rifles have a lower capacity magazine. Typically magazine capacity is 3 (+1 in chamber) as opposed to 5 (+1 in chamber) for 375 H&H rifles (e.g. CZ Safari Magnum). My own rifle occasionally had a bolt override problem when magazine is full (another Ruger quality control issue?), which effectively made it 2+1 rifle if I wanted it to be 100% reliable. More about this later.

The test rifle

I was waiting a few years to come across the perfect 375 Ruger rifle, which met the following criteria I have set: made by Ruger (e.g. having Ruger controlled feed action), laminate stock, stainless, and with 23 or longer barrel with no muzzle brake. It also had to be right-handed.

At the moment when I write this, I don't see often one of these available, and none in Canada where I live. The most available rifles seem to be Ruger African, and Ruger Guide Gun, both of which feature a replaceable muzzle brake. To each his own, but I hate muzzle breaks, and don't like the "plug" that comes instead of them either. It's just another thing that I would never use, and would make rifle cleaning more difficult and time consuming, as dirt seems to always find its way into the threads.

The plastic stock "extenders" that come with Ruger Guide Gun may be practical, but I don't like how they look like. And the barrel is too short, another thing detrimental to rifle's beauty.

As for the Ruger African, it's also a good looking rifle, and it was even possible to find one without a muzzle brake and with 23" blued barrel. However, I am far more likely, by two orders of magnitude, to hunt with it in North America than in Africa, and stainless / laminate combination makes me less worry about extended exposure to elements.

Hence, when I finally saw my perfect rifle on prophetriver, I reacted quickly. And a few days later, I was the lucky owner of a beautiful stainless rifle with black laminate stock and 23" stainless barrel in 375 Ruger.

Range test

Ruger rifle in 375 Ruger is a shooter. The very first combination of powder (H414) and bullet (Barnes TSX 270) I chose produced consistent MOA accuracy. When I say MOA, I don't mean 3 bullet one-inch group once in a while - I mean that when I do my part, *ALL* bullets on the same target (10 or so) will always end up in that 1 inch circle around the bullseye, with no fliers. With that definition in mind, this is an exceptionally accurate rifle. This test was made with inexpensive Bushnell Banner 1.75-4 shotgun scope that I like because it has a generous eye relief (6 inches). That MOA accuracy was achieved with this low-powered scope and also includes any error of my own.

Before doing my own test, I read online some other reviews in which some testers (no names here) were using up to 86 grains, or more, of H414 with the same bullet I used (Barnes 270 TSX). This seems way too much, and in fact, irresponsible no matter what they tell you. Barnes manual lists maximum load of Win 760 powder with 270 TSX bullet at 81 grain, which results in bullet speed of 2815 fps. Since Win 760 is, by many accounts, the same powder as H414, this is the absolute maximum I would use. My experience (see below) more or less matches the load data from the Barnes manual.

I started low at 74 grains, went up to 80 grains, and finally settled on 78 grains of H414 with 270 Barnes TSX bullet, Hornady brass and Winchester Magnum primer. This load was varying on chronograph between 2730 fps and 2790 fps, and I tested it both in January at around 0 C, and in late August at around 23 C. There was no perceivable difference outside-temperature wise, the variation in speed seemed to be unrelated to it. You can probably go a little hotter (e.g. 80 grains) than this to achieve mean speed of 2800 fps, which is what is its specification in most reloading manuals. At the end, however, I saw no need to go hotter than 78 grains, and in addition I like to keep some margin of safety. I want it to be safe in all conditions, and I don't want to experience stiff bolt ever, and especially not when hunting dangerous game, which is what this cartridge is for.

Recoil

As you may already assume, recoil is significant. After 3-4 shots at the range without additional protection you will be pretty shaken by it. For sessions of 10-15 rounds, I use Caldwell Lead Sled Solo, and while they recommend more expensive models for Magnum calibers, I find it quite adequate. You feel some recoil with it, but far less than, e.g. 30-06, which I am able to shoot all day without any pad on my shoulder. If I had to describe it, would say that recoil from 375 Ruger is significantly stronger than 3-inch shotgun Turkey loads fired from non-semi-automatic shotgun.

More to come soon... in the meantime you can contact me at support(A)375ruger.com if needed.
Loaded 375 Ruger ammunition
Components used in the first test
375 Ruger compared to 30-06