Since boyhood days of reading hunting tales of darkest Africa, I’ve had a fondness for the .375 H&H cartridge. It truly is one of the greatest cartridges ever conceived. While enamored of .375-calibre cartridges in general, I came to the conclusion that the .375 Winchester was not quite enough and .375 H&H rifles were just too heavy to carry all day. What I sought was a cartridge with ballistics between the .375 Winchester and the .375 H&H with power for any North American game and a recoil level that could be managed by a 7-pound Ruger No.1.
While the .375 Whelen fills the bill, like virtually all cartridges introduced in the past 100 years, it was designed for bolt-action rifles - not singleshots. It’s a rimless design and has a long, straight, cylindrical body with hardly any taper and a barely sufficient shoulder for proper headspacing. Not the ideal design for a singleshot rifle with very limited extractor travel. Yes, it can be argued that the Ruger No.1 has an assisted ejector which makes it suitable for those long, straight cartridges, but we'll get to that later.
Bolt action rifles and other repeaters have an extraction advantage over singleshots in that they hold and pull the cartridge from the chamber the whole length of the bolt's travel and assure full extraction from the chamber. Singleshots, on the other hand, have very limited extraction capability - some having merely a quarter-inch of extractor travel. With some singleshot designs, one must pluck the cartridge from the chamber once the extractor has loosened it. While not a problem at the shooting range, if one needs to reload in a hurry, that little bit of extra time needed to clear the empty from the chamber can be critical when hunting, especially with today's scopes which block ready access to the No.1's chamber.
As the old-timers knew, for a singleshot rifle, a cartridge with lots of taper will be free of the chamber and literally fall out of the rifle with just a little coaxing from the extractor. Also, a large, thick rim will provide better headspacing and allow the extractor to muscle a stuck case loose without the extractor pulling through the rim as can happen to rimless cartridges with their thinner rims.
The .375 Renner
For those fans of the Ruger No.1 and the .375-bore who also find the .375 Winchester lacking and the .375 H&H just a bit too much of a good thing, there's a new cartridge available. The .375 Renner is a cartridge designed specifically for the Ruger No.1 and hunting North American big game. It provides generous taper of the case, a gentle shoulder, and robust rim, while having capacity to hold 60 grains of IMR powders under the bullet. It easily duplicates ballistics of the .375 Whelen, or the more recent .375 Hawk/Scovill without their high-cost of custom reamers, brass cases, and loading dies.
While patterned after the classic English singleshot cartridges of yesteryear, the .375 Renner is a brand new design and is based upon the .45-90 Winchester case. The .45-90 case is simply necked down within an appropriately shortened .375 H&H sizing die. It’s that simple. The result is an amazingly flexible cartridge capable of taking anything from marmots to moose and it will do it all with less stress than produced by the big .375 magnums.
Although the .375 Renner is a wildcat cartridge, it’s simple to make and load and even the novice hand loader will master it quickly. Yet, it offers new horizons of ballistic exploration for the most advanced hand loader - and we haven't even started exploring its potential as a long-range blackpowder cartridge.
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Many safety-conscious hunters don't load their rifle until they have actually spotted the game. Others will open the action in the field to be sure the chamber is loaded before taking the shot. To open the action of the No.1 at that point will blast a loud, distinctive, and strange sound into the surrounding environment that will alert every creature well into the next zip code of your presence. And, if that wasn’t enough to spook them, that second loud, metallic SNAP! - when you close the action - surely will.
Because of the generous tapered shape of the .375 Renner case, there is no need for the spring-loaded ejector mechanism. The action can be opened and closed very quietly and the case will easily be extracted from the chamber.
The .375 Renner English Stalking Rifle
The .375 Renner English Stalking Rifle is a complete package. We begin with your Ruger No.1 and perform our English Stalking Rifle treatment to slenderize and refine its form. We also re-barrel your action and fit it with a premium grade 24-inch barrel chambered for the .375 Renner cartridge. The result is a wonderfully accurate, slender, and perfectly-balanced 7-pound rifle. Included are 20 formed cartridge cases and loading dies with a shell holder. Additional .375 Renner cases are easily made from Starline .45-90 brass that is readily available from Midway USA or from Starline.
The price for the basic .375 Renner English Stalking Rifle package is only $2,000. Custom features are also available; click on the OPTIONS link at the top of this page for more information.
Call me today to discuss your .375 Renner English Stalking Rifle or any of my other Trophy Rifle custom services. Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed. You have my name on it!
The .375 Renner was developed around the excellent Speer 235-grain Hot Core bullet. If bigger, tougher game is on the menu, one can use the Speer 270-grain boat tail bullets. While other more “high-tech” (translate as more expensive) bullets are available, these mentioned are time-proven performers. Their relatively low-cost / high-performance factor (especially the Speer 235-grainer) makes them very useful for the hand loader who wishes to practice with his rifle often and not with just a few shots before big game season. The Sierra 200-grain flat point is also very economical and useful for taking Class 2 game, such as pronghorn and the exotic sheep and goats at closer range. And, let's not forget cast bullets for accurate, economical plinking and small game. When loaded with cast bullets the .375 Renner really shines. For a review of the loading potential of the .375 Renner cartridge, click on this link: Load Data & Cartridge Specs.
Due to its long, tapered, gentle shoulder design, the .375 Renner, like its inspiration, the .375 H&H, is a very versatile cartridge. It can be safely loaded to span the performance spectrum from the .38-55 Winchester on the low end and can nip the heels of the mighty .375 H&H at the top end. However, the objective is not to create yet another magnum, but rather to move those bullets mentioned at moderate velocities of 2200 – 2400 fps at reasonable pressure levels that are not hard on the brass, the rifle, or the shooter. While it's possible to push the envelope even more, it’s not really necessary to squeeze every foot-per-second out of the cartridge. Load for best accuracy. Remember that if you do your part and a good shot is made, a few more feet-per-second does not necessarily kill the game any deader or any quicker.
The Quiet No.1
Silence of operation is a real virtue in a hunting rifle. One of the detractions of the Ruger No.1 - at least in my opinion - is its earlier-mentioned spring-loaded extractor/ejector which assists in extraction and ejection of the case from the chamber. Granted, that feature is mechanically clever and helps when trying to vacate a long, fat, overbore cartridge from the chamber. However, when opening the action of the No. 1, one will hear a very loud, sharp, metallic “SNAP!” as if something inside the rifle just broke. Again, you will hear it when the action is closed. That’s the sound of the spring-loaded ejector mechanism. While not a concern when shooting at the range, for some it’s not acceptable in the field.