Africa the great hunting grounds of every hunters dreams where large beasts roam freely. A land like no other where all began and where all may end in the ultimate challenge of man and beast! On the planet there is only one other place that offers the most extreme test of cartridge rifle and a hunters skill. Alaska the United States last great frontier where man is not the top carnivore a land where huge bears reign as the king of the food chain..... These are the places that the .375 caliber became a legend. and where the .375 Ruger cartridge was designed to rise up and claim the title of most versatile dangerous game cartridge.
I have been intrigued by dangerous game rifles as well as one of those hunters that dreams of these two great places since I held my first Drilling and Holland & Holland rifle. Unfortunately I have never got to set foot into the wilds of Africa or Alaska but I have had the opportunity to shoulder many fine dangerous game rifles. The majority of which have been chambered in probably one of the greatest cartridges of all time... the .375 H&H Magnum. I have always had one problem with bolt-actions chambered in this fine old cartridge... many didn't fit me and some in fact felt like a boat paddle to me. The closest I ever came to one that shouldered perfect was a beautiful Holland & Holland that had been crafted to fit a shooter similar to my build. This is one reason that I got really excited when I heard the news of the .375 Ruger; a cartridge that would match the .375 H&H in performance but fit into a standard size action. It has taken some time to get my hands on one of the Ruger 77 African rifles that the cartridge was originally chambered when released as a joint project with Hornady.
I was really impressed with the mass produced Ruger rifle that was not only a nice looking firearm but a really solid Mauser type action with one of the best safeties on the market. The action is fast smooth and overall the rifle shoulders excellent for a mass produced rifle as well as some custom rifles I have seen. The checkering in placed perfectly slightly forward on the fore arm allowing for a better grip on the stock and wrapped around the stock. Thus allowing the palm of the hand as well as the fingers to get a good taste of the checkering. This allows not only for a better looking stock but a far greater stability to the shooters ability to hold on to the rifle during recoil. The version I have is one of the first years of production that has a sling swivel on the front of the stock rather than the barrel band type later adopted by Ruger. I at first was worried about this feature as I have seen what can happen when a hand comes into contact with a sling swivel during extreme recoil; however the design of the rifle as well as the manageable recoil of the .375 cartridge has proven that this is of no worry.
When I received the Ruger African included were two boxes of ammunition; one box of #8231 Horandy Superforamnce 270 grain SP-RP Interlock and one box of # 8233 Hornady .300 grain RN Interlock ( this later ammunition I believe has been replaced by the Superformance .300 grain DGX). I have since obtained a box of # 8232 Hornady Superformance .300 grain DGS ammunition and these will be what I started my work with on the .375 Ruger cartridge.The first I took to the range was the .270 grain ammunition as I figured this would be the easiest recoiling of all the factory loads as it had the lowest grain weight. The first time at the range was just to get an initial response to the firearm... I was really surprised at how easy the rifle kicked....even on later trips to the range shooting the larger grain ammunition.... I have shot .30-06 as well as .300 Winchester Magnum chambered rifles that have kicked much harder. I of course was shooting from a standing position without a scope. The open sights are really nice on the Ruger... perfect for fast picture acquisition in close quarters...accuracy was very good even with only the open sights at a distance of 75 yards. I will probably attach a scope to test accuracy at distances beyond 75 to 100 yds as my eyes are not what they used to be when I first shot a rifle. Below you will find links to the Hornady web-site that will give factory ballistics as well as other information for all factory loads mentioned above in this article.