Caveat Emptor

A couple of people wrote to me over the weekend following last Friday’s post about hunting buffalo, and more specifically about the venerable .375 H&H Magnum cartridge.

I’m going to be about as blunt as I can when it comes to talking about the .375 H&H.  It is, as mentioned earlier, a cartridge designed to kill dangerous game — “dangerous” being roughly defined as “if you don’t kill it, the animal is going to do its best to kill you instead.”

This is not the time to worry about the cost of the ammo, especially as the typical African buff- or Kodiak bear hunt will only see at best a handful of cartridges fired.  Cost is irrelevant compared to having the best stuff you can have, because it’s your life you’re entrusting to it.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but if you’ve just dropped several grand on your outfitter’s fees and (well) over $10,000 on your double .375 H&H rifle, an ammo cost of $100 per box of 20 is even less than a rounding error.  (Remember, a box of twenty should last you two trips, if you do your job.)

However:  this does not mean you shouldn’t be wise to the price of the stuff, either.  Here’s an example, using the much-respected Federal Cape-Shok 300gr solids.  From Graf & Sons (not the cheapest of ammo vendors out there, because of their vast offerings across many cartridge types and sizes), we see this:

Now at first glance that’s an eye-watering amount to spend, but it’s not quite as eye-watering as this:

Now we all know that CTD isn’t anything like cheaper than dirt, the rapacious scumbags, but even so… that’s a hefty premium.

If you wanted to save money in order to practice before setting out (always a good thing when you’re going to be entrusting your life to a single bullet), you can actually do so relatively cheaply with soft-pointed ammo such as this:

Note that the bullet weight (300gr) is the same, so you should get more or less the same grouping as the solids — but always test it.)

Now you know.


  1. Hmmmmmm .

    That is one big nasty customer, alright. I wonder why the venerable .45-70 isn’t on the table for him? North American bison are heavy weights too, and .45-70 will handle them with aplomb even at range. I wouldn’t hesitate if offered a decent shot at that critter – a properly stoked cartridge with a hard cast 500 grain round nose from an elegant 1885 single shot would end the hunt nicely. (And speaking of elegance, that double gun in your previous post with the scope, had all the elegance of a plate of caviar drowned in ketchup). But – I prattle: I am making my ammo at about 10 or 15 bucks a box. It is my conviction that you can’t be a rifleman without a reloader. Looking at those cretins that are taking aim at your president as we speak, one must take as much control of his ammo supply as he can.

  2. Not quite to the shoot them all switch. I am getting some things ready though. I think anyone who id’s as a journalist will get top billing.

    Have to see what happens between now and the electorial college meeting

    Only good thing is more people have seen FoxNews for what it is.

  3. I would hope that a prosepective hunter would be firing dozens of rounds before venturing out to get used to firing them, the recoil, and so on. As you say, the cost of a round is a rounding error. And it’s your life on the line.

    However, may I suggest a larger calibre? 🙂

  4. Too bad I can’t post pictures, but I sent the picture to you via email.
    I want this for hunting buff, because eight rounds are better than two.

  5. I dearly love my CZ 550 in .375, but I’m not messing with any of the big 5 with less than a .416 Rigby.

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