Shooting the Mannlicher 375 H-H

Discussion in 'Sako Mannlichers and Carbines' started by Savannah AL, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Savannah AL

    Savannah AL Member

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    Hello Everyone,
    About 2 weeks ago I purchased a Sako Mannlicher L61R AV in 375 H&H and I wanted to share my experience shooting this rifle. This rifle marked a lot of firsts for me: first Sako, first bolt action ever owned, and first 375H&H. I am left eye dominant and own lever-actions, single-shots, and I have two double-rifles, but never a bolt until now. My largest caliber until now was the 405 winchester - a round I really like.

    AMMO: I couldn't find 375 ammo in the Savannah area as I elephant population is very low. So I mailed ordered some that arrived this past Tuesday. I selected Nosler Trophy Grade AccuBond 300gr as I have had good results with Nosler ammo in past rifles. Per the label, at the muzzle it is at 2400 fps and 3836 ft-lbs, 50yd 2313 fps and 3563 ft-lbs, and 100yd at 2228 fps and 3306 ft-lbs. I believe this is based on a 24 inch barrel and I have a 19 inch barrel that will cause the fps to drop 150 to 175.

    SCOPE: I had a Nikon Prostaff 2-7x32mm with 1-inch tube lying around so I mounted it and the bolt just cleared but it worked. With the rifle fully set-up it weighed 8lbs 14oz.

    TEMP: March 15th was the worse day we have had this winter. The temp at range time was 37f, humidity was 51% and the wind was 25mph. I was the only one at the range except the two range officers. Far from ideal weather but the day worked into my schedule so I went.

    RECOIL PAD: The factory red Sako recoil pad has become extremely hard almost brittle like. I plan on carefully removing it and keeping it with the gun, but adding a new pad. The current pad is rock hard.

    FIRING IMPRESSIONS: I fired a total of 10 shots before I called it quits. It was not as bad as I thought it would be but the recoil was stout. It felt like thunder in a little stick! I've had a cervical (neck) operation and a lumbar and my overall spine is in bad shape, and after 10 shots my neck was bothering me and not really my shoulder, although I could feel it with every shot. I'm 6ft 3in and 180 lbs and a senior, so I'm definitely no stud out there at the firing line.


    SHOT RESULTS: I first placed the target at 25 yards and was dancing around the bullseye within 5 inches. I think this was a combo of a little jitters and dialing in the scope. I had 5 shots at 25 yards before moving to 80 yards. Why 80 yards? The range max is 100 yards and it rained a day or two prior and the 90-100 yard section was muddy, so I opted for 80 yards. My last 4 shots touched each other about 1-2 inches right of the bullseye. At that point I had enough fun and it would have to wait until another day.

    Also of surprise was the lack of barrel heat. Granted it was a cold windy day but with such a light rifle I was expecting a light barrel prone to heat. I have a Browning BLR Stainless in 243 that I shoot more than all my other rifles. Great little gun, surprising accuracy for a lever, but that barrel will heat of quick even with 1 to 2 minutes between shots. The Sako barrel never got warm, but I'll evaluate that further on a 70f day.

    FUTURE TEST: My next visit the target will be at 100yards. I'm also leaning towards buying a Burris MTAC 1.5-6x42mm but this scope has a 30mm body and I will need 30mm High rings to accomodate and I suspect bolt clearance will be ok. I've had good luck with higher power Burris MTAC scopes previously.

    OVERALL IMPRESSION: I'm glad I bought this Sako. It is a sleek little gun running on high octane. I did slip my ear muffs off for one shot and the 375 with that short barrel definitely cracks but I expected as much. I doubt I'll ever make it to the dark continent but if I did I would want to walk around with this lightweight Sako, it has great balance, a joy to carry, and has authority in the chambering.

    I'd welcome any info on the 375 H&H, I'm totally new to the caliber.
    Also, if anyone knows of a good book or chapter of a book that covers Sako's please let me know. I'd like to learn more. Thanks!




     

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  2. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    My 375 has not been to Africa - yet. I bought it when I was stationed in AK. That was a LONG time ago, so when I'd grab a rifle to hunt, the 375 would whine and say "please take me", eventually I did, It's a great deer gun, I've taken a couple of deer and pigs with mine; there's a hole about the size of my pinky finger going in and out, by time the bullet thinks about expanding, it's through these tiny deer (almost like shooting a solid!!).
    375 H&H in Coastal Georgia, I've seen it but I don't shoot factory loads.........
     
  3. Branxhunter

    Branxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great write up Savannah AL. Looks like that rifle is a hoot, and shoots quite well also. The photo across the chair seems to suggest some quite nice figure in the butt.

    Marcus
     
  4. Savannah AL

    Savannah AL Member

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    Thanks Marcus,
    For a quick temporary fix I took some duct tape and a Browning gel pad that was designed for a shotgun and duct taped it to the right side of the stock since I am a leftie. I cracked my lower left jaw years ago (a bicycle fall, nothing exciting like a pub fight!) and have a chip of bone missing and it is still sensitive, so I wanted the cushion.
    I have to figure out a nicer fix, maybe moleskin? I need to replace the brick hard recoil pad, and put a scope I like more on it, and then - off to the range.
    Like I said above, I'm very glad I stumbled upon this and I hope it with me for a long while. Cheers mate!
     
  5. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I want one.
     
  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Did you add the shell holder & the shoulder pad to the Cabela's vest? Nice idea!! There are several strap on buttstock ammo carriers/comb pads available that are nicely padded & also allow comb height adjustment that may help your cheek slap issue. For heavy recoil a Limb Saver pad is about the softest & most recoil absorbing I have found. Thanks for the feedback on your rifle!!
     
  7. Savannah AL

    Savannah AL Member

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    I made my own vest out of necessity. Down here in the swamps of Georgia are thorns and more thorns. I could only find cotton shooting vest and hunting vest and after 2 seasons they would look like shredded cheese. I wanted canvas which was very popular in the 1960s when I first started hunting.

    So I bought that Cabelas vest that was in the work wear section, bought a couple feet of canvas fabric and went to a Korean sew shop and they sewed a shotgun pad insert on the left shoulder for me. It works great and the canvas holds up to the thorns.

    I had the leather shell hold laying around my gun room and had that sewn on. It works great with 45-70, just a little short with 405 win, and as you can see the 375H&H are out of the loops quite a bit. Overall I've been real happy with it and I have just under $100 into it.

    I agree with you on Limb Saver, I have a number of them on my rifles and find them also the most recoil absorbing. ... AL
     
  8. d500lnn

    d500lnn Well-Known Member

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    Really great looking rifle.
     
  9. bulldurham48

    bulldurham48 Member

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  10. bulldurham48

    bulldurham48 Member

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    I just bought a Sako 375 H&H again, sold my first one in 87, had hunted in Germany for 7 years with it and always reloaded for it. Always used 250 gr bullets and found out it would kill anything and everything Germany had to offer all with very minimum tissue damage, everything from the little Roe deer to the Red Deer Stags and it was a true Boar stopper. Sadly sold mine to pay taxes in 87 an been looking since,found 1 in OH the other day and bought it. Will have it a few days an will hunt whitetail with it. Maybe over gunned, but there is nothing like the feel and shooting a Sako 375 H&H Full stock gun. Still trying to find my reloading data on it, but will reload with 250 gr bullets, shoot fantastic groups from 50 to 200 meters and beyond if you want. Now have 3 Sako's, 22-250, 270, an now 375 H&H. Anyone with any good reloading date for the short barrell please pass it around, will sure save me and others some money and time.
     
  11. gowyo

    gowyo Sako Junkie

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    I want one too.
     
  12. BRLMKR

    BRLMKR Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I haven't been on in a while. Just saw this thread. My Mannlicher stocked 375 is my go to rifle. I do have one issue with it, that being I feel the stock is just a bit too bulky. So, I intend to get it restocked with a one piece that is slightly narrower. This is my second AV (yeah, foolishly sold the first for what must have been a good reason at the time). This is my fifth 375 and the only one I now own.

    At this point I only load Barnes 300 grainers. Don't know why because it will never see Africa, but will get back to Alaska. With the TSX (which I can hunt with in California) I have found Re 15 to be the best powder for ALL previous rifles and also this one. My load for a 23" Ruger was 71.5 gr. and chrono'd @ 2530 fps. In 2 Kimber 24" barrels that same load clocked 2614 and 2616 fps. That load in this rifle is accurate, but even more accurate is 70.0 gr of Re 15 and in the 20" barrel that load chronos at 2473 fps - more than enough for anything I'll hunt. So far that load hasn't grouped bigger that 5/8" with 1 going 0.261" and one a phenomenal 0.023". Now, these are only 3 shot groups @ 100 yds, but I have never fired 3 rounds at a big game animal. And they are also shot with a cold barrel, usually taking 1/2 hour or longer to shoot.

    I only hope restocking doesn't end up messing with the accuracy! But, I am going to do it. Mannlichers have always been my favorite and the 375 (along with the 7x57) my favorite calibers. I have owned 2 of the newer 85's (a 6.5x55 and a 338 Fed). Got both to shoot very well, but just like the 375 better. That said, I really wanted one of the newer ones in 9.3x62, but was told they didn't import them into the US. And that was the reason for getting this latest 375.

    A really nice rifle. Good luck good hunting with yours! Terry
     
  13. icebear

    icebear Active Member

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    If you are going to shoot a short-barreled .375 I'd suggest handloading to reduce recoil, noise, and muzzle blast. I've never shot a Sako carbine in .375, but I've owned a Whitworth safari rifle in that caliber, as well as a .35 Newton that has about the same muzzle energy. My biggest Sako is a 9.3x62, which is also in the African class.

    I have a Sako full-stock carbine in .30-06 that is shockingly accurate, but with factory ammo it throws a flame out the muzzle that you could kill your deer and barbecue it with the same shot. I loaded up some ammo with a fast-burning powder, producing somewhat less velocity but a lot less recoil, noise, and blast. With the handloads the carbine shoots 3/4 MOA consistently. I think your .375 would be a lot more fun to shoot if you tried something similar. Seems to me the .375 carbine would be a great choice for wild hogs, and loading down a bit wouldn't make it any less effective.
     
  14. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    My 375 has a 20" barrel, I use 75 gr IMR 4350 and Mag Primers, 300 gr Sierras or Noslers, or Hornady FMJs. I use the same load for 270s which is a mild load for that but works for me!
     
  15. raimanparoni

    raimanparoni Member

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    Nice gun you have. I suggest check your nice stock for cracks. I had lot of them in my Sako 375. Two in top of pistol grip. So I bought a custom walnut stock for my gun. I also put a Pachmayr Old English Recoil Pad. It stops recoil and looks nice. I reload my own ammos. 270gr Hornady for practising and South African made 250 /300 Rhinos for hunting. Vihtavuori 540 is good powder for this caliber. I also suggest that change that Nikon for Leupold because they are more recoil sensitive and have long eye relif
     

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