The 375 B&M came to life as a request from John Hlaudy, a B&M enthusiast already having a 50 B&M Super Short, 416 B&M, and 458 B&M. So we added a 375 B&M to the family.
John's rifle is built on a Winchester M70 WSM Ultimate with a 20 inch barrel. If it is anything close to as good as the 9.3 B&M it is going to be a winner for him!
This was the third time I have hunted with Frank and Terri Schmitz, the owners of LockeyU Outfitters out of Grangeville, Idaho. This is a fair chase hunt for bull Elk in the Nez Pierce National Forest. Once again the hunt with them more than meet my expectations. The experience was even better as Carolyn was able to accompany me this time.
As you know, I was taking my 375 B&M along to gain some field experience with it. My load for the hunt was 75 grains of Reloader 15 under a 270 grain Swift -A-Frame. This yields 2730 fps average velocity over multiple chronograph sessions. Case expansion is a maximum of 0.0025 inches in front of the extractor groove. The 270 TSX and 270 Hornady SP can reach 2700+ as well. I have also worked up loads for 300 grain SAF and Hornady that yield 2550 fps. This puts in the company of the 375 H&H making a very effective cartridge for Elk sized game. Initial loads for the 235 TSX were promising @ 2850 fps with little if any case head expansion. So far Reloader 15 has given nice results for the 375 B&M however Ramshot Big Game showed promise but needs further testing. Ramshot TAC is too fast for it IMO. I haven't had time to work with any other powders.
As far the rifle goes it has proven very reliable both at the range and in the field. I practice rapid-fire offhand shooting and have never had a feeding issue. Accuracy, as with all my SSK rifles, is excellent. To carry a 7lb. rifle instead of a 9 lb. rifle over 2 miles of side-hills and blowdowns while wearing a hunting pack, well that is self-explanatory. It's short length makes getting under and through brush much much easier. Consequently, it is not fatiguing to carry my 375 B&M all day.
We were fortunate to get on Elk the first morning. In fact, the first clear cut had cows with a herd bull just in the timber. That didn't work out for us but within an hour we jumped a small bull at close range that I ended up taking as he trotted through a clearing at 100 yards. The angle was quartering away as he was moving. I was thankful to have the power of the 375 B&M as the 270 SAF hit him behind the diaphragm, angled forward through the far lung, stopping under the hide. I wouldn't consider it an ideal shot by any means but it was under difficult field conditions. Again, I was glad I had power of the 375 B&M in such a shootable platform to make the shot and put this bull down
We had two other opportunities on bulls but couldn't get Carolyn on one, unfortunately. Overall, a good time with nice people in beautiful country with plenty of Elk around.