Since I now have both of these and have done enough handloading of each, I’ll compare those results from my personal records.
As I’ve made clear in recent blogs, I’m loading the H&H to the level of .375 Wby PSI (65,000), and the logic is straightforward. As well, I load the 9.3 x 62 to 64,000 PSI, and the reasoning for that has been documented multiple times in my blogs over the past decade or more.
It amounts to this: If the .375 Wby, which is an improved H&H, can be safely loaded to 65,000 PSI using fire-formed .375 H&H brass, then no reason exists to restrain the H&H itself to 62,000 PSI. And since Tikka, the maker of my 9.3 x 62 also produces an identical rifle in .338 Win Mag, no logical reason exists to NOT load the 9.3 x 62 to the same 64,000 PSI, assuming the brand of cases are as strong as .338 brass. The experience of a dozen years with the Tikka (Sako) 9.3 x 62 has proved to be every bit as strong as any .338 Win Mag I’ve owned.
I’m using two brands of 9.3 x 62 cases: Hornady and Lapua. The Lapua cases are thicker so it takes about one grain less to do what can be done with Hornady brass in MV.
The fact is that most hunters and shooters who are wealthy enough to purchase any rifle chambered for any cartridge that suits their fancy doesn’t per say make them an expert on any particular rifle-cartridge. Forums that cater to hunters, shooters and handloaders are open to any member who wants to talk about his/her interests in the afore-mentioned topics. But members who like to talk a lot about their expertise/knowledge of any rifle-cartridge under discussion, since they own scores of rifles, doesn’t necessarily make them experts or even truly knowledgeable about a certain cartridge/rifle being discussed. In particular is that true of those stuck in the past history of older cartridges, such as the 9.3 x 62. For instance, since that notable cartridge has been used successfully on all African game, including its DG, at less than optimum ballistics, apparently it has been assumed that a more “modern” approach to its ballistics isn’t needed. I say “apparently” because a majority of Internet jockeys speak in terms of how wonderful their “loads” are in accuracy… NOT in MVs.
< Three 250gr Nosler AccuBonds from my 9.3 x 62 into 0.44″. MV at +2700 fps. That was repeatable.
By now, I would think “everyone”, who has an interest in the 9.3 x 62 “Mauser”, is aware of its inherent accuracy with almost any handload put together for it. But what about its other ballistic qualities: energy, momentum, trajectory…? Many still talk of it being an adequate “250 yd moose gun”, etc, which exposes them as being quite naive as to its true nature and capabilities with “judicious” handloads. And THAT in turn makes some of us aware that they’ve not done much by way of exploring possibilities outside the manuals, which for the most part are stuck with early 1900’s ballistics! Of course, in a litigeous society publishers are hesitant to publish reports and numbers in manuals and magazines that appear beyond normal expectations without having done their own howework first!
I’ve done mine, and I’ll stand by them! I’ve zero interest in blowing up expensive rifles, or even damaging them for the sake of science! If X = Y, science (logic) says Y = X… no arguments against that can prevail in any court of law! And if Y = B then B = X also. It’s simple uncomplicated logic! But who can LOGICALLY explain why Saami’s standard for max PSI in the .280 Rem is 60,000 max average when if rechambered to .280 AI it miraculously is capable of 65,000 PSI max average?! Well, yeah, I’ve read/heard the supposed reason: Remington chambered it for their semi-auto 740 or 7400, so the PSI was kept lower than the .270 Win at 65,000 PSI! REALLY?! So is the action of the 7400 semi with a .270 barrel different than the .280? To my knowledge, they are the same!
So sound reasoning (logic) should have made that decision and not illogical fears! I had a 7400 in .35 Whelen and never a problem with max loads of RL-15, the same as for bolt actions in .35 Whelen that were giving ~2600 fps from 250s and 22″ barrels! Now “they’re” saying that was way over 62,000 PSI (52,000 cup). But I’ve not heard of any fractured rifles due to too much stress… have you? Even the late Finn Aagaard loaded his custom .35 Whelen (22″) with 60 grains of RL-15 that gave ~2600 fps from the 250gr NP! “No signs of excess pressure” said he! Plus excellent accuracy! Later, he did tone it down slightly to 2550 fps for hunting purposes, NOT due to any signs of excessive pressure! He was a good man, trusted by thousands, and I had personal correspondence with him.
So, giving each its due, how do we LOGICALLY compare the .375 H&H with the 9.3 x 62?
While the pressure standards for each was estabished at the time of their creation and introduction to the public – 1905 for the 9.3 x 62 and 1912 for the .375 H&H – and may have been updated later on, 62,000 PSI for the .375 H&H by SAAMI, and no SAAMI standard yet for the 9.3 x 62 (though there is an Euro CIP standard of around 47 – 48 K). The pressure standards of that era took into account the metallurgy of the steel used and the brass of cases. As well, manufacturing tolerances, primers and propellants available, and bullet construction – all of which had a bearing on safety tolerances. While SAAMI doesn’t list the 9.3 x 62, yet the PSI proof standard for the .375 H&H is given as minimum 83,000 PSI and maximum 89,000 PSI. For comparison purposes the .375 RUM has a proof pressure minimum of 87,000 PSI and maximum of 93,000 PSI. It’s standard for factory ammo is 65,000 PSI average, the same as all recent magnums, including Nosler’s over the past few years.
Therefore, it should be obvious to both the student and practitioner of ballistics that more recently manufactured rifles and newly introduced cartridges have been progressively allowed higher tolerances in PSI than older rifles and cartridges. However, since both the .375 H&H and 9.3 x 62 are still being manufactured in up-to-date facilities using modern technology, and in some cases better metals and tolerances, as well as better propellants and projectiles, they deserve modern thinking and recognition based on what they are today – NOT what they were in the early 1900s. That’s both logical and practical.
And while SAAMI doesn’t currently list the .375 Weatherby Magnum, the general practice is to load it both commercially by Weatherby and handloaders to 65,000 PSI. And as I’ve argued in my past two posts that no impediment remains to NOT load the H&H to the same PSI as the Weatherby .375 Mag. The weak link is always the brass cases, and IF the H&H cases can be loaded to 65,000 PSI in a .375 Wby chamber, why not in the H&H chamber? The propellants may vary as well as the load, but equivalent PSI is the point in question at the moment. By now, handloaders should be aware that more modern powders have changed the game! And that is applicable to older cartridges as well as more recent ones, as I’ve noted several times in recent articles.
So based on the reasons given, I’ll mention again (for new readers or those, like myself, with aging memories) my standards for maximum PSI in each rifle: 65,000 PSI (MAP) for the .375 H&H and 64,000 PSI (MAP) for the 9.2 x 62. Based on those max PSIs, some assistance from QuickLoad, Sierra, and 43 years of handloading cartridges from .22 Hornet to .458 Winchester Magnum, I’ve learned that pressure “signs” (not a single “sign” but several appearing at the same time) inform me when too much is “too much”! MAP stands for MAXIMUM AVERAGE PRESSURE, not “maximum ABSOLUTE pressure” as one arrogant editor of a well known handloading magazine insisted! “AVERAGE” pressure means that in a string of a particular handload some may go over max by 2000 psi, or so, and others fall below “max” by 2000 psi – as an example. And some variances are greater than that, which usually shows up in standard deviation. If a standard deviation (SD) is less than 10 usually that’s a sign that the PSI is quite stable for that load.
Given the above and precedent preambles, the following (I believe) represents a fair and unbiased evaluation of a “good load” from each rifle. There are other features that may make one rifle preferable to me personally over the other that has little or nothing to do with ballistics… that could still influence my preferences. Still, this comparison is based on ballistics only. I have already done that in a recent summary without the details “side by side”, or in this case the one following the other as “side by side” won’t work in this format.
Two actual loads from my two rifles, compared: 250gr AB from the Tikka in 9.3 x 62, and a 250gr Sierra from the Zastava M70 in .375 H&H.
The .375 H&H (22″)>
BC = .353
SD = .254
MV = 3017 fps/ 5052 ft-lbs (average of 4 corrected to MV)
100 = 2763 fps/ 4238 ft-lbs/ +1.5″
200 = 2524 fps/ 3535 ft-lbs/ +0.02″
300 = 2297 fps/ 2927 ft-lbs/ -6.94″
400 = 2081 fps/ 2404 ft-lbs/ -20.5″
500 = 1878 fps/ 1957 ft-lbs/ -42.15″
The 9.3 x 62 (22.44″)>
250gr Nosler AB
BC = .493
SD = .267
MV = 2714 fps/ 4088 ft-lbs (general average over years)
100 = 2543 fps/ 3589 ft-lbs/ +1.9″
200 = 2378 fps/ 3139 ft-lbs/ +0.01″
300 = 2220 fps/ 2734 ft-lbs/ -8.04″
400 = 2067 fps/ 2371 ft-lbs/ -23.17″
500 = 1921 fps/ 2048 ft-lbs/ – 46.45″
- Loaded with 3 cartridges in each rifle, plus scope, the .375 H&H weighs exactly 10 lbs and the 9.3 x 62 weighs 7.75 lbs.
- There are better bullets and weights for each cartridge that will affect the results. But these were actual loads that could be somewhat comparable. The 260gr Nosler AB.375 would show better than the 250gr Sierra at longer ranges. As it is, the 250gr Sierra beats the 250gr AB in the 9.3 x 62 by a significant amount to 400 yds, and has a flatter trajectory all the way past the 500 yd mark.
- Zero was at 200 yds. Ambient conditions: 1200′, 65*F, 58% RH.
- Calculated recoil: 45 ft-lbs in the .375 H&H, and 42 for the 9.3 x 62 without the brake (as used in the past). Currently, with the muzzle brake = 33 – 34 ft-lbs.
- Overall: The 9.3 x 62 Tikka T3 Lite, with brake, would be much more pleasant to tote and shoot than the .375, while giving about the same ballistics at 400 – 500 yds. Without the brake, there’d be little difference in felt recoil.
- The best overall load for the Tikka in 9.3 x 62 is the 286gr Partition at +2600 fps. The best overall bullet for the .375 H&H/Wby would be the 300gr Nosler AB at +2700 fps.
There you have it from this horse’s mouth… er computer!< Yesterday (Friday) the .375 H&H went for a walk. Nearby I’d placed a bear bait earlier in the week… it was demolished! This huge deadfall was my blind and came down sometime since last fall in a wind storm. Upon further investigation, I also found this!< About 100 yds from my setup, a ladder stand with a bait setup about 75 yds downhill from there! I was there first but with a far less involved setup, so to avoid conflict I moved to a familiar area about 2 miles distant (app. 3 km).
Till the next… Over the ensuing spring and summer months, I’ll be writing 2x monthly rather than 4x as there are more outside responsibilities, and I hope for more range time and hunting.