REM 700 .375 H&H

The crisp trigger is different than the original’s, but the…

The crisp trigger is different than the original’s, but the adjustable X-Mark Pro version is just as crisp and predictable.

One hundred years ago, something very important happened for hunters. A British company by the name of Holland & Holland introduced the .375 Belted Rimless Nitro-Express. Today, this cartridge is known simply as the .375 H&H. Fifty years later, another good thing happened: Remington introduced the Model 700 bolt-action rifle. For 2012, Remington has united these two classics to celebrate their 50th and 100th year anniversaries.

Let me say up front that I don’t need a .375 H&H. I don’t routinely hunt dangerous game, and if and when I do, it’s very likely I’ll be doing it with a rifle manufactured by whichever company is sponsoring the hunt. Full disclosure aside, I want this rifle! Partly because it is destined to become a classic collectible but mostly because I truly appreciate guns that are darn-near perfect.

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The hunter’s choice for decades, the Remington Model 700 in .375 H&H has a storied legacy of taking big game like bears and buffalos. One hundred years after the .375 H&H was born, the Remington 700 is turning 50—and it’s still fast handling and plenty capable.

Venerable 700

I should probably go on to say that if you’re looking to build a rifle battery that would allow you to hunt any game animal walking this planet, something in .375 H&H should be a part of your collection. At the same time, a comment about the popularity of the Remington Model 700 with hunters is due. Many have said the Winchester Model 70 is the rifleman’s rifle. That may be true. For me, one thing’s for certain: Remington’s Model 700 is the hunter’s rifle.

I’m sure a few armchair experts will quickly point out that Remington 700 is not a controlled-round-feed (CRF) design and therefore not suitable for hunting dangerous game. It’s true that the 700 is a push-feed (PF) action, but the idea that it is somehow insufficient for dangerous game hunting is preposterous. No action is infallible, and their performance is subject to a user’s abilities. And, while I’m no dangerous game hunting expert, my associate Craig Boddington is, having been on over 100 African safaris. With a caveat on proven reliability, Craig told me, “I have absolutely no qualms about using a PF action in any hunting application.”

I’ll trust Craig on this one. He is someone whom I know has faced down danger on several occasions. Regardless of what I or anyone else might think, the CRF/PF choice is yours. In the end, your skill with whichever rifle you choose will matter much more than the action type.

As for this double anniversary rifle, Remington hit it out of the park. I consider it the most appealing if not the most attractive rifle Remington currently offers. You cannot help but appreciate the classically shaped walnut stock with the straight comb, cheekpiece and black forend tip. Then there’s the generous and very tasteful SuperCell recoil pad. Also, 2 inches forward of the forend, a barrel band features a sling swivel attachment point. Round all of this out with deep-cut checkering at the wrist and forearm and you have a very attractive rifle that balances just shy of the front action screw. This is perfect for a gun you may need to handle fast—like when teeth, tusks or horns are headed your way in a hurry.

Knowing that bad things can happen to riflescopes in the bush, Remington wisely installed a set of express sights. The rear sight is a New England Custom Guns all-steel sight that is drift/screw adjustable for windage and elevation. It has a shallow “V” with a U-notch at center. The front sight is a brass bead mounted on Remington’s customary ramp with a hood. The hood adds cosmetic appeal but I’d remove it on the hunt. I’d also have liked a slightly larger bead up front and a bit larger U-notch in the rear. Damn my aging eyes!

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More Specs
The X-Mark Pro trigger was exceptional. There was no take-up, no creep, and minimal overtravel. The trigger broke at a crisp and consistent 4 pounds. What a delight it is to take a rifle out of its factory box and realize the trigger is as perfect as a trigger can be.

As for the rest of this rifle, it’s pure 700. There’s a hinged floorplate that allows you to unload the three-round magazine box quickly. The release is positioned inside the triggerguard, high, near where the front of the guard joins the bottom metal. For those who worry about inside-the-triggerguard floorplate releases, try as I might, I could not make it let go during recoil or by hitting it with the front of my trigger finger. The triggerguard and floorplate are steel for added durability.

If I could change one thing on this rifle, it would be the same thing I’d change on every new Remington 700. Until 1982, when you placed the safety of a Remington 700 in the “safe” position, it locked the bolt in the closed position. This kept the bolt from inadvertently coming open and unlocking the action. On more than one occasion, I’ve had this happen while carrying a 700 after the bolt handle snagged on a branch or me. It’s something you need to keep in mind; make suret the bolt is closed as soon as you shoulder any 700. The plus side is that you can keep the rifle on safe while loading or unloading.

Running The Rifle
I wanted to subject this rifle to a field test that would replicate its real world intended use. So I went to Gunsite to run this rifle through a dangerous game training class. Short of actually hunting dangerous game, I figured this was the best way to sort out this rifle’s suitability for that purpose.

First, I needed a scope and mounts. I turned to Leupold and opted for their very light 1-4x20mm VX-2 riflescopes. Paired with their QR rings and bases, this allowed quick access to the open sights, providing what I felt was the perfect combination. This brought the total rifle weight to 9 pounds. I also needed ammunition, and in addition to 40 rounds of factory Federal Cape Shock, I assembled 100 rounds of low-recoil loads to save my shoulder.

During the class, we ran the rifle through every conceivable situation you might expect during a Cape buffalo hunt. We shot from sticks at 30 and out to 200 yards, and from various field positions. We worked extensively on a charging buffalo target and we even went through a mock hunt with life-sized buffalo targets. The 700 performed exemplary. Feeding was flawless, ejection was positive and the crisp trigger helped me place my shots where I aimed. The more I shot this rifle, the more I liked it.

From the bench, the story was the same. I tested the two loads used during the Gunsite class along with an additional load from Remington. The average group size for five shots at 100 yards was 1.71 inches. I should also mention that my idea of fun is not shooting a .375 H&H repetitively from a bench and a string of five shots with a .375 is stretching my limits. Less of a wimp might have shot better because my first three shots were generally within an inch of each other. Thank the gun gods for the SuperCell pad!

If grizzlies, lion or buffalo were my quarry, I’d happily write the check and take this rifle along. For more information, visit remington.com or call 800-243-9700.

Check out page two for the story on the 50th Anniversary 700.

Load Comments
  • 1685penn

    I have this gun. It is beautiful and accurate, but the X-Mark Pro trigger is a real problem. Mine came set at 7 1/2 pounds! Turn the adjustment screw all the way out (or anywhere in between), and it’s still 7 1/2 pounds. Needless to say, this is way too much. I love the gun, and it did its job this summer on bear in Canada, but there is a replacement trigger in its future.
    Thanks for the article, by the way. I enjoyed reading this.