View Full Version : kg42 et. al.-PWS hunting report, or "The bear rug that wasn't"

05-23-2006, 02:48 AM
I got back on Sunday afternoon from Prince William Sound, dog-tired and still wet & cold. Yes it was ugly weather as only PWS can turn out, rain/fog the whole time, usually a 2-3 ft. chop. Still I got in two stalks, the first one I was back-up on. We spent too long/got too close trying to determine whether it was a bear or just a stump. By the time Tony & myself got to shore, I'm fairly certain that Mr. Bear determined that our intentions were hazardous & hightailed it for the brush.

The second one was to be my bear and I fully expected that I was going to deck him. We managed to spot him in one of the few breaks in the fog/rain from about 1/4 mile out. We ran about 1/4 mile downwind before launching the Zodiac and snuck up the beach with a stiff breeze in our faces, fully expecting to turn the corner & find Mr. Bear ambling along at about 100 yds distance. Well something must have clued him, since he pulled a disappearing act also. We picked a good ambush site & waited a couple of hours to see if he'd return, but no soap. He would've been a good one, had a track about 5" wide. Anyway, I thought you all would like the report, and I do have some good news. My bear bait got hit while I was gone; my buddy is out there now hunting it, (I've got duty tonight so I'm stuck here).:cry:

BTW, gun/load: Ruger M77, stainless/synthetic, in .300 RSAUM, 180 gr Swift Sirrocco/60.0 gr H4350. Take care.

-SSG Klaus

05-23-2006, 08:29 PM
Well, I was hoping for pics as we had a beautiful weather last week.... but I've already seen fog and the rain hit us on Sunday too....
Does anybody know how the Sound looks like in good weather :mrgreen: ?

Thanks for sharing the load; has it been used on bear already ?

I hope you'll get a better luck next time.


05-24-2006, 04:04 PM
kg42- That load, heck that rifle has only been used on paper to date. The rifle was/is giving me fits when I was developing loads for it. I shoot five shot strings when I'm developing loads and that rifle would cloverleaf four of them, but always had one flier about 2" high & 2" left, (@ 100yds). Never was too sure of which round it was, (no spotting scope @ that time); still if I shot three or more strings at the same aim point I'd end up with TWO pretty groups. I tried fire-lapping the bore, (there were some fairly ugly machining marks up near the muzzle, that I thought would catch copper like gangbusters). That group I was fairly pleased with; I did the fire-lapping in a nice blizzard at about -15 F, so half the time I couldn't really see the target. Per the instructions I used a starting load of the fastest powder listed, (that I had on hand, in this case IMR 4064). I ended up with a 50 round group measuring about 3", (@100yds, of course).

So I backed off on my powder charges, ( a buddy of mine seemed to think my crazy 'groups' were a product of too much velocity), and that load was the only one I got to fire before my arm went crazy, ( I have a herniated disk in my neck which pinches the nerve, particularily when I do stupid stuff like shooting too many Magnum rifle loads; the .375 H&H has been residing in the gun safe for about 6 months as the last time I played with that I was on percosets & valiums for about 3 weeks). It grouped, nothing to write home over, but definitely minute of moose/bear, so I went with it. Anyway there is still work to be done with that, hopefully the neck will cooperate. Well this is way too much of a response to a simple question so I'll end this here, take care

-SSG Klaus

05-24-2006, 06:07 PM
I have a Llama 9mm like that, the two of us are making two different groups at 25 yards; its trigger is an example in inconsistency...
About that 375, do you know that LEE has a 379-250-RF plain base mold? It might be a bit fat for the 375HH but in case you wonder, 18/24gr of SR4756 are worth 1400/1675fps with a 250 grainer in a 24" bbl.
Lyman's 278gr 375449GC goes 1650fps with either 30x4759 or 32x4198. :)


05-24-2006, 06:58 PM
kg42- I've already ordered the Lee from Midway, should arrive soon; just goes to show that I sort of think along the same lines as you, (I've also been trying to find the 375449 used, but no luck so far). I also should be getting a Lyman 450 w/in a week or so, so my first die purchase will probably be a .376, (it's coming w/ a 358, which'll do my .357/.38 SPl nicely). Thanks for the load data; I was looking the H&H up in my Lyman's Cast...3rd ed. and that data had me wondering. Most troublesome was the fact that they were getting more velocity out of a .375 Win w/ the same bullet?? The H&H data was all pistol powders IIRC, and seemingly light @ that; question I have for both that data & yours, do I need to put some type of filler in the case? I mean, with the H&H I've got a powder capacity about like a coffee can & 18-25 grains of powder just looks very lonely down there in the bottom. Hey brother, thanks again, good talking with you; the kings ought to be showing up anytime now. Take care

-SSG Klaus

05-24-2006, 11:33 PM
Some swear by fillers, some avoid them like the plague. Any time you are using a charge that fills less than half of your case, after chambering, point the muzzle straight up before shooting to settle the powder in the bottom of the case. Some individual rifles will shoot better with a filler in a given load, but personally I try first for a powder with sufficient loading density to make them unnecessary. If I had to shoot one of the big magnums a lot with cast and/or reduced loads, I would be exploring the possibility of a few custom turned cases of reduced capacity. (Turn the outside of the case from a brass blank to match the round, then drill out the center resulting in a powder cavity of half or less the volume of the original.) Another option for your H&H is a chamber insert for .375win, but that would not be optimum from an accuracy standpoint due to the long gap between case mouth and the beginning of the rifling. They make adapters that will let you shoot smaller rounds of the same caliber, but they're mostly for .22 or .30 cals and I don't know if they make them for the big boys.

05-26-2006, 08:57 PM
Klaus, I haven't used these loads and can't be categoric, and darn I can't keep that post short...
The 4756 data come from Matunas' manual and the Lyman bullet data come from Townsen Whelen's book; both without mention of filler I could find.

Fillers don't seem to be mentioned by powder makers and half the other reloading manuals, and I wish they were more clear about not using them too.

I keep forgetting about that site: http://www.gmdr.com/lever/lowveldata.htm; don't forget to read "The Use of Pistol Powders in Rifle Cartridges". No mention of filler again; powders work or don't.
Speeds are a bit low though we're told slower powders would be appropriate for higher vels ... For example IMR's manual lists a max loads of 39.5 of 4227 with a 270gr Sp (2070fps/53000cup), so there is a margin.

The current trend is that fillers can cause more trouble than solve (like ringing chambers) but examples are scarce; C.E. Harris says that if your load doesn't work without, it is not suitable; another reference in cast shooting, Paco Kelly, uses them....
With light pistol powder charges in straight rifle cases, Paco simply cuts styrofoam wads from meat packages, and set them on the powder; with bottlenecks he goes dacron.
An interesting post on ringing here, says the powder should be given some space to slump: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/cbaforum/message/1449

If you want to use rifle powders they are other sources, like IMR's free printed Handloader's guide which lists max loads from 4759 to 4831, for rifle cartridge ( jacketed bullets in rifles);
Here are a few uses of 4759 and other calibers: http://www.chuckhawks.com/reduced_recoil_reloads.htm;

Hodgdon's Data Manual Nr25 use 4227, 4198, and 4895 for cast loads in most rifle ctges (no 375HH, sorry);
www.hodgdon.com has a section on Youth loads with a rule of thumb for their H4895; the data they refer to in the Annual Manual for H4895 in the 375HH are:
250grSFTSP: 64/69gr-2574/2696fps-45000/49700cup
270grWinFS: 61/68gr-2485/2624fps-48000/50800cup
300grSieSPBT: 61/65gr-2411/2505fps-46800/50400cup
Their "60% of max" rule with the 4895 gives a lot of flexibility.

I hope I didn't confuse you any more than you were...

05-31-2006, 05:37 PM
Klaus, a couple more for the road, by Al Miller, from Propellant Profiles Vol1 ( a compil of articles from handloader Mag 1966-1982):

375HH, Ly375449HP (255gr), 25"bbl,
45gr3031 without dacron=2107fps


05-31-2006, 11:40 PM
kg42 & versifier- thanks much for the input; I moved this topic over to the 'Reloading...' section as I think we are way off hunting by now and I think some people may find this topic instructive. I also wanted to get d-o-k's input as he seems to be a H&H fan. Thanks again

-SSG Klaus