Earned. Never given.
It’s a slogan you may have seen or read from the United States Marines Corps about what it takes to be called a Marine. No one who knows a Marine—as friend or foe—dares to disagree. I doubt few things in life are as satisfying as the moment a recruit earns his or her new title of Marine.
Funny how something like that works. Thing and especially moments earned mean more. Matter more. Are remembered more.
Instant gratification should be reserved for things like bullet-proof vests, an ice-cold adult beverage, or antacids—not respect, memories of a lifetime, true love, or the privilege to hunt with the most legendary hunting rifle cartridge of all time, the 375 H&H.
No, the 375 H&H isn’t a rookie’s cartridge. To understand the 375, to properly use the 375, and to appreciate the 375, hunters need to know its history so that when they shoulder one, they understand why they must add to this cartridge’s legacy, not subtract from it.
Across the globe, no cartridge commands more respect from hunters, guides, PH’s, outfitters, taxidermists, hunting spouses, and ammunition salesmen than the all-world 375 Holland & Holland. Why? Because it earned it by performing on world’s biggest and toughest animals found on the plains of Africa, the shores of Kodiak Island, and everywhere in between.
A 375 H&H has never failed on its own accord. Hunters, or better yet shooters to be more precise, have failed the 375 H&H because they didn’t earn the privilege to use it. It is a cartridge meant for life’s most daring quests, God’s most beautiful and vicious beasts, and Mother nature’s most arduous adventures.
Or at least it ought to be. Trouble is, so many of today’s hunters don’t know the story behind the 375 H&H. They haven’t read about the adventures of the 375 H&H written by legendary hunters. Hunters like Elmer Keith: "The caliber .375 H&H Magnum is.... a wonderful cartridge for use on elk, moose, bear, or the heavy artic game. In a factory make rifle and load, the .375 H&H Magnum in the Model 70 Winchester, Model 700 Remington, the Browning, Sako, etc., is one of the finest all-around rifles and cartridges."
Or Finn Aagaard, "Almost any hunter, I believe, can learn to tolerate the recoil of a .375 H&H, at least for the few shots normally fired in the field. Anyone who cannot do so has no business hunting buffalo."
Or my good friend, Philip Massaro, “I can honestly say that I’ve never lost an animal that I pointed my .375 H&H at, and I’m not done hunting with it by any stretch of the imagination.”
This year, after decades of hunting and shooting, and dusting my boots in the red dirt of Africa, I finally felt I was worthy. My first 375 H&H is a CZ 550 Safari Classic which I immediately took to FTW Ranch’s SAAM course in Texas so I could learn exactly how, when, and most of all why, to shoot the legend.
If you’re going to have a 375 H&H in your gun safe, you need to have earned it.