When Holland & Holland designed this cartridge in 1912 a bullet diameter of .375” was considered a light medium bore. However, due to the relatively moderate recoil and the modern bullet design it soon became the most popular all-round cartridge for African hunting and has been so ever since. Due to the narrow shoulder of the cartridge the designers decided to incorporate a belt just behind the rim. Accordingly the cartridge originally was give the impressive title of: “ Holland & Holland’s .375 Belted Rimless Magnum Express.
The .375 was designed for use in a magnum length action, but as these were scarce before WW II many English gunmakers removed metal in front of the lower locking-lug in order to sufficiently enlarge the magazine of standard-length Mauser actions. As both options were costly, the case was soon used as a basis for a number of wildcats and commercial “short magnum” cartridges.
By modern standards one could consider the .375 H&H a .30-06 using a 9,5mm bullet, which isn’t a bad designation at all. With pointed bullets the .375 has a sufficiently flat trajectory to be used on most species, although unnecessary powerful for anything but the largest deer and bears in North America. It is also quite popular for moose hunting in Scandinavia, but it’s in Africa with her wide variety of antelopes and other game species that one can use the full potential of this great cartridge. With proper bullets the .375 it can be and is often being used for hunting buffalo and elephant, but it cannot be considered the best choice for this purpose.