In 2020 we had the idea of a better way to hunt at distance in the midwest states where rifles couldn’t be used. When the legislation changed to allow older cartridges to be used to hunt during shotgun season, we started looking at the entire list of approved rounds and quickly narrowed the list down to 4 that would give the best ballistics. The 4 that stood out for Iowa were the .444 Marlin, the .45-70 Gov’t, the .357 maximum, and the .375 Winchester. As excited as we were for the project, we wanted to look at modern powders, projectiles, and a platform that made sense to fire it all from.
The main problem in the cartridges when you start looking at those rounds is they are primarily available in lever actions. That is great if you want a short light rifle that handles fast, but not to shoot a deer at 400 yards. That was our goal, to reach out across those broad corns fields and have a legitimate shot at ranges that weren’t realistic with a shotgun slug. So, we looked to the T/C Encores first. The barrels are easily ordered, can be customized for our specs on the chamber, and are affordable. This worked, but we still ran into more pressure at the chamber than the action could take. We made great stoves here but felt like there was more that we could do with the rounds if we just found stronger action to take the higher-than-standard pressures. That’s when we started to look at the Ruger No.1 actions. Arguably the strongest action made. It’s a single shot, which allows for a longer barrel and a short action so the overall rifle handles faster.
With the platform decided on, we started looking harder at the rounds. Everything was considered from the BC of the bullets to the powder capacity. In looking at it something strange started to emerge. For a factory rifle, ammo, combination the .444 marlin does an outstanding job. It’s relatively flat to 250 yards, carries energy well, but it’s hard to improve on. The 357 max was also a stellar performer and one of my personal favorites. It can be loaded at a maximum charge and take full advantage of the T/C frame and barrels. The kick is mild and does a great job to around 300 yards. The 400-yard mark was still looming out there.
That left us with two calibers the 45-70 and the 375 Winchester. I will start off by saying this. The older I get, the less I like recoil. The 45-70 is an excellent long-range caliber that carries lots of energy for a long way. This can also be loaded better today than ever with modern powders. However, the .45 caliber bullet can’t be shaped in a high enough BC and fired with enough velocity to outrun the 375 wins. The kick also isn’t very fun when you sit on a bench and fire round after round during testing. The high-pressure loads with a 350gr bullet we looked at get tiring after a while.
So, this left us with the 375 Winchester. Now, I will be the first one to say that our 375 Win is not what you are going to find on the shelf anywhere. The chamber has a few tweaks to it to allow for a longer projectile. That was the first part. The second was having a 275gr .375 caliber bullet made to our specs. Lastly, was having a platform strong enough to take the elevated pressures. That combination of the bullet, chamber, and rifle is what gives us the unique product that is an SWCR .375 Winchester Rifle. Nowhere else can you get a rifle to fire a 275gr bullet at 2,600 fps. To 400 yards, it’s more powerful than a 308 Winchester and just as flat.
It doesn’t matter if you want a 375 Winchester, or the 357 maximum for your hunting needs, both are on our platform, have proprietary projectiles and yield more accuracy and performance than anything else I’ve seen in the market today.