I've been a fan of these rifles since they came out, but I was younger then and couldnt afford one. I have a few Remington 700's and such that i've used in the past and then got into slug hunting with shotguns the last 8 yrs or so. I long since forgotten about Steyr.
Recently I've been craving a new rifle and was actually looking for something more tactical to do some long range shooting. My uncle gave my father and I a custom .22-243 setup that drives tacks and is a fun gun, so I wanted something similar but in larger .300 win mag or short mag. While looking for .300 guns on gunbroker, I found a Steyr in 300 wsm and it immediately brought back memories of the Steyr guns. I browsed the websites and saw they had a few models I wanted, especially the big bore .450 marlin since I'm a big bore fan.
I couldnt find much and really settled on getting a Remington 700P in 300 mag. I found one I was gonna buy at a store, but saw a local gun show going on, and decided to go just for fun.
Long story short, I stumbled upon this 376 Steyr pro hunter at the last table and decided, no way am I gonna pass this up.
I bought it and threw on a 3-9 x 40 Nikon scope. Ordered some shells, factory Hornady 225's and 270's to try out, hopefully this weekend.
Gun was alittle light for my taste, so I added some lead to the stock to get it about the same weight as my custom slug gun. (Tame the recoil nicely) This one was custom painted by the original owner...stock is a dark brown-ish green color with a black spiderwebbing effect...actually looks kinda good in my opinion. I kinda want to redo it dark gray with black spiderwebbing or darker tan color with black spiderwebbing. Oh well, I like it how it is so far.
Finding brass has been difficult. All retail places online seem to be out of stock, searched around and see Hornady may not make more til August? GunBroker didnt have any either but lots of commercial loaded rounds available so I'll just buy that, and reuse the cases hopefully.
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Congratulations on the new rifle. I have posted some of my handloads for that caliber on another thread if you run across them. H335 seems best so far because it has a great burn rate for the 20" barrel and funnels nicely. 70 grains max with 235 gr bullets is my stopping point. You will get 5-10% less performance than a 375 H&H....and a lot less recoil. I shot 40 rounds in a row and was sad I didn't have more brass to load. You are correct about brass....Hornady told me late August for the next batch. The factory 225's are pathetic IMHO.....very weak and shot over 1.5" groups...BOOOOO! They served their purpose though as I needed brass to reload. Be prepared for muzzle blast as the short barrel can be a flame thower. If your bolt is hard to operate it will need the newer cam intalled with the hump on it. SAI did this for free and it really helps. I have even considered rechambering to 375 Ruger if the brass issue continues to be a problem. Enjoy the new toy!!!
Yeah i took it to the range yesterday, and got it sighted in somewhat. With the new scope on, i did a rough bore sight by looking down the barrel and then scope and first shot hit 2.5" or so high of center. Not bad... I use this method on my slug gun and it never fails me.
But it didnt group the loads very well at first. I am trying to get used to the gun tho but I did notice my scope mounts were getting loose, so that could have explained the flying shots. I tightened them but still got some wide groups. I shot both the 225 grain loads and 270 grain factory hornadys. It appeared to shoot the 225's the best but I didnt really shoot it for groups. I was just concentrating on the feel of the rifle and trigger. I shot a few shells and then cleaned the barrel, shot a few shells then cleaned it again. Tried to let it cool down alot too, as it gets hot with just a few shots.
I weighed the gun down a good bit, probably added 2 lbs of lead to the stock and it really feels good on the bench. Still a sharp kick but manageable. Recoil pad is abit harder than I'd like to see, so I was thinking of trying to fab up a new mount and put on a real recoil pad thats got some padding like the Limbsaver stuff. I have that on my slug gun and it feels great. That gun can shoot a 385 grain at 2000 fps and 546gr at 1730fps so its not too far behind this gun in recoil, just not as sharp of a kick, just a push.
225 grain at 2600 would be a nice deer load for me...definately not overkilling, more like a 35 whelen load which I have used on deer in the past. I plan to use a speer hot-cor 235 grain loaded to around 2600-2700 depending on what groups best.
Oh well, that would be interesting if you can rechamber this gun in 375 Ruger.... but I would think that would not fit the action as the 376 steyr is a short case.
I'd like to build a 375 Winchester short mag setup... I think that would be awesome but since I mostly only deer hunt, its overkill either way you look at it.
The 375 Ruger has a COAL of 3.450 which is standard long action length....so is the 416 Ruger. The other mod would be to change the bolt face to .532 in which is belted magnum size. The Rugers are based off the 404 Jeffreys case which is the size of the belt on 375 H&H brass and subsequent offshoots. If you haven't noticed yet I spend way too much time researching loads and micro analyzing any load data I can find. My excuse is it keeps me out of strip bars when my wife questions my gun obsession. Heres a recoil comparison....12 gauge 3 in magnums generate roughly 54 lbs of recoil from a 7 1/2 pound gun. The 376 Steyr will generate around 40 lbs. You are correct in looking at recoil pads to help mitigate recoil as gun fit, length of pull, stock design and shooting technique are all factors in felt recoil. Your gun will be more pleasant to shoot if you get on sticks as this will allow you to rock with recoil verses sitting at the bench. I had to alter my bench sessions because I had a spinal fusion and standing allows me to shoot heavy recoiling calibers more than sitting. You are on the right track with bullet weights. The over 250 gr bullets have to be seated to deep and take up valuable case capacity. I have seen compressed loads and excessive pressure with 270 gr and 300 gr slugs so I work with the light side. I love the Barnes TTSX bullets but they are long for weight bullets also. Try some locktight on your mounts and they will stay put. Another consideration is make sure your scope is magnum recoil proof. Many a scope has bought the farm from heavy hitters. If you have a sling on be careful the forward sling stud does not bite you. I was leary of my first magnum rifle until I learned proper shooting techniqes from a retired Master Seargant. He got a good laugh watching a 17 year old with a 7mm Mag. I am so addicted to big bores now that Im about to order a Winchester Model 70 416 Rem Mag or a CZ 550 in 458 Lott. Unfortunately I can't afford both at the moment.....leaning toward the Winchester tho. I have serious squirrel problem. If you have any questions I will give you any of the limited knowledge I have acquired for this caliber.
Actually what I said was not totally correct. Ruger used the Jeffreys for reference on their 375 and 416. They reduced the base and body from .545 to .532 so it would match existing tooling for belted magnums. The cases were then shortened to fit in standard length actions so existing recievers could be utilized. It is a proprietary case but has become quite popular with wildcatters. Steyr already rechambered this model into the African and Alaskan in 375 Ruger. I am not sure if the magazine would need to be changed but the dimensions are similar.....I am very tempted.
Thanks for the information! I will definately keep you in mind. Right now I have the hornady loading data and hodgdon's website for 376 steyr loads. Gonna try some 235 grain loads, and maybe some 260 accubonds or the 270 boattail soft point speers or 250 grain sierra boattail's. Just need something thats gonna shoot accurate and not over penetrate for deer, as they arent real thick and those big bullets for dangerous game likely wont open up.
Problem I think I am having is I have to sit so low to the bench with this gun compared to my slug gun with its piston grip AR15 style stock. The more upright position gives more comfort, as my arm sits closer to its natural position instead of haunchin over on the bench to get down on the Steyr. I'll try more sand bags up front to raise gun up abit more and shoot for better groups this time around.
Not sure how to do the recoil pad with the snap on Steyr spacers...may need to somehow cut it off and screw in a plastic plate to mount the pad to like a conventional gun stock.
This isnt my first big bore gun tho. I have a 35 whelen that I love but havent used it all that much, and a .416 rem mag in a model 700 that has a muzzle brake on it but it still kicks harder on the bench than anything i've shot yet...including my slug gun. That gun has a lot of muzzle flip on the shot, while my other guns come straight back into you. Its too light as well, likely under 8 lbs, and I'd prefer it to be closer to 12
You will find the stock is hollow behind the spacers. Use a phillips head screwdriver to pry them off...don't worry you won't break them. I have yet to find a way to mount an aftermarket recoil pad. If you are having trouble getting high enough on the bench you could try a shorter chair or make a portable platform to place on the bench. I have seen people place 2 concrete blocks on a bench then put sandbags on them. Reloaders Nest has some helpful load info on a multitude of calibers so check them out also. I have also been think about the accubonds; thinking somewhere around 2650 fps should be attainable and not to stout on recoil. That would be on par with a 308 match load. I am jealous of your 416 Remmy. The ones I have looked at have been sub 9 lb guns and that would be a bit rough so I agree with your assesment. Shooting a big bore is like dating a beautiful woman....you know you are over your head and biting off more than you can chew but no matter how much they hurt you......you keep coming back for more.
BTW heres some more accurate info on the 376 case. It's parent case is the 9.3x64mm Brennke. I don't know why but they shortened it 4mm and expanded it to 375 caliber. I have not tried to use 9.3x64 cases to form the 376 Steyr but I imagine it can be done. I hate loads with incorrect headstamps so I always use standard cases. That being said we have some tremendously talented and creative wildcatters in this world. If it wasn't for them experimenting we would all be shooting about 5 common loads.
I have yet to find a way to mount an aftermarket recoil pad.
Yes, i'm looking at it and wondering how I'm going to do it as well. Right now I have a bag of lead shot stuffed in the stock to give it some weight, and although its alittle hefty for a hunting gun, it makes shooting it off the bench alot more enjoyable. When I go to hunt, I will take the bag out more than likely. Drop 2 lbs in weight almost
I like the Limbsaver pads, and have one on the remington 870 slug gun and it does well. Very comfortable to shoot. I was thinking of taking one plate off the steyr stock, cutting the "knub" off where the 2 pieces snap together, and plasic weld filling the opening. I will sand that smooth and then hopefully beable to bolt on the recoil pad and just snap the assembly back onto the stock.
The 416 is a great feeling gun as i always loved remington 700 rifles. Its basically a BDL with a big thick barrel but surprisingly doesnt add too much weight to it. The muzzle brake is a nice addition but i'm curious as to how much it helps on recoil...because that gun kicks very hard on the bench. I shot it once and would be hesitant to shoot it again It cloverleafs 400 grain solids at 50 yards tho with the Leupold 1-6x32 scope.