No more compromise.

By Otto Kudrna

February 28, 2015

I have now been reloading since the very early 80s when I was a young man at SIU and more interested in going shooting than going to class. Probably the same as most young reloaders I always looked for the least expensive powder and bullet I could use for my loads, not knowing any better. Well I matured and started to study the science of loading and shooting over the years and now at almost 56 I hope I learned a lot but KNOW I can always learn more.

One thing I have definitely learned is that I find over the counter cartridges boring. Hence the only rifles I own which shoot over the counter rounds are my vintage military weapons,(M-1Gr., Oh-3a3, M-1917, Vz.24, Vz-52, etc.etc just to name a few). But my hunting and sporting rifles on the other hand, I like as different as I can get from what is available with a slight inkling of normalization. I spent 1977-2005 in the Marines so I do like a bit of order to any chaos. By far and large I fell in love with the classic H&H belted Magnum. When Remington released the 8mm RemMag I fell in love with it, But just a bit of a strange critter in compilation of caliber and case. Just too much in the middle for me. Not enough of a "Thumper" nor a "HotRod" It's sort of like driving a Cadillac Eldorado or a Buick Riv. Just not my style. I either wanted a Jaguar or a Jeep Grand Wagoneer (back then). So here came the fun. First came the Jaguar by Necking down the Remington to the than new 7mm-STW. That cost me my first barrel before I had my second Nitrated and stretched it to 26" for max slow powders. Now that was a sports car. Than I went to the other extreme (almost) and took the same cartridge and necked it to .375-JRS, And there was my Grand Wagoneer (this was a time before the term SUV was even a thought) It was a carry-all truck. Then came the muscle car which was a .300 version of the cartridge duplicating the 300 Weatherby but standardizing my cases. Then I discovered the .243 (6mm) round in the form of the 243 Winchester and my eyes lit up again. But I was not dumb enough to take that case which was now so standard to me and try this.

As an experiment I bought a 24" barreled Rem-700VLS in 243Win and started thinking, OK short action, what will fit "violla" 6mm-284, it was a perfect choice, not quite. Better but not good enough cartridge way too much out of the main stream to be available indefinitely, and as I found out the rebated rim did not provide enough support against the Remington bolt face to prevent the ejector pin from indenting itself into the case head. Even at moderate case pressures. OK now what. Well, with a bit of research back than I discovered two strange birds. The 264 Winchester and the 6.5 Rem Mag. The 264 winchester I eliminated due to the case being too long for my action so that left the 6.5 rem mag case. Well by this time the case was already obsolete so If I have to make my own than I will modify it a bit. I lengthened it from the OE 2.17" to 2.25" and I pushed the shoulder forward to give me one caliber length of neck to take my 6mm bullet. This became my Ferrari. I called it the 6mm O.K.Magnum. But also this opened the lid to Pandoras Box. I took 2 + 2 and came up with 6?

I knew how much I loved to shoot my 375 JRS due to its accuracy, mildness on the barrel and the looks at the range when the report sounded. But one thing that was tough was the brutal pounding it gave me after 30-40 shells through it. So I thought, "what if" I took that short little cartridge of 2.25" and necked it up to 375. Low and behold I have just discovered a cartridge which was just 100fps short of 375H&H Magnum performance with any bullet of 250-270 grain and even better with bullets of 235 grain and less. and it will all fit into a standard action such as the M-98(Vz-24) actions which I just bought six of surplus for $98 each. This is where my NEW Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara came to fruition, Modern, Utilitarian, Traditional but still cool. I decided to call it .375 American T.R.(Teddy Roosevelt because I think he would have loved it).

This is my now most fired rifle. I shoot it every time I go to the range and put a MINIMUM of 50 rounds through it many time 100 at a sitting. I built my rifle to be used between 100-200 yards so there is no scope. I mounted a fantastic Williams WGRS peep sight on it because in the Marines I became so in love with that style of sight. I have been doing a consistent 5" groups at 100 yards with open sights. The limitation being that my front bead covers up the entire 12" bullseye at the 100 yard range.This makes precision possible only with practice. Now comes Hornady with their NEW GMX 250 grain projectile. Once I find some to be able to load and test I will gladly report my results. I bet I can shrink my iron sight group down to 4 or maybe even three inches.

Otto Kudrna
Picture; left to right
375H&H, 375JRS, 375American, 6mm O.K.Magnum, 338 Win Mag

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