The .376 Steyr
By Chuck Hawks
Hornady and Steyr introduced the .376 Steyr in 2000 as a joint development. Steyr initially chambered the .376 in a big bore version of their Scout Rifle with a 19" barrel. (Shades of Remington's .350 Mag./Model 600M combination of 1964!)
Hornady factory loads come with 225 grain (BC .320, SD .229) and 270 grain (BC .380, SD .274) Spire Point Interlock bullets. The 270 grain bullet is loaded to a nominal muzzle velocity (MV) in a 24" test barrel of 2610 fps with muzzle energy (ME) of 3990 ft. lbs. The 225 grain bullet is a reduced power (and recoil) load and also features an advertised MV of 2610 fps with ME of 3325 ft. lbs.
According to Hodgdon reloading data, handloaders can equal the performance of the Hornady factory load giving a 270 grain bullet a MV of 2610 fps using 65.5 grains of VARGET powder, and achieve maximum velocities of about 2910 fps with the 225 grain bullet in front of 68.5 grains of H335, and 2388 fps with 300 grain bullets in front of 59.5 grains of H4895. All loads were developed in Hornady cases using Federal 215M primers, and all loads developed pressures right around 60,000 cup. For African conditions, where excessive heat can cause considerable increases in chamber pressure, it might be wise to reduce those loads.
The Sixth Edition of the Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading shows that 59.4 grains of H4895 will give their 225 grain Spire Point bullet a MV of 2600 fps. 56.3 grains of the same powder will drive their Spire Point or RN 270 grain bullets at a MV of 2400 fps. These would be more reasonable hunting loads in much of sub-Saharan Africa. These loads Hornady cases and Winchester WLR primers and were developed in a 25.5" test barrel.
Note: A complete article about the .376 Steyr can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.
Copyright 2004 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.