I have Peter Hathaway Capstick’s books for infecting me with the .375 H &H caliber bug and the lust for the African Big Five – elephant, rhino, lion, cape buffalo, and the leopard. My ultimate and youthful dream was to hunt Cape buffalo. Forget the others, I desired the graceful yet menacing curves of the dangerous ill tempered mean cape.
The Whitworth .375 was my African game gun bought in preparation for the hunt. I read articles of its mild recoil compared to the 458 Win. Mag and was better at generating a no-fear mentality for the “average” hunter. The Withworth came with the famous 3 folding leaf rear sight, the leafs regulated for 100,200, and 300 yards. It is one of classic got to have features to have on an African rifle. The other classic feature was the barrel band sling swivel stud. The action was the standard Mauser preferred by dangerous games hunters for its large extractor, controlled round feed, and field proven reliability.
The Whitworth was shot at the range with 300 grain solids. I only shot it at standing up and can liken its recoil to a 12 gauge shotgun with slugs. The heavy weight rifle soaked up the recoil so that it felt like a rapid push rather than a punch. The trigger was average, nothing notable.
Africa never did happen. Alas the rifle stood in the closet and was eventually sold off. I don’t think about it much anymore but as I sit here typing, I do regret selling it not for what it was but for what it represented – an era of days gone by and a reality that few today share.