416 Wby loads in the 416 Rigby

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by JamieD, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    I have just started a project to build a 416 Rigby for a up coming trip to Africa. I noticed that the dimensions, less the belt of the Wby, of the Wby and the Rigby are about the same. Then some one told me that the Wby was based on the Rigby case.

    I was wondering as the 416 Wby is based on the 416 Rigby (if it built on a sound modern action) is it possible to use data for the Wby in the Rigby.

    If so does anyone have any pet loads they would like to share.
  2. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    None of the reloading manuals that I have would suggest that this is a good idea. Loads for the Weatherby run 7-10 percent heavier powder charges.

    Depending on bullet / powder selection, you can get 400gn bullets to go up to 2500 FPS with the Rigby.

    If you want to test it, make sure your insurance is paid up first!

    I've gotten good groups and consistent velocities using RL22 and 400gn TSX through my Ruger M77 in 416 Rigby.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  3. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    browningbbr

    I have noticed this also in the manuals, but have been told this is due to the industry standard for the Rigby is like 40000 psi as it is something like 52000 for the Wby.

    This is the reason for my question, are the Rigby loads under loaded due to old rifles in this caliber still in the field today. Therefore if in a modern action could it be loaded to the same pressers as the Wby?
  4. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Since you just started the build why not just build the Weatherby?

    Safe and proven loads trump what "should" work everytime. A 400 Grain bullet at 2400 FPS is more than enough.

    The bullet you choose is far more important than 200 FPS.

    Barnes does seem to push the limit a little with Rigby. They are showing loads of well over 2500FPS for the Rigby.

    http://www.barnesbullets.com/images/416RigbyWeb.pdf
  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The .416 Rigby and the Weatherby have nearly the same capacity. The Rigby has always been loaded to lower pressure, not because of old rifles but because of its mission: large, dangerous game in hot weather. A 400 gr bullet at or anywhere near 2400 fps is enough gun for anything and it doesn't matter whether its from the Rigby or the Weatherby or the .404 Jeffery or anything else, its still enough. And yes the .404 when loaded up can equal the .416 FACTORY velocities. Handloaded to full potential the .404 cannot keep up for the simple reason of less powder room. All are good and all will do the same thing when loaded to perform in similar fashion.
  6. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Jamie, I do not, nor ever have, owned a 416, but have had many clients & freinds use them on both buffalo and wild oxen.

    Yes, I understand that with modern powders and careful handloading velocities capable from the Rigby cartridge today exceed those gained in the standard, original factory offering.

    Please read below before proceeding.

    I can tell you this from my observations.

    When used with standard loaded factory ammunition the 416 Rigby is an excellent performer on all bovines, so long as the minimum standards are maintained (good shot placement, good performing projectile).

    When used with carefully constructed handloads, utilising premium grade projectiles and loaded within the original Rigby load limits,or even slightly below, it performs very, very well indeed.

    When handloaded by zealous velocity seekers beyond the original ballistics, utilising bullets that were originally designed to perform at the standard Rigby benchmark of 2400f.p.s. or less, and coupled with typical big game hunting scenarios of close range shots, thereby resulting in bullet impact at extreme velocity, the performance of this cartridge (due mainly to bullet failure) becomes FAR less effective, unpredictable and bordering on haphazard.

    I have faced more determined charges from Buffalo AND wild Oxen from animals being hunted with excessively handloaded 416 Rigbys than all other cartridges combined !

    If it is a desire of yours to obtain maximum velocity from this cartridge I stress you would be well advised to consider being limited to using the very best premium grade, strongly constructed projectiles available on the market (preferably lead-free), as I have seen very few (none) lead core .416 bullets that can consistantly perform beyond that 2400 f.p.s barrier.

    My view has been created through my own personal exposure to the use of this cartridge by others on buffalo sized game and ofcourse is not absolute nor infinite.

    Others views may differ.

    All I do know is that I have seen over-loaded .416 Rigby's, in terms of velocity acheived, result in some terrible bullet failures and dramatic final moments of hunts.

    As one good, knowledgable, freind of mine allways says,
    "velocity is not ALLWAYS your freind !".
  7. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    What problem was the 416 Rigby having that the Weatherby solves?

    What problem will the Weatherby be claimed to have when the 416 Overblown is invented?

    Have the animals evolved to be more bullet resistant in the last 100 years? Have hunting conditions changed significantly?

    If one can be satisfied with perfectly adequate, life can be good. New and "improved" is a never ending treadmill.
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Bert the Turtle....still laughing.

    I look the 416 Rigby....I have shot browningbbr's gun and it is awesome to say the least. It would be the gun for me in a Ruger, Win, or CZ.
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Well put Bert!!
  10. JamieD

    JamieD AH Veteran

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    Thanks for all the advice and great discussion!

    I plan to use the barnes 400 grain tsx as it is the only bullet that I personally trust to push fast and still penetrate.

    My reason for wanting to speed up the Rigby is not to kill a buff better but to hit a jackel, impala, or zebra at 300 yards if need be. I'm a one gun guy the onle reason that I take two guns on a trip is if one has a problem I will have a backup. Both guns I take will be able to take the biggest animal I may come across.

    Before a hunt (as I live in a rural area) I take my gun everywhere I go. I shoot everything from rabbits to pigeons and coyotes with the load I will use on the hunt (you should see a pigeon hit with a 260 grainer out of a 375 RUM). Then when I am hunting I carry only that gun for everything, that way with a hurried shot everything feels right trigger, eye relief, weight, recoil, trajectory no thinking just doing.

    I agree it would be better to keep to around 2400 for the buf, I may take a slower load for that. As a buf will probably be close enough that trajectory wont make any difference.

    Thanks again, lots of good info.
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    As you use your rifle so often and on random targets, it should ensure your success as there is no better practice than what you are doing.
  12. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Good luck with the 416 project

    If I remember correctly, the 400gn TSX at 2400 FPS is in the neighborhood of 5000 ft-lbs of energy. How much more do you REALLY need?

    Good luck with your project JamieD. Be careful, take it slow and be safe.

    For me, I'll just stick with the "book" loads. They group pretty well and eject easily even in 90 degree weather. Bullet placement still trumps lightspeed velocity every time.
  13. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    I am also a big fan of the TSX bullet. However, if you really want velocity for long shots, you may want to try a GS custom HV in 330 grains or even 245 grains. I have not personally tried them, but they have a driving band design that is supposed to allow increased velocity, and even without such a design, I would imagine that a 245 grain bullet in a 416 Rigby could be pushed pretty fast.

    I'd say try a lighter TSX, but it would look so much like the heavy one that a mix-up would be likely. The GS custom is a different color; I believe they are moly coated.

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