Anyone have a pet .416 Rigby load?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by BryceM, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    So, for no particular reason other than it sounded fun, I decided to buy something capable of killing the largest critters on the planet. I've got a CZ 550 European-style (I like the stock better) chambered in .416 Rigby on the way.

    I really enjoy hand loading, and for this beast, ammo is about 80% less expensive. I'm finding lots of conflicting data on the Internet. I'm wondering about bullets and powders. I'll be using Federal 215M primers.

    The intended purpose is for this to be the go-to weapon for Cape buff and maybe someday an ele or two. For bullets, I'm leaning toward 400gr Barnes-X and 400gr Barnes solids for follow-up work and elephant.

    For most magnums, I use H-4831 or H-1000, but I'm off the map so to speak with this caliber. Anyone have a favorite powder for this? I'd like to end up at about 90-95% case density. Although I'm sure the CZ 550 would handle it, I'm not really interested in running up pressures too much. I'd like to end up in the 2,400 to 2,500 fps range.
     
  2. Pancho

    Pancho AH Member

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    I use Hogdons 4831 in my Ruger Mod 77. Ld is; WW Lg Rfl Mag primer, 104-105 gr H4831, 400 gr TBBC & Hornady 400gr Soft/Solid. I guess an X boolit wud werk but the Bear Claw is my bullet of choice. 2d choice would be A-Frame or Partition bullets. Last choice is X boolit.
     
  3. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    BryceM,

    I did the same thing; just figured a buffalo was in my future, so I bought a .416 Rigby. I went with 77 RSM Ruger. It arrives on Thursday.

    Based on the performance my wife and I got from Barnes TSX on plains game, I'll load them in 400gn for the .416.

    Guessing 4 loadings out of a piece of Hornady brass, the cost per round comes out to a couple bucks each. That's a lot better than $11 per round for factory ammunition tipped with the same bullet.

    If I develop a round that works well for group and consistent velocity, I'll pass it along. Please do the same.

    - browningbbr
     
  4. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the info. My .416 arrives in a few hours too. I also found a nice setup on auction which includes RCBS dies, 50 unfired Norma brass, and a smattering of bullets.

    Just this evening I worked up a new load for my .300 WBY for plains-game in the next year or two. I switched to 180gr Barnes TTSX and all I can say is WOW!!!. I worked up H-4831 from 77.0 up to 81.0 grains. Every single three-shot group was less than MOA in a well-loved but well-used MK V Weatherby. The 81.0 load was about 3/4 inch at 100. I've never seen this accuracy shooting partitions out of this rifle.

    Seeing this sort of gave me the reloading bug again. It'll be fun to work something up for the .416. I'll post what I see.
     
  5. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    BryceM,

    Those are some pretty good results for accuracy.

    Prior to our hunt in May, I spent a year or more working on loads for my .300 SAUM, my wife's 7mm Rem Mag and the .30-06 we took as a spare gun. For each, I tested a lot of bullet / powder combinations including A-Frames and Partitions. None gave me groups better than 1.25". Some were a lot worse.

    When I tested TSX's (set deep, about 0.60-0.70" off the lands), it was like magic. All 3 rifles grouped less than 1" at 100 yards. Accuracy remained less than MOA when I sighted them at 200 yards and checked drop at 300 yards.

    Icing on the cake was when our PH told us he was glad to see that we were shooting triple shocks. The 156gn's that I used in the SAUM blew through both shoulders of every animal except the eland. That bullet stopped only a couple inches short of going all the way through.

    - browningbbr
     
  6. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    oops, fat fingers - I was shooting 165gn bullets, not 156gn.

    - browningbbr
     
  7. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    BryceM:

    I don't know if this .416 Rigby load is a "pet" yet, but it's working pretty consistently in my Ruger 77RSM:

    Brass: Hornady - head spaced 0.002" - Trimmed 0.010" below SAAMI maximum
    Primer: CCI 250
    Powder: Reloader 22 - 101gn (2gn below book maximum)
    Bullet: Barnes TSX - 400gn - heavy crimp in the forward groove

    Performance: Started pretty close to 2300 fps and 1.25" groups on average with head space at 0.06" - After dropping the head space to 0.002", the speed went up to nearly 2400 fps and group size dropped to 1.00" on average - pretty decent considering the caliber.

    - browningbbr
     
  8. cgcrook

    cgcrook New Member

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    Bryce,

    I took a Ruger .416 Rigby to Namibia and only used hand loads I had worked up over time. After having put several hundred rounds through the gun (thanks to the Caldwell lead sled) I had great performance with the Swift A-Frame 400gr. using CCI 250 primers and 95 grains of RL-22 which had a velocity of around 2,350fps. I harvested a Kudu, Red Hartebeest and Leopard with my Rigby and was really happy with the round. In my rifle this round was shooting 1" groups at 100 yards. I had a Trijicon 1.25-4x scope.
     
  9. canuck416

    canuck416 New Member

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    So far I have only used H4831 in my CZ550, but hear RL22 is a good powder.
     
  10. bobrhess

    bobrhess New Member

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    BryceM- I also have the same type and caliber that you have (European CZ 550 in .416 Rigby that I had some extra mods made on)
    I had a barrel sling installed along with an extra (2 now) recoil reducers added in the stock and a muzzle brake installed at the barrels end to help handle the recoil. I would certainly suggest this be done on any CZ-550 that anyone purchases from CZ in .375 caliber and up! If you have any additional loads for the .416, I would be interested in any additional load data that you have worked up or found out about recently that may include the Woodleigh 410 gr and 450 gr bullets (solids and expanding) and powders for these loads! This includes other bullets,primers,powders and brass that was used.
    Thanks,
    Bob
     
  11. 416Tanzan

    416Tanzan New Member

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    The 416 Rigby has a case capacity that needs faster powder that H4831 in order to take advantage of its potential.

    I use 102.5 grains R-17 in Hornady brass, 215M-match primer, with Barnes 350 grain TSX and FN-solid. Velocity is 2860 fps in African sun. No pressures signs: the primers are rounded, the brass has no ejector-slot marks and no excessive growth, empty cases slip out just like they are supposed to. I recovered two from a buffalo last week. One lung shot did not exit, surprisingly, found on the far skin, and the insurance shot through sternum was found in upper neck.

    Such loads make a Rigby a true, African, all-purpose, flat-shooting rifle. Personally, I would be careful of 400 grain monolithic solids in the CZ because the twist is 16.5". That slow twist may have been OK for shorter, lead-based solids, but for all-copper solids the 350 flatnosed jobs give more certain stability and straight penetration.
     
  12. bobrhess

    bobrhess New Member

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    416Tanzan
    Thanks for the reloading info for the 416 Rigby!
    Since I'm not familiar with R-17 powder, I tried looking it up on the Reloadbench (Powder Burn Rates) to see it's burn rate and could not find it listed from their listing of 173 different powders. Could you provide me more info on this powder? I too like the Barnes bullets but like a heavier (400 to 450 grain) to my liking. How big was the buff you took?
     
  13. 416Tanzan

    416Tanzan New Member

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    R-17 refers to Reloder 17, a powder introduced a year or two ago, reasonably dense for packing a lot of powder, med-slow like 4350, and with a rounded peak pressure curve for higher velocities.

    On heavier bullets, those are not necessary with all-copper bullets. Lighter all-copper bullets pentrate like lead-core that are 10-20% heavier but have more velocity. However, be careful on bullet length and barrel twist.

    Buff was a youngish bull for the freezer.
     
  14. andriesdeklerk

    andriesdeklerk AH Veteran

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    I recently converted to Barnes X. This bullet was stuck underneath the skin of a buffalo after passing through the spine on a quartering away shot. The pictures speak for themselves.
     

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