Change in Primary Caliber, New Winchester Model 70 .416 First Thoughts

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by frog stealer, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Hey guys,

    Over the past month while reading this forum, and reading several good books, I finally convinced myself that I needed a .416 over my current .375. My main reason behind this is the overwhelming agreement (on both this forum and several books I've read) that the 416 is a bit better for buffalo, which is pretty much the top dream species on my list. I'll be bringing this rifle to South Africa with me next year, with the intent of taking a nice eland with it. I'm sure I'll return as soon as I can to go after a huge buff of my dreams!

    Long story short, I sold my .375 to a good buddy, who paid just about what I did for it, and bought a new model 70 in .416 remington mag for the same price. Got it to the range for the first time this morning, and was very impressed with the guns performance, both in accuracy and it's ability to handle recoil. While the .416 came back at me noticeably more than the 375, I think the model 70's stock does a great job in handling the recoil.

    After shooting off the bench at 100 yds to get the scope sighted in (Leupold 2-7x), I went straight to the sticks, and turned in the following groups with the remaining 8 shells. The load I was using were Speer 350 grain soft points loaded to about 2600 fps.

    416 targets.jpg

    These new Model 70 safari rifles are a great buy, and I think they are the best safari rifle option for the price. Here's a pic of the new one with scope mounted. I used the leupold quick detach bases so I could switch to iron sights if need be. I've already got another 20 shells loaded up for next weekend.

    416 m70.jpg

    I'm still looking for my secondary rifle for the smaller species on my list, but I think it's a sure thing that it will be new production model 70. I love the raised cheek piece on the stock, so I'm leaning towards a sporter over the featheweight, but time will tell!
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I'd be a mighty scared Cape buffalo if you were close by!
     
  3. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    Haha, not going to lie, I can't say I wouldn't be a little scared either!
     
  4. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    My Winchester model 70 in 416 rem mag is coming with me next week to Zimbabwe. Cape Buffalo are top on the list so I am taking Woodleigh 400gn round nose soft points and 400gn Hydrostatically Stabilised Solids. Both projectiles are loaded to give a mv of 2350fps.
    Truly a great straight out of the box rifle. The great shape stock soaks up the recoil. A 2-7x33 Leupold sits on mine in QD mounts. I am seriously looking at Winchester in 338 win mag as my secondary, varmit rifle. As long as it was of the same quality as the Safari Express model.
    The only complaint that I have is the MOA trigger they now fit. Great feel with no creep or backlash, but I can't adjust it down light enough to suit me. I will be replacing it after my hunt.
     
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good luck with the new gun on your hunt.

    I have to agree about trigger adjustment.
    After having shot a rifle with everything from 11 lbs to 2 lbs weights, I sure like the lighter end.
     
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    If I'm lucky I'll have my Win Model 70 Safari Express 416 Rem next week. I'm think of going with the 400 grain TSX and 400 grain Barnes solid. I'm not in love with the Hornady ammo, even though it is a lot cheaper. Tim Farrin reported problems with the Hornady softs not penetrating a cape buffalo shoulder, frankly doesn't surprise me. I think there solids probably shoot fine, but I want to shoot a soft and solid with the same point of aim, so I'll probably use Barnes bullets.
     
  7. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Loved my .375H&H Safari Express from the new factory, I bought a .300 Win Mag Super Grade. Both will be with me in a few weeks in RSA. I have no complaints on the trigger though it does come heavy from the factory. I had the .300 lightened during a bedding job to 3lbs which is plenty light for me in a hunting gun.
     
  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    If you decide to reload Eric, you might want to give the North Forks a look. Pricey to be sure, but my M70's don't care for all the copper the Barnes TSX's leave behind. It may be my barrels are cut on the small side.
     
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The TripleShocks shoot great in my .404 Jeff CZ Eric. I did have issues with the Banded Solids though. The ones with the big flat meplat, they would hang up before chambering. Barnes may be making a rounder style bullet now, at least I heard that as others had the same issue and they were talking about changing the shape a bit. IMR4064 worked best for me. Not much diff between these rounds in capacity or ability.
     
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the information, I haven't placed a order yet. But that was my first guess, I don't think the Winchester has the same feed problems at the CZ. It only has a magazine capacity of 3, but I like that look of the rifle. Just seems well thought out and planned. Could not believe it on Saturday, when I logged on and saw the price and had less than 30 minutes to make my mind up to bid. I think I had my mind made up months before and I was just looking for the right price and opportunity to buy one.

    The North Forks are a superior bullet...have not had the time to look into them yet. Every gun I have shot loves the Barnes bullets. My friend had problems finding the right powder combination for his 416 Rigby, to find the right combination for it to shoot well. Oh well, time is on my side :p.
     
  11. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Keep your eyes open for brass, last time I looked it was hard to find. Norma was available, but it's pricey. Feeding shouldn't be an issue in the M70, but be sure to crimp as you should be anyway with the big bores. My 375 will occasionally hang up on feeding if the brass isn't crimped.

    Whether it's a good idea or bad, the Winchester manual says it's okay to do the old trick of dropping a round into the chamber while holding down the rounds in the magazine and closing the bolt. Probably something I wouldn't do while at the range, but if going into the bush for mister big black and foul tempered, I'd do it.
     
  12. frog stealer

    frog stealer AH Senior Member

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    drew416,

    I've got a 2-7 leupold in leupold QR rings on the top of my .416, and haven't had any problems. I did recently switch from low to medium rings, My eye wasn't quite lining up with the scope with the lows. Also, we must think alike, because I placed my order for a new .338 M70 sporter about a month ago, and it is still on backorder. I've had nothing but good experiences with the new M70's.

    I've had good luck so far with the barnes TSX 300 grainers. I load them to about 2600 fps and am getting great accuracy. These should work well for the eland I'm going after next May. I wanted a bit flatter trajectory than I was getting with the 350 grainers.

    A word on 416 rem brass, I've been buying small lots here and there when I can, and have a decent stock of remington brass, in additional to the original 25 pack of Norma. If you can find the remington's for less than a dollar a piece, I would jump on it. Check gunbroker, they have small lots pop up every once in a while. Although far more expensive, the norma's seem to be of better quality than the remingtons.
     
  13. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I actually looked into North Forks before, just didn't price them against Barnes, I did the math last night and can actually save between 25-30% by going to North Forks.
     
  14. zephyr

    zephyr AH Member

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    I purchased a new Win 70 in .375 and had it re-barreled to 400H&H have put close to 300 rounds through it working up loads and getting ready for my hunt last Sept. I have been extremly happy with the gun everything I put through it have been MOA or better settled on CEB #13 400gr solids and 370gr NC, rounds chronyed at 2400 and 2450 fps. I agree with the comments on the trigger I could only adjust it to 4.5 lbs, at the time Timney was in the process of coming out with an after market trigger but not before I left I treated the trigger box with Sentry Solutions Tuff Glide and BP 2000 and it gave me a 3.5 lb trigger pull and I've left it at that I may give it to my gunsmith who can take the box apart and work the sears.
    I did have problems with the firing pin or striker spring which went soft on me and was giving me intermittent soft primer strikes. I replaced it with a 30lb wolf spring and my problem was solved the factory spring is 24 lbs and you will find that the new Mod 70 spring is approx 7 coils shorter that the pre 64 they have also got rid of the collet that allowed for an easy field strip and have replaced it with a C-clip.

    best of luck in your up and coming hunt
     

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