416 Rigby - Basic Reloading Questions

KDF

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I am new to reloading 416 Rigby. I have loaded plenty of 300WM, 308, and 30.06, but never any big bore calibers. I am just looking for some basic guidance, and big bore reloading information seems pretty scarce on the internet/youtube. Here are some questions:

- Would you suggest resizing to SAAMI specs each time? Does anyone feel the need to just shoulder bump?
- Most of the reloading data I see, points to H4350 as the most accurate powder? Is this a consensus or does anyone suggest otherwise? I can try other powders, but just looking to save myself some time.
- I have both Fed and CCI LR Magnum primers. I will try both, but curious about any thoughts regarding these.

Any other feedback or wisdom would be greatly appreciate. Thank you.
 
I am new to reloading 416 Rigby. I have loaded plenty of 300WM, 308, and 30.06, but never any big bore calibers. I am just looking for some basic guidance, and big bore reloading information seems pretty scarce on the internet/youtube. Here are some questions:

- Would you suggest resizing to SAAMI specs each time? Does anyone feel the need to just shoulder bump?
- Most of the reloading data I see, points to H4350 as the most accurate powder? Is this a consensus or does anyone suggest otherwise? I can try other powders, but just looking to save myself some time.
- I have both Fed and CCI LR Magnum primers. I will try both, but curious about any thoughts regarding these.

Any other feedback or wisdom would be greatly appreciate. Thank you.
Welcome aboard to the best website for all things hunting Africa. many experienced folks here.
I have owned and reloaded for two different .416 Rigby's, a CZ 550 and a Ruger RSM over a 10-year period with about 400 rounds downrange. Great cartridge. You will become aware of a new realm of rifle cartridges, and there is good reason the Rigby is a classic.

What rifle do you own?
What dies are you using?

In answer to your questions:

- Yes, always full length resize to SAAMI specs. Unless you are just long-range shooting for elk, etc. the 416 Rigby is a dangerous game cartridge. 100% reliability of your rifle and loads are the first priority. I always full length resize my hunting cartridges. The design of the Rigby case reduces case stretching.
With the big Rigby, proper lubrication of the case is important. Some spray lubricants are okay, but Imperial Sizing Die Wax is your friend. Apply a very thin coat with your fingers over the whole case, especially at the neck and lower base area. Do not put too much, as a dented neck may result. You will develop a feel for this. Just enough that you can feel the lubricant, but you can't see any. Keep the dies clean. When working with the big Rigby case, there is a lot more surface area of brass. More buildup of residue, lube etc. I clean my dies every 100 rounds or so, with a bore cleaner, then wipe them dry. I have used RCBS and Redding dies with great success. I prefer Redding dies for the big cases, but that is just me.

- Regarding powders I have used H4350, IMR4831, and Reloder 22. Mid to upper range book loads of H4350 worked well (source Hodgdon Reloading Data Center). I preferred H4350 because accuracy was good, but especially the lower powder charge, compared to larger charges of slower powders, made for noticeably less recoil. Recoil is important to me for accurate field shooting. There are some good threads here on powder charges, and recoil, especially in the Double Rifle section.

- Primers- I have used CCI 250 LR Magnum, Fed 215, and Winchester LRM primers. Federal 215 Large Rifle Magnum primers is what most big bore shooters use. Nowadays, primer availability trumps everything else. The key with primers is consistent ignition. I have experienced erratic ignition (a very slight hang fire, but noticeable) with a starting charge of Winchester 760 and CCI 250s. I read up a bit on this, and large charges of ball powders can sometimes be difficult to ignite consistently in cold weather.

I prefer extruded or flake powders in big bore cases. You are igniting about 30-50% more powder than in a 300 WM. Of course, ANY TIME A COMPONENT IS CHANGED, start back at minimum powder charge, and slowly work up, looking for any sign of erratic ignition, pressure, etc.

Hope this help. Ask more questions, and you can get some very good advice on tips, techniques, and experiences.

AH members offer excellent advice in helping you spend more money for big bore rifles.
We all do it. :giggle:(y)
 
Welcome aboard to the best website for all things hunting Africa. many experienced folks here.
I have owned and reloaded for two different .416 Rigby's, a CZ 550 and a Ruger RSM over a 10-year period with about 400 rounds downrange. Great cartridge. You will become aware of a new realm of rifle cartridges, and there is good reason the Rigby is a classic.

What rifle do you own?
What dies are you using?

In answer to your questions:

- Yes, always full length resize to SAAMI specs. Unless you are just long-range shooting for elk, etc. the 416 Rigby is a dangerous game cartridge. 100% reliability of your rifle and loads are the first priority. I always full length resize my hunting cartridges. The design of the Rigby case reduces case stretching.
With the big Rigby, proper lubrication of the case is important. Some spray lubricants are okay, but Imperial Sizing Die Wax is your friend. Apply a very thin coat with your fingers over the whole case, especially at the neck and lower base area. Do not put too much, as a dented neck may result. You will develop a feel for this. Just enough that you can feel the lubricant, but you can't see any. Keep the dies clean. When working with the big Rigby case, there is a lot more surface area of brass. More buildup of residue, lube etc. I clean my dies every 100 rounds or so, with a bore cleaner, then wipe them dry. I have used RCBS and Redding dies with great success. I prefer Redding dies for the big cases, but that is just me.

- Regarding powders I have used H4350, IMR4831, and Reloder 22. Mid to upper range book loads of H4350 worked well (source Hodgdon Reloading Data Center). I preferred H4350 because accuracy was good, but especially the lower powder charge, compared to larger charges of slower powders, made for noticeably less recoil. Recoil is important to me for accurate field shooting. There are some good threads here on powder charges, and recoil, especially in the Double Rifle section.

- Primers- I have used CCI 250 LR Magnum, Fed 215, and Winchester LRM primers. Federal 215 Large Rifle Magnum primers is what most big bore shooters use. Nowadays, primer availability trumps everything else. The key with primers is consistent ignition. I have experienced erratic ignition (a very slight hang fire, but noticeable) with a starting charge of Winchester 760 and CCI 250s. I read up a bit on this, and large charges of ball powders can sometimes be difficult to ignite consistently in cold weather.

I prefer extruded or flake powders in big bore cases. You are igniting about 30-50% more powder than in a 300 WM. Of course, ANY TIME A COMPONENT IS CHANGED, start back at minimum powder charge, and slowly work up, looking for any sign of erratic ignition, pressure, etc.

Hope this help. Ask more questions, and you can get some very good advice on tips, techniques, and experiences.

AH members offer excellent advice in helping you spend more money for big bore rifles.
We all do it. :giggle:(y)
Thank you for the great information. I am reloading for a CZ 550 that has been upgraded by American Hunting Rifles. I have all the powders that you mention (except for the elusive Reloader 22) - I will likely start with H4350, and see how it goes. I typically use Redding dies, but was given a set of RCBS for the 416, so will start with those.
 
I disagree. Only neck size those cases if you are shooting them with just the one rifle. Don't sell or give that ammo to anyone else who's using another gun with another chamber. Always cycle test each round after finished reloading. If they cycle okay, and they should, you are good to go. Full length sizing only shortens the life of your brass. Requires more trimming.

PM me with your home address so I can arrange for an assassin to come and relieve you of those magnum primers.
 
I disagree. Only neck size those cases if you are shooting them with just the one rifle. Don't sell or give that ammo to anyone else who's using another gun with another chamber. Always cycle test each round after finished reloading. If they cycle okay, and they should, you are good to go. Full length sizing only shortens the life of your brass. Requires more trimming.

PM me with your home address so I can arrange for an assassin to come and relieve you of those magnum primers.
Disagreements foster discussions among gentlemen. I respect your viewpoint regarding full length versus neck sizing only. So merit to this but maybe not all applications.

My view is that every cartridge I load is within minimum SAAMI specs, to work in any rifle. When I owned 2 different .416 Rigby's, the chambers were slightly different. No more neck sizing only.

I always trim each and every case for big bores (and all my hunting loads), to at least to square up the case mouth, even if case OAL is proper. Then chamfer and deburr.

Case life is a secondary consideration over absolute reliability, in any rifle.
At $4 a case, I don't care if I save $2 getting 3 more loadings out of that case. I will buy more.

I don't give a damn about case life. It has to feed, fire, and eject every time.
 
In my experience, the 416 Rigby is easy to load for. I have been using Re19 and Re22 in mine with good results and I use Fed215M primers. I full length everything and have for many years. For me it is a reliability issue.

Safe shooting
 
Agree with the FL-resizing - you don’t want an mis-feed or a jam in a DG calibre if a case body is oversize.
The Rigby is low pressure so the brass doesn’t work too hard. Anneal the case neck every reloading cycle and the cases will outlast the rifle, even with FL-resizing. At least that’s been my experience.
 
I disagree. Only neck size those cases if you are shooting them with just the one rifle. Don't sell or give that ammo to anyone else who's using another gun with another chamber. Always cycle test each round after finished reloading. If they cycle okay, and they should, you are good to go. Full length sizing only shortens the life of your brass. Requires more trimming.

PM me with your home address so I can arrange for an assassin to come and relieve you of those magnum primers.
Not true at all. I only full length resize, even back when shooting competition and reusing brass over and over in practice. Use headspace gauges to assure the brass is not resized too much, no more than 0.003” measured at the shoulder, anneal it every few loadings, do not push it to the pressure limits, and brass with a well defined shoulder can last for many loadings. I have some .308 Win brass that has been loaded ten or more times and still works fine.

Neck sizing is asking for trouble anywhere wind swirls dust and sand up. A round might feed well at home, but riding around in dust can add trouble into the cartridge feeding and the bolt closing.

The Stoney Point, now Hornady, headspace gauges are an important must have tool for setting up a sizing die.

 

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Disagreements foster discussions among gentlemen. I respect your viewpoint regarding full length versus neck sizing only. So merit to this but maybe not all applications.

My view is that every cartridge I load is within minimum SAAMI specs, to work in any rifle. When I owned 2 different .416 Rigby's, the chambers were slightly different. No more neck sizing only.

I always trim each and every case for big bores (and all my hunting loads), to at least to square up the case mouth, even if case OAL is proper. Then chamfer and deburr.

Case life is a secondary consideration over absolute reliability, in any rifle.
At $4 a case, I don't care if I save $2 getting 3 more loadings out of that case. I will buy more.

I don't give a damn about case life. It has to feed, fire, and eject every time.
In normal times I might be less concerned about case life. But these are not normal times, hence my tongue in cheek comment about hiring a hit man to get his magnum primers. And there seems to be no end in sight re component scarcity. Stretching case life is more of a necessity nowadays.

If he's shooting more than one 416, then he should full length size, for sure. But for just the one gun I wouldn't bother with it. Neck sizing will be fine.

Should mention that he will definitely need to crimp those loads. 416 Rigby is a recoil machine. Crimping is necessary to keep the bullets from being knocked loose in the magazine.
 
I assume you are based in the US, hence the availability of powder might differ from here in Scandinavia. I loaded up for my buffalo hunt in 2022 and I ended up using VV 160 for 400gr Swift A-frames and Norma MRP for barnes 400 gr banded solids. After a lot of bench shooting and many different loads I finally ended up with sub 25 mm (1") groups with each load and 50 mm/2" group between them, however I had to sacrifice speed for precision, i ended up just shy of 2100 fps but it worked well on buffalo, sable etc. And a baboon att 200+ m.

My point is that different powder might perform very differently, and if you then add a few different bullet types/weights you have enough of entertainment to spend many days realoading and shooting at the range
 
@KDF

When reloading .416Rigby I had the best accuracy with Reloader 22 powder and highly suggest you invest in a Lee Factory crimp die.
 

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Full length size and bump shoulder back three thousandths. This will ensure rounds feed fine even if things get slightly dirty. You’ll also get minimal case stretch doing this. If you size to SAMI specs each time you’ll get case head separation after a few reloads. Neck sizing is a good way to get a case that won’t chamber or extract. You’re not shooting bench rest with a 416 you’re hunting with it, so give your reloaded rounds the best chance to chamber and extract.
 
@KDF

When reloading .416Rigby I had the best accuracy with Reloader 22 powder and highly suggest you invest in a Lee Factory crimp die.
This^ re the Lee Factory Crimp Die. I can't speak for RE22 as I use AR2209 (H4350)Rigby 416 brass is thin compared to some. Reling on the standard necking die to crimp can crumple the shoulder.

I do not full length resize unless it is needed. Check all rounds through the rifle. This has never let me down including in outback Australia and Africa. I can't pick the difference between the two for harsh dusty windy conditions. Just make sure you clean the rifle of an evening and don't use oil, you won't needed it unless things get wet.

Having said that, for your own piece of mind do not hesitate to full length resize if you have the slightest and I mean slightest doubt. You need to have full confidence in your rifle and ammo.
 
I anneal all cases after each have been shot. I use the above wax for resizing and inside neck size and lubrication with mica or graphite. Always full length resize and I slightly flare mouth to ease of bullet seating. I also use a Lee crimping die this helps to uniform case rim.
H4350 is my powder along with CCI 250. Used Fed215 in the past and with the help of my Labradar did not see appreciated diff. Can’t get Fed 215 and have CCI 250.
I believe the Rigby is a little more challenge to reload then say my 375 HH or 458 Lott but repetition and fore thought of steps produce DG ammo.
Good Luck with a great cartridge
Oh, and I always feed each reload thru the mag and into the chamber after completing reload.
 
I anneal all cases after each have been shot. I use the above wax for resizing and inside neck size and lubrication with mica or graphite. Always full length resize and I slightly flare mouth to ease of bullet seating. I also use a Lee crimping die this helps to uniform case rim.
H4350 is my powder along with CCI 250. Used Fed215 in the past and with the help of my Labradar did not see appreciated diff. Can’t get Fed 215 and have CCI 250.
I believe the Rigby is a little more challenge to reload then say my 375 HH or 458 Lott but repetition and fore thought of steps produce DG ammo.
Good Luck with a great cartridge
Oh, and I always feed each reload thru the mag and into the chamber after completing reload.
Excellent advice. I had forgotten that I did use mica in the case neck. Also used the Lee FCD.
 

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