.416 Rigby from prone?

njc110381

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Evening guys. I've been shooting my .416 a bit recently and am really starting to accept the recoil. It's not bothering me as much as it was and I'm getting quite comfortable with the gun. So far though I've shot it free hand and from sticks. Is prone a bad idea because it can be uncomfortable or can it actually do structural damage to your body? Perhaps I'd be better off buying a bench to provide more support when load developing?

I'm just after some words of wisdom from those with more experience. I know this thing can hurt me if I don't respect it but really the only way to find out is to ask someone else who's done it or to do it myself. I'd prefer the former at first!
 

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I personally think it’s a bad idea - at least, it’s not for me.

I once saw a video with a German PH in Tanzania shooting a Krieghoff double in .500/.416 at a buffalo prone. He was fine.
 

Wyatt Smith

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I fired a 3 inch mag slug from a 12gauge BPS prone and it hurt. Never tried prone with my 375. I use my picnic table with a tall bag
 

fourfive8

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The right set up at the bench is far better than prone. At the bench try to get in a position where your torso is a little more upright and don't tense up your muscles in anticipation of the recoil. That caliber has a little too much recoil for prone and you may develop a flinch from shooting that way and may do damage to your shoulder. Try to avoid it in the field for the same reasons. Standing or sitting off sticks will be most common, next will be standing or sitting using a natural available rest, next and last will be off hand. Follow up shot(s) on moving DG likely will be off hand.
 

Bullthrower338

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The problem with shooting hard hitters prone is that your body acts like a lead sled and absorbs most of the recoil. I have shot 416’s prone, it isn’t enjoyable but I’ve not been injured by it. Get a bench and you will enjoy life more.
I built this one in an afternoon with some left over steel laying around the yard. Made it extra wide to accommodate my LabRadar.

2CF6F987-C319-4FA0-BA14-91483C06E86C.jpeg
 
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BnC 04

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Never practiced from the prone at the range but in the field have fired prone on bears with my Lott, 416 Rem and 375. When I guided my father at the age of 64 he took his grizzly from the prone with his 416 Rigby. Neither of us sustained injuries of any sort but like I said that's field examples and not dedicated prone practice on the range.
 

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I personally think it’s a bad idea - at least, it’s not for me.

I once saw a video with a German PH in Tanzania shooting a Krieghoff double in .500/.416 at a buffalo prone. He was fine.
I think the video you saw was PH Rainer Jösch shooting a nice wide buffalo in Tanzania. Yes his first shot was prone- He was shooting a Krieghoff double. IIRC a 470, but not certain.
The two buffalo hunting videos he did in Tanzania were very good- Buffalo Hunters- The Mountain Challenge and Mountain Buffalo- Wilderness Hunting in Tanzania.
 

One Day...

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The problem with shooting hard hitters prone is that your body acts like a lead sled and absorbs most of the recoil. I have shot 416’s prone, it isn’t enjoyable but I’ve not been injured by it. Get a bench and you will enjoy life more.
+1

And, and, and... there is a huge difference between scoped and unscoped rifles at this stage.

If memory serves njc110381, you said in another post that you recently scoped your .416 with a Meopta is memory serves, so I am going to assume (?) that you mean in this discussion a scoped .416.

In prone position, your head will naturally be a lot more forward on the stock and the risk of getting a nasty scope kiss increases dramatically on high recoil rifles.

Think of it this way, when shooting prone, the rifle is positioned in relation to your body not unlike it is when shooting up a very steep hill, and this is a very common cause for a nice scar on the forehead with high recoil scoped rifles ... or worse if your eye actually gets hit...

No issue from the bench, seat low so as to keep your back straight and able to roll back with recoil, but I would not shoot prone anything scoped in .40+ ...
 
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sestoppelman

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I fired my .375 mag from prone, once:eek:. Never felt the need to do it again.;)
 

Hank2211

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I guess I understand the question, but I'd answer I with another question. When do you expect to shoot at with a .416 from a prone position? Very few shots in Africa are taken prone, principally because of the grass and other obstacles. In more than a dozen safaris and hundreds of shots, I have only once taken a prone shot, and it was using a 25-06. No problem, but I also knew that I didn't want to try it with anything with a 4 in front of it.

If you really want to try it out, just for fun (!), I suggest you make very sure that you're collar bone is not taking the brunt of the shot, or it may well hurt more than you expect (and potentially do some actual damage). Of course, your collar bone shouldn't take the recoil from any shot, but unless you are a bit more supple than some of us older folks, it may be that your back lets you down just a bit and the stock ends up in the wrong place.

I have a beautiful .416 Rigby, and I love it. I want to continue to love it, so I'll keep it for other shots.
 

Von S.

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An eyeball doctor told me that a retna gets easily detached when a scope of a big magnum contacts directly into a persons eye than just recoil. No reason not to believe him.

If you go prone with a big magnuum you may find out if he knew his stuff or not.

Always use a bench and big heavy suede shotbags to sight in and load development.

The only use for the bench after that id a place to put your ammo and jacket....
 

sestoppelman

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The problem with shooting hard hitters prone is that your body acts like a lead sled and absorbs most of the recoil. I have shot 416’s prone, it isn’t enjoyable but I’ve not been injured by it. Get a bench and you will enjoy life more.
I built this one in an afternoon with some left over steel laying around the yard. Made it extra wide to accommodate my LabRadar.
View attachment 312793
Dang Cody! You gotta a chance being genius!:rolleyes::whistle:o_O:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Love the range setup though.(y)
 

Jeffrey

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416 from prone, no scope? Hold my beer...

Seriously, for zero verification and load development, buy a Lead Sled and a couple of shot bags for it. Do they sell Lead Sleds in the UK?
 

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njc110381

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Well the answer to that came back pretty much as I was expecting! Thanks chaps, I'll avoid it.

The shots I will be firing at deer up in Scotland will almost certainly be prone. Stalking is done over hilly ground where the lay of the land is the only cover. Popping your head up over a small hill with the rifle on a bipod and taking the shot is the only type of shot I've taken so far. Sitting would give us away, let alone standing. Lots of crawling in on animals trying to stay as low as possible.

The rifle is now scoped so the risk is increased. I don't have QD mounts on it yet either as they were out of stock, so I used the fixed ones that I had here already. I'll be changing them over when I can but for now it is what it is. I don't really want to keep messing with the fixed mounts.

I don't own a lead sled but for zeroing the range owner/coach at one of the places I visit has one for clients to use. It sounds like I really need to build a bench as a practical piece of kit for me to use. Bullthrower338's looks very good but mine will need to take down so it can be moved easily. I will probably make mine with plywood.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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I have been hunting Africa for more than 30 years and have never seen a situation where you have to shoot from a prone position. Rather, sometimes a ladder would be an advantage.

I once shot a buffalo with my rifle 500 Jeffery from a kneeling position. The buffalo lay on one side and me on the back on the other side , with great joy of the trackers. You cannot shoot such rifles in all positions.

However, rifles with a strong recoil can be shot from a stable bench without any problems. I do that regularly with different big bore rifles also including a DR caliber 577NE.
 

njc110381

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It's being upright that matters isn't it. Whether it's sitting, standing or anything in between it allows your body to rock back with the recoil. My .416 certainly rocks me a bit!
 

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There are two things that you have mentioned that I personally would not do - shoot a .416 from prone position or take one deer stalking. I suppose I own way too many rifles, but one of the real joys in using them is having a rifle and caliber balanced to game and terrain. You are trying to turn a dangerous game caliber into something it is not.

Unless you are on a steep incline, there is no way that you can get into a position to have your shoulder absorb the recoil energy (and even then, you can't create as long an impulse because you can't roll as far with the blow). You run a real risk of having that recoil energy transmitted into the couple of square inches where the collar bone joins the shoulder. As others have noted, most scope caused injuries to face and eye occur from the prone position - and those typically with medium calibers.
 
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norfolk shooter

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@njc110381 All I have to say on the matter is spinal compression. I was once 6 ft tall but due to excessive use of 50 cal rifle whilst serving Queen and Country has left me at 5 ft and cig end
 
 

 

 

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