416 Ruger as a 375 Ruger stand in

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Tam Dl, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Tam Dl

    Tam Dl AH Senior Member

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    If I wanted to download the 416 to 375 DG performance levels, anyone have any ideas as to what is a reasonable benchmark? So the idea isn't necessarily to match 375 recoil levels, and definitely not to match say flat shooting plains game performance. The idea is more that given that the 375 is gauged as the lower, but effective range of DG rifle performance, what would a similar load in a 416 look like. For bear performance it is normally accepted that the 375 is all you would ever need, but I would feel even better about a 416 sized hole, and the upside is lower recoil and blast, with the ability to "take it to 11" if you need to. I am thinking of the 400 grain bullet.

    So I grabbed some quick load data which may serve as a starting point. The data suggested that factory specs are: 375 Ruger 300 grain, 2550 fps; 416 Ruger 2400 fps. On that basis, right or wrong, the 416 would need to have velocity reduced to 1726 fps in order to match the level of the 375 under the Taylor KO formula. That formula uses bullet diameter and weight and velocity, but not energy level. On energy alone the comparison would require a reduction to 2096. The average of the two formulas would come to 1911 fps.

    It would seem when comparing DG performance that the Taylor formula would be a reasonable reference. It does seem like a big velocity drop. I have to say when thinking with my shoulder, energy seems a pretty reasonable starting point, as it correlates to recoil velocity pretty well. However with the rifle one is getting hit by a "bullet" of the same diameter (recoil pad) and weight. Not one weighing 33% more and having a massive increased frontal area.

    Another way of looking at it would be to optimize the 416 for penetration comparable to the 375, but that really isn't as relevant on a bear, and it would probably virtually require full power loads?

    Any ideas?
     

  2. Tam Dl

    Tam Dl AH Senior Member

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    What I was asking is does anyone have data on loads they believe are in the 375 HH range coming out of a 416? Basically with a .416, 400 grain, what do you figure works like a 300 grain .375
     

  3. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Who knows? I've reloaded and shot about every imaginable type cartridge over the past 50 years and am kind of a ballistics geek. The premise of compensating 416 levels to 375 levels for hunting purposes seems a little slippery at best. I think in reality the discussion may end up being mostly academic. The 416 has about 10-20% more poop than the 375, sooo my best guess would be to "reduce" the 416's poop by about 10-20 %. But that depends on which parameter is used to describe the 10-20% difference.

    Kinetic energy is calculated as 1/2 M(VxV) while momentum is MxV. Energy is not intuitive while momentum is. KE is directly rated to bullet upset so conversely can be an enemy of penetration. Generally, momentum is directly related to penetration. The Taylor KO is just one other way to define"poop".

    If it were me, I would be inclined to find an accurate load with a good premium bullet (like one of the proven bonded designs) for the 416 (in the 350-400 gr weight range) at maybe 2100-2150 fps and call it good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018

  4. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Tam as I own a 416 Ruger I will share that I dont think you need to download the 416 Ruger round to hunt bear. I have put down an elephant, Cape buffalo, lioness, giraffe, Nyala and wart hog without problem. Now granted it did incredible damage to the Nyala and blew the back legs off the pig but it shouldn’t destroy a bear. Frankly if I am able to hunt bear at some point I will most likely use my Ruber Guide Gun 416.
     

  5. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Both the 375 and the 416 are all you would ever need for any bear! For black bear, either could be called over-kill. For large Brown bears they are both excellent. If you want to reduce the 416 so as not to tear up a black bear trophy then, just shoot a tougher bullet in an accurate load. I've shot several plains game with a 416 Rem with a 370 gr North Fork Cup Point Solid at about 2350 MV. It is the most accurate bullet I've tested in the 416. It performed on game predictably and commensurate with the media testing I did prior to using it on game. It penetrates straight, deep and instead of creating an oblong wound channel like most soft nosed expanding bullets, it creates a parallel sided wound channel of 1 to 1 1/2" diameter basically from entry all the way to exit. So for minimal risk of damage to trophies where the cartridge is a little bit of overkill, if that is what you want, I would consider it nearly ideal.
     

  6. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    Be very careful downloading too much. Do not go below minimum load data. You may find that the primer flash will run all over the small amount of powder and detonate.
    Instead of loading g down if recoil is a concern add extra weight to the stock and maybe te barrel to a heavier barrel.
     
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  7. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    I agree with one of the above...if you wish to load the 416 lighter go to a 350 grain bullet (or even a 300 grain Barnes X, or something of the sort).
     
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  8. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Hi Tam,

    I have done an extensive amount of reloading with the .416 Ruger. Everything from cast Lead on up to the full power stuff. First off I have to say that the reason for doing this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but I guess from a theoretical standpoint, sure. First off, you can't really compare the .375 to the .416. At least not by using ft-lbs of energy or Taylor KO value. The KO value was designed by Taylor with an incredibly narrow niche of application. It is intended to compare rifle rounds, fired toward the brain of an elephant but just miss the brain. The number was Taylor's way of determining which rounds would have a higher probablility of still knocking an elephant unconcious under those very exacting conditions. Using the TKO values for anything else is simply academic at best but I hear people use it all the time for everything including small bore rifles but it is ESPECIALLY useless when comparing handguns. Anyway, I digress...

    Both these guns generate roughly the same amount of energy give or take a few hundred ft.-lbs, but the .416 definitely hits with more authority. Bigger, heavier bullets will be more effective even if their energy doesn't show it. They just work better on bigger animals and history proves this out over and over again. You have to understand that energy is the potential for work be done and how much work is done and more importantly WHERE it is done is far more important than how much you potentially could do. i.e. where you hit makes way more difference that what you hit it with (with reservations).

    You can't compare the .416 to the .375. If you drop the weight on a .416 and increase the velocity, you are losing SD and costing penetration through violent expansion. If you maintain the weight (400 grains) and reduce velocity, you are likely to end up with a bullet which doesn't hardly expand, if it expands at all. Anyone will tell you that even black bear will run a long way if you just pencil hole them. I have taken lots of black bear and the last was with my .416 Ruger shooting a 340 grain woodleigh at 2550fps. It works. I say all that to say. Don't mess with the power to get it "down" to where a .375 is. You don't need to.

    "Wow, I used wayyy to much gun to kill that potentially dangerous beast...."
    - No One, Ever.

    If you want to mess around loading it, Nosler has the most comprehensive data I have found for the .416 Ruger and I used it to work up a load for the 340 woodleigh. My recommendation for bear is just shoot a softer 400 grain bullet like the Woodleigh Weldcore. Get it up over 2,000fps so it will expand, and go kill a bear! Best of luck!
     

  9. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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  10. Tam Dl

    Tam Dl AH Senior Member

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    Lots of great answers there guys!

    Based on what I have seen, there is no special concern about under-loading the 416. Any such hugely reduced loads would totally miss the point of what I am trying to do, which is to get killing performance of the 375 in the 416, while reducing muzzle blast and taking the ragged edge off recoil.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/reduced_400_loads.htm

    He is down to 1300, while the lowest I mentioned was about 50% more MV.
     
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  11. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Thanks for the link!
     

  12. Tam Dl

    Tam Dl AH Senior Member

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    I get a lot of that! Nice of you to play regardless of the shortcomings in the question.

    I totally agree on comparisons. But one has to start somewhere. All the formulas that have ever been put forward emphasize one number or another. Since this comparison involves the same case the range is kept in fairly narrow limits. My TDKO :) number averages everything, how far off is the 1900 level? What are opinions? Do you want even more bang to match the 375.

    ------------------------------------

    Obviously the squelch on choosing the 416 as your first DG rifle is people will say why bother, take a 375 class weapon, you can use it on a wider range of game, and the PH will clean up behind you if necessary.

    ---------------------------------

    But what if you could shoot 416 downloads, that trajectory aside would be as easy on the hunter as the 375, with less blast, and still kill like the 375 or better? What is wrong with that?

    ------------------------------------

    One thing that might be worse about that is that the Hornandy ammo is already designed to be optimal out of their rifles, and one can end up making maters worse with handloads.

    ---------------------------------

    I'm assuming that if you go after the really big stuff one would use the full 416 loads. But folks sometimes just take the one rifle, and is there really all that much reason not to download the 400 grain slugs? If you use 300s, you need to deal with different points of impact anyway, the recoil can be brisker, and the blast worse.
     

  13. Tam Dl

    Tam Dl AH Senior Member

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    In my province the biggest thing we get are Polar Bears, and most of the guys are armed with at best the 308. This is what an arctic stopping rifle looks like.

    [​IMG]
     

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  14. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    I guess I will address these one at a time from my experience:

    1. You really shouldn't assume the PH should be there to clean up for you. He's human too. But the reality is, anything the .375 can do, you can do with a .416 and hit a lot harder. Want a 300 yard PG rifle? .416 Ruger loaded with Barnes 350 grain TTSX at 2500 fps. That is also an acceptable load for buff as well by the way. I am not bashing the .375 in any way. I LOVE my Winchester H&H. But don't rule out the .416 properly loaded to shoot just as far as any reasonable hunter should be shooting.

    2. I have downloaded the .416. Using cast bullets and Trail Boss powder I get a 375 grain Beartooth out the barrel at 950 fps. Its like shooting a really big .22 that kicks like a .308. But as fun as it was... I still hunt with full power loads. I personally can't tell the difference in blast between a .375 and a 416. They are pretty much identical. As far as recoil goes, you really only notice that the .416 has more of it off the bench. From field positions, (which hunters really need to do a majority of their practice from) the difference to me in FELT recoil is negligible. The other issue you are assuming is that a .416 at 1800fps will kill just as well as a .375. I can't honestly tell you that it won't or will, but it is going to be a short range proposition. It is coming out of the barrel at the minimum accepted velocity for expansion of really SOFT bullets. I doubt 1800fps would even touch a Barnes or an A-Frame. Woodleighs with the big blue nose on them, sure. You'll probably get a good 50-100 yards of reasonable expanding bullet range. but after than it will likely just pencil on through.

    3. As far as hornady ammo being optimal out of their rifles, there is truth in that, but only as far as the velocity goes. I cannot for the life of me get 2,400 fps out of my .416 Ruger using 400 grain bullets with handloads. I get around 2,350fps if I am really pushing it. Load data is sparse and I don't like to deviate from the establishment in that regard. That said, my hunting load is a 340 grain woodleigh at 2,550 (just above the 400 grain partition max) or a discontinued 400 grain Hornady interlock for black bear. This gets pushed to 2,300 fps and flattens out like a pancake (DON'T use these on DG!)
    In terms of accuracy, my loads shoot within 1.5" at 100 yards most of the time if my shoulder holds out on a bench.

    4. I honestly don't think a 400 grain bullet will reliably expand at 1800fps and almost definitely not on soft tissue if you happen to hit something at 100 yards and the slug is only moving 1,550. hit a bone and things might be different. As far as different points of impact, a 300 grain barnes TSX will ruin a buffalo's day at 2,700fps so you really would only need the one load. I don't think you're going to get away from the blast on this one. Even light loaded, you're going to be burning more powder than a .30/06 does. Recoil will be more but not by much. Now if your ruger has a muzzle brake on it, none of this should be a concern because a light load is still going to deafen all within earshot.

    Anyway, those are my two cents.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
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  15. Doc25

    Doc25 AH Member

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    Hi Tam,
    I guess you really need to decide what you want the rifle for. While the rangers get a 308 they are not out there specifically hunting polar bear nor are they expecting it to stop DG.

    Situational awareness is really the question here. If you want to stop a bear at 15 feet then load it as hot as it will go. If you’re going to start shooting at 100 yds then a 308 I’m sure is sufficient.

    While polar bear are larger than grizzly I don’t think they have the same reputation.

    I have not had to deal with either of those species so take what I have to say for what it’s worth.
     

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