I just added another 416 caliber to the battery - a 416 Van Horn


AH enthusiast
Jun 18, 2013
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I just added another 416 caliber to the battery - 416 Van Horn

Well, I just bought the 416 Van Horn custom rifle built by Walter Abe. 416 is my favorite caliber.

It just so happens that I have a custom wildcat rifle chambered in 416 MRE from 1972 (Mid Range Express) ... that's the same caliber as the 416 Van Horn that Gill Van Horn invented in 1977. Its a 460 Weatherby Mag case shortened to 2-1/2" and necked down to .416 cal. Its basically a 416 Weatherby Mag "short".

as always comments are welcome ... and any info about Gil Van Horn or Walter Abe would be appreciated.


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I had that rifle in my watch list...among so many I watch. It looks even better in your pictures; the color case hardening is very good.

Not entirely sure, but those scope bases look similar to a Unertl base. I just did a quick Google search and found some that look like yours....Unertl made bases in several styles and yours look like one style, anyways.

Very nice rifle,

Ed Z
thanks - I have dozens of Unertl bases and those bases are much more narrow - these are much wider at .650 width
With no locking mechanism to keep the scope from moving on the base, I'd be hesitant to use those bases on a heavy-recoiling rifle (though it seems the front base has an oval recessed area that could have been a locking lug on the front ring?) Who knows. The Unertls I've used on Win 52s have a groove where the scope rings clamp onto to keep the rings from moving... but that is just a .22LR.

Regardless, hope you sort it out,

I just ordered a set of 16mm Warne Lever QD Rings for the 527 CZ. Those should work. They have a recoil stud to keep them in place under heavy recoil.
I found that the front scope base has a small ledge that hangs over the action with a large set screw that keeps the base from moving forward under recoil. This takes the load off the 2 screws that hold the base. I purchased a set of 16mm Warne QD Lever rings that worked great on the 2.5x32 scope that I now mounted. This allows for quick and easy "on-off" scope and iron site swapping, as needed. Field tests with the scope to follow.

Here is a picture of the 416 Rigby cartridge next to a 416 Van Horn cartridge. With modern powders the 416 Van Horn can equal original 416 Rigby performance.

And a picture of a target using the iron sites. This is a fun "puppy" load for practice.

And finally a picture of the mounted scope showing the overhang base. If you look close you can see the large set screw.






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