My thoughts after shooting my new .416 for a couple of months

njc110381

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As some of you know, my recent purchase of a CZ .416 Rigby was my first step into the world of .40+ rifles. I thought for anyone coming into this without experience of such a thing it would be worth posting up how I've got on, as well as to update those of you who've helped me along the way.

I'm no stranger to firearms that have a reasonable recoil. I have or have had .338 Win Mag, .45-70 and .375H&H and all of those can offer up a fair punch with a ligt rifle and heavy load. As I was told when I first mentioned it here, the .40 magnums are another level entirely. There is some real truth in the saying that not everyone can shoot a big bore well - I'm one of those people, but I'm getting there! When I bought my .416 I thought that if I could shoot a .375 then I could shoot a .416. It's not a big step, right?...

Well as it happens, for me at least, it is. I've really been struggling with it. I can get it on paper, I'd be confident of braining a charging buff at 20 paces. But sticking a group into a target at 100m or more as you would on a plains game hunt, so far so not good! My thumbnail groups with my .375 hve turned into milk jug groups with the .416. It really is a sod to hold onto and although I'm pulling them in slowly, don't be fooled into thinking you can just pick one of these things up and go out and shoot it. Likely story is it isn't going to happen!

After a day's coaching from a really decent local instructor I've learned a few tips. Don't go out and try to fire 20+ rounds into paper straight off, you'll just tender up your shoulder and gain very little. He's taken me back to basics - scope off, two or three shots into a target then stand and chat about my technique. I hadn't really noticed at the time but he was intentionally taking my mind off of the shooting, relaxing my muscles and giving them ten minutes or so between shot strings to get over the previous battering! That technique worked wonders and with a few pointers he had my shots landing considerably better than I'd managed so far.

It'll be a long road learning to shoot this thing but I'll get there. Just don't go buying a rifle and jumping straight on a plane to Africa - you'll more than likely regret it.
 

Hoss Delgado

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Best way to appreciate the recoil of a .416 Rigby :
Borrow a Friend's .460 Weatherby Magnum and shoot it 8 times .... Then , get back to your .416 . You'll realize how light the recoil is :p
Jokes Aside , in all seriousness , you are already getting there :) Put in a nice recoil pad , wearing a shooting vest with good padding and you'll do it. I have fired a .505 Gibbs loaded with 600 grain Monolithic meplat brass Solids and the recoil was manageable by following these " tips "
 

Ridgewalker

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I whole heartedly agree that the .40+ is more than some (me in particular!) can handle. I’m sure if I paid the $ for one, I would eventually learn. But at my period in life, I don’t want to spend the time, effort and expense of learning to use a .40+ when my .375 seems to do what I need it to do as long as I have a PH with a bigger backup!(y):whistle:

Best of luck! I’ll be watching to see your improvement.
 

Forrest Halley

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You know, this thread would be so much better with pictures...

You mean you're not supposed to go out and shoot these rifles in just a T shirt? I'm clearly lacking in this department.

Taking breaks makes sense to me. I will try it. Allowing the muscles to rest is key. I get spasming and am unable to hold position well even without flinching. I wonder the ratio of recoil to rest required to get back to prime accuracy conditions. Are there any exercises for the improvement in this area?
 

Shootist43

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njc, what load did you settle on for your target work? What position are you shooting from? Have you started using a Past Recoil shield yet?
 

BRICKBURN

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................ When I bought my .416 I thought that if I could shoot a .375 then I could shoot a .416. It's not a big step, right?...

Well as it happens, for me at least, it is. ...............
It most certainly is a big step up. Keep at it, with all the help your getting you should pull it off eventually.
 

njc110381

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Well I'm not one to quit, so it'll have to happen eventually! I'll shoot it as much as I can tolerate for as long as it takes. A step back to a .375 is always an option but I'd prefer not to. Been there, mastered that!
 

Hammergun

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I started shooting a 416 Rem Mag this spring. It was a big step up from my 9.3. It is a Win Model 70 that weighed 9 1/4 lbs. bare. After a few short sessions I added a pound of weight to the butt and with a scope it weighs a little over 11 lbs. Now it is comfortable to shoot and I don't mind the weight. If I can't carry 11 lbs. all day then I probably should stay home. I also always shoot off sticks or offhand.

I usually fire two or three shots from the 416, then pick up my .22 and shoot that for 5 or 10 minutes. Then back to the 416.
 

Hank2211

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You get lots of advice to "keep it up" and of course, that makes (some) sense. But remember if you keep it up too long, you will not only develop a sore shoulder and back, but you may also acquire a flinch. I did with my first .416, to the point that I sold it and didn't buy another for four years.

I believe the solution is to shoot from a lead sled type of apparatus to make sure you are dead on at 100 yards, and then forget about the bench. In fact, forget about shooting the rifle at the range very much at all. Sure, a couple of shots every session makes sense, but I'd leave it at that. Do the rest of your practicing with something else, like a .275 (since you like Rigby). The key is to become proficient at putting a bullet into a target, not to show the world how tough I wish I was.

The reason this works is that when you come to actually use the .416 against an animal, you will not feel the recoil at all. I once took three shots within one minute on a buffalo which was hit each time but wouldn't go down (so not hit that well!). I didn't feel a thing. Had I put three quick shots through the rifle at the range, I'd have been reaching for the aspirin.

So the solution is to (i) sight the rifle in painlessly with a lead sled from the bench; (ii) shoot the rifle enough to be familiar with it, which won't take that many shots; (iii) bring it to the range but spend your time with lighter rifles, putting only two or three shots through the rifle per session; and (iv) have fun when there's an animal in your sights!
 

bruce moulds

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njc,
the one thing that gives you a high probability of success is that you are honest with yourself and others.
there are plenty of wankers out there who see shooting big guns as the road to manhood, but nothing is further from the truth.
not shooting long strings, as mentioned, has merit here.
only good practice is worth doing, as you are trying to guild good habits.
bad practice brought on by flinching etc is just as accumulative as good practice, possibly more so.
no point in ingraining bad habits and muscle memory, as untraining takes longer than training.
bruce.
 

Rare Breed

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I bought the exact same gun and completely agree. Big difference in recoil. I now an shoot at 100 yards and place all shots within 4 inches. My 300 WSM can place 3 shots at that distance within a half an inch...it is not the gun it is me getting used to the recoil
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Are you loading your own or shooting factory?

Have you considered using a sling and putting your non shooting elbow in the sling to create downward tension on the rifle. I have found this to greatly reduce the felt recoil.
 

njc110381

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I'm home loading my ammunition so there is some scope to adapt a training load. This has been recommended to me as an option so I will try it. It brings a 350gr bullet down to around 1800fps, which should allow me to use this rifle to shoot plenty of rounds without getting uncomfortable. I've not tried shooting with a sling yet but that is a good thought.

The lots of shooting point is a good one. The rifle needs to be used regularly but not putting lots down it with full power loads. It's been suggested that a maximum of ten would be a good number, spread out over the day with the light loads used as a time filler in between. Basically, shoot it until just before the point I know it will get uncomfortable and leave it at that. Pushing harder will only bring a fear of the gun, or at least bad shooting!
 

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Best way to appreciate the recoil of a .416 Rigby :
Borrow a Friend's .460 Weatherby Magnum and shoot it 8 times .... Then , get back to your .416 . You'll realize how light the recoil is :p
Jokes Aside , in all seriousness , you are already getting there :) Put in a nice recoil pad , wearing a shooting vest with good padding and you'll do it. I have fired a .505 Gibbs loaded with 600 grain Monolithic meplat brass Solids and the recoil was manageable by following these " tips "
Good point. Fulfils my theory of Relatively
 

IvW

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Or sell it and and get a 404 Jeff or stick with the tried and trusted 375H&H.
Once this thing keeps hammering you too much you will not get it right.
 

Hoss Delgado

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Or sell it and and get a 404 Jeff or stick with the tried and trusted 375H&H.
Once this thing keeps hammering you too much you will not get it right.
But lvW , l thought you liked the .416 Rigby ?
 

njc110381

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Or sell it and and get a 404 Jeff or stick with the tried and trusted 375H&H.
Once this thing keeps hammering you too much you will not get it right.
Nope. Not going to, you can't make me! :LOL:

I can learn to shoot it. I'm not scared of it and the first ten shots or so don't hurt me. It'll just take a bit of time to consistently control the recoil every time. The chap I went to for some instruction is very experienced in big bores, he looked at my technique and said that actually I'm doing pretty well and have the basics right, I just need to work with it a bit to pull my groups in. I can do that - Rome wasn't built in a day.(y)
 

Forrest Halley

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Doesn't the sling mitigate muzzle rise and not felt recoil? You're simply changing the muscle groups doing the work of holding the stock into the shoulder. You're essentially tensing up the entire upper body for the shot. This way the gun can no longer roll upward during recoil and you absorb the full blow each time.
If the sling stud is on a barrel band, you are changing barrel harmonics, tension and point of impact in an unrepeatable manner. Right?
 
 

 

 

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