Velocity Issue

ChrisG

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I'm shooting a CZ 550, with a 25" barrel. I use Federal #215M primers. Humm, Vhit has a starting load for the 450 gr that is greater than the max load at 400 gr. I knew they were being too conservative with the 400 gr bullet mix! And Barnes lists the 400 gr max at 105.5 gr of n560; something's not right with the Vhit mix. One of the virtues of the .416 Rigby is the size of the case, and low pressures...so I should be able to use the n560 powder and slowly, safely, move up to 2300+. If it's too hot a load, I should see signs.
First off, I didn't see anyone mentioned this so here goes.

DO NOT use Barnes banded solid load data for a Swift A-Frame. Barnes Banded Solids not only have relief bands cut into the shank to reduce pressure, they are also only 0.415"-0.414" in diameter. They are very low pressure and can be pushed with a good deal more powder. I would recommend getting a different powder. Alliant powders are nearly half the price of Vihtavouri (spelling?) powders and have a wide berth of different burn rates. They also make so tremendously temperature stable powders. I personally wouldn't be locked in to one powder. I would feel comfortable substituting Nosler data for Barnes because their solid is also monolithic brass and it has no driving bands, so it will produce more pressure than the barnes. Any load that is safe with the Nosler solid should be safe with the Barnes.

On the other hand, Swift A-Frames are tough bullets. Not just on impact, but just to push them down the barrel. They have a huge shank in the middle which is hard to compress, and very little give to them because of the bonding process and the thick jacket. They are true 0.416" diameter bullets which means they will need to be fully compressed by the barrel. I have actually seen people recommending using not using them in old double rifles because they could desolder ribs because of the barrel flex when they go down the bore. All I know is they will produce much higher pressure when they are used with Barnes Solid load data.

I guarantee you there are loads for both Nosler bullets and Swift bullets utilizing the same powder at something like the Rigby's rated velocity. I used Nosler's data for shooting .416 Ruger loads with everything from Woodleighs to Barnes Banded solids and I always ended up with cases exhibiting signs of very low pressure.
 
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Shootist43

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Randall, I re-ran a QuickLoad estimate of your load with a 25 " barrel length. Velocity was just under 2400 FPS with 93.9 Gr. of VV560. That was the max load. If you are looking for more than that you are going to have to change powders. You might try contacting VV to see if they have updated information. This post is intended to add some support to your suspicions concerning the charges and velocities mentioned in your OP.
 

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You've already been given the right advice about speed. Just one thing to remember is that solids tend to go faster than conventional bullets. The Barnes manual shows a difference between their solids and their other offerings in identical weights and calibers. For regular bullets, reduce the load you may use for solids by a minimum of five or six grains to be safe and work up from there.
I agree with RedLeg that manufacturers make very good quality ammunition and that reloading isn't essential to get the best out of a particular cartridge. I've reloaded for decades but lately have used off the counter ammunition which hasn't disappointed in speed and accuracy. Good luck with your loads experimentation and your hunt. I would definitely stay away from the very hot loads, even if they are completely safe in your rifle, the last thing you need is a sticky extraction in the field.

You can get information for a variety of bullets in loaddata.com if you're unable to find it elsewhere. I would also look at the Norma loads, they are quite comprehensive albeit with their powders which are excellent.
Randall, I re-ran a QuickLoad estimate of your load with a 25 " barrel length. Velocity was just under 2400 FPS with 93.9 Gr. of VV560. That was the max load. If you are looking for more than that you are going to have to change powders. You might try contacting VV to see if they have updated information. This post is intended to add some support to your suspicions concerning the charges and velocities mentioned in your OP.
Randall, I re-ran a QuickLoad estimate of your load with a 25 " barrel length. Velocity was just under 2400 FPS with 93.9 Gr. of VV560. That was the max load. If you are looking for more than that you are going to have to change powders. You might try contacting VV to see if they have updated information. This post is intended to add some support to your suspicions concerning the charges and velocities mentioned in your OP.
First off, I didn't see anyone mentioned this so here goes.

DO NOT use Barnes banded solid load data for a Swift A-Frame. Barnes Banded Solids not only have relief bands cut into the shank to reduce pressure, they are also only 0.415"-0.414" in diameter. They are very low pressure and can be pushed with a good deal more powder. I would recommend getting a different powder. Alliant powders are nearly half the price of Vihtavouri (spelling?) powders and have a wide berth of different burn rates. They also make so tremendously temperature stable powders. I personally wouldn't be locked in to one powder. I would feel comfortable substituting Nosler data for Barnes because their solid is also monolithic brass and it has no driving bands, so it will produce more pressure than the barnes. Any load that is safe with the Nosler solid should be safe with the Barnes.

On the other hand, Swift A-Frames are tough bullets. Not just on impact, but just to push them down the barrel. They have a huge shank in the middle which is hard to compress, and very little give to them because of the bonding process and the thick jacket. They are true 0.416" diameter bullets which means they will need to be fully compressed by the barrel. I have actually seen people recommending using not using them in old double rifles because they could desolder ribs because of the barrel flex when they go down the bore. All I know is they will produce much higher pressure when they are used with Barnes Solid load data.

I guarantee you there are loads for both Nosler bullets and Swift bullets utilizing the same powder at something like the Rigby's rated velocity. I used Nosler's data for shooting .416 Ruger loads with everything from Woodleighs to Barnes Banded solids and I always ended up with cases exhibiting signs of very low pressure.
Thanks to all for the info and this is very helpful. I'm going to change powder to H4831; Hodgdon has data for both bullets and this powder has worked splendidly for me in the past. I'll be loading tonight and shooting Saturday through the chronographer (shooting on Christmas weekend, is that hard core?). More info on the way.
 

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Jack O'Conner used H4831 with the 400 grain bullets in the 416 Rigby. I believe around 105 grains.
 

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A bit off subject, but not much. I used a 416 Rem Mag with 400 grain A Frame bullets @ 2350fps on a recent Cape buffalo hunt. On a full frontal shot, the bullet penetrated through the vitals and ended up in the rear of the intestines, with perfect expansion. This load is mild and fairly pleasant to shoot. Recoil is not that much more noticeable than a heavy 375 H&H load. With that said, I would say you have little to lose and much to gain by stepping up your velocity to the 2300-2350 fps level. No need for more, and may be the perfect velocity for good expansion, along with tolerable recoil.
 

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Quick update: I finally got around to shooting my new loads through a chronometer: CZ 550 .416, 25" barrel, 400 grn A-Frame, Federal 215; 95.1 gr H4831 = 2323 fps, 98.9 gr H4831 = 2370 fps. Both loads very doable...a "push" rather than a kick. For my buffalo hunt, I'm going with the 95.1 gr for 2323 fps...should be just right to take advantage of the A-Frame, but not too fast!
 

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Went to the range on Saturday to see where my bullets are hitting at 100 yards. Here is the A-Frame (10 shots, 95.1 g of H4831, 2323 FPS):
AFrame.jpg



Here are the 10 shots from the Barnes Banded (2332 fps, 95.1 g H-4831):
BandedSolid.jpg


This was bench shooting, so I'll have to practice on the sticks next. I was surprised to see a tighter group for the solids, but there it is. My PH suggested one A-Frame, and two Banded Solids in the magazine during the hunt, so I think I have found the right recipe for each!
 
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All your alibis are gone!

Great bullets hitting point of aim with plenty of authority.

It’s all on you now - you’ve got your set-up!
 

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You'd better be glad you added that .1 grain of powder! Otherwise they would just bounce off of a buffalo! :A Stirring:

Yes, that .1 is an example of my propencity to make things more complicated than they need be!
 

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