I'm getting a little bored being confined to my house over the Covid-19 situation so I thought I would start this thread. What hits harder, a .416 Rigby firing a 400 grain bullet or a .458 Win Mag firing a 500 grain bullet? Both develop about the same muzzle energy, somewhere around 5,000 lb./ft. Momentum (muzzle velocity in fps x bullet weight in grains/1,000) however favours the .458 Win Mag. Interesting question. Which do you think is more effective at point blank range if both are using premium bullets?
I believe that will be the 458 due to frontal area. I think that’s part of what John Taylor’s KO factor takes into account. having said that, Harry Selby once told me that to compare the 416 Riby and the 458 (that he used while his 416 was being rebarelled) was like comparing “chalk and cheese.” He loved and relied on the 416 like nothing else.
I started another thread with my thoughts on energy per mm2 of cross sectional area. (sorry I am metric-cant work in imperial)Basically a bigger bullet will make a bigger hole and need more energy to make that hole. 416 Rigby-400 gr bullet @ 2300 fps = 6347 kJ. This is 72 kJ per mm2. The 458 win mag - 500 gr bullet @ 2150 fps = 7228 kJ and 68 kJ per mm2. This suggests that each bullet has similar energy per mm2 to make a hole and would therefore have similar perntration. However the win mag delivers more energy and a bigger hole overall. So in something like balistics gelatine, you would expect them both to penetrate about the same distance. The 458 will create a 25% larger hole. If the balistics gelatine was hanging on a string, the 458 would push it back more and gives a bigger shock/gives it more energy. this is just pure physics, not experimental. Having just done my shooting test for Zim guides and watched more than 50 people doing that test over the last year (I help out with running the shoot when I am not shooting myself), there is a big difference in recoil between 375 and the bigger rifles. That means more impact at the other end. My brother reckons my 458 with 450 gr/2250 fps reloads is pretty much the same as his 416 rigby -400 gr/2300 fps. But I would expect his pentration to be higher and my shock to the animal to be higher. I like to think of it like comparing a hypodermic needle to a 6 inch nail. Hypodermic doesnt need much energy to go through your skin and it doesnt hurt much - 6 inch nail is going to need one hell of a push and I think it might make you cry just a little.
No offense intended to the OP... IMO it would be a better comparison of the 416RIGBY to the 458LOTT. The 458WM was designed to operate in a 30-06 action with an OAL of 3.34" The 458LOTT (OAL 3.6") is much closer to the 416RIGBY (OAL 3.75"). So the 458WM is already handicapped by case capacity, where the LOTT is not. Just doing a quick look at Swift loaded ammo from their website... 416RIGBY @ muzzle 2431 fps and 5249 ft-lbs (400 grain SAF) 458WM @ muzzle 2143 fps and 5100 ft-lbs (500 grain SAF) 458LOTT @ muzzle 2207 fps and 5488 ft-lbs (500 grain SAF) You can see how the WM cartridge lacks the punch to move a 500 grain pill. The 458LOTT delivers the numbers that were originally promised by the 458WM. There is no replacement for displacement and OAL is the answer in this case.
My wife just sneak up behind her when she's bent over emptying the dish washer and tweak her sweet butt...you'll find out what hits hard???
Off topic kind of, but between the Lott and Rigby, which “hits harder” at the opposite end? I just put ten rounds through my “new to me” CZ Lott, and the recoil isn’t the nightmare I was preparing for? Really not much more noticeable than my WM? But then again, I’ve heard recoil horror tales with the Rigby? I’ve never shot one? Thanks!
I once owned a Ruger # 1 chambered in .416 Rigby. The standard load was 104 grains of H4831 SC behind a 410 grain Woodleigh Weldcore. The recoil was brutal, absolutely punishing. I believe it may have been due to the poor stock design of the Ruger # 1. The hard as rock red Ruger recoil pad didn't help much either.
450 rigby has more powder capacity and is capable of higher velocities so it can hit harder. Handloads can be pretty epic! With Lott vs win mag, the actual difference if you have factory loads with modern powders is a lot less than people like to pretend. Mostly it is 5 % or around 100 fps - sonot really that noticeable.
"Hits harder", and "more effective" are not precisely definable terms. Lends to lots of discussion, with no absolute conclusion.......but fun question, anyway.....FWB
I don't think there's any better formula for dangerous game cartridges than John Taylor's system. He gives 31.9 for the .416 Rigby and 29.4 for the .458 WM.
Just for kicks and giggles I worked this up on QuickLoad. I ran this based off of my rifles. The .416 Rigby is a CZ550 laminated stock and the .458 Lott is a Blaser R8 Safari synthetic stock both without a scope. I say pick whatever suits your fancy.
Oops, I was looking at a chart for momentum/area which someone (maybe him) listed as a penetration guide. You are correct on those numbers for knock-out.
point blank range was also mentioned. the 416 is ahead here. what does "hit hard" mean? probably both are adequate in their point blank ranges as ben says. bruce.
And this here mate, is your answer While the rest of us (me included) are quoting formulas and using charts and giving our opinions, Ben has actually gone out and shot a heap of big animals with both! Cheers, Russ
I'm sorry mate but I don't agree with you about the .458 lacking punch to move a 500gn projectile The .458 was designed to shoot a 500gn projectile at around 2150fps, for around 5000ft/lbs of energy. Looking at the chat above from Swift, the .458 is doing EXACTLY that. The Lott is shooting the same projectile 64fps faster... So, 64fps is the difference between one being satisfactory and one lacking punch...? Yeah, that's a no from me! Sorry to get off topic guys and it's just my opinion! Continue! Cheers, Russ
I am getting exactly 2300 fps with factory 500 gr TBBC in my Lott (22” bbl). More like 150 fps if you are getting 2150 but I believe that number is typically from a 24” bbl.
Apples & oranges? The question is "What hits harder?" and the response proposes to use energy as a unit of measure "Both develop about the same muzzle energy, somewhere around 5,000 lb./ft." This is not the direction I would go... In the calculation of energy: - velocity is squared; - mass (i.e. weight in everyday language) is not; - frontal area (i.e. caliber) is not a factor included in the equation. These are the reasons why high velocity small or mid calibers make up in energy over larger calibers shooting heavier slugs at lower speed. Using Swift factory data for both cartridges, so that reloads variations are mostly taken out of the discussion, the .416 Rigby 400 gr has a 288 fps initial velocity advantage over the .458 Win 500 gr. This gives the .416 Rigby a muzzle energy of 5,249 over the .458 Win's 5,100. Going by energy alone, the .416 Rigby 400 gr hits ~3% harder than the .458 Win 500 gr... For comparison, still going by energy alone, the .458 Lott 500 gr hits ~4% harder than the .416 Rigby 400 gr, and ~7% harder than the .458 Win 500 gr... I own a .458 Lott, I too in the innocent pre-chronograph days was convinced that it outperformed the .458 Win by grand leaps and fantastic bounds, but as hinted by Badboymelvin, the DATA shows otherwise. ~7% additional energy is hardly worth writing home about, especially (see here under) if the price to pay for ~7% higher energy is ~27% more recoil... There is a large body of experience in the hunting world going back a century that challenges the use of kinetic energy alone as an adequate measure of how "hard" a bullet "hits"... One with considerable experience who took the pain to design a better answer was "Pondoro" John Taylor. He designed a formula to calculate what he called the Knock Out Value (KO value). This table is copied from Taylor's book African Rifles and Cartridges: The table does not show the .458 Win (introduced in 1956) because it did not exist at the time the book was written (1948), but since the .458 Win 500 gr load was designed to duplicate the .470 NE 500 gr load in both velocity and energy, we can approximate an answer using the .470 NE 500 gr data. The only .416 in existence in 1948 was the Rigby, so the .416 data shown in the table is the one we are interested in. The KO value for the .470 NE 500 gr / .458 Win 500 gr is 71.3 The KO value for the .416 Rigby 410 gr is 57.25 Using Taylor's KO value, the .458 Win 500 gr hits ~25% harder then the .416 Rigby 400 gr. Taylor's comment "suffice it to say that the final figures agree in an altogether remarkable way with the actual performance of the rifles under practical hunting conditions" are good enough for me. Personal choices of life set aside, it will be a looooong time before I challenge Taylor's expertise and experience hunting dangerous African game... Recoil A 10 lbs .416 Rigby rifle shooting a 400 gr bullet at 2,400 fps generates 58 ft/lbs of free recoil. A 10 lbs .458 Win rifle shooting a 500 gr bullet at 2,100 fps generates 55 ft/lbs of free recoil. (For comparison, a 10 lbs .458 Lott rifle shooting a 500 gr bullet at 2,300 fps generates 70 ft/lbs of free recoil.) I hope this was of interest