Which .416 Rigby?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by MikeDeltaFoxtrot, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    133
    Video/Photo:
    24
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA (Alaska, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia), South Africa
    I am thinking about buying a 416 Rigby. After a successful first hunt in Africa in June, I am plotting my return. For me half the fun is setting of the rifles, working up loads, and practicing my shooting. I want to go back and take a cape buffalo. It has long been a bucket list experience for me, and I think it is time. I already have a Win 70 Safari Express in .375 H&H, which I used to take my waterbuck and carried unsuccessfully after Kudu. I know someone will invariably pipe in and say I should just use that, but I want to use something bigger. I am not in any way recoil sensitive, and how many times will I have the opportunity to use a medium/big bore in the field?

    Anyway, I think I will have a max budget of around $2500, so that rules out Rigby rifles and the Sako Safari. The three rifles I am considering are the Sako Brown Bear, the CZ 550 American Safari, or perhaps a gently used Ruger RSM. I am curious what experiences others have had with these rifles and what you might recommend. Based on my research to date, here are my assessments:

    Sako--Solid rifle with any ugly laminate stock. Not a true CRF, but is reputed to be very well made and feed reliably. The most expensive option at $2500.

    CZ--The least expensive option at around $1200. Fit and finish is just OK, and they are known to have feeding problems out of the box. Many view it as a rifle kit that needs to be worked over by a gunsmith to be reliable. I don't love the idea of buying a new rifle and having to send it off for work right away.

    RSM--There seem to be a few of these floating around. Beautiful wood and nice finish. I don't hear much about the smoothness of the action or reliability of the feeding. I also have questions about the scope mounting system, which seems unusual. I have never owned a Ruger 77 of any kind.

    My priorities for this rifle are 1) It must be 100% reliable, 2) It should be durable and able to withstand the rigors of hunting, and 3) I would prefer a rifle which is aesthetically pleasing, but this is not as important as 1 and 2.

    I am grateful for any advice and comments my AH brethren may have.
     

  2. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    Video/Photo:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1,170
    Location:
    DFW
    Member of:
    DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
    Why not another Win M70? Youre already familiar with the platform..

    Winchester made an M70 in 416 Rigby several years ago.. It was one of their higher end, semi custom rifles I believe.. and is probably out of your price range (if you could find one at all)..

    But I occasionally see rebarreled M70's on gunbroker, guns america, etc.. in 416 Rigby that go for reasonable prices.. Im guessing most started life as a 375 H&H or some other caliber that required Winchesters magnum action and a big bore bolt face.. and then went to a custom shop someplace and got a nice 416 barrel installed on them...

    Most I have seen are pretty nice looking rifles.. and are reasonably priced (although they arent "common" at all.. you definitely dont see them every day)..
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    Shootist43 likes this.

  3. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3,309
    Video/Photo:
    15
    Likes Received:
    1,494
    Location:
    Trzebiatów
    Member of:
    1977; Polish Hunting Assotiation
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Zimbabwe
    My sugestion Mauser M98.
    100% reliable.
     

  4. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    133
    Video/Photo:
    24
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA (Alaska, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia), South Africa
    I am surprised that such a chambering is possible. I was under the impression that the M70 action was too short for the 416 Rigby. Do they feed reliably?
     
    matt85 likes this.

  5. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    713
    Video/Photo:
    14
    Likes Received:
    524
    Location:
    Beaverlodge Alberta
    Member of:
    SCI, Dallas Safari Club, NFA ,CSSA NRA, CCFR
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, Canada (BC, Alberta Nunavet) Texas, New Mexico
    I have both a Ruger RSM and a CZ in 416 Rigby, the Ruger will jam up when you try to top up the Mag if your not careful. The CZ I’ve had no problems with. I think if you get a Ruger practice topping up the Mag till it becomes second nature.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2018

  6. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    Video/Photo:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1,170
    Location:
    DFW
    Member of:
    DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru

    Max COAL for a 375 H&H is 91MM. Max COAL for 416 Rigby is 95MM (not a whole lot of difference)..

    I havent owned a M70 in 416 Rigby, so I cant personally speak to reliability.. but, I do know that Winchester made a 416 Rigby on a magnum M70 action for a little while (back in the 90's maybe?), and that there are custom M70's chambered in 416 Rigby that show up from time to time on the larger gun auction sites.. and that you'll see an occasional reference from gun/hunting writers to a M70 in 416 Rigby..

    So.. while it is an assumption on my part, and I admit I have no first hand knowledge, I think if the gun is converted properly by a competent gunsmith, it would likely be reliable..

    All of that said... I just took my 375 H&H M70 out of the safe and put a couple of Factory 300gr rounds in the magazine and took a look.. there is probably 1-2mm gap between the front of the cartridge and the magazine.. the 4mm difference referenced above is not there..

    Maybe the trick is not to load the 416's to max COAL and to keep them to 92-93MM? Or maybe when the gunsmith rebarrels, he takes a MM or two off the front of the magazine (similar to how 404 Jeff conversions are done on standard 98 mauser actions)? I honestly dont know how people make it work..

    I just know there are M70's out there.. both factory made by Winchester, and custom gunsmith conversions.. chambered in 416 Rigby....
     

  7. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,351
    Video/Photo:
    96
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Member of:
    SCI, DU, Pheasants Forever
    Hunted:
    Canada, United States, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Eastern Cape; Northern Cape; North West Province, Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo), Namibia, Cameroon, Benin, Ethiopia, Argentina
    I bought a .416 Rigby CZ some years ago now and sold it not long after. I had issues with it and didn't like the way it felt when I shot it. The result was I put it away and it almost never came out. I finally got tired of looking at it at the back of the safe and rather than work on it, and re-work on it, I just decided to start over with something that worked for me out of the box.

    Just my experience. I know there are many who are quite satisfied.
     

  8. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    Video/Photo:
    10
    Likes Received:
    1,170
    Location:
    DFW
    Member of:
    DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
    upload_2018-8-8_11-33-14.png


    Here's an old ad from the Winchester custom shop..

    One of these would obviously be way out of the original price range established..

    But confirms that 416 Rigby is possible on a M70 action (although Im still not sure how exactly it is accomplished..)...
     

  9. flat8

    flat8 GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    241
    Video/Photo:
    19
    Likes Received:
    262
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Member of:
    DSC, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA, RSA
    I have a RSM in .458 Lott, a CZ in .375 H&H, and a M70 in .416 Rem Mag. All went to the gunsmith for finishing. Thoughts:

    The CZ out of the box was accurate, but did not feed. I sent it to Wayne at AHR for a #3 upgrade and it is flawless. If I had to keep one gun in my mid to large bore stable, it would be the CZ.
    The RSM was OK out of the box, but the action was sticky. I sent it to Wayne as well, and he bedded it, worked the action, new sights, and (horrors to some, I know) I gunkoked the metal. It's now a damn fine gun, and it shoots very well. The action is now smooth as glass. It also has enough heft to make the recoil manageable.
    The Model 70 is a New Haven gun. I had it bedded and that's all. The action needs work - it doesn't feed well - and it kicks like a mule. I love Model 70's, but I don't love this one in .416 Rem. Others I am sure feel differently.

    I think about selling my .416 Rem and buying a Rigby often. If I did, I'd be hard pressed to choose between a CZ or an RSM. If money were no object, I'd get the CZ and send it to Wayne for a #3. If money were an issue, I'd go with the RSM. Takes less work to get it where I would want it.
     
    BC.Pat and Dirtdart like this.

  10. dchamp

    dchamp AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    Messages:
    122
    Video/Photo:
    3
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Bakersfield, California
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, Australia, Namibia
    I have a CZ550 American in .416 Rigby. It started off with a kevlar stock but I didn't care for it so I ended up putting a CZ laminated stock on it and find it much better now, the action needed a little work too. Other than that it is a decent rifle. If you go with the CZ, my thought would be to spend the extra money and go through their custom shop and have the action worked and also get fitted so the rifle fits you.
    I have only handled the Sako Brown bear in .416 Rigby. It is a very nice rifle with a very good action but is light in weight IMO.

    The .416 Rigby is great cartridge but I wouldn't ignore the .416 Remington or even the .416 Ruger. You already have a .M70 Safari in 375H&H. Why not get it's bigger sibling . It's cheaper to load or purchase ammo for.
     

  11. TTundra

    TTundra AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2015
    Messages:
    266
    Video/Photo:
    26
    Likes Received:
    301
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    Hunted:
    RSA (Limpopo), USA , CAN
    I have the CZ550 with composite stock and have been very happy with it out of the box. Ive ran a few hundred snap caps thru it with now a few hundred loaded cartridges and its as smooth as I like it. I also am a fan of the set trigger and have enjoyed it while sighting in and hope to use it on a future croc and hippo hunt if the needs arises.
     

  12. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    2,545
    Video/Photo:
    24
    Likes Received:
    1,616
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, and Namibia
    i would buy a CZ 550 and send it to Wayne at American Hunting Rifles. for $800 he will smooth out the action, get it feeding properly, install a new trigger, and install a wing style safety. if your willing to stretch your budget a bit his $1800 upgrade is a fantastic option as well!

    -matt
     
    tarbe, bassasdaindia and flat8 like this.

  13. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    252
    Hunted:
    Alaska Canada US New Zealand Scotland South Africa Zimbabwe
    I have a Gunshop in Canada and sell quite a few Africa Rifles. Most are CZ and Winchester and some Sako. Here are my views.
    1. Sako is a great rifle and functions smoothly but is not a true CRF. Accurate and a pleasure to shoot.
    2. Winchester M70 excellent and a bargain. True CRF functions smoothly and is accurate. Comfortable to shoot.
    3. CZ excellent and also a bargain. I sell the new ones and have never had any feed issues up to 416 Rigby. Very accurate true CRF and although not as smooth this improves with shooting.
    4. Ruger RSM is usually a beautiful firearm and feeds reliably. True CRF and good accuracy. But have found more felt recoil.
     
    MikeDeltaFoxtrot likes this.

  14. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    133
    Video/Photo:
    24
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA (Alaska, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia), South Africa
    Thanks. Which would you choose for a buffalo hunt?
     

  15. MikeDeltaFoxtrot

    MikeDeltaFoxtrot AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    133
    Video/Photo:
    24
    Likes Received:
    123
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA (Alaska, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia), South Africa
    Thanks. Do you think the net result of the fixed up CZ is a better rifle than the RSM, Sako, or Winchester? If so, how and why?
     

  16. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    2,545
    Video/Photo:
    24
    Likes Received:
    1,616
    Location:
    WA, USA
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, and Namibia
    a fixed up CZ is easily better then an RSM but wont be quite as nice as a Sako or Winchester. the actions on the Sako and Winchester will always be smoother. however Sako does tend to be light for caliber so that's something to watch for.

    -matt
     

  17. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    252
    Hunted:
    Alaska Canada US New Zealand Scotland South Africa Zimbabwe
    I would take my Win 416 Rem Mag simply because that is what I have. If I was purchasing a rifle for Buff I would seriously consider the CZ in 416 Rigby.
     

  18. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2017
    Messages:
    411
    Video/Photo:
    11
    Likes Received:
    250
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member, SCI
    Hunted:
    Eastern US
    I'm not sure where you are located in VA, but there is a place in Hagerstown, MD that caters to the big bore addicted.
    https://hendershots.net/
    I've been there several times and drooled over their inventory.
    However I must admit that most of the 416's are priced above $4K.

    Another option would be to by a CZ550 and have it customized by American Hunting Rifles.
    http://americanhuntingrifles.com/

    I went with the CZ550 375H&H with kevlar stock and having a #2 upgrade done by AHR.
    Doing so has kept the price below $3K, minus the optic.
     

  19. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    446
    Video/Photo:
    19
    Likes Received:
    370
    Hunted:
    Australia, New Zealand
    What about a sako grizzly?
    Scratch that they dont do one in it
     
    WAB likes this.

  20. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    7,770
    Video/Photo:
    25
    Likes Received:
    5,413
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    I'm a M70 guy, so I'd be more inclined to buy one in .416 Rem Mag. The Rigby is certainly a great caliber, but it's also a bit expensive especially if you're shooting factory. Even if you're a bandleader, brass is pretty expensive. Something to consider.

    But if you're set on the Rigby:

    I've only handled the RSM a couple times, never shot one. It's a lot of rifle for the money they can be had for. I don't think you'd be disappointed.

    I had a CZ in .416 Rigby at one time. It came out of their shop that makes them a bit prettier. Got a great deal on a used one. Very well balanced and stupidly accurate. I really did not like the two position safety, was too stiff for my taste and I am very much a fan of the 3 position safety. I really didn't care for the 26" barrel. What's the point in such a long barrel when pursuing DG and the shots are under 100 yards if not less than 50? I didn't have any of the rough feeding issues that they're know to have, perhaps previous owner had worked that out. All in all a fine rifle that if I had kept I would've had Wayne at American Hunting Rifles mentioned above, shorten the barrel and did his #1 upgrade.

    Were I to do another bolt rifle in CZ for DG, I think I'd try to find as cheap a used CZ in the caliber I wanted and send it to Wayne for the #2 upgrade.

    BTW, if you're a hand loader and if you're like me, beware. In a modern rifle you can put a lot of powder in those massive cases and push a 400gr bullet quite fast. But you will pay for it in recoil.
     
    tarbe likes this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice