Reduced Recoil Loading Data for the .400-.416 Big Bores from Nyati Inc.
Photo by Edward Hammond
The .400 Jeffery Nitro Express or the .450/400 3" Nitro Express was designed by Jeffery in 1902. This fine cartridge almost faded into oblivion, but thanks to some sports writers and small manufacturers like BELL, and now Hornady and Ruger, it still lives. John “Pondoro” Taylor considered the Jeffery up to snuff for any beast that walks the Earth. Elmer Keith once said the .450/400 would be his first choice in an Alder thicket hunting brown bear in Alaska.
Elephant or buffalo, the new .416 Ruger is the boss with the hot sauce. This round was designed from the ground up to be everything that a DGR is supposed to be. The Light Alaskan is my favorite big bore rifle to carry, but to shoot from the bench, oh my! On foot after Cape buffalo, day after day, it would be a pleasure to carry and bring to the ready. It has it all, including fierce recoil with full power loads.
The .416 Remington Magnum is the perfectly proportioned .416 cartridge. It’s like a giant .30.06. It was designed by Remington in 1988, at a time when there was a reawaking of the African big bores. The only other .416 around was the Rigby and it was fading, because no major ammunition company was loading it. Thanks to the .416 Rem. Magnum, we now have an assortment of .416's from which to choose.
".416 Rigby," just the name of that caliber brings to mind the golden age of African hunting and the names of African hunters and sportsmen like Jack O’Connor, Commander David Enderby Blunt, John Taylor and Harry Selby. The Rigby Company designed their .416 in 1911. Not many .416 rifles were manufactured by Rigby, about 600 total during a century of building exquisite firearms. Today, 1,000 rifles were made by Ruger in ten years and the fame of the Ruger Magnum rifle is still spreading, with no end in sight.
The .500/416 is a new cartridge designed by Krieghoff a few years ago, based on a necked-down .500 case. It is similar to the .416 Rigby in power, but with lower pressure and a rim for ease of extraction in a double rifle, for which Krieghoff is world famous. It is an excellent combination that can only do great things in the African field. Time will tell if it will become a commercial success.
The powder used in all of these reduced power loads is Accurate 5744. Check the amount of powder in your cases and then check again before seating a bullet. Low density loads such as these can be inadvertently double charged, with serious consequences.
The bullets that I have found to work well with these low recoil loads are Barnes Solids for practice and the Barnes TSX for the 2,000 fps intermediate hunting loads intended for CXP3 game.
Don’t let that Big Bore rifle sit in the closet. Put it to work today. The more you use it, the better rifleman you become. Shoot from sticks, shoot from a rest, shoot offhand . . . just shoot!
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