View Full Version : .416 Rigby vs .416 Remington Magnum

July 28, 2005, 01:09 PM
What are the significant differences between these two chamberings? Thanks. ;)

Mike Irwin
July 28, 2005, 03:30 PM
Biggest differences?

The Remington round operates at significantly higher pressure.

The Remington round has a belted case.

Remington try to reinvent the wheel with their .416.

All they managed to do was create a square wheel.

July 28, 2005, 04:00 PM
The pressure issue can be important for those on African safari. Another issue though is that the Remington is far more common and cheaper than the Rigby. So if you're going to be out in nowheresville, your chances of getting the Remington are better.

July 28, 2005, 07:33 PM
Thanks guys. :)
I'm generally a believer in opting for the lower pressure cartridge when all else is (fairly) equal.

Mike Irwin
July 28, 2005, 11:45 PM

I'm assuming you mean the ammo.

I'd say that's true in the United States (but I'd be SHOCKED if you were to walk into a gunshop in nowhereville, USA, and find a box of .416 anything).

In Africa, though, I'd bet you'd be a lot more likely to find .416 Rigby ammo. The .416 has been a staple in Africa almost since its introduction in 1907.

Like many of Remington's cartridge introductions in the 20th century, the .416 Remington has been largely a flop.

The TRUE kicker, though? Even though the .416 Rigby operates at significantly lower pressure, it churns out a lot more energy in most handloads.

The .416 Weatherby, on the other hand, tromps them both handily.

July 29, 2005, 01:00 PM
From what I've read from guys who hunt the world, .416 Remington is easier to buy no matter where you are. I can't say with first-hand experience.

July 29, 2005, 02:03 PM
I haven't fired either one of these, so all I know is "what I read in the papers." I do know that Ed Matunas preferred the .416 Rigby slightly because it developed lower chamber pressures; hence, he figured, less likely to jam when some beastie was charging one at full-steam. He did also note that the .416 Remington is more available and somewhat less expensive.

Like I said, based SOLELY on reading....

July 30, 2005, 02:01 PM
What I see from looking at sources online and in print, is that the Rigby cartridge is larger, and burns more powder. The Remington cartridge uses less powder, at higher pressure to achieve the same end.
I am not sure which is better. I don't think an Elk could tell the difference though.

Mike Irwin
August 1, 2005, 10:51 AM
I don't think I'd use a .416 on elk. Just a slight bit of... overkill.

August 1, 2005, 01:33 PM
1. The 416 Rigby requires a pretty mammoth rifle to hold many in the magazine. I believe it is the basis for the 460 Weatherby and 378 with the added belt.

2. I thought the reason the old British cartridges had such large volume is because they used Cordite which went up in pressure as the ambient temperature rose. The modern double based powders are more stable.

August 1, 2005, 03:04 PM
I don't think I'd use a .416 on elk. Just a slight bit of... overkill.
+1 - I am not a safari hunter, but at least from what I have read, the .416 will work on anything on earth - polar bear, brown bear, lion, tiger, cape buffalo, rhino, elephant.

August 2, 2005, 07:07 PM
Anything on earth? do you really need to go above .400 to kill anything on earth? I would think the 375 H&H mag. would be sufficiant for just about anything on earth


Mike Irwin
August 4, 2005, 10:19 PM
Ask some of the professional hunters (or read about their exploits) and you'll soon see that while you can kill just about anything on earth with just about any caliber, sometimes being able to do so very fast with very large bullets is the optimal way to go.

If the best mouse trap truly were rounds lik the .375 and .404 Jeffery, then cartridge development for dangerous game would have stopped dead in its tracks as all of the hunters switched over.

That's not what happened, though.

The really big calibers (.500 and up) still have significant followings in Africa as true stopping rifles.

In British parlance, the .416 isn't even a large bore rifle. It's a medium bore.

March 18, 2007, 03:27 PM
Both cartridges develop comparable muzzle velocity as set out in the Hornady Reloading Manual, 9th ed. (Max 2400 Rigby vs Max 2450 Remington). Those 50 fps don't mean much in terms of downrange energy. There is a SLIGHT variation in point of impact, but, neither cartridge is designed for 300 yard shots in the first place so that is not much of an issue. Neither wins the speed debate

The Rigby cartridge is slightly larger 3.75" Max. COL versus 3.60" Max COL (about 1/16 inch difference), but is definitaly fatter .590" versus .532" in the Remington. Remington wins the size debate.

The chamber pressure in the Rigby is lower than the Remington, however I am not aware of any SAAMI pressure limitation on the Rigby. 44,000 has been suggested as the pressure limit, versus the SAAMI limit of 65,000 psi for the Remington. Lower pressures mean a lower likelihood of a jam and lower likelyhood of dangerous overpressure or jamming in a very hot climate. I.E. Africa. Rigby wins here.

Accessability of ammunition. Probably a draw, If you reload, it is a moot point. How many of you have ever run out of ammo on a big game hunt?

The biggest issue for me is the safety issue involving less likelihood of jamming. So I prefer the Rigby. I have shot one and it shoots well with a manageable recoil.

Happy Hunting

"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" George W. Bush, January 11, 2000.

March 18, 2007, 03:57 PM
Don't know how true this is, but I read several years ago that Remington opted to develop the 416 Rem because 416 Rigby ammo was generally not available (probably meant in the USA). However Ruger opted to chamber a rifle for the 416 Rigby and create demand for the ammo, prompting Hornady to offer it.

If true, some of our corporate giants do not understand supply and demand.

March 20, 2007, 10:57 PM
The 416 Remington was very popular in Africa in the 1990s, as it was a compromise between the 375 H&H and the 458 Winchester magnum. For reasons not clear to me, the 416 seems to have faded some and the 416 Rigby with has been around for years became loaded again and some rifle companies came to choose it. Nevertheless, it did not achieve great popularity. Today, the 375 is still the most common African caliber along with an assortment of big bores, such as the 458 Lott and the propriety A-Square and of course the big Weatherbys. There is a host of other big bores and many are used. As to availability, the 458 Win and 375 H&H are the most common.

Most plains game shooters still prefer less powerful cartridges, such as the 30-06 and other similar size numbers. I have not hunted the Dark Continent in some years so I would imagine what is used and available has changed. I doubt the main stays have not changed much.

Boston T. Party
December 28, 2008, 03:40 PM
Both fire a 400gr at 2400fps.

The Rigby is a fine caliber, and low-pressure, but you need a
behemoth action.

The .416 Rem does not have to be compressed loaded if you
use a 400gr A-Frame. Very common in Africa, and well-regarded.
I used one in 2005 Tanzania with splendid results.

More important is your familiarity and field accuracy.


My new book Safari Dreams available from:

December 28, 2008, 06:08 PM
and now i believe Ruger & Hornady have come out with one. maybe it will be better than the others, maybe not.

December 28, 2008, 07:50 PM
.416 Rigby Vs .416 Remington Magnum


What Are The Significant Differences Between These Two Chamberings?


December 29, 2008, 12:40 AM
I have fired a 416 rem some,and the recoil felt about the same a a 31/2 Ten gauge mag load in a light break action single shot shotgun.I might like it if I really needed it,but it was a bit much for me.

I have,however,fired someone's home made scaled up rem 700 in 50 BMG and wanted more!!

I think there is something to pressure level and the characteristic of recoil.

I can tolerate being pushed,but being punched is more painful.I don't know for sure,but I suspect in equal rifles ,even with similar ballistics and the physics of how mant ft lbs come through the butt plate,the acceleration and felt recoil of the Rem might be more.

The CZ .416 actions are in Brownells,I think the Montana Rifleman makes a .416 size M-70 clone.

Looking to see if a 338 ultramag was catalogued in a Sendero (prairie dogs)
I could not find any Rems over .300 Ultramag in any rifle outside their custom shop.Then the price starts at about $3000

As the Rem extractor is not favored for dangerous game,I suspect the Rigby will be easier to find ammo for,long term.

And,while I have never held or fired a .404 Jeffreys,for some reason,I think if I chose an exotic far away places rifle....

January 1, 2009, 08:30 PM
I have owned rifles in both 416 Rigby and 416 Remington. I prefer the Remington for the following reasons.
1) Less costly ammo and brass
2) equivilent performance with less recoil
3) easier to add a cartridge to the magazine w/o making such a deep drop box

Addessing the "VERY OLD" issues with pressures in hot climates.
1) I live in north Texas; It is no hotter in Africa in the summer than August in Texas; 100+ degrees. I have shot 100's of rounds through my 416 Remington over the past 10 years in this environment. No issues with modern powders; PERIOD!! People just need to stop regurgitating this 30 year old information with no personal experience.
2) The 416 Rem. is factory loaded at 45,000 CUP; The "African Darling" 375 H&H is factory loaded at 44,000 CUP. Do you ever hear of people complaining about the 375 H&H and extraction issues??? NO!! Get over it!
a) One of the most common powders to gain maximum potential out of the 375H&H is W760; Guess what: A ball powder! The same type of propellant accussed of causing pressure build ups in high temp environs.
3) Most factory loadings of modern cartridges are loaded at about 45,000 CUP. and you hear little or nothing of 300 mags and 338 mags in Africa with extraction issues.
This topic needs to be put to rest. The 416 Rigby is a fine cartridge but if you want to move a 400 gr forty caliber bullet at 2400-2450 fps; the Remington version is just fine.
If you want to move one faster the Rigby design is certainly capable.

I like the old English cartridges as well and own a 404 jeffery, 470 nitro's and 500 nitro's and hope to add a 450/ 400 in the near future. They are all great old cartridges with allot of history. I especially like the new 404 Jeffery Norma loading with a 450 gr bullet at 2150 fps.

Winchester and Hornady now offer 458 Win Mag factory loads at 2250 fps with 500 gr bullets. These new cartridge offerings in this caliber will do any thing the old english guns will with with far less recoil.

If you are interested in a very reliable 416 Rem. load using a 400 gr Swift or 400 Nosler partition; try 79 gr of RL -15. In the Nosler manual is is listed at 2 gr. off maximum and 2453 FPS. I think Swift lists 79 gr of RL-15 as a max load at 2430 FPS. If have talked person to person with a Swift representative at the Safari show and asked why they are so conservative with their load data and they say it is liability reasons.
This is a load I have used for years and it is very safe and have absolutely no issues in 100+ temps. Custom Win. Model 70.

Most importantly; Most hunting in Africa is done in the winter; Just an FYI; heat is seldom an issue.
Drama; Drama; Drama

January 1, 2009, 08:37 PM
If you go to Africa; Practice shooting with the sticks; It will pay off regardless of what you shoot.

January 4, 2009, 03:12 PM
Ah, here we are again 308 vs 30-06 except a different caliber. Its your choice. Balistics are close to eachother. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. If you want to get the best performance, upgrade to 416WBY, balistics pale in comparison.

January 6, 2009, 12:05 AM
As stated above, the only real difference is ammo price/availability. Both cartridges are fairly equal in terms of performance, and should do just fine for anything you hunt on the dark continent. My father has a .416 Rigby ( sold his 458 to buy it) and shooting it is tolerable, off hand. Shooting it off a bench is about the worst torture I have experienced, you really need to be able to roll with the recoil with that cartridge. Factory ammo does pretty well, but you can really crank things up with handloads. Having put many rounds thru both his .416 Rigby and .458 Win, I think for my big bore, I will stick with the good old .375 H&H. (Although thoughts of a .404 Jeffrey cross my mind a bit, just for something different) The .375 has very tolerable recoil, cheaper to shoot, you don't have to pack around a 12 lb rifle, and it still gets the job done fine, just ask Finn Aagard, John Hunter, Peter Capstick, etc.

December 8, 2010, 03:17 PM
For years I've been hearing the same tired old crap: "Don't use the .416 Remington Magnum on a dangerous game safari because it will lock up on you & get you killed.":mad:

Do the rules of reloading common sense suddenly vanish when discussing the .416 Remington Magnum?

You develop & test your loads for the environment you intend to deploy the firearm in WITH ANY CALIBER.

A load developed for deployment on an African Safari with 100 degree + average temperatures & a load developed for a backup gun to be deployed in Churchill Falls, Canada as a Polar Bear backup gun in the winter using exactly the same components would probably call for different powder charges as a given maximum powder charge developed for the cold weather environment would likely generate excess pressure in the hot environment & thus result in difficult extraction.

Without thorough in the field development & testing for each specific situation & firearm/caliber selection the above paragraph is nothing but guesstimations & generalizations but the principles are well established as factual.

In a nutshell a load has to be developed & thoroughly tested for the environment it is to be used in.

I own 2 x .416 Remington Magnum rifles & have used them just about everywhere & have never had a problem because I exercise due diligence as regards environment specific load development & testing with all the firearms and calibers I own.

If this nonsense was spread intentionally to "kill" a perfectly good caliber it did a heck of a job because it's hard getting rifles, ammo & reloading components for the .416 Remington Magnum. Finding new brass for the .416 Remington Magnum is next to impossible.

Way to go rumor mongers.:mad:

December 8, 2010, 03:47 PM
I have a friend who has a .416 Rigby. I neither own a .416 nor have used one. If I thought I wanted one I would pick a preferred rifle than the cartridge unless ammo was a problem.
I would not worry about the pressure. I am sure that the Rem is safe, and I don't really care about pressure or efficiency if the rifle and cartridge do what I want.

Based upon the posts that indicate that the .416 Rem ammo is more available, I would choose it. I suspect also that a good rifle for the .416 Rem is more available, less expensive, maybe a little less cumbersome due to the use of a smaller action.

FWIW chamber pressure has nothing to do with recoil. Recoil is derived from momentum.


lt dan
December 9, 2010, 01:53 AM
from an African perspective i can only confirm what has already been said. the 416 Rigby ammo is available in almost any gun shop, the 416 Rem ammo can be ordered. the Rigby has a very loyal following in Africa.

December 9, 2010, 09:04 AM
The temperature vs pressure question was originally important because the British Cordite powder was more sensitive to high temperatures.That's much less of a problem with modern powders.

Hunting dangerous game is serious business .It's frustrating to see tv shows where the hunter doesn't understand this .From fumbling reloads to a resent one where a woman hunting cape buffalo was very unfamiliar with the gun ,the PH constantly checking her and the gun.:(