Introduced by John Rigby of London, the .416 Rigby is a good example of a sound design that refuses to die. Until quite recently, fewer than 10,000 rifles in this caliber had been made. However, most of the older rifles in that chambering are still in use. In 1992, Ruger added this cartridge to its rifle product line. Ruger thus increased the total number of guns in this chambering by 10 percent in one year. The company continues to produce it. In 1989, Federal Cartridge Co. added the .416 Rigby to its Premium product line. In so doing, Federal became the first major American manufacturer to offer this classic African cartridge. By their actions, both Ruger and Federal took away much of the momentum from the new .416 Remington Magnum cartridge. Their efforts in reintroducing the .416 Rigby have been successful, and sales remain brisk. This only goes to show that not all new product success stories use totally new products.
The .416 Rigby is today a great favorite of African game wardens and professional hunters alike. It is an excellent choice for the hunter who wishes to take only one rifle to Africa. Federal ballistics are identical to previous British loads, so the point of impact with express sights will be the same. Breech pressures of the .416 are only about 40,000 CUP, in order to avoid sticky extraction exhibited by high pressures on very hot days. This is strictly good sense, based on many years of African experience. Remington has chosen to load the .416 Remington Magnum to pressure levels of 50,000 CUP, which makes one wonder if extraction at very high temperatures has been adequately tested, and handloaders should resist the urge to improve the .416 Rigby ballistics for this reason.
Cartridge Notes provided by Cartridges of the World, 14th Edition.
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