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.416 Rigby
Type Rifle/Dangerous Game
Place of origin England
Production history
Designer John Rigby & Company
Designed 1911
Case type Rimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter 10.57 mm (0.416 in)
Neck diameter 11.33 mm (0.446 in)
Shoulder diameter 13.72 mm (0.540 in)
Base diameter 14.96 mm (0.589 in)
Rim diameter 14.99 mm (0.590 in)
Rim thickness 1.65 mm (0.065 in)
Case length 73.66 mm (2.900 in)
Overall length 95.25 mm (3.750 in)
Case capacity 8.28 cm³ (128 gr H2O)
Rifling twist 420 mm (1-16.5 in)
Primer type Large rifle magnum
Maximum pressure 325.00 MPa (47,137 psi)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
350 gr (23 g) Barnes TSX 2,612 ft/s (796 m/s) 5,304 ft·lbf (7,191 J)
400 gr (26 g) Barnes Solid 2,515 ft/s (767 m/s) 5,619 ft·lbf (7,618 J)
450 gr (29 g) Woodleigh 2,286 ft/s (697 m/s) 5,223 ft·lbf (7,081 J)
Test barrel length: 26"
Source: Reloaders Nest [1]

The .416 Rigby or 10.6x74mm was designed in 1911 by John Rigby & Company of London, England as a dangerous game cartridge and is the first one to use a bullet with a diameter of .416". The rifles, as built by John Rigby & Co., were initially made up on Original Magnum Mauser actions although in later years, some were made on standard length actions, a perfect example being the rifle used by legendary professional hunter Harry Selby[2]. Other famous users of the cartridge were Commander David Enderby Blunt, John Taylor and Jack O'Connor.


The cartridge case is one of the largest ever designed for a bolt action rifle and the huge case capacity allowed for good performance without creating excessive chamber pressure. The cartridge was originally loaded with Cordite, a powder that resembles long spaghetti strands that burns very hot and is sensitive to changes in ambient temperature. Like many cartridges designed by the British in this era, most of its intended use would have been in the hot climates of Africa and India. Large increases in chamber pressure often resulted under such conditions, sometimes making it difficult to extract fired cartridges, something that would be virtually impossible with the .416 Rigby.

Most .416 Rigby factory-loaded ammunition pushes a 400 grain bullet in the neighborhood of 2,300 feet per second (700 m/s). Additionally, it doesn't have the tremendous recoil of other large cartridges such as the .460 Weatherby Magnum. Recently-offered lighter-weight bullets, affordable reloading brass, and reasonably priced American and imported rifles have made this caliber increasingly popular for hunting large game in the United States.

The fairly modern .460 Weatherby Magnum is based on a belted version of the older .416 Rigby case, but is loaded to far higher pressures. The .416 Remington Magnum, using a much smaller case, will equal the veteran .416 Rigby in performance, again thanks to higher pressure.

Until recently, the use of .416 cartridges was mostly confined to Africa, where they were used primarily on dangerous or "thick-skinned" large game such as rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo.[3]

See also


  1. ^ .416 Rigby data from Reloaders Nest
  2. ^ Coogan, Joe (October 2002). "The .416 Rigby:Just Enough", "American Rifleman", pg. 80
  3. ^ The .416 Rigby and .416 Remington Magnum by Chuck Hawks

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