recoil on the .416 Rigby


July 29, 2009, 12:14 AM
I know I won't like the response, but just how bad is the recoil on a .416 Rigby?

I've seen the "recoil factor" figures, but I don't put a lot of stock into them, since some of those numbers are FOS.

Anyone care to offer a quasi-objective viewpoint?

Thanks much.

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fireman 9731
July 29, 2009, 01:45 AM

It doesn't look that bad...

July 29, 2009, 01:51 AM
That doesn't look fun.

July 29, 2009, 02:20 AM
I haven't shot one so I can't speak to that part. What I will say is that you're going to want to exhibit impeccable form when it comes to shooting it. If you're sloppy and don't snug it up enough or get your face to close to the scope etc. you're really going to be in for it. Just so far as the video, it doesn't look like something I'd like to send a couple hundred rounds through in an afternoon, I'll say that much.

July 29, 2009, 02:24 AM
I have a 458 lott in a CZ 550 Magnum and a 375 H&H in an older Whitworth Mauser. The 416 Rigby should be about halfway between them in recoil when shooting factory loaded cartridges. The 416 Rigby has far more case capacity than either one and if the Rigby is loaded up to it's capabilities it may very well "kick" more than the 458 Lott. I think 416 Rigby can be loaded up close to 416 Weatherby levels. The 458 Lott does "kick" more than the 375 H&H but it does not hurt or bruise me. The 375 Whitworth is a lighter rifle and the recoil pad is very hard. It hurts more to will bruise me after 5-6 shots. Which reminds me to drag the Whitworth out of the safe and have a new recoil pad installed on it. Shooting while standing isn't bad at all. Now, sitting at a bench and snugging up on the Lott is not really fun for me. I also have a 340 Weatherby Mark V ClassicMark which is not bad at all. I shot a Savage 338 Winchester which seemed to kick a lot harder than my Weatherby even though it is slightly less powerful with the same bullet weights. I think much about recoil is subject to the recoil pad and how the firearm fits an individual. Just my 2 cents worth.

Pine Knob
July 29, 2009, 01:46 PM

.38 Special
July 29, 2009, 01:52 PM
The .416 Rigby with standard (400/2400) loads in a standard (+/-10 pound) rifle recoils with three times the energy of the standard .30-'06 (180/2700) in a standard (+/- 8 pound) rifle, and with nearly twice the recoil velocity. (Hopefully you did not mean to include physics in your definition of "FOS").

The above is borne out by my experience with my Ruger Magnum in .416 Rigby. I can more-or-less shoot the .30-'06 all day, but 10 rounds of full-power Rigby are enough to make me want to do something else for a while. Reduced loads are a godsend in dangerous game rifles -- and I want nothing at all to do with the perfectly safe but utterly unnecessary hot loads in the Rigby.

July 29, 2009, 01:57 PM
That looks like it hurts...that YouTube clip. Probably not as bad as being gored by a cape bufallo though which is kinda the point I guess.

July 29, 2009, 02:49 PM
it doesn't look too bad, although I would not be in line to try it out.:o

July 29, 2009, 04:41 PM
There was a felt increase when I went from my 375HH to the 416REM, no breaks. where I grew up in front of the house was rifle and behind the house shot gun (A NY thing -northern teir and southern teir). Shoot some 3" slugs and the 416 will not feel that bad. If you have any concern get a 375HH. It is a classic for a reason.

July 29, 2009, 04:55 PM
My experience is very limited.

I met a guy at our range who let me put 3 rounds through his Ruger in 416 Rigby. I was shooting offhand and did not feel it was bad at all. I was shooting a Colt Light Rifle in 300 win mag the same day and it hurt more from the bench. A 12 guage with heavy 3 1/2" lead turkey loads kicks harder than anything I have tried.

.38 Special
July 29, 2009, 07:44 PM
Heck, you might have been the guy who borrowed my Rigby, fired three quick shots through it, and proclaimed it no big deal. If that was you, I still think you're nuts! :p

.38 Special
July 29, 2009, 07:49 PM
In all seriousness, the guy in the above story was not a big guy -- maybe 5'10 and 180 pounds -- but was obviously fit and very muscular. He literally overpowered the gun, gripping it tightly and exerting a lot of force, and the thing barely recoiled in his hands. He looked like I do shooting a .308. So if the OP is fit and muscular, he may have no trouble with the big guns.

OTOH, I'm 6'1 and 200 pounds, but the beergut-to-muscle ratio is not so hot. So the Rigby belts me around a bit. I have to readjust my shooting glasses after emptying the magazine. Reduced loads allow me to enjoy the gun. Full power loads, well...

July 29, 2009, 08:58 PM
.38, thanks, you described me perfectly.............30 years, and pounds, ago. I live in Georgia, wrong coast, so it wasn't me. 3 rounds is hardly a test, and I did not try it from the bench. Recoil does not seem to bother me as much as others, but I still tend to stay with lighter recoiling rifles. I no longer own anything labeled "Magnum"

kansas coyote
July 29, 2009, 10:08 PM
I would say it all depends on your body mass to me a 416 rigby is mild to heavy recoil Im 6'3" 250 lbs to my buddy 5'10" 170 its a killer . 2 cents

July 30, 2009, 06:15 AM
I was thinking to get myself a big bore African game rifle and looked at the 416 Rigby. From my experience in shotgunning, if the gun doesn't fit you, it will bitch slap you pretty good. If you are really interested in taking on this caliber, get a gun that fits (and use proper form). Also, it won't hurt to put a good recoil pad on it, like a Kick Eez or Pachmyer (sp ??). And maybe as a last resort, to use a shoulder recoil pad like the PAST or use a shotgun vest with a pad like the Browning Reactar pad. If you use all three things above, I think the 416 should be manageable. Yeah, you probably won't use a recoil vest or harness like a PAST out in the "field" while hunting big game but it does allow you to at least give you some range time familiarizing yourself with this caliber and getting use to it without it bruising you around.

I'm at work so I can't get youtube up, but I did find a youtube vid of a young skinny kid in Australia shooting a 375HH with just a tank top on and it didnt phase him one bit. If the 416 is a bit more, a grown adult should be able to handle it.

Worse recoil I had experienced was 3" magnum slugs through a stock Benelli M2 tactical with no PAST recoil harness or shooting vest pad. I emptied about 10 rounds and was hurting bad.

July 30, 2009, 11:29 AM
I want you guys to look at that video again... and during the slo mo phase, take a real close look at the ocular bell of the scope. I noticed 2 things; first, it is actually whipping- like the whip of a lion tamer, that scope is bending serpentine style, just like a rifle bbl does whip upon fireing. Next thing... look how close the bell is coming to absolutely knocking these guys eyeballs right out of their heads...

July 30, 2009, 07:04 PM

I've gone through a whole learning curve into the bigger bores and I'm still there. My first experience was a .338 Win Mag in a 7.5 lbs rifle=not fun. I got the muzzle brake, blew everybody’s ears out and finally gave up. Went back to a heavy barrel .308 and just shot rounds all day. Then that special hunt opportuny came and I went for the 7mm Rem Mag. What a tack driver; got those Boos way out there. Came next the 375 H&H (9.4 lbs CZ 550) and the Black Continent dream. Shot many rounds. At first, the apprehension had me hard as rock. By a few outings at the range and, well yes a little more eye relief, I kind of got into a zone. I started grouping and the bang and blast were nothing new. The 12ga with 17/8 onz. 1280 fps was as much to handle if not more. Sold the 375 when after reading many times that it was most of the time 80% too much or 20% to little. Then I looked long and hard for a 404 Jeffery. The ballistics and relatively light recoil made it so appealing. But in Canada finding ammo is a real challenge. I sent a few messages to H&HHunter and others and came to conclude with their kind recommendations that the 416 Rig or Rem could be the ticket. I tried a 416 Rigby at the Club and that was it! The recoil tables alluded to twice the recoil of the 375. It just didn't happen. The rifle was a Ruger M77 Safari at 10.5 lbs. So impressed with components and rifle, I bought one. It's now with my friend Klaus Hiptmayer getting restocked for cast and fit and lengthening of the bolt. I shot Hornady and Norma ammo. It likes the Norma. I get 1'' groups at 100 meters.
The bottom line is that the .416 with 400gr at 2150 to 2350fps in a 11.5lbs scoped rifle is very manageable. I'm 5'-10'' at 170lbs, past 45 and shoot a lot of clays also.
Hope this helps.

July 30, 2009, 07:49 PM
African big game rifles are not intended to be used at ranges that require a scope. When you mount a properly built big game rifle the open sights will aline without any work on your part. The rifle will point like a fine shotgun, you don't need any glass, as a matter of fact the glass is draw back.

.38 Special
July 30, 2009, 08:03 PM
Most professional hunters in Africa ask their clients to bring scoped rifles, even on the big bores. They have apparently found that the majority of hunters shoot much better with a scope than with irons, thus saving a great deal of wear and tear on the boot soles.

July 30, 2009, 08:07 PM
There's (almost) nothing iron sights can do that a 1-2.5x scope can't do better.

.38 Special
July 30, 2009, 08:19 PM
I enjoy shooting the irons on my Ruger Magnum because I've read too much Ruark. But I'm neither as fast nor as accurate with them as I am with the Leupold 1.5-5x20 attached.

The questions are "How much accuracy do you need", and "How much of a challenge are you looking for?"

July 30, 2009, 09:17 PM
I haven't shot a .416,but I have shot a .458 lott it wasn't that bad, the recoil was like shooting a 3 1/2'' mag turkey load from a shotgun just like what jmr40 said.The .458 that I shot did have a muzzle brake though and I was told before the brake was installed the recoil was pretty stout.I would have still tried it out with or without the brake, I guess thats just the little big man syndrome I've got :rolleyes:.I'm only 5' 7'' 180lbs

July 30, 2009, 09:28 PM
How about a 416 in a handgun Good lord, why? I've never gotten some people's affinities for hand cannons and I don't think I ever will.

July 31, 2009, 08:18 AM a search on "you tube" for "600 nitro" and "handgun". Some fool made one and talked someone else into shooting it. The guy is lucky he didn't hurt least I think he had all his fingers attatched after firing that monster. :eek:

July 31, 2009, 01:17 PM
Just looked it up. It looks like it clocked him in the head after it flew out of his hands.

July 31, 2009, 02:08 PM
First let me just say that my experience with this round is very limited (maybe half a box total), but I have shot a great many rifle rounds so I can give it a decent baseline. I have shot several dangerous game rifles (including but not limited to .375H&H Mag., .416 Rigby, and .458WM) and find the Rigby to be a fine rifle in all aspects. It has great ballistics for the largest of game and the recoil is very manageable. I would definitely run short of cash before the recoil became unbearable. I find that the recoil is between a .338RUM and .458WM, I find it to be a much faster recoil impulse than that of a shotgun and the stock typically is much more comfortable so I can't really compare it to a 12Ga.

The only thing that I see wrong is the cost of ammunition for the beast. It is about the most costly standard dangerous game load that I know of. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $200.00-$250.00USD for a box of 20 factory loaded solids. Even if you reload expect to pay about $3-4 per cartridge. :)

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