My Favorite Cartridges for Africa (Part 14)

by david on November 8, 2012

416 Rigby

A 400-grain bullet at 2400 fps yields 5200 ft. lbs. of energy and 58.1 ft. lbs. of recoil.

Ammunition is readily available.

            The .416 Rigby is my choice for dangerous game in Africa.  The cartridge was introduced in 1911 by John Rigby for his magnum Mauser-actioned rifles1.  Both the cartridge and rifle quickly established a record of reliability on dangerous game that endures today1.  I love my .416 Rigby.  I hand load the cartridge and it gives me outstanding performance.  The rifle is zeroed at 200 yards and is only 2” high at 100 yards and 10” low at 300 yards.  This is fairly flat shooting for the large bullet.  I have taken animals ranging from an antelope (solid bullet at 310 yards) to a cape buffalo (one soft followed by solids) at 20 yards.  The cartridge and rifle have never let me down.  With 50+ ft. lbs. of recoil, it is not fun to shoot, and this is especially true shooting from a bench.  Shooting while standing and using shooting sticks or while seated is a different story, and I find the recoil bearable.  I find the recoil a fair trade off when I take into account the confidence I have in the cartridge to stop anything in the African bush that decides it wants to do me harm. 

My 416 in a CZ Safari Classic Custom Rifle

My 416 in a CZ Safari Classic Custom Rifle

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