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Thread: Dangerous Game: .416 Rigby vs .458 Lott

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    Dangerous Game: .416 Rigby vs .458 Lott

    Dangerous Game: .416 Rigby vs .458 Lott?

    Is the .458 Lott superior as a dangerous game cartridge over the .416 Rigby, or is the .416 Rigby more than enough for Elephants, Rhinos & Cape Buffalo?
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    They are both good, if you go by history of them being used, the 416 has more history and was used quite a bit as a back up weapon by guides in Africa. One in particular used it in a bolt action...The Natonal Rifleman has an article about the double and that cartridge, current issue.

    I would be happy with either...
    Link to both:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.458_Lott

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.416_Rigby

    The Lott is a better choice for finding ammo, because you can shoot the already made, 458 Win Mag. in it... Not as powerful but will get the job done, I would think.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.458_Winchester_Magnum

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    Dead is dead both will do it but I would go for 416 Remington instead of the Lott. Ammo is cheaper and easier to find and the ballistic differences are negligible.
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    Out of the two, probably the 416 Rigby. I would imagine it would be easier to find in Africa than 458 Lott if you needed some wile on safari. I think it would be hard to tell a real difference on game with either one though.

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    I have never stopped a dangerous game animal with a heavy rifle, so the following is entirely hearsay...

    In the books (I am an addict...) there is nearly unanimous agreement that the .416s are the extreme low rung on the ladder of stopping rifles. The various .45s (yes, the Lott is relatively new, but a 500 grain .45 bullet at 2150 FPS has been a gold standard for more than 100 years, and in fact the very first modern smokeless "stopping" round was the .450 Nitro Express released by Rigby in 1898 -- 480 grains at 2150 FPS!) have a decent reputation as stoppers, regarded in the same breath with things like the .470 Nitro.

    True "fighting" cartridges, though, tend to start with the .500 Nitro/.505 Gibbs and work their way up from there, so I'm personally not quite sure of the .45 niche these days. In a hunting rifle, the .416 seems to make more sense, and the .375 H&H possibly even more than the .416s. Most of the experienced African hunters and professionals seem to recommend a scoped .375 before any of the bigger guns, with the idea being that it easier to shoot and a better long ranger than the .416s and .45s -- and of course, if you are hunting dangerous game in Africa you are going to be backed up by a PH carrying a BIG gun. So having your own BIG gun is unnecessary at best and counterproductive at worst.

    Beyond all that, who cares? Everything from the .375 up is legal and suitable for everything up to elephants, close range charge stopping excepted (.577 Nitro time!) so it's really a matter of what you can handle and what fancies your tickle. I personally have read far too much Ruark so settled on the Rigby, which has been perfectly adequate on boar and has not yet failed to stop a charging pinecone.

    HTH!

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    Here is another view:

    http://gunsforafrica.blogspot.com/

    Regards

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    Ever shoot a 458 Lott? That thing is brutal. I much perfer the 416 Rigby. Now I have never hunted Africa but a friend is going Sept.1 for 10 day hunt. He's taking a 416 Rigby for the big dangerous game.

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    Yea the 458 Lott recoils a lot and the Rigby is known for a softer push they mention.

    Gun bearer time, go for a 14 pounder I have a 18 pound 458 win mag. shoots like a 6 mm Heavy recoil pad also.

    Or do some weight lifting and get in shape

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    Now I have never hunted Africa but a friend is going Sept.1 for 10 day hunt. He's taking a 416 Rigby for the big dangerous game.
    How many guns in your buddy's battery, and what calibers?
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    Shot from the bench just like all my other rifles.

    There is no doubt that the 458 Lott is harder hitting than the 416 Rigby and ammo isn't hard to find. If you were really in a pinch, you could use 458 Win. Mag. ammo which is available in Africa.

    As for the recoil, if it's too much, just take some Pamprin before you shoot.

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    Resizing and reloading the 458 and other belted cartridge case have problems...

    This link addresses that problem:

    http://www.larrywillis.com/458Lott.html

    Regards

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    You know what, I reload the 458 Lott and several other belted magnums. I have the Larry Willis die and I've never had to use it. I think it must be pretty much a solution to a problem that hardly ever exists.

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    “Make no mistake: With equally good shot placement, a 400 grain .416 will put down a Cape buffalo more quickly and more dramatically than a 300 grain .375. That said, a 500 grain, 458 caliber bullet will be even more dramatic and effective. - Craig Boddington

    The .416s [400 grain solids] will penetrate an elephant’s skull from any angle and usually exit. As velocity drops and frontal area (resistance) increases, penetration diminishes, and it diminishes faster with bullets of lower sectional density. At a velocity level below something like 2,100 fps, depending on caliber and bullet weight, you must rule out frontal brain shots on elephant altogether. “The .416 is significantly/dramatically more effective on buffalo than the .375 and immeasurably/a great deal better on elephant. Which .416 you choose doesn’t matter much. The .416 Rigby and .416 Remington are ballistically identical and identical in their effects on game. You can throw in the .416 Taylor, .416 Hoffman, .411 KDF, .404 Jeffery and .425 Westley Richards as well. Faster and more powerful are the .416 Weatherby and .416 Dakota and Lazzeroni’s 10.57 Meteor. These are harder-kicking cartridges that offer a good deal more versatility for longer shots at plains game, but on dangerous game at close range offer little practical advantage over the .416 Remington/Rigby ballistics.” - Craig Boddington

    “Something on the order of a .404 or .416 wearing a low-powered scope is probably the best combination of power and versatility [for buffalo].” - Craig Boddington

    “If you drive a high-quality, [.416] 400-grain bullet at 2350 fps, it is very deadly. We do not need to argue about the critter involved. It stops charging bull elephants, knocks the lights out of lions, swats bears and big bull elk and can do a remarkably fine job on deer-sized game. Is one case better than the other? Ballistically no, but practically, yes - the Remington. Remington’s .416 is probably the most practical and perhaps the best medium-heavy rifle made. In the end, you cannot go wrong, unless you get confused and buy a 45 caliber rifle instead.” - Ross Seyfried
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  14. #14
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    The latest NRA mag has a good story about a hunt in Africa...416 Rigby being the cartridge of choice by the guide, written by Guide Harry Selby.

    375 is a good round also, some say the best, for most folks. But the OP bought a 458 Lott...Done deal.

    Regards
    Last edited by Harley Quinn; August 25th, 2009 at 01:59 AM.

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    The two cartridges have different casehead diameters, requiring different boltface diameters: .588 for the Rigby, .534 for the Lott. Makes for a heavier action in order to throw a lighter bullet. So, it depends on how much recoil is your cup of tea, and how far you're going to carry the rifle.

    The wider Rigby cartridge also means lower magazine capacity. My customized CZ .458 Lott keeps 5 in the magazine with one in the chamber. A Rigby is not going to match that. (Yes, I know that it's only supposed to take one shot...)

    The Rigby has a wide case and low operating pressures--that will probably limit powder choice for reloaders. If you're not a reloader, more companies load .458 Lott than .416 Rigby; and .458 Lott fires .458 WM in a pinch.

    As for terminal performance: what are you hunting? .458 Lott is probably not needed for lion, but is dang comforting for elephant or buffalo. If .416 Rigby is "too much" for lion, it's not by a margin worth measuring. But following up a wounded buff, or turning an elephant charge? If those are jobs for a bolt-action at all, .458 might be a minimum--has anyone got a .505 Gibbs handy?

    Of course, .416 Rigby has got Harry Selby. Quite a credible spokesman.

    .458 Lott recoil from a bench is brutal without a Lead-Sled; from field positions it's a bit more than 12 gauge slugs. I have no experience with .416 Rigby at the range yet, but I'm hoping that will change...

    You know, what if we combined the two? We'd end up with a .450 Rigby, pushing a .550 gr bullet at a sedate and reasonable 2100 fps. Then all you'd have to worry about is finding the dang bullets!

    [.416 Remington, mentioned in a post above, has a bad reputation in Africa. The combination of the high operating pressure and hot African conditions has apparently accounted for a number of "frozen" bolts (inoperable actions that had to be hammered open)--not what you want.]

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