The .416 Ruger For Buffaloes
Q: I bought a Ruger Hawkeye in .416 Ruger with the intention of using it to hunt water buffalo in the N.T and Cape buffalo in Africa. Normally I use my Kimber Super America in .300 WSM for sambar, but would like to give the .416 a go. In my opinion, the 400gn bullet in .416 is over-kill for sambar, and I reckon a 300gn bullet would be adequate and could be driven a bit faster. My problem is that the only load data that I could find in the internet for a 300gn bullet lists American powders which are unobtainable here. I would prefer to use ADI powders, but although I found their ADI equivalents, I’m not sure whether using the same charge weights would be safe? The projectile I've been using successfully on sambar in my .300 WSM is the Barnes TSX and I would like to use them in my .416 if they are easy to get. Which ADI powder and charge weight would you recommend for the most accurate load? Is the rifling twist in the .416 Ruger fast enough to stabilise a short .300gn bullet? And, is it worth trying? I have been an avid reader of your columns which I find very interesting and instructive for the last 30 years.
A: The .416 Ruger will certainly handle Cape buffalo and Water buffalo and I'd recommend the Woodleigh 400gn FMJ and 77gn of AR2208 for about 2250fps. For sambar why not try the Woodleigh 340gn bullet and 80gn of
AR2208 for 2500fps? There's really no such thing as overkill, but if there was I guess using the .416 for a deer weighing no more than 600lbs would surely qualify. Barnes makes a 300gn TSX for the .416, but I have no data for it. You could try loading 82gn of AR2208 which should have 100 percent load density. The longer the bullet, the faster the twist needed to stabilise it. The Ruger Hawkeye .416 has a 1:14" rifling twist which stabilises bullets longer and heaver than 300 grains, so it would actually over-stabilise the 300gn grainer.