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Thread: .411 Hawk, 416 Alaskan Express or .416 Taylo

  1. #1

    Default .411 Hawk, 416 Alaskan Express or .416 Taylo

    What are everbodys opinion on these rounds? I am wanting to build a Browning BLR on one of these rounds. Right now I am leaning towards the .411 Hawk as I can pick up a steel reciever BLR in 30-06 for a fairly descent price. I am mostly looking for a big Bore rifle that I can shoot out to 300 yards in a lever action rifle. I have chosen the BLR as I can use the Spitzer bullets and put a scope on it which the W 1895 does not allow except in Scout style form. The nice thing about all three of these "Wildcats" is that Brass is readily available. I had a hard time finding load ballistics and energy on the .416 Alaskan Express. One of the things I am concerned about is that these rounds will not have enough velocity to open up a spitzer bullet at 300 yards. I realize there are better alternatives and many on here like the 45-70, but what can I say, I want something just a little different.

    I did call and talk to Gary at AGW and he wasn't sure if a BLR could be rebarreled and suggested we may have to rebore. Not real sure How I feel about that. If anyone can put together a comparsion of the three cartidges I would appreciate it.

  2. #2
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    Well, I can. I've loaded for all three. I did the initial ballistic research for the 416 Alaska Express and the load development for Gary. The info is on the display cards with his guns at the shop. I also have a bunch more data for that one at home. I think that both the AK Ex and the Taylor are a lot of umph in the Browning lever. I'll look over my notes and give you a play by play tonight or tomorrow.

    You realyze the bolt head for the 416 Taylor and Alaska Express is .534" right? The Hawks are fine in the pre-existant 30-06 platform.

    The 416 Alaska Express is best with the 300 grain and 350 grain bullets but does reach usable velocities with 400 grains. The .416" bullets are designed for the 416 Rigby/Reminton velocity and may not expand at the AK EX velocity at 300 yards. The 300 grain .411" bullets are designed for 405 Winchester velocities and will expand better but the spitzers (and round nose) have such low sectional density that they give up velocity quickly. The Hawk bullets (not related to Fred Zeglin's Hawk calibers) would be the best for any of these as jacket thickness can be adjusted (as ordered) for the expected impact velocity and still give good results at closer range.

    I do like forty caliber rifles but I will question the wisdom of making one in a light lever gun such as the Browning BLR. What's the thinking on that?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I don’t know much about the cartridges you mentioned there in you post, but do have some experience with the BLR. And I can tell you that the whole rack and pinion lever action thing is a mighty tricky cat to skin if you ever take it apart and then try and put it back together! I cant remember for sure, but I am thinking that the chamber end of the barrel is machined for all of those AR-15 style locking lugs and this may be problematic for the average gun smith to reproduce in an aftermarket barrel. Perhaps the lugs are in the receiver??............ I just cant remember, but if they are, then it might not be a big deal. Hopefully someone on the forum has one and can take a peek and let us know. I have considered re-barreling one to 260 Remington, but never really got past the “day dreaming” phase of the project yet…………….
    I do like your concept though, and am a real fan of the early model BLR’s, they are very nice rifles and in my experience shoot about as accurately as most bolt guns.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  4. #4

    Default 416 Taylor

    While I haven't shot all the above calibers, I do own a 416 Taylor. So I'll address that caliber and you can adjust your sights accordingly.
    My 416 is built on a 60's FN commercial action with a fairly heavy style barrel on a synthetic stock. It's pretty heavy at around 9 1/4 lbs scoped with a 1 3/4-5x.
    It's not really my favorite hunting rifle but I built it to shoot backup should the need arise.
    I load it with 71 grns of AA 2700 and a 365 grn gas checked flat nosed lead bullet @ 2100 fps; Recoil is tolerable and accuracy is acceptable coming in at about an 1" at 100 for 3 shots.
    I tried loads of AA 2700 and 400 grn bullets but they were just bumpier than I felt were acceptable for my use.
    In closing the 416 Taylor has about 20% less recoil than a comparible size and stocked 458 Win MAG. I"m not sure what velocity would be at 300 yds(never really mattered much to me), but I wouldn't expect a whole lot of expansion from a well constructed premium bullet.
    But GOOD LUCK with your project whatever you decide to build.
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    Default Murphy's right on this BLR thing...

    Fire up that .405 Winchester round to its hottest and put ten rounds down range. It'll wake you up RIGHT NOW...

    As it relates to the scope vs. iron sights...start the quest to chase after a Lyman 38 for your winnie and you'll have a worthy quest. I shot another gentleman's peep sighted rifle at 100yds and was able to drop bullets almost on top of one another. Mind you this was an older, wiser man than myself who had spent plenty of time tuning his rifle, his loads and his sights...it was the complete package.

    If you want something really different I'd still go with something halfway conventional--that way your widow can still get some recompense for the firearm after you blow your shoulder CLEAN OFF with these monsters....

    No offense intended...I've got BBitis, too

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    The 411 Hawk, one of two of the Hawk calibers I've loaded for, brings us the old 400 Whelen in a more accepted package. It is a very good moose and big bear cartridge and I think the colonel would be proud of it. Fred Zeglin, purveyor of the Hawk cartridges and the Z-hat website, developed this round.
    24" barrel
    My ammo for it in one of his rifles with a 24" barrel gave velocities slightly less than his data showed but very close.
    411 Hawk caliber
    .411" Bullet-----------Velocity
    300 grain Hawk ------2530 fps
    330 grain Kodiak------2410 fps
    350 grain A-frame----2320 fps, yes Swift does make them.

    The 416 WSM wildcat is a very good forty caliber and a very efficient and accurate cartridge, likely the best of the many wildcats made on the very strong case.
    20.5" barrel
    416 WSM (Alasaka Express)
    .416" Bullet------------Velocity
    300 grain Hawk-------2560 fps
    325 grain NorthFork---2440 fps
    350 grain Speer MT---2400 fps
    350 grain A-frame----2385 fps

    The 411 Clopton, a new and unknown wildcat shows a lot of promise in a cartridge made on the very efficient 376 Steyr case.
    20" barrel
    .411" bullets------------Velocity
    300 grain Hawk----------2600 fps
    330 Kodiak--------------2500 fps
    350 A-frame------------2360 fps
    400 grain Woodleigh-----2200 fps

    The well known and much loved 416 Taylor is the caliber that should have been made in a factory chambering. A strong performer in a standard length action.
    22" barrel
    .416" Bullet------------Velocity
    325 NorthFork---------2525 fps
    350 Swift A-frame-----2410 fps
    400 Woodleigh--------2310 fps


    Your mileage may vary but this data comes from my notes except for the 411 Clopton which is as yet just calculated with a couple of different systems.
    Last edited by Murphy; 06-03-2008 at 14:02.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  7. #7

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    Absolutely nothing to add here other than confirming POI at 300 yards sounds painful. Let us know what you come up with, sounds interesting.

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    The good folks at Swift bullets called me back today to let me know that they had some 350 grain and 400 grain A-frames in size .411" available. I quickly placed an order for 3 boxes of each for my upcoming project and the Ruger No. 1 in 450/400 N.E.

    Swift runs this bullet size about once every year or so and I had spoken with Bill Hober, chief cook and bottle washer, a while back to make sure I was on the list for this rare commodity. The 350 grain Swift A-frame in .411" will be my main bullet for my 411 wildcat which is now in the making. I ended up going with a local gunsmith for the chambering and fitting of the Kreiger barrrel, sight installation and the parkerized finish. This way I can do a little at a time as funds show up and since my wife doesn't work as much overtime on her second job here lately and my gun money is a little short. But I was able to get her to skip lunch so I could buy these lovely little bullets.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9
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    Default More Bullets...

    Quick Service! The Swift bullets arrived today and I fabricated a dummy round using the 350 grain .411" semi spitzer A-frames. Hopefully this bullet will achieve the velocity I want and if so it will be my main bullet for the newest wild kitty. My calculations at 56,000 psi gave me 2360 fps from my 21" barrel with this jewel of more than 3/4 oz in weight. Do ya think that is a Close Quarters Bear rifle?

    The pic on the left shows some preformed 376 Steyr brass to .411" then the 405 Win with a 300 FP Hornady bullet, the 411 with the same bullet then with the new 350 grain Swift. Flanked on the right by the 425 Caprivi, based on the 375 Ruger case. Then the cluster on the right is 450/400 brass which uses the same bullets.

    The pic on the right is the same foursome flanked on the left by an empty 411 case. The 416 Taylor dies were used to seat the new wildcat bullets as the custom dies are yet to be arrive.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10

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    Those do look like good close quarter bear bullets.

    Question?

    What's your opinion on .338 225 gr bullet moving at 3200 fps for a close quarter bear cartridge... and how would it compare to your wild cat?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    Those do look like good close quarter bear bullets.

    Question?

    What's your opinion on .338 225 gr bullet moving at 3200 fps for a close quarter bear cartridge... and how would it compare to your wild cat?

    Well, it would seem they are from too different kettles of fish. A 338 capable of 225's at 3200 should be capable of a 250 at 3000, I would think that's better. I know you lean to velocity over bullet weight but you could up you list of game if you move to a heavier bullet.

    I guess your question is; what about the 338/225/3200 for a CQB rifle. Well the up side of a higher velocity rifle is that its flatter trajectory makes long shots easier and judge of distance more forgiving. Another advantage could be the greater energy of the higher velocity will creater a greater wound cavity. A down side of velocity this high is that it puts greater demands on the structual integrity of the bullet. This limits the choice of bullets to the most robust and strongest built. And this will work well providing there is enough momentum to push the bullet through the vitals for the larges and toughest built animals. Secondly, I would see no advantage to the highest velocity and the flattest trajectory for a cartridge that is to be used to hunt large bear, lion, leopard or cape buffalo or any that are typically hunted at inside 100 yards distance. Even tough that would make an awesome leopard rifle. I know shots are taken at 200 and more for brownies especially in the fall, but generally they are closer. To me the higher energy levels woud be less appealing when massive bodied predators, or dangerous ungulates, are up close. Your rifle would be of great advantage with the 225's for open hill country on larger, tougher species. Bison, or any of the larger open range African antelope. The same gun loaded with heavier bullets such as 275 grains, still at good velocity, would be a better bear and great beast getter.

    I have found that what brings about lightening bolt kills in deer seldom impresses the big heavy guys because the bullet, regardless of construction, fails to penetrate. I hear all the stories and read all the advertisements but my experience has led me to conclude that bullet weight is the only relaible attribute when the most reliable and deepest penetration is needed.

    I hunted with a rifle with very similar ballistics for some time, a 338 Lapua. It was a zapper with the 225 X bullets of the time on animals up to the size of elk. I never used it on anything any bigger but I didn't get exit wounds all the time. Switching to the 250 grain A-frames made exits on some ruputed tough guys and downed a few including a 450 plus yards shot on a nice 5x5. It was an entirely different rifle with the 250's. I have never recovered a 250 grain A-frame from any 338.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12

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    Yep, I like to try and get the best of both worlds, but there are always tradeoffs and one needs to figure out which set of advantages and disadvantages works best for a particular circumstance.

    I agree that larger bullets tend to get *more performance out of the cartridge*, but there are tradeoffs there too.

    In *my world*, the 300 Mag is a perfect rifle and I would say that of Alaska also if it were not for the big bears. I have never hunted the large bears and I have wondered a lot on what cartridge and bullet I would use if I did. My strategy would be try to pick a shot in the 100 - 300 yd range as a comfortable distance, allowing time for a second or third shot. Although that might not always be possible. Right now I'm leaning toward a .338 RUM with a TSX bullet and I wonder what kind of shock and stopping affect it would have on a big bear. I think that A frame's and partitons are great bullets, but I'm thinking that TSX's are better based on design and construction, and a lot of reviews I have read in different forums.

    The .411 definitely has more thump than the 338 RUM but I'm thinking that the 338 with a 225/250 gr TSX could put a good wallop on a bear because of both good combined penetration and shocking power, but I'm just guessing.

    Anyway, you're little project here looks like a lot of fun. Would be interested in hearing about the end results if you or any of the other guys do shoot one of those big critters with it.

  13. #13

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    [quote=Murphy;250089]

    I have found that what brings about lightening bolt kills in deer seldom impresses the big heavy guys because the bullet, regardless of construction, fails to penetrate. I hear all the stories and read all the advertisements but my experience has led me to conclude that bullet weight is the only relaible attribute when the most reliable and deepest penetration is needed.

    Ditto!!

  14. #14
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    I've got a 411 Hawk, built on a 1895 Winchester. It is a fine round. The only problem is bullets...

    Yes, Swift does make their 350 grain A-Frame in .411", but it is once every blue moon. I've never cared for the Hawk bullets because they are so soft. Woodleigh makes their 400 grain and that is a good bullet. There are quite a few bullets offered in 300 grain.

    If it were me, I'd look for a rifle with a magnum bolt face and work out a 416 caliber cartridge for it. I am hoping Ruger/Hornady's re-intro of the 450-400 will make it so a steadier supply of 350-400 grain bullets are offered in 410-411 caliber.

    The Swift 350's are a perfect bullet for the 411 Hawk, in my opinion.

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    Well....A visit to the local gunsmith last evening left me with doubts.

    I had called him on Tuesday to inquire about the progress and he said it's all together and parkerized. I went out last night and well there was a slight hitch.

    An accidental slip in the barrel vise to remove the barrel to stamp the caliber (shouldn't we do the stamp before we do the finish?!) and now the barrel must be refinished, no biggie, it happens.

    The action had the bolt skillfully recut to accept the larger beltless cartridge and had been parkerized also but...the bolt knob (handle) had not been replaced as requested (I wanted round not the half flat of the FN Mauser) . So we need to cut the bolt handle, weld on the new round one, install the barrel band front swivel stud, and refinish bolt and barrel!

    And the barrel was to be cut to 21" but was left at 22". This was a misunderstanding and actually I think I'll be happier with the 22". The NECG screw on front sight base was on the rifle and the barrel was chambered and from what I could tell was done well. I provided the reamer and the headspace gages. He reamed the chamber and threaded the barrel then assembled the gun to check feeding and all went well. So far so good with that.

    My hope was to stick it back in the original stock and fire form some brass this weekend. Maybe by the first of may. I have parts coming, bolt knob, scope bases (Warne Maxima) to be parkerized and a NECG rear aperature sight to fit the weaver style rear bases. A weaver back-up sight. I also have an adjustable Mauser trigger to be used with standard Mauser sear for crisp and positive 3# pull. I'll be staying with the left side, two position, very positive Mauser safety lever.

    My McMillan funky camo patterned fiber glass stock wont be here until First part of July.

    This action was a completer JC Higgins rifle and cost about $500 delivered.

    The barrel was a Kreiger that was bought finished down to a #5 taper and .660" at the Muzzle of 22", not a light weight but it has a groove diameter of.411" This cost $330.

    The McM stock will be $420 and a four month wait.

    Sights, barrel band, trigger, scope mounts will cost a total of about $350.

    The reamer was $195. The gages were $50 each so that is about $300.
    The dies were $225 and a four month wait.

    The Smith bill will be about $500 (that's a guesss)
    For a grand total of .................................................. ...$2625.00
    EEK!! Don't tell the wife.

    Having your name stamped on the barrel with the caliber stamp.............priceless!!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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