This week end has been a hang around the house, on call weekend. Couldn't get to any out of town or out in the bush activities so I set up the chronograph off the front porch where I could shoot into the dirt bank at the edge of the yard, No, the neighbors don't seem to care, they're not close and do a bit of shooting of their own from time to time.
Last Thursday, the timely arrival of a new, long awaited, rifle gave me the opportunity to load for a new cartridge. It has been more than two years since I ordered the reamer, over a year since I picked out the french walnut blank and eight months since I place an order for a set of dies based on my chamber reamer drawing. It really goes back to 2003 when the wheels started turning to come up with the perfect design for a new 416.
Not really new and not necessarily my own but none the less, the only one of it's kind. Others similar including the excellent 416 Howell designed some years ago by Ken Howell used the 404 Jeffery as a basis. Mine is based on a currently manufactured cartridge called the 375 Dakota, or the 404 Dakota which is very a similar, 2.5" long 404 Jeffery based cartridge. No it's not a WSM or an RUM nor does it utilize the alphabet excessively. This one is called the 416 Murphy.
It is beltless, it is 30-06 length and it has the same capacity as the 416 Remington magnum. Magazine length is 3.400" on this rifle and all bullets for the 416 Remington (or any 416) will seat to the cannelure and leave room in the magazine. Noting that some bullet companies make bullets with different cannelure placement for the Rigby and the Remington 416's.
Seating to the cannelure is a plus as many cartridges of this power level give more reliable performance in the field when crimped.
Speaking of Rigby's 416, it was used as the ballistic milestone for this 416, as was the case with the Remington version as well. For one simple reason, it works. The original ballistics of the 416 Rigby with the 400 grain bullets at 2370 fps, give 5000 ft. lbs of energy at the muzzle. This has proven to be very effective in the field when after the toughest of critters.
Some form of 416 is used here in Alaska for the big bears by various seasoned hunters and guides that care enough to send the very best. This 416 Murphy is of the same vein but so named because things can and do go wrong. This is the cartridge for anything and everything when things go terrible wrong.
In my shoot and clean and chronograph session this weekend I was able to get 350 grain Speer Mag Tips to 2500 fps and change and 400 grain Nosler partitions to 2380's with the only two powders I tried. The cartridge is more efficient than the 24" barreled 416 Remington I compared it to, giving equal velocity with about 2-3 grains less powder while showing a preference for H4895 over RL-15. This dainty little 8.5 pound rifles sports a 23" Lothar Walther barrel. It is also equipped with good iron sights, barrel band front sling stud and holds four fat rounds, three down and one in the pipe. I plan to square off against a cape buffalo with this rig very soon and maybe something else in the mean time. I also have an MPI stock on the way that has been fitted to it, more appropriate for the bush. Yeah, its official. The 416 Murphy has arrived.