DIS­SECT­ING THE .416 TAY­LOR

Gun World - - Humor -

The .416 Tay­lor is a wild­cat car­tridge that has been around nearly as long as its par­ent round, the .458 Winch­ester, which was in­tro­duced in 1956. It was even ru­mored to have been con­sid­ered as a fac­tory car­tridge by Winch­ester.

Ac­cord­ing to John Woot­ters, the .416 was de­vel­oped by Bob Chat­field-Tay­lor in the late 1960s or early 1970s for African hunt­ing. I de­cided it would be fine for shoot­ing dan­ger­ous ap­pli­ances in this cen­tury.

My ri­fle was built by Jim Grun­ing, a River­side, Cal­i­for­nia, gun­smith who now spe­cial­izes in cus­tom tac­ti­cal ri­fles and ac­ces­sories—mostly for mil­i­tary and law en­force­ment. It was made up on a stan­dard long-ac­tion Howa 1500 with a mag­num bolt face, and it wears a 27inch Walther bar­rel that has very lit­tle ta­per at the muz­zle.

The gun will shoot 1-inch groups at 100 yards with full-power loads—that is, if I don’t start flinch­ing. Most of my re­duced loads with cast bul­lets shoot around 2 inches at that dis­tance.

The .416 Tay­lor is still a wild­cat car­tridge (sort of), but you can get fac­tory-loaded am­mu­ni­tion from Norma and a num­ber of smaller cus­tom load­ers; and brass is avail­able from Norma, Qual­ity Car­tridge and Jami­son. It can also be made—and much more cheaply—by neck­ing down the .458 Winch­ester or neck­ing up the .338 Winch­ester to .416.

I use Hor­nady Cus­tom Grade New Di­men­sion dies, and the ta­pered ex­pander will ac­com­plish either mis­sion in one pass. Un­for­tu­nately, these dies have been dis­con­tin­ued. Dies are still avail­able from RCBS, in­clud­ing one with a ta­pered ex­pander, and Lee makes runs of .416 Tay­lor Pace­set­ter dies from time to time. In ad­di­tion, many mailorder sources have them in stock.

I shoot mostly 350-grain bul­lets—either Barnes Tipped Triple Shocks, Speer Mag Tips or cast lead bul­lets with gas checks. Cast lead bul­lets are avail­able from Mon­tana Bul­let Works and West­ern Bul­let Com­pany (as well as some oth­ers). There is a wide range of jack­eted .416 slugs avail­able from mak­ers around the world in both solid and ex­pand­ing con­fig­u­ra­tions, and they range in weight from 340 to 450 grains.

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