DISSECTING THE .416 TAYLOR
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.