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Reloading the .416 Ruger with Somchem powders and South African bullets.

The rifle is a Ruger Hawkeye Alaskan in .416 Ruger caliber.

The objective was to try and duplicate some of the original ballistic properties of the .404 Jeffrey, namely 400gr bullets at 2150 fps, using locally manufactured monolithic bullets and Somchem powders. This equivalency being determined by the BASA power factor alone.

You ask why ? For a few reasons. Because the .404 Jeffrey was for most of five decades the reference or de-facto round for Africa's large and dangerous game. The animals are not any bigger now than they were then, so it is still a very usefull measure to have. Because .404 Jeffrey rifles are scarce, usually expensive, and the reloading components are not readily available. Because I don't have a .404 Jeffrey, but at least a rifle that shoots like one.

In South Africa, the local bullet suppliers do not make bullets specifically for the 416 Ruger. Bullets for other 416 calibers are available, such as the 416 Rigby, 416 Remington Magnum and 416 Taylor. Because they all share the same bore size, it was decided to try various 416 bullets to see which could be used for the 416 Ruger.

The 330 grain GS-Custom is included here to illustrate the expansion and weight retention of GS-Custom HP bullets.

The 245 grain GS-Custom is included here to illustrate the medium range capability of the Ruger Alaskan with a scope.

Last Updated 7 Oct 2023 at 10:17:36