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Old 05-19-2004, 07:21 PM   #1
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Express Rifle: 416 Taylor

I have wanted a 416 ( or bigger) for years and when I first started looking at this concept it wasn't very practical as bullet selection wasn't that great and 411 really were most common. Times have changed and the bullet selection has greatly improved and in revisting this it makes a lot more sense now. I have done a fair amount of homework on this and a 416 Taylor makes sense to me as this is a pretty practical wildcat, medium length rifle action, brass is cheap, dies are easy to get and not a ton of money, and I know what the ballistics are, and the case is reasonably effecient.

I abandoned my small ring mexican mauser project, and am converting this to funds to play with a Classic British Express rifle. I know several posters here have the 416 Taylors, and have traveled this path so I am soliciting information.

I read through on of Danes old posts and I see he did one on a VZ-24 Mauser action. I love old mausers but I am a little gun shy as I have had locking lug setback problems with old mausers before. I made the presumtion that any large ring mauser would work for this. I am considering in a rough escalation in price the VZ-24, M98 mauser, Interarms Mark X, Belgium FN, Win Model 70, and Sako L61R.

I am planning on getting a semi finished gunstock and doing that work myself as I have done this in the past with very good results so the stock portion I have addressed pretty well until I decide on the action.

I would aprreciate comments on the this from the experienced here and hopefully I can avoid some of the mistakes that would be inevitable without increasing my knowledge base.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-20-2004, 07:27 AM   #2
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.416 Taylor

My first question would be is this just a rifle you have always wanted to build? Or does it have a specific purpose? Something to fill a space in the safe is one thing, but a rifle with a specific hunting purpose is yet another. Then the caliber may be a good or bad idea. A lot of travel to far away locales? Then a wildcat isn't always the best idea.

I have fooled around with rifles and handguns since the early 1970's. I have learned several tough lessons. One of them; Custom Rifle= LOSE money. UNLESS you wish to keep it all your life, or a monetary loss on the project is OK. You mention the fact that with a .416 Taylor dies etc were cheap, so you must have a budget. these projects,especially with old Mauser actions can be real money pits. Especially if you want the metal work done RIGHT.

If it where me I would go out and buy a current M70 have it rebarreled, chambered, and go from there. I've done a few lately one a .338-06 and the other a .257 AI, both on M70's. The current stocks look good, they mitigate recoil fine and have a classic look as well. Try the rifle, if it's what you want, THEN buy some wood and start working.

The idea of spending a ton of money on an old Mauser action ( I know! It's a CLASSIC) is IMHO a real waste of time and money. Again......Unless it's your rifle of a lifetime , your loaded, or you don't mind waiting a long time for gunsmith work, then have something you will get forty cents on the dollar out of it when you tire of it.

Try this over on AcurateReloading.com under the Gunsmithing or Big Bore Rifles, section. VERY savvy folks over there.


FN in MT
 
Old 05-20-2004, 08:37 AM   #3
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I have a couple of wildcats I feed right now, I understand the issues with non standard ammo. I reload all my rifle ammo anyway so the logistic issues with the wildcat don't really concern me, it is pretty much business as usual. My current wildcats are 30-338's and this makes this a even more common sense conversion as the basic mag brass is the same, although I would probaly start with 458 brass and neck down instead of trying to neck up 338 mag. There is some budget point on this but I have learned over the years that guns that are cheaper to feed get shot more hence my reference to cost of dies and brass. Yes a 338-06 or a 375 Whelen would probably make more sense ( I already have a 375 H&H ), or even a 9.3x62 which is all the caliber I really need, but its not a 416.

Yes, your point about being a money pit is well taken. That is one concern about the old mauser route just getting the action and barrel done right is pretty pricey. This is why I have been looking at newer actions, as a decent 338 mag or a 458 mag would only need to be rebarreled to have a decent shooter.

This is why I am looking at the FN or Sako route as if I can find a decent mag rifle in one of these to begin with I just need to true the action and rebarrel. Although the stocks usally aren't beefy enough on these.

I had considered a new model 70 but after looking at several up close they were a big disappointment in the quality department, the plus is they chamber a 416 rem so nothing needs to be done, except they look like a lot of dollars cleaning up the shoddy workmanship. The CZ-550 mag is another option in the 416 rigby, but I have read they need stock work from day one to avoid cracking, and although Rigby brass has come down in price it still commands a premium. The reason the 416 Taylor interests me is because it is a slightly more effeicent cartridge design it is a little more flexable to being loaded down.

I really don't sell to many guns anymore, I buy or build what I like and keep them. I actually just sold the first firearm out of my collection in about 15-18 years. But your point on not getting dollars back out is right on mark, although if done smartly this can be mitigated by choice of build platform and time.

I am also pretty handy on working on my guns, I have both my own lathe and mill, and can do decent stock work. My major expense will be fitting the barrel and trueing the action as I will have that portion done, and I expect around $300 plus for that alone. I also am able do defer some of the cost as I am liquidating parts I had collected over the years on another custom rifle that a recent purchase made a redundant effort. And yes buying the stock rifle ( a CZ500 in 6.5x55 ) made a lot more sense than jumping into a full blown custom.

Thanks for the input, I will do some more looking over at accurate reloading though, I did look there but only searched on the 416 taylor so I will browse with a more general seach and see what tidbits I can pick up.
 
Old 05-20-2004, 09:39 AM   #4
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You have been down the block a time or two so you know what to expect.
The wildcat thing is a huge deal to many hunters. I took a .338-06 to RSA a few years ago. We split my ammo up in my wifes luggage plus had a box shipped ahead of time. It all arrived fine. If it all had been lost I take a .375 as a spare and that ammo is everywhere.

I have had a few CZ's and if you thought the M70's were rough!! Though with some tinkering and smoothing they are a heck of a rifle. I wanted a 9.3x62 and the CZ550 was a very cheap alternative to a redo of a M70,etc. But have to say the current M70's with the David Miller stock design work out pretty good. A moot point to you as you will do your own stockwork though.

DO take a look at the CZ550 in Rigby. Quite a bargain. They have come a long way in their quality plus with a stock design more atune to American tastes. Brass is expensive but forty rds will last quite some time.

FN in MT
 
Old 05-20-2004, 10:16 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention there is absolutly no need here. There is just a big hole in the end of my rifle rack above .375 caliber, where a .416 or 458 should be. Yes if I was headed on an expensive hunt I would bring the 375 H&H as a second rifle, for exactly the reason you stated.
 
Old 05-22-2004, 05:24 AM   #6
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Maybe I need to start a new topic here, but what is meant by the model 70 having "shoddy workmanship" therefore needing a lot more money to "make it right"? I understand custom gunsmithing to fix a perceived weakness, for personal taste, to have something unique, or to get something done that you always wanted, or even just for bragging rights-- but "shoddy workmanship" seems like a pretty vague term.

I'm not necessarily defending the model 70, although I'm kinda partial to them, but I genuinely want to know what I don't have done to mine that I "need"!
 
Old 05-22-2004, 10:51 AM   #7
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I just recently purchased a 6.5x55 SM and when I was looking at rifles I pretty much looked at all the platforms, Remington, Sako, Winchester, CZ, Howa, Ruger and any other bolt actions I could personally look at.

I looked at several new Winchesters and was not very impressed with what I saw, one was galled all the way down the eject side of the action, big nasty .04-.06 gall pitts all the way down that side of the rifle then blued. Another on the trigger guard the left side looked like it was finished with a mill bastard file or a hacksaw blade, deep scratches that would require disassembly of the rifle, filling, polishing and fininishing to fix.

I admit my sampling pool of new winchesters was small but of the four I saw all had something wrong with them. I admit I haven't looked at the big magnums, as I haven't been able to locate one to look at. I plan on looking at one though as I can find one, but it is awfully light @ 8.5 lbls for these calibers.
 
Old 05-23-2004, 07:59 AM   #8
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Just an update, I have digging through Danes older posts and what he says about the 416 Remington makes a whole lot of sense, stock factory round, no major modicfications to get started. I have also been looking at the CZ 416 Rigby but that big overbore case is a concern, not really very modern.

Still want to see a new Winchster, probably need to drive a ways to find one.
 
Old 05-23-2004, 08:52 AM   #9
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Thanks. That clears it up for me!
 
Old 05-25-2004, 06:43 AM   #10
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With the caveat that practicality has zero relevance to buying a weapon that one just WANTS TO HAVE, it surely makes sense to me to go with the 416 Remington if one wanted a modern 416.

That being said, I own two 416 Rigbys and in 416 bore wouldn't have anything else and figgered on having a third made up on a BRNO ZKK action I've got laid by for a return to Africa for another extended stay (I have to work there to afford to hunt there). The 416 Rigby is, of course, for anyone with an interest in African hunting, THE classic medium heavy. Personally, I just can't imagine one wanting to own one of the souless variants in bore diameter when one can feel part of the romance of the veldt by just handling the big Rigby cartridge.

Hard to criticize the lovely old Rigby round for not having a modern case since it's been around since 1911. Have never really thought of it as overbore, but it WAS designed for cordite after all. The long streamlined case makes for easy, slick feeding even with the belt which seems to bother so many folks nowadays in the wake of the the new SAFM (short and fatter marketer's) rounds. The Rigby 416 has also been the base case for a multitude of other contemporary rounds--both with and without the belt.

Rigby brass is pricey, but then again, how much do you really shoot it? I have close to a case of the Federal Woodleigh loads which served me well for a number of years in West and Central Africa and I figger it will last the rest of my lifetime. That's especially true since I keep picking up odd boxes from folks who think it cool to own one until they fire their first rounds from a benchrest.

Most importantly, the magnificent old 416 Rigby just continues to work today as well as it did when Commander Blount used it and Robert Ruark popularized it in the hands of Harry Selby.

Pardon the lengthy piece on the Rigby--which really wasn't your point-- but I hate to see it so easily dismissed.
 
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