Ever hear of the .458 Winchester Magnum? What about the .404 Jeffrey? No? Does the name John Rigby ring a bell?
One very unfortunate thing about modern shooting sports is we often don’t hear of, or miss the origin of many popular calibers. I’ll bet if I mentioned the .338 Lapua you may be a bit more familiar with it since it’s a common cartridge among sniper fan boys and Call of Duty faux warriors. You might possibly be more familiar with the .378 Weatherby Magnum and/or the 30-378 Weatherby also. If ANY of these rounds ring a bell, you might be surprised to hear they all got their start with the parent case of the .416 Rigby.
It’s because of this that the Rigby has maintained its popularity as a dangerous game round able to put down even the biggest, meanest critters like elephants and rhinos. In the video you’ll notice the .416 I’m shooting has a muzzle brake on it. Admittedly I’ve never fired a big bore gun with a brake on it before (let alone done a rifle review on one), and this one did wonders to tame the recoil. Generally you’d limit your play with a round like this to just a few rounds, but this time around with the limbsaver pad, Thompson Center Pro Hunter flextech stock, and the muzzle brake, this one really was very mild.
So the next time you are in awe of some newfangled cartridge developed the leading manufacturer, remember that the odds are it got its start with some old geezer round from the last century. I’m inclined to love the rounds based on an old design that’s been tried and proven over the years. It helps me with my nostalgia cravings, and gives me something new to talk about when I walk into my local FFL to pick up the newest gun to review.
If you’re interested in building your own Thompson Center Encore style rifle much like the one I took this muley with, feel free to visit my Dad’s store at Haus of Arms (see how we did that with the names? We’re incredibly creative). He’s set up so you can build the rifle YOU want, rather than limiting yourself to the calibers the big box stores have available. Oh, and I GUARANTEE you won’t beat his prices on new Encores anywhere.
HAPPY 101ST BIRTHDAY, .416 RIGBY. HERE’S TO ANOTHER CENTURY OF SUCCESS AND BRUISED SHOULDER!