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416 Rigby vs 375 H&H Magnum

Ballistics Performance Comparison of 416 Rigby vs 375 H&H Magnum Cartridges

The .416 Rigby and the .375 H&H Magnum are two serious calibers intended for African safari hunts. They were both introduced in the early twentieth century, and each has taken down plenty of tough and dangerous game in the meantime. However, they are certainly not identical: the .416 Rigby offers more power for shorter ranges, but the .375 H&H Magnum is more widely available, more versatile, and has a lighter recoil. By analyzing the major factors that differentiate these cartridges, you can decide which cartridge is right for you if you are planning an African or Alaskan voyage.

416 Rigby vs 375 H&H

The following ballistics tables show a side by side comparison of the 416 Rigby vs 375 H&H Magnum based on bullet weight and performance metrics including velocity, energy, usage and recoil.

416 Rigby 400 gr vs 375 H&H Magnum 300 gr Cartridge Comparison Table.

416 Rigby 375 H & H Magnum
Bullet Velocity (Muzzle) 2,415 ft/s 2,530 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 100 yds 2,116 ft/s 2,223 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 200 yds 1,840 ft/s 1,938 ft/s
Bullet Velocity @ 300 yds 1,590 ft/s 1,678 ft/s
Bullet Energy (Muzzle) 5,179 ft⋅lb 4,263 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 100 yds 3,977 ft⋅lb 3,292 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 200 yds 3,006 ft⋅lb 2,503 ft⋅lb
Bullet Energy @ 300 yds 2,244 ft⋅lb 1,875 ft⋅lb
Usage @ 0 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 100 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 200 yds Toughest Game Toughest Game
Usage @ 300 yds Toughest Game Large Game
*Cartridge ballistics, usage and recoil figures taken from Sportsman's Warehouse rifle ballistics and rifle recoil tables. Recoil score based on weighted average of recoil energy and recoil velocity normalized between 1 and 10.

Velocity

A bullet’s velocity will be impacted by its weight, so it’s important to remember here that we are comparing a 400 grain .416 Rigby against a 300 grain .375 H&H Magnum. Perhaps not surprisingly given this size difference, the .375 H&H maintains a consistent advantage at every distance. Out of the muzzle, the .375 H&H is flying 115 ft/s faster than the .416. This advantage narrows slightly but really holds steady: by 300 yards, the .375 H&H is still moving 88 ft/s faster than the .416 Rigby.

Energy

While the heavier bullet might slow the .416 Rigby down, it adds to its energy and stopping power by a considerable amount. Here, the .416 Rigby takes a clear advantage. Out of the muzzle, the .416 Rigby is flying with an additional 916 ft-lbs over the .375 H&H Magnum. This advantage narrows as we get to longer ranges: at 200 yards, the .416 Rigby is packing an extra 503 ft-lbs, and at 300 yards, it is traveling with an additional 369 ft-lbs of energy over the .375 H&H Magnum.

Trajectory

The heavier bullets of the .416 Rigby will drag it down as it flies through the air. As it loses energy, it also loses height and creates much more of a curve than the .375 H&H. At 300 yards, the .375 will drop about 16”, while the .416 will drop 24”. While you might be shooting at 300 yards or even farther depending on your target species, both of these calibers offer more energy and really shine at closer ranges, where the drop will be more manageable in both cases.

Recoil

Both of these calibers are shooting massive bullets at high speeds, so neither is going to be particularly easy to shoot. While a .30-06 Springfield and the like will offer about 20 ft-lbs of recoil energy, the .375 H&H Magnum is going to hit you with 35 ft-lbs. The heavier bullets of the .416 Rigby strike again here, and it is going to strike your shoulder with a full 58 ft-lbs of recoil. This is an exceptionally high recoil that shooters will have to learn how to manage if they want to place accurate shots – and shoot their weapon more than once a day.

Versatility

Both of these cartridges have a clear purpose: to take the toughest, most dangerous game that can be found on the planet. Whether you’re hunting cape buffalo, rhinoceros, large predators, or grizzly bears, either of these calibers will be up to the test. However, you can find a greater range of weights with the .375 H&H, which may allow you to use this caliber for a wider variety of game species. Still, both are really geared toward taking the largest game, and will be overkill for medium game or other critters.

Price & Availability

The .375 H&H Magnum and the .416 may be the two most popular safari cartridges on the market, and should generally be available. However, the .375 H&H Magnum is generally a bit easier to find: either way, make sure you have a plan for purchasing or packing ammunition before lugging your rifle across a continent or an ocean. The .375 H&H Magnum is also quite a bit cheaper than the .416 Rigby, though both are quite expensive compared to regular big game hunting calibers.

Size Comparison

The .416 Rigby offers a larger, heavier cartridge than the .375 H&H Magnum. The .416 Rigby’s bullet diameter is .416”, compared to .376” for the .375 H&H. The rim diameter is .590” on the .416 Rigby, and .532” on the .375 H&H. The .416 Rigby has a case length of 2.90“ and an overall length of 3.750”, while the .375 H&H Magnum has a case length of 2.850” and an overall length of 3.60” – much more comparable than the diameter comparisons. The .375 H&H Magnum can typically be found in 250-300 grain loads, while the .416 Magnum is nearly always sold in 400 grains.

Which Caliber is Best?

If you’re set on hunting the biggest game on the planet, either of these calibers has a long track record of helping hunters right in your position. The .416 Rigby packs a bigger punch with a bigger bullet, especially at close ranges. Larger bullets can give you a bit more flexibility with shot placement, as they will do more damage to the animal – and ensuring a kill rather than a wound can be all the more important with dangerous game. However, the recoil on the .416 Rigby is extremely serious, which can inhibit your ability to fire a second shot off quickly. The .375 H&H Magnum offers a bit less power, but still plenty for any game you could want to hunt, and does it with less recoil and more bullet weight options if you’re also looking to hunt some smaller or medium game with just the one rifle you’re able to pack. Ultimately, the choice between these calibers will depend on your hunting preferences and style as you plan your expedition.

Disclaimer: Sportsman's Warehouse assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions of the information on this page. Although we strive to provide the most accurate information as we can the information contained in this page is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.