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Dance Cards

Don 416. N.V. Shooter is correct. But you seem ready to dance, anyway. If you start out with a rifle made for the WSMs, there's no foul in making up a larger caliber, version.

I don't remember if Howa made any short actions. So if yours is a long action, maybe you should look at doing a standard caliber in 416 caliber. The 416 Remington and 416 Ruger will do this in respective long and standard length actions. If you do have a short action, then you are on the right track, so far.

I have made up a 2R 416 Wildcat, out of the 375 Ruger case. It has a little more capacity than the WSM case, and its sweet spot is 330 gr. bullets. But beware, any of these will be stock splitters. Mine has double cross bolts, which are glued into an epoxy bedded stock.

Also, the H&H brass is much easier to work over, so a 416 x 350 Rem. Mag. isn't too far down the list for a short magnum. Hornady is finally putting the 300 RCM brass on their February 2015 production schedule, and if you wanted to purchase a year or so's supply, this may also do the job in a more standard dimensioned action.

You can always sell the WSM and buy something that's better at feeding H&H patterned cases.

But it looks from your thread reply that you are all ready to dance with the guy who brought you. So I say go with it, in your Howa action, which is already set up for the WSM cases. I would suggest you make sure that the Howa will indeed feed these .416 cases. This can be done by just necking up 325 WSM brass to your 416, and seating some bullets in a handful of sample dummy cases, with no primers or powder.

With the Howa's hook extractor, I don't see any problems here, with these oversized bullets. But you're the only one who can test this out with dummy rounds.

FWIW, I've made my own dummy 44's by necking up 300 RCM brass. Even these have decent shoulders. Your WSM's will have better one's. Those B & M thingees only head space on their case mouths in the larger calibers, so you cannot use any kind of crimp. With the WSM's short necks, you will need to crimp a heavy .416 bullet, to keep them from moving in your magazine. I could just barely squeeze out a .450 cal. case from the Ruger Basic Brass.

Winchester's engineers wouldn't get behind a 338 WSM, because it lags ballistically, behind their previous 338 Win. Mag. Ruger did do a smaller 338 RCM with Ought Six capacity, because they went with 20 inch barrels and a special powder blend, which equals the larger 338 Winchester Magnum.

I have a left hand Ruger Light Magnum in 300 RCM, but I haven't reloaded for it. I can't match the factory's ballistics, with canister powders. I'm going to use it as a donor rifle for a wildcatted .243 cal., X 300 RCM. I've also waited a long time for some of this virgin Hornady brass, to show up again.

You're using WSM parent brass which will give you a leg up on me. Loaded ammo in 416 Rem. Mag. and 416 Ruger has been readily available, down here in the lower 48. But most of this is loaded with 400 gr. bullets.

I hope this gives you the dimensions of the sandbox you're going to be playing inside. The other downside is that most .416 bullets have cannelures with a half inch long shank below them. Seating such a bullet, a half inch deep in the WSM case will really cut down its capacity.

That's because the 416 Rigby and my own 416 wildcat, both have half inch long necks. Mostly because of the Rigbys, though.
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