.416 Strauss : a .303 wildcat

Piet, a South African, emailed me information about a wildcat he shoots. The .416 Strauss aka. the 416-03 Strauss in named after the inventor, a friend of Piet.

.303 British (left), .416 Strauss (middle, loaded with a 350 gr Speer bullet in a Norma case)

The parent cartridge is the .303 British. It is blown out to .416 caliber and loaded with a 300 grain Barns-X or 350 grain Speer bullet and S265 Pistol powder (a local South African powder). The 350 grain bullet is propelled at 2300 fps and generates 4112 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. The lighter bullet is pushed out at 2500 fps and generates 4164 ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

The performance seems similar to the .375 H&H Magnum. According to Cartridges of the World (11th Edition), the .375 H&H can push a 300 grain bullet at 2530 fps, generating 4265 ft/lbs. The small caliber .375 bullet would have greater penetration than a .416 bullet. The cartridge works about to be about 20% less powerful than a .416 Rigby

Piet uses the cartridge in a with with a P14 (Pattern 1914 Enfield) action. The groups are not all that great as he does not have a custom die set and has to use a .405 Winchester die for seating the bullet.


The .416 Strauss P14 (click to expand)

I think this is a very compelling cartridge. I am surprised I had not heard of .303’s necked up and turned into big game cartridges before. It seems like a good idea as I am sure Africa is has more than its share of .303 surplus rifles.

A big thank you to Piet for emailing me the photos and information.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Very interesting!! A while back I was contemplating a 375 Ruger.

    • Heath, coincidentally enough Piet is, or was, considering a 375 Ruger himself!

      (Did you get the comment by email?)

  • Drew

    Please post loading info if you can.

    • Drew, it is a local powder so it would not be of any use unless you are in South Africa.

  • Steve,

    Thanks for this post. Very interesting indeed! I would appreciate any additional information that you may have and would like to post a link to the NitroExpress forums if you permit me to. As you know, several of our members are professional gunmakers and they would find this a very interesting proposition.

    BTW there have been strong rumors of Somchem Powders being on the verge of being launched in the USA after Rheinmetall bought a stake in Somchem/Denel from the South African government. If I hear about their products being available here, of course, I’ll let you know at once.

    Best wishes and good hunting!

    • Mehul, thanks for posting it on the forum!

      Please do let me know about new powders.

  • Steve, I entered a different email address (G-Mail) and I began to get the notifications of new posts!

    I just did a quick search for 416 Strauss dies and couldn’t find a thing. Looks like a guy would have to have a custom set made.

    • Yes, that is what I recommended he do. Lee and Hornaday ship custom die sets overseas (as far as I know)!

  • How about Redding?? – http://www.redding-reloading.com/pages/customadedies.html

    Well RCBS wont – http://www.rcbs.com/general/intro.aspx but did provide a list to their international dealers http://www.rcbs.com/international.aspx

  • laurence

    Hi first of all i would like to tell ya all the .303 is what i consider more than enough rifle for the way i hunt. but on the same note i would like to try rounds based on the .303. and this .416 seems like it would be a awsome bear and moose rifle within the range of the round. as i am sure the .303 epps loaded with a 180 for general shots and the 215 just incase a rouge big block chev needs to be tamed. Jus jokin bout the chevy. but to make a long story short i would realy like as much info as possible on the .416 for some reason it just seems like a realy good round.

  • Laurence,

    Hasn’t Ruger developed a 416 round now similar to the 375 Ruger they made? The case won’t be developed from a 303 Brit with the 416 Ruger but you will be able to acquire commercially developed ammunition.

  • Laurence

    Yes i think they have, however i am a huge fan of the P14 rifle and have one that the barrel is shot out. the action etc. is in realy good shape. i was wanting to take the road less travelled. years back i had a .303 / .308 norma mag. that was a fine round but was way over kill as far as i am concerned. the deer around where i live have not discovered the value of bullet resitant vests. so the so called lesser rifles suffice for me. most cringe and want to beat me over the head when i say that a properly loaded .303 will dispatch deer well beyond 400 yards. opps sorry for gettin off topic.

  • Heath

    That makes perfect sense to me. Good luck with that project!

  • Ermete

    what about a 240 Weatherby necked up to 416?
    seems as good as, or better, than this 416 strauss
    no feeding problems bigger capacity stronger actions

  • Darrell Murray

    Who created the headstamped STRAUSS 416 – 303 and when?

  • Andrew Harvey

    I have in my collection a packet of Kynoch .375 2 & 1/2 inch bullets. This calibre was introduced about 1906 using nitro powder in the sporting Lee Speed rifles (Lee Enfield action) which where manafactured by BSA The case length is comparable to a straight walled .303. Also used in some double rifles.
    Apparently there has been something of a resurgence of interest as lee Enfields are being converted to this calibre in Canada in recent times.

    Over & Out

  • Frank Vermeulen


    I would appreciate the contact details of either Piet or his friend who did this convertion as i would like to have him do the same for me.

    I live in Cape Town South Africa.