.416 Strauss : a .303 wildcat

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

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
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Andrew Harvey Andrew Harvey on Sep 07, 2012

    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 Frank Vermeulen on Oct 02, 2012


    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.