416 Barrett | Rifle Talks

The 416 Barrett is finally here. This is my journey building a 416Barrett for competition based in Europe, putting together the best components I could find. It is a developing story.

BAT EXS action was chosen for this 416Barrett build bedded in a McMillan Tac 50A1 stock from Dan Warner, Bartlein 38″ barrel 1.8, Dolphin muzzle brake, Rear monopod from Rene Braun in Germany, LRA bipod, extended 15″ picatinny rail 35MOA.

Intro to the 416 Barrett rifle project for ELR.

This .416 Barrett rifle project goes back to the day I started getting into long range in 2008 while at the 50BMG club in Yverdon les Bains, Switzerland. One of the Italian members there got me to try the Mc Millan Tac 50 A1. I probably put 200 rounds through that rifle. It was a little light but I loved shooting it, it shot remarkably well, I remember we had a popper target and with little training i was putting most shots into that head sized target at 500m. Pete, an English man, at the time president of FCSA Swiss told me get one chambered in 416Barrett. You will love it. I said one day I’ll build one. This was Marco’s stock rifle with the older shorter forend stock for a 29″ barrel.

 2023 – France: Ko2M – Meet the .416 Barrett rifles again

Fast forward 15 years during Ko2m France, I had the opportunity to meet the .416 again. The matched kicked off on a misty morning, with a thin layer of fog blanketing the field. The targets, set at challenging distances starting at 1000m for cold bore tested our eyesight and appeared hazy in the early light. As the mist cleared gradually, revealing the landscape and glinting metal targets in the distance, excitement bubbled up among the competitors. The large rifles could be seen crawling up on the firing line. A quick look at the length of the barrel and the dimensions of the receiver, I thought they must be .416s.

It made my 37XC look pretty light!

With the sun ascending slowly and its rays breaking through the dissipating fog, shooters focused on assessing conditions that could impact their big .416 caliber rounds, 500 or 550grain bullets… The air remained cool, dew glistened on the ground and a gentle breeze picked up across the field. The seasoned marksmen understood that even subtle environmental elements could sway the path of their hefty bullets over extensive distances.

They checked their Kestrel weather meters prying for changing data. Each detail was carefully noted and then used in their ballistic software to calculate the shooting solution. The wind, increasingly unpredictable and hard to measure accurately, posed the biggest challenge even to a .416 Barrett. It moved subtly, changing both in strength and direction across the vast expanse of the valley beneath.

The spotter called out a slight adjustment to his shooter Francois, who was positioned behind the 17kg .416 Barrett rifle. “2Mil a gauche, he exclaimed. Meanwhile, Francois loaded a .416 Barrett round into his 12 inch action that packed five times more powder than a 6.5 Creedmoor.

“Vert pour moi” exclaimed the shooter meaning “green for me”. The French teams work in a traffic light system. Both calling green and going for the shot. ‘Vert’ he said once again and the 500gr bullet zipped across the valley to the target impacting slightly high and right.

The impact unleashed a violent vortex of swirling sand, facilitating the task of the spotter to swiftly identify and record necessary corrections. Everything you will read hence forth, is about making a bigger splash. If you don’t need a bigger splash, chances are the cost of this project may not be worth your while unless the .416 Barrett is your must-have addition! If you do embark on a 416 Barrett build, you will have to replace almost every tool in your reloading room. Cleaning rods that look like a fishing rod, reloading press that reminds you of a heavy machine shop and dies that will make your existing press look like a toy while the bullets are probably longer than the cases you currently load for.

The training grounds for this 416 Barrett will be the range course of Extreme Shot Italia IV which extends to past 2000 meters.

   416 Barrett Action  

Finally you won’t have much change left from the budget of a small new car purchase by the time you’re done putting everything together. If you’re still excited about making big splashes and loading 180 grains plus of Vihtavuori 20N29 in a time where finding it is like goldrush, then let’s kick the bucket together and accept that we’re passionate gun-nuts! **This is not a sponsored rifle, all parts were purchased.

What you will need for an ELR .416 Barrett based on the research I did?

416 Barrett rifle

The 15″ long, 1 inch high extended rail allows also the use of prisms such as Nightforce Wedge with other

I planned on shooting the 550gr Windcut and the 550 Cutting edge bullets. Silvain Lami Monney reported great results with the Windcut bullets at 2500meters with his pgm rifle at Ko2M France 2024.

  • Boretech 416 cleaning rod which I sourced from accuracyreloading.it in Italy, its long and thick almost like a fishing rod.
  • ULFHEDNAR ELR Range Mat that acts as a dual purpose rifle bag
  • Even with a purposely made Ulfhednar ELR bag, a 10Inch action, 38″ barrel and 5inch of brake, the rifle is quite a beast with the stock removed.
  • Ulfhednar’s ELR bag is ready to transport this rifle to new shooting grounds.

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Part 2 to be continued.

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