416 Barrett


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.

416 Barrett rifle

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!
Above: the 37XC on the line of Ko2M France
416 Barrett cartridge alternatives 
The 37XC is your ticket to ELR if you want to save money and get into ELR with your 338 Lapua magnum platform. If you already have a 338 Lapua magnum action/rifle and you simply want to do some ELR shooting without getting into the cost and reloading setup of a 416Barrett, the 37 XC is your next best friend. It uses the same bolt face of the 338 Lapua magnum cartridge but holds around 121gr of N570 maybe a little more as well. It will drive a 400gr Cutting edge bullet at 3000ft/s from a 1.7 twist 33″ barrel. That is alot of horse power mirroring a 375Cheytac without having to change the action or the press. You will still need to up the weight to about 14kg/ 29lbs to comfortable shoot a string in competition but it works. the 37XC doesn’t kick up as much dirt as a 416Barrett but that will only cost you a new barrel, a set of dies, and new brass without having to change everything else. I shot this 3 round group at just over 1000 yards with mine using 400gr Cutting edge bullets.
Below: 37XC impacts on a steel plate and those impacts seen through my 30x eyepiece.Notice how much paint was removed by the mushrooming 400gr Cutting edge bullet as it impacted the steel with over 2-3 inches of paint removed here.

March 5-42x56 High Master ELR

Above a 37XC built on a Desert tech 338 Lapua magnum platform engaging a steel plate at just over 1000yards.


Back to our 416Barrett Experience.

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
Above the custom 416 Barrett coupled with the March Genesis 6-60×56 for extreme range performance.
The 15″ long, 1 inch high extended rail allows also the use of prisms such as Nightforce Wedge with other
  • 416 Barrett Barrel: 36-40 inch barrel. I ordered two Bartlein barrels so I won’t have to export the action again when once one wears out.
  • 1.8 or 1.9 twist for 500- 550 gr solid bullets. Thanks to Paul Philips and Chris Schmidt for the recommendation
  • Bespoke brass made for the 416Barrett from 50BMG cases.
  • Ruag 416Brass seems to give extraction issues fast especially if you push it.
  • As much VV 20N29 as you can possible buy. You will do 79 rounds from 2 lbs tubb. I think you need 13 kgs of propellant for a barrel life.
  • Remember by the time you finish doing a 4 round zeroing, you would have gone through the same powder volume as 18 rounds of 308Win. I see you smiling or cringing.
  • 416 Barrett Stock
  • A stock wide enough, long enough and stiff enough to be able to take an 8kg barrel and 2-4kg action which is 2″ in diameter.
  • Manners and McMillan come to mind as well as Cadex and a few other stock options which we will discuss like the Fusion Chassis.

416 Barrett Custom Action

416 Barrett Rifle and the 50 BMG Mc Bros

My journey started with a McBros 50BMG single shot purchase which I wanted to change to a 416. I got this off a 50cal club member.

Someone told me to go for another action for a competition 416 Barrett build as it would have better primary extraction for stiff loads.

Ok that was too late as I had already bought it. I love this rifle so I would keep it as things unfolded to maybe turn it to a 460 Steyr eventually.

Meanwhile my rifle smith said he had a BAT EXS in stock so I rolled the dice and pounced on it.

  • BAT EXS pictured below.

BAT EXS 416 Barrett custom action

The McMillan Tac 50A1 stock procured through Warner Tool Company was machined to fit a large aluminum bedding block. This would ensure that I would have no bedding

issues and if I remove the barreled action from the stock for travel, there is no bedding chipping issues which can happen when you have nicely bedded actions.

They don’t like being taken out of the stock in my experience and I’m not happy taking them in and out either.

I got Solid Solution Designs to procure 2 .416 Match barrels for me through his channels and my smith to order one himself for this build, one would be a normal barrel in stainless

and another in 400MODBB steel, rumored to last longer! We will see this in a few seasons.

I will provide you some more information about the BAT EXS shortly.

Extended picatinny rail for ELR

Meanwhile I also had Dolphin Gun Company machine a 1 inch rail with 35MOA incline and 15″ long. The idea of this is to be able to mount any optic I want with the possibility to also mount a prism design like the

Nightforce Wedge or the Charlie Tarac. The latter enables you to optically add about 100MOA to the scope by shifting the image. This makes you raise the rifle barrel by the same amount above the target so that you have a base of 100MOA image shift with the prism plus whatever you dial on the scope. The slightly beefier rail also raises the scope slightly higher which for me makes a more comfortable shooting position.

Nightforce wedge on a 33XC
Nightforce wedge on a 33XC and a March 5-42×56

Below: a 416 Barrett case with a Windcut 416 Bullet 550gr 550Grain Bullet and the two bolts, one from the McBros action and the other from the BAT EXS action.

416 Barrett round with Windcut bullet 550 grain

These are the 550grain Windcut bullets. The Italian manufacturer has been collecting user feedback to improve this bullet performance from French, Italian and American shooters doing ELR shooting.

Kudos to Windcut bullets for listening and being able to provide a European accessible bullet design for ELR matches.

416 Barrett cutting edge bullets



WEIGHT: 550gr


OAL LENGTH: 2.519″ or 64mm



Below is another tried and tested MATCH bullet design by Cutting Edge Bullets in their Lazer line up weighing in at 550grain.

OAL: 2.556″ / 64.92MM
Projection LENGTH: 1.924″

416 Barrett Rifle

If you’re not ready to wait, find another punching bag as getting hold of these parts can take a few weeks at best to a few months or a year plus! Thanks to Jay Dvorsky for also contributing his knowledge to help me load for these big bores as well as Randy Powell who helped me out with the 50BMG competition ammo article.

Here’s a list of what you will need:

  • .416 Mandrel from ARC ballistics UK,
  • 416 Trimmer from ARC ballistics
  • .416 decapping tool from ARC which I use prior to size the case and especially ahead of any case measurement to ensure the primer is not skewing those measurements

.416 ELR Bullets

There are a few contenders out there but the main ones are:

  • PRAZI PRESS: Heavy Präzipress 140mm from Germany weighs about 15Kg. It is the ultimate big press for the job. I will show you more about this further on. Armeria Regina in Italy supplied me with a few other bits and bobs for this 416Barrett oriented press.

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.


Part 2 to be continued.

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