September 25th, 2022
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Sunday GunDay: .416 Barrett for King of 2 Miles Competition
Today we feature a big-caliber rifle used for the most prestigious Extreme Long Range (ELR) competition, the King of 2 Miles. This rifle was built for Derek Rodgers, a talented shooter with amazing credentials. An F-TR World Champion, Derek is the only shooter to have won the F-Open USA National Championship AND the F-TR USA National Championship. Derek also won the 2017 King of 2 Miles competition. Last Sunday GunDay we featured the 33XC rifle used by Clay Rhoden to capture the inaugural American King of 1 Mile competition. That story was quite popular, so this Sunday we offer an even more powerful rig, Derek’s .416 Barrett with a massive 40? barrel.
Derek Rodgers won the King of 2 Miles competition in 2017, so he knows all about Extreme Long Range (ELR) shooting. While Derek won his 2017 KO2M title shooting the .375 CheyTac cartridge, Derek decided that something even bigger was in order. So Derek commissioned this impressive ELR rifle chambered for the jumbo .416 Barrett cartridge. This big round drives heavy Cutting Edge solid bullets from 475 to 550 grains in weight.
Here’s the Big Rig that delivers those .416-caliber projectiles. This monster rifle weighs 40+ pounds and sports a 40? Bartlein barrel — more length for more velocity. Derek’s ELR rifle features a McMillan Beast 2 stock, BAT EX action, and Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope. Derek explained why he moved up to a bigger caliber: “I built a new rifle with the anticipation of seeing impacts easier. It was not just a larger caliber being more effective on hitting ELR targets, but rather hoping that a missed shot would have a much larger impact. Impacts beyond a mile become harder to see due to terrain and vegetation. So any added dust or splash erupting from the earth is a decisive benefit over an equally-accurate smaller caliber.” Here is Derek’s full report on his .416 Barrett rifle.
Derek Rodgers Campaigns a .416 Barrett
Report by Derek Rodgers
Cartridge Choice — I chose a standard .416 Barrett cartridge as it allows for bullets up to and slightly exceeding 550 grains. It really does bridge the gap between the .375 variants and a 50 BMG. There are several great solid ELR bullet options from manufactures like Cutting Edge that range from 475-550 grains. These offer a variety of extremely high BC options for barrels that have different twist rates. Most loads will utilize the slowest burn rate powders commercially available. Good options are Vihtavuori 20N29, RL50, H50BMG and other powders with a similar burn rate.
Shooting the .416 — Tamer than Expected
An initial observation is that the rifle is very controllable and feels much like a larger F-TR gun. The rifle weighs 40+ pounds, balanced and stays on target very well. The recoil is manageable and linear. This seems to give a straight rearward impulse that does not affect positioning. This allows for quick repositioning into battery and faster follow-up shots.
Image courtesy ELR competitor Corbin Shell.
Rifle Details — BAT EX Action, Bartlein 40? Barrel, McMillan Beast 2 Stock
Derek’s .416 Barrett ELR Rig features a BAT EX action with a Bix’N Andy trigger. Out front is a gigantic 40? long, 1:9?-twist Bartlein barrel fitted with a Terminator T5 muzzle brake. The handsome McMillan Beast 2 stock combines a lower center of gravity design with a higher butt location. Given that high butt geometry, McMillan cleverly fitted the higher buttpad with a port allowing the cleaning rod to pass through (see photo below). On top is a Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56mm scope in NF rings on a +60 MOA rail, with Holland 34mm bubble level. The stock is supported by a Phoenix bipod and rests in an Edgewood bag designed for the McMillan Xit F-TR stock.
Note the extended Buttpad height. That helps with recoil in prone position. This McMillan Beast 2 stock includes a pass-through hole for the cleaning rod.
Derek Rodgers Wins 2017 Ko2M with 3368-Yard Hit
Back in 2017, Derek Rodgers won the King of 2 Miles Competition at Raton, New Mexico. Derek, shooting with Team Applied Ballistics, was the first KO2M marksman in history to hit the target at the maximum 3368-yard (1.91 mile) distance. Here’s that historic shot:
At the 2017 K02M, with his McMillan-stocked .375 CheyTac rifle, Derek shot brilliantly from the start. He was perfect — without a miss — at the first three yardages: 1543, 1722, and 1888. He had some misses at 1953 and 2667 yards, but then he out-shot all competitors at 3028 yards, going two for five. No other shooter managed a single hit at 3028 yards. Then it all came down to the big one — the last (and greatest) challenge, the target at 3368 yards (1.91 miles). Derek nailed it… and the celebrations began.
Here’s Derek with his 2017 Ko2M-winning .375 CheyTac rifle. Now he’s stepped up in bore size.
Gunsmithing by Blake Barrel and Rifle in Arizona
Derek’s rifle was built and chambered by Bryan Blake of Blake Barrel and Rifle in Phoenix, Arizona. The chambering was done with a Manson Precision reamer. Derek explains: “Bryan and his family have been in the machine shop business for several generations and have the expertise and equipment to handle larger barrel diameters associated with F-Class to ELR-type rigs. I tried to consider all angles and potential pitfalls that might occur during the building process. However, Bryan added his own touches to make the project his own. He truly created a work of art and supplied a turn-key rifle that is meticulously built from the inside out and looks as great as the tolerances it holds.”
Tags: 416 Barrett, BAT action, Derek Rodgers, ELR, Extreme Long Range, King Two Miles, KO2M, Solid Bullets