We evaluated and compared empirical equations used for assessing beef cattle body composition, developed in 2010 (M10), 2012 (M12), 2006 (V06) and 1946 (HH46). Forty-eight F1 Nellore Angus bulls and steers, aged 12.5 0.51 months old, with initial shrunk bodyweight of 233 23.5 kg and 238 24.6 kg, respectively, were used in this experiment. The trial was a randomised factorial arrangement of treatments (two genders and five slaughter weights). The animals were randomly assigned to five slaughter-weight-based groups: baseline, maintenance, and 380, 440 and 500 kg. The diet comprised maize silage and concentrate (60:40). After slaughter, the 9th11th rib section cut was dissected into muscle, fat and bone. The remaining carcass was similarly dissected. Other variables evaluated as partial predictors of body composition included empty bodyweight, dressing percentage, visceral fat percentage, and organ and viscera percentage. The values estimated with predictive equations were compared with observed values. For the physically separable carcass composition, only the M12 equation estimated precisely and accurately the amount of muscle (r2 = 0.98, root-mean-square error (RMSE) = 5.64 kg, concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) = 0.96) and fat (r2 = 0.94, RMSE = 4.91 kg, CCC = 0.96) tissue present in the carcass. The V06 and M10 equations estimated precisely and accurately the amount of carcass chemical components; HH46 could explain only the amount of crude protein (r2 = 0.84, RMSE = 4.71 kg, CCC = 0.90) content in the carcass. The equations used to predict empty body chemical composition failed to estimate correctly the amount of chemical contents present in the empty bodyweight. However, V06 can be used to estimate the crude protein (r2 = 0.91, RMSE = 5.97 kg, CCC = 0.93) content in the empty bodyweight. Furthermore, M10 could be used to estimate ether extract (r2 = 0.94, RMSE = 8.13 kg, CCC = 0.84) content, although this had to be analysed by gender, because such variables (i.e. ether extract) presented a pronounced effect, especially for steers, on total chemical fat.