The old 404 Jeff is one of the best all around chamerings in a good Mauser 98, or Mauser FN supreme actioned rifle one could hope for. The cartridge it’s self is just a rimless version of the very versatile 450/400 NE 3” double rifle cartridge. Ballisticlly they are twins, and a scoped 404 Jeff CRF bolt rifles is a fine back –up for the 450/400 double. I have a couple of fine Mauser actions that I have been pondering building a 404 on for some time. This thread has induced me to begin the project!
……………………………….Good choice !
Great to know you plan building a .404, do let us know when you have the the finished rifle . Mauser 98 is the finest of bolt actions ever developed ... Best of luck , shall be waiting for the photo of your new .404 WR.
It was with a 404 that Dr. Chadwick shot this Stones sheep in 1936, possibly the best trophy ever taken in North America
CZ offers the 404 Jeffery in their safari classics line. I have one and have found it to be a great rifle.
I'm sure there are fantastic rifles built in a factory. But whats the fun of having a rifle anyone can buy ?
I want a rifle that is one of a kind. And that is made with my own specifications.
I rather drive a car built by Chip Foose instead of Swedish Volvo.
I use to think that way too, but now I will only buy a factory option if I can have it in close to the caliber choice I want. We deal with Styer/Mauser/Sauer. They offer a 10 year warranty and a MOA guarantee on your barrels. I need less hassel in my life. More and more customers that come thru are doors are opting for factory (all though high end factory) than custom. Most custom builds we do now are really big bores are the long range--"tack ta cool" stuff.
Buying a factory made rifle is an option.
I have looked at the CZ and a lot of others.
But still I want put that little extra touch of my own ideas in the rifle.
If you build something of an old Mauseraction you might get som history in it to.
Looking at the rifle and thinking of where it has been before me gives it an extra thrill to.
Like my old Winchester 70 from 1958. I wish it could talk.
The satisfaction to be gained from finally getting 'meat' (or trophy of any type) with a hand built rifle you have agonised over every detail for months of sleepless night and many daydream moments can never be matched by a factory rifle that is the same as hundreds of others. The anticipation is a very large part of the enjoyment as is the myriad of component parts that you have to make descissions on as the what combinations are best suited to the eventual purpose you intend for the finished rifle. Like many of us you may build with the dream of Africa but the practical use of home country hunting and this may further complicate the choices you will have to make. Enjoy the addiction Calle, and the eventual outcome.
Gentlemen, a question for you. I have a .375 H&H, which I can shoot all day long. I have a CZ .416 Rigby, which I can't shoot all day long. In other words, the former has very manageable recoil, while the latter has more than I like.
Where does the .404 Jeffery land on the .375 to .416 spectrum?
I can shoot my 375 H&H all day but can't shoot my 404 all day, to me there is a noticeable difference. Have never shot a 416.
I too have both the .375 and .404. I cannot shoot either one all day long, no way. While my CZ Safari .404 weighs over 10#, it still kicks pretty good. Even at standard velocities of 400/2150 and a little above its there. Shot it the other day with loads around 2230/400 and must have been sitting too low because that rifle just beat hell out of me! My whole chest was sore for a day and a half! Going to sit more upright next time! Love the .404 anyway, its just so classic!
Thanks for the support :-)
I dont know if I could have put my thoughts on print like that even in Swedish.
I wonder if it is´nt possible to get used to recoil.
I have taken part in some shooting competitions when I shoot 40-50 rounds with my .375 in a short time and it dosent bother me.
I saw this guy on Youtube shooting 700NE without flying backwards.
He looked rather relaxed after the shooting.
He propably had good technique.
recoil is physics, but recoil tolerance is individual. I have a 375 H&H, a 404Jeffery(CZ) and a 416 rigby(Ruger). I find there to be a marked difference between the 375 and the 404, and a slight difference between the 404 and the 416. I do believe that you can increase your recoil tolerance somewhat, but it will take range time.
There is a great deal of difference in recoil perceptions not only from person to person but more importantly in how and where the rifle in question is being shot. None of the three mentioned are supposed to be shot very much from the bench although testing of ammo and sights etc, requires at least a few sessions. From sticks or offhand the 375 is a bit sharper but the 404 and 416 are by no means difficult to master. The 404 with a 400gn at 2350 is what the 416 was loaded to, so in similar 9 1/2 lb rifles there will be similar recoil. Any shooting that requires multiple shots when away from the range (that is in a hunting situation) are of no consequence as concentration is on the animal, or animals that you are hunting. Multiple shots at the range if taken with a purpose in mind such as seeing how quickly you can reload and keep your shots on a 8in (200mm) square steel plate at 55yds or so, also keeps the concentration off the recoil so that it not only becomes manageble but familiar.
These are still in the sensible range of rifle cartridges and designed when results and managability were the taking over from the VERY heavy recoiling black powder bore rifles.
Now it seems the trend is for 50, 60, and 70 cal cartridges as ego and disposable income increase in some sectors.
The fact remains that the 375, 404 and 416 range of cartridges are about the best ever bought to the market in terms of managability for the hunter and effectiveness on the big animals, and the smaller ones for that matter with all three more than capable out to 250 - 300 yds if need be. They are all easily handled by the average hunter with a little practice away from the bench. It is also a good idea to have a lower velocity load to practice with. I have had a mold made that drops a 350gn cast bullet that I GC and load to 1900fps for plinking and 2365 for recoil and recovery practice.
Not to quibble, but I was under the impression that the 404J was loaded with a 400 gr solid traveling at 2150 FPS.
Terry you are right in that the 404 is oft quoted as a 400gn at 2150 but I found what I believe is more authorative data that shows it differently. In 1905 you could buy a best quality Jeffery for 25 Pounds and ammo at 26 shillings per 100 for solids and 26 shillings per 100 for softs. This from the 1905 Jeffery catalogue.
In part it reads...It can be loaded with the old pattern cordite, which gives it a velocity of about 2,200 feet, or the new Flat Strip High Velocity Cordite which gives about 2400feet per second with rather less pressure that that shown by the old cordite. We do not recomend a velocity above 2.200 feet for the soft nosed bullet as with 2400 feet, the bullet is liable to break up on the skin and not penetrate. The high velocity cordite is best suited for the solid bullets, that are only required for penetration or long range,
The initial Jeffery 404 cartridge (loaded by Kynoch) was a 400gn bullet at 2200fps with 55-60gn of cordite according to my copy of the 1905 Jeffery catalogue for the 404 rifle and cartridge.
RWS when it began loading for the 404 as the 10.75x73 loaded the 400gn bullet at 2300fps.
When I did my initial testing of some origional Kynoch and RWS rounds for a datum for my own handloading I got 2192 for the Kynoch and 2315 for the RWS in my 25in barell. I load the 400gn Woodleigh soft and a 400gn RWS solid at 2335 fps over 84gn H4350 so am just over the RWS load but far less than the 404 is capable of.
Now the ball is rolling.
I have made an apointment with the gunsmith on the 22 of november.
We are going to discuss the new rifle.
I will try to get some pictures of the action he have suggested.
Good on you Calle. we will be looking forward to seing a photo diary with lots of notes as this progresses.
Welcome to the madness.
Hey Von Gruff,
that's one heck of a fine looking weapon,that 404 of yours, (that's screaming for use on buff). Have you blooded it on something big yet ?
Whats the finished weight ?, barrel length ?
Hope you don;t mind me being nosy.
Just going through the process of having a couple of fighting weapons built for myself at the moment, a 458Lott and a .500 M.D.M.
They wont be fancy as they will have some seriously hard work to do.