.404 JEFFERY - A PH's point of view

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by DOC-404, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    You gotta yourself why you want this thing! Its not a collectors item and good clean ones are readily avilable for less than 2000. For that price you can get good quality big bores to use on dg. If you want it just coz then thats another thing. It is not an optimal caliber ito dg guns. They do not make 300 gr bullets for it without them being custom made, so you land up with a relatively slow 400 grainer. Not many peoples choice for dg. Those cracks you mention are another point of concern. No cracks in a stock are superficial and all indicate undue stress with the bedding or rough handling!
    PH' s comments!
     
  2. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    The bluing has worn off very substantially if not wholly. The stock is dull looking with surface imperfections and one or two minor chips and cracks. It seems to have been carried around quite a bit which would account for the worn bluing.

    Prices of weapons are rather high in India due to imports not being allowed, except for renowned shooters or those coming to India on transfer of residence. At the same time, older rifles in uncommon calibres may be available at less than international prices.

    The dealer says that most of the wear on this particular Jeffery is external and from the functional point of view it is a good weapon which can be refurbished. I would say the weapon has not been very well looked after but not thrown into a corner either.

    Regards.
     
  3. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    thanks for the info, if you can get me the ser no it would help, as said if you can load some photos , then with both of those it will be easier to help with the value.
     
  4. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    Thanks for your advice and views. I am attracted by the recent mystique surrounding the .404 cartridge and the name WJ Jeffery. I am also interested because of the low price. The lack of ammunition is an area of concern and could be the reason for its low price by Indian standards. It is one fourth the average price in India of a .375 Holland and Holland Magnum by Westley Richards or Winchester Model 70. I have noticed that walnut often cracks in India either due to the high temperatures or due to neglect.

    Regards.
     
  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    It may be worth the asking price but without seeing it, I would want a trusted person to see it before buying, even for such a relatively low price.
     
  6. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    The dealer also has two 9mm (.355) Mannlicher Schoenauer rifles in very good condition for around $ 3,600 plus each and also an MS 9.5 mm (.375) for the same price. I understand Kynoch is loading cartridges for the latter. He also has a .250-3000 Savage in bolt action for $ 2800. The prices are on the higher side by international standards.

    Regards.
     
  7. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    Thank you for your help. I have obtained the serial number of the .404 Jeffery. It is 28973. I hope this helps in knowing something about the rifle.

    Regards.
     
  8. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    will give it a go, is there anyway you can put some photos on? the 9.5mm is loaded by kynoch. i dont think anyone loads the 9mm m/s. are you going to hunt with this rifle, or is it to hang on the wall?
     
  9. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I look forward to hearing from you something about the manufacture of the rifle from its serial number.

    Hunting has effectively been banned in India due to depleting forest cover and vanishing wildlife.

    Crop protection is allowed against marauders like the Nilgai (a large antelope) and wild boar.

    Sometimes permission is given to shoot man eating tigers or leopards or rogue elephants.

    Most rifles in India are effectively wall hangers. Nevertheless any rifle owner would like to have a weapon that functions properly and can be used if necessary. I am unlikely to hunt in Africa but it would be nice to have a weapon that can be used there if occasion arises.

    Most heavy double rifles in India by reputed makers have been bought up by buyers from abroad and exported out of the country. Mostly bolt action rifles
    are available in the bigger bores. Import restrictions preclude the option of buying from abroad.

    Regards.
     
  10. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Wow! Those prices are hectic! Norma are again starting to make 404 ammo and that's up your neck of the woods...just about! If it's walnut stocked then it must have been a classy gun in it's time! Is it engraved at all? Thinking about it more, I can't see the harm in buying it...as long as the barrels / bores in good nick without pitting etc. It's not like you're going to put a hundred rounds through it any time soon! With the new epoxys, you could in all likelihood glue the stock up and no one would be the wiser! I would get it checked by an armourer and make sure the stock won't come apart on you! These guns do have colourful history and it'd be great to get onto their website and see who it was originally made for and tracks it's owners if tha's possible.
     
  11. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    Hello Ole Bally,

    You have echoed my thoughts exactly! The general condition is fairly good and may turn out to be very good after restoration. Like you, I can't see any harm in buying it. I would love to know the earlier history of this weapon.

    Regards.
     
  12. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    OK more thoughts!! :) Are you a permanent resident in India? Do you know that there are a bunch of very fancy collectable doubles floating around there? My friend bought a pair of Lancasters (muzzle loading doubles from the 1800's) never fired, for 60 000 US$ out of India! A matter of being tuned to the goings on there!
    Thing about the 404 is that it'll be a hard sell out of India to get yr money back! I am also in the habit of buying unusual and sometimes expensive toys and always suffer when trying to move them on!
    If you intend to redo it, better to get it done by WR themselves in the UK. You can also go online to track that particular weapon through their web site!
    Good luck with it!
     
  13. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ole bally i think its built by jeffery and not WR. i dont think that there is that much left in the way of fancy doubles left in india. most were brought out in the 1960`s and 70`s. i am sure there are a few around, but i know someone who brought out vast amounts of all types of guns from india in those days, and he had some very good connections.....
     
  14. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    hi my friend thinks its circa 1930, but not 100 percent as the records are now in usa. the values are difficult to give without seeing it, but he roughly thinks if on a military box in the region of $1100.00, and if on a commercial box $2200.00 to $3750.00 depending on condition and how bad the cracks are. his first answer was how long is a piece of string because of not being able to see it, so these are a guesstimate , but he is very experienced so hopefully it gives an idea. if the sights arent beaten up ,and the action/bore are fine (decent rifling left) i would go for it. just dont get carried away by your enthusiasm ,and end up with something that if you do want to get it refurbished ends up needing more than a new stock and a reblue.......with just that , even if it costs another $3 to $4000.00 you would end up with a jefferys in very nice condition.
     
  15. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Sorry, of course I meant Jeffreys! But I also think that WR would do a refurb for you too! Business is business these days!
    But I will guarantee you that if you dig around the provinces and make inquiries, you'll find some treasures!
     
  16. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    I am a permanent resident of India and am looking for a rifle to keep. As there is a limit of three weapons per person, I may need to sell it if I come across a better weapon. I would like the weapon to hold its value at the time of its resale. Your view that the Jeffery may not resell for its purchase price is a matter of concern to me.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, most double rifles have been exported out India. I have, however been offered a double rifle made by S. Holland by a dealer today for $ 4000. It is a hammer gun with Damascus barrels and is therefore likely to be a black powder express rather than a nitro express.

    From the users point of view, the bolt action .404 seems to be a more practical proposition than the .500 express double rifle. Kynoch does load cartridges for the .404 Jeffery as well as .500 nitro express and 3 inch and 3 1/4 inch black powder expresses. What are your views and advice?

    Regards
     
  17. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    all of the gun makers will happily do a refurb for you.
     
  18. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Hey a great double is every gun lovers dream I'd say! If the barrels are Damascus, then they definitely won't be Nitro Proof! The markings will soon tell you though! try and find out a value outside of India for it through the web!
    How great would it be to hunt a Man Eating Tiger with a gun that was originally built for exactly that purpose 100+ years ago?! I bet that gun could tell a couple of stories!! I dunno that I'd actually shoot a tiger but that's besides the point!
    Practically though, what can you resell the double for? Can one find the guns history at all? If you can have 3 guns only, what have you got so far? Surely they won't consider a black powder 120 year old gun to be part of that? It should just be an antique collectors item!! A shotgun, the 404 and something like a .308 would make a nice trio especially seeing you're not intending to take up PH work anytime soon! The .404 will work for anything big you've got running around India pretty well I'd think and the .308 for the deer!
    Gotta try to figure a way to have more guns!!!! :)
     
  19. miroflex

    miroflex AH Member

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    Thanks for the information. I am unable to say whether it is a military action or a sporting one as I am unable to distinguish between the two. Could you tell me about the points of difference between them?

    I have a feeling that it may not need restocking and with a clean up and rebluing may come up very well.

    I wll keep your price guides in mind.
     
  20. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    A rifle is as good as its barrel. Even in India, there is a chance that weapon was not actually fired that much. And of course Jeffrey built those on the almost indestructable mauser 98 action. If the, rifling is in good shape, and the stock issues are cosmetic, then I would snap it up at a local gunshow at that price. Restoration level treatment of the metal (rust bluing, not hot blue), and refinishing the stock (refresh the checkering and oil finish) will cost another grand here in the States to be done correctly on a period rifle. When done, you would have a valuable thing- not 20+k valuable - but certainly 5-8k. Percent of original condition is a big thing among American collectors for the classic American arms, but it doesn't apply so much to British firearms. Those were regularly sent back to Westley, Holland, Jeffrey, etc for cleaning, freshening and the like by the original owners.
     

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