404 jeffrey or 416 rigby

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Hunt of a Lifetime, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Hunt of a Lifetime

    Hunt of a Lifetime AH Member

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    Which has largest following in Africa, the 404 jeffrey or 416 rigby ?
    Ammo availability ?
    possibly going to start a custom project and it is down to these 2.
    strictly to hunt in Africa.
    which is harder on shoulder ? which would you build ? why ?
    Thanks.
     
  2. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    I think as far as popularity goes, and one only needs to look at availability in factory rifles and ammunition I think the 416 would be more common that the 404.

    Ammunition is available for the 404 from Norma and A-Square that I know of. For the 416 the same brands are available and most likely others as well. Of course both these can be reloaded.

    If i was going to build a custom rifle for use in africa it would largely depend on exactly what game you intend to hunt. If buffalo is one then it comes down to what action you are going to use. The 416 has a slight edge over the 404, and requires the use of a magnum action, where as the 404 can be built on a standart action. Recoil would really depend on rifle weight and stock design. But one must keep in mind that for any given calibre a increase in velocity and bullet weight equals greater recoil. Some figures I have come up with are as follow. (Based on rifle weight 9 lbs).
    404 with 400gn projectile @ 2250 feet/sec = 49 foot/pounds recoil
    416 with 400gn projectile @ 2400 feet/sec = 54 foot/pounds recoil.

    in the end there is very little practicle difference in these two calibers. I guess the deciding factor comes down to ammo and rifle availability. If you are going to build a custom rifle and reload ammo then it is a personal choice.

    If it was me, then I think I would build a 404 if for no other reason then the historical value of the cartridge.

    Hope this is of some help

    Cheers
    Ben
     
  3. Hunt of a Lifetime

    Hunt of a Lifetime AH Member

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    Ben,
    Thanks ! one factor I have considered is Hornady making a dgx and dgs for the 404 jeff.
    looks like 404 jeff ammo here in states is about 40% cheaper than 416 rigby.
    wondering if 404 jeff can be found in Namibia and RSA and possibly Moz.
     
  4. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    I guess if you consider how much both calibers were used in africa, one would think that ammo would be available. After all the PCs must get their ammo from somewhere. However I would not count on being able to get specific ammo for any caliber that I took for a african hunt. I am not even sure if it is possible to purchase ammo if you are only a visiting tourist. Certainly it would be wise to bring enough ammo for the hunt with you.
     
  5. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Richteb............I suspect his concern is if the ammo and the bag it is in do not arrive at the airport, leaving him with a rifle and no ammo for it. It does not happen often, but it does happen............
     
  6. Hunt of a Lifetime

    Hunt of a Lifetime AH Member

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    Ben,
    Sky is correct I am more concerned if my ammo does not make the trip with me.
    Which is more likely to be available? sorry I did not make that clear.
    I think I am leaning towards a 404 jeff with a 22" barrel. Figuring on a 8.5-9 lb. rifle
    should be able to manage the recoil.
    Thanks
    ed
     
  7. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    Sorry Ed, my bad, I presumed that you guys can travel with ammo in carry on bag as we do when traveling from Aust. As happened to a friend who recently hunted Namibia it was the rifle that did not show up.
     
  8. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Interestingly I had four bear hunters this past spring that had all of their luggage go astray. Each and every time they had to change planes in Chicago and in each case they were flying United. Go figure..............

    Chicago is an airport that seems to have more than its fair share of hunter related baggage problems.

    Richteb............that is something. Ammo in a carry on is totally taboo with all commercial flights in North America going anywhere domestic or international. You would only get away with that on a charter flight.
     
  9. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    That maybe so, but ammo is not much use if the rifle for it is missing in action.

    You just gotta love airlines. I mean with todays technology you would think its not that hard to get all bags with with the name "xyz" on the same plane and as Mr. xyz. But i guess I am being very optimistic.

    In the end I guess all we can do is hope for the best, despite the best planning that goes into ones trip.
     
  10. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    United/Chicago-Ohare must have problems

    United Breaks Guitars



    Over 5.2 MM hits
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2014
  11. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Back on topic.

    Both rounds just scream Africa. The Rigby has little more ump but either will kill anything on the planet.

    I think I would build the .404 and for no particular reason.

    You could not go wrong with either.
     
  12. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    X2 with Mike. With Norma and Hornady making factory ammo now the .404 is no longer in the hard to feed category.

    But I have been looking at the .400 H&H............:confused:
     
  13. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    400 grain bullet @ 2300 fps it does fit nicely between the 375 and the 404. Unfortunately a custom build is the only option. Unless one can afford a bolt gun from H & H.
     
  14. Hunt of a Lifetime

    Hunt of a Lifetime AH Member

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    I have decided on the 404 jeff. It will have a standard mauser action (montana most
    likely) 22" barrel and a recoil reducer in the stock. Will be trying for that classic safari rifle look.
    Thanks for the input.
    Cheers
    ed
     
  15. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Dangerous Game Hunting Rifles

    Here is another option on a 404 Jeff.

    Dangerous Game Hunting Rifles


    Wayne at AHR upgraded a 375 H & H for me. I also have a Montana in a 458 Lott.

    Even though they have not been put through the ringer, at this point I prefer the CZ-550 with the AHR upgrades.
     
  16. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    Ed, I would consider using a magnum action if you want to use the Hornady ammo, as they load it to higher velocity then Norma. I recall a actual warning on their web page that the 404 ammo should only be used in a magnum action.
     
  17. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    That question is hard to answer so lets begin way back when...

    Historically the .416 Rigby was seldom used, and was popularized by Tony Sanchez and a couple of other famous PHs and a well know writer..It was not a popular rifle over all as it was simply too expensive from Rigby..

    The .404 on the other hand was a working rifle built on a standard Mauser action for the most part by FN and many of the African Game Depts. issued them and ammo for animal control, and today their are still a number of them in some of the indigenous game depts and many game scouts still carry them in Tanzania..Mozambique has thousands of them in storage..

    Ruger restored life to the .416 Rigby to compete with the .416 Rem and has met with a modicum of success..Today in Africa I would say that more Americans use the .416 Rigby than the .404 but the 404 is definantely creeping up on the .416, mostly I think because the 404 can be made on a standard Mauser action by a capable gunsmith, but I prefer them on a magnum Mauser M-20 action..

    Personally, I prefer the .404 Jefferys or the .416 Rem or Ruger hands down over the .416 Rigby, as I can have the same balistics in a lighter handier rifle and at 75 years old that weight makes a difference..but I have always liked handy, light, skinny guns and long barrels.

    As to which is more popular in Africa who knows but if you take all the guns that live there it will be the .404...as to ammo, you can't hardly find either caliber on the shelves in Africa today. Availability also depends on which country in Africa your talking about.
     
  18. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I see the 404 as being quoted as 2100 top 2300 FPS rifle on many of these posts, it has become an accepted fact when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth..The 404 has simply been loaded down over the years due to the old cordite syndrome...Same for the .416 Rigby and to a lesser extent for the .416 Rem..All these guns can be safely loaded to more velocity.

    The 404 has almost the same powder capacity as the 416 Rigby. 95 grs. of IMR-4831 in my old Jefferys bolt gun got me 2653 FPS in that 27 inch barrel..I have North Forks Mike Brady test these loads in his lab and his shorter test barrel got 2550 plus FPS at reasonalble but max pressure. I have hunted Cape Buff with this load many times and its devistating on the black bulls, they shudder at impact..I have friends that shoot the 416 Rigby at almost claimed 2800 FPS and that is their hunting load.

    Somewhere in time some "expert" claimed the best velocity to kill big dangerous game with was 2400 FPS, and that has been printed and reprinted many times....I don't believe that and believe the faster you push a good properly constructed bullet the better it will kill or at least the more damage it will do. That only makes since.

    That said, I do load 404 Jefferies, .416 Rem, and 416 Rigby calibers at 2400 FPS with a 400 gr. bullet, or even a tad less simply because recoil becomes a factor at those higher velocities, and at 2300 to 2400 FPS a 40 caliber kills well enough to suit me on any animal, and therein our "expert" was correct in that since....
     

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