.375 vs .404 jeffry

Eric Anderson

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So I was looking at maybe purchasing a Montana rifle chambered in .404 Jeffry.

Then I started looking at what I had vs what I would be getting, and charted it out.
For a .375 Ruger with 300 grain bullets
Energy. 4,713 ft/lbs
SD .304
Frontal area .110 square inches

.404 Jeffry with 400 grain bullets
Energy 4,698 ft/lbs
SD .320
Frontal area .139 square inches

Energy was taken from Wikipedia
I used 300 grain for the .375 because that is standard DG solid 270 grain has more energy but I don’t know if any 270 grain solids
I used 400 grain for Jeffry because the listed energy for 450 was much lower due to much lower velocity. 350 grain gave up a lot of SD.
I used frontal area for solids instead of softs because expansion can be pretty inconsistent from shot to shot on softs.

So looking at the numbers, they are equal in energy 15 ft/lbs is negligible.
The .404 has 5% better sectional density, which is a small, but consistent gain.
Frontal area is the only thing that the .404 has a big leg up on the .375. A 20% gain is big

This leaves me confused though. I have always heard and believed that the .40 calibers, and the .404 in particular hit a buffalo a lot harder than a .375

Just looking at the data though, I don’t understand why. 5% better SD and 20% bigger Frontal area is definitely a step up, but shouldn’t be a night and day difference.

So why does the 404 hit so much harder? Is it something I haven’t considered?
 

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:A Popcorn:
Just waiting to see the show.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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I recently heard Dr. Kevin Robertson (Doctari) speak while he was in Houston for the Houston Safari Club show. I also bought a copy of his book, "The Perfect Shot II." Dr. Robertson really likes heavy for caliber bullets and according to him, the momentum and knockout factors are more important than muzzle energy.

Momentum is mass of bullet in pounds x velocity (fps) = lb-fps. Note: 7000 gr = 1 lb.

Taylor Knockout is the momentum x bullet diameter and is good for comparing different weights of the same caliber.

Hatcher Knockout is the momentum x bullet frontal area and is better for comparing different calibers.
 

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The .404 has the cool factor. The .375 just gets it done. Can’t go wrong either way. Have fun!
 

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So I was looking at maybe purchasing a Montana rifle chambered in .404 Jeffry.

Then I started looking at what I had vs what I would be getting, and charted it out.
For a .375 Ruger with 300 grain bullets
Energy. 4,713 ft/lbs
SD .304
Frontal area .110 square inches

.404 Jeffry with 400 grain bullets
Energy 4,698 ft/lbs
SD .320
Frontal area .139 square inches

Energy was taken from Wikipedia
I used 300 grain for the .375 because that is standard DG solid 270 grain has more energy but I don’t know if any 270 grain solids
I used 400 grain for Jeffry because the listed energy for 450 was much lower due to much lower velocity. 350 grain gave up a lot of SD.
I used frontal area for solids instead of softs because expansion can be pretty inconsistent from shot to shot on softs.

So looking at the numbers, they are equal in energy 15 ft/lbs is negligible.
The .404 has 5% better sectional density, which is a small, but consistent gain.
Frontal area is the only thing that the .404 has a big leg up on the .375. A 20% gain is big

This leaves me confused though. I have always heard and believed that the .40 calibers, and the .404 in particular hit a buffalo a lot harder than a .375

Just looking at the data though, I don’t understand why. 5% better SD and 20% bigger Frontal area is definitely a step up, but shouldn’t be a night and day difference.

So why does the 404 hit so much harder? Is it something I haven’t considered?
Not really sure it does. My .375's have hit every buffalo I have taken very hard indeed ..... and everything else I have taken with them from very close to pretty darn far.

The .404 is, of course, a great buffalo choice - but few would claim it was as logical an all purpose selection. And most of our hunts are booked to take a buff and other things. And if one were to look at the worst case buffalo scenario - say an in-bound wounded bull, I would actually prefer my Blaser R8 in .375 to my custom .404. I am certain that I can get off two aimed shots for every one from the .404. And braining him is the only sure way to stop him.
 
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When in doubt, buy both. :D
 

Eric Anderson

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When in doubt, buy both. :D
From what I gather from a previous thread about a custom wood stock, the .404 would cost almost as much as another buff hunt. The same once a scope is added.

I am going to need a third safe....
 

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From what I gather from a previous thread about a custom wood stock, the .404 would cost almost as much as another buff hunt. The same once a scope is added.

I am going to need a third safe....

That thread about the custom wood stocks had my eyes bugging out of my head! I’d spend as much on two or three gun/scope setups as one of those stocks!
 

WAB

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That thread about the custom wood stocks had my eyes bugging out of my head! I’d spend as much on two or three gun/scope setups as one of those stocks!

It’s a horrible addiction. You start by restocking one rifle and slowly but surely all the rifles in your safe somehow find their way to the stock makers shop. I could shoot another buff with what I’ve got in wood.
 

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It’s a horrible addiction. You start by restocking one rifle and slowly but surely all the rifles in your safe somehow find their way to the stock makers shop. I could shoot another buff with what I’ve got in wood.

I’ll stick with my Boyd’s and B&C stocks, thanks. I already have a list of rifles and calibers I want. Last thing I need is doubling my costs by putting new wood on these jokers...
 
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I rather like the 404 & consider it to be more in the class of a 458 than a comparison to the 375. However, for me, the main disadvantage of the 404 is the lack of cheap cup & core bullets. Practice and range time can be had at a reasonable cost with either the 375 or the 458, but just try and find a cheap bullet in .423". One feels bad getting range time at $2 a shot.
 

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Both are good at what they do--kill DG. I think the 375 is a better all around caliber because it has more range where the 404 is a short(er) range killer. The 375 has a larger selection of bullets available; 235g to 350g so you can sort of tailor the load to the game. BUT the 404 is an African classic which is a statement all it's own and carries weight in the field. Cool, Man, cool.
 

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I rather like the 404 & consider it to be more in the class of a 458 than a comparison to the 375. However, for me, the main disadvantage of the 404 is the lack of cheap cup & core bullets. Practice and range time can be had at a reasonable cost with either the 375 or the 458, but just try and find a cheap bullet in .423". One feels bad getting range time at $2 a shot.
I cast for mine Ray and had excellent accuracy with a 380gn bullet at 1900fps for a delightful load.
Lots of very cheap shooting apart from the powder and primer
002.JPG


and for full speed and recoil practice, the bullet cast in a different alloy at over 2400fps was just the same as a jacketed bullet at 2300 that I loaded for the soft and solid woodleigh
404 Jeffery 073.jpg
 

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I cast for mine Ray and had excellent accuracy with a 380gn bullet at 1900fps for a delightful load.
Lots of very cheap shooting apart from the powder and primer
QUOTE]


Yes, I have a .423" sizing die but haven't been able to get a mould for a bullet of about 350 gr. So far, I get range time with .427" 200 grain bullets from Oregon Trails that I size down. I load them with Trail Boss, which works reasonably well- though not real accurate, at least it all counts for familiarization. I really should get moving on finding a mould such as you have.
 

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If I were getting a rifle custom made, I'd get the 404. You can always pick up a 375 H&H or Ruger. They're for sale all day, every day. The 404s are hard to come by.

That's why I'm ordering mine from MRC tomorrow. I am totally hooked their African after seeing it here on AH. It sort of reminds me of my M 1 Garand in a strange way.
 

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[/QUOTE="Ray B, post: 521874, member: 29084"][/QUOTE]
I sent the data to Hoch moulds and they made a fantastic mould that dropped the bullet at 4245 and I had a 416 sizing die reamed to 424. The least you can size the bullet the better the accuracy should be.. 44 mag gas checks will work if you get the mould cut to except them. Depending on the alloy it will drop bullets from 350 to 380 grains.
350gn GC 404.jpg
 

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Eric, I just ran a QuickLoad comparison of the 375 Ruger and the 404 Jeffery using Woodleigh Weldcore bullets in the weights you referenced. I used H4350 powder (since that is what I use in my 404 Jeffery.) At Max charge weights for both calibers I get the following "calculated" results. For the 375 Ruger (24" barrel) Vel. 2613 FPS, Energy 4550 Lbs. For the 404 Jeffery (24" barrel) Vel. 2372 FPS, Energy 4997 Lbs. My first question would be what length barrel was on each respective rifle. My 404 Jeffery has a 24 " barrel. I thought the Rugers normally come with shorter barrels. If that is the case than the Rugers would be at more of a disadvantage. However for the purpose of comparison the 404 Jeffery has a little more than 10% additional energy.
 

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So I was looking at maybe purchasing a Montana rifle chambered in .404 Jeffry.

Then I started looking at what I had vs what I would be getting, and charted it out.
For a .375 Ruger with 300 grain bullets
Energy. 4,713 ft/lbs
SD .304
Frontal area .110 square inches

.404 Jeffry with 400 grain bullets
Energy 4,698 ft/lbs
SD .320
Frontal area .139 square inches

Energy was taken from Wikipedia
I used 300 grain for the .375 because that is standard DG solid 270 grain has more energy but I don’t know if any 270 grain solids
I used 400 grain for Jeffry because the listed energy for 450 was much lower due to much lower velocity. 350 grain gave up a lot of SD.
I used frontal area for solids instead of softs because expansion can be pretty inconsistent from shot to shot on softs.

So looking at the numbers, they are equal in energy 15 ft/lbs is negligible.
The .404 has 5% better sectional density, which is a small, but consistent gain.
Frontal area is the only thing that the .404 has a big leg up on the .375. A 20% gain is big

This leaves me confused though. I have always heard and believed that the .40 calibers, and the .404 in particular hit a buffalo a lot harder than a .375

Just looking at the data though, I don’t understand why. 5% better SD and 20% bigger Frontal area is definitely a step up, but shouldn’t be a night and day difference.

So why does the 404 hit so much harder? Is it something I haven’t considered?

The bigger bulletin has a bigger diameter which definitely makes s big difference. The sectional density is neither here nor there in those calibers.
The 300 grain bullet in 375 and 400 grain bullet are the best choices.
 
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I own a .375 H&H and a .404 J and I haven't shot DG with either of them! However I had the .375 H&H first and took a load of plains game with it. Now, how does that relate to this conversation? Simply stated; I messed up and had to hit a Eland 3 times because my first shot was a bad one (feel free to read the hunting report, it's somewhere around here) and I realized that if an animal like that took 3 to take down (again, due to my shooting) I simply did not feel confident enough in the 375 H&H, with me behind it, to take down something bigger. I think confidence gets overlooked a lot, if your not confident then that can start all sorts of nasty gremlins going on your hunt and if your life is on the line it only takes ole Murphy a second to set up his law shop. So I picked up a 404J and practiced with it until I was happy. Now when I go for Buff I know that not only will I be confident in myself but also completely confident in the "heavier" bullet that I'll be using. Granted, the DG hunt isn't for a while because I want to get some more plains game in first but when it gets here I know I'll be prepared. On that note, however, I have to admit I've been considering a double in 450/400 which would be a thread all on it's own I'm sure.
 

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