404 Jeffery Project

8x68

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David I am grass green about doing this so it will be a learning experience for me as I go but I have some ideas to explore... This will be months in the making so stay tuned and stay patient;)

Both cartridges are the same length so it ought to work. However there are some model 70's in 300 Rem Ultra mag which is made using the 404 jeff as the parent cartridge... I actually just bought one (pretty cheap even) to try shooting as a long range model... But I have the option of turning it into a 404 jeff if I don't care for the ultra mag. This way the bolt face should be ready to go and the mag box should be fine as is also?

David get back to me in a week or two and I will try to see how well the 404 cartridges fit and may even have prices on re-boring or re-barreling.
Yes it will work. I just had an M70 375H&H rebarelled to 404 Jeffery. Very little gunsmithing involved. My barrel was a 25" #5 contour PacNor match grade in stainless with a 1/14 twist. All the "smith" had to do really was to open up the barrel channel, make a couple of extractor cuts, put on a different set of sights that I wanted, and install a barrel band for the sling. It's a poor man's 404 but hey it's a 404. Got the whole rig for $2400 CDN (includes price of donor firearm). Got back from the range a couple of days ago and shot a 3 shot 1.13" group using Hornady 400gr DGX bullets. Velocity was around 2200fps.
I can put 3 in the mag and "one up the spout".
 

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Fingers crossed sierraone! (y)
 

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@sierraone I pulled out some different guns today and messed around trying 404 Jeff cartridges in the magazines and bolts. My new model 70 375 Express was probably the poorest magazine of the bunch... I also tried the Ruger RSM 375 and that mag worked well. As did the mags on my two 458 Lott RSM's... One of those RSM's has some minor feeding issues with the 458 Lott. So as I have two, and AZDAVE so kindly sent me his take off 375 barrel, I'm thinking I can attach that barrel to the 458 action (assuming the threads and everything else is the same?) and it actually feeds 404 Jeff better than it does 458 Lotts. So even if it needs a little work, seems a logical way to go.

As for Winchesters, I did snag a Model 70 Classic in 300 RUM and that magazine holds and feeds the 404 cartridges the best of any of the afore mentioned. So I'm going to focus on the Ruger RSM conversion first and shoot the 300 RUM a bit to see what I think of it... But if I decide I really need a Winchester M70 in 404 Jeff, (or decide I really hate the 300 RUM) I am convinced at this point that re-barreling a 300 RUM is a great way to go. The bolt will likely work as is but should probably be tweaked just a tad.... Actually all the bolts I mentioned here seem to grab and feed the 404 Jeff cartridges pretty well. Just need to be sure they are seating properly and should be good to go.

The 300 RUM seems to have the best fit as far as the feed lips, magazine box, and the follower, and the bolt is darned close. So if you find one it might be a great way to start a 404 build... On the other hand if you started with a 375 Express model you would already have the sights and barrel band if you simply re-bored it. And the stock will be fine. You may need to have work done to get the cartridges to fit the magazine and feed rails properly... A 375 H&H will be easier to find and you can easily order a new one for $1200 or less. I paid less for the RUM but I will also need a stock or to re-work the existing one for a larger barrel.

Bob
 

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@sierraone I pulled out some different guns today and messed around trying 404 Jeff cartridges in the magazines and bolts. My new model 70 375 Express was probably the poorest magazine of the bunch... I also tried the Ruger RSM 375 and that mag worked well. As did the mags on my two 458 Lott RSM's... One of those RSM's has some minor feeding issues with the 458 Lott. So as I have two, and AZDAVE so kindly sent me his take off 375 barrel, I'm thinking I can attach that barrel to the 458 action (assuming the threads and everything else is the same?) and it actually feeds 404 Jeff better than it does 458 Lotts. So even if it needs a little work, seems a logical way to go.

As for Winchesters, I did snag a Model 70 Classic in 300 RUM and that magazine holds and feeds the 404 cartridges the best of any of the afore mentioned. So I'm going to focus on the Ruger RSM conversion first and shoot the 300 RUM a bit to see what I think of it... But if I decide I really need a Winchester M70 in 404 Jeff, (or decide I really hate the 300 RUM) I am convinced at this point that re-barreling a 300 RUM is a great way to go. The bolt will likely work as is but should probably be tweaked just a tad.... Actually all the bolts I mentioned here seem to grab and feed the 404 Jeff cartridges pretty well. Just need to be sure they are seating properly and should be good to go.

The 300 RUM seems to have the best fit as far as the feed lips, magazine box, and the follower, and the bolt is darned close. So if you find one it might be a great way to start a 404 build... On the other hand if you started with a 375 Express model you would already have the sights and barrel band if you simply re-bored it. And the stock will be fine. You may need to have work done to get the cartridges to fit the magazine and feed rails properly... A 375 H&H will be easier to find and you can easily order a new one for $1200 or less. I paid less for the RUM but I will also need a stock or to re-work the existing one for a larger barrel.

Bob
I built my 404 on a 375H&H Win M70 donor rifle. As you have pointed out you can use the 300RUM as the case is based on the 404 Jeffery.
 

sierraone

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@sierraone I pulled out some different guns today and messed around trying 404 Jeff cartridges in the magazines and bolts. My new model 70 375 Express was probably the poorest magazine of the bunch... I also tried the Ruger RSM 375 and that mag worked well. As did the mags on my two 458 Lott RSM's... One of those RSM's has some minor feeding issues with the 458 Lott. So as I have two, and AZDAVE so kindly sent me his take off 375 barrel, I'm thinking I can attach that barrel to the 458 action (assuming the threads and everything else is the same?) and it actually feeds 404 Jeff better than it does 458 Lotts. So even if it needs a little work, seems a logical way to go.

As for Winchesters, I did snag a Model 70 Classic in 300 RUM and that magazine holds and feeds the 404 cartridges the best of any of the afore mentioned. So I'm going to focus on the Ruger RSM conversion first and shoot the 300 RUM a bit to see what I think of it... But if I decide I really need a Winchester M70 in 404 Jeff, (or decide I really hate the 300 RUM) I am convinced at this point that re-barreling a 300 RUM is a great way to go. The bolt will likely work as is but should probably be tweaked just a tad.... Actually all the bolts I mentioned here seem to grab and feed the 404 Jeff cartridges pretty well. Just need to be sure they are seating properly and should be good to go.

The 300 RUM seems to have the best fit as far as the feed lips, magazine box, and the follower, and the bolt is darned close. So if you find one it might be a great way to start a 404 build... On the other hand if you started with a 375 Express model you would already have the sights and barrel band if you simply re-bored it. And the stock will be fine. You may need to have work done to get the cartridges to fit the magazine and feed rails properly... A 375 H&H will be easier to find and you can easily order a new one for $1200 or less. I paid less for the RUM but I will also need a stock or to re-work the existing one for a larger barrel.

Bob

Hi Bob, thanks for this info. A 404 conversion is high on my list of things to do. I am actually finally leaving in 12 days. Once I am in Kosovo it will probably be 3-5 months before I know whether I will be working 12 or 18 months. The longer the contract, the more toys, in addition to maybe 2 trips in Africa vs 1 trip. The trip to the Rigby shop in London will only happen if I receive the 18 month job!

I have owned at least one M70 since 1974, and have four now. So I would have no problem in buying a new Safari Express strictly for a conversion. Also during the 90s there were a few Classic Super Expresses made which has a claw extractor and a couple other upgrades. I have never seen one, but would buy one in a minute for a conversion, or maybe even just to have one. This is not the very rare Custom African Express which was a full custom rifle from the Winchester plant in Conn. The MSPR on them was $4500-4600. I have never seen one of these either. the pics I have seen make this rifle compare to London rifles. I have seen one for sale on line maybe 2 years ago. The owner was asking something like $7000 for it. It would seem we could just spend all of our time hunting for special Winchesters!

I still believe though that within the lower price range, the RSM in .375 would be the best choice for the conversion. The idea of a new stock, sights and barrel band on a 300 RUM doesn't really interest me. A decent class 2 or 3 stock would probably be $2000 or better alone. As I think I have told you before, I would never have a synthetic stock on one of my rifles unless I was going to Alaska to live or hunt.

Which ever way you decide to go, keep us all updated on the conversion, so hopefully, if you do make a mistake, the rest of us can avoid it!!!
 

AZDAVE

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Bob the treads on the rugers are the same.
 

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That is good news!
 

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