404 jeffery vs 416 Rigby

arizonajake

AH senior member
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
62
Reaction score
109
Location
Oro Valley, Arizona
Back in the 90s, a friend from Phoenix would occasionally let me shoot his African rifles, which included a .404 J Fahrquarson (sp), a .416 Rigby Ruger, a 450 Nitro Express and a 577 Nitro Express which kicked like 2 mules. Of all the rifles, I consistently shot the .404 Jeffery Farq. better, due to it being more comfortable to shoot, which is which I decided on .404 Jeffery as the caliber for the rifle I am currently having built. I seriously doubt any animal hit in the right place with a 400 grain .404 bullet going at 2200 fps will know the difference between it and a 400 grain .416 going at 2400 fps, but my shoulder will appreciate it.
 

Rule 303

AH fanatic
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
819
Reaction score
871
Location
Brisbane
Media
6
Hunted
Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe & Namibia
When you arrive at camp 02.00 AM,,have a beer to clear your throat,,adrenaline is in the red and you notice a faint wiff of elephant from your clothes,,,then a slightly blue shoulder is a bonus, who cares about stock fit ;)
You would if you missed the Ele due to flinch induced from the felt recoil. Seriously that would have to be one of the most ignorant relies I have ever seen from a person who by their Bio should know a bit. We are talking about felt recoil and reducing it and a slightly blue shoulder is not a bonus, never was never will be.
 

Accidental Villain

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
93
Reaction score
232
Media
15
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Norway Canada England Kenya Zimbabwe
You would if you missed the Ele due to flinch induced from the felt recoil. Seriously that would have to be one of the most ignorant relies I have ever seen from a person who by their Bio should know a bit. We are talking about felt recoil and reducing it and a slightly blue shoulder is not a bonus, never was never will be.
Sorry for that. I see that my post can be interpreted a little ignorant. Did`nt mean to. Wifey thinks I`m an idiot;D and I spend a lot of time in the dog house for answers like this to her:D
I just got word that someone in my wifes family passed so I am very sad but I`ll try to make some sense here.
What I tried to say is that a perfect fit rifle is not necessarily the best rifle for charge situations. I`ve been on the wrong side of elephant and bear charges + a couple of very close calls with moose;)
Now, a less than perfect fit rifle is only my personal preference and not a general recommendation.
After charge situations I analyse my decision making. What worked, what did not, what can be improved.
When a bear comes for you it comes in low, you have to point the rifle somewhat downwards. It can be harder to come properly over the sights and the buttstock can be also be caught up in your shirt (it almost happened to me). My preference in such situations would be a little too short, light, agile rifle in a calibre that kicks my teeth loose.
In the armed service (This was just after president Brezhnev got smoked) we were expecting and trained hard for Russian invasion. One of my tasks was close quarters combat defending our anti tank positions. Learning and mastering the technique of shooting full auto bursts with 308 WIN. The technique is based up on balancing the rifle in left and right hand while keeping it a little off the shoulder. Since then I`ve maintained the aiming and target accusition technique by shooting IPSC and skeet.(I do shoulder my rifle and do not shoot my Rigby full auto;)
When Mr Marc Newton showed me the new Rigby rifles my initial thought was that they where some of the best rifles I`ve ever handled. Great on the range and perfect among the very very best over sticks i Africa. But,,,would they be the best and fastest for any situation for me..no! Therefore my weapon of choice is a maybe 1/4 inch to short, a little too much drop at heel slim and light good old vintage Rigby 416 for BG. Shooting 450 grains bullets at 2350-2400 fps. It sure kicks like hell but also drops everything. Can`t say for sure but I even have it suspected for tipping an elephant over. Tremendous punch!
About the topic here..its not fair I think. 404 Jeff and 416 Rigby is maybe the very best we paying customers can bring to Africa for DG hunting in my mind. But, getting into the details, whatever the 404 can do the 416 Rigby can do at lower pressures. 416 Rigby can push a 450 grain bullet close to 2400 fps with hamster fart in a matchbox pressure which makes all the difference to me.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

IvW

AH legend
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
3,653
Reaction score
7,254
Location
South Africa
Media
62
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
BASA, CHASA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
Proer rifle fit is the most important part of a DG rifle, hamster fart in a matchbox is the least important.....
 

Rule 303

AH fanatic
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
819
Reaction score
871
Location
Brisbane
Media
6
Hunted
Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe & Namibia
Accidental Villain I think you and I are alike when it comes to our other halves. :D

Yes, I do see the point you are making and do agree that "Fit's" may be required for different points of aim/shooting techniques. However for reducing felt recoil fit is all important. Lets face it Fit is not just how the butt goes in the shoulder but ease of moving the rifle, balance sights being in line when the rifle comes to the shoulder etc.
 

Accidental Villain

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
93
Reaction score
232
Media
15
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Norway Canada England Kenya Zimbabwe
Sure @Rule 303 . Good to know I`m not alone in this world;D If my Rigby don`t make me flinch wifey does haha

Proper and good stock fit is important, no doubt about that, but choosing a stock configuration will often be a compromise. Most rifles today are essentially made for the use of optics thereby having a more straight stock and less drop at heel. I use open sights. Therefore I prefer stock configuration you typically find on a very good shotgun and well, thats were you find my Rigby. Felt recoil is of course increased in such a combination but that I can live with.

Couple of years ago I spent two nights over the carcasses of a half eaten cow and a donkey killed by lions just some 100 yds from the nearest village. The lions could be coming in from any direction and they had no fear of humans. In a situation like that I was glad I had a rifle that would`nt in any way restrict my aiming no matter what position I`d be in.
 

Tokoloshe Safaris

Sponsor
Since 2017
AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
784
Reaction score
1,295
Location
Milibizi, Zimbabwe
Website
www.tokoloshesafaris.com
Media
74
Articles
1
Member of
Life Member Safari International
Hunted
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania
Have any of you actually chronographed the Hornady .404J ammunition? I do not have access to a chronograph. I am very curious as to stated and actual velocity in relation to the original loading.
 

Rule 303

AH fanatic
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
819
Reaction score
871
Location
Brisbane
Media
6
Hunted
Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe & Namibia
Have any of you actually chronographed the Hornady .404J ammunition? I do not have access to a chronograph. I am very curious as to stated and actual velocity in relation to the original loading.
I would be interested as well.
In the 416Rigby the Hornady shoots about 100fps slower than my home loads and has a kick somewhat more vicious then my home loads. Do not know what powder they use but it aint good.
 

Andrew Short

Silver supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
771
Reaction score
751
Location
Jasper Alabama
Media
8
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
Lifetime member NRA
Have any of you actually chronographed the Hornady .404J ammunition? I do not have access to a chronograph. I am very curious as to stated and actual velocity in relation
I have. I shot It last week through my chrono. H4350 82 delivered 2294, 84 delivered 2347 and Hornady was 2330. I can shoot a string today just to get a better idea. I’ll get back to you.
 

DWB

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
239
Reaction score
393
Location
South Africa
Media
12
Member of
Lowveld Hunters, BASA
Hunted
South Africa
Have any of you actually chronographed the Hornady .404J ammunition? I do not have access to a chronograph. I am very curious as to stated and actual velocity in relation to the original loading.
A mate of mine got 2400fps from his 24" barreled 404 J
 

Jack Stevens

AH member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
42
Reaction score
83
Location
West By-God Texas
Media
14
A mate of mine got 2400fps from his 24" barreled 404 J
Yes, loading the Jeffrey cartridge 200-250fps beyond the original specs for a 400grn bullet defeats the purpose of the .404.

It won't kill any better than the same 400grn bullet @ 2100-2150fps, but it will make an 8lb-9lb rifle harder to shoot well generally, and more so under the stress (and adrenaline rush) induced by a charge.

The .404's original loading imparts about the milder felt-recoil level of a .375H&H with a full 300gn load, while pitching a much heavier 400gn bullet at dangerous game.

Trying to make it more of a 'magnum' than it already is, is pointless.
 
Last edited:

Tokoloshe Safaris

Sponsor
Since 2017
AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
784
Reaction score
1,295
Location
Milibizi, Zimbabwe
Website
www.tokoloshesafaris.com
Media
74
Articles
1
Member of
Life Member Safari International
Hunted
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania
What powder would they have used in early loading (non-cordite)?
How many grains of that powder?
What powder today would closely duplicate the original loadings?
What powder does Hornady use (now) and how many grains?
Just a few of the many questions about a caliber that I greatly enjoy and respect?
 

Jack Stevens

AH member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
42
Reaction score
83
Location
West By-God Texas
Media
14
What powder would they have used in early loading (non-cordite)?
How many grains of that powder?
What powder today would closely duplicate the original loadings?
What powder does Hornady use (now) and how many grains?
Just a few of the many questions about a caliber that I greatly enjoy and respect?

If you're asking me, a lot of what I've learned has come from reading Ross Siegfried's articles on the old Nitro cartridges that were loaded with a cordite charge. (You can find them in various back-issues of Rifle and Handloader magazine).

He has repeatedly stated that the best modern equivalent propellant for loading any of those cartridges today, including the .404 Jeff, is Reloder 15 - if what you want to do is duplicate virtually exactly the fps/fpe of the original Cordite charge for a given bullet-weight. He acknowledges other powders can get you there too, but Rel-15 exhibits the 'behavioral characteristics' that most closely match Cordite. He essentially says other powders can have not-so-nice 'side effects' when used in the really Big Bore Nitro cartridges (400- and 500-class).

He applies 1.19 x the grain level of a particular Cordite charge to reach the equivalent using Rel-15.

So, a Cordite charge of 55grns under a 400gn bullet (x 1.19) would equal 65.4grns of Rel-15. Again, that's for duplicating the specs of the original load.

For making up 'reduced' loads for practice in my .404J rifle, I use 5744.
 
Last edited:

Tokoloshe Safaris

Sponsor
Since 2017
AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
784
Reaction score
1,295
Location
Milibizi, Zimbabwe
Website
www.tokoloshesafaris.com
Media
74
Articles
1
Member of
Life Member Safari International
Hunted
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania
Thank you for the info Jack,

I believe you are correct using Ross as the source of your info. #1guy who really knows his stuff!
Reloading in Zim is not feasible and reloader 15 nor any powder is available here. A long time ago I used his formula first on a double (.450-.400 3 1/4) that I purchased from Ross, snake eyes! You put it mildly about the comments he made about using other powders in the .400 & larger bores!
I was wondering what the first Kynoch and or European powders were after Cordite was no longer in use and before the modern powders?

Ken Owens in Tennessee uses another powder when regulating doubles that he says works very well and significantly reduces recoil. Unfortunately I do not remember what the powder was and we were talking loads for doubles.

I just weighed two of my .404J one is a original Jeffferies it weighs in "loaded" at 4.5kgs. the other a original Rigby that was rebored to .404J it weighs "loaded" at 3.5kgs. Guess which one is not my favorite!
 

ZG47

AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 20, 2015
Messages
543
Reaction score
469
Location
Wellington, New Zealand
Member of
NZDA, NZMSC
Hunted
New Zealand
@Tokoloshe Safaris Do you know what barrel length was used to obtain the original advertised velocities. It may have been 28 inches, as per the early .375 Holland & Holland ammunition.
NB I have mentioned several times that the .376 Steyr matches the original .375 H&H test velocities when it is fired in a 28 inch barrel and had sulky responses from people who dishonestly implied that I was equating .376 Steyr performance to contemporary .375 H&H factory load performance. Funny how cold hard facts can upset some people.:A Stirring:
 

Jack Stevens

AH member
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
42
Reaction score
83
Location
West By-God Texas
Media
14
@Tokoloshe Safaris Do you know what barrel length was used to obtain the original advertised velocities. It may have been 28 inches, as per the early .375 Holland & Holland ammunition.
No, not 28".

Per Jeffrey's 1911-1912 catalogue (a reprint), his advertised .404 rifle is specified as having a "24-inch Q.S. Nickel Steel Barrel."

Velocity is specified at "2200 feet per second" with a "400 grain Nickel Cased bullet."

Depending on which sources are consulted for the .404's velocity/energy data, you can find "2100fps," "2125fps," "2150fps," and "2200fps" given as the muzzle velocity of a 400grn bullet from a 24" barrel.

Possibly the velocity specs differ depending on whether the bullet used is a soft-point or solid (FMJ).
 
Last edited:

Professor Mawla

AH fanatic
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
801
Reaction score
2,289
Media
58
Articles
13
I personally prefer the .416 Rigby a little more than the .404 Jeffery ( although both calibres are excellent ) . The reason is a trivial one :
A 410 grain .416 calibre bullet has slightly better sectional density than a 400 grain .423 calibre bullet .
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,706
Messages
721,182
Members
67,465
Latest member
Ivankonop
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
uplander01 wrote on colorado's profile.
Heard you may have load data for the 500 Jeffery,.....any info would be appreciated. Was thinking 535gr, but already had a response that the 570gr would be a better way to go, not sure why.
 
Top