.416 Taylor donor for .404 Jeffery?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Tucketed, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Tucketed

    Tucketed SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    What are your thoughts of difficulty in converting a .416 Taylor , Mauser action to a .404J?
    Thank you
    Ed
     

  2. IvW

    IvW AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    What Mauser action, some may be too short...404 Jeff best suited to magnum length action.
     

  3. Tucketed

    Tucketed SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    It’s a VZ 24
    Ed
     

  4. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    My 404Jeffery was builth on the standart length of Mauser M98 action.
     
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  5. Tucketed

    Tucketed SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the info. I just started in the bigger bore category. Earlier this year purchased a Model 70 375 which I love shooting and will travel with me in June for a Zimbabwe PG hunt. Already planning for another hunt for Buff and Elle the following year and trying to figure out best path to a 404. Looked at Montana and AHR but still looking. I worry about the issues I read on the CZ feed etc. To me it makes no sense to buy a new rifle and need work to make it feed nicely. That kind of quality control gives me bad feelings. Half tempted to buy a rather new or new Model 70 in a 375 and get it re barreled, modified and upgrade stock. Any suggestions more than welcome
    Ed
     

  6. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    So was Harry Selby's.
     

  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Ones desires are only limited by the thickness of ones wallet.:rolleyes:o_O:D
     

  8. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    It can be done easily on a 98 and can even be done with out a machine shop at your disposal with file ,dermal ,and patience. My action was a commercial action that was laying around a gun shop missing a few parts I got it for $40.00
    Got a Pacnor barrel and a Boyd’s stock. Rented reamer and did all the rest myself. I will say that I’m a machinist and had access to all equipment but still did most of the work by hand except I did use machine to open bolt face.
    If you look in gunsmithing under starting my 98 build I tried to record everything I did.
    I will say that if I did it again I would not rebuild magazine box but instead would use stock wood for sides of mag and inlay a piece of metal in front of magazine in the stock like Jeffery did it.
    If I’m thinking right the 416 Taylor is 458 WM necked down so the mag rails are opened up to accommodate the belt which is just a little smaller diameter than a 404J so not a whole lot more need be done there.
    Mine was open for belted mag when I got it and I did very little to get feeding smooth.
    I did replace follower spring to really get it working.
    Shawn
     

  9. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hello Ed;

    A few thoughts come to mind, but first and foremost, you should reconcile yourself to the fact that there is not such thing as a factory-made rifle that is ready to go DG hunting out of the box, regardless of make or caliber.

    If you look long enough you will find credible stories of QC failures with virtually any and all makers, including Winchester, Remington, CZ, Steyr, Sako, Ruger, Montana, etc. etc. Just in my own limited experience, there were Montana PH actions machined with the scope base dovetails out of specs upon which rings could not clamp securely; Winchester M70 with safeties that could not engage; Remington 700 with poorly reamed chambers that would not allow extraction of fired rounds; Sako with feeding rails out of spec. that threw up in the air all the cartridges in the magazine when the action was opened; Steyr Mannlicher with defective bolt stops that lost their bolt every time they were cycled vigorously; very expensive custom rifles (name withheld to avoid embarrassment) that opened their floor plate and dropped all the cartridges in their magazine on every shot; some that had their barrel cross bolt installed ahead of the recoil lug; etc. etc.. never mind the grand classic #1: unregulated "express" iron sights that shoot feet (not inches) off target at 50 yards.

    By definition a rifle intended for DG needs to be tuned-up and debugged, regardless of make. CZ are somewhat notorious for this, occasionally for good cause - and mostly due to internet legend - but do not think for a second that the need to work on a new rifle to make it reliable is limited to CZ. Actually, CZ have cosmetic and finish shortcomings, but they are fundamentally sound, and they even have regulated iron sights...

    Regarding the CZ 550 action, there are PLENTY of threads on the subject (e.g. https://www.africahunting.com/threads/m70-safari-express-458-win-mag-vs-cz550-458-lott.51054/ or https://www.africahunting.com/threa...-zkk-602-owners-club.52796/page-3#post-576490) and everyone have their own opinion... Mine is that it is true that occasionally a CZ 550 needs a bit of polishing out of the factory, but there are pretty darn good reasons why Rigby themselves used this action to build their DG rifles for years while Mauser magnum actions were out of production... Is a $1,000 factory CZ 550 rifle equal to a $15,000 Rigby? Heck no! But it does not take much work to make them functional twins, if not aesthetic brothers...

    I have never converted a .416 Taylor to .404 Jeffery, but if I wanted to try I would look long and hard at the feeding rails. The Taylor shoulder is obviously different and the case head is also obviously different, but these are no big deal. The part that I would look into would be the case tapper and how feeding rails tuned-up to a Taylor hold and feed the Jeffery. Metal can be removed from feeding rails, but it is tricky to add metal back...

    FYI, Selby's famous rifle was not a .404 Jeffery but a .416 Rigby. Going from memory, the Rigby's cartridge overall length is 3.750" and the Jeffery is 3.530". Still going by memory, the .404 fits in a standard length Mauser 98, which the .416 Rigby does not. That made chambering it in a standard length Mauser 98 action quite a chore because the magazine well was too short and metal had to be cut from the recoil lug area.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  10. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    You are right of course on the Selby rifle. I know that, but his .416 was made on a standard Model 98 action.
     

  11. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Absolutely! And considering how many rounds that rifle fired (the barrel was shot out and had to be replaced), it seems that the question was amply answered as to whether enough material remains in the recoil lug area after the opening of the magazine box :)
     
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  12. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Elite

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    @One Day...
    very interseting post, on need to better and additional fit out of box DG rifle.

    This point has many times came in various threads.
    And very often I find myself surprised (not having DG rifle, plannig to buy one, and having number of good functional non DG caliber rifles)

    This point is rarely mentioned for other non DG calibers, so what would be the difference in let say:
    Out of box rifles:
    9.3x62,
    9,3x64
    300 win mag
    338 win mag

    when compared to, out of box rifle lets say:
    375 HH
    or
    458 win mag

    What is the reason for so much expected factory short comings?
    Above calibers I mentioned due to fact that they are very common in all configurations, so production lines (drawings, tools, factory gunsmiths, tradition, experience) should have been adjusted for this calibers.
     

  13. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    my definition of std length action is for 30/06, which might have a mag length of around 3.4".
    European std length might be for 8x57 and possibly a little shorter than 30/06.
    magnum length is for 375 h&h and mag might be around 3.6".
    416 rigby needs an even longer action, or certainly magazine.
    magnum mausers were made by cutting 2 actions in two in different places.
    the long bits were welded together to make the longer actions for 375 etc.
    the short bits were welded together to make little mausers chambered for 250/3000 etc.
    mark,
    factory short comings are due to culture in the company from top to bottom.
    this can be put down to management, as they are the only ones with the power to do anything about it.
    there is an old saying about those who would sell their own mother a shit sandwich.
    a company with this attitude will have shortcomings in its products too.
    bruce.
     
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  14. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    B63E406E-4516-42D0-906B-E158168254E1.jpeg 70679706-1394-4CB6-AA5F-36A714575EDD.jpeg As for removing material from bottom lug there is an extension forged into the action that serves as feed ramp it extends below the diameter of the lugs and ends in a wedge or knife edge and is there to serve as the feed ramp the material that is removed to extend magazine box is below the lugs.
    This had me concerned a little when I started to work on the action but seeing that I did not really have to remove material directly from behind the lug made me feel a little better.
    I’m not saying it had zero effect on strength but if it did it was minimal. The only material removed on the section of feed ramp directly behind the lug was to polish the ramp to a mirror finish.In pic 2 you can see the final result of the grinding I had done to get box and ramp match up smoothly. What looks like a small flat at the bottom of the feed ramp is actually a radius about .120R.
    Pic 1 shows the front of magazine and the feed ramp together you must make sure the ramp is flush with mag box or bullet tips my catch on it causing feed problems.
    Shawn
     

  15. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hello mark-hunter,

    This is a very logical question which demonstrates once more that every question is generally asked in a context.

    There is indeed no reason whatsoever why a DG (dangerous game) caliber rifle should suffer from more (or less) quality control issues than a PG (plains game) caliber rifle.

    I believe that the emphasis on "there is no such thing as a factory-made rifle that is ready to go DG hunting out of the box, regardless of make or caliber" and "by definition a rifle intended for DG needs to be tuned-up and debugged, regardless of make" is context-related. If a PG rifle fails in the field because it was not thoroughly tested/tuned-up/debugged in the shop and on the shooting range, the hunter may loose an opportunity at a trophy. Regrettable, but not lethal... If a DG rifle fails in the field because it was not thoroughly tested/tuned-up/debugged in the shop and on the range, the hunter may loose limb or life. Regrettable too, but also possibly terminal... Hence the usual admonition to tune-up and debug a DG rifle.

    Truth be told, any new rifle needs to be tested in the shop and on the range before going hunting, just like, for example, pressure in motorcycle tires must be checked every week or so. Motorcycles tires do not loose pressure faster than car tires, but driving a car with under-inflated tires is not anywhere near as dangerous as riding a motorcycle with under-inflated tires. Even if, in the wort under-inflation case, one blows up a tire with a car, the episode is generally unlikely to end up in the emergency room. Conversely, on a motorcycle, leaning hard in a fast curve with under inflated tires can very quickly become very dangerous, and the damage to motorcycle and motorcyclist gets pretty bad pretty fast once the tires quit...

    IMG_0276b.JPG

    To further illustrate this example, come to think of it, as I write this I realize that I check tires pressure on my BMW K1300S every time I ride it (often daily because I use it to go to work), which I do not on my BMW R1200 GSA, because I unconsciously know that I ride the K1300S more aggressively, and the price to pay for insufficient tire pressure would likely be dramatically higher. Conversely, I never really checked tires pressure on a car more than once a month...

    So, in conclusion, I would not say that there are necessarily more expected factory shortcomings for DG rifles than for PG rifles, but these short comings, if present, may have much more severe consequences.

    And, without contradicting the previous sentence, I would add that there are objectively more opportunities for short comings in DG rifles because the cartridges are generally bigger and more powerful. This generally translates in the need for more precise feeding rails/magazine box/feeding ramp geometry; overall stronger construction; and certainly better recoil management (it is rare to split a .243 ill-fitted stock, but it is quasi automatic to split a .458 Lott stock with insufficient relief for the rear tang).

    As to the examples I gave in my earlier post, they all happened to me over the course of about 40+ years of hunting/shooting. There were also, of course, many, many rifles that were fully reliable out of the box, but I would say that, overall, maybe 10% of the rifles I acquired new, regardless of make and regardless of calibers, needed to be tuned-up or debugged...
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  16. Tucketed

    Tucketed SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    One Day
    Thank you for your comments on the Taylor to 404. Since I am new to this, having only my 375HH in the DG category i am still learning. I think I have read almost all the threads on conversions to a .404J. I understand why everyone likes and dislikes the CZ and it’s possible I will go that way. I guess my issue on the quality side I wish, as I am sure all of us wish if we buy anything we want at least the basics to work out of the box. Not owning a CZ I really can’t comment just concerned. My career has been involved with manufacturing and the worst thing to have happen is to get bad press and today bad press spreads so rapidly. It looks like folks have done conversions on numerous platforms but i am looking for a reasonable way to put a decent work rifle together for under $3-4K. My quest will continue but I know if I go the route of conversion it will take sometime to accomplish and it would be nice to have it next year. I’ll start looking at Winchester RUM which seems to have had decent results.
    Again thanks to all of you. Your incites and knowledge on all of this is fantastic. I appreciate your sharing.
    BR
    Ed
     

  17. Tucketed

    Tucketed SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Shawn
    Thanks for all the in-depth pictures. I looked at your thread before and hats off to you. Though I am pretty handy with woodworking and have made a few knives from blanks I can’t say I would be going for this endeavor on my own. My plans are to work with a good GS and leave it to them. My dremel tool will stay on the work bench on this one.
    Ed
     

  18. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    You are welcome Ed.

    In these days of internet anonymity it is sometimes hard to sort through the flow of "expert" opinions. If you allow me a little cynicism, it is just amazing how many "experts" out there have never hunted an animal they are pontificating about; have never held - never mind shot - a rifle they are criticizing; have never shot at distances they are lecturing about; etc. etc. Their opinion is at best copy/paste of someone else's opinion - which may occasionally be valuable, there are good books and articles to be copied; or their opinion may be complete garbage. Conversely, there are genuinely experienced folks out there whose input is tremendously valuable and from whom I have learned a lot. I personally tend to trust more folks who post pics of their animals, rifles, work, etc. like Shawn.54 does, and it is somewhat easy to sort out the posers as soon as the discussion becomes a bit technical, although some have made a pretty good "career" of pretending ... even on africahunting.com :whistle:

    As it applies to CZ, factually some CZ 550 series are pretty clean from the factory (my .375 H&H was) and some are not (my .416 Rigby was not), and I generally agree that the ZKK series were generally more consistent (my ZKK 602 .375 H&H and ZKK 601 7x64 were OK). I suspect that it has to do with how sharp the cutting tools were the day an action was made, and whether a particular rifle was produced with fresh cutting tools (clean smooth cuts, no burrs, etc.) or with end-of-life cutting tools (machining marks, burrs, etc.). I have personally never seen a factory ZKK or CZ fail out of the box, although I have seen some rough ones with obvious burrs on ejector, rear bridge internals, locking lugs edges, etc. and feeding rails undersides with enough machining marks to deeply scratch brass cases during feeding. None of these had any impact on the function of the rifles, but certainly made them rough to handle. All of these were fixed literally within minutes with a set of miniature files - the dremel is too aggressive for these minute adjustments - and sand paper (or will smooth themselves after a couple hundred rounds). Why would CZ do this to themselves and damage their reputation with such petty issues so easily fixed is beyond my understanding...

    Factually too, when one digs into the details, an overwhelming proportion of "CZ issues" turn out to be with custom rifles in hard to chamber calibers (e.g. rebated rim .500 Jeff) or with "custom" conversions of .458 Win to Lott before the factory offered the Lott, by "gunsmiths" who pushed a reamer in the chamber but did not modify the feeding rails for the longer case. Hard to blame the factory for these...

    All of that to say that the ZKK 602 / CZ 550 double square bridge magnum action remains hands down and by a mile long margin the best action out there (short of a new or vintage original Mauser magnum, Granite Mountain, etc.) to start a project. In my opinion, comparing a $600 CZ 550 action to a $6,000 Mauser or Granite Mountain action is ridiculous. Thankfully, one DOES get more attention to finishing and polishing for $6,000 than for $600 (duh!) but if it is value you are looking for, that $600 CZ action will be every bit as good as the $6,000 action after you invest a few hours of your time. Do not be deterred by the CZ bashing out there, especially if you know how to use your hands :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  19. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    I understand I do have the luck of working with two fellows who are Mauser mechanics of which has one been playing with them since he can remember in his grandfathers shop.
    I had those two and AH to help me so I wasn’t flying blind.
    I may have spent $600 on my project but if I payed myself a hourly wage it would have been 5x more. Just remember that the rum cartridges are based on 404J but are slightly rebated to fit standard belted bolt face if I remember right it’s about.010” different and may or may not depending on amount of clearance is given to them. Happy hunting and good luck
    Shawn
     

  20. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Elite

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    This is a GREAT thread, with all of the included expertise on this subject included! I have a newer CZ .458 WM which I really enjoy shooting. I love the heft of the rifle and MY action is very smooth. I’ve been kind of looking for a .416 Taylor since I have quite a few WM cases to form the Taylor cases from. Did/does CZ make their rifles in the Taylor cartridge? If not, what would one here suggest, without going to the expense of building/buying a custom rifle in the Taylor cartridge? I’m sure the .404 Jeffrey is an excellent cartridge, but since I already have the WM, MY logical next rifle would be the Taylor. Thanks!
     

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