Building a 404 J

Rare Breed

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Okay if I wanted to have someone build me a rifle in 404 J caliber given I would have to use a gunsmith for all work I have the following questions please:
1. Who is the US can best do the work
2. What donor rifle do I buy
3. Who do I go to buy the barrel and any other needs such as bottom plate

Thanks!!!
 
Okay if I wanted to have someone build me a rifle in 404 J caliber given I would have to use a gunsmith for all work I have the following questions please:
1. Who is the US can best do the work
2. What donor rifle do I buy
3. Who do I go to buy the barrel and any other needs such as bottom plate

Thanks!!!
Personally, I would probably have someone like Reto Buehler (or another top maker) handle everything (then you don’t have to worry about getting things together yourself), building on a GMA action. He (Reto Buehler) also does integral feature barrels. If my budget allowed for it that is..
 
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I had Randy Selby build mine. Used a CZ 550 in a 375HH as the donor rifle. Works like dream. Took a nice bull elephant in 2022 hunting with Wayne at Nyamazana Safaris. You can see Randy’s videos on You Tube. The Real Gunsmith.
 
I am interested in others comments as well.
New England Custom gun had a Prechtl 404J action on their website. Not sure if it is current though. There also was a Winchester pre64 action in the classifieds on here that has already had the machine work finished.
Honestly, I have been fighting off the urge to build or have one built. I have thought of all the options, but I don’t know if I want to go through with it. I have a Heym Martini in 404J already, but there are a few hunts I would like to do that I wouldn’t want to drag the Heym through. For what you will spend in time and money to have a higher end custom rifle built by a competent gunsmith, you can get the Heym in probably less time and money.
Granite Mountain, Prechtl, and Mayfair actions fetch a stout price($4,000-$6,000). Custom wood stocks can cost as much as one of the premium actions. A good donor rifle that would not take much gunsmithing or stock work would be the least expensive way to go. I’ve heard people using Winchester M70 .300 RUM, CZ 550, and BRNO zkk602 as the most common donors.
 
Rigby Big Game is now available in 404J. Maybe a bit more costly but probably not that much more than the work of a top builder. The US Rigby dealers had a few available about a month ago.
 
Dennis Olsen Plains Montana did mine. I gave him a Win Mod 70 in 375HH. He did the rest including a new stock. Waited some time but she feeds great looks great and sub MOA. Took two bulls and a Sable last year.
 
I figure I have just less than $2500 in my Czech Mauser 98 404 Jeffery build. It has Parkwest (Dakota Arms) 3-position safety ($200), Swift-Blackburn bottom metal for 416 Rem Mag ($460), Lija barrel ($450), barrel reamed, threaded, and installed by Dennis Olsen ($600), Winchester Express iron sights ($160 from ebay), Timney trigger ($85), replacement cocking piece ($50), bolt face opened ($100 - including big tip to machinist), semi-finished stock ($125), zebrawood blank for fore end tip ($12), rail ($55), Warne QD scope rings ($80), magnum follower ($100), recoil pad ($80 ... didn't work out so I recycled an old shotgun pad). 3x Weaver scope is an old one I bought for my deer rifle back in 1972. The action with 30-06 barrel I bought on line for something just less than $300 US. An on line auction yielded dies, two boxes 400 gr Barnes bullets and 39 new brass for $350 (a steal!). It's being blued right now and I expect that will be about $150 (I did all the prep polishing). So, it adds up. A lot more than $2500 it seems. My advice is just ring up the credit card and pay the bill every month without looking at it. I don't have a spouse so I can get away with that. This is actually the first time I added it all up. Now I probably won't sleep tonight. Sigh!
20230718_174300.jpg
 
I don't think you can touch a new magnum Mauser action for $6000 these days. If you can even find one.
 
GMA actions are expensive. Cz actions are going for 1200 +. MRC goes for bit more if you can find one.
Krish
 
Buy a Win Mod 70 Super Grade in some magnum length cartridge.
Order a 404 J barrel from Krieger
Ship it all to Dennis Olsen in Montana.

 
Rare Breed you should have the guy that built that beautiful 375 H&H that you have build it. That thing is outstanding.
 
Dennis Olsen built mine. Pac-Nor barrel. Weibe bottom metal and magazine. NEGC sights, Timney trigger. Used an action I had and a blank that I had on hand and liked. Extremely reasonable
 
Dennis Olsen built mine. Pac-Nor barrel. Weibe bottom metal and magazine. NEGC sights, Timney trigger. Used an action I had and a blank that I had on hand and liked. Extremely reasonable
What would that cost. If I supply the 404 Barrel not threaded and cz action and the stock.
Krish
 
Can’t help with a USA gunsmith- but mine was a fairly straightforward project on a new CZ550 in 375 H&H- using a Lothar Walther barrel and Recknagel (aka NECG) sights / barrel band sling eye. Feeds well - smith said it didn’t take much to get that done.

The 375 magazine box was not suitable - too narrow - so the smith had a box fabricated.

Used the original stock and had the stockmaker do a buff horn tip.

Very accurate, pleasant to shoot and not an overly burdensome carry.

4.86kg (10 3/4 lb) scoped / empty.

IMG_5527 sm.jpg
 
Heym. And have it done right.

Because you will always have a chance to pay to do it right the second time.
 
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I have been kicking around the idea myself. When I decide I will have Wayne at AHR do mine.
This here. Last I saw Wayne had some new CZ actions on hand. I would go this route rather than a donor rifle. If going donor rifle, and retaining stock, Win 70 chambered in an RUM offering is a good choice.
 

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