Disappointed In My New 404 Jeffery

Jack Stevens

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Well after waiting months and months, I finally picked up the 404 Jeffrey today. I came home, and I immediately went out back and put some rounds down range. Much to my surprise, the recoil was very significant. “Much more than my 416.” After just three rounds, I was ready to put the rifle down. I went to the safe and got the 416 Rigby and shot it a few times. After shooting the Rigby and realizing the recoil was much less, I installed the muzzle brake that came with the new 404. I then shot 3 more rounds and the recoil was significantly less, I would say around 40% less.

“Both ammo was factory Hornady”

The 416 weighs 11 lbs and the 404 weighed in at 9.2.

I found the felt recoil of the 404 very surprising. What are all of you guys think?
Bear in mind Hornady ammo in the 404 is way up in the performance spectrum of the 404. They do 2350-2400fps. Bring the load down to 2200fps and you will be fine. But another 1lb of weight in the gun won't hurt!

Back in 2011, when I received my .404J rifle (a custom build by Wayne @ AHR), I immediately thought the same thing after the first range session with Hornady's 400grn ammo.

Then I realized Hornady had loaded it to over 200fps faster than Jeffrey's original specs for a 400gn bullet. In fact I'd studied the history of the cartridge before getting the rifle and several sources mentioned that the .404 had, by design, the mildest felt-recoil of any of the 400-class of African DG cartridges, even in the trimmer, lighter rifles. Supposedly no worse than the .375 H&H with 300grn bullets.

So I've tried to handload to the original specs with a 400grn slug. Depending on the source you're looking at, that's between 2000fps on the low-end and not more than 2150fps on the top-end.

Why Hornady felt the .404 cartridge required a boost of 200fps+ to be 'effective' on dangerous game, I'll never understand. Even with modern propellants, 'can do it' doesn't entail 'should do it.' At the original Jeffrey specs, the better bullets we now enjoy will certainly put down what they hit, proper shot-placement being the hunter's main concern.

They were certainly killing the Big Stuff all over Africa without problems for decades with a milder, more recoil-friendly cartridge, as Pondoro Taylor recounts.

Just my opinion ... :cool:
 

crs

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One of the reasons that I stick with my 1895 .405 WCF at 2100 fps 400 grain hand loads.
That plus the performance of 300 grain NF bullets in it.
 

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I’m late to this game but I just have to chime in I built a 404 Jeffery for myself I modified a commercial 98 Mauser action with military bottom metal. I purchased Pacnor barrel, a new magazine spring, and a Boyd’s stock that I had to modify to fit the bottom metal after I modified it. Hindsight being 20/20 I may have made better choices on stock. I started off thinking optics and got the stock best design for a scope then decided to go with a open/peep setup. Truth be told a rifle stocked for both equally does not exist it’s either good for one bad for the other or poor for both. In the end I decided to just make the open sights fit at the height that I would need for a scope for national point of aim. I know I didn’t want to have to press my face down and wiggle around to use standard open sights or crane my neck to reach a scope two things that make recoil hurt. If you found that a scope made pain go away you definitely have a stock designed for scope.
so I don’t have a classic express sighting system on my rifle ( looks more like target system) but as my eyes fail I know I can remove the opens put a scope on it will be very close to line of sight.
After I assembled my rifle the first time I loaded a round to give it a try I have a shooting range off my back porch so I stepped out turned on a light and touched her off. Now in my rush to shoot I forgot to put recoil pad on or even a tee shirt so my first shot was wood on my hide. Let’s say I did have a red mark but I didn’t notice painful recoil. Would not want to sit at a beach and shoot a box of ammo but it also didn’t kill me I believe that proper fit made a huge difference. The bullets are GS Custom 320 gr at 2700 fps.(no longer available)
At the end of a long post sight system/ stock design go hand in hand so when you pick wood design for a scope and try using the opens it can and does have adverse affects not seen in smaller calibers but shine bright in heavy calibers.
Shawn

DBA6B70A-B6DB-4826-9645-88FA734552EC.jpeg
D06FCBC7-486F-4C8D-BF7A-BF8BF3DD0BC4.jpeg
 

Shawn.54

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Just a little more information my rifle pictured above is under 9# loaded with 4 rounds and only has a 1/2” thick solid rubber recoil pad and as it sits is how I plan to keep it. With the exception that I may have it checkered if I ever have time to learn how.
Shawn
 
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Johnny reb

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Something ive not seen mentioned about stock fit, is the shape and width of the butt itself. I would bet if the original poster measures the 2 rifles there is a difference and when shouldered they do not fit the pocket of the shoulder the same.
 

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Back in 2011, when I received my .404J rifle (a custom build by Wayne @ AHR), I immediately thought the same thing after the first range session with Hornady's 400grn ammo.

Then I realized Hornady had loaded it to over 200fps faster than Jeffrey's original specs for a 400gn bullet. In fact I'd studied the history of the cartridge before getting the rifle and several sources mentioned that the .404 had, by design, the mildest felt-recoil of any of the 400-class of African DG cartridges, even in the trimmer, lighter rifles. Supposedly no worse than the .375 H&H with 300grn bullets.

So I've tried to handload to the original specs with a 400grn slug. Depending on the source you're looking at, that's between 2000fps on the low-end and not more than 2150fps on the top-end.

Why Hornady felt the .404 cartridge required a boost of 200fps+ to be 'effective' on dangerous game, I'll never understand. Even with modern propellants, 'can do it' doesn't entail 'should do it.' At the original Jeffrey specs, the better bullets we now enjoy will certainly put down what they hit, proper shot-placement being the hunter's main concern.

They were certainly killing the Big Stuff all over Africa without problems for decades with a milder, more recoil-friendly cartridge, as Pondoro Taylor recounts.

Just my opinion ... :cool:
Hornady does a lot of things that is difficult to understand
 

EfRed

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I have a Weatherby Mark V in 404 Jeffery, in a Pendleton stock, custom rifle by Wayne York at Oregunsmithing. Only 3 rounds, but action works pretty slick. Am very pleased with this rifle, handling wise and shooting wise. The stock is a Classic B with Hg recoil reduced - the rifle is about 9 lbs. The stock fit and handling are excellent. NECG irons, with the HOG rear site - everything white for visibility, and a white guide bar under the notch in the rear sight - very good sight setup.

I load 400s at about 2200, comfortable for a big game rifle. Hornady and other commercial loaders run it 2400 or so, just because they want to compete with .416 Rem and other faster 40s. Might help, but probably not. I can have some fun shooting this rifle at 2200 fps.

I studied the feed with this action: rounds loaded out of the magazine are controlled very nicely under the feed lips until the the round is more than half chambered. It will take a concerted effort to generate a feed problem with this action. When its empty, just toss in another round and close the bolt, or press it into the mag.

Don't try to load a free round in on top of a loaded or partly loaded mag - this will jam. Empty your rifle before attempting to load it.
 

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I’m late to this game but I just have to chime in I built a 404 Jeffery for myself I modified a commercial 98 Mauser action with military bottom metal. I purchased Pacnor barrel, a new magazine spring, and a Boyd’s stock that I had to modify to fit the bottom metal after I modified it. Hindsight being 20/20 I may have made better choices on stock. I started off thinking optics and got the stock best design for a scope then decided to go with a open/peep setup. Truth be told a rifle stocked for both equally does not exist it’s either good for one bad for the other or poor for both. In the end I decided to just make the open sights fit at the height that I would need for a scope for national point of aim. I know I didn’t want to have to press my face down and wiggle around to use standard open sights or crane my neck to reach a scope two things that make recoil hurt. If you found that a scope made pain go away you definitely have a stock designed for scope.
so I don’t have a classic express sighting system on my rifle ( looks more like target system) but as my eyes fail I know I can remove the opens put a scope on it will be very close to line of sight.
After I assembled my rifle the first time I loaded a round to give it a try I have a shooting range off my back porch so I stepped out turned on a light and touched her off. Now in my rush to shoot I forgot to put recoil pad on or even a tee shirt so my first shot was wood on my hide. Let’s say I did have a red mark but I didn’t notice painful recoil. Would not want to sit at a beach and shoot a box of ammo but it also didn’t kill me I believe that proper fit made a huge difference. The bullets are GS Custom 320 gr at 2700 fps.(no longer available)
At the end of a long post sight system/ stock design go hand in hand so when you pick wood design for a scope and try using the opens it can and does have adverse affects not seen in smaller calibers but shine bright in heavy calibers.
Shawn

View attachment 416403View attachment 416404
Shawn you are absolutely correct in that your .404 looks like a target rifle. But if you like it and are happy with it, that is all that matters.
 

colorado

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I agree, 2150 fps should be plenty. I've loaded my 500 Jeffery up to 2510 fps with a 570g TSX which it can easily handle. Recoil is punishing. At a sedate 2300 fps shooting the rifle is just plain fun.
 

Jack Stevens

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I have a Weatherby Mark V in 404 Jeffery, in a Pendleton stock, custom rifle by Wayne York at Oregunsmithing. Only 3 rounds, but action works pretty slick. Am very pleased with this rifle, handling wise and shooting wise. The stock is a Classic B with Hg recoil reduced - the rifle is about 9 lbs. The stock fit and handling are excellent. NECG irons, with the HOG rear site - everything white for visibility, and a white guide bar under the notch in the rear sight - very good sight setup.

I load 400s at about 2200, comfortable for a big game rifle. Hornady and other commercial loaders run it 2400 or so, just because they want to compete with .416 Rem and other faster 40s. Might help, but probably not. I can have some fun shooting this rifle at 2200 fps.

I studied the feed with this action: rounds loaded out of the magazine are controlled very nicely under the feed lips until the the round is more than half chambered. It will take a concerted effort to generate a feed problem with this action. When its empty, just toss in another round and close the bolt, or press it into the mag.

Don't try to load a free round in on top of a loaded or partly loaded mag - this will jam. Empty your rifle before attempting to load it.
Do you have a pic of this "HOG" rear sight?

Never heard of it. Who makes it?
 

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I’m late to this game but I just have to chime in I built a 404 Jeffery for myself I modified a commercial 98 Mauser action with military bottom metal. I purchased Pacnor barrel, a new magazine spring, and a Boyd’s stock that I had to modify to fit the bottom metal after I modified it. Hindsight being 20/20 I may have made better choices on stock. I started off thinking optics and got the stock best design for a scope then decided to go with a open/peep setup. Truth be told a rifle stocked for both equally does not exist it’s either good for one bad for the other or poor for both. In the end I decided to just make the open sights fit at the height that I would need for a scope for national point of aim. I know I didn’t want to have to press my face down and wiggle around to use standard open sights or crane my neck to reach a scope two things that make recoil hurt. If you found that a scope made pain go away you definitely have a stock designed for scope.
so I don’t have a classic express sighting system on my rifle ( looks more like target system) but as my eyes fail I know I can remove the opens put a scope on it will be very close to line of sight.
After I assembled my rifle the first time I loaded a round to give it a try I have a shooting range off my back porch so I stepped out turned on a light and touched her off. Now in my rush to shoot I forgot to put recoil pad on or even a tee shirt so my first shot was wood on my hide. Let’s say I did have a red mark but I didn’t notice painful recoil. Would not want to sit at a beach and shoot a box of ammo but it also didn’t kill me I believe that proper fit made a huge difference. The bullets are GS Custom 320 gr at 2700 fps.(no longer available)
At the end of a long post sight system/ stock design go hand in hand so when you pick wood design for a scope and try using the opens it can and does have adverse affects not seen in smaller calibers but shine bright in heavy calibers.
Shawn
Good Lord Quigley, what is the barrel length on that? What brand of sights? With the target sights it looks very long. I'm impressed by it and would definitely ask to shoot it at the range. If you're running a peep sight get the millett adjustable aperture so you can do most any lighting condition.
 

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The barrel is 26” I believe that the camera gives it a much longer look. The front sight is Lyman Globe on a barrel band I made the rear is of my owne design I did not intend to have sights this high but I wanted sights that pointed naturally and for me that is higher than most open sights on most rifles are to low for me except my Pennsylvania Long Rifles in flintlock which have a lot of drop in the stock. I started with low sights then kept making higher ones until they started pointing naturally guess I went for function over Looks I have not done final sight in yet but was not having a problem hitting a 5” steel plate at 100 yards after shooting paper at 50 yards.
Shawn
 

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The barrel is 26” I believe that the camera gives it a much longer look. The front sight is Lyman Globe on a barrel band I made the rear is of my owne design I did not intend to have sights this high but I wanted sights that pointed naturally and for me that is higher than most open sights on most rifles are to low for me except my Pennsylvania Long Rifles in flintlock which have a lot of drop in the stock. I started with low sights then kept making higher ones until they started pointing naturally guess I went for function over Looks I have not done final sight in yet but was not having a problem hitting a 5” steel plate at 100 yards after shooting paper at 50 yards.
Shawn
So it's a range toy, ... not for hunting?
 

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So it's a range toy, ... not for hunting?
No it wil probably not see Africa but it will most certainly be in the Pa woods this fall chasing black bear and whitetail deer. I won’t use another rifle until I harvest something with it. I will limit my shots to 150 yards and have fun we do a lot of driven hunts.
Shawn
 

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The barrel is 26” I believe that the camera gives it a much longer look. The front sight is Lyman Globe on a barrel band I made the rear is of my owne design I did not intend to have sights this high but I wanted sights that pointed naturally and for me that is higher than most open sights on most rifles are to low for me except my Pennsylvania Long Rifles in flintlock which have a lot of drop in the stock. I started with low sights then kept making higher ones until they started pointing naturally guess I went for function over Looks I have not done final sight in yet but was not having a problem hitting a 5” steel plate at 100 yards after shooting paper at 50 yards.
Shawn
This is an interesting adventure indeed. You designed the rear sight. You're used to long rifles so this will be no challenge getting through the woods. Ha! A bear and deer hunt with it! Well you shall not have much of a tracking job. Very cool and thank you for the information. Do keep us posted with groups and such.
 

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No it wil probably not see Africa but it will most certainly be in the Pa woods this fall chasing black bear and whitetail deer. I won’t use another rifle until I harvest something with it. I will limit my shots to 150 yards and have fun we do a lot of driven hunts.
Shawn
Good luck.
 

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This is an interesting adventure indeed. You designed the rear sight. You're used to long rifles so this will be no challenge getting through the woods. Ha! A bear and deer hunt with it! Well you shall not have much of a tracking job. Very cool and thank you for the information. Do keep us posted with groups and such.
Yeah, well, for the thickly timbered areas or 'woods' hunting, where your shots on deer, black bear, or hogs are 100-yds or less, and more likely 50-75yds, I prefer the formula of 'light & compact.'

For that harvesting environment, I'll bring my Remmy model 600 carbine in .350 Rem. Magnum, loaded up or down as needed.

18.5" pencil-barrel weighing 6.2lbs loaded and slung. (y)

IMG_1187.JPG
 

Shawn.54

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Yeah, well, for the thickly timbered areas or 'woods' hunting, where your shots on deer, black bear, or hogs are 100-yds or less, and more likely 50-75yds, I prefer the formula of 'light & compact.'

For that harvesting environment, I'll bring my Remmy model 600 carbine in .350 Rem. Magnum, loaded up or down as needed.

18.5" pencil-barrel weighing 6.2lbs loaded and slung. (y)

View attachment 426692
I hunted with a Remington 700 in 35 Whelen for 20 years then gave my rifle to my oldest son for graduation. I hunt farm country with that thick brush but I also find myself looking over fields my light rifle for the open field is a 375 Ruger it has a kill at 427 yards. I like to use cartridges that are a little different. In my search for data/ info on 375 Ruger I found AH and it became a wormhole from there.
shawn
 

Jack Stevens

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I hunted with a Remington 700 in 35 Whelen for 20 years then gave my rifle to my oldest son for graduation. I hunt farm country with that thick brush but I also find myself looking over fields my light rifle for the open field is a 375 Ruger it has a kill at 427 yards. I like to use cartridges that are a little different. In my search for data/ info on 375 Ruger I found AH and it became a wormhole from there.
shawn
I hear ya ... Seems a lot of these cartridges, whether African or 'oddball,' become wormholes when you get into them. Lately, that's what it's been for me with the near-extinct .350 Rem. Mag., the true first 'short Magnum,' at least in this country.
 

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From what I have seen the 350 mag and the 35 Whelen are ballistic twins like 375 H&H and my 375 Ruger two different ways of reaching same results. Enjoy being different. I bet that short barrel gives a big flash in low light.
Shawn
 

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