Needing a dangerous game rifle .404 or .375?

Ryanlo

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Have our first safari booked for 2019. My daughter and I will be hunting plains game and a lioness. I bought a ruger m77 in 375 ruger a couple years ago for a buffalo hunt in ozzy that did not work out. I bought it because of the muzzle brake so my daughter could shoot it. She was 10 at the time and shot it with no problem. Ended up selling it. Looking for another rifle now for this hunt. She might be shooting it as well. Just depends on how much we can save up before the hunt. She is tall and in good shape. Boxes and into mma and does not seem to mind getting hit in the face.

I have always wanted a 404 Jeffreys. I like the history and the name is pretty cool. It seems pretty hard to find one for sale. Am I better off just picking up a CZ in 375 h&h or spending more and getting a 404? would like to hunt tuskless elephant and buffalo someday. But with more recoil I worry about her shooting it. Don't know how well that Mercury recoil reducers work?

Sorry for the long post. Just trying to give out some info along with the question. Any advice or ideas would be great. New at this kind of hunting.
 

enysse

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If you are tight for money, buy the 375 H&H, it will kill anything in Africa with very little problems. Buy the .404 if you want too, expect to pay twice or three times as much or more for the gun.
 

Neale

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@Ryanlo , I think you need to clarify your question a little.
Who will be hunting DG, you or your daughter.
Who will be hunting the lioness in 2019?
If it is mainly a plains game hunt and my Maths are correct your daughter will be 14/15 years old. Why not get a smaller calibre firearm that she can learn to shoot well???
 

Ryanlo

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Sorry. Not the best at writing.

I will be hunting the lioness. If the savings goes good between now and then we might try to add another lioness for her.

She has a couple rifles she shoots very well for the plains game. Not sure what one we are taking yet. Just trying to figure out the larger rifle
 

Amado

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I also love the .404 J but my CZ in .375 H&H is probably the most versatile rifle I own. Loaded with a 350 grain Barnes TSX, I would feel confident against any buff. Loaded with solids, the tiny ten. Most importantly, I know that I can hit the exact spot I'm aiming for and that makes all the difference in the world. Great gun.
 

Ray B

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The 404 (actually 423) is a significant increase in bullet diameter from the 375. While it is true that a 375 will kill anything that walks, then again so will a 22 rimfire. the 404 is definitely a stronger round and more suited to heavy game. the solution to adapting to it's size is by handloading. It is possible to size down cast bullets intended for the 44/40 from .427 to .423. These bullets weigh 200 grains and can be loaded to 2000 fps, yielding recoil, given the heavier rifle, less than a 30-30. From there the bullet weights and velocities can be increased as your daughter becomes accustomed to the recoil. A similar process can be done with the 375 but with the 404 you have a higher top end.
 

CAustin

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Always a great question and many opinions to be heard. I have the 375 and a 416. The 416 has taken all my DG to date. A good 375 will do whatever you want. But they say you can never bring too much gun.
 

matt85

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it really depends on if your daughter is shooting the game or not. if she is, then the 375 will have lighter recoil and will be a better choice for it. now if recoil isn't as big of an issue then I always recommend .40+ caliber cartridges.

-matt
 

wesheltonj

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The 375 has been killing everything in Africa since 1912.
 

colorado

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My two cents, buy a new Winchester Model 70 in 375 H&H. You will be happy. I have a CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery and love it, but in my opinion, the CZs are heavier and better suited to the 416 and 450 Rigby and 500 Jeffery cartridges, where they seem just about right.
 

neckdeep

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In my opinion after one safari under my belt killing 12 animals, mostly plains game and one buffalo, a eland and a giraffe. I would get a 375 H&H and find a premium 300 gr bullet it likes.
 

ActionBob

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You won't go wrong with either. It sounds like your on a budget so if you get a 404 Jeffrey, I am guessing it will likely be in a CZ. I have one but have not hunted with it yet. I picked it up on Gunbroker after setting up alerts and waiting patiently... You have time so why not go on some gun marketing web sites, set up accounts and set alerts. Then wait for the right deal.

On the other hand a 375 H&H will do great. I have to agree for a 375 I love my Winchester M70. I have one in 416 rem mag as well as 30-06, 300 H&H, 270...

For heavier calibers I agree the CZ is a great choice. Also for a bit more money, check out the used Ruger RSM models in 375 and 416... And the occasional 404 someone converted....

If you don't hand load, ammo choices are more limited in 404 but there are good choices available with enough planning ahead. Of course ammo will be much cheaper for the common 375 H&H.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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If the first DG this rifle is to hunt is lioness and your young teenage girl (though she sounds pretty tough) is going to use it too, I'd go with the .375H&H. Learn to load your own bullets and fill that magazine with a 250 to 260gr projectile doing somewhere around 2800fps +/-. Recoil will still be more than the young lady has experienced, but break her in slowly and I think she'll do just fine.

No need for 300gr bullets with a lioness. You're better off with lighter weight and higher speed against the cats. 300gr bullets are great where deep penetration in large animals is necessary. It will surely get the job done on lions too, but just isn't necessary.

Just saw a M70 Safari Express in Mesa, AZ today at Sportsman's Warehouse. It was priced at $1250. Give it another month and I'll bet it's still there and the store may want to deal on it some.
 

ve7poi

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404 Jeffery not all that bad with 400 tsx at 2300fps very accurate and after shooting it from all positions including prone some 200 rounds. Worst position off of the bench bar none.
Buff at twenty yds eland at 200 yds absolutely love this old workhouse round it just works no fuss or muss.
Rebarreled a Winchester 416 Remington mag to a 404 arch you might find one on sale as that one kicks sharply to my way of thinking compared to 404 J and yes I did load it up way faster but 2300 just worked for accuracy and recoil. Rifle weight 10.5 lbs with scope and three down in mag plus one chambered if needed.
 

enysse

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.375 H&H Sierra Game King in 250 grain bullets is plenty for lion, you could use more but that is matter of opinion

You can alway use more gun or stronger bullets like Barnes TSX or whatever.

Accuracy is always important.

If I had a daughter I would have her shoot a gun she can manage with accuracy.
 

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It would be a case of what you and your daughter could comfortably shoot with the expectation of a humane kill. I have both plus a few on either side of the 423 cal. I really like my 404, but would also be happy with a 375H&H. What other rifles does you daughter shoot consistently well?
 

Rob404

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I own a 375HH and a 404Jeff, I love both firearms the 404J is just a DG Rifle plain and simple, a 375HH is also a great DG rifle but a larger variety of bullet weights from 200g to 350g make it more versitle I am able to develop almost 2600fps with a 300g and almost 3000with 235s
 

Bert the Turtle

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Rob's got it right. The 375 is a versatile round that is suitable for dangerous game. The 404 is a dangerous game rifle.
 

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