Needing a dangerous game rifle .404 or .375?

IvW

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If a Lioness is the biggest DG you intend hunting, buy a 375 H&H.
If you plan on hunting larger DG(Tuskless elephant and Buff), buy a 404 JEFF.

Stick to heavy for caliber bullets when hunting in Africa(eg. 300gr and up to 380gr in .375 and 400gr and up to 450gr in .404) and you will be just fine. Too many folks want to shoot lighter bullets at faster speeds which is not what these calibres where designed to do. 2200 to 2400 ftps is more than enough for optimum performance with heavy for calibre bullets.

Just make sure you use premium bonded bullets eg. Swift A frame, Rhino etc. Woodleighs are also ok but you need to keep the speed down, they seem to perform best at about 2100-2300 ftps.

Nothing wrong with CZ, they are working rifles. Some need a little bit of smoothing up as the actions can be a bit rough, but they are reliable.

Better still is to shop around for a BRNO on ZZK 602 action.
 

Foxi

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Nothing wrong with CZ, they are working rifles.

.

"Sometimes not even that.Do you know a hunter who is really lucky with that stick ,when he would be honest to himself.
Smooth up is not uncommon,the trigger,the bolt system, the wood....
CZ is cheap,this is the reason, so you find it so often in our country.
Africa has no money."

So an african PH nowerdays to me.
 

Andy Clarke

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Hi Ryan,

My advice would be to go with 375 H&H as it is more than capable of taking down anything, including elephant. I have a CZ 375 H&H fitted with an A-Tec Suppressor and the recoil is minimal. Be very careful of allowing your daughter to shoot with a rifle with heavy recoil. One can get gun shy VERY quickly and it can take years to recover from this.

Andy
 

IvW

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375 H&H is the classic lion gun. If you start adding buff etc. 404 Jeff would be better choice. In the end the one both of you can handle and shoot comfortably will be the best one to take. What have you decided to buy?
 

8x68

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Either or would do fine. Depends on what you are comfortable handling. I have both. Tough choice though. I would lean towards the 404 myself. I like the idea of a bullet with a larger frontal area just in case you are surprised by a meany.
 

enzo vecchio

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Look; Just go toss a coin and pick :)

They both work and you have a PH to back you up... You PH will be happy if you can just soot any of those two well.
You just need to do your part and both the .375 H+H or 404 will work for you.
I have used .375, 404, 416 and larger guns for cropping large numbers of cape buffalo and while I have my preferences i can say they all work well enough.
Find a gun you like and stick to it.
My advice is go look at both in several guns in you budget and pick the one you like best.
Good Luck.
 

TByrd

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If you're still looking, and RookHawk is reading....I think RookHawk has a custom 404, unused, at a great deal. You may want to search this forum for it.
 

rookhawk

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Thanks @TByrd

Here was the gun you were referencing:

https://www.africahunting.com/threa...fle-for-sale-half-of-replacement-price.34373/

And here is the issue with the 375 vs 404. It has happened to me. You have 5 minutes of shooting light left and here comes the dugga boy. If you can't make that buffalo dead right there, you are going to find its bones in the morning as the lion will have ate it by then. You sure as hell aren't going to look for it at twilight.

Perfect double lung shot with 375, a charge, another shot or two, a bad follow up with a 458 and then another shot by me turned him at 20 yards. (He was at 66 first shot) In the end, to get him down on the bank of the pan took 6 shots from a 375 and one 458.

Would he have been dead 45 minutes later 150 yards away from that first shot? Absolutely.

What happens when you don't have 45 minutes of daylight to spare for recovery?

4 pounds more felt recoil for a bullet 50% heavier, that is capable of a body shot on an elephant or rhino also? It's a no brained. .404J is superior for buffalo and any shot where you need dead right there.
 

Gert Odendaal

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What happen to the "bad follow up with a .458"
 

rookhawk

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What happen to the "bad follow up with a .458"

Broadside shot with my .375, it went double lung. 66 yards, across a water pan from us. E charged the pan and we are doing head on shots with solids. Both my shots and a single backing shots with a 458 fail to break a shoulder and they end up angling and far back. He turns at 20 yards and heads for shore 90 degrees to our left. One more shot by me and he is down. Two more shots to silence his wails at the shore. (12" deep water pan) All totally overkill had we not agreed that animal needed to be dead right there. We were not going to let that buffalo leave our sight at 8 mins to dusk. My avatar is actually that dugga boy.

The point is, the .375 is capable of killing buffalo. A 404j would have caused more sheer and hydrostatic shock resulting in perhaps DRT. Is my scenario common? Maybe, maybe not. It's an awful long trip to Africa not to have the right tool for the job. A .404J would have done it better/faster. A .338 would have also done the job, just slower expiration of the buffalo.

When you need Thor's hammer sometimes you're just carrying a big stick!
 

Gert Odendaal

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Excellent write-up and beautiful memories of your hunt..something to remember for many years still to come..I have always had a fascination about the 404 Jeffery, to me it was the holy grail of rifles..especially if you have one that had previously shot a lot of buffalo and elephant..and had a history to it ...(y)(y)
 

Gert Odendaal

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Was the .458 used with solids??? Yes, I just read it again..I see the .458 was shooting solids..my question : at that distance facing you would the use of softs be a better option????
 

rookhawk

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Was the .458 used with solids??? Yes, I just read it again..I see the .458 was shooting solids..my question : at that distance facing you would the use of softs be a better option????

Probably. But the client hunter, me, had a .375HH and I put a good first shot in with a swift a-frame soft. My remaining shots were woodleigh hydrostatic solids as should be the case with buffalo. The PH had a .458 and they always carry solids as their job is to brain a charging animal at 5 yards if necessary to save a client.
 

Ryanlo

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375 H&H is the classic lion gun. If you start adding buff etc. 404 Jeff would be better choice. In the end the one both of you can handle and shoot comfortably will be the best one to take. What have you decided to buy?

Picked up a cz in 404j. Thing is a blast to shoot. Puts a smile on your face every time. Got a great deal on it
 

Gert Odendaal

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Ryanlo, now you have the answer on your question...there is not a better caliber to use than a 404 Jeffery for you purposes. (y)(y)(y)
 

colorado

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Can always just load a 500 Jeffery down a bit to a 570g at 2150fps. At that level it's a pussycat, but still hits like a lion.
 

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If you decide to go with the .404J then I would recommend adding a 9.3x62 to the mix. The 9.3 is a great allrounder and may satisfy any legal requirements for lion if needed for your daughter. It is also lighter on recoil than either the .375 or .404 and would be great for PG or lion at least IMO. If money was the issue and it was me I would sell one of my other rifles to get the 9.3 but I know its virtues.
 

8x68

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If you decide to go with the .404J then I would recommend adding a 9.3x62 to the mix. The 9.3 is a great allrounder and may satisfy any legal requirements for lion if needed for your daughter. It is also lighter on recoil than either the .375 or .404 and would be great for PG or lion at least IMO. If money was the issue and it was me I would sell one of my other rifles to get the 9.3 but I know its virtues.
+1^
 

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