Ruger No 1 375 H&H to 404 Jeffery

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
6,950
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Here are my top of mind thoughts on the conversion of my 375 H&H No 1H to 404 Jeffery:

404J Specification
Barrel: 23.5 inches at .80" muzzle diameter. Rifling 1 in 14, 6 or 7 groove
Chamber: Std SAAMI spec
Front sight: NECG clone of Ruger sight or Recknagel similar. Need to decide on white bead vs day glow?
Rear sight: NECG or Recknagel express with 1 standing and 2 folding (50/100/150)
Barrel band sling stud; NECG or Recknagel in standard Ruger 1H position
Metal finish: similar to Boddington Series…matte.
Pad: Pachmayr Decelerator British Express type, D752B, red, 1 inch
Ballast: Enough lead under the recoil pad to get the balance point 1 inch in front of the action
Tune trigger to ~4 pounds
Target finished weight 9 lbs 8 oz to 9 lbs 14 oz

Regarding the target weight: My Boddington Kudu 300 H&H with Leupold VX-6 2-12 and 8 cartridges in the buttstock ammo carrier weighs 9 pounds 6 ounces. It feels no heavier than my bare naked 8 pound 5 ounce 375 because of the better balance.

I carried this Kudu miles up and down the hills recently in the Eastern Cape without issue, loaded up just like this.

I added cartridges to the buttstock ammo carrier on the 375, to get the weight to 9 pounds 8 ounces, while moving the carrier to get the balance point to 1 inch ahead of the action. So weighted, the rifle actually felt better in the hand than at 8 pound 5 ounces, due to the vastly superior balance.

This is how I settled on the target weight of the 404, the proper balance being key to making it usable at this weight.

Regarding the muzzle diameter; The Ruger 375 barrel is .75" at the muzzle. Having the .423 bored barrel at .80" (with the 23.5 inch length) will help me get to the target weight, once I balance it out with ballast in the butt.

Regarding the trigger pull weight; I felt 4 pounds was as light as I need to go on a true big bore that might (hopefully) be used on DG.

Regarding the ballast; I have not read anything remotely scientific telling me that the mercury tubes do anything approaching being worth their cost, to justify them over simply casting a lead slug in a tube and making sure it is well secured inside the stock.

I am sharing all this to get the gang's thoughts on these factors, and any others that I might have omitted.

I do not plan to scope this rifle, so was not planning to have the Ruger quarter rib transferred. Thoughts?

Fire away guys...the good, the bad and the ugly. You can't hurt my feelings and I am looking for thoughts from folks who have been there, done that!

Thanks for your honest input!


Tim
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,458
Reaction score
13,340
Media
109
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
I think the weight is good and I also agree on the lead slug. It isn't like the .404 is known for massive recoil anyway.

On the scope though I would want the ability to put one on, just in case. You can always use a quick detach set up and then you at least have the option.
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
6,950
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
I think the weight is good and I also agree on the lead slug. It isn't like the .404 is known for massive recoil anyway.

On the scope though I would want the ability to put one on, just in case. You can always use a quick detach set up and then you at least have the option.

Are you saying my eyes are bad? ;) lol

I am kinda being snobbish here, but I don't want to put the aluminum Ruger quarter rib back on. I wonder what kind of options there are for a steel quarter rib, behind the express rear sight? I should probably ask the smith I am talking to, just so I know for sure.

My no-scope position is primarily due to thinking that any hunting I want to do that I know could be past 100 yards, I will be using another rifle. So I figure the several hundred dollars not spent on a steel quarter rib installation could buy more bullets for practice!

Maybe I need to make sure the option will be open to go back later and add one? Don't burn the bridge sort of thing?
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,458
Reaction score
13,340
Media
109
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
Your eyes are better than mine!!! :)

For buff you're fine if you want to make one with open sights, but what happens when you want to take that monster Kudu standing ar 225? That's really what I'm thinking...

Thats why I'm going to scope the Lott when I get around to it. And I've decided that for buffalo I would leave the scope on. Only for elephant do I personally want to take the scope off. Just seems right to hunt ele without a scope.
 

Warbird782

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
423
Reaction score
599
Media
12
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI
Hunted
EC and NW Province RSA, USA
I would agree with Royal. Scope it. Darker thicket, animal partially obscured by brush. Need to thread the bullet into his chest......Scope makes life easier. JMHO
 

Bullthrower338

AH legend
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
4,454
Reaction score
10,203
Location
Houston, Texas and Alder, MT
Media
179
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
2
Member of
Life Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Huntin' Fool, DSC and Pope and Young Club
Hunted
USA, Mexico, Canada, RSA, Australia NT, Zimbabwe
Any good machine shop can handle a steel quarter rib as long as they have the original to work off of. Let me know if you need a place to send it
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
6,950
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
You guys are such enablers.

I knew I could count on you!
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
3,892
Reaction score
5,710
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,605
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
The only comment I might make is about the target weight and the balance. I have found that a slighty lighter rifle weight can be tolerated if the balance is further forward as that helps in recoil direction. A forward balance will hold the barrel down in recoil and make the push seem slower where a more rearward balance can make barrel lift with recoil to feel sharper. If I was doing it again I would aim for a slight muzzle heavy balance and a weight in the 9 lb region ready to go. May even go in the high 8lb range
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,439
Reaction score
9,684
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Your way beyond me on what your doing. I wish you the best and look forward to seeing the finished product.
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
6,950
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
The only comment I might make is about the target weight and the balance. I have found that a slighty lighter rifle weight can be tolerated if the balance is further forward as that helps in recoil direction. A forward balance will hold the barrel down in recoil and make the push seem slower where a more rearward balance can make barrel lift with recoil to feel sharper. If I was doing it again I would aim for a slight muzzle heavy balance and a weight in the 9 lb region ready to go. May even go in the high 8lb range


So, you are saying that beyond the elemental physics, there is a geometry aspect....as in a different fulcrum by which the rifle recoils.

So with two identical rifles, the lone exception being one has an additional 8 ounces in the but to change the fulcrum, the heavier rifle will have more muzzle rise?

I bet there is a computer program to profile that!
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,334
Reaction score
6,723
Media
169
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
My custom No.1 .404J comes in at 9.75 # with scope, steel rings, and custom steel rib. Kreiger barrel is 22 inches long with a muzzle dia of just under .8 inch. A 1" thick Pachy Decelerator pad covers the butt, and sometimes I wish it were 2" thick. It comes back pretty hard on the bench. No doubt a pussycat in action on game. BTW, not sure where you got the idea that a Ruger quarter rib is not steel? It is steel, not aluminum.
I agree with Royal, a scope is always a good option.
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
6,950
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
. BTW, not sure where you got the idea that a Ruger quarter rib is not steel? It is steel, not aluminum.

Senior moment...it is a casting....but not aluminum, you are correct.
 

Von Gruff

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 5, 2009
Messages
3,892
Reaction score
5,710
Location
south Otago, New Zealand
Website
www.vongruffknives.com
Media
1,605
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
3
Hunted
New Zealand, Austaralia
So, you are saying that beyond the elemental physics, there is a geometry aspect....as in a different fulcrum by which the rifle recoils.

So with two identical rifles, the lone exception being one has an additional 8 ounces in the but to change the fulcrum, the heavier rifle will have more muzzle rise?

I bet there is a computer program to profile that!

There would be very little difference in how these two would feel but if it was the other way around in that the same weight but a muzzle bias verses a butt bias the there would definitely be a difference in how the recoil felt. Of course the drop at comb and at heel will also have an influence as none of these factors acts in isolation.
If you think about a longer barrel taking the weight forward to slow muzzle rise or a slower taper to the profile (or a sharper start to the taper) there are ways to use barrel dynamics in conjunction with wood density, as well as shaping and stock dimensions that can be used to mitigate recoil.
 

ActionBob

AH legend
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
3,838
Reaction score
6,199
Location
Central Minnesota
Media
97
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
NRA life, DSC, SCI
Hunted
Minnesota, Texas, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, British Columbia, Argentina, Kansas, Macedonia, Austria
Tim, Can the 375 barrel just be re-chambered, re-bored and rifled? That way you keep the Ruger look completely in tact and don't have extra cost for a quarter rib, or sights.. If you did that, is there room to hollow out and put lead in the fore arm Or a graco or other recoil reducer up front?

I prefer a 3 pound trigger but that is an individual thing. I find I am more accurate with a bit lighter trigger, even on the big bores.

I like the mercury tube in my CZ 505 Gibbs and credit it with reducing recoil but that is purely clinical observation. That gun is bulkier and has a very good cheek piece. Thick grip and good lop for me. It is way milder to shoot than the RSM in the same caliber.

However I cannot say some lead in the stock would not suffice... if it was mine and I was drilling into the stock anyway, I would do it in the same dimentions as a mercury tube or mechanical device and then just use shot and wood or plastic filler if needed. That way it would be easy to go back in the future and change it out if you become so inclined.

And I would agree with fitting a nice pad but would want to keep the wood you have and not mess with it further, at least until you can shoot it. You have great looking rifle and it would be shame to mess that up or to spend more money when it already looks so good. Same goes for the quarter rib and sights.

Isn't part of the "claim to fame" of the 404 Jeffrey that it kicks like a 375 but hits like a 458?
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
6,950
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
There would be very little difference in how these two would feel but if it was the other way around in that the same weight but a muzzle bias verses a butt bias the there would definitely be a difference in how the recoil felt.

Ok, I was going too far with it. In rifles of identical weight, you are arguing for a muzzle-heavy bias for recoil control. I agree completely.

I am shooting for a more neutral bias for carry comfort and "liveliness" in the hands.

I guess it is a matter of picking which is more important....or maybe I am trying to have my cake and eat it too, by going a little on the heavy side for shooting comfort but keep the balance neutral to help mitigate the impact on the carry feel? Yeah, that's it! :)
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,153
Reaction score
6,950
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Tim, Can the 375 barrel just be re-chambered, re-bored and rifled? That way you keep the Ruger look completely in tact and don't have extra cost for a quarter rib, or sights.. If you did that, is there room to hollow out and put lead in the fore arm Or a graco or other recoil reducer up front?

I prefer a 3 pound trigger but that is an individual thing. I find I am more accurate with a bit lighter trigger, even on the big bores.

I like the mercury tube in my CZ 505 Gibbs and credit it with reducing recoil but that is purely clinical observation. That gun is bulkier and has a very good cheek piece. Thick grip and good lop for me. It is way milder to shoot than the RSM in the same caliber.

However I cannot say some lead in the stock would not suffice... if it was mine and I was drilling into the stock anyway, I would do it in the same dimentions as a mercury tube or mechanical device and then just use shot and wood or plastic filler if needed. That way it would be easy to go back in the future and change it out if you become so inclined.

And I would agree with fitting a nice pad but would want to keep the wood you have and not mess with it further, at least until you can shoot it. You have great looking rifle and it would be shame to mess that up or to spend more money when it already looks so good. Same goes for the quarter rib and sights.

Isn't part of the "claim to fame" of the 404 Jeffrey that it kicks like a 375 but hits like a 458?

Bob

There is very little room in that Alex Henry forearm....and you are right...hollowing out that .375 barrel to .423 would make it light for caliber.

The CZ stock with its generous dimensions is a known recoil-reducer! I have compared the butt on the 550 to the No 1 and the No 1 looks like a toy in comparison!

Bob said: Isn't part of the "claim to fame" of the 404 Jeffrey that it kicks like a 375 but hits like a 458?

I think some have tried to portray it that way. I guess if you load a 404 to closer to modern pressure to get a 450gr going 2,250 it would be close to the .458 in most ways, but that 404 better weigh more than any 404 I've ever seen or it will not recoil like a 375!

The 404 does seem to produce a pretty good thump per grain of powder, but still not as good as the 458. Of course, the 458 gets its efficiency by using slightly faster powders and higher pressures...which is what many 404 users are avoiding by going to the 404 in the first place.

I am still trying to find that free lunch!
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,690
Reaction score
4,248
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
I am still trying to find that free lunch!

Don't we all, good luck on the conversion.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
36,236
Messages
682,762
Members
62,461
Latest member
Wilbernic
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Rickmt wrote on Justbryan's profile.
What is your new shorter rifle? Thanx Bryan !
raamw wrote on neckdeep's profile.
Supply your address so I can get shipping Paypal Friend (no ) fee) is fine
Viral_SIGness wrote on Rifle57's profile.
Great person to deal with. Fast communication and quick shipper!
Sarg wrote on Philippe's profile.
Hello Philippe, did you get my PM that I sent you earlier ?

Regards Mark
raamw wrote on AfricaHunting.com's profile.
Can you advise me to properly post pix, sometimes I get it right sometimes not
 
Top