What caliber for a custom Dangerous Game rifle build??

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Mekaniks, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    I would go with a 404, it is a classic round that has proven it's self over and over.

    If you are looking for a modern option the 416 Ruger is optimized for shorter barrels.

    But no matter what we all think it is your choice so build something you like and shoot it till it is second nature then go hunt DG.
     

  2. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    AZDAVE, I concur, the 404 Jeffery really is a sweet caliber to shoot..options to upgrade is a 450 gn solid bullet for buffalo or elephant at 2250 f/s. It gives great penetration, still has manageable recoil and on this short distances are accurate. This was a load Dr. Kevin Robertson prescribe when we did the dangerous game courses...I am fortunate in regards to my 404 Jeffery , when shooting it open sights it is my most accurate rifle ..it just is extremely accurate at Dangerous Game hunting distances...with my next hunting trip for plains game such a eland/Gemsbok/blue wildebeest and kudu I want to hunt with it using open sights...I am extremely confident in this rifle ..it shoots much , much better than me will ever be able to shoot ..
     
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  3. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    DG only I would go 404 Jeff....
     
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  4. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    404 Jeffery, the quintesential African DG bolt rifle cartridge. A hunters rifle in every respect for 114 years .

    Ballistics expert Keith Luckhurst ran some trajectory tests comparing a .404 Jeffery loaded with 400-grain bullets at 2280 fps, a .458 Winchester Magnum loaded with 500-grain bullets at 2090 fps, and a .375 H&H leaded with 300-grain bullets at 2550 fps, all sighted in at 100 meters. According to Luckhurst, “At 250 meters the .375 Magnum has dropped 11 inches, the .404 has dropped 13 inches and the .458 has dropped 18 inches. But at 150 meters there is a spread of only one inch between these calibers, and at 200 meters it is four inches. Most gunwriters would describe the .375 Magnum as flat shooting and the descriptions of the .458 tend to include words like ‘rainbow trajectory.’ In reality, the point of aim for any of the rifles is virtually the same out to 150 meters.” Luckhurst concludes that the .404 Jeffery, with better penetration and less recoil than the .458, a trajectory almost as flat as the .375 H&H, and overall performance similar or equal to the .416 Rigby, is a particularly well-balanced rifle for the largest and most dangerous game.
     
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  5. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    I concur Von Gruff, to me the 404 Jeffery is the perfect dangerous game hunting rifle with today`s premium bullets and powder available..it doubles as a perfect plains game rifle as well...when shooting soft skin small game like duiker using a solid gives you no skin damage or meat waste ...as a medium game caliber soft nose 400 gn is good enough to take down any medium to large plains game animal like eland ...I would even be so bold as to describe it as the all rounder hunting caliber , one rifle set up for hunting..
     

  6. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Veteran

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    Thank you for all your expertise. I’m looking at a 404J custom build. My Mauser M12 Max 9.3x62 has a 22” barrel with a thumb hole stock and iron sights. I REALLY like the M12 Max. It draws straight to a perfect firing/sight position as soon as I bring it to my shoulder, pretty much aims itself. It does kick a bit as it’s a fairly light rifle, but not terrible and I can pull to a follow up shot quickly. Would like the custom 404J to be very similar in design but am concerned about recoil if it’s light like the Mauser. Would think the 404J would be generally heavier simply because it’s a heavier caliber. Would like to stay with a 22” barrel if feasible as I prefer a more compact rifle, within reason. Any thoughts you could share on this custom 404J build would be greatly appreciated
     

  7. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The 22 inch barrel will be fine although I built mine with 25in barrel so you may need to adjust load data to achieve the same goals. Providing the stock fits well and the rifle has a slight muzzle bias (weight wise) either naturally or contrived then a 9 - 9 1/2 lb rifle ready to go will be comfortable to shoot with a 400gn bullet at the 2300fps velocity. This is an easily accomplished goal in a standard configuration rife stock however I have no experience with the thumbhole stock as there is considerabyy less wood in the wrist which I woud hesitate to advocate for on a wood stock.
     

  8. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Veteran

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    Was hoping about 9 lbs. would be a good weight. I’ll probably go with the 22” barrel and adjust the load as needed. The stock will more than likely be synthetic of some type, maybe a laminate. Will have to see what’s available. Thanks for the input!!!!
     
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  9. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    This makes me wonder what my 404 Jeffery`s weight is..I will weigh it just to see ...My friend Hansie Minnaar is a PH , I had one time when visiting him to sort out my Martini Henry and Mauser 71 loads , handled his rifles..I was shocked ...his .375 H&H Magnum was too heavy for me to walk further than 100 meters...I will ask him what weight his hunting rifles are...this will be making it an interesting discussion, comparing who`s is heavier than who`s rifles...something like " My dad is stronger than your Dad..."""or "mine is bigger than yours" or longer":A Banana::A Banana::A Banana::A Big Hello::A Big Hello::A Bravo:
     
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  10. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Veteran

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    Think it's how you use it that counts :whistle::):):)
     

  11. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Hell.......

    " Dangerous Game Caliber" ?

    There's all sorts of stuff thats dangerous and some have the destinction of being more dangerous than others, or just an unreasonable sob who wants to maul or mash you so your parts fall off......or are pulled off.

    Simple....just build the rifle around the biggest round you can handle. And should you find yourself being an animals chew toy or the stuff between an elephants toes you will know you picked the wrong one. :A Shades:
     

  12. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    If you use this criteria , I think a few hunters would choose a Light machine gun rifle , to shoot as many rounds as possible on the elephant or leopard...:LOL::LOL::LOL::LOL:
     
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  13. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Enthusiast

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    I'd do a .423 Mauser ( 10.75 × 68 mm ) on a BRNO ZKK602 action . I have a few boxes of vintage full metal jacket solids lying around in my trunk in my basement which l received from one of my Dad's friends.
     
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  14. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    It is a great caliber for Buffalo hunting/elephant...John"Pondoro" Taylor gave that great caliber a very, very bad name...with today`s powders and bullets you will have a rifle that will put down any big game animal if your shot placement is perfect..(y)(y)(y)(y)
     
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  15. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    Have a look at this....

    This guy is a young gunsmith in germnay who built a 10,75x68 for himself.

    https://www.africahunting.com/threads/mauser-98-in-10-75x68.37193/


    HWL
     
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  16. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    I would not go that route...
    ZKK600 would also be better suited for that caliber.
     

  17. njc110381

    njc110381 AH Veteran

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    My initial want was for a .458 Lott but actually it seems that the .416 Rigby I ended up with is a better choice for an all rounder. .404 looks good but components and ammunition aren't as easy to find and there's not so much choice which is why I asked for a .416. I went for the Rigby because I don't trust new fangled cartridges not to die out as fast as they appear!

    Being a complete amateur I'm not really qualified to answer a question like this, so take my opinion (which is all it is) with a pinch of salt, but my vote would be a .416 Rigby.
     

  18. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Enthusiast

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    Ah , a fellow BRNO lover , and a highly experienced one at that.
    IvW , what would be wrong with a ZKK602 action for a .423 Mauser ?
     

  19. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    A .375 will do it, the low 4’s are getting votes. I have a .458wm and selling it to cover the cost of the .375H&H. I doubt either will see Africa but they are fun to have.
     
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  20. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Enthusiast

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    To be fair though , Finn Aagaard and Harry Manners also loathed the caliber. Finn reported a Cow Buffalo shot three times with FMJ solids from one, all of which failed to kill the buffalo , due to lack of penetration or shattering. Harry Said that the powder charge of the caliber was too less for the weight of the 347 grain bullet. I think the sectional density of the bullet had something to do with it as well. Also , the Mauser rifles in this caliber had a propensity to have the Magazine follower springs break a little too often .
    Hence my desire to have it built on a BRNO action to circumvent that problem.
    Of course , IvW recommends against that and he must have a sensible reason for this
     

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