What is it about 404 Jeffery?

GuttormG

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What is it about 404? Not really sure so I am building one..
Action is a Winchester m70, barrel is a Vector. Stock is original Winchester.

Took it to the range this morning for testing.

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GuttormG

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Not sure why our Chessie sneaked into this thread, but she came along to the range so she can stay.

Loads were Hornady DGS 400grains over 76grains of Vithavouri N150, cases made from 375RUM.
Rounds feed nice and smooth from both sides, but I do need to look into the magazine. It will take 3 rounds but then the top round will not feed. As far as I know the action came from the factory as a 375HH, when I found it it was rebarreled to 7mmSTW.

And yes, the bolt handle is on the right side
 

Philip Glass

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Grandpaw’s Jeffery

It rested between the Ivory
That hung on Grandpa's wall
It's finally checked and yellowed
Like the tusks it helped to fall

It's barrel smooth and polished
From a hundred bearers hands
It reflected the light warmly
Like campfires flickering brands

The stock of English walnut
Chewed and clawed a bit
It still showed a trace of checkering
an a dent where a horn had hit

Stamped on the barrel lightly
Was a name and not much more
A single word "Jeffery"
"Jeffery .404"

If that rifle could only talk
And take us back once again
With grandpa in Africa
A time of Buffalo, Elephants and men

But that day has set it's sun
And the rifle speaks no more
Oh what I'd give for one last time
To hear it's mighty roar

author unknown
Really good poem!
 

Nkawu

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Not sure why our Chessie sneaked into this thread, but she came along to the range so she can stay.

Loads were Hornady DGS 400grains over 76grains of Vithavouri N150, cases made from 375RUM.
Rounds feed nice and smooth from both sides, but I do need to look into the magazine. It will take 3 rounds but then the top round will not feed. As far as I know the action came from the factory as a 375HH, when I found it it was rebarreled to 7mmSTW.

And yes, the bolt handle is on the right side

Did you modify the 375 mag to fit the fatter rounds in any way? I’ve seen that brownells offers an extended mag for the M70 to better accommodate the 404J. What follower are you using?
 

GuttormG

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Magbox is 375, but follower I am pretty sure is meant for 7mm/300 magnums.
Numerich has the required parts in stock but will not ship out of US
 

Nkawu

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I am in the UK and planning and getting parts together for the same build on the same left handed Win M70. I only have a 30-06 follower and I’m not sure what will work.
 

GuttormG

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Mine works, but only if one is happy with a 1+2 configuration. The feeding from the magazine is actually fantasticly smooth.

One way around the magbok/follower issues is a Sunny Hill unit. Pricy but bueautifully made.
 

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I am in the UK and planning and getting parts together for the same build on the same left handed Win M70. I only have a 30-06 follower and I’m not sure what will work.

Hope it works reasonably well. I have a 404 built on a Sako AV action. Follower is the original, and in honesty I think Sako just made one type per action length. Magazine box made from some other leftover the gunsmith had lying around, bent into shape. A bit ugly, but it works well with the original follower, even though the box is slightly wider. Get 3+1 with original stock and floor plate.

NB: the rifle was originally chambered in 6.5×55.
 
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Dave D.

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I shopped the last two years for a bigger DGR than my 375h&h. After looking at everything available, I settled on 404 Jeff. Then the search began for specific rifle finally settling on the Heym Express Martini. It's pricy but less than a custom rifle and Ralf Martini is one of the best in the business. Heym's engineering and machining is second to none and the rifle cycles ammo flawlessly as fast as you can work the bolt. My final decision rested on shooting both 404 and 416 Rigby side by side in same model rifles. Both are great calibers, but the 404 won out for following reasons: 1) very easy to reload ammo; 2) can be loaded to match Remington 416 performance and almost 416 Rigby performance; recoil was lighter on the 404 and more comfortable for me; ammo is less expensive (even though I reload). In final analysis, both are great calibers and you can't go wrong with either. As a post script, if cost is a big consideration, I would not hesitate with the CZ. They make a great rifle.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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tarbe

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I shopped the last two years for a bigger DGR than my 375h&h. After looking at everything available, I settled on 404 Jeff. Then the search began for specific rifle finally settling on the Heym Express Martini. It's pricy but less than a custom rifle and Ralf Martini is one of the best in the business. Heym's engineering and machining is second to none and the rifle cycles ammo flawlessly as fast as you can work the bolt. My final decision rested on shooting both 404 and 416 Rigby side by side in same model rifles. Both are great calibers, but the 404 won out for following reasons: 1) very easy to reload ammo; 2) can be loaded to match Remington 416 performance and almost 416 Rigby performance; recoil was lighter on the 404 and more comfortable for me; ammo is less expensive (even though I reload). In final analysis, both are great calibers and you can't go wrong with either. As a post script, if cost is a big consideration, I would not hesitate with the CZ. They make a great rifle.

Yup...my next dream DG rifle. Heym Martini Express in .404J.

I actually was able to chat with Ralf at DSC. I almost wanted to ask him for his autograph!

He is, to me, one of the very finest working in the craft. His eye for style and proportion is amazing!
 

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Well I’m now on the hunt for a 404j here we go skipping the 375 and “get something with a 4 in it”
 

Dave D.

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I bought a 404 Jeffery (Heym Express) six months ago after two years of research and shopping trying to decide on something larger than my 375. I settled on the 404 because of versatility, easy to load and easy to shoot. It was the right decision because the 404 is everything you read and hear about it and fun to shoot. I put 27 rounds thru mine last Monday over a three hour practice session and could not have been more pleased. I'm loading to about 2300fps which puts it right in there with the 416s but more comfortable to shoot. After 23 rounds no sore shoulder! Accuracy is 1 moa with Swift A-frames and Barnes solids shooting to less than 1"inch apart at 100 yds. Drop is 4-5" from 100 to 200 yds. I would recommend 404 to anyone shopping for a DG rifle. (Hope I can still say that after a buff hunt in TZ this October!) Good luck with yours!
 

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I bought a 404 Jeffery (Heym Express) six months ago after two years of research and shopping trying to decide on something larger than my 375. I settled on the 404 because of versatility, easy to load and easy to shoot. It was the right decision because the 404 is everything you read and hear about it and fun to shoot. I put 27 rounds thru mine last Monday over a three hour practice session and could not have been more pleased. I'm loading to about 2300fps which puts it right in there with the 416s but more comfortable to shoot. After 23 rounds no sore shoulder! Accuracy is 1 moa with Swift A-frames and Barnes solids shooting to less than 1"inch apart at 100 yds. Drop is 4-5" from 100 to 200 yds. I would recommend 404 to anyone shopping for a DG rifle. (Hope I can still say that after a buff hunt in TZ this October!) Good luck with yours!
I agree with you "Dave D." Good luck in Africa.
 

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Greater stopping power than a .375 and less recoil than a .416 . What's not to like about it ? A friend of mine ( who's actually hunted in Africa ) uses a Heym in .404 Jeffery. I am very envious of that rifle . He used to use a .460 Weatherby Mark V with the floor plate design , until the Weatherby developed a Bad habit of having the magazine floor plate recoil open after the first shot , and causing the other 3 cartridges to fall out. Simon ( my friend ) shortly afterwards , shifted to the Heym .404 and he has taken both plains game and DG with the rifle.
 

bowjijohn

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I know this is an old topic but it has made for a fascinating read

Like many on here I too love the 404J

Below is a picture of two rifles I had made for me - both based upon Mauser 98 actions - one in 9.3 x 62, the other 404J

They were made very similar to each other so that the muscle memory from one is relevant to the other

pair of African rifles.jpg
 

RayAtkinson

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Most who write on the 404 are repeating what they have read by others who never used it in the first place...The 404 has almost the same powder capacity as the 416 Rigby and thats a bunch, so I had no problem getting 2600 FPS with a 400 gr . bullet and old WW2 4831, but my hunting load turned out to be 93 grs of that 4831 for 2400 FPS, less recoil and killed every bit as well. That said was backed up with a lot of nostalgia, which I like and my old 26 " Jefferies with a peep sight was just the berries...The load that made the 404 famous for elephant cullers was a 400 gr. Kynoch at 2300 fps not the fabled 2100 fps...The African folks complained bitterly about the 2100 fps load so it was hiked up...Today the 416 Rigby, 416 Rem, 404 Jefferies, 416 ruger are all equal in every respect and the 404 has the most nostalgia and was the most used in history..The 416 Rigby gained a good rep and is more popular today than yesteryear as in the old days it was too expensive for game depts and the average African. I never cared for it anyway as it required a larger, heavier action an resulted in a more bulky heavey rifle, but thats just me..

Packing a 404 in Africa, I always knew where I was and who came before me..good nostalgic feeling, and that is the real answer to your question...some don't have such feeling and I feel sorry for them as they don't meet the actual experience of Africa.
 

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