What is it about 404 Jeffery?

I’m a bit slow on the keyboard atm. Recovering from second shoulder reco in 18 months. Yes, the shooting shoulder! Not sure how much I will be using the 404 for a while.Handloads went from 75g of ADI2208 at 2233 FPS to81g at 2420fps. As you can see by the target, I should have been satisfied with the 3 shot group after the fouler. Everything was spreading from that..
Although 79g @ 2370 FPS would have been an acceptable Group except for the first 3 shots. As I was really only hoping for an accurate mix at around the 2150 fps,I will settle on the 2230 job. I also made the mistake of firing 32 shots off the bench for the load testing.The recoil accelerated the vitreous detachment in my eye away from the retina. The BGRC guys tell me they normally shoot more than 6 or 8 off the bench in a single session.Will all be off hand in future, if ever,lol.
it would be a shame to not get the opportunity the 404 on another African jaunt, and to have resort to the M03 .375!
cheers
 
The 404 was common. At one point, used by most of the British Colonial Game Departments. (Uganda comes to mind as an exception. .425wr) Occasionally you may still find an antique in the field being carried by a member of a game department. Usually with a handful of polished 60+ year old Kynoch.

The 416 was uncommon. Less than 200 were made pre WWII if I recall correctly. Then, Robert Ruark goes on safari with Harry Selby. Selby damages his 470 and has to replace it immediately. A 416 is available in the store so Selby purchases it. Ruark writes a couple of books where a 416 is heralded as a fantastic dg machine, (which it is) and presto, everyone has to have a 416 for their African Safari of a lifetime. The trend continues to this day.

A few of us are either old or possibly just nostalgic and prefer the 404. Here is mine. According to Jeffery's Ledger, she turned 111 years old this past June. She is older than any 416, and more affordable than a preWWII 416 if you can find one.

104_2254-jpg.22501
@Wheels
Absolutely beautiful. From when I started as a kid reading about African hunting I have wanted and fell in love with the 404. Alas the closest I will ever come is the 404 loaded round I have. Just having it in my hand reminds me of many a long night reading books under the bed covers dreaming of Africa. The others I felling love with were the 425WR, 350 Rigby magnum and the 318WR.
Bob
 
I’m a bit slow on the keyboard atm. Recovering from second shoulder reco in 18 months. Yes, the shooting shoulder! Not sure how much I will be using the 404 for a while.Handloads went from 75g of ADI2208 at 2233 FPS to81g at 2420fps. As you can see by the target, I should have been satisfied with the 3 shot group after the fouler. Everything was spreading from that..
Although 79g @ 2370 FPS would have been an acceptable Group except for the first 3 shots. As I was really only hoping for an accurate mix at around the 2150 fps,I will settle on the 2230 job. I also made the mistake of firing 32 shots off the bench for the load testing.The recoil accelerated the vitreous detachment in my eye away from the retina. The BGRC guys tell me they normally shoot more than 6 or 8 off the bench in a single session.Will all be off hand in future, if ever,lol.
it would be a shame to not get the opportunity the 404 on another African jaunt, and to have resort to the M03 .375!
cheers
@Rule404
I'm feeling your pain mate. Still aways to go after shoulder surgery in January. With that and the bastard China flu I haven't fired a shot since early January. Even now if I could I'm only allowed up to the 222 rem.
Bob
 
I own both an original Jefferies in .404 Jefferies. Nothing special about it simple military Mauser action. I also own an original Original Rigby Single Square bridge .416R.

The Rigby in original form holds 5 rounds the Jefferies 3 rounds. The Rigby hits harder and recoil is heavier, the rifle is also heavier.

Which rifle do I usually throw in the Cruiser these days? The .404 Jefferies.
 
B00F00F4-F2DE-44E2-9BC7-4DAE6B172D37.jpeg

@Rule404
I'm feeling your pain mate. Still aways to go after shoulder surgery in January. With that and the bastard China flu I haven't fired a shot since early January. Even now if I could I'm only allowed up to the 222 rem.
Bob
I did go and retest a few woodleigh 375s the week before the surgery. Figured I couldn’t do any more damage, just tolerate a bit of pain. My surgeon was a bit crabby about having to do it all again, so it’s 6 weeks in a sling and doing as I’m told. While I can’t allow myself to use a sled, I will certainly be using a recoil pad and might investigate in stock recoil reducers..Tradition and aversion to butchery would rule out a muzzle break. I haven’t weighed the 404 but it has a bit of heft and the recoil is more of a solid push than the sharpness of my 300wm. I have an 8x68S with a rather short barrel and that is a brutal experience even in a hefty M03.
 
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I picked up a pristine Ruger RSM 375 H&H last year. Really nice rifle but I already have an excellent CZ550 375H&H with AHR upgrades 1 & 2. I'm thinking about having the RSM rechambered to 404J. I'd prefer to have the original barrel rebored if possible. The original barrel and quarter rib were machined as one piece and I'd like to retain that. Is this doable and, if so, any recommendations on a gunsmith other than AHR. I asked Wayne about rechambering a CZ550 to 404J or 400H&H and he wasn't interested so I need a different gunsmith.
 
I own both an original Jefferies in .404 Jefferies. Nothing special about it simple military Mauser action. I also own an original Original Rigby Single Square bridge .416R.

The Rigby in original form holds 5 rounds the Jefferies 3 rounds. The Rigby hits harder and recoil is heavier, the rifle is also heavier.

Which rifle do I usually throw in the Cruiser these days? The .404 Jefferies.

Lon,

Do you know what year your 404 was made? Obviously prior to 1912 when Jeffery got access to the Magnum Mauser action.

Can you post a photo?

Also a photo of your 416 if you don't mind.
 
Lon, I’m also in the habit of using the 404 lately! I own 4 of these grand old boys, two Original Jeffery’s, a sq bridge Magnum Mauser and a non name English proofed Mauser M98 simply marked 404! The Norma ammo shoots hot and to the left necessitating me to adjust the old iron sights.

BA2D4A2C-3A39-4586-94CF-E20C73ED8334.jpeg
DACE8BB1-ACC8-4795-9E20-FCA6EBCFB908.jpeg
 
The original thread question was “what is it about the 404?”.Actionbobs reply started “ there is history with the 404” and mentioned “it has a reputation for getting the job done” I have not seen a better summation throughout the entire thread. Of course all firearms, Calibers and cartridges, have “history” but some have just got that certain Aura and hard earned reputation for “getting the job done” Other caliber in this class undeniably “do the job“ to, but, then, they just not 404’s lol.
it appears to me that the “ Club” is made up of several types. Those fortunate enough to own one or more And have fallen for the history,mystic and romanticism, those with regret, that owned one and sold it, and wished that they had not, and those that understand, and are just waiting the opportunity to own one! There are others that just don’t “ get it“and probably never will, and who argue the merits of certain other cartridges vs the 404. The argument and facts are often clearly correct and make sense and the cartridge in question may even have a certain “ history” and a level of “Aura” but, then, it’s not a 404!
There is also a small sub club that has been mentioned from way south of the border, that being the “Tin arse club” of which I also count myself as a member. Kiwis and Aussies will understand this immediately but research may be required by others. Rifles picked up cheaply at auction help entry to this sub club.
Through my work I happened to drop by a club shoot. I walked passed the for sale table and my eye was drawn to the rifle in the above photos. A quick glance at the sign let me know that the price was not too bad, but as I was not in the market for another firearm and also trying to fund another Namibian adventure, I just said to myself, DO NOT PICK this rifle up and kept walking. Later in the day I was back and as I walked into the clubhouse the owner of the 404 walked out the door with the unbagged FN in his hands. He had forgotten something and handed the rifle to me, saying hold this, and went back to retrieve the forgotten article.I was done!! It was that simple. The rifle just felt right! Paperwork completed, folding stuff exchanged and it was mine within a week. How lucky can you be?
I then “Tin arsed“ some Kynoch brass from a guy at the range, which will become my favourite for sure. It’s that “ history” thing again. I did not take the 404 to Namibia as the trip was too close and there just wasn’t the time to work out best loads, or factory ammo to do the job. However one of the PH’s was using an M03 in 404. He swore by the rifle and cartridge and testified to it’s effectiveness on Buffs and Elephant.
sorry for the long diatribe, but boredom has set in. 5 weeks to go. Bummer.
Bob, it will be a long wait till January for you, I pray that with all you guys are currently going through up there that your surgery does not get pushed back
cheers all
 
I’ve only ever taken one African animal with a .404 Jeffery - a Hippopotamus in 1978 . Rifle was a Cogswell & Harrison built on a Pattern 14 Enfield action , in 1950 . Ammunition was RWS 400 Gr round nosed steel covered FMJ solids ( this was the only ammunition being made for this caliber at the time , according to my white hunter ) . Took three bullets to down that hippo . The recovered “ solids “ looked like little mushrooms , having expanded like soft points after rupturing their flimsy steel jackets . Of course , you can hardly blame the caliber for the fault of those poorly constructed German FMJ solids .

But I just got so fond of the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum , that I never really got to use a .404 Jeffery again . I’d still really like to give the .404 Jeffery another chance with modern ammunition , though .
 
Rule404, when your shoulder is in working order you may want to try the Woodleigh Hydros. In my Cz550 in 416 Rigby- they did not make the 404 as standard when I was in the market, no regrets with the Rigby- they print to the same point as the Soft nose and with the same powder charge are 100fps faster. Go figure. If they work for you then you have a one rifle, one powder charge two bullets to cover all of Africa and the rest of the world.(y)
 
Hi Rule 303. I will do..I have some in the cupboard to load, and also in most of the other stuff I reload. I used a 300wm hydro on a 900kg Eland and can vouch for the damage they do. It was a long wait for the bull to be enough on his own to take the shot. I only used Woodleighs on my trips and love them. Apart from operator error through inexperienc, on the first gemsbuck,all were one shot kills at varying distances From 50 to 250m. The hydros target within half inch of my best load in the 300. I have test loaded some other projectiles but have not used them in the field. I am loathe to change from something used with success and accuracy.
A guy called Mozzie on Australian hunting net has been testing every pill known in 9.3x62 on hundreds of pigs,horses,dogs and scrub bulls Over several years. The woodleighs, along with others, get his tick of approval.
cheers
 
Incidentally, my Eland turned up yesterday after a two year wait. This Hartmans skin turned up as well. I’ve sneaked it in, not sure how long it will last there tho!! I shopped around for a freight price and made a huge saving even tho the airlines are limited. Import fees and customs in Australia have increased by above 50% so it was a wallet shock and a bit off putting for a future excursion. Wuhan flu allowing of course.
3206E698-509C-4DE3-B067-EF21D7E3FB35.jpeg
 
Incidentally, my Eland turned up yesterday after a two year wait. This Hartmans skin turned up as well. I’ve sneaked it in, not sure how long it will last there tho!! I shopped around for a freight price and made a huge saving even tho the airlines are limited. Import fees and customs in Australia have increased by above 50% so it was a wallet shock and a bit off putting for a future excursion. Wuhan flu allowing of course.View attachment 416515
@Rule404
Mate I'm still waiting for mine from September 2019.
Bob
 
Hi Rule 303. I will do..I have some in the cupboard to load, and also in most of the other stuff I reload. I used a 300wm hydro on a 900kg Eland and can vouch for the damage they do. It was a long wait for the bull to be enough on his own to take the shot. I only used Woodleighs on my trips and love them. Apart from operator error through inexperienc, on the first gemsbuck,all were one shot kills at varying distances From 50 to 250m. The hydros target within half inch of my best load in the 300. I have test loaded some other projectiles but have not used them in the field. I am loathe to change from something used with success and accuracy.
A guy called Mozzie on Australian hunting net has been testing every pill known in 9.3x62 on hundreds of pigs,horses,dogs and scrub bulls Over several years. The woodleighs, along with others, get his tick of approval.
cheers
Yep, I communicate with Moz now and again. So far have taken 2 smaller cull Elephant and 1 Cape Buff with the Hydro's in the Rigby, all one shot jobs, though finishers/safety shots taken as well.

After the cost of getting my Buff skull home I said never again. That was the cost of another trip after Tahr/Chamois. I'd rather look at pics from the hunt I had because I did not bring skins/bones home from another trip. bring home enough and there is another trip to Africa, well on my income. I did think things were a little expensive until the Australian red tape cost came in and that just killed it.
 

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