Winchester Safari Express to 404 conversion

elmerfudd555

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I know this forum has been around the block on this multiple times but Im going to ask (re-ask?) two questions:

I have an opportunity to pick up a mint Left handed safari express in 375 H&H, actually nicer wood than the one I currently have. Great price point. I want to convert to a 404 jeff. Ive searched high and low for a CRF ultramag as a donor rifle and have struck out. Have to do it with the 375.

Just to short circuit: I dont want a 416 Rem, 400 H&H or 470 Capstick. I want a jeff. Hell with logical paths in life.

Honest john opinion - will this work out well or have me freaking later?
Can you recommend a gunsmith (eastern USA) with experience doing these conversions?
Ballpark price points if you have done this? CZ wants an arm and a leg for a very plain rifle. Montana apparently cant do it yet in lefty (404 jeff)

Thanks folks!

H
 

Ray B

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Other than getting a new barrel, follower and opening the boltface a tiny bit I don't see why it would be a problem.
 

AZDAVE

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You could look at having the barrel rebored and chambered by one of a couple different guys. I did a conversion on a Ruger RMS 375, Had Pac-nor rebarrelcost was 600ish. I did the sight work and had the new barrel and action cerakoted. It fed well with no problems. It is now in owned by another member of this forum.
 

fourfive8

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Its a crf action. One of the last out of New Haven.
IMO, those are some of the very best ever produced by Win. Super smooth cycling and retained the excellent original Win 70 trigger.
 
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elmerfudd555

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Agreed on the late New Havens. Mine is a 375 out of the custom shop and is very well built, shoots sub minute with nearly everything and is a pleasure to shoot. I won't pass this one up as they aren't easy to find.

Thanks everyone for the comments and assistance. I need to go buy that rifle.
 

8x68

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I did almost the exact same conversion (different M70 model). I had a 375 H&H M70 Stainless CRF Classic rebarrelled to 404J.
I have a thread on here somewhere about it.
Basically it was "plug & play". It's been a while but if I remember correctly they had to modify the extractor groove, and feed ramp a bit. The barrel channel was also opened up a bit due to a slightly heavier contour barrel. Other than that it was straightforward.
Shoots like a dream.
Found a couple of older 404 threads you might be interested in. First one is about the conversion I had done.
Second thread is a much prettier version of a 404J

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/404-jeffery-project.23306/page-4#post-215852

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/finally-my-404-jeffery-has-arrived.23493/#post-214816
 
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elmerfudd555

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I did almost the exact same conversion (different M70 model). I had a 375 H&H M70 Stainless CRF Classic rebarrelled to 404J.
I have a thread on here somewhere about it.
Basically it was "plug & play". It's been a while but if I remember correctly they had to modify the extractor groove, and feed ramp a bit. The barrel channel was also opened up a bit due to a slightly heavier contour barrel. Other than that it was straightforward.
Shoots like a dream.
Found a couple of older 404 threads you might be interested in. First one is about the conversion I had done.
Second thread is a much prettier version of a 404J

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/404-jeffery-project.23306/page-4#post-215852

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/finally-my-404-jeffery-has-arrived.23493/#post-214816
Thanks for the information. I am definiteLy going this route. Should be a beautiful rifle when I'm done.
 

CAustin

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I hope you will share the conversion journey with us !
 

Glenn Slaven

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So reading some John Taylor on the john... and I get to the section on .404 Jeffery. So then I find this and some other threads on conversion. So then I go to GB and find a .375 H&H Winchester Safari (New Haven) (used for what I think is fair price) just to “what if” and “I wonder”.....and now I own it. ‍♂️

Couldn’t say no.
 

Glenn Slaven

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We shall see how this goes. I may keep it as a .375 for a little while.
 

Newboomer

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Check out Hill Country Rifles in New Braunfels, Texas. They do some real nice rebuilds.
 

2L8

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If you want the barrel rebored JES has a reputation for quality work, fast turn around and a fair price. Muzzle Diameter would need to be a minimum of 0.623".
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Check out Hill Country Rifles in New Braunfels, Texas. They do some real nice rebuilds.

In late January, I bought a Win Mod 70 Super Grade in 300 Rum off of GB for a donor to convert to 404 Jeff. I contacted Hill Country Rifles and they said they no longer would do this conversion because they cited the difficulty of getting perfect feeding required for a DG rifle. I ended up going to Dennis Olsen in Montana. We had a very long wait for Krieger to make the new barrel, almost 8 months. The rifle is just about done as Dennis sent me a few photos and I should have it in hand within a week or two.
 

Glenn Slaven

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I’m wondering if a 400 H&H isn’t easier since it is from the 375 case. Just rebore and rechamber, and BAM. (At least that’s how it works in my head...)
 

tarbe

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:eek: It is not a 404 Jeff!

There is a time for being practical, and there is a time for being responsible.

This is the time to be responsible. Do the .404J!! ;)
 

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