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Thread: Shot my 404 Jeff for the first time today

  1. #1
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    Shot my 404 Jeff for the first time today

    I spent the past 4+ months building a 404 Jeff. Shot it for the first time today. I am really happy with the results:

    I used a Rem 700 in 300 RUM as a donor rifle. I pillar bedded the stock and added 14 oz of lead fore and aft ( 8 fore, 6 aft) to bring the weight to 9lb without the scope.

    I chambered a Lothar Walthar barrel with a PTG reamer, and re-worked the chamber ramp slightly to improve feeding. Soldered sights, then drilled and tapped for mounting screws.

    In spite of the fact that it is not CRF, it feeds all rounds smoothly.

    Rather than open the bolt face, I trimmed 4 thou from my brass in the lathe. Nice positive lockup and extraction.

    Since this is the first time I have shot anything bigger than my 300 WSM, recoil was attention getting.

    I managed to put 6 rounds down range with open sights just to get a feel for it. My shoulder couldn't take any more -- shot from a tripod.

    I shot 4 rounds, adjusted the sights, and then shot two more.

    Last two rounds went throught the same hole.

    Scope is a Leupold 1.5 - 5 in their new QR mounts.

    Our rifle range was closed for repairs so I could only shoot at around 25 yards.
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  2. #2
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    Beautiful. Now what are you going to do with it?

  3. #3
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    Probably like I do with mine.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Stevens View Post
    Beautiful. Now what are you going to do with it?
    Going to Africa for Cape Buffalo.

  5. #5
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    The reason i asked is you probably want to modify the gun not the brass- what if you need ammo over there? Sweet gun btw. Wish i had a big double, or at least one of those nice wood stocked custom mausers butch has

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Stevens View Post
    The reason i asked is you probably want to modify the gun not the brass- what if you need ammo over there? Sweet gun btw. Wish i had a big double, or at least one of those nice wood stocked custom mausers butch has
    I'm sure Butch would give you one if you ask him real nice...

    I can open up the bolt face 6-7 thou. I was just anxious to go shoot now the temperature is over 110 down here in the desert.

  7. #7
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    I think, pretty dangerous, that you have to have the proper headstamped brass in Africa. He only needs one round for the buff. I would probably do the same thing and explore opening the bolt face.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butch Lambert View Post
    I think, pretty dangerous, that you have to have the proper headstamped brass in Africa. He only needs one round for the buff. I would probably do the same thing and explore opening the bolt face.
    what is more dangerous is that I just cleaned the barrel and found mostly powder fouling. Judging by the recoil I experienced on my first go round today, bumping the load up to clear the powder fouling is not something I am looking forward to.

    I didn't chrony today, but the load is mighty close to 2150, which is as hot as I would like to go, even though many shooters push it all the way to 2300. I'm not sure the buff will be able to tell the difference...

  9. #9
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    Pack it on up. When that cape is out there lookin at you i promise you wont notice! A hippo is about the only thing that scares me more over there except the snakes

  10. #10
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    And yes the headstamp has to match the barrel markings and youre limited on rounds you can take. Always go to africa with a caliber thats common to them. 7mm tombi and 375h&h are their favorite plains game loads. On the big stuff they like em all!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Stevens View Post
    And yes the headstamp has to match the barrel markings and youre limited on rounds you can take. Always go to africa with a caliber thats common to them. 7mm tombi and 375h&h are their favorite plains game loads. On the big stuff they like em all!
    Actually the headstamp does match the barrel markings. The bolt is 7 thou smaller than the standard 404 bolt. the 300 RUM uses a slightly rebated rim so Rem didn't have to invest in a magnum size bolt.

    Through experimenting with rim diameter I have found that I get far better extraction with 6-7 thou less than standard with a stock Rem riveted extractor. I have already had the discussion on this forum with regard to extractors and the pros and cons of using an M-16 style.

    I have found the factory extractor to be fine as long as it is properly fitted.

    This is pretty much academic since the de facto standard for DG hunting is a CRF action. I built this rifle specifically on a Rem action for several reasons, not the least of which was to see if I could handle the recoil and shoot it accurately before investing in a more expensive action and a decent chunk of wood for a stock.

    I have about $1300 in the rifle (sans scope) which I think is pretty good considering a decent custom stock would cost almost that for a real African hunting rifle.

    I did not true the action, the lugs have fine contact, so I saved quite a bit of time there. The Lothar-Walthar barrel (which has also been discussed here) has all the indications of being a sub-MOA shooter, assuming my shoulder does not collapse.

    I'm shooting from a tripod with a Caldwell 'U' shaped adapter. This mimics shooting from 'sticks'.

  12. #12
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    I haven't had a drink in 6 months, but still wonder what I meant about dangerous. AMMOSHOOTER is good to go.

  13. #13
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    Be sure to take plenty of pics. Id give about anything to be able to go do that

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Stevens View Post
    Be sure to take plenty of pics. Id give about anything to be able to go do that
    I'll see if the Buff will take photos also. Fall 2017, Mozambique.

    There are two traditions with your first Cape Buff, only one of which I may partake in. After a successful hunt, one of the trackers will cut out a small square section of the intestine, clean it (yea right) and offer it to you raw. This is called eating "a page of the Bible". Most of those I know who have done this have gotten violently ill with salmonella poisoning. I think this is where the Swahili word 'Mzungu' is derived. It means 'crazy white man'.

    Call me crazy, but I'm going to pass on this one.

    The second is to have the buff's testicles sliced thinly, sauteed in butter, and served like mushrooms over the grilled backstrap. This is called "Eating the buffalo's balls". I am told they are quite tasty and none of the hunters I know who have done this have started wearing skirts and high heels, so I am all in on this one.

  15. #15
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    When i went moose hunting in newfoundland they have tricks like that. All i did was kiss a cod fish and drink screech rum. Still made me an honorary newfie

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