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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Big Bore Rifles

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hunter_angler
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Reged: 24/03/10
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Loc: Grand Marais, Michigan (home i...
.400 Jeffery for Plains Game
      #170401 - 28/10/10 04:16 AM

How do you guys feel about the .450/400 NE on plains game? Like the .375 H&H, the .404 Jeffery in a bolt action has a long standing reputation as a great all-rounder for Africa.

I figure with roughly the same ballistics, the rimmed .450/400 could be equally versatile, and properly handloaded in a Ruger No.1 could be made accurate enough out to 150 yards. I do all of my hunting with iron sights anyway, express leaf and aperture.

Don't get me wrong, I would use a double in .470 NE for buffalo, but it seems the .400 Jeffery should work on non-dangerous game, and maybe provide a bit of insurance when hunting where animals that do fight back can show up at any time.

Overkill? Well I just like traditional big bores, and a .470 double plus .450/400 Farky style single shot two rifle battery would be fun to take to the Dark Continent.

Maybe I can experiment and use the numero uno for deer in the U.P. next month! The mere sight of it will keep the black bears away.

Thanks all.

--------------------
old school rimmy

Edited by hunter_angler (28/10/10 04:24 AM)


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Ben
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Loc: Northern Territory, Australia
Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: hunter_angler]
      #170442 - 28/10/10 08:26 AM

I also use iron sights on mine, and have killed pigs, donkeys, a brumby and a wild dog (as well as some of the big stuff here). Having never been to Africa, I don't have the faintest idea how zebra compare to donkeys in terms of how close one can get, or how pigs compare to warthogs in the same way. The donkeys I shot were at what I consider to be extreme range for me and this rifle, at about 120 metres. As a result, although I got them, shot placement was not what I would prefer (although I was much newer to the rifle then). I suppose two points to consider are that although it would work, you would be dismissing a fair percentage of shots otherwise available with a fast, scoped .30 (or similar), and that at the extreme limit of your ability in terms of range, the risk for expensive misadventure increases. But, aren't they just a wonderful little rifle / cartridge combo! Good luck!

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ozhunter
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: Ben]
      #170474 - 28/10/10 06:23 PM

450/400 on plains game?
Great, except if you want to take some of those odd long shots.


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Paul
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: ozhunter]
      #170477 - 28/10/10 07:03 PM

Whatyasaid, Adam. As the original African all-rounder, it should work OK in much of East Africa - maybe not so good in Namibia.

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hunter_angler
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Reged: 24/03/10
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: Paul]
      #170493 - 28/10/10 11:45 PM

Yeah, I figure on the longer shots (if you even want to take them) it would probably be a lot like using a hot-loaded .45-70 at 200 yards (which I have - but only at the range). Good bullet weight retains enough energy to get the job done, but it ain't gonna shoot flat. You would have to hold pretty high to adjust for the rainbow trajectory.

One of those old-time ladder sights they used to use here for plains bison might look pretty funky on a Ruger No. 1! Actually, the peep sight I use adjusts pretty well for elevation. I am not sure if most PH's want you shooting at 200 yards with open irons anyway. Potentially too much work to do if you only manage a gut shot.

Thanks for your input, guys.

--------------------
old school rimmy

Edited by hunter_angler (28/10/10 11:54 PM)


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458Win
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Reged: 15/12/06
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Loc: Alaska
Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: hunter_angler]
      #170648 - 31/10/10 09:27 AM

It works for Alaska's version of "plains game"
This is the new 8 1/2 pound Zoli 450/400 and it is accurate enough to assure hits out past 300 meters.



--------------------
Anyone who claims the 30-06 is ineffective has either never used one - or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship
Phil Shoemaker
www.grizzlyskinsofalaska.com

Edited by CptCurl (01/11/10 10:28 PM)


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Ben
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Reged: 22/08/08
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: 458Win]
      #170649 - 31/10/10 09:31 AM

Nice one, Phil.

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CHAPUISARMES
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: Ben]
      #170651 - 31/10/10 10:01 AM

Hi Phil,

Well done, that's a lovely looking area but a bit cold I suspect. Zoli do make good weapons, I have a O/U shotgun and find the workmanship more than acceptable. I just wish that they made S/S Double Rifles.

Cheers,

Jeff Gray

.


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458Win
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Loc: Alaska
Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: CHAPUISARMES]
      #170664 - 31/10/10 02:10 PM

There are no flies on their O&U double rifles. There are precious few 8 1/2 pound 450/400 doubles of any make and even fewer as rugged and reliable as this one. Also have never seen a SxS that you could count on for long shots as well as the close ones.



--------------------
Anyone who claims the 30-06 is ineffective has either never used one - or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship
Phil Shoemaker
www.grizzlyskinsofalaska.com

Edited by CptCurl (01/11/10 10:28 PM)


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hunter_angler
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Reged: 24/03/10
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: 458Win]
      #170778 - 02/11/10 12:09 AM

Awesome, Phil.

At what range do you zero your Zoli? Where the barrels regulate? And if so, do you have a scope setting for longer range shots from your top pipe?

Do you use factory loaded ammo? What kind of bullet drop do you see at 300 meters?

Just curious as I currently have my Ruger single shot sighted in at 50 yards with the folding leaf, and 100 yards with the peep, using A-Square.

Thanks!

--------------------
old school rimmy

Edited by hunter_angler (02/11/10 01:03 AM)


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458Win
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: hunter_angler]
      #170790 - 02/11/10 03:53 AM

I've been shooting mostly Hornady factory but also am loading 350 and 400 gr Swift A-Frames to the same velocity.
The top barrel of my Zoli tends to shoot 5 to 7 inches high with Hornady Factory ammo ( it is an early gun and was regulated with Kynoch) Since both barrels are perfectly in line I simply started playing around and found that with the bottom barrel printing on at 100 the top barrel was hitting on at 300.
Zoli has offerd to re-regulate the rifle with Hornady ammo but I am beginning to get used to the idea of knowing exactly where I can hit and at rock throwing distance where the double really earns it's keep both barrels are still minute of a bear.

--------------------
Anyone who claims the 30-06 is ineffective has either never used one - or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship
Phil Shoemaker
www.grizzlyskinsofalaska.com


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hunter_angler
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Reged: 24/03/10
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: 458Win]
      #170794 - 02/11/10 04:38 AM

Thanks again, Phil.

Yes, and again that I think is the real value of the "all-rounder" caliber, in Africa or your neck of the tundra.

Dangerous game can show up at any time, and although a .30 caliber might be the better tool for flat shots at 2-300 yards in open country, here are times when you are glad the rifle you are carrying is able to push 400 grainers at a big nasty-tempered target closer by.

--------------------
old school rimmy


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458Win
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: hunter_angler]
      #171031 - 06/11/10 12:54 PM



It works on dangerous game as well.

--------------------
Anyone who claims the 30-06 is ineffective has either never used one - or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship
Phil Shoemaker
www.grizzlyskinsofalaska.com

Edited by CptCurl (08/11/10 10:46 PM)


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NitroXAdministrator
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Reged: 25/12/02
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: 458Win]
      #171054 - 07/11/10 01:45 AM

I would like a .450/400 DR myself and as often only one gun can be taken in luggage, it would need to double as a somewhat plains game rifle as well. Maybe the longer shots would be difficult.

But even though this annoys some purists, if the "regulation" of the two barrels is "insufficient" at longer ranges, there is not reason why the rifle can be used at longer ranges as a single shot. As long as you know how one barrel shoots at different ranges and it is in line with the scope or sights. Obviously two barrels is better than one, but if only one barrel will do it, no different to a single shot hunter, except at closer ranges you have two barrels.

Just my ideas on the subject.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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hunter_angler
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: NitroX]
      #171175 - 09/11/10 04:06 AM

Agreed, NitroX. I would think particularly with an all 'rounder caliber like a .400 Jeffery, .375 flanged or even 9.3X74R you would want a double to be sighted in out past regulation with just one barrel for best accuracy.

My only double rifles are a 12 bore muzzleloader and a .470 NE which I really can't imagine using past 100 yards, and that is the longest distance at which I have shot either at the range. My .450/400 3 inch is, again, a Ruger No. 1.

Historically, have the longer range (e.g. 200 yard) express leaves on doubles been sighted in using one barrel or a compromise of both? Would probably be a great application for a detachable scope or folding tang sight to zero one tube for longer range work. On a SXS I would probably sight my left barrel in for longer range as I am used to choking my shotguns that way.

--------------------
old school rimmy


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szihn
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: hunter_angler]
      #171241 - 10/11/10 08:10 AM


When I was a younger man I used a 404 Jeffery for many months. It was an old original rifle made my Jeffery
The 404 was designed to be a bolt action replacement for the 450/400 as I was told.
Both fired 400 grain bullets of about the same diameter at about the same velocity. I used 2 different kinds of ammo back then. Old Kynoch which was loaded to about 2150 FPS and some German ammo (which may have been DWM or RWS, but I can’t remember now) which I was told was loaded to 2350 FPS.

I can tell you faithfully, the 404 was a super good all-around gun and worked very well on every animal I used it against from the smallest to the very largest. I am speaking for weights from about 75 pounds to about 10,000 pounds.
So I can't see why the 450/400would not be a superb rifle for all uses except for animals under about 30 pounds (thing 22 LR or maybe 222 here) and for any long range shots of about 300 yards or more. ( Think scoped bolt action in a flat shooting caliber here)

Iron sights are the sights of either (A) good eyes or (B)disciplined sportsmen.
When I was young I had 20/10 vision, or what the military doctor called "double perfect".
I never felt the slightest bit handicapped with that old rifle at any range I ever had an opportunity to shoot.
Now days, I would need a good peep sight, ---- and a scope is worth the price, with no arguments.

I am a firm believer that the "very best" caliber for "one rifle for everything" is still the 375H&H, but I would feel "good" about it also with a 450/400, or a 404, or a 416 Taylor or any of the 416s for that matter.


I don't believe I would load any of the 40-42 calibers to more then 2250 FPS. I see no reason to do it. Loaded faster gives more range, but I have never seen ANY reason to need additional powder that what I get with my 375 H&H if I am shooting at ANYTHING over 100 yards away. The 375 is a better option for me for longer shots on game then any of the 40+ rifles because I shoot it better, and I have never seen any lack of power from it.
It is not going to be as effective as a 40+ at "stopping” a big animals but at 100 yds or more, I don't really care if the game moves 50-75 yards before it falls. ( an just as a note, I have never had one got more then 20 yds after I shot it with a 375)
No animal is dangerous until it's very close.

At very close range against a wounded dangerous animal, I would move right up to a 458 or one of the 460s or maybe a 505.

So hot loading the 450/400 or 404, or even the 416s doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Long shots is not what I would use these rifles for.
They are great for general purposes, having the ability to do about 95% of all tasks we'd ask of them. They actually have more than enough power for most hunting.

For a BIG wounded animal at very close range, a bigger rifle is going to probably be better, but that nitch is nearly always the rheum of a guide or pro-hunter, backing up a client that didn't do a very good job with the first round.

I have owned and built a lot of very large rifles in my life and shot them too, but I have no particular use any more for anything much larger then a "40" . I have made and owned Bolt actions up to 505 Gibbs, and I have made and shot muzzleloaders up to 4 bore. I made one 2 bore rifle too, but I would not fire it from my shoulder. (I am just not up to that .)

My favorite 2 calibers are still 270 Winchester and 375H&H, but I have a soft spot in my heart for the 404, 450/400 and the 416 Taylor too.
Bottom line is this:
If you like a 450/400 get one. You will not be unhappy.


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hunter_angler
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: szihn]
      #171291 - 11/11/10 10:30 AM

Thanks, Steve. You have considerably more experience than I do as a rifleman and a gunsmith, but I agree with a lot of your points.

First, my eyes are no longer what they once were either. Although I do not use a scope, I do use a peep/aperture sight for most any shots beyond 50 yards. Beyond 200 yards I seldom even take a shot. As far as I am concerned that sort of shooting falls more into the category of marksmanship than hunting. I prefer when the connection is a bit more up close and personal, more sporting if you will.

I also agree that if I were deliberately venturing within 50 yards of a buff or lion, wounded or not, I would prefer having my double in .470 NE in my hands. Based on my experience and what I can gleam from others, anything bigger than that is probably overkill at both ends. However, a .411-.423 caliber is capable of taking anything on land at reasonable ranges, if one is sufficiently in control of the situation and places the shot well. As an all 'rounder, relative to a .375 H&H, a "forty" maybe tips the balance away from long range capability and toward stopping power, more important to me. I also see no need for muzzle velocities greater than 2150 fps, which in my view tip the balance toward self induced torture.

I own more guns than I need, and larger and smaller bores are fun and serve specific purposes. Frankly, given my approach to hunting I sometimes feel that in North America I really need nothing more than a 12 gauge shotgun and my lever in .348 WIN, and that in Africa I could just replace the latter with my .450/400. Or maybe a new custom BLR in .416 Taylor...

Edited by hunter_angler (11/11/10 10:38 AM)


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szihn
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Reged: 24/06/07
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: hunter_angler]
      #171296 - 11/11/10 12:10 PM

We are in agreement on all points.
I also have more rifles then I need, but so what?
I like rifles.

A BLR in 416 Taylor would be very cool. I have not ever done a conversion on a BLR.
I understand that Browning made some for belted mags, so it would seem to be a fairly simple conversion.


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kamilaroi
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Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: szihn]
      #171300 - 11/11/10 12:57 PM

FWIW Jeffrey did 2 loads for the 404 loaded by Kynoch, a 400grn soft or solid at abt 2150fps for Africa and a 300grn at 2600fps for those on shikar in India after mountain game.

The original "world rifle".


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Con
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Loc: Victoria
Re: .400 Jeffery for Plains Game [Re: kamilaroi]
      #171304 - 11/11/10 02:42 PM

kamilaroi,
I've found one reference that suggested there was a 300gr Velopex load listed for the 450/400 x 3 1/4" in an early Eley catalogue. Never been able to verify, but it'd make sense given the 404Jeffery/400Jeffery relationship.
Cheers...
Con


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