My Favorite Cartridges for Africa (Part 13)

by david on November 7, 2012

404 Jeffery

A 400-grain bullet at 2170 fps yields 4100 ft. lbs. of energy and 41.0 ft. lb. recoil

Ammunition available on a limited basis

            The 404 is the first cartridge on my list that moves from the medium rifle category to the heavy rifle category.  It was introduced in 1909 by W.J. Jeffery and was almost immediately successful.  It is a powerful large-bore round, which was designed to be used in less expensive bolt-action rifles, giving it a leg up over the very expensive double rifles and their proprietary cartridges.  It stayed popular for a few decades and then started to fall in popularity.  It gained a new lease on life in the late 1990s, when the ammunition was once again commercially manufactured, and some rifles chambered for it were once again being made1.  The 404 Jeffery bullet is actually a .422 diameter bullet (why it is not a .404 I do not know).  An alternative load for the 400-grain bullet, traveling @ 2300 fps, yields 4700 ft. lbs. of energy and puts it close to my favorite African heavy rifle cartridge the .416 Rigby.  I will own one of these someday.

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