Jump to content
Military Firearm Restoration Corner
Sign in to follow this  
Quick Karl

Look What I Found...

Recommended Posts

Some photos (cleaned up with a green scotch brite): I think it might be a .404 BJ Express???

 

LEFTSIDE_zps02392c35.jpg

 

TOP_zpsf6e23e7a.jpg

 

RIGHTSIDEsmall_zps7a1cde1f.jpg

 

You can see where is was either marred in a vice or a bad action wrench...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just took a look, I no longer have any chamber casting lead left. It can be ordered from Roto Metals .com. Years ago friend and I tried it with candle wax and were able to determine a Jap type 99 was converted to 300 Savage. It took a few attempts but we finally got it to come out in one piece. If I remember right we used white lithium grease inside the chamber. I'm pretty sure we plugged the bore with oil soaked paper towel rolled into a ball.

I'm not familiar with 404 BJ Express. Is it a belted mag? If yes it will make life much easier fire forming cases. Do you know what the parent cartridge is? Myself being a 41 mag revolver fan I imagine the 404 BJ Express is bad ass. With the "Express" label I assume it might be British cartridge. For the sake of you bank account I hope the reloading dies are not a custom shop only type.

 

EDIT:

Curiosity got me. I put 404 Jeffery Express into a search on Midway's website. Brass not exactly cheap to say the least. From the photo it appears to be a belted mag. If it is not H&H length. Hopefully you can trim and fire form using 300 Winnie or 338 mag. Randall's in Glendale was over stocked on 7MM STW brass and was selling it at pre-shortage prices. The STW brass is H&H length so it left plenty to work with after trimming to the right length. Randall's eventually wised up and jacked to price up. Myself and others I'm sure was buying the STW brass and trimming it. I used it to form 458 and did 2 into 308 Norma. The Norma I did for no particular reason. I had the Norma die set and trimmer out and on my bench and did it I guess just for the heck of it.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/969680/quality-cartridge-reloading-brass-404-b-j-express-box-of-20

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just took a look, I no longer have any chamber casting lead left. It can be ordered from Roto Metals .com. Years ago friend and I tried it with candle wax and were able to determine a Jap type 99 was converted to 300 Savage. It took a few attempts but we finally got it to come out in one piece. If I remember right we used white lithium grease inside the chamber. I'm pretty sure we plugged the bore with oil soaked paper towel rolled into a ball.

 

I'm not familiar with 404 BJ Express. Is it a belted mag? Do you know what the parent cartridge is? Myself being a 41 mag revolver fan I imagine the 404 BJ Express is bad ass. With the "Express" label I assume it might be British cartridge. For the sake of you bank account I hope the reloading dies are not a custom shop only type.

 

I ordered some Cerrosafe and it's on the way!

 

I have no clue about the caliber and there is hardly a mention of it in Google - but I think it's supposed to deliver the same energy as a 404 Jeffrey 416 Remington Magnum but with a .410 diameter bullet in a belted magnum case that will fit into an M98 action? A 300g bullet at 2810FPS and a 400g bullet going about 2425FPS I believe. Bet it's a real attention-getter!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what little I found on the 404 BJ Express seemed to say that the case is either based on a necked up 338 Winchester Magnum case, or a necked up 375 H&H case. I think I would tend to lean towards the 338 case my self. It might be easier to convert 416 Taylor brass (neck down) that expand 338 WM brass, but the final answer to that will depend on your chamber cast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I imagine that once I figure out zactly what it is, and if I can get a set of dies made for it so I can load something to shoot through it, it's going to kick!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the folks at Barnes Bullets, the F.N. Barnes stamped on my barrel stands for Fred Barnes, the originator of Barnes bullets!

I still haven't gotten the Cerrosafe (tomorrow), but they are fairly certain it is a 404 B-J Express (a .411 bullet in a 375 H&H case shortened to fit in standard length actions, which would explain the factory 3.400 magazine box!).

Now, to find some .411 diameter bullets...


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be interesting to see if it is based on the 375H&H case(meaning, with lots of body taper) or the 338WM case(less taper, holds more powder).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was able to get a drawing from someone on a different forum but I have no way to compare the drawing to my chamber just yet. Nevertheless, based on that drawing the case is very similar to a 300 WIN MAG, but necked for the .411.

 

But the parent case for all of these is the 375 H&H.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't help it. I had to know what it looked like. Well, at least my best guess based on information I've been able to gather so far...

 

cartridges_zpsabe8d6b4.jpg

 

Pretty neat lookin'!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The belted magnum case head is the same for both cartridges, if that's what you're asking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The belted magnum case head is the same for both cartridges, if that's what you're asking?

 

Is the 404 a factory round or did you create it from another cartridge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the 404 a factory round or did you create it from another cartridge?

 

 

It's an illustration. I modeled both cartridges in a program named SolidWorks just because I wanted to see what the 404 might look like!

 

Maybe I am misunderstanding your question?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an illustration. I modeled both cartridges in a program named SolidWorks just because I wanted to see what the 404 might look like!

 

Maybe I am misunderstanding your question?

 

Sorry Karl, it was me misunderstanding the photo. I assumed the photo was of live cartridges you handloaded. Guess I'm showing my age and forgot about the ability to produce a picture on a computer.

 

From the picture the 404 looks as it could be reformed from 300 Mag brass. If Randall's in Glendale is still selling the 7MM STW brass cheap. It might be easier to work with. If you locate the 404 die set let me know. I should have a couple pieces of 7MM STW unfired brass buried some where in my junk boxes I'll send you. Nice thing about belted mag brass. If you can get it chambered, with it headspacing on the belt. It is easily fire-formed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Karl, it was me misunderstanding the photo. I assumed the photo was of live cartridges you handloaded. Guess I'm showing my age and forgot about the ability to produce a picture on a computer.

 

From the picture the 404 looks as it could be reformed from 300 Mag brass. If Randall's in Glendale is still selling the 7MM STW brass cheap. It might be easier to work with. If you locate the 404 die set let me know. I should have a couple pieces of 7MM STW unfired brass buried some where in my junk boxes I'll send you. Nice thing about belted mag brass. If you can get it chambered, with it headspacing on the belt. It is easily fire-formed.

 

When the time comes my plan is to buy some factory brass http://www.midwayusa.com/product/969680/quality-cartridge-reloading-brass-404-b-j-express-box-of-20 but that will be after I cast the chamber and know exactly what the dimensions are.

 

In order to get a good set of dies I have to provide 3-fired cases, so I will be forced to trim and neck-up some 375 H&H cases (the 375 seem to be the case that will require the least amount of work).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In order to get a good set of dies I have to provide 3-fired cases,

 

Don't know for sure about now. Previously and it has been close to 20 years I think. RCBS, C-H and one other required three once fired factory ammo cartridges. At the time, a fire formed or previously reloaded case was not acceptable. The 375 H&H brass will break the bank. Chances are good the neck and a good portion of the shoulder will be trimmed off if you use H&H length brass for the parent cartridge. 300 Weatherby or any Weatherby except the 375 and 460 will have the same belt and may also make a good parent cartridge. Back when Ebay allowed brass to be sold. I don't remember the numbers but do know I got way to much for all the 300 and 375 H&H brass I got from an estate sale.

 

There is an internet dealer that will sell odd factory ammo by the piece rather than by the box. If I still have his website in my favorites I'll post it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The results of my Cerrosafe chamber casting experiment! Remember, I do NOT have an optical comparator, just a Starrett .0001 Mic, a digital caliper, and a 10X optivisor.

 

QKCHAMBERCAST_zps58e50545.jpg

 

Something tells me this chamber was never "finish reamed"... I don't know what to make of it but at least it seems like I should be able to ream it to a .404 B-J Express though that might be a trick since the belted part is already reamed and that is where you head space it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm calculating the taper of the actual cartridge at 0.40247 degrees.

 

Is that 0.500 measurement on your cerrosafe the shoulder diameter?

 

My calcs are saying the original cartridge will be at 0.500 at about 1.145 inches from the base.

 

You might be oversized on your existing chamber at the shoulder; i.e., you may have to set the barrel back 0.855 inches (2.000-1.145)

 

Am I reading that right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm calculating that this was the first time I ever did a chamber cast: :D

  • my eyes are old
  • I'm not sure how to perfectly measure the shoulder of a chamber-cast without an optical comparator
  • I don't have an optical comparator, but I wish I did!

Therefore, information is subject to change.

 

While I did get a surprisingly good cast for a first time event, I think I can do better around the base of the chamber and will do so tomorrow, maybe, and then double check all my dims as best I can and go from there.

 

I noticed the .500 dim too - if I decide to ream it I will set the barrel back .100 because of the barrel markings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're measuring just over 0.500 immediately behind the shoulder, then that's close enough. If that's right, you'll need more than 0.100 to get a clean chamber.

 

I'm suspecting you have a very custom chamber. The case length is about right for an '06-based action (~2.500).

 

There appears plenty of meat on the barrel shank to do whatever you need to do, so it shouldn't be an issue.

 

I still consider what you have a nice find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×