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A real Bargain

This is a discussion on A real Bargain within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; I bought it, didn't need it, but it was priced right and so I did after fooling around with it ...

  1. #1
    Second Wind is offline AH Enthusiast
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    Default A real Bargain

    I bought it, didn't need it, but it was priced right and so I did

    after fooling around with it some I became almost impressed

    Win Mod 70 in .458

    Now understand, I have a 375 that I love

    two 416 Rigbys

    But fatalistically it matches the 470 NE cost a 1/4 to shoot compared to the Rigbys

    So far functions flawlessly

    and I gave $1,000 for it, new in the box

    I figure with a 1.5 - 5 Leopold I am in this gun for about $1,500

    Probably needs to be bedded but the reality is it performs like advertised and I think it would be fine for buf
    or as a back up

    not very exotic but seems like it would do the job

    So, what is the angst about this caliber
    "He even took the gramophone on safari. Three rifles, provisions for a month and . . . . Mozart"
    Karen Blixen

  2. #2
    Nyati's Avatar
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    You made a fantiastic deal, and with the proper ammo, I see no problems whatsoever with this caliber.

  3. #3
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    It's a good deal.

  4. #4
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    Directly to your question- the only thing I can come up with (now mind you I haven't used one but my PH has) is that early on when the round came out bullets and factory loadings weren't up to par. The MV professed was a couple hundred fps faster than actually achieved 1950 vs 2150. It had the stigma of no penetration. I think that now that fault is completely overcome and that MV and penetration ability are as stated.
    Below is some info I purloined but does round out what I am saying. I have considered both the 458 and the LOTT version - just because I want one, even if I used it for plains game with open sights (which I might do on my next trip). Some how though, I don't think I have added to you knowledge base with anything that you already didn't know :-)

    A few years after the end of World War II, Africa's professional hunters faced a growing dilemma--a shortage of ammo for their fine British double rifles. Most ammo on hand was from prewar stock, and Kynoch, the sole source of ammo for the big stoppers, had decided to stop production for most of them.

    Just when the shortage was becoming critical, Winchester came to the rescue in 1956 with the revolutionary .458 Winchester Magnum--an honest-to-God elephant caliber. It was chambered in the Winchester Model 70 African bolt action, and the combination became an instant success among African professionals and their clients alike. Today it's a reasonable certainty that more African professional hunters use a .458 than any other cartridge.

    The introduction of the .458 was a watershed event that changed the face of American sporting arms forever, and it had almost nothing to do with the cartridge's demonstrated effectiveness on African game.

    The impact of the .458 was that it sired a new class of American magnum cartridges suitable for .30-06-length actions, including the .338 and .264 Winchester Magnums, and their success spawned the 7mm Remington Magnum. The high muzzle velocity offered by these new cartridges caught the imagination of American shooters, and "magnumania" was born.

    Also, the .458 had braggin' rights as America's bigbore "stopper caliber," suitable for the heavyweight division of Africa's Big Five dangerous-game animals. A 500-grain bullet at between 2,000 and 2,100 fps made the .458 Magnum nearly equal to the .470 Nitro Express, a classic double-rifle cartridge that launches a 500-grain bullet at about 2,150 fps.

    The first two shots from a good bolt action chambered for the .458 Mag were a bit slower than a "quick left and right" from a double, however; many professionals preferred "three shots in the magazine and one up the pipe" with a bolt action. This additional firepower could be crucial during culling operations or in the event of a charge.

    Over the years, detractors have claimed that the .458 has serious drawbacks as a stopper. One argument says the .458 is a bit short on powder capacity because of its 2 1/2-inch case length. The result, it is said, is that in the real world the .458 falls far short of its advertised muzzle velocity, delivering only 1,900 fps or so in most rifles.

    A second criticism talks about "squib loads" that barely penetrate the thick, tough skin of a Cape buffalo or other "big heavies." This is attributed to compressed powder charges that clump together and burn erratically.

    The critics' answer in both cases is a cartridge that has enough additional case capacity to achieve a significantly higher muzzle velocity without a highly compressed powder charge, such as the somewhat longer .458 Lott. Without doubt, the .458 Lott is a fine stopper, and you might prefer the additional velocity, energy and recoil. However, my range testing shows that you need not feel poorly armed if you carry a .458 Winchester after Cape buffalo, elephant or any other big, truculent beast.

    My test rifle was a Ruger No. 1H with the standard 24-inch barrel. The rifle had started out as a barreled action, and a previous owner had mated it to an extremely plain walnut stock. It doesn't look like much, but it shoots just fine.

    I wired the test rifle for my Oehler Model 43 Personal Ballistics Laboratory. I then fired factory ammo to obtain pressure baseline data. Five-round averages for both loads were slightly higher than advertised velocities. The Winchester 510-grain softpoints launched at 2,070 fps (30 fps over spec), and the Federal 500-grain Trophy Bonded 500-grain solids went slightly higher?2,127 fps instead of 2,090.

    When you handload for the .458, seating depth is your controlling factor. The .458's prodigious recoil makes it necessary to crimp heavily into the bullet's cannelure. Depending on which brand and weight of bullet you use, this might reduce the available powder capacity for a given load. Loads listed in the table on this page were compiled with this in mind.

    Bullet weights range from 300 grains up to 600 grains for the Barnes Original RNSP. However, the lighter bullets are designed to be used in .45-70 or even lighter cartridges and may not yield optimum performance in the .458. For this reason, loads listed here begin with the excellent 350-grain bullets from Barnes and Hornady.

    The .458 Winchester Magnum is considerably more powerful than necessary for North American game. But more than one Alaskan bear guide carries a .458 to back up his clients in the alder tangles of the Alaskan peninsula or Kodiak Island. For other game such as American bison, the .458 is an excellent stand-in for the old 19th century buffalo calibers.

    If you are a dyed-in-the-wool gun crank, you need a .458 even if you never expect to go on safari on the Dark Continent. It has the mystique of adventure, so that just touching off a few solids at the local shooting range will draw a crowd. Some shooters prefer to steer clear of heavy-recoiling calibers, but like those who ride mechanical bulls, others will enjoy the challenge of trying to tame the beast.

    WARNING The loads shown here are safe only in the guns for which they were developed. Neither the author nor InterMedia Outdoors assumes any liability for accidents or injury resulting from the use or misuse of this data.

    SKINNER'S HANDLOADS
    Bullet (grs.) Powder Case Starting Load (grs.) Maximum Load (grs.) Maximum Load (grs.) Velocity (fps)
    350 Barnes X H322 CCI 250 Win. 76.0 79.7 2,575
    350 Speer SP Benchmark CCI 250 Win. 75.0 78.8 2,456
    350 Hornady H4198 CCI 250 Win. 64.5 70.8 2,508
    400 Barnes X H4895 CCI 250 Win. 72.5 76.7 2,322
    400 Speer SP H322 CCI 250 Win. 70.5 76.0 2,417
    500 Hornady RNSP Varget CCI 250 Win. 70.0 73.8 2,114
    500 Hornady RNSP H4895 CCI 250 Win. 70.0 74.0 2,155
    500 Barnes X WW748 CCI 250 Win. 69.5 74.0 2,104
    .458 Winchester Magnum (Load Data) WARNING The loads shown here are safe only in the guns for which they were developed. Neither the author nor InterMedia Outdoors Inc. assumes any liability for accidents or injury resulting from the use or misuse of this data.

  5. #5
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    UPDATE
    Had the new 458 with me when I drove the river pasture this evening.

    Shot a feral hog, something less than 300 lbs at about 60 yds

    Two impressions taken from this experience

    #1 "Let's not do that again"

    #2 "Who in the h**l is going to clean up this mess

    yet another life lesson....seems like the longer the life the more profound the lesson
    "He even took the gramophone on safari. Three rifles, provisions for a month and . . . . Mozart"
    Karen Blixen

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Second Wind View Post
    UPDATE
    Had the new 458 with me when I drove the river pasture this evening.

    Shot a feral hog, something less than 300 lbs at about 60 yds

    Two impressions taken from this experience

    #1 "Let's not do that again"

    #2 "Who in the h**l is going to clean up this mess

    yet another life lesson....seems like the longer the life the more profound the lesson
    #1: Why? Too much recoil or too much devastation?

    #2: You might have to consider solids to avoid spreading the poor porker across the whole paddock.

    And... wasn't it you who once said that there is no such word as "deader"?
    Overkill is underestimated!

  7. #7
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    timbear- seems like he "underestimated his overkill" :-)

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    Solids will need to be used or you are just creating coyote food.

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    SW

    Some additional information please.

    Bullet selection that was used on this poor pig would be great...
    1. factory or reload
    2. soft or solid
    3. bullet weight
    4. maker of ammo.

    Bullet placement that was evidence on the is poor pig would be helpful...
    1. Head on
    2. Texas heart shot (up the bung hole)
    3. side view angle towards or away.
    4. The ole gut shot...

    What combination presented it self to you.

    now as for the poor pig...i do tell reading that you have an excess of pig's over running your place and one for coyote bait would or should not be an issue. Scrap pieces make good catfish bait.
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Second Wind is offline AH Enthusiast
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    JG

    I bought some reloads and some factory fresh stuff from a guy that had sold his own 458 some time back. He said he's got the dies but couldn't seem to lay his hands on them at the time of transaction so, who knows?

    The gun performed flawlessly and as expected. I was a little surprised not at the recoil per se but at the duration of the recoil impulse. I am still sort of contemplating that one

    The round was a 500 grain hand load and I do not have the recipe. It was a soft point bullet that the seller only referred to as a "lion load"

    Shot was under 60 yds and was head on quartering to my left.

    Round entered at about the point of the shoulder and exited center of right hip

    What I found interesting is the bullet performance. There seemed to be little penetration prior to the onset of expansion. The entry wound was an inch or better and then blossomed fully. The friend that was with me remarked that at the exit it looked like a geyser of pig. Just a big goosh of blood, guts and other assorted pig parts. I will tell you it was quite a mess.

    With a different load this might be an acceptable pig gun.

    Yes we are over run with hogs but we also have a management issue to consider

    If we shoot the hogs to get rid of them and leave them lay, before too long we have a coyote problem and, while we are busy shooting coyotes the hogs work their way back but, disposing of the number of hog carcasses necessary to have any impact creates yet another problem. a pile of 100 or so dead hogs in the Summer sun creates a noticeable odor and a real potential for disease.

    So, it is a real conundrum. However, I am pretty sure that the 458 is not the answer

    Time before we fought the fever ticks, then the Fire Ants showed up and we cursed them but, they eliminated the fever ticks and there has not been another fever tick epidemic since the fire ant became established. So, one poison for another I guess.

    The concern that rises now and again is what will displace the feral hog and will we be able to live with "it"
    "He even took the gramophone on safari. Three rifles, provisions for a month and . . . . Mozart"
    Karen Blixen

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    SW

    as things change we have to change along with them or be left in the dust.

    I have seen massive damage with various rounds over the years and some were a bloody mess to try and clean up any editable meat.

    Don't you just love it when so called hunters show up with hollow points to go deer and antelope hunting...
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Quote Originally Posted by Second Wind View Post
    JG

    I bought some reloads and some factory fresh stuff from a guy that had sold his own 458 some time back. He said he's got the dies but couldn't seem to lay his hands on them at the time of transaction so, who knows?

    The gun performed flawlessly and as expected. I was a little surprised not at the recoil per se but at the duration of the recoil impulse. I am still sort of contemplating that one

    The round was a 500 grain hand load and I do not have the recipe. It was a soft point bullet that the seller only referred to as a "lion load"

    Shot was under 60 yds and was head on quartering to my left.

    Round entered at about the point of the shoulder and exited center of right hip

    What I found interesting is the bullet performance. There seemed to be little penetration prior to the onset of expansion. The entry wound was an inch or better and then blossomed fully. The friend that was with me remarked that at the exit it looked like a geyser of pig. Just a big goosh of blood, guts and other assorted pig parts. I will tell you it was quite a mess.

    With a different load this might be an acceptable pig gun.

    Yes we are over run with hogs but we also have a management issue to consider

    If we shoot the hogs to get rid of them and leave them lay, before too long we have a coyote problem and, while we are busy shooting coyotes the hogs work their way back but, disposing of the number of hog carcasses necessary to have any impact creates yet another problem. a pile of 100 or so dead hogs in the Summer sun creates a noticeable odor and a real potential for disease.

    So, it is a real conundrum. However, I am pretty sure that the 458 is not the answer

    Time before we fought the fever ticks, then the Fire Ants showed up and we cursed them but, they eliminated the fever ticks and there has not been another fever tick epidemic since the fire ant became established. So, one poison for another I guess.

    The concern that rises now and again is what will displace the feral hog and will we be able to live with "it"
    SW, Love the part about bullet performance. Sounds like your lion load "kills" and processes the meat at the same time. Easier for the critters to chew when the meat is mush.
    "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche // That which does not kill me, better run like hell" Scott Smith

  13. #13
    mlg
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    Brave man to use someone else's handloads!

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    second wind ,
    as cliffy says it came down to slower factory loads than are available todayu ...the case is pretty short and now with modern faster burning powders its easy to get the adequate muzzle velocity ...not so much 20 years ago ..when powder had to be packed very tight and more often than not the recommended muzzle velocity of 2150 was simply not reached ....that said the .458 was the government issue calibre in many many elephant culling operations and thus has taken tens of thousands of elephants in africa ..

    this short case and muzzle velocity issue is what sparked the development of the 458 lott , 458 ackley and 458 watts among others ...all because people liked the calibvre and liked its performance but wanted more space for powder and thus faster bulletts ..

    i recently guided a gentleman with a 458 win mag , he took a HUGE botswana bull with a frontal brainshot , the bullet went right through the skull and we lost it in the neck meat.

    either way a great great calibre as long as you can get it to a muzzle velocity of no less than 2150 ..

    hope that this helps !
    ivan@ivancarter.com
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    a-square made a range of bullets, and one was called the lion bullet. it was designed to open up rapidly on the big cats . you could buy them for reloading or ready made from a-square, so maybe it was loaded with one of those.

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