This has already been addressed, but... .458 Win Mag as a Dangerous 5 rifle?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by BigBoreShooter777, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. BigBoreShooter777

    BigBoreShooter777 New Member

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    I have had a thread similar to this before, but would like to present it again for various reasons. Thoughts on the .458 Win Mag as an Elephant/Cape Buff/Dangerous 5 rifle? Wouldn't mind getting the caliber change kit for a Stevens 200, but dont want to waste my time if im gonna be bouncing bullets of an elephant. Thanks for the help.

    BBS777
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Just look at the ballistic chart, it has plenty of power. If you use solids on elephant you will be fine.
     
  3. aussie hunter steve

    aussie hunter steve New Member

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    Have you considered the .458 Lott?
    It can be quite a versatile round and is suitable for plains game also when shooting the Woodleigh 400gr PP at speeds approaching 2600fps. This bullet has a good ballisic coefficient.
    For Cape Buff a 550gr soft point will give more reliable performance than a 500gr soft point and the Lott is capable of launching it faster than the .458 Win can send a 500 grainer. Of course with soild's either cartridge is adequate.
    And .458 Win ammo can be shot in a rifle chambered for the Lott cartridge without issue.
     
  4. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    i agree with Enysse...
     
  5. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    .458 win will work fine. how does the calibre change kit work on this rifle? :thinking:i wonder if this is going to be one of those dumb questions?..............
     
  6. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    458 Winchester will work fine.

    Maybe somebody can explain this to me. Why is a 458 Winchester deemed to be underpowered because it shot a 510 grain bullet at around 1800 FPS but a 45-70 shooting a 500 grain bullet at 1500 FPS is the most lethal weapon on earth?

    BTW I would be far more concerned "converting" a Stevens rifle to a 458 Win and using it on Dangerous Game.
     
  7. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    i wonder how long? :cupcoffee::popcorn::heh:
     
  8. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    now getting interesting :)
     
  9. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    In my previous post I listed a velocity for the Win Mag from the old days. I actually have some I chrono'd.

    The new loads, especially handloads can easily reach 2150 FPS with a 500 grain bullet.

    Still prefer the Lott, but there is nothing wrong with the Win Mag.
     
  10. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I know that the 458 Winchester got the rumor of being really bad for the big 5.
    The main reason for this was that very much and maybe all of the factory ammo was with very soft bullets that did fine in lower speed, but totally broke apart at the 458 win speed giving very little penetration.

    Today you get factory ammo with bullets of much better quality and when using that ammo or reload your own with high quality bullets, the 458 win will do a good job on the big 5.
     
  11. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    they werent going fast enough to break up, the problem was the powder compacting and causing fluctuating velocities that were way below what they were supposed to be, this led to very poor penetration , sometimes of only a few inches.
     
  12. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Spike,

    Agree with you 100 percent. Everything I have read has always pointed to the powder problem, never a bullet problem. The Win Mag was originally loaded with ball powder that would/could cake and give the extremely low velocities you are speaking about.

    I was also being facetious and flippant about the 45-70 and the 458. The former is a powder puff, the latter a dangerous game cartridge.
     
  13. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    In 1967 my father bought a Browning 458 win mag to use instead of his 375 as it was the new hot large caliber gun of the day. I remember seeing him put two softs (Winchester factory ammo) into the top of the heart/lower lung area of an elephant. The elephant went two to three miles, crossed the Ruaha river and died apx 400 yards into the national park. (We didn't see the dead elephant but the vultures were flooding in) The sad thing is we could have recovered the elephant if it had been shot a year or two before since Ruaha only became a park in 67. The ivory was apx. 80 lbs. He always thought the elephant would have been dead within 400 yards if he has shot it in the same location with a 30/06.

    My father had a few other issues with the 458 while useing softs on buffalo. The lead would seperate, break up, you would have cratering, a buffalo bone would deflect the bullet, etc. A soft point would never make it to the skin on the offside of a buffalo chest. He tried some British ammo (Kynoch I think was the only other kind available locally) and was still not happy with the results. At the time we didn't know about the bad publicity that the 458 was picking up since we were isolated and communication wasn't that good back then. He quit useing the 458 and went back to the 375.

    I am not sure if it was the 458 or the ammo but whichever it was it didn't work back then. Things have probably improved but I will always be prejudiced against the round.
     
  14. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Bad bullets are bad bullets regardless the caliber or cartridge. If the .458 Win aint a DG round then nothing else is either. With modern bullets and powder its better than ever.
     
  15. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    dont know about the softs only the problems with the early ammo loaded with solids usually being used on elephant. a friend who is a ph ended up lying on his back under an elephant after the 458 solid only penetrated a few inches into the skull on a frontal shot. luckily the ele didnt know where he had gone and took off, but he said it seemed like a long time when he was lying there under it......he was okay apart from some bruises . he then got a .450 ackley .

    i dont think kynoch ever loaded the .458 win, as it was designed to replace the british big bores that kynoch was stopping loading ammo for as it wound down its ammunition manufacturing.
     
  16. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    yup
     
  17. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Another good reason IMO to never hunt elephant with softs, only solids.

    And yes the bullets of yesterday were not that good compared to today's, and that goes for all calibers and cartridges, not just the 458.
     
  18. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Spike.t

    You may be right that Kynoch never loaded 458 win mag. back then. I do remember Dad useing 458 ammo other than Winchester and still having problems. Kynoch was available in other calibers at the time and we used it.
     
  19. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Spike.t

    I just went to the Kynoch website and they show 458 win mag ammo. They may not have had it back in the 60's though.
     
  20. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Back then softs were advertised for chest shots on elephant/buffalo. Solids for the head. I wish he had used solids on the shot......those tusks would probably be in my office right now.
     

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