Michael S. Jackson

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This is my first post - just joined. There certainly must be a few of you out there who own a .458 Lott. I would be interested to hear your opinions on hunting Southern Buffalo with this cartridge - bullet type, grain weight, velocity, etc. Also, have you ever loaded the round down using a 300 - 350 grain bullet for plains game (same applies: bullet type, grain eight, velocity, etc.). Any advice on how best the shoot one of these rifles? Sticks? Scope?
For full disclosure, I own one and am taking this rifle to Africa for the second time this Fall. I have yet to take any animal with the .458 Lott but will hopefully get a buffalo and a bush buck (maybe more?). I have fired 450 - 500 grains Barnes TSX bullets for a year and a half, approximately 900 - 1,000 rounds, in practice and can shoot fairly well from sticks (4" groups at 100 yards). I have loaded some Cutting Edge solids that print to the same point of impact as my Barnes (my PH says to stick with the Barnes only and not use solids). I have also loaded Hornady 350 grain (not bonded) bullets for plains game; these print 3" higher than the Barnes at 100 yards.
Shooting from sticks (tripod) is difficult because I cannot hold the sticks with my off hand and must keep it firmly grasping the forestock because of recoil. I place the sling underneath the rifle so it won't get tangled up in the sticks if I need to shoot off-hand quickly (also allows the rifle to recoil straight rearward). The best advice I can give for these heavy rifles is to NOT squeeze the trigger... PRESS it smoothly and don't anticipate recoil. Let the rifle slam your shoulder - you'll live. You might not if you screw up that first shot...
As for other shooting poistions, sitting is easy for me and I can do it very well with this rifle. However, kneeling with my off elbow slightly ahead of my off knee (so the point of my elbow won't roll around on my knee) is more difficult than using sticks.
I am using a Leupold Vari-x 6 Firedot scope in 1x-6x with a 30mm tube mounted with quick release rings. I've been very happy with this set-up. Last year, upon arriving in Mozambique, my PH tacked a target at 60 yards for me to check my scope after the flights. I put a Barnes TSX dead center in the middle of the 1" bullseye. As I said, I practice a lot (my right eye retina was starting to detach at one point!).
Thoughts?
 

cpr0312

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Welcome to AH!

I don't own a .458 but many on here do and can comments. I would say there is no question this will suffice for buffalo.
 
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matt85

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there is no point in bringing two different loads for the 458 Lott. the 450gr TSX loaded to around 2450-2500 would be perfect for the buffalo and will also work great for PG as long as you keep ranges at 200 yards or less (i dont like my TSX to impact slower then 2000fps).

the 450gr .458" TSX has a SD of a little over .3 which is more then needed especially at the high velocities this cartridge can produce. heck you could easily use a 400gr TSX... if they made one.

-matt
 

meigsbucks

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I have a Ruger #1 stainless Tropical topped with a Leupold 1.5-5X. I plan on using it on a Cape buffalo hunt in 2020. My bullet will be the 450gr Barnes TSX. The Swift in that weight would be great as well. For elephant or hippo I'd go to a 500 gr. solid.
The 400 gr Speer makes a good practice bullet. I've had great performance from a 350gr Hornady at 2200 fps from a .45/70 and would consider it for reduced hunting loads in the Lott. I've tested 350 Barnes TSX at that velocity in the .45/70 and although there was some expansion, it was minimal. I think at about 2500 fps, there isn't a thin skinned animal you couldn't take with it.
 

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I have a Ruger #1 in 458 Lott and it was my backup rifle on my elephant hunt. I used 500 grain Hornady DGS and Federal Premium rounds as well.
It will be just fine for a Cape Buffalo or anything else you decide to shoot. Practice a Lott of the sticks to get use to that feel.
 

Michael S. Jackson

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Thanks for the replies. The first .458 Win Mag I fired was a Ruger #1 - man, did that kick! But sure was fun. I used to own a Win Mdl 70 Safari in .458 and loved the rifle. Recoil was not bad at all. I atrribute this to the stock design (high, straight comb and wide butt with pad). I could fire 60 rounds in an afternoon and it wouldn't leave a mark on me.
Then I got the bug. You know, the one that makes you lose all sensibility? I decided I needed a .458 Lott. I know, the Lott/Watts was createdfrom a .375 case to do what the .458 Win Mag was supposed to do but had problems because of powder caking. All that technical stuff aside, the Lott cartridges look cool! OK. I didn't claim to be practical. I sold the Mdl 70 (chamber could not be lengthened to accommodate a Lott because of the limitations of the action) and bought what I could afford: A Ruger Safari in .458 Lott. I have to state, honestly and up-front, that I am not a Ruger fan. However, I am VERY impressed with this rifle. Very accurate and fits me well. I had to send her back to Ruger when new because she "went off" only 20% of the time the trigger was pulled. While at Ruger they scarred the stock up really bad and somewho managed to scrape 3/16" off the bottom of the muzzle. Cosmetic. It took six months of pestering them after the rifle was returned to find out what was the problem. Firing pin was too short. Since then I have had the trigger worked over to a 3 3/4 pound pull with a crisp break, no overtravel, no backlash, and no creep. I am not hung up on light triggers - if they break cleanly, that is what matters to me and 3 3/4 pounds is as light as I want to go for a hunting rifle. Over 1,000 rounds later and the rifle has never hesitated to work dependably. I used to fire 40+ rounds at a session from the bench but no longer do so since my right eye retina started acting up. Even with that activity, the rifle does not leave a mark on me (oh yeah, I installed a Pachmeyer pad on the rifle too). I now do all my shooting from sticks, off-hand, and from sitting poistions - now that I know what the rifle does at 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards with both Barnes and CEB bullets. I am using a Leupold Vari-X 6, as I mentioned and have very much enjoyed this scope. I can detach the scope and use the folding leaf sights (I use only the lowest sight as it prints the same as my scope; the other leafs are too high) and re-attach with no loss in print-to-aim (There is a certain way to re-attach, of course).
Re: The lighter bulets for lighter game. I have had good success with Hornady 350 grain bulets on elk and am using these bulets for my bushbuck this Fall. Even though they are easily identified, it is somewhat of a pain to take two different bullets with me to Africa but the 350s do so well and I trust them to 200 yards or so. They are coming out of the muzzle at around 2600-2700fps and print 3" higher at 100 yards than my buffalo rounds but pretty much right on at 200.
Again, thanks for the replies! I have found fellow hunters to be the best of humanity and I very much enjoy hearing what others have to say. - mj
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Another PG alternative would be the 260gr .458 SOCOM from CEB. I have used these on PG out of my .458B&M at 2900fps. They're quite devastating on larger PG. I would expect you to get better than 2900fps if you give them a go.

And idea, a bit complicated, but an idea. Take two scopes. One that is sighted in for your buffalo loads, and one sighted in for PG loads. If you get your buff down, which I'm presuming is your primary target, then switch over to the other scope/bullet combination. I will never travel to Africa without a second scope as a backup anyway. I've personally had one go bad on me and saw a Swarovski go down owned by another gent in camp on my last trip.
 

Shootist43

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mj, I read your other post first. I see from this one that you will be taking your 458 Lott on your upcoming Buff. hunt. I will be taking a 404 Jeffery and a 35 Whelen for my Spiral Slam.
 

fourfive8

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450 gr TSX, 450 gr A Frame or 450 gr North Fork CPS will all do everything you want from Buffalo on down. Just pick the one that is most accurate. You don't have to load all the way up either. A reasonable 2200 muzzle vel with something like Varget will do it with no chance for pressure issues, a little less recoil and accurate shooting for the PG. The accuracy potential of both the TSX and the North Fork CPS is surprising! Don't worry about the CPS... it acts like a very tough soft point and does not penetrate to the extent of a monolithic FP solid. Of course the soft points will zip right through plains game except some angles on eland. At the lower vels with the heavily built 458 bullets, meat/hide damage will likely be minimal.
 
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Davidm

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I ha e used the 350gr Barnes TSX on roe deer and wild boar. I think it's way to effective on small game like the roe deer but on wild boar they work fine as long as they have a little weight on them.
 

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I ha e used the 350gr Barnes TSX on roe deer and wild boar. I think it's way to effective on small game like the roe deer but on wild boar they work fine as long as they have a little weight on them.

By way too effective do you mean they trash the carcass or just zip through?
 

Davidm

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Trash the carcass. I was forced to cut away more or less the whole front part, from the last pair of ribs to the neck. For smaller game I think slow and heavy are the right way to go with this caliber.
 

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.458 Lott is a very popular calibre over here. .450gr monolthics (Barnes, Peregrine, etc) work well on everything. Also Swift 450gr, or any 480 -500gr conventional bullet. You can go up to 550gr in conventional (for heavy game) or down to 400gr in monolithics for use on thin skinned game , but there's not much point.
Don't overdo the loads as very hot or compressed loads can give problems in high temperatures.
2200fps with a 500gr bullet is more than enough for any close range application. With the 450 Barnes you should get around 2300, maybe a bit more depending on propellant.
You can also get slightly higher velocities with flat nosed bullets as they leave more space in the case when loaded to max OAL.
 

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Hello Michael S. Jackson,

And, welcome to the greatest forum in the world.
I am sorry to hear about your retina damage.
My father went blind in one eye, for about the last 15 years of his life, resulting from a detached retina.

Recoil from truly powerful rifles, at standard factory velocities is too much for my shoulder to endure, during the hundreds of rounds one should fire in proper training, before an expensive hunting trip.
More important than the money is the fact that we owe it to the animals to take them as humanely as possible.
So, straight shooting is a must.
You obviously believe the same as I do on this "thorough practice topic."
(Great minds think alike).

My hard kickers are the .416 Rigby, .458 Lott and .500 Jeffery.
I load the Rigby to "only" pre-war .404J ballistics (400 gr around 2100 fps).
And the Lott down at the pre-war ballistics of the .450 NE Flanged.
The .500J I load down to the .500 NE Flanged equivalent.
All of these 3 bolt action rifles weigh about 11 pounds each, including the Jeffery which had a mercury device in the stock when I bought it.

Not sure if you're interested in lowering the velocity in that Lott of yours, in furtherance of lowering the risk to your eyesight.
But, I sure would be.
In my old geezer situation, I load down a bit, only for my shoulder's sake.
I could easily be convinced to sell all 3 of these rifles if an eye was at risk.

Anyway, the .450 NE has always been regarded as very suitable for even grumpy elephant in heavy bush.
However the good news is that, I strongly suspect the true ballistics of the .450 NE, back when it took Africa by storm, was somewhere around 2,000 fps (480 gr bullet), not the advertised velocity of 2125 fps.
Can't prove it but, I definitely smell it, based on my experiences getting vintage British double rifles to regulate with hand loads and from reading up on the old express cartridges.
Dr. Kevin Robertson even wrote an article on this very topic once.
His suspicion began from chronographing original / vintage Kynoch brand ammunition through his .505 Gibbs caliber Mauser, finding it way slower than advertised.
Nonetheless, he reports that even at the substantially less than factory exaggerated ballistics, his .505 used against charging elephant, is still unquestionably "the fist of Thor".

Agreeing with the him, I'd bet a large pizza that all of the old time, large bore, super reliable express cartridges were at least 100 to 150 fps slower than advertised, beginning well before WW-1, through about the beginning of WW-2.

(Rant almost over.)
I've only shot one buffalo (.450 No2 NE / 48o gr at 2050 fps).
So, my opinion is to be taken with a grain of paprika.
But, I do recommend you consider shooting your Lott at somewhere in the approximately 2,000 to 2100 fps velocity range, in regards to your eye situation.
The .450 NE has been reliable in Africa for well over 100 years now, within that ballistic range.
And so, even if hunting elephant, to lower the risk to your eyesight, I see no reason whatsoever, to load your bolt gun to any velocity faster than than the .450 NE drives essentially the same bullet at.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
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Daga Boy

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Velo dog speaks the truth. Reality is that published velocities for old English cartridges were established using very long test barrels, so all of the velocities were in effect overstated by about 150fps.
For a detailed discussion of virtually all big game cartridges (old and modern 0 see Pierre Van Der Walt's excellent book "African Dangerous Game Cartridges" in which this thesis is confirmed.
The old calibres were effective because they were almost invariably used close range resulting at acceptable impact velocities, and they are still just as effective when used in that way.
More V does not equal better killing power at a given range. In fact the opposite is sometimes true due to bullet deformation and fragmentation at higher velocities.
The only reason for current hot loads is to extend effective ranges of given calibres, which is useful when using a scoped rifle (typically bolt action); however that purpose is better achieved by using a smaller calibre with a flatter trajectory when a long first or follow up shot is required. ( one of the 416's is a good option, my own preference being for the 416 Rem Mag) . A 375 also does the job, but not as well.
With all of the modern focus on V0 it may come as a surprise to some that the ("puny") .458WMag remains a very good choice for large, thick skinned game even at its relatively low velocities. By this I mean to say that a 450gr monolthic goes almost right through an elephant when fired at close range.
So, yes - you will be well advised to regard 2200 with a 500gr bullet or around 2350/2400 with a 450gr monolthic as max loads. They will belt, but not kill you, and they will be more than enough for whatever you choose to point the weapon at. Note that you may have to go to a flat nosed monolthic (eg Paregrine) in order to achieve best V as pointed bullets (like the Barnes) are long and so compromise case capacity. By the same token compact conventional bullets featuring flat noses offer a little more case capacity after seating and therefore a bit more V without raising pressures.
 

Slon416

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Hello Michael S. Jackson,

And, welcome to the greatest forum in the world.
I am sorry to hear about your retina damage.
My father went blind in one eye, for about the last 15 years of his life, resulting from a detached retina.

Recoil from truly powerful rifles, at standard factory velocities is too much for my shoulder to endure, during the hundreds of rounds one should fire in proper training, before an expensive hunting trip.
More important than the money is the fact that we owe it to the animals to take them as humanely as possible.
So, straight shooting is a must.
You obviously believe the same as I do on this "thorough practice topic."
(Great minds think alike).

My hard kickers are the .416 Rigby, .458 Lott and .500 Jeffery.
I load the Rigby to "only" pre-war .404J ballistics (400 gr around 2100 fps).
And the Lott down at the pre-war ballistics of the .450 NE Flanged.
The .500J I load down to the .500 NE Flanged equivalent.
All of these 3 bolt action rifles weigh about 11 pounds each, including the Jeffery which had a mercury device in the stock when I bought it.

Not sure if you're interested in lowering the velocity in that Lott of yours, in furtherance of lowering the risk to your eyesight.
But, I sure would be.
In my old geezer situation, I load down a bit, only for my shoulder's sake.
I could easily be convinced to sell all 3 of these rifles if an eye was at risk.

Anyway, the .450 NE has always been regarded as very suitable for even grumpy elephant in heavy bush.
However the good news is that, I strongly suspect the true ballistics of the .450 NE, back when it took Africa by storm, was somewhere around 2,000 fps (480 gr bullet), not the advertised velocity of 2125 fps.
Can't prove it but, I definitely smell it, based on my experiences getting vintage British double rifles to regulate with hand loads and from reading up on the old express cartridges.
Dr. Kevin Robertson even wrote an article on this very topic once.
His suspicion began from chronographing original / vintage Kynoch brand ammunition through his .505 Gibbs caliber Mauser, finding it way slower than advertised.
Nonetheless, he reports that even at the substantially less than factory exaggerated ballistics, his .505 used against charging elephant, is still unquestionably "the fist of Thor".

Agreeing with the him, I'd bet a large pizza that all of the old time, large bore, super reliable express cartridges were at least 100 to 150 fps slower than advertised, beginning well before WW-1, through about the beginning of WW-2.

(Rant almost over.)
I've only shot one buffalo (.450 No2 NE / 48o gr at 2050 fps).
So, my opinion is to be taken with a grain of paprika.
But, I do recommend you consider shooting your Lott at somewhere in the approximately 2,000 to 2100 fps velocity range, in regards to your eye situation.
The .450 NE has been reliable in Africa for well over 100 years now, within that ballistic range.
And so, even if hunting elephant, to lower the risk to your eyesight, I see no reason whatsoever, to load your bolt gun to any velocity faster than than the .450 NE drives essentially the same bullet at.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
Hi VeloDog. Do you know some NON flanged .500NE ? And are you sure ,,fist" of Thor and not hammer of Thor ? Have a nice day.
 

WAB

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I’ve shot a number of buffalo with my Lott. I use federal safari loads pushing a 500 gr trophy bonded bearclaw at 2,300 fps out of a 22” tube. It hits a buffalo like the hammer of Thor!

Your comment on the M70 is confusing to me. The new CRF M70’s in .458 WM will absolutely handle the Lott cartridge. My Lott is a custom rifle built on that action.
 

Velo Dog

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Hi VeloDog. Do you know some NON flanged .500NE ? And are you sure ,,fist" of Thor and not hammer of Thor ? Have a nice day.

Hello Slon 416,

Your questions are obviously meant for humor sake and I do enjoy humor.
They reminded me of that old “Monty Python and The Holy Grail” movie scene when, Knights of The Round Table encounter the Bridge Keeper, just as they’re approaching the Abyss of Eternal Peril....
“Whoever would cross the Bridge of Death, first must answer these questions three, ere the other side they see”.
And of course things then quickly go from bad to worse.

Thanks for the chuckle,
Velo Dog.
 
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