.458 win Mag hunting/guiding stories

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Shaneb, May 5, 2019.

  1. Shaneb

    Shaneb AH Member

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    Growing up before the internet just reading old books and hunting magazines I remember dreaming about owning a .458wm someday. All the great stories of hunters and PHs stopping charges and killing huge Elees and Buffalo. Then I went to Africa in the early 2000s and all the guides and outfitter carried one. They too sang the praises of this caliber. One came available to me recently and I jumped at the opportunity to own one. After doing some internet research all I see is people bashing it. I would love to see some real life results of this great gun, hunting photos, stories. Thank you!
     
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  2. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    I too have always wanted to own one for nostalgic and historical hunting aspects. I knew a guy once that had a Ruger #1 in .458 and hand loaded it to .45-70 ballistics. He told me once that he may never make it to Africa to hunt with it, but he could dream about Africa while owning and shooting it. To many PHs and people who have had the opportunity to hunt in Africa, this may seem silly, but to each their own dreams. I’ve known people who own magnum rifles who intended to hunt elk with me, but never made it. So, they hunt white tails with their guns. More power to them!
     
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  3. larry4831

    larry4831 AH Enthusiast

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    I own one for almost the same reason. I am getting old and I haven’t made it across the pond yet so it looks like I probably never will but at least I have my model 70 Winchester in 458 Winchester Magnum. I handload for it, and I take it out and shoot it from time to time, but if I ever do get to go to Africa and hunt some kind of dangerous game at least I know and I believe that I have a rifle that will be more than adequate. It’s also fun to shoot, sometimes I loaded up with 500 grainers or a lot of times I shoot 350 grain bullets in it and also a lot of cast bullets. There’s nothing wrong with the four-five-eight.
     
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  4. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    It was a pretty awful thing in it's heyday. Nothing really wrong with the rifle obviously, but the ammunition was pretty terrible by modern standards, and never delivered British .40 class nitro velocities or performance despite Winchester marketing to the contrary. It's reason for being was to fit a mid .4o into a standard-size action so Winchester could market an African "heavy" at 30-06 maker's costs. Modern bullets have made it a much more consistent performer. The literature is full of the caliber's failings back in the day. It has been a tough reputation to live down.
     
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  5. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Yes, Winchester quoted their original .458 WM ballistics using a 26" barrel. So, the bullet velocity dropped off precipitously when using 22-24" barrels. I think the ballistics were solved (to a certain extent) with modern powders in a 24" barrel? But I think Winchester developed the .458 in 1956 to compete with the much more expensive doubles, which most hunters couldn't afford. I KNOW, I'm thinking again which has gotten me into trouble before, but I don't yet have a headache!
     

  6. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    I think your right as far as the .458 WM "fitting" into their standard "long action" rifles. It is less expensive to manufacture than a "magnum length" actioned rifle like a .375 h & h or .458 Lott. Same with their .338WM in 1958 and .264WM in 1959 and .300 WM in 1963. Remington's 7mm mag. (standard long action) came out in 1962. Each of those rounds are the same length as a .30-06. Most recently, Ruger has their .375 and .416s in a standard long action rifle, because of the costs of developing a magnum actioned rifle. I really like my .375 h & h, but we'll see when I'm carrying it around the Colorado mountains in search of elk this year?
     

  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Absolutely. The US was the country sending a newly affluent class of hunters to Africa immediately after the war. Many wanted a heavy rifle and the nitro’s were rare and expensive (they weren’t that affluent) using ammunition that was even rarer. Why not create a round that already fit a rifle that was highly successful and in production? They just should have taken a bit more time to develop something other than a silver tip SP and a powder less sensitive to compression. And that isn't just my opinion, that is the consensus of the literature of the period.
    My current favorite .375 is my Blaser R8. All kitted out with scope and ammo, it weighs only two ounces more than my favorite 30-06, and because of it’s ergonomics, the recoil is a non issue. I have walked a lot of miles with it in Moz and the RSA. Though, if I were taking it elk hunting, I’d probably drop in the .300 Win Mag barrel.

    But to your earlier point, there is nothing “wrong” with the .458. Modern SP’s and powder make it a very manageable and effective rifle for dangerous game. Of course, the same technology has made the .375 something very special indeed! (y) But that is my prejudice showing.

    You will find very few people who currently complain about the .458 who have actually used one on anything more dangerous than a piece of paper.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  8. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    During the 60's Curt Gowdy and Robert Stack were usually hunting African DG with a .458 Win Mag on American Sportsman. My first introduction to hunting in Africa...Sunday afternoon, 3 pm central time. I was 11 or 12 or close to it depending on the year. Remember it well!!!
     

  9. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    Calling Timbo and Blacks! This cartridge any good, lads?

    I miss my Model 70 .458WM and am slowly gathering parts to build a Mauser .458WM.

    I like it because it works, and also because lots of folks hate it or act snobbish about it.

    At some point I’ll try to pen a few words about one or two of my .458WM adventures.
     
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  10. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    I agree. WAY off the subject, but when I mentioned the .264 Mag, again I was THINKING (dangerous!). I believe Winchester screwed up there. IF they had upped that cartridge to 7mm, there my not have been a Remington 7mm Mag? Same with, in my opinion, if Remington had made their 6.5mm Mag and .350 Mag RIFLES in 22-24" barrels, instead of the 18.5" carbines, they would be very popular in todays short, fat magnum cartridge world?
     
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  11. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    I disagree there, I believe that the 264 mag is sadly one of the most underrated cartridges produced. If it had of been respruked few years ago i doubt things like 6.5 creedmoor would ever have become a thing.
     
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  12. crs

    crs AH Enthusiast

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    My older brother had an accurate but homely post 64 M70 and I inherited it after he passed on. I shot a running Pronghorn with it, but it could not compare to my pre 64 M70, so it went on down the road. He also gave me a Ruger 77 in .338 Win mag with several improvements and it has been to Africa where it performed well.
    It is still is a good rifle and is a keeper .
     
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  13. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Well, I do agree with you as far as the .264 WM in TODAYS world. With modern barrels, the "overbore" burning of barrels isn't an issue. But when it came out in 1959? I too, feel that if BOTH the .264 WM and 6.5mm Rem Mag had come out ten years ago (for arguments sake), the current crop of 6.5s wouldn't exist, or at least less of them would have been produced? They are both proven cartridges. The 6.5s demise, in my opinion, was that in 1966, the short, fat magnums weren't popular. More of a curiosity, especially in the short 18.5" carbine Remington thought (stupid) was appropriate. The 6.5 Rem Mags ballistics are impressive, as are the .264 WM, EVEN against their current competition.
     
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  14. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Speaking of the Ruger 77. I have a chance to buy an "original" 1979-1980 M77 with the top tang safety and red recoil pad in .458 WM. It has a 4x Leupold scope of that era. HOWEVER, it evidently wasn't stored properly and has some rust and pitting on the outside of the barrel. The rifling and chamber is sharp with no pitting or rust and the bolt has some minor speckling. It would eventually need re-bluing. $600.00 us? Too much? Anyone?
     

  15. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Btw, there's a guy on a You Tube video that makes 6.5 Rem Mag cases from 7mm Rem Mag cases. He cuts the 7mm cases down and then forms them in 6.5 dies. It's time consuming, but I guess he can't find 6.5 cases and he hunts with that rifle cartridge in Michigan I believe. Just interesting?
     

  16. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    I have a good friend back in Michigan who's hunted both elephant and buffalo succesfully. His rifle of choice was a pre- 64 Winchester M70 in 458 WM for exactly the same reasons as you mention and both animals dropped dead as disco.
     
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  17. larry4831

    larry4831 AH Enthusiast

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    I liked that show. That’s been many years ago.
     
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  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    The current 6.5's essentially duplicate the 6.5x57 and the 6.5x54 isn't far behind - both century old technology. Nothing is really new.
     
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  19. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Your absolutely right! I once asked a gentleman behind a gun counter , "What is it with all of the new 6-6.5 cartridges?" He said, well, the gun manufactures have to keep offering something new to boost their profits? Makes sense. But in reality to the average hunter who may already own an older version of that caliber? I don't know?
     
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  20. crs

    crs AH Enthusiast

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    COElk,
    My Ruger 77s have all been good solid shooters and a bit of surface rust should not change that. It may be a good while before you find another "shooter" . 458 at that price.
     
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