.458 win Mag hunting/guiding stories

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

  1. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    I don't remember that particular episode(s) as a kid. But I do remember William Shatner (Star Trek) bowhunting in Colorado (or maybe Wyoming) for elk with Curt Gowdy. He didn't get one btw. Great show though! I watched it every Sunday, dreaming of hunting big game someday, as I never had the chance to do so until I was older.
     
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  2. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Yeah, maybe your right. I owned a M77 Varmint in .220 Swift in the late 70s and it was a great gun. BUT, I had to sell it for something my first wife wanted. I guess that's why she was my first wife. Ha!Ha!Ha! Anyway, I was going to shoot it and have my gunsmith friend check it out before I buy it. Thanks!
     

  3. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You could easily be right in that Africa wasn't the only place they hunted, just the ones I remembered the most. There was big game fishing along with I believe bonefish and tarpon fishing too.
     

  4. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Senior Member

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    I wasn't going to post as the OP asked for real experience, but as there's been other discussion, I feel bolder to comment.

    The history of the 458 Win Mag has fascinated me for some time. I have a fun conspiracy theory about the original production runs of the factory ammo that Winchester Western put out in this chambering: the line manager was a drunk, a junkie, or received his position without sufficient qualifications via nepotism or the like. In Pierre Van Der Walts African Dangerous Game Cartridges, the author brings up an astonishing anecdote:

    "Daan van Heerdan and I once pulled bullets from still sealed boxes of old Winchester .458 factory ammunition. The results were perplexing. I could not believe that coming from the same box, some cartridges were loaded with ball propellant and others with extruded propellant! How that happened I cannot explain. Measuring the ball loads and extruded loads separately we could not even determine what the intended load for each was supposed to have been! This variation was consistent with all the old boxes we checked that day." African Dangerous Game Cartridges p. 325-326.

    Also observed in that book that some of the ball powders used had coatings on the balls that would cause the powder to clump so bad as to cause incomplete combustion, sometimes resulting in muzzle velocities ~1600fps... blackpowder range...
    Van Der Walt goes on to say that while the paper performance of the chambering may be a bit mundane in comparison, it sure has piled up the pachyderms through the decades. Richard Harland's favorite rig back when he was ivory hunting in Dande in the Zambezi Valley was a BSA .458WM with a 5 round magazine. He observed that he would be dead many time over if he had chosen a double - too little capacity.

    Of course everyone remembers Capstick's classic (in Death in the Long Grass) anecdote about Zambian elephant cropping and continuously reloading a Model 70 with two or three rounds such that the bottom cartridge bore dozens of recoils such that its load became compressed and almost cost the cropper his life.

    The beginning of the end of the 458WM's reputation was Jack Lott and his mouthpiece of Guns and Ammo. While on a buff safari with Wally Johnson in Mozambique, Lott put a "soft" though the ribs and into the paunch of a buff. Lott's second shot was a solid through the shoulder. Johnson then puts seven rounds of 375HH into the buff, then takes Lott's .458WM and shoots the buff two more times. Poor initial shot placement and substandard ammunition. The only logical course of action is to blame the chambering!

    I think anyone bashing the 458WM in quality factory ammo or hand loads loaded with good bullets is a keyboard warrior. I'd imagine in a standard length action one could be quiet handy.

    Of course, if one's 458WM is already in a magnum length action, the reaming job to make it a Lott probably won't hurt anything. Even with shorter barrels, the Lott is a little easier to get desired velocities from hand loads with lower pressure to boot.
     

  5. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    There was a time span where the .458 was delivered in bad quality. That's almost 60 years ago.
    I'don't think there's a member here, who has actually experienced it.
    That's why we all know the stories only from hearing them.
    Sanchez Arino, a weapon , caliber friend and famous DG hunter first good, must have experienced this phase of the "Monday cars" directly.
    That's why he writes so badly about this cartridge.
    In the time when Kynoch was dead, there was only the .458 Win Mag as a serious cartridge and saved a lot of elephant hunters.
    I have already a few Africa journeys on my hump, but still met no big game hunter there who was dissatisfied with this cartridge.
    Those who read a lot and experience little are always dissatisfied with it.
    Prosperous week to you all.
    Foxi
     
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  6. Shaneb

    Shaneb AH Member

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    Great post Jeffrey, interesting to know the real story on the Lott situation. I figured there was was a backstory there. I have seen firsthand what a poor shot that gets adrenaline going on a whitetail can do. Allowing it to take 5-6 perfect vital shots over 5 minutes without dying. I can only imagine the results of getting a buffalo hopped up on adrenaline!

     

  7. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    [QUOTE=" It has been a tough reputation to live down.[/QUOTE]

    Sometimes I'm reminded of marriage.
    A misstep and your call will never again be as it was :whistle:
     
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  8. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    Yep, no such thing as a tough buffalo, just a bad first shot! (Speaking from experience!)
     
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  9. Timbo

    Timbo AH Fanatic

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    G'day Ben!

    Thanks. Yes, absolutely!! It's a superb calibre for DG in a short action (which matches my .30/06 and 9.3x62). To date I've taken a few DG with my Mk.X Mauser, and it has done the job very effectively every time. All but my first buffalo have been one shot kills - which says something about the adequacy of the required velocity, and bullet penetration attained, than anything else. But as I've oft' stated before, my rifle just loves the load combination of 72gr of AR2206H pushing either 500gr RNSN or FMJ Woodleigh projies. It's just a lovely combination that does the job without fuss.

    My .458 has a Ken Davis custom walnut stock with a cast. Topped with a fixed 4x Weaver scope and backed by a Williams peep sight - if the scope ever goes bung - it makes for a dandy of a rifle to shoot.

    True, there were powder caking issues 40-50 years ago - but with today's powders and superb range of projectiles, this is purely of historical importance now. Indeed, with the wide range of bullet weights and configurations now available, one can hunt a diverse range of game from wild pigs to elephant with it. For DG, hunters and PHs are finding that the 480gr projectiles allow for loads to be tailored that give amazing terminal ballistics - and all this, within a short action!

    Today, the .458 Win Mag is a very potent cartridge that can deliver - very adequately - a deadly dose of medicine for any DG that crosses it's path. :)

    ".....Hallowed be thy name of .458 Winchester Magnum, and be it he that walks with one, doth tread lightly along the game paths of Africa ................"

    (I think I'd better shut up now before I get carried away!! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:)
     
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  10. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

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    Haha yep Ben, it works for me mate!

    My .458 is also a Mk. X Mauser. It's a bit of a heathen's rifle though, more of a tool really....these days wearing a B&C Medallist stock, Warne QD mounts holding a VX3 1.5-5 heavy duplex, weighing just on 9 pounds ready for action. It lives on 480gn Woodleigh handloads, and is very accurate. Although I just got a batch of 480gn Hydros as backup bullets, as this rifle will be accompanying me on Cape Buffalo next August.

    I could go into details of the rifle in the field, but this hunt report details the best hunt I've had with my .458 to date. https://www.africahunting.com/threa...ulls-boars-with-hunt-australia-safaris.45708/

    Cheers
    Tim

    DSCF5560.JPG DSCF5225.JPG
     
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  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    What is it that you shot with that thing - The neighbor's dog? :(;) Seriously, can't make out what sort of black and white beast that is.
     
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  12. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    :sleep::sleep::sleep:

    [​IMG]
    Sometimes everything goes wrong :whistle:
     

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  13. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

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    Haha, that's just a feral goat hide I placed there as I was photographing some rifles, it wasn't meant to be the subject ;):ROFLMAO:
     
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  14. Timbo

    Timbo AH Fanatic

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    Terry Wieland in his book "Dangerous game rifles" also mentions Lott's incident with that buffalo. He wrote that the PH had advised Lott NOT to take the shot - but Lott ignored him, and took it anyway. In the ensuing fracas, Lott was severely injured "and barely survived".
     
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  15. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Veteran

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    When the previous owner of my Winchester Model 70 .375 H&H Magnum ( My Grand dad ) went to Kenya in '68 for a Safari , he noticed that .375 H&H and .458 Win Mag were UNIVERSAL among the hunters of Elephant and Cape Buffalo. In fact , those were seemingly the ONLY available big game calibers , back in those days. Given how kynoch discontinued all the British centre fire cartridges in that era , I'm not surprised. He used the Winchester M70 .375 to drop an elephant Bull with a shoulder shot. His PH carried a .458 Model 70 ( Seems model 70 rifles were almost everywhere , back in the '50s and '60s ). My granddad never owned a .458 , but did see them in action . He said that while his .375 H&H worked really well on the standing bull , a professional Hunter who might be needing to stop charges , would definitely be better off , using a .458 . He also told me that the .458 Cartridges of that era , had a reputation for erratic penetration , which caused some hunters to hate the cartridge and some times resulted in lost game. He remembers one buffalo being shot 4 times with the .458 before dying . This might be one of the reasons why many hunters in that era chose the .375 over the .458 , even if the .375 was a smaller caliber.
    But Modern .458s are flawless , from what l have read and seen.
     
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  16. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Sorry to bother you again. I'm still looking at this Ruger M77 .458WM. I called a couple of local gunsmiths, and I could get it re-blued for $175.00 or Cerakoted for $275.00. Any experience with Cerakoting on firearms. I guess it would be fairly water resistant with that process? Thanks!
     

  17. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    Just FYI, to you and all the .458WM owners/reloaders out there, Midway USA has Norma .458 brass for $45.00us/50 cases-50% off right now and free shipping!
     
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  18. CoElkHunter

    CoElkHunter AH Veteran

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    I've never loaded cast bullets. Is there anything you have to do to the bullet (i.e. lube?) or something else before you load the bullet into the cartridge case? I was going to load 350gr (and maybe 500gr) cast bullets into a .458WM for practice rounds. What about maximum velocity with cast bullets. Thanks!
     

  19. Timbo

    Timbo AH Fanatic

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    Never loaded them myself, but I think a gas check on the base is needed.
     

  20. larry4831

    larry4831 AH Enthusiast

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    No, no special trick , just make sure you have the case mouth expanded enough so you don’t shave lead when you’re seating the bullet. When I am shooting cast bullets I just use a standard primer not a magnum primer. The bullets are already lubed and you can get bullets that are gas checked also. Look on the Internet there are a lot of outfits out there that sell cast bullets. I am sorry, but I have never fired mine over the chronograph. Also, you should get a copy of the Lyman cast bullet handbook. It has a lot of loads for different bullets and different calibers.

    PS
    I also crimp cast bullet loads too. I do it in a separate step, with a crimp die for the 458 Winchester
     
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