Nowhere in the Capstick book does Wally deny ever owning a .458 Winchester Magnum.Also, the information about Wally Johnson ( Walter Johnson’s father ) eventually switching his .375 Holland & Holland Magnum caliber pre War Winchester Model 70 for a .458 Winchester Magnum caliber Model 70 is incorrect. This was a rumor that was perpetuated by Jack Lott in the January 1972 issue of “ Gun Digest”. Wally Johnson later allowed Peter Hathaway Capstick to interview him and write his biography in a book called “ The Last Ivory Hunter: The Saga Of Wally Johnson “. In that book, Wally flatly denies ever personally owning a .458 Winchester Magnum. We goes on to claim that ” I will always consider the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum to be the only gun “. This biography was written at least 14 years after Jack Lott wrote that article.
John Kingsley Heath too was forced to abandon his beloved .470 Nitro Express rifle once ICI Kynoch ceased to manufacture ammunition for this caliber in 1968. He too was forced to switch to a .458 Winchester Magnum custom rifle, which was built on a pre ‘64 Winchester Model 70 action with an extended drop box magazine. That rifle may be seen here : https://www.christies.com/en/lot/lot-1013119
On page 57 he did say this, circa 1987-1988, when he was 75 years of age:
"I still consider and always will consider the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum as 'the only gun.'
In fact, I shot many hundreds of buffalo with the 9.3mm Mauser to save .375 ammo. I had no problems, but I would have preferred the .375 if I could have spared the ammo."
The book mentions Walter Junior being a PH in Botswana about 1970, so about age 30 y.o., before Senior pitched up there maybe. The book (Wally) said Walter Junior was using his own .458 to stop charging hippos, etc., page 112.
So Askins said it was "Walter Johnson" with the M70 African .458 Winchester Magnum during the 1970 safari in Botswana.
Must have been Wally's son, most likely was. Askins can be sketchy.
But I cannot find Wally denying ever owning a .458 WinMag in his recountings within the Capstick book.
There is a passage about Wally guiding two Americans with their wives in Mozambique, no year specified, probably pre-1970 from the context.
One of Wally's trackers was carrying "a spare.458 Winchester Magnum caliber and I knew it was stoked with solid 500-grain bullets." So said Wally.
One of the clients wounded a cape buffalo. PH Wally and the two clients followed it.
It charged from the "long grass" at 20 yards and Wally yelled for all to fire. The clients shot once each then one's magazine opened and dumped and the other's rifle "had a lock-tight jam!"
Wally got off 3 shots before the buffalo hit him, all good shots,
and he had a misfire/dud for a fourth shot with muzzle pressed into the buffalo's face,
later attributed to dirty rifle, and old ammo, worked fine after cleaning thoroughly and with fresh lot of ammo.
No calibers specified for any rifles except the spare .458.
Wally was probably carrying his .375 H&H, tracker carried Wally's "spare .458" ?
Client Gerry Knight ("... to whom I owe my life" said Wally) took the spare .458 and shot the buffalo off of Wally. Pp. 169-173.