.458 Winchester vs. .458 Lott

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by HWL, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    I do not see any "outperforming"!

    I compared reloading data in Norma Reloading Manual #2

    Please have a look at posting #5

    I am sure, there is an advantage for the .458Lott.

    My question is.... does it make sence, to invest in a .458 Lott, when you alredy have a .458 Winchester.


    HWL
     
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  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Understood! IMO no........unless you just wanted to have both.
     

  3. Ruark

    Ruark AH Member

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    I've personally never fired the Lott, but I've read several times that compared to the 458 WM, the recoil is really, really harsh. Just a data point.
     

  4. BC.Pat

    BC.Pat AH Enthusiast

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    Interesting thread, it kind of reconfirms what I have read, that most of the "perceived" short coming of the 458 WM where historical and likely due IMO to poor quality bullet construction of the late 60s ~ 70s.
    And that the 100ft/sec of the 458 Lott with its increased recoil isn't really as necessary as it once was. Lots of good points of view (y)
     

  5. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    I think the Watts, Lott or 458 Express can achieve certain performance levels at lower pressures than the WM. Or another way to thing about it... lower pressures can prevent pressure (temperature) related problems in the field.
     
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  6. RolandtheHeadless

    RolandtheHeadless AH Veteran

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    I have the Norma Manual 2013 Ed., and it shows WM and Lott data using different bullets, which could account for some of the velocity discrepancy. The WM data shows Hornaday and Swift bullets, while the Lott used Woodleigh. Also, the Lott load is shown with only about 2.5-4.0 more grains of powder than the WM.

    I'm toying with whether to buy a Lott right now. I'm not sure I'd ever use it for anything but punching my shoulder at the range. I have a .375 and .416 which I am much more likely to take to Africa because of their flatter trajectories.
     

  7. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    It's my understanding, aside from the Lott-Cape Buffalo story, that Win, in order to reach marketable velocity numbers for the 458 WM in standard barrel length rifles, had to compress a type of ball powder that did not react well to the combination of heat and compression over time. There are several reported instances of early 458 WM factory ammo giving "squib like" performance in the field. I have no first hand proof myself, but these reports came from different, independent sources. I think with modern, temperature insensitive powders available now or by avoiding certain types of powders, there should be no reason to expect squib loads in the 458 WM. Likewise, I think the factory loaded ammo issues were also corrected early on.

    I fully understand about questioning the "need" for a 458 boomer that may never be used in the field. One thing about it though…. there is something about going to the range once in a while and absolutely knowing you have fired a rifle! The only downside (s) (that I can think of) with the Lott (or similar) vs the WM are: cycling and bullet choice. With a properly set up bolt gun the Lott will cycle fine in a standard long mag action designed for the "regular" 3.6 inch mag category cartridge. However I can notice (feel) the difference in cycling the longer cartridge- not a lot of difference but there is some. The other thing about the Lott, Watts and Express is the crimp groove on many 500 (510) gr bullets is not placed correctly for these longer length cartridges in a standard mag rifle designed for the 3.6 inch cartridge. (I believe it is a good idea, when reloading these heavy recoilers, to crimp firmly in the groove.) I have become convinced that many if not most of the 500 (510) gr bullets on the market have a crimp groove correctly placed for the shorter WM OAL and not for the longer carts. I discovered, good news if reloading for the longer rounds, is that many of the .458 450 and 480 gr "Nitro" bullets do have the crimp groove in the correct place for the long cartridges like the Lott.

    Bottom line- if you want to push a 500 (510) gr bullet to say the factory quoted 2050 fps, the WM will have to be pushed to a higher pressure than the longer Lott, Watts or Express. Range time with a chronograph and researching pressure data will reveal the truth. The longer Lott or similar cartridges aren't even breathing hard to get to 2050 fps. Loading to lower pressures, leaves a lot more margin for error if the gun and/or ammo is used in high temps.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2017

  8. Ado

    Ado AH Veteran

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    I avoided this predicament by simply buying both!

    I like the WM but I love the Lott.

    I am considering chambering the WM to a 300H&H for plains game... but as always money and wife means no progress!!!

    Either is great.

    Ado
     
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  9. BC.Pat

    BC.Pat AH Enthusiast

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    I agree that the larger Watts, Lott or 458 Express can do everything that the smaller 458 WM can do but at lower pressures. Which is why I built a 450 Rigby, as I am a huge proponent of large cases , with large loads of slower burning powder. I follow this path in pursuit of recoil & pressure reduction. With the use of modern powders temperature sensitivity is really a thing of the past. There has been substantial work by chemist to remove this characteristic from modern reloading powder in an effort for consistent performance at range. I was privileged in my days in uniform to the results of test conduct by the military. Of course some are better than others, but most powders are now temperature insensitive even from 20 years ago.

    cheers
    Pat
     
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  10. SWARA

    SWARA AH Veteran

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    Hi Pat.
    Fully agree with you on the .450 Rigby rimless Mag..
    The .450 Rigby allows you to load a decent .550 gr projectile at a reasonable velocity. Naturally we are not getting into the .460 Wby velocity and pressure levels which I feel are not needed.
    I am not sure if the jump from .458 Win to .458 Lott is worthwhile without pushing the Lott to high pressure levels and by the way as others have mentioned the advantage of the Lott is that you can keep your pressure levels lower that the .458 win for similar velocity. The versatility of being able to switch back to .458 win rounds in a rifle chambered for the Lott is an advantage as well.
    If you wanted to stay in .458 class then the .450 Rigby is the way to go but at an added cost and it may not work on your rifle.
    If the .458 had been originally designed as a .375 H+H length round we would not have the Lott. I think there are better rounds than the Lott but I would not hesitate to use the Lott and if I had to choose between the .458 Win and .458 Lott I would choose the Lott chambered rifle. It should not cost you much to re chamber one of your guns to the Lott round as long as the magazine and action are long enough and you can still use .458 win in it if you desire. Good luck and let us know if you decide to go ahead and how it works out.
     

  11. BC.Pat

    BC.Pat AH Enthusiast

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    I built a 450 Rigby rimless on a Ruger 416 Rigby 7 years ago. Its a beast with full power loads, much more fun at 2100ft/s range.
    This is the core of this discussion, as I have two 458 WM and was following this thread to learn if the more experienced hunters here thought it worth the effort to attempt to convert them. I am aware of the difficulties of the over all case length issues in a standard 98 action, but still I was curious. I am a bit of a Mauser 98 addict so after my current 6 rifle projects I am still considering 7 & 8 to be converting the two WM to Lott's. I appreciate my betters views on this subject :).

    respects
    Pat
     

  12. Badboymelvin

    Badboymelvin AH Senior Member

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    I am a fan of the .458 having owned 4 of them and have never considered getting them converted to the Lott - even though 2 of them were CZ's and it would've been an easy conversion.
    The reason I've never converted them is because they've always done what I've wanted them to do, get a velocity of 2100-2150fps with a 480-500gr bullet that has proven so effective on dangerous game for years and years.
    I have reached as high as 2220fps with the Woodleigh 500gr PP Weldcore using AR2206H powder.
    My current load is 74grs of AR2206H with the 480gr Woodleigh round nose in a Winchester case sparked with a CCI Mag primer. This chronographes at exactly 2150fps with no excessive pressure and very, very little compression. What's not to like?
    If someone was to ask me if they should convert to a Lott, I'd have to ask them what they wanted from their cartridge. If you are after the proven dangerous game ballistics of 2100-2150fps with a 480-500gr bullet stick with the Win Mag. In this day and age the WM will do this and do this safely, without all the horror stories that you hear from yesteryear.
    If you want more than this then go bigger.
    I know that it's fashionable to downgrade the .458 these days, but it is an effective round that has for years proven itself in Africa and is still a viable and sensible choice when choosing a dangerous game round.
     

  13. RolandtheHeadless

    RolandtheHeadless AH Veteran

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    I just learned from my Hornady reloading manual that you can shoot .458 WM cartridges in the Lott. That seems to be a point in favor of the Lott.
     

  14. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    I made my decision.

    I will keep my Mannlicher-Schoenauer in .458 Win-Mag as it ever was, and load the 480 gr bullet to avoid the compressed charge.

    And I will change the Mauser 66S to .458 Lott, and load the 550 gr bullet - to make a significant difference.

    HWL
     
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  15. SWARA

    SWARA AH Veteran

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    With todays powders you can get reasonable velocity from the .458 win mag, no argue,ant. However the Lott case holds more powder, we can't argue on that, so it means you will be able to achieve more velocity from the .458 Lott for any given pressure level.
    It also means you can reasonably load heave projectiles in the Lott that would not be the best choice in the .458 Win mag as you run out of powder capacity due to the smaller case. You can shoot .458 win mag in a Lott chambered rifle ,although with some slight velocity loss due to the free-bore it creates.
    If you want to shoot heavy 550 Gr to 600 Gr .458 projectiles then consider the Lott as alternative. The heavy projectiles really do make a difference on larger game when driven to around 2200/2300 fps going higher creates issues with penetration.

    Personally as I have stated before, I prefer the .450 Rimless Rigby, loaded with .550 Gr projectile its more than enough.

    So Advantage of the Lott: Bigger case leas pressure for given velocity as .458 Win mag. Able to achieve higher velocity that the Win Mag. Ability to shoot heavy for cal projectiles.
    Ability to Shoot .458 Win Mag in same rifle.

    For the Win Mg. The ability to be chambered in a shorter action. Its not able to achieve the original published velocity with modern powders. Its enough gun to take on large dangerous game.

    Its simple make your choice and then learn to shoot it well.
    Remember you will always pay the price for more velocity with more heavy recoil so if you going to load down just stick with the .458 win mag.
    Good Luck and happy hunting.
     

  16. RolandtheHeadless

    RolandtheHeadless AH Veteran

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    Reading my Norma reloading manual more closely, I come upon these words in the introduction to the .458 Lott:

    "Apart from water buffalo in Australia and a few of the big bears in the far north there is really no justification for using full power loads on wild boar and deer, so some 'reduced power' suggestions are given in this manual.

    In other words, and for reasons understandable only by the folks at Norma, the Norma manual shows reduced loads only. Norma apparently didn't test this round at or near max; no indication of a ceiling (max load) is given.

    As for using a Lott on only water buffalo and big bears, Norma is apparently unaware of a land called Africa. Perhaps Norma will clarify their thinking.
     
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  17. SWARA

    SWARA AH Veteran

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    Excuse my sloppy spell check on my previous post. Shall I Re-Write it?? Naaa... (y)
     

  18. Badboymelvin

    Badboymelvin AH Senior Member

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    I have not only been able to reach the original published velocity with several modern powders - I've surpassed it...
     
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  19. SWARA

    SWARA AH Veteran

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    @Badbo.. Compressed Loads?
    Wish you good hunting..
     

  20. BC.Pat

    BC.Pat AH Enthusiast

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    I actually find this quite common now. Do a little experiment find an older reloading manual from the 60s or 70s and compare the loads to a new version of a the same manual, chances are even with the same powder and the same cartridge you will find the loads reduced in the new manual. Why, because the risk adverse companies have reduced the load data for public safety and reduced liability. Just a observation I thought I would share.
    Pat
     

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