Rechambering Model 70 Safari Express in .458 Win Mag to .458 Lott

hammz

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What all would need to be done to rechamber a Model 70 Safari Express in .458 Win Mag to .458 Lott? Would it just be cutting the chamber to fit the Lott, or would the magazine well need to be opened up as well?

The .416 Rem Mag and .375 H&H both fit in the same action, so I'd think it'd just need the chamber opened up. I'd like to hear from anyone who has had this done, along with some gunsmiths they'd recommend to do the work.
 

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From what I understand, you'll need to use a 375 H&H or 416 Rem magazine box. The 458 magazine box has a block in it I believe, to work with the shorter 458 WM. But all of the loading manuals that I have read indicate all you'll gain from going to the Lott is around 75-100 fps. And by many accounts the 450 grain bullets are so good these days, they will do all that's ever needed in any 458 cartridge. And since the 458 WM will produce 2250 fps with that bullet weight, why do you need more? @michael458 has done a lot of testing with the 450 gr bullets on Elephant and Buffalo, and he has had excellent results.
 

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I had my M-70 re-chambered to .458 Lott. I am getting 2,300 fps with Federal 500 gr TBBC with a 22” bbl. Odd as it may seem, the Lott ammo would be easier for me to get in Africa as all of my PH friends shoot Lott’s.

I have never shot a .458 WM, but I can assure you that Lott hits like the hammer of Thor.
 

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From what I understand, you'll need to use a 375 H&H or 416 Rem magazine box. The 458 magazine box has a block in it I believe, to work with the shorter 458 WM. But all of the loading manuals that I have read indicate all you'll gain from going to the Lott is around 75-100 fps. And by many accounts the 450 grain bullets are so good these days, they will do all that's ever needed in any 458 cartridge. And since the 458 WM will produce 2250 fps with that bullet weight, why do you need more? @michael458 has done a lot of testing with the 450 gr bullets on Elephant and Buffalo, and he has had excellent results.
Sort of my thoughts too. Why?
 

hammz

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Thank you gentlemen. It's more of just a want than a need. The .458 WM is more than adequate, but the bigger the boomer the bigger the smile for me :)

Plus I just really like the Lott.

I've owned a couple CZ 550s in .458 Lott and they were fine, but the Model 70 fits me way better and just overall is a better feeling rifle to shoot.
 

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Pg 171-172 of the late Finn Aggaard's " Guns & Hunting " has a nice section on this subject . Of course , back in those days ... The .458 Lott didn't even exist . But the concept is the same . Hope it's helpful to you .
 

Nhoro

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Generally speaking it should be as easy as reaming the chamber and maybe the magazine box. Of course when you change cartridges, you may have to have a good Smith work on the ramp/ feed rails or follower to get ultra reliable feeding. If you only use a frames and round nose solids you will probably be right. If you try flat nose solids then you may have a problem. I changed my win mag to a lott (cz 550) and it improved feeding. But the cz action is long.
 

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If I were doing it again I might consider going to a .450 AI. A .450 AI can shoot .458 WM, .458 Lott and .450 AI ammo. The Lott can shoot .458 Lott and WM ammo. The WM is limited to WM ammo. I’ve only been in one camp that had a WM and spare ammo. I’ve only been in one camp that didn’t have Lott ammo. Then again, my hunts are pretty much all remote camps for DG.
 

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From what I understand, you'll need to use a 375 H&H or 416 Rem magazine box. The 458 magazine box has a block in it I believe, to work with the shorter 458 WM. But all of the loading manuals that I have read indicate all you'll gain from going to the Lott is around 75-100 fps. And by many accounts the 450 grain bullets are so good these days, they will do all that's ever needed in any 458 cartridge. And since the 458 WM will produce 2250 fps with that bullet weight, why do you need more? @michael458 has done a lot of testing with the 450 gr bullets on Elephant and Buffalo, and he has had excellent results.

Good Morning Gentlemen....... and good Morning Toby. Very excellent, I see that some of my efforts to lend a hand are indeed not completely wasted. Some of you are picking up a few things.

Toby is 100% Correct. Todays Bullet Technology is the path to increased Effectiveness in the field!

15+ years ago as hunters/shooters we did not have the Bullet Tech we have today, for us to increase our effectiveness in the field, we had to go in other directions, such as Larger Case Capacity. Although even then I question some of that, with the bullets available to us at that time. Even then, increased case capacity and increased velocity was not always our friend in the field, with various bullets available in those days.

I have been to the field with both 458 Lott and 458 Winchester, and I currently own both, although I have thinned the herd down a little these days, I found I no longer needed 1/2 dozen to a dozen 458 Lotts and or 458 Winchesters, especially with my coveted 458 B&Ms on hand, and the knowledge that I will never go to the field again with either 458 Lott or Winchester, even though I have a love for both.

Todays Bullet Technology, and rest assured, it is incredible Tech and not BS hype, is the path to increased effectiveness and increased success for you in the field.

There is absolutely NO NEED for one to require more than what a 458 Winchester can achieve if you choose the right Bullet Technology. What is the right Bullet Technology? Todays modern CNC Machined bullets, such as those from Cutting Edge Bullets. I mention CEB because I am most familiar with those, and they were developed, designed, and tested completely here on my range. Along side at the time with North Fork bullets. There are others as well, not so recently Lehigh has perfected some designs that JD Jones and I worked with and began studies 15 years ago.

In 458 calibers it is no longer required to have 500 gr or heavier bullets to achieve success. In fact, much lighter bullets will give you far more than you have ever been able to achieve. None of this is more evident than todays Solids. One can easily achieve more with a proper designed 325 gr Solid today, than yesterdays Old RN 500+ gr Solids. Trauma inflicting bullets, that are capable of being used on the Mighty Buffalo, today you can achieve those goals with 350-425 gr bullets, and they are far far more effective than the old 500+ grains that was common in the day.

Recently, and I mean in the last two weeks, a good friend of mine just returned from hunting two successful buffalo, one was a bang flop, the other was that wonderful Buffalo Battle. Two bullets brought my guy home safe and successful, 420 CEB Raptors and 450 #13 Solids. Incredible damage done by the Raptors, and end to end bone crushing penetration by the Solids. Using a 20 inch 458 B&M, velocities ran from 2350 with the 420 Raptor, and 2300 fps with the 450 Solids.

The same can be achieved with the 458 Winchester as well.

But going a step further, even if one decides one just has to have 458 Lott, then I would use the exact same bullets in that cartridge as you would in 458 B&M or 458 Winchester. There is zero need to have a heavier bullet, and in fact, the 420/450 combination is more effective in some areas than even heavier bullets with the same Technology. The 420 Raptor is FAR FAR more effective in destruction of tissue, and damage inflicted than any 450-500 gr Woodliegh, Swift, Nosler or any other conventional expanding bullet, regardless of weight or velocity. I know, I have used them all in the field, on buffalo and other various missions. I have dug the bullets out of flesh, and I have observed animal reactions to taking these bullets.

Solids are the same, I have used the old RN solids and the modern far more effective FN Solids on buffalo, elephant and hippo. Solids are an extremely important component of your success in the field. I see where some of you people do not think so, if you do not think a Solid is important, or if you think solids are created equal, or one comment I saw recently here, "It's just a solid, it really does not matter"...... is completely foolish, idiot, or inexperienced in the area. Many years ago, a Solid become an intricate part of every hunt. Of course I never loaded up Solids for impala, but rest assured when the mission was larger, if there was a solid available I had it on hand. A solid can save the mission if things go wrong, and not just a SOLID, but a Properly designed Solid. I stated, When Things Go Wrong....... remember that. The Solid can save the hunt.

But that is far more than the question....... Do You NEED to go to 458 Lott if your rifle is 458 Winchester? NO NO NO......... Time, efforts and Money are better spent looking at and adopting Bullet Technology. But, what does NEED have to do with anything. If one WANTS a LOTT, then by all means do so, you don't need to, but want overcomes Need much of the time. If you go with the Lott, the same applies, use Bullet Tech to your advantage.

How does one Increase the effectiveness of ANY CARTRIDGE/Rifle........... Bullet Tech!

And, Don't forget Your Properly Designed Solids.............................................................
 

Hunter-Habib

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If I were doing it again I might consider going to a .450 AI. A .450 AI can shoot .458 WM, .458 Lott and .450 AI ammo. The Lott can shoot .458 Lott and WM ammo. The WM is limited to WM ammo. I’ve only been in one camp that had a WM and spare ammo. I’ve only been in one camp that didn’t have Lott ammo. Then again, my hunts are pretty much all remote camps for DG.
Your observations match my own . When I first went hunting in Africa in 1974 ( a mixed bag Safari in Kenya ) , I observed that most White Hunters had a .458 Winchester Magnum in their camp ( mine had a BSA Majestic in this caliber ) . Until 1983 , a .458 Winchester Magnum or a .375 Holland & Holland Magnum were just about the only heavy caliber rifles which one could see in the white hunter camp . Most of the .458 Winchester Magnums were either BRNO ZKK602s or BSA Majestics . And most White Hunters used a. 458 Winchester Magnum for backing us up , as well .

Fast forward to 1994 , and the .458 Winchester Magnum was rapidly losing favor . Fast forward to 2019 ( when I went in my most recent African mixed bag safari ) , and I don't recall seeing any .458 Winchester Magnums being either in the Outfitter's camp or being used by any white hunter at all .

Most popular big game calibers offered by outfitters for use now , would have to be the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum and the .458 Lott . Usually CZ550 rifles , but often new Winchester Safari Expresses too .
 

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Good Morning Gentlemen....... and good Morning Toby. Very excellent, I see that some of my efforts to lend a hand are indeed not completely wasted. Some of you are picking up a few things.

Toby is 100% Correct. Todays Bullet Technology is the path to increased Effectiveness in the field!

15+ years ago as hunters/shooters we did not have the Bullet Tech we have today, for us to increase our effectiveness in the field, we had to go in other directions, such as Larger Case Capacity. Although even then I question some of that, with the bullets available to us at that time. Even then, increased case capacity and increased velocity was not always our friend in the field, with various bullets available in those days.

I have been to the field with both 458 Lott and 458 Winchester, and I currently own both, although I have thinned the herd down a little these days, I found I no longer needed 1/2 dozen to a dozen 458 Lotts and or 458 Winchesters, especially with my coveted 458 B&Ms on hand, and the knowledge that I will never go to the field again with either 458 Lott or Winchester, even though I have a love for both.

Todays Bullet Technology, and rest assured, it is incredible Tech and not BS hype, is the path to increased effectiveness and increased success for you in the field.

There is absolutely NO NEED for one to require more than what a 458 Winchester can achieve if you choose the right Bullet Technology. What is the right Bullet Technology? Todays modern CNC Machined bullets, such as those from Cutting Edge Bullets. I mention CEB because I am most familiar with those, and they were developed, designed, and tested completely here on my range. Along side at the time with North Fork bullets. There are others as well, not so recently Lehigh has perfected some designs that JD Jones and I worked with and began studies 15 years ago.

In 458 calibers it is no longer required to have 500 gr or heavier bullets to achieve success. In fact, much lighter bullets will give you far more than you have ever been able to achieve. None of this is more evident than todays Solids. One can easily achieve more with a proper designed 325 gr Solid today, than yesterdays Old RN 500+ gr Solids. Trauma inflicting bullets, that are capable of being used on the Mighty Buffalo, today you can achieve those goals with 350-425 gr bullets, and they are far far more effective than the old 500+ grains that was common in the day.

Recently, and I mean in the last two weeks, a good friend of mine just returned from hunting two successful buffalo, one was a bang flop, the other was that wonderful Buffalo Battle. Two bullets brought my guy home safe and successful, 420 CEB Raptors and 450 #13 Solids. Incredible damage done by the Raptors, and end to end bone crushing penetration by the Solids. Using a 20 inch 458 B&M, velocities ran from 2350 with the 420 Raptor, and 2300 fps with the 450 Solids.

The same can be achieved with the 458 Winchester as well.

But going a step further, even if one decides one just has to have 458 Lott, then I would use the exact same bullets in that cartridge as you would in 458 B&M or 458 Winchester. There is zero need to have a heavier bullet, and in fact, the 420/450 combination is more effective in some areas than even heavier bullets with the same Technology. The 420 Raptor is FAR FAR more effective in destruction of tissue, and damage inflicted than any 450-500 gr Woodliegh, Swift, Nosler or any other conventional expanding bullet, regardless of weight or velocity. I know, I have used them all in the field, on buffalo and other various missions. I have dug the bullets out of flesh, and I have observed animal reactions to taking these bullets.

Solids are the same, I have used the old RN solids and the modern far more effective FN Solids on buffalo, elephant and hippo. Solids are an extremely important component of your success in the field. I see where some of you people do not think so, if you do not think a Solid is important, or if you think solids are created equal, or one comment I saw recently here, "It's just a solid, it really does not matter"...... is completely foolish, idiot, or inexperienced in the area. Many years ago, a Solid become an intricate part of every hunt. Of course I never loaded up Solids for impala, but rest assured when the mission was larger, if there was a solid available I had it on hand. A solid can save the mission if things go wrong, and not just a SOLID, but a Properly designed Solid. I stated, When Things Go Wrong....... remember that. The Solid can save the hunt.

But that is far more than the question....... Do You NEED to go to 458 Lott if your rifle is 458 Winchester? NO NO NO......... Time, efforts and Money are better spent looking at and adopting Bullet Technology. But, what does NEED have to do with anything. If one WANTS a LOTT, then by all means do so, you don't need to, but want overcomes Need much of the time. If you go with the Lott, the same applies, use Bullet Tech to your advantage.

How does one Increase the effectiveness of ANY CARTRIDGE/Rifle........... Bullet Tech!

And, Don't forget Your Properly Designed Solids.............................................................
Great reply! Thanks for taking the time to give such an in depth explanation!
 

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Great reply! Thanks for taking the time to give such an in depth explanation!

My Pleasure Toby. No thanks needed, nor required...........Hopefully it will help some of these guys be more successful in their endeavors in the field.
 

hammz

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Thank you Habib for that book excerpt. Very good (and enjoyable) read. And thank you michael for the information. Bullet tech is very important to me as I am very picky with my hunting bullets as it is. Even with my knowledge your post may have just convinced me to stick with the .458 Win Mag for now :)
 

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You are rechambering a 458 Lott to 450 Rigby and a 458 Wm to 458 Lott makes no sense....
Decide what you want first
 

hammz

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You are rechambering a 458 Lott to 450 Rigby and a 458 Wm to 458 Lott makes no sense....
Decide what you want first
The other thread I made about the Lott to Rigby conversion is almost a year old now. I never even got that rifle as my order was cancelled due to invalid inventory if I recall. It's almost a year later and we're talking about a completely different gun here. Old news.
 

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What all would need to be done to rechamber a Model 70 Safari Express in .458 Win Mag to .458 Lott? Would it just be cutting the chamber to fit the Lott, or would the magazine well need to be opened up as well?

The .416 Rem Mag and .375 H&H both fit in the same action, so I'd think it'd just need the chamber opened up. I'd like to hear from anyone who has had this done, along with some gunsmiths they'd recommend to do the work.
I had mine done. You need to change the bolt stop to one that fits 375 or 416 to allow the bolt to come back further. Can’t remember if I had to change the ejector or not. Also need a new follower and spring for the longer case. Didn’t have to do anything to the feed rails.
 

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Thank you Habib for that book excerpt. Very good (and enjoyable) read. And thank you michael for the information. Bullet tech is very important to me as I am very picky with my hunting bullets as it is. Even with my knowledge your post may have just convinced me to stick with the .458 Win Mag for now :)

No thanks needed of course, but you are very welcome regardless. Today more shooters/hunters are beginning to recognize this one factor........ "The Bullet Does All the Heavy Lifting"......... The Questions should NOT be "What Rifle is best for Buffalo +++" "What Cartridge is best for Buffalo+++", it should always be "What Bullet Will Accomplish My Mission and Assure My Success"

To define Rifle and Cartridge one will hope you choose wisely depending on the mission. Impala will be quite different than buffalo of course. We will always hope a wise hunter will choose properly for either. Within that the Bullet choice is what will make you successful or not.

Understand your Bullet Tech and use is wisely.

458 Winchester vs 458 Lott.........

I have here a 50 yard Indoor Range/Lab. I have the capability of doing actual Pressure work. In 2013 I went on a mission with 458 Winchester and 458 Lott doing pressure work with CEB and North Fork bullets that we developed here. I like for these pressures to run 59000 up to Max of 62000 PSI for these cartridges. Most of the time setting 59000-60000 PSI as Max Working Pressures. This keeps you out of trouble in the field. Basically the real life differences in the two cartridges is 100-125 fps with any given bullet, and keeping Max Working Pressures the same. Yes, you can push either, but using superior bullet tech, you don't need to.

Using 450 Solids I was able to get 2300 fps in 24 inch 458 Winchester and 2400 fps and sometimes some small change in 458 Lott, staying at Max Working Pressures.

Jest of the matter is this, Both cartridges are extremely effective when using the same Bullet Tech, and neither will let you down at the levels they can operate at. I have both 458 Lott and 458 Winchesters. I have been to the field with both, I have taken lion, buffalo, and elephant with these cartridges, and later the 458 B&M. Using proper bullet tech, all are extremely effective and will allow you to be successful in your mission, if you do your part.

If I was running 458 Lott, I would use exactly the same bullet and weights as I would in 458 Winchester or 458 B&M. That would be 450 CEB or North Fork solids and either the 420 Raptors or the North Fork. I am not sure these days where North Fork is on imports? Fortunately I still have plenty of North Forks left from the time John and I were working on them. Even a special run of North Fork Solids that have a different band configuration that I wanted to try..... they are superb solids.........

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I fell in love with the North Fork CPS light bullets actually designed at the time for 45/70. A 325 gr and 350 gr CPS. But these CPS were designed to "expand", so far different than the common CPS produced. Keep in mind, in my test work here, I like to see at minimum 18 inches of penetration for trauma inflicting bullets before I consider them "Buffalo Worthy". I much rather see 20 inches +... Both these Expanding North Fork CPS are well within Buffalo Territory........The 325 penetrated deeper, because it reacted well with added velocity.......

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The Performance of the North Fork Expanding CPS was so good, John and I designed these bullets in .500 caliber for my various different 500 caliber B&Ms. We worked with a 450 gr Expanding CPS that I used with great effect on buffalo in both Africa and Australia. When I did the 475 B&M we also did a 425 gr Expanding CPS in .474 caliber for those cartridges.

I worked close with CEB and North Fork, so most of my experiences are with those bullets, but in 2015 I was asked to do some test work for Peregrine and I found their expanding bullet very very similar to the North Fork CPS, it would be a hammer on buffalo...............

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And most recently I tested the 325 Lehigh Extreme Defense bullet in .458 caliber. I tested in the 458 Super Short and its limited capacity, however had I tested in 458 B&M or the bigger EX, then performance would have increases substantially. Even in the Super Short it would be Buffalo Worthy.........Even the 225 Lehigh made the grade................

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This is the kind of Bullet Tech hunters need to seriously consider when going to the field...........
 
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michael458

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Apologies, I got carried away.................Hopefully I did not bore you to tears...............
 

jwp475

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Micheal, have you seen RIP/Riflecrank on 24 hour work with the 458 win? The SAAMI 458 win has a longer throat than the SAAMI 458 lot and by seating the bullet farther out in the case he is getting higher velocities with the win chamber. Of course the 458 win throat for a 458 Lott rechambered from a 458 win could accomplish the same I think.
 

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