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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Although I don't own a .458 Winchester Magnum, YET[/color], I have read accounts of those that do. In his article "The Danger of Elephant Hunting" by Jim Carmichel, Shooting Editor Outdoor Life Magazine wrote that "When Winchester announced its .458 Magnum in 1956, it effectively ended the reign of the great British Nitro calibers." Not to bad for a cartridge that is supposed to have a bad reputation.

Jim Carmichel goes on to write that "All of the elephants I've taken were with a do-it-yourself rifle I put together back in my college days-when hunting elephants was only a dream-and .458 Winchester Magnum ammo that I handloaded with 500-grain Hornady steel-jacketed bullets. The reason for using steel-jacketed "solids" is so the bullet will penetrate several inches of an elephant's thick, honeycombed skull without deforming or coming apart." If the .458 Winchester Magnum will do this consistently, what more could a hunter need or want?

John Kingsley-Heath, outfitter and white hunter, Professional Hunter, was, from what Jack O'Connor wrote, instrumental in helping Winchester with the testing of the .458 Winchester Magnum and which became a favorite of John's after the testing. Lionel Palmer, probably one of, if not the greatest of modern day lion hunters liked and used the .458 Winchester Magnum. If professional hunters like these and others put their trust in the .458 Winchester Magnum why are they so wrong? I'm not questioning that the .458 Winchester Magnum has a bad name, I would like to know who, how and why it got the bad name after it has worked for so many. Can anyone here enlighten me? Lawdog
 

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Most if not all gun rags are nothing more than industry advertisements. Anything developed in 1956 has to be bad. Or else how can all the writers tout the latest greated wizbang on the market. My first thoughts when looking at the 300WSM were gee winchester reinvented the 30/06. But if you beleive all the gun rags. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread. reguardless what anyone says, it is mass and velocity on target. Velocity helps hitting the target at unknown range. Assuming a proper bullet as weight and velocity increase and caliber decreases penetration increases. And I can tell you for a fact. A 130 year old hard cast 500 or 600 gr .458 bullet at anywhere near 2000 fps second will penetrate anything walking on this planet.
 

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I'm waitin' to see how the .458 WSM turns out. :eek:
 

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ya know one of these days I am gonna have to get me one of them new fangled 458 winchester magnums!! Right now my collections newest caliber is a 375 H&H (last time I checked 1920somthing), it sits right next to my 30-06, 30-30, and 45 colt. I guess I must not have anything that would work on a chipmunk at point blank range :-D
 

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Agree

Most rag writers want velocity. If you don't have high velocity, you are a bad cartridge. Some folk, and I think many more than we can imagine actually think that velocity is what kills game ! Not to mention the fact that any cartridge developed prior to 1980 is OLD STUFF not capable of doing the job as well as the new stuff like the new WSM's, MAgs, ect.

There's a lot of bogus info being thrown around this industry about cartridges and the 458 is just another victum.

This all coming from a guy who's most modern cartridge is a 357mag. After this, I'm all bad, down hill and just a plain irrisponsable hunter using cartridges that are not good for humanly taking game.
 

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.458 Winchester Magnum

Hey, Lawdawg!

I sota recall the late great Elmer Keith writing that he encountered many african profession hunters that did not like the .458 Win Mag in a bolt gun because there was a tendency for bullets in the magazine to get battered and pushed back into the case after several recoil impulses. He and others, much preferred the big double rifles for reliability and quick follow-up shot.
 

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Having owned a Ruger #1 Tropical in .458 Win Mag, I can tell you the worst thing about it was whether the animal felt worse than I did after getting shot by it. At least the pain was over for the animal instantly, while my shoulder still hurt for days!
I got rid of mine and bought a #1 in .45-70, that is much kinder to my shoulder!
 

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amen to that my no. 1 with a 500 hard cast at 2300fps pops you smartly and is absoultly no fun on the bench without a recoil sheild. But for penetration it will shoot through almost anything. I know i wouldnt want to be on the recieving end of it.
marlinman93 said:
Having owned a Ruger #1 Tropical in .458 Win Mag, I can tell you the worst thing about it was whether the animal felt worse than I did after getting shot by it. At least the pain was over for the animal instantly, while my shoulder still hurt for days!
I got rid of mine and bought a #1 in .45-70, that is much kinder to my shoulder!
 

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Why it's bad

The .458 Win. is a great cartridge. That remark is made from having more experience than wishing to own one. More than one toothy, clawed, or hoofed encounter has been ended by mine.

Being only 52 years old I was not old enough to engage in big game hunting in 1956 but my father was. He told me of the .458 experiences of some in the early days. It seems that two explanations for some not caring for the .458 had some valid merit. It seems some hunted with the wrong bullets. On really big game or dangerous quary that is a serious mistake in any calibre (yes I still use the King's spelling). The second reason is still valid today if one handloads. It seems that a really hot load shot in really hot weather makes some rifles difficult to cycle. The factory loads long ago accounted for this. The handloader might still want to not go overboard in hot weather as a few extra foot/pounds are of no use if you cannot cycle the bolt.

It is amazing how lore is loved more than fact. You can see how lore gets started as it does not take many failures in front of something intent on scratching, stomping, or goring you to death to make an impression. Still the .458 is reliable a big game selection as can be made.

The double rifles of the past and present certainly have their allure. The old 4 and 8 bores looked like Elephant guns with their massive sized bullets and cases. It is natural that their users of 50 to 100 years ago would question the use of such a different tool as the .458 bolt. But surely by now we have layed such doubts to rest. If you don't believe me ask one of the many PHs who trust his life to it most every day.
 

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Whats so bad?

I'm new here but so excuse me for statinging my opinion. I was able to buy factory 458 mag ammo from an estate sale for about $0.10 per round (bought 300 rounds) I didn't even own one. Purchased a new model 70 Winchester Super Grade, and love shooting it! :grin:

Shooting buddys think I'm a little crazy, but who cares what they think.
The ones who have asked to shoot it will usually only pull the trigger once before handing it back and go find an ice pack.

I've never had a bullet in the magazine retract into the case. and never had any problems obtaining groups (offhand) that you could cover with a fifty cent piece. Great Gun!
 

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The problem with the 458 win mag is the case simply isn't big enough to drive a 500 gr bullet @ 2150 fps with reasonable pressures. Yes, some folks have recently developed handloads that achieve those velocity levels, though one wonders how well they will funtion in tropical conditions. A dangerous game cartridge is one that needs to function not 95 or 99% of the time, but 100% of the time, and the win mag is simply too little case for too much bullet to do what it needs to do.

As far as the win mag ending the reign of the Nitro Express rounds, that also isn't true. Due to financial problems post war, Kynoch ceased producing the NE ammunition. Winchester just happened to be at the right place at the right time. It really was the only option for a period of years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
doc-and,

Hello and welcome to Graybeard Outdoors, the best forum for hunters and shooters on the net(my opinion). No reason to excuse you because voicing your opinion is why were here. Ask or answer any question you would like to. I hope you'll stop by often and add your voice to the rest of ours. Lawdog
 

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They'er Dead

I don't know what level of speed a rifle should obtain. I don't know how powerful a round ought to be. Many people are not satisfied with the .460 Weatherby so rounds (for reasons I can't explain) eclipse even its' great power. I don't know if cartridges like the Weatherby, NE, and Lott preform that much better than the .458.

I do know this. I shoot, they die. This has happened enough times if I was using an unreliable rifle the opposite would have happened.

Quote of the day: "A healthy Buffalo is mean. A wounded Buffalo is mean and sinister".
 

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I Read an article somewhere that Graig Boddington did a survey of 100 African "PH's". 48 of them carried .458win's, 17 416's I don't remember if Rigby or Remington.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Florida Jim,

From the PH's I've talked to I would say the .416 that Graig Boddington was referring to would be the Rigby. Great cartridge. Lawdog
 

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with a .458 Win Mag. I have it in a #1 and will admit the fun slows down after about ten rounds off the bench. That is why God invented recoil pads. I get real close to 2100 fps out of her in these real hot Mississippi summer days. So if it goes to Africa, I do not expect problems as the times during the year I would be there it is much cooler than the temps I experience during load development. The highest the temp got while I was there last was in the middle 80's.

Some of the PHs I met over there use the .458 Lott. Some extra punch, but it will also shoot the shorter .458 Mag. I will eventually happen upon a place when I have the money and a Model 70 is for sale.
 

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:D For what it is worth guys. A recent poll of African professional hunters are using the .458 Win almost 45 percent of the time. I kinda figure that they might know a little bit. The quantity of .458s used surpasses the .460,.416,and all of the others that are available. Interesting. Stays safe.......King
 

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With later powders(especially Re15 and some of the newer balls) and better dies and reloading techniques there are no problems. The old reputation came back from control officers firing a round or two then reloading the mag over and over. With early loads, the cases weren't sized small enough, crimps and cannelures were weaker so the bottom rounds had the bullet driven back into the case while in the magazine from earlier recoil. This decreased capacity making an overload. Also had problems with early ball powders "caking" inside the case causing incomplete burning and severe bloopers. All straightened out pretty quickly, but the legend had been born. Modern bronze 400-465 gr bullets leave more room for powder but penetrate like steel jackets. With everyone chasing .416's and Lotts, there might be a chance to pick up a bargain on to truly good guns. Shh! Don't tell anyone.
 
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