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Thread: Anybody load 458 Win Mag?

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Anybody load 458 Win Mag?

    I'm toying with the idea of getting a Winchester 70 in .458 purely as a range toy. If I get one, I'm going to start with light loads and work up until I get enough POP.

    My current thought is that I'm going to use light 250-300 gr bullets and do most of my shooting at 100 yards though I may stretch it out a bit later.

    Where do you get your .458 bullets and brass? I am surprised that Starline doesn't make 458 brass, but I see that Hornady makes it.

    Have any of y'all experimented with light bullets at longer range? I know 458 is not a 500 yard caliber, but I'm curious 250-300 gr bullet would be flat shooting enough to reach out a bit further than 200 yds.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I got a Bicentenial Ruger 77 NIB in a trade. I got 100 new cases, and new die set with it. I just wanted it as a shooter, so I worked up a cast bullet load. 35 gr of 4759 with a RCBS 300 gr GC bullet. Delivers 1640 fps. Recoil is about like a 20 ga shotgun. Equivalent to a 45-70 load. Shoots really great. Really smacks the gongs at 100 yards. Just for the heck of it, I purchased a 500 gr mold from Lee, to develop a full power load. 2000 fps with this bullet, really gets your attention. Quite uncomfortable with the 500 gr load from sandbags, but tolerable from standing, as you can give with the recoil.

  3. #3
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    richhodg66's Avatar
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    The start load in my old Lyman manual for just about all bullets is 18-19 grains and is a nice load, pretty accurate too.

    I inherited a lot of old AA 8700 which is very slow buring and have been loading a case full in front of an unsized 500 grain RN cast bullet using a magnum large rifle primer. Primers show it to be a low pressure load, enough thump to let you know it, but not oppressive. I get a little unburnt powder but accuracy is good. The smoke signature is rather impressive.

    Not sure what you mean by "where do you get your .458 bullets", you cast them, of course. Lots and lots and lots of molds out there for .45-70 that work fine, the Lee 340 grainer has worked well for me. I get brass wherever I can, usually there's someone around who had a rifle that has gone down the road who still has brass.

    It's an easy thing to load for, lots of fun. I want to get a Ruger #1 in it eventually, the rifle I have is huge and heavy, not good to hunt with, but it sure is a fun bench gun.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Sounds like a solid plan, drmordo. It’s a 45-70 and much more if you need it. The fun factor stops when 300 grs exceed 2000 FPS for me. A friend had a No.1 Tropical and a box of 510 gr Remington SP. We each fired a 3 shot group from the bench, then wisely took turns offhand for the rest of the box. Standing wasn’t bad. The bench was. We were skinny young lads, it was kind of fun?

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the encouragement! I've been trying to talk myself out of it for a few days, but much like my 44 magnum pistols, I think it will be a lot of fun to load up to my own personal max.

    And I have to admit there is a certain appeal to owning an actual elephant gun.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have a cast bullet load Ive used but it used 2400 powder and isnt bad.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I have loaded for 458 Winchester magnum on two different occasions about 40 years apart. Once in the late 70s. The other a couple of years ago.
    My first rifle was a Winchester model 70 African with the front sling swivel mounted on the bottom of the barrel in from of the stock. That rifle worked a treat with cast boolits.
    My last attempt was with a Ruger 77. It didn't work well at all. I finally gave up on it.
    After the fact, I found out the reason why. The Ruger, and many newer rifles, have a section of freebore in from of the chamber that causes problems with cast for whatever reason.
    The older Winchester didn't have this.
    Just something to consider when looking for your rifle.

  9. #9
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    I re-barrelled a Siamese mauser to 45-70 some years ago.
    I loaded it all three of the load levels in the loadbook.
    When I got to the listed loads for 45-70 'Ruger#1 & bolt action', thats when the fun went away for me.
    Those top end loads were just the starting load for .458
    thats an ouch!!

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Back in my 20s, which I will admit has been a while, I took the aforementioned Winchester 458 Magnum out with a box of factory loads.
    It was a nice warm summer morning and I was wearing a cotton shirt.
    The first 5 rounds hurt a little. After that, I didn't feel them much and finished the box.
    I didn't think about it much at the time, but two hours later I couldn't raise my arm. Two days later, my shoulder and chest turned the brightest shade of purple you ever saw.
    I never shot that rifle without a shooting coat or recoil pad on my shoulder again.
    I finally decided all the elephants and mastodons had left the area so I sold it.

  11. #11
    I've played w both the old 375 Ouch n' Ouch, & The Big 458Win Mag. I prefer the 375 myself. But if you gotta , The Big Win is tons of fun w reduced & cast bullet loads. Look for a package deal. Rifle, dies, bullets & brass. The older Winchesters are very well made rifles & they will shoot. You will not be disappointed. Find a good mold & gas checks. 65% loads of 4895 are your friend. Lighter weight bullets are just ok to play with The 405 to the 500 grain slugs is where you will find the accuracy. unclemikeinct Ps: you will flatten the rams at 500M even w the reduced loads.

  12. #12
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    Had the same brass for 20 years and I mostly shoot 405 rcbs cast with 24 grains of 2400 so ill probably never wear out my brass. I haven't shot full power loads out of it since the Linebaugh seminar in 2003. Not many elephants or cape buffalo in michigan
    Quote Originally Posted by drmordo View Post
    I'm toying with the idea of getting a Winchester 70 in .458 purely as a range toy. If I get one, I'm going to start with light loads and work up until I get enough POP.

    My current thought is that I'm going to use light 250-300 gr bullets and do most of my shooting at 100 yards though I may stretch it out a bit later.

    Where do you get your .458 bullets and brass? I am surprised that Starline doesn't make 458 brass, but I see that Hornady makes it.

    Have any of y'all experimented with light bullets at longer range? I know 458 is not a 500 yard caliber, but I'm curious 250-300 gr bullet would be flat shooting enough to reach out a bit further than 200 yds.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Fun cartridge to shoot in light loads.. I use hard cast 500gr Postell type .459 diameter bullets. I have three .458 Winchester Magnums, a Colt Sauer, a Ruger No. 1 and an Interarms Commerical Yugo Mauser.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for the tips, I'll let you know and post some pics if I get it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    You might check the SAAMI chamber drawing for the .458.
    It has a very long tapered leade that may give you accuracy problems especially with light bullets.
    For what you want a good single shot .45-70 would would be much better.

    Using a strong single shot like a Ruger #1 or Browning 1885 you can load it hot enough to hurt a bit to shoot it. Yet the SAAMI throats are short enough to work well with light bullets.
    EDG

  16. #16
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    I have a Savage in 458 Win Mag
    Most of my loads are slightly scaled up from 45/70
    LOL I shoot a lot of 300 gr cast at 1200- 1600 FPS and "Kill" a lot of paper targets or 2 liter pop bottles at 100-200 yards

    I do 2 things to help
    #1 is I use the MAX sized bullet I can for the chamber ... the barrel will size it down
    But a larger bullet will tip less

    #2 I seat the cast bullet out to the Max I can to shorten the free throat

    A simple load load of Unique like the 45/70 uses produces really little recoil and works good for me

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  17. #17
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    yup its hard to call them light loads where there every bit as powerful as factory 4570s that are about the same as they were when the hunters wiped out the buffalo in this country with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnch View Post
    I have a Savage in 458 Win Mag
    Most of my loads are slightly scaled up from 45/70
    LOL I shoot a lot of 300 gr cast at 1200- 1600 FPS and "Kill" a lot of paper targets or 2 liter pop bottles at 100-200 yards

    I do 2 things to help
    #1 is I use the MAX sized bullet I can for the chamber ... the barrel will size it down
    But a larger bullet will tip less

    #2 I seat the cast bullet out to the Max I can to shorten the free throat

    A simple load load of Unique like the 45/70 uses produces really little recoil and works good for me

    John
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I've posted this before but here it is again. Take it as you will. I like this load. Gave good accuracy at 100 yards too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check