.458 Winchester Magnum - Load work.

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 20,617 Senior Member
My .458 WM is the most brutal gun I've ever shot. It's lightweight (between 7-8 pounds) and has an old style recoil pad. With heavy loaded 500gr bullets........I thought I dislocated my shoulder or at least tore something with 3 shots. Wearing TWO Past Recoil Shields.........I can fire 9 rounds before its break time.

I shot a doe years ago with that gun and load combination. Pretty effective and devastating on both ends to say the least.

Recently, I got the itch to get a .45-70 but got to thinking...........why don't I just load down the .458 Win Mag and save myself some money?

So, I ordered some Hornady 300gr HP bullets that were on sale. Hornady has .458 WM load data for that bullet and H4198. States that it needs to be run at .45-70 velocities. I called Hornady and found their recommended velocity threshold for that bullet to be 1,600-2,100 fps impact velocity . So, I used their load data.

Suffice it to say.......the results sucked!!! Atrocious standard deviations. Slow velocity. Piss poor accuracy, and wonky ignition. How Hornady thinks that is safe load data is beyond me. That is loading the .458 WM WAY below safe levels. It's a train wreck.

Then, I got to thinking. Why hamstring this rifle trying to make it a .45-70 when it's really a .458 WM?

So, I switched to Sierra load data which was about 10 grains higher than the Hornady data. Opting for it to be a WM instead of a .45-70...........my target velocity was 2,400-2,500 fps. Loaded up the Sierra data and hit the range today.

DSCN3970_zpskbufnm0t.jpg

Started off with 62gr H4198 and the velocity was already above 2,400 fps. Woohoo!!! So, I kept going.

DSCN3974_zpsgtyjg3mz.jpg

At 65gr we were mid 2,500s with good SD and decent accuracy. But, I kept going.

DSCN3977_zpsyp1mjzp3.jpg

66gr was ugly with erratic SD and less accuracy. I about called it quits and opted for the 65gr load. But, I had the 67.0gr loads with me......might was well shoot them.

Boy, am I glad I did.

IMG_6210_zps9zqwmsnv.jpg

.5" three round group with iron sights and 2,605 fps for a 300gr bullet out of a 20.5" barrel!!!

Recoil is stout but not punishing. And.........it still gets to be a .458 Win Mag.

Winner!!!!

It's a handy rifle that was built by my Mentor in his teens and gifted to me. I love this gun.

Now..........we need terminal performance pushing a bullet 500 fps faster than manufacturers recommended velocity.

Science!!!!
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Zee I have an article here somewhere the the author rigged up a special apperatus to protect himself benching such a large rifle.

    I've also read and seen illustrated a special rest for firing well standing. Such rests are specific for large rifles.

    Things to consider for such a serious task.
    Beautiful rifle.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    Thanks.

    This load isn't bad from the bench with 1 PAST Recoil Shield on.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I think the one guy had rigged up a big pad at the butt-stock. real big
    I've seen someone at the range use a bag of shot.

    The standing rest was a frame with a carpeted cylinder about 4' high as a forearm rest for checking double rifles.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,046 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    .5" three round group with iron sights and 2,605 fps for a 300gr bullet out of a 20.5" barrel!!!
    Recoil is stout but not punishing. And.........it still gets to be a .458 Win Mag.
    Winner!!!!
    It's a handy rifle that was built by my Mentor in his teens and gifted to me. I love this gun.
    Now..........we need terminal performance pushing a bullet 500 fps faster than manufacturers recommended velocity.
    Science!!!!
    I am glad YOU own this rifle.
    What makes it special to me, is your mentor built it.
    I am pleased with your results with this set-up.
    Good shooting, and now on to SCIENCE!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,350 Senior Member
    Looks like it's going to work out perfectly. Like you, my .458 Win Mag is far and away the most brutal gun I own. I'm glad to see I ain't the only one who doesn't tolerate the 500 gr. loads very well. I dropped down to a 350 gr. a while back and may follow your lead and try a 300 grainer. The groups look very promising.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,522 Senior Member
    Great shooting , but I'm more interested in the rifle, its a beautiful work of art, I'm guessing your mentor is up in his years like me, classic style, skip line checkering, and 2 white line spacers on the pistol grip with what looks like a "rosewood" cap.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 7,052 Senior Member
    Nice! You still need a .45-70!
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,041 Senior Member
    Give Accurate 5744 a try if you want to revisit the .45-70 concept. It's a nice bulky powder that works great for accuracy out of big cases at cast bullet velocities ranging from from cozy to not-real-fun. You're probably dealing with a .45-90 to .45-100 equivalent for case capacity - should be able to start midrange in the .45-70 data and creep up from there.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,855 Senior Member
    Nice rifle. I can only imagine the whallup of a .458 Win. Mag. I can barely stand my puny by comparison 9.3x62mm with a wimpy 270 grain Speer Hot Core Bullet at around 2500 FPS MV. I have a woman friend who along with her husband used to hunt on the same lease with me out north of Uvalde TX who shot a .458 Magnum Full House with 500 Grain solids at a shade over 2200 FPS. The rifle wasn't braked and the recoil pad was original, an old 70s vintage Remington 700. I never shot it, but a friend of mine that also hunted there did. He said it was the kickingest Mule he ever experienced. From what I've heard pound for pound .458 Winchesters are ferocious.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Looks like it's going to work out perfectly. Like you, my .458 Win Mag is far and away the most brutal gun I own. I'm glad to see I ain't the only one who doesn't tolerate the 500 gr. loads very well. I dropped down to a 350 gr. a while back and may follow your lead and try a 300 grainer. The groups look very promising.


    I thought about the 350s as well. But, I'll never use this on anything other than deer and pigs. So.................300s are enough and will likely be more "dramatic" with the hollow point and higher velocity.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    Great shooting , but I'm more interested in the rifle, its a beautiful work of art, I'm guessing your mentor is up in his years like me, classic style, skip line checkering, and 2 white line spacers on the pistol grip with what looks like a "rosewood" cap.

    JAY

    Thanks. Yes, he ain't young anymore and has been apprenticing and building guns since a little boy. He tells me a story of his father taking him to a gun builder/smith/store when he was 9 years old and asking the man to "teach him a trade". It started then and hasn't stopped.

    458WinMagfrom19671.jpg

    458WinMagfrom196717.jpg

    This was the second rifle he ever built as a young teen. The first being one he gave to his father.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    Big Al1 wrote: »
    Nice! You still need a .45-70!


    Maybe some day.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Give Accurate 5744 a try if you want to revisit the .45-70 concept. It's a nice bulky powder that works great for accuracy out of big cases at cast bullet velocities ranging from from cozy to not-real-fun. You're probably dealing with a .45-90 to .45-100 equivalent for case capacity - should be able to start midrange in the .45-70 data and creep up from there.


    I got what I was looking for. A load to hunt with that doesn't kick my butt with every shot.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,467 Senior Member
    Reading these threads feels like taking a class. But sooooo much better! Keep it coming!
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    Recently, I got the itch to get a .45-70 but got to thinking...........why don't I just load down the .458 Win Mag and save myself some money?

    Who did you say you were again ?

    Nice shooting.......He built em good even back then
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,041 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I got what I was looking for. A load to hunt with that doesn't kick my butt with every shot.


    Yup. 'Tis a valuable thing. It was very strange to work a load progression BACKWARDS for my .416. I CAN shoot it hotter than 350 grains at 1,900 fps, but I can't think of much that needs to die any harder than that. The full tilt 400 @ 2400 feels like every .22LR cartridge I fired as a boy - all at once. Ended up pulling the bullets on those. . . As it stands, I've got a cast bullet "plinker" for my elephant gun now.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    I'm not recoil sensitive by any means. I actually enjoy it.

    But, those hot 500gr loads I have for that rifle concern me to the extent of doing physical damage to my shoulder with them. I mean, the first time I shot that sucker, I thought I tore something in my shoulder. By the third round, I thought I'd broken something. I couldn't lift my arm.

    I will never fire those loads again without a PAST Recoil Pad.........or two.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,522 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I'm not recoil sensitive by any means. I actually enjoy it.
    I will never fire those loads again without a PAST Recoil Pad.........or two.

    Wait till ya get older,

    I have fired a few big guns including the .460 Wea. mag. , they hurt, I don't think they hurt me as bad as the bigger (heavy) guys , the most I ever weighed was 157lbs. so I kinda roll with the punch.
    The one that I think hurts the most was the .378 Wea.mag. with no brake.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,768 Senior Member
    got any trail boss?
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    got any trail boss?
    Yeah. And I might try that with some heavy cast bullets.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    21gr TB and a 405gr Cast at 1,000 fps might be fun to send through a deer.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    That's my 45-70 load, but I believe it is 13 g of Trail Boss and a 405 gr bullet get 1000 fps from a 24 inch barrel. 21 gr might give you a bit more pressure and oomph.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,855 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I'm not recoil sensitive by any means. I actually enjoy it.

    But, those hot 500gr loads I have for that rifle concern me to the extent of doing physical damage to my shoulder with them. I mean, the first time I shot that sucker, I thought I tore something in my shoulder. By the third round, I thought I'd broken something. I couldn't lift my arm.

    I will never fire those loads again without a PAST Recoil Pad.........or two.

    You are one sick, demented puppy!!! Anything over a .30-06 gets my attention. OK, so I'm a Wuss. The older you get the more Wussy you will become! Especially when the bones start to creak!!!

    :tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    Hodgdon says a 405gr cast with 21gr Trail Boss out of a 24" barrel moves 1,082 fps.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    9C8D622D-BE1E-4AEC-8390-C995C48FCADE_zpse71kr6u0.png
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    I just looked at the .45-70 data and you're right. 13gr of TB and a 405 cast listed at 1,007 fps.

    Makes no sense.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Posts: 5,751 Senior Member
    I launch a 500gr. cast bullet at about 1300 in my Shiloh Sharps 45-70. It's a fun load and the recoil is more of a big push. I'm using either Reloader 7 or IMR 3031. That would be a fun bullet to try in the 458win mag.
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Science. Make it happen.

    Gonna order some of these.

    http://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=81&category=6&secondary=&keywords=
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »

    I shoot those Missouri Bullet 405's and they are great for me. Consider getting the ones that are powder coated.

    http://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=205&category=6&secondary=36&keywords=

    ht_1buffalo.jpg

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,617 Senior Member
    Glad you were the Guinea Pig on those. Think I'll try them.

    Here are 50 of the 300 trainers all ready to kill deer and pigs. I have plenty more cases to play with the heavy cast.

    234F5616-26FD-4B23-B972-CEDE1DC871DC_zpskbgyli6x.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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