.458 Caliber Dangerous Game Cartidges


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abliving1
April 5, 2013, 12:53 PM
I know this subject has been beaten several feet into the ground over time, but in the last couple of years, I have done a little research at the range and at the reloading bench and discovered a couple of things:

1. The .458 Lott is not the ideal .458 cartridge. I recently converted my Model 70 in .458WM to .458 Lott. The only advantage it offers over the .458 WM is .3 inches more cartridge space so that you dont have to compress the loads, and the ability to shoot .458WM in a pinch. Hornady factory .458 Lott loads give 2300fps, while their heavy magnum .458 WM loads give 2260--only 40 fps difference. In handloading, I can get 2200 max from the WM and 2250 max from the Lott--not a significant difference, except with the Lott, I now do not have to compress my loads. In fact, I can hear the powder when I shake the Lott cartridge. Now that in itself was enough reason for the conversion, but my point is that the power levels are not that different by any means. The Lott with Hornady factory loads will reach the lower end of the optimum 2300-2400 fps penetration range for 500 grain pills, but the handloader is limited to borderline anemic loads. This from a guy who owns and handloads for the Lott.

2. I recently purchased a higher-end CZ (AAA walnut, no crossbolts) in 450 Rigby and decided quickly that, from a performance standpoint, this cartridge might be the best of all the .458s. As a handloader, the lack of a belt gives me true full-length resizing instead of stopping at the belt. It takes 25 grains more powder than the Lott to charge, but I get an easy 2450fps at very mild pressures, and could load to Dakota pressures and get 2500-2600 if I chose to. The only downside was the expense of the brass and dies, but once that pain is past, you are only paying for the extra powder it takes to load the .450 Rigby.

Anyone else have a favorite .458 cartridge you would like to tout, or any .458 experience you would like to share? I have found that most of the other 458's are either anemic, belted, or uncommon--all deal-breakers for me--but I probably havent researched them all. In fact, I am considering selling my Model 70 Lott conversion now. I might need the proceeds for the CZ 550 Magnum in 505 Gibbs I will need for my new 600 Overkill conversion!

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Robert
April 5, 2013, 01:22 PM
Run a search for posts by H&Hunter and start reading. He has forgot more about big bore dg rifles than most of us will ever know.

Fleetman
April 5, 2013, 01:41 PM
I've not sure I've ever seen where anyone has proclaimed the Lott to be the "ideal .458 cartridge". I think its popularity is due to the fact that .458 win mag ammo can be used and is available almost anywhere. The price of ammo is a big consideration too as most .458 WM/Lott ammo can be found for less than $5 per round.

I agree the 450 Rigby is a good round.....though not something you'll typically find at your LGS nor at the usual on-line vendors. If I were in the market for speed, I'd probably look no further then the .460 Weatherby Mag but a price is paid in recoil. I am comfortable shooting a box of Lotts from the bench but 4 or 5 is my bench limit for a .460.....I HATE nosebleeds! Naturally, YMMV!

Robert
April 5, 2013, 02:36 PM
I have fired a 470NE and 404 Jeffery numerous times, neither of which are .458 I know, and found the recoil of both to be easy to manage. The 404 was down right fun to shoot.

abliving1
April 5, 2013, 03:00 PM
@Robert: Yes, I should probably begin to look at some non-.458 caliber rifles as well. I think I have now exhausted the .458's as far as utility and performance, and found the .450 Rigby to be the winner there.
@Fleetman: The .460 is definitely king where velocity for that particular bullet is concerned, and has the option for downloading to more effective .450 Rigby levels. The only reason I discounted it was because of that infernal belt, and sizing issues. If it was a beltless cartridge, it would be my first choice. 2400-2450 fps in the field and 2700 fps to get everyone's attention at the range!

Fleetman
April 5, 2013, 04:28 PM
Do you hunt with the big bores? I only collect and target shoot but can imagine hunting with a large rifle would be....well....awesome!

colnago58
April 5, 2013, 05:02 PM
The 500gr .458 at 2150fps or 2200fps will kill anything on planet earth. Reaching that velocity with lower pressures and reliable powder combustion brought about the Lott.

The Rigby (and Dakota, almost identical to the Rigby) rounds are newer and the Lott just had a head start. Add a belt to the Rigby/Dakota and you get the Weatherby case.

abliving1
April 5, 2013, 09:03 PM
The 500gr .458 at 2150fps or 2200fps will kill anything on planet earth. Reaching that velocity with lower pressures and reliable powder combustion brought about the Lott.

The Rigby (and Dakota, almost identical to the Rigby) rounds are newer and the Lott just had a head start. Add a belt to the Rigby/Dakota and you get the Weatherby case.
You are quite right, though I will add that the Lott and Weatherby are still considered high-pressure cartridges compared to the Rigby, and the Weatherby, while similar to the Rigby and Dakota, with the exception of the belt, also has about 6% more case capacity, giving it that advantage as well.

abliving1
April 5, 2013, 09:13 PM
Do you hunt with the big bores? I only collect and target shoot but can imagine hunting with a large rifle would be....well....awesome!
@Fleetman: Yes I do, but I have only recently started planning an African hunt. My big game thus far has been limited to American bison and a few tough old 350+ pound feral boars thus far, but I do use my big rifles for these if for nothing more than practice for a later dangerous game hunt. With the Lott, I use a 350 grain Speer Hot-Cor at 2700 fps for North American game, as these expand better on our thin-skinned game. For some of the big old boars though, I should have used the 500 grainers, since penetration of that gristle plate on the shoulder was difficult, and the Lott did not have the punch to push the 350 grainer through both shoulders. Probably overkill, but I think I will use the Rigby and 500 grain solids on hogs this year and try some shoulder shots with it!

Fleetman
April 5, 2013, 09:24 PM
thats pretty cool.....good luck on your hunt!

I like shooting the 350's and typically wind down my shooting sessions with a few of them.

The Rigby rounds are much lower pressure and much "safer" in much warmer climates.....Rigby knew what he was doing and more importantly, why.

@Robert - the .404 is a truly all-around cartridge. I have fired a few rounds but don't own one.

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