Best .458 Lott bullet (for elk)


Njal Thorgeirsson
September 3, 2013, 11:45 PM

I am happy to say that I may have an opportunity to hunt elk this year. It will be my first hunting trip! Long story short, the best rifle I have (the one I can shoot the best) is my Ruger No. 1 in .458 Lott. But I need some recommendations on bullets! So far I've only tried Hornady 500 grain DGX bullets.

I also have Barnes TSX 350 and 450 grain bullets, and I have Woodleigh 400 grain protected point bullets.

Is anyone familiar enough with these bullets to recommend one over the rest? Weight retention and accuracy are very important. So far, I really like Hornady DGX bullets, but if anyone has any advice on the other three (or other ones I don't currently have) I'd surely like to hear it, as I don't have any first-hand experience.


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September 3, 2013, 11:50 PM
Any of the bullets you mention would make an adequately large hole in an elk so I would choose base on the accuracy obtained. Woodleigh and Hornady bullets in the 500 grain range work quite well for me. I've never tried Barnes bullets in my 458 Lott.

September 4, 2013, 01:02 AM
I'd go with the Barnes 350. Plenty of weight for any elk and you can eek out a little more velocity and a flatter trajectory. I do a lot of hunting and shooting with a pair of 458 Win mags. The heavier bullets are fun but any respectable distance and you almost need a mortar sight.

September 4, 2013, 08:02 AM
Any of the mentioned bullets will shoot through any elk alive from end to end from any angle out of a .458 Lott. Weight retention and penetration are not going to be a problem for you.

Find what bullet shoots best, then find what your maximum range at which you can hit a 6" paper plate from field positions is and go hunting.

Njal Thorgeirsson
September 4, 2013, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the responses!

I realize that this is probably an unanswerable question, but what is the longest practical range I should be prepared to shoot at?

According to a simple calculation with the Hornady ballistic calculator, a 500 grain bullet @ 2200 fps will be within 2.7 inches of (100 yd) zero out to 175 yards. I think that's probably a sufficiently flat trajectory for my purposes.

I'm a little bit afraid of using the lighter (350 gn) bullets because of possible excessive tissue damage compared to the slower 500 grain bullets. Perhaps this is an unreasonable fear?

Perhaps I'll just default to the current loads I have (Hornady DGX @ 2250 fps). I will formally test them on paper this weekend hopefully!

Thanks again!

September 4, 2013, 12:26 PM
If I were doing it, I would go with the bullet I found shot best in my gun. If you practice, 200 to 300 yard shots should be possible with even 500 grain bullets. And yes, I believe your concern about "excessive tissue damage" with 350 grain bullets is unfounded.

September 4, 2013, 07:11 PM
Agreed a 350 gr TSX is not going to cause excessive tissue damage in an elk sized critter. And I also agree that you should not have an issue figuring your dope out to 300 yards with a Lott if you can shoot it well.

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