My .458 Winchester

Discussion in 'Big Bore Rifles' started by Geezer, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Geezer

    Geezer Mama Tried Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Back around 1980 I went to a gun shop/sporting goods store in Sparta, NC. In the rack was a Remington 700 Safari in .458 Winchester. I was a big fan of author Peter Hathaway Capstick and had read all of his books. I decided that I needed this .458. Why? I don't know, I just needed it. Maybe Cape Buffalo had migrated to the Blue Ridge mountains.

    I priced some ammo for it and got a shock. At that time I was reloading so I ordered a set of dies and some 500 grain bullets. I also got 40 rounds of brass. I shot up all of the bullets, 100 of them, and traded the rifle to another buddy. He shot a small whitetail doe with it and ruined all of the meat.
     
  2. kcult

    kcult Alcohol fueled dumbass Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I didn't realize you drank.
     
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  3. JustKeepSwimming

    JustKeepSwimming Deplorable Ammosexual Benefactor Charter Life Member Supporting Member

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    Uhhh, @Geezer 's avatar? Duh...

    I'm subscribing to this big bore sub-forum. Have a feeling I'm going to buy something I absolutely do not need. At the very least I will have yet another reason to go visit @BatteryOaksBilly and @Michael458
     
  4. NCFubar

    NCFubar Well-Known Member

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    My father bought a used “heck of a deal” .458Lott and a box of ammo in the late 70’s ... he shot it twice. I guess he thought he might make it up to NW or Canada for stuff big enough to need Artillery. I inherited the rifle and ammo ... I shot 3 rounds to sight in a 1.5-5x scope. If you ever think about scoping a .458Lott or Win Mag I will pass on the words given to me “long eye relief is your friend!” and luckily I did adhere to those words. I will add do not bench one unless your shoulder is real solid ... and that’s all I got to say about that. Last shooter was my son a couple years back who shot every and at 14-15 years old (he was about 5’ 9” and maybe 150lbs) just knew he “was ready”. I let him pop off the first one off hand with me behind him “just in case” but he managed to hang on. He did fire a second round but that was all she wrote. So I still have it in the safe along with the same box 1970’s ammo with 13 rounds left and the 7 spent casings just in case I ever need to reload since it would be cheaper to buy the dies than pay north of a $100 for a box of 20 ... .458Win Mag is a little less expensive (do not use the word cheaper) at around $90. After the cost of the ammo you’ll probably need the invest in some lineament if you really shoot it more than a couple times a decade and are “not as young as you once was”.
     
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  5. Geezer

    Geezer Mama Tried Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I have a dark past.
     
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  6. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    My passion for big bores, and 458 caliber started with a 458 Winchester......... I can't quite recall how long ago, but Bill and I was cruising a local gun show, a fellow we knew had a 22 inch Winchester M70 in 458 Win on the table. I bought the gun for $600 or $650 as I recall...... I started loading up, and had a great load for the gun with a 400 Swift A Frame, at 2325 fps. It was a hammer, and back then just happened to be perfect for a mission I got called on in 2000. This was the time that Zimbabwe was slipping into chaos, land grabs by the government, that sort of thing. Most hunters were cancelling hunts and not going because of the turmoil. I had a PH friend over there that contacted me. He had lion problems, and no hunters. I jumped on the airplane soon as I could get a ride and went over. I took the Winchester and some of those 400 Gr Swifts and off we went.

    Long story short, we were hunting hard, two different areas with lion issues. One was on the Matetsi area, and these lions were really being a pain with the local folks, killing cattle, and being a pest at night in the village. The other area was a photographic safari privately owned farm. It was around 16000 acres, fenced. A group of lions had got inside the fence and was raising hell with the wildlife there. We were baiting and back and forth every night in the two areas trying to catch up with these guys............ 6 nights in, we were on the way to the Game Farm, dropped by one of the baits on the Matetsi area, and one of the male lions crossed our tracks from going in. We stopped, he stood broadside as I got out of the vehicle and took a few steps towards him, he stood his ground at 20 yards. I hammered him with the 400 Swift and he disappeared. Then we heard more lions in the brush. Mind you, its Zero Dark Thirty now. We approach where I shot the first lion, and found him stone cold. Bullet had taken him on the shoulder, busted him all to hell. One down....... There was a large lioness we spotted within 30 yards, we got up to her, busted her as well. There were plenty of Lioness on quota, and we needed to break up this cattle killing and village pillaging ring. We got over to where I shot her, and she was stone cold as well...........

    That 458 and Swift A Frame had done the job very well. It was a hammer. This is where I learned that 458 caliber and other big bores is just the ticket for this sort of thing.............Later I shot several plains game at various distances, and in every case, it was BANG FLOP, DRT on the spot. Sable at 100 yards, zebra at 170, and various other critters never took a step...........

    I was 458 nuts by then. Later getting several Winchester M70s in 458 Lott, using those for elephant and buffalo on many occasions............. And a few more 458 Winchesters as well. Naturally all of them Winchester M70s............

    Scopes on every single one. You have to pull big bores in tight against the shoulder and control them. Very few scopes qualify as DG Scopes, and all should be low power. I used 1.5X5 Leupolds for years until I got tired of sending those back to Leupold because they bust. I had 15 or more of these things, and had to, because there was always 3-4 at Leupold for repairs. Later I found the greatest DG Scope ever, the Nikon 1X4 African at the time, today it is the Monarch. It has plenty of eye relief, more clear than Leupold, and even just as important or more important, it has a very large field of view at close range. At 10 yards I can clearly see an entire lion tip to tip.............. Perfect. After 1000s on top of 1000s of rounds big bore fired with these Nikons, I have yet to bust one and never had to send one for repairs. This is good not only for DG in the field, but also good for getting work done on the range, one is not wasting time changing out scopes weekly..............

    Just hold on tight, pull it in tight to the shoulder and control the gun. Do not HOLD LOOSE............ That is when it will get you.............
     
  7. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    One of my 458 Lotts, long retired, shot 4 elephants and a bunch of buffalo back in the day with it......... Today, that barrel is way too long to suit me and I am spoiled big time with the B&Ms since 2005...............
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  8. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    I found some photos of what I call the Lion Rifle, the original 458 Winchester. Since then, it has been adorned with a Accurate Innovations stock. Winchester Custom Shop made a custom floor plate for me as well....... This one has long since been retired, in fact, the last trip it made was Mozambique later in 2000 where it accounted for another troublesome lion.........

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
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  9. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Senior Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    I used to be the kid that never learned his lesson, I've owned 2 "Big Bores", a 458 Win and a 375 Win, both in Rem 700's. Didn't have a use for either and shot them very infrequently and complained afterwards but couldn't find another fool to unload them on.
    I kept both listed on several mediums and finally got a call on the 375 one day, lost about 100.00 but thank God it was gone!! The 458 languished in the safe until 2016 when a really nice guy decided he need it to shoot Whitetail with so I let him hold it and haven't missed either gun as of today and doubt if I will tomorrow. Haven't heard if he ever killed a deer but if he just fired it in the general direction of one I guarantee it's at least deaf....
     
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  10. Geezer

    Geezer Mama Tried Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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  11. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Here is the deal with Big Bores..... You can ALWAYS load a big bore down, but you can never load a rat gun up..............

    You can take that same 458 Winchester, load it down to 1200-1500 fps and have lots of fun, and be extremely effective on smaller critters, deer/pigs.............. Tricks to shooting big bores are easy to learn, especially with a proper designed rifle. Stocks have a lot to do with felt recoil and muzzle flip. You want a stock that is as straight in line with the bore as possible, Winchester M70s do this to begin with. You do not want drop in the stop, this increases muzzle flip and felt or perceived recoil. Straight in line with the bore, tuck it in tight against the shoulder, and these rifles become far easier to handle, and won't beat you up...........

    Here when we were doing so much load data, bullet testing, and such as that, shooting an average of 10'000 rounds of big bore a year, the vast majority, 99.5% of that was done tucked in tight at the bench! You can't be jerking wires off a pressure gun hooked up to the computer. So you are tucked in tight at the bench with it no matter what.........

    458s become easy at the bench compared to some things......... With Cutting Edge Bullets we designed new solids and raptors in 600 OK...... 900 gr bullets at .620 caliber 2200-2400 fps......... The last day of testing, I had enough of that of that after 24 rounds from the bench.......... This made 500s and 458s seem like small bores............... But good fun none the less...............
     
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  12. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Thank you........... We are fortunate to have several nice sticks of wood stuck on M70s................ Most of these are done by Accurate Innovations, right here in the Carolinas.......... We are very good friends with AI and the owner Wes Chapman. AI does the finest stocks available for big bore rifles. The stocks have a full length aluminum chassis that the entire action sits in. It absorbs a great deal of recoil transferred through he chassis. But most important, that chassis keeps the wood intact and safe, you will never bust a stick of wood with that AI Chassis in place. no more rods and crap like that to maybe keep the wood from busting........ Wes had done some totally incredible work for me with many different stocks............
     
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  13. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member Vendor

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    I can only imagine! I don't think tha's fer me...

    Still, 900 grains is a wee bit more'n half the weight of a 4 bore.
     
  14. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    We have worked with everything big bore here, for the most part....... everything from .410 caliber to .620 caliber. Have done a hell of a lot with .500 caliber, not to be confused with .510 caliber, which we have also done a tremendous amount of data for. You see, there are 6 .500 caliber B&M rifle cartridges, Bolt guns, Semi guns, lever guns and single shots........lots of data had to be done with those, and lots of new bullet design as well...... Many 1000s on top of 1000s of rounds fired in various .500 caliber guns......... Which we can discuss later of course................

    My buddy Sam Rose up in Harrells NC is a double rifle fan. We have done lots of double rifle work as well in various cartridges, including 577 NE, which he is a huge fan of. I like the 500 NE myself, but I am not a double rifle sort of chap. We wore out a 500 NE here with all the shooting and load data we did. Barrels come apart from shooting so much.........

    If its a big bore, we more than likely have had it here at one time or another..............
     
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  15. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Was talking loading down 458s. Its easy to do, I have done it a lot, and they are very effective, fun to shoot, and do not beat you up. I have some eye issues the last couple of years, so I have not been shooting quite as much serious big bore guns as before. I started down loading many of them into that 1200-1500 fps range. Incredible accuracy, fun to shoot, and don't beat you up! Even loaded some up for Billy, and the bugger has not even tried them yet!

    In addition, you can make the big bores extremely effective in other areas besides buffalo, elephant and hippo. You can make an extremely effective plains game, moose, elk, bear rifle out of one by using a proper bullet. I highly suggest the 250 Socom Raptor by Cutting Edge. This is an extreme bullet, I have taken numerous zebra, wildebeest, oryx and even impala with this bullet at 2900 fps. The way it works, the base of the bullet exits all broadside shots as well, mind you a 250 gr .458 caliber bullet. Zebra are tough, they are DRT on the spot when hit with this. I have loads in 458 Winchester that also run this bullet to 2800-2900 fps. One hell of a pig rifle.........

    You can do a lot with 458 Winchester, its not limited at all to the heavies........ Make yours versatile and you will love it, it will become your most favorite rifle of all. No, its not going to win any 1000 yard matches, but you shouldn't be shooting something that far anyway!

    I have a very close friend that took his 458 B&M to Alaska for moose. he was shooting the 250 Socom at 2900 fps. He shot the moose at over 200 yards, moose drops to the shot, and bullet base exits................You can do the same with 458 Winchester.....................

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My pal Mike Sager from TN, with his moose and 458 B&M..... 250 Socom Raptor from CEB................ That is a big damn moose......
     
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  16. cold1

    cold1 Member Supporting Member

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    Since you're talking down loading. NOE molds makes a 180gr collar button mold in 458. I down load them to 800fps and have so much fun with them. I call it my squirrel load for my 4570. I use them mostly in my trapdoor just to be able to shoot it without any worries. You don't need hearing protection and they make a great "thunk" when they hit the target.

    Anybody shooting big bores should give it a try.
     
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  17. BurnedOutGeek

    BurnedOutGeek What's this button do? Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    That is most definitely a big damn moose!
     
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  18. Charlie

    Charlie Member

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    I went the 458 WM route back in about 1981 when I found a used Ruger 77 in that chambering. It was a hoot to shoot. I never killed anything with it but shot it fairly often with somewhat reduced loads. It did not like to feed 350 grain round nose bullets but did well with the lighter Barnes pointed bullets. My old body is not as comfortable with heavy recoil any more, so I donated it to a good cause.

    I also ran into a used M70 Winchester in 375 H&H a few years ago that called my name. I have used it on deer with great success but generally just shoot it for fun with mild reloads.

    My latest binge has been 45/70 rifles. My latest is an H&R Trapdoor replica that I just got to go with a few lever actions and a single shot in that chambering. I have been using a 45/70 with open sights the past few years for deer hunting with great success. Big slow lead bullets have gotten the job done quite nicely since I do not try to stretch the range out too far.
     
  19. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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  20. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    You see above some of the bullets available for 458 caliber guns from Cutting Edge and North Fork. The 458 Winchester should have never been introduced with 500 gr bullets. At its case capacity it is at its best with 450 gr bullets on the top end. Add properly designed to that, and you really have an excellent cartridge for heavy dangerous game. North Fork a few years ago redesigned their solids and they carry a nose profile similar to the CEB solids. North Fork is all copper construction, CEB has both Copper or Brass, but mostly brass in the Safari line of bullets. What you see above from CEB and North Fork are the very best there is for doing serious work. Bullets enhance any and all cartridges, you can have the finest nicest rifle there is, you can have the hottest newest big time cartridge there is, but if you don't put a proper bullet in it, it will fail you in the field, the other two are not worth a damn unless you put a proper bullet with it. It is a system, not stand alone. You have to put all the proper input into the system, to make it work. The rifle is the "Platform", the cartridge/case/powder is the "Engine", and the Bullet does all the heavy lifting......... They all work together to make you successful, if you choose wrong, you will fail. Regardless of how big and impressive the cartridge or rifle is. I have seen it many many times.............
     
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  21. Have gun-will travel

    Have gun-will travel Member Supporting Member

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    I think I'm the sucker you are talking about on the 375 winchester
     
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  22. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Senior Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Best as I recall I sold that through word of mouth to a guy in Matthews.... but I could be wrong....
     
  23. Have gun-will travel

    Have gun-will travel Member Supporting Member

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    I remember the guys name was Bailey maybe Bill Bailey
     
  24. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Senior Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    Why are we discussing this??? I no longer have the gun, and if you do, congratulations. I enjoyed the gun for the time I owned it, now it's gone....
     
  25. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    I love Big Bores, but the recoil is more than this old man can handle. My 50 B&M is now available for visitor only shooting. These days I am shooting a 16 1/2 inch barrel NEF in 500 S&W. I got the gun from another CFFr. I am running 500 grainers with 13 grains of Unique.
     
  26. Tailhunter

    Tailhunter I am a Trapper Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Once you get past a certain caliber, its kind of a moot point.

    I mean is there something beyond dead that I’m missing? :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
  27. JT

    JT credulous boomer rube Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Hmmm. Perhaps I am his huckleberry.
     
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  28. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Negative, not correct, depending on the species you are talking about??????? Caliber is "Everything" with buffalo in particular. They don't pay much attention to anything less than 458 caliber, .500 gets their attention.

    Being dead long enough to stomp your guts out........and that is why we use .458 +...........You can kill something with most anything, but stopping it is another story........
     
  29. BatteryOaksBilly

    BatteryOaksBilly A SHOOTER Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Can't find them. ...Oh they're here, I just can't find them!!!!
     
  30. Etruett

    Etruett Happy to be here Supporting Member

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    That was obvious when you told about finding a Glock under your bed that you didn't have a clue where it came from
     
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  31. NCFubar

    NCFubar Well-Known Member

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    Overkill is underrated!

    Kinda like why does anyone need a 760hp vehicle that can run over say 85 miles per hour ... go 0 to 60 in 3.3 secs ... go 0 to 100 in 6.7 secs ... and other outrageous performance? Because it makes you grin!
     
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  32. Tailhunter

    Tailhunter I am a Trapper Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Hard to find those gut stompers here in NC.
    But there are still people that feel they need to anchor a 90 pound doe in the shoulder with a 300 win mag.
    They are cool beautiful guns but most people around here would only have them for conversation pieces.
    Thats why I included the :p
     
  33. Geezer

    Geezer Mama Tried Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    The people that hunt in NC are not the target customers for @Michael458 's rifles.
     
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  34. Tailhunter

    Tailhunter I am a Trapper Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Yes I realize that.

    Thought this thread was about having big guns you really didn’t need.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2020
  35. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Fer cryin out loud. I knew you didn't get out of the county much, but you’ve moved eight states away, you know, where the buffalo roam. sheesh.
     
  36. Tailhunter

    Tailhunter I am a Trapper Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Guess I’d better get me a 650 socom or some such.
     
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  37. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Well-Known Member

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    FYI, didn't Nikon discontinue their scopes couple months ago? Always wanted to hunt Africa, never had the time or resources. Been there many times for the Army however. Being up close and personal with a herd of elephants at dusk and armed with a XM16E1 loaded with blanks! Mag of 55 gr FMJs in pocket wasn't comforting. Maybe for the baboons but not the big 5. Next couple times took a M14 with me (same M14 NM I took to Iraq and shoot 1000yd matches with). Time I saw a lioness at 25m she wasn't interested in us. Good thing as I was only armed with my Beretta M9. Some reason when we went across the lake in dugouts, they ensured I was the croc guard. Did have some very warm loads for my Marlin 1895 and Browning 1886 in 45-70 but don't recall ever stepping up to the larger cases. Enjoy reading and hearing your stories Michael458.


    CD
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
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  38. cold1

    cold1 Member Supporting Member

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    He said Buffalo, so that means a single shot 45-70 or one of its big brothers. :p
     
  39. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Indeed they did. The 1X4 are hard to come by now. I have enough of those to last a lifetime, but I did manage to find 2-3 the last few months. Extremely good scopes.

    I have used 45/70 quite a bit in the field, even taking a cape buffalo with one, but at the time we did not have the bullets we have today. Using a Cast bullet, bad angle, and bullet deformed on shoulder bone, we damn near had a problem because of that. In the end it turned out ok, but during the followup I knew I did not have enough gun, and even worse, not enough bullet..........Maybe later I can elaborate on this one a bit if anyone is interested....

    Thank you......Very nice.

    Very true........
     
  40. JT

    JT credulous boomer rube Benefactor Life Member Supporting Member

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    Well, you find 'em, I wanna choot 'em! (Just one or two of those expensive rounds, I promise!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
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