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Old December 21, 2013, 11:38 PM   #1
powder measure
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big bore advice

I'm considering getting a 458 for recreational and maybe downloaded hunting use. I've looked at cz550 and Win mod 70. Also saw Zastava at noticeably lesser cost but am concerned about quality or having to put more into it. Also saw that the 550 has a "larger" action and more magazine capacity. After reading about crossbolts and bedding, I'm concerned about stock cracking but those issues may have been addressed by now (CZ). I saw CZ had 458 Lott and 416 Rigby for the same price, too. I handload and have read the Lott vs Win arguments but it's said that the Win has come a long way with modern (and cheaper!) components. Big difference in brass price. So, I'm trying to decide that, too. I'm not really looking to scope it. Any suggestions appreciated, Thanks.
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Old December 22, 2013, 08:59 AM   #2
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.

Welcome to TFL !

I've owned/shot both the M70 Safari & the CZ-550 American Safari, and (sad to say) like the CZ better because it had a denser stockwood, and a 2nd recoil lug, about 5" ahead of the usual Mauser lug on the action.

The setable trigger on the CZ was nice, too.

Both makers install steel crossbolts in the stock - a wash.

On the minus side, CZ's require special rings, if one's to be scoped (I used a Leupold M8-2x); and the #/*&%\@ ^$ stoopid so-and-so's @ CZ mount the front sling QD stud on the forend ILO the barrel, which means relocation & hole-filling (on the forestock) to keep from tearing up the hand.


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Old December 22, 2013, 01:22 PM   #3
powder measure
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I just watched an episode of the Gun Nuts and they talked about the Montana rifle company's American Advantage. It goes from 35 Whelan to 458 Lott. They said it was a good rifle MSPR about $1200. Any opinions? Still trying to decide about sticking to the Win or going to the Lott.
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Old December 22, 2013, 05:12 PM   #4
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If you're handloading the brass expense is a one-time thing, basically. I guess it just depends on what you want. The .458 win mag is a good cartridge but the Lott does it a whole lot faster. Definitely one I'd want to be able to load down. I've heard good things about the 550, but also heard someone got terrible customer service from Montana Rifles.
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Old December 22, 2013, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
maybe downloaded hunting use
I always wondered why everybody gets a big bore and then runs super light loads. What's the point?


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Old December 22, 2013, 05:47 PM   #6
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C Z has listened .The stock problems have been corrected. Any gun in 338W or bigger I would have crossbolts and full glass bedding ! CZ is coming out with the 557 at least in smaller cartridges.
The 458 has a good choice of bullets even 450s for large animals .45-70 bullets can be used when down loaded. But I'll stick with my 45-70 ,works fine in my little world of deer and black bear.
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Old December 22, 2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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FWIW 458 Lott brass CAN be formed from other, cheaper, more available brass since it was originally formed from 375 H&H brass by Jack Lott. Also, standard 458 Win ammo/brass can be fired in a Lott chamber (sort of like 38spl in 357mag) in a pinch (not something I'd do all the time, but if I absolutely couldn't get other brass I would).

If it were me, and if the rifles chambering each were of similar cost, I'd go with the 458 Lott, in the CZ rifle. I'd feel well armed hunting anyhere in the world, and if I became seperated from my Lott ammo, I could find 458 Win ammo just about anywhere in the world and use it in a pinch. Seems the best of all worlds to me.

Just the opinion of an armchair safari hunter. I love and shoot big bore rifles and a trip to the dark continent is of course on my bucket list. Right now, the most dangerous thing I shoot is paper targets, lol. Maybe some day.

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Old December 22, 2013, 06:40 PM   #8
powder measure
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my lyman orange crusher press appears to have about 4" max opening form shell holder to top. Wondering if that might make bullet seating difficult with the longer Lott. Also, can the Lott be downloaded similiarly to downloaded 458 Win levels.
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Old December 24, 2013, 05:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomer58cal
I always wondered why everybody gets a big bore and then runs super light loads. What's the point?
Reduced recoil, more rounds per pound of powder, smaller bruises on the shoulder. Heck, I run a .45-70, and my favorite load is a 405 grain bullet going about 1500 fps. I can step that up a bit, but I'd have to adjust the fillings in my teeth every time I pulled the trigger, and my load is a bit heavier than the loads that almost made the American Bison extinct. It's hard to argue that I need more power than that.

I've got the throttle there if I need it, but I don't have to run the rifle "wide-open" all the time. I can throttle it back a little bit with no problem. Just like my car, I don't have to run it with my foot stuck to the floor..
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Old December 24, 2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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When stepping up to the big bores, one thing really nice about them is using cast bullets. Even at full house loads a cast bullet can stand up to the worst a .458 WM/Lott has to offer. Or you can stuff a case full of Trail Boss (if you can find it) and go shoot soda cans all day for fun. Unless your hunting dangerous game, there is no need to ever shoot a copper jacketed bullet out of a big bore.
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Old December 24, 2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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I think the two are about a wash. It just depends on which you like better. My friend had a .458 Win and the recoil was purely brutal. It did not have a brake. I have contemplated building one, but it would most definitely have a brake. I personally do not want open sights on the rifle, so when I get one, I will build it instead of buying it. I have a pawn shop Savage .30-06 sitting in my basement that might get the conversion. $400 ish.
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Old December 25, 2013, 12:31 PM   #12
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powder measure,

I don't think there would be any issues at all with downloading the Lott to 458 Win levels, or even lower.

I have a bit of information, including load info, on the Lott if you'd like to read it. Drop me a PM with an e-mail address.

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Old December 25, 2013, 12:58 PM   #13
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Other than to say you have done it, what's the point of shooting elephant loads from your .458 if you aren't shooting (or practicing to shoot) elephants?

After wanting one forever, I got a .458 around 20 years ago. A rather unique .458, built on a Mauser action, but with a thumbhole stock, and a "cutts" muzzle device, similar to a Tommygun (not a recoil reducing brake, all the slots point up, its built to reduce muzzle climb).

Somebody had it built this way, I have no idea why, but its kind of neat. NOT a good configuration for a dangerous game rifle, kind of a mountain rifle, but in .458 Win Mag. Oh, and its kind of light, too...

Needless to say, I don't shoot elephant loads, but I do shoot other loads that have proven to be quite impressive, and easier on the shoulder.

A while back, a friend was clearing some trees, including some I had used in the past for targets, about 80+ yds from my back deck, where I used to shoot.

He gave me two bullets, one cut in half, lengthwise by his chainsaw, the other intact, and only slightly distorted. 400gr hard cast .458, recovered 2 FEET deep in the wood. These were fired with an estimated muzzle velocity between 1800-1900fps.

2 FEET deep in a tree 80+ yds...I think that would do fine for anything I'm likely to meet these days, and while it does kick, its not horrid.

I have also learned that the Speer 400JSP (designed for the .45-70) pushed to "only" 2100fps is A) more recoil than I enjoy for plinking, by just a bit, and B) acts like a varmint bullet when it hits anything....

Choose the Lott, if you think you will ever have any use for it, or choose the .458 WIn in a rifle long enough to take the Lott, and have it rechambered, if you desire the most you can get. But if you are talking about something you can use, more than rarely, loading these big cases to approx. 45-70, .45-90, or .45-120 ballistics with good cast bullets is plenty for anything that doesn't hunt you back. And will do a creditable job on things that do, if you do your part well.
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Old December 25, 2013, 03:25 PM   #14
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Cool topic, and one I am familiar with.
If we look at the old 45-90 Sharps and the Modern 458 Win Mag you will see both shells are the same length. 2.5 Inches.
The 45-90 had a wonderful reputation in its day. Shooting big heavy bullets at only about 1300 FPS, they were very accurate and killed anything they hit.

I have found the 458 Winchester to be all the shell a hunter could desire as long as he knows the range to the target and the trajectory of his load.

The cool thing about the 458 is that it's easy to get an accurate load with velocity in the mid teens. 1400 to 1600 FPS beats the old BP loads of the Sharps and Remington fame of the 1880s, and they will shoot from end to end on elk or moose.

I have loaded 85 gr of black powder in my old Winchester M70 with a card wad, a greased felt wad and another card wad using a 450 grain LBT bullet and with that load the rifle would hit a 50 cent piece at 100 yards EVERY time.

If you are going to build up a rifle for such loads use a Pac Nor or green Mountain barrel cut for lead bullets. The rifling of these barrels is a bit deeper than it is for barrels made for jacketed bullets.
If you are simply going to buy a rifle in 458, you need harder bullets to hold the rifling, but they can still be wonderfully accurate if you cast the bullets correctly.

A Modern rifle with a modern scope that duplicates or slightly surpasses the King of the old BP Cartridges....what's not to like?
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Old December 25, 2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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I thinking of going with the Marlin .444 because I already have 44 bullets and I think I can use the 44 mag dies too. What is your opinion?
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Old December 25, 2013, 09:30 PM   #16
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Don't believe 44 mag dies will work for the 444.
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Old December 25, 2013, 09:43 PM   #17
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I don't know if the 44 mag dies will work easily. I never tried that, but depending on what company made them you may get by that way.

You will probably have to de-cap by hand before you try them because the “guts” of the decapper will have to be removed in most cases to clear the extra .940 of brass length.

Lee dies are fairly inexpensive so if there is any problem you will be able to get a set and not break the bank.

I did a lot of load work back in the 90s on the 444 Marlin. I found the 320 grain gas checked LBT bullet to be superb, but many of the Marlin rifles needed to have the cartridge lifters modified to feed them. It was a simple modification, but necessary about 50% of the time.

The only down side to the 444 is the fact that Marlin used a 1-38” twist for them. It seems as if that would not be fast enough to stabilize a 320 grain bullet, but it did in the rifles I tested. The big advantage the 458 has over the 444 is the fact that it can shoot much heavier bullets and also it can be had with barrels twisted 1-14” right out of the box.

In the case of you wanting to do a full blown custom job on a Marlin 444, or a converted Mosin Nagant or LEE, McGowen makes correct barrels with perfect rifling for such work. Their 444 barrel has a .422 bore with .429 grooves and can be had with a 1-24 twist which is the cats meow for the 320 grain bullets
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Old December 25, 2013, 10:23 PM   #18
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I tried the 44 die & 444 case back in '74. Couldn't make it work. Lyman dies.
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Old December 26, 2013, 12:10 PM   #19
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A quick look in a reloading book show me the .444 is .453" at the case mouth, and .470" at the case head. It looks like a straight case, but it isn't.

The .44 Mag is shown as .456" at the case mouth and .457" at the case head.

SO, while you could likely neck size .444 brass in a .44 mag die, the specs say the .44 die is .003" too large AND .013" too SMALL for the .444 case head, assuming you could get it all the way into the .44 mag sizer die.

I'm not saying you couldn't make ammo that would fire, but if you want the best, then you need the right tools (dies) to make it.

Don't try to cheap out, dies are not that expensive. GET (and use) the CORRECT reloading dies for the cartridge.
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Old December 26, 2013, 06:20 PM   #20
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I went to gander mountain today to see about ordering the cz American safari magnum in 458 lott. After talking to cz , they said that it would not be available until july. Don't know about 458 win or 416 rigby which are priced about the same. The safari magnum (humpback stock) doesn't offer the lott. Would be nice to get it sooner but there's no rush. Neighborhood seems to be elephant free at the moment.
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Old December 28, 2013, 07:10 AM   #21
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a vote

When I wanted a big bore.....for "just because"...I picked up a .416 Rigby.
The Rigby cartridge is a handloaders dream. Easy to load. Easy to download.
And that brings up its disadvantages.....handloading is necessary (at least for me) because the cost of factory cartridges is very high. The least expensive is still almost $5 per trigger pull.
Even brass is expensive but it is very durable and 40 cases will probably last longer than you or I if properly cared for.
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Old December 28, 2013, 10:20 PM   #22
powder measure
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I thought about the rigby. It's a classic cartridge with plenty of case capacity. And yes, the brass is expensive and, I assume, bullets as well. I don't know if you can get as much hand loading versatility as with the lott. If I got the rigby I guess I would really need to scope it. Just bought a vortex diamondback for $200 for my 7 mag. It's supposed to be a very good scope, But I think eye relief would be a very big concern w/ a 416. I'd also like to know how much of a markdown I should expect off the MSRP $1300 on the cz American safari. Was dealing w/ GM. Seems their cost was about 1000 and they initially quoted low 1100's but when I went to down pay I was told (different person) 1300. I'm now looking at different retailers.
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Old December 29, 2013, 08:40 AM   #23
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Rigby

When I bought the Rigby, it was the Ruger #1 Tropical. If one holds the gun hard, recoil and eye relief are not an issue. I put a 4X Leupold on mine and have never had problem.
It does rock you back, though. I shoot it from the standing position or seated on the ground.....rarely from the bench. When I do shoot from the bench, there is a bag of shot between me and the gun.
One event that made me smile was the first time my son shot the Ruger. He was seated on a shooting mat, as I had been, when he fired the gun, the recoil just rolled him over onto his back. He said, "wow".
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Old December 29, 2013, 09:07 AM   #24
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I've been following this thread and I keep wondering, if you are planning to download the .458 Magnum down to .45-70 power levels, why don't you just buy a .45-70?
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Old December 29, 2013, 01:40 PM   #25
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Since I don't plan to hunt Cape buffalo or elephant in Africa, the biggest I can see myself with is a 45-70. I love my 1895 Guide Gun.

The bullets are the same diameter.
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