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Old August 17, 2019, 02:22 AM   #1
stagpanther
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Hunting with the 458 socom?

Thinking about lugging mine into the woods this fall to hunt deer (hopefully big ones) but have run into a bit of a quandary about bullet choice. I'll be hunting thick woods where even 50 yds is a pretty rare shot, but the relatively lower velocities put me in that "does it or does it not open" vs "will it or will it not penetrate" decision bind. Seems the choice comes down to complete pass-through with little expansion (but added insurance of smashing through bone) or a quick expander but also massive meat damager. I recently developed a pretty good load using Hornady's 350 interlock--but I assume it's not going to expand at all at the relatively mild velocity of 1, 550 fps (I'm guessing it was intended for the likes of win 458 magnum).



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Old August 17, 2019, 07:00 AM   #2
CarJunkieLS1
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Call Hornady and they can tell you the velocity window of the bullet. But with concerns of no expansion of aim for the front shoulder to smash that bone for a quicker down.
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Old August 17, 2019, 07:10 AM   #3
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Call Hornady and they can tell you the velocity window of the bullet. But with concerns of no expansion of aim for the front shoulder to smash that bone for a quicker down.
They're good folks and I'm sure they won't hesitate to tell me--but on their website their table of loads shows the lowest velocity use for the 350 interlock for a 45-70 load at around 2000 fps. I may scale back to Nosler's 300 gr ballistic tip; Barnes actually sells a ttsx specifically for the 458 socom so I assume it has a low opening threshhold. Sierra also makes a FN HP 300 gr pro-hunter but I'm guessing it was originally a pistol bullet.
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Old August 17, 2019, 01:07 PM   #4
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The Hornady 350 gr FN and RN are respected by a lot of guys. The FN is preferred for less expansion with deep penetration. Expansion is often reported as unreliable with the RN unless the nose is drilled or countersunk. I have not used them, myself.

Bullets known to expand well or reasonably well at SOCOM velocities, without having to modify them:
Barnes TTSX
Nosler Ballistic Tip
Hornady FTX
Cutting Edge Raptor
Maker Buzz Saw (subsonic)


I did some expansion and penetration testing with the 325 gr FTX* (while on an elk hunt) and wouldn't hesitate to take deer or elk with it. At longer range (150-200 yd), it's possible that expansion would be minimal. But the bullet is still easily upset at close range (50-75 yd).


*Unfortunately, I must admit that the velocity was unknown. But it was not a max load. If I had to guess, I'd estimate 1,500-1,600 fps. My brother has since recreated the load with his own lot of powder, in the same upper (Tromix 16" bbl), and saw 1,580 fps.
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Old August 17, 2019, 01:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the useful info Franken. I figure I can pick up and extra 200 fps or so moving down to a 300 gr bullet--maybe more if I can also seat it longer.
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Old August 17, 2019, 02:56 PM   #6
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Sierra also makes a FN HP 300 gr pro-hunter but I'm guessing it was originally a pistol bullet
Not likely. 45 caliber handguns and 45 caliber rifles use different diameter bullets (.452" vs .458"). Bullet makers have been selling lighter bullets for the 45-70 since at least the late 1970s when Marlin and Ruger revitalized the round. Seems people don't like the 500 grainers in their lightweight rifles. Remington loads a 350 gr FNHP in factory ammo. The 458 SOCOM was designed to replicate 45-70 ballistics, so if it works in the 45-70, it should work fine in the 458 SOCOM.
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Old August 17, 2019, 04:52 PM   #7
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Not likely. 45 caliber handguns and 45 caliber rifles use different diameter bullets (.452" vs .458"). Bullet makers have been selling lighter bullets for the 45-70 since at least the late 1970s when Marlin and Ruger revitalized the round. Seems people don't like the 500 grainers in their lightweight rifles. Remington loads a 350 gr FNHP in factory ammo. The 458 SOCOM was designed to replicate 45-70 ballistics, so if it works in the 45-70, it should work fine in the 458 SOCOM.
Agreed--partially ; ) I forgot about the disparity in cartridges for pistol vs rifle (though there is the BFR in 45-70). I shoot and reload for both the 45-70 and the 458 socom. I'll agree the 458 socom kicks as bad as a 45-70, but in general even it's hottest loads are going to be under 2,000 fps, so I don't agree with the general sweep that anything that's good in the 45-70 will also be good in the 458 socom.
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Old August 26, 2019, 07:56 PM   #8
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If you are hunting where it is that thick, I would say I would go with a slower expanding bullet just in case you want to punch through a little brush. I would also think that at that short of range, your shot should be devastating enough. If you're not sure, punch them through the front shoulder. Just my 2 cents
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Old August 26, 2019, 11:14 PM   #9
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If you are hunting where it is that thick, I would say I would go with a slower expanding bullet just in case you want to punch through a little brush. I would also think that at that short of range, your shot should be devastating enough. If you're not sure, punch them through the front shoulder. Just my 2 cents
The extreme penetrator certainly fits that bill--and is also very accurate. I just got in some bonded flat-nose hollow point bullets and will be giving them some "try-outs."
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Old August 27, 2019, 08:04 AM   #10
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You're over-thinking this. I've shot a least a dozen deer with my 45-70 rifles using bullets that never traveled over 1500 fps and they all dropped either in their tracks or never went over twenty yards. Mostly right in their tracks. I've also shot at least a couple of dozen deer with muzzle loaders using quite a few different bullets in weight ranges from 250g to 400g and they almost all dropped in their tracks. Those bullets were .452 and a couple with Barnes Original at .458. Expansion is not even an issue. It's already big enough. I have yet to recover even ONE bullet from any of my 45-70 rifles and they're shooting the same bullets as you are at the same, or less velocities. Deer just aren't that hard to kill, even the big ones. A bad hit will result in a lost deer with any gun/bullet. Hit the vitals and you'll never lose one.
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Old August 27, 2019, 08:09 AM   #11
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You're over-thinking this. I've shot a least a dozen deer with my 45-70 rifles using bullets that never traveled over 1500 fps and they all dropped either in their tracks or never went over twenty yards. Mostly right in their tracks. I've also shot at least a couple of dozen deer with muzzle loaders using quite a few different bullets in weight ranges from 250g to 400g and they almost all dropped in their tracks. Those bullets were .452 and a couple with Barnes Original at .458. Expansion is not even an issue. It's already big enough. I have yet to recover even ONE bullet from any of my 45-70 rifles and they're shooting the same bullets as you are at the same, or less velocities. Deer just aren't that hard to kill, even the big ones. A bad hit will result in a lost deer with any gun/bullet. Hit the vitals and you'll never lose one.
What bullets did you use for those 1500 fps loads? Just curious, and thanks for the advice. Yes, in the end "a big hole is s big hole."
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Old August 27, 2019, 09:53 AM   #12
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What bullets did you use for those 1500 fps loads? Just curious, and thanks for the advice. Yes, in the end "a big hole is s big hole."
I have a large supply of Remington 405g JSP that I've used, I've used Hornady .458 300g HP, Hornady 350g RN, and some Hornady 250g flex tips. I just don't load them any faster because they shoot well, work well, and I can stand to shoot extended range sessions. Trust me, anything you load in that gun will be more than lethal enough for any deer you find in the woods. I've been shooting deer for fifty-eight years and I've shot a ton of them with lots of guns and bullets. Anything in your gun is more than lethal enough. My buddy has a gun that looks a lot like yours, and he's using 250g bullets in it. I shot his at some steel plates a couple of days ago, and those 1/2" AR500 plates were swinging like crazy with some pretty mild loads. Recoil was pleasant enough. I'd concentrate on finding an reliable functioning load and keep the recoil at a comfortable level. You'll enjoy shooting your gun and the deer won't have a chance if you put the bullet anywhere where it can get thorough to the vitals. Good luck.

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Old August 27, 2019, 10:15 AM   #13
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Gotta admit--my higher power loads left bruises on my shoulder just like my 45-70 does.

In the meantime, here for your viewing pleasure is the new 280 gr PowerBelt ELR made for CVA's Paramount "super magnum" black powder rifle which scoots along at 2,250 fps--somebody has already shot them to 735 yds.

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Last edited by stagpanther; August 27, 2019 at 10:24 AM.
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Old August 27, 2019, 10:54 AM   #14
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hi stag,,,i agree with nosecondbest

i have killed a lot of deer with the 45-70,,,my old marlin with ballard rifling likes a lead bullet that is 425gr,,,,there aint no deer its match,,,i only push it to about 1200fps,,,i have never got to see one after the shot,,,they always pass through,,,and like nosecondbest said the deer has never ran off,,,they either fall where they were shot or a few steps latter,,,most likely less than 10'

so i think if you are going to be hunting close quarters,,,75yrds and in,,, you are way over thinking this,,,you gots ya a sledge hammer,,,only gona take one whack,,,dont matter if it opens up or not

the old timers,,,,well older than me used to say with them big slow moving bullets that just make a big hole,,," you can eat right up to the hole",,,,,,i have seen the wisdom,,,and it is a fact,,,not much meat loss,,,,,unless you smack one in the shoulder,,,kinda destroys the shoulder,,,but it goes on about the killing process and out the other side

so i think,,,you have enough gun my friend,,,just pick a boolet that she shoots good and get some

my .02

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Old August 27, 2019, 12:19 PM   #15
stagpanther
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thanks!
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Old August 27, 2019, 12:58 PM   #16
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If you put a 350 grain bullet at 1550 FPS into Bambi's kill zone(that's roughly 9" in diameter), you'll have venison in your freezer. Bambi won't care what bullet or cartridge put him there either. Hornady says that bullet is made for game going to 1500 pounds. It'll expand in Bambi. Not that it'll matter if it doesn't.
You do need to practice, off hand, at 100 yards, on a 9" pie plate until you can hit it every time. The only other issue you might have is unwanted attention due to your choice of rifle. Lotta nosy people out there who think they get an opinion on everything.
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Old August 27, 2019, 01:23 PM   #17
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The only other issue you might have is unwanted attention due to your choice of rifle. Lotta nosy people out there who think they get an opinion on everything.
Already dealt with that for years--they are my fellow "stealth gun controllers."
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