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Old May 15, 2021, 08:19 PM   #1
Ranting
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Is The 458 Win Mag Dead!

I have a few Rifles and there two that will go to the grave with Me one is a 602 375H&H and the other is a Custom Rem 458 Win Mag! If you look for Brass as you read this post you can not buy 458 bass if you life was hanging by a thread!!>> I LUV>My 458!!> and I have the Brass! And i shoot a 400g Bullit! SM. Enjoy
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Old May 15, 2021, 09:31 PM   #2
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There are only about 4 animals on the planet where a 458 is necessary and opportunities to hunt them are getting more rare, and expensive, every year. I'd wager most of them are in the hands of folks who want one just to have one and won't ever hunt anything where it is needed. And that is OK too.

The 375 is adequate for those 4 animals, but it is versatile enough to still be useful for game as small as deer. I have no real need for either, but would be more inclined to buy a 375 if I just had some money burning a hole in my pocket.
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Old May 15, 2021, 09:49 PM   #3
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458 brass is still being made. They just don't run it every day.

I don't own a .458. I do own a 375 Taylor. Some call it a .375/338.

I prefer to neck down .458.I do one pass through a Lee 416 Taylor first and I don't have any failures.

The market for .458 is slightly bigger than those who shoot 458
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Old May 15, 2021, 09:58 PM   #4
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458 WM

If you reload, 458 brass can be made from 300 Win mag by loading 13 grains of Bullseye, a small piece of tissue, to keep the powder in place, and then filling the case nearly full of Cream-of-Wheat and capping it off with a wax plug.
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Old May 16, 2021, 12:19 AM   #5
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For me, the appeal of the .458 is the fact that is works well when loaded DOWN even as low as .45-70 velocities, and does so in a modern bolt action repeater, while keeping to capability of up to elephant loads if one ever has the need for them.

Most of my .458 shooting is done with 400gr cast slugs at heavy .45-70 load level velocities, and considering these still penetrate a couple feet of elm tree, I think they're good enough and recoil is tolerable.

I have shot some 400gr jacketed stuff at 2100fps and that's just more kick then even I like for shooting at things that aren't all that dangerous.

I do have a box of the 500gr FMJ elephant slugs, but those are just in case the cloner back breeders actually succeed in bringing back Ice Age magafauna.

40 years ago Africa wasn't totally out of the question, but I never did go, and now its pretty obvious I never will. But that doesn't mean I don't have a use for my .458...

I have a couple hundred cases so, I'm not likely to run short anytime soon, and no, I'm not sharing..
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Old May 16, 2021, 02:48 AM   #6
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Old May 16, 2021, 06:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
If you look for Brass as you read this post you can not buy 458 bass if you life was hanging by a thread!!>> I LUV>My 458!!>
You do know that there has been an ammo and reloading components shortage for about a year now due Covid and the election, right? Everybody has had shortages. Less popular calibers are still being made, but apparently not made as often and when they are, they are snatched up almost immediately by people who weren't prepared or by people who have gotten interested in the caliber after the crisis happened.
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Old May 17, 2021, 01:29 AM   #8
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For me, the appeal of the .458 is the fact that is works well when loaded DOWN even as low as .45-70 velocities
Well, yeah! The 458 Win Mag is basically a 45-70 on steroids. Straight case, 500 grain bullet, you know, just like a 45-70. A bit more oomph. Same bullet, just 50% faster. But pretty much useless as far as cartridges go. Very few people even in Africa use it due to failures to penetrate on dangerous animals, and too much recoil to use it every day. Way over-rated. 416 or a 375 are a better choice.
Quote:
If you look for Brass as you read this post you can not buy 458 bass if you life was hanging by a thread!!
That is some funny stuff right there! I just bought a couple boxes of .458 for a customer's rifle. Looked online, there it was! No problem at all. I mean, nobody is buying it, you know it's gonna be available!
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Old May 22, 2021, 10:22 AM   #9
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But pretty much useless as far as cartridges go. Very few people even in Africa use it due to failures to penetrate on dangerous animals,.......
Bullet comes out the barrel, hits what you aim at, kills animals dead (even really big ones)..how is that "useless"???

The .458 had bullet issues early on, but that got fixed over 50 years ago. If it routinely fails to penetrate dangerous animals, that fact is being carefully hidden from us in the US...

"very few people" needs a qualifier, very few people compared to what? People who use a .30-06? People who hunt biggest game for sport or for a living have always been few in number, compared to about anything else.

i suggest you read Capstick's "Death in the Long Grass" or any of his other books, telling of his years as a cropping officer who shot LOTS of elefants for a living. He was issued a .458 Win M70 and ammo by the game dept he worked for and I take his word about its success and failure as solid.
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Old May 22, 2021, 03:46 PM   #10
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i suggest you read Capstick's "Death in the Long Grass" ...
Also known as the creator of the 470 Capstick!

458 win mag, 458 Lott, 470 Capstick.....all great tools! I like the 458 Win Mag because honestly....the other 2 are too big for many folks. My 458 Lott is a lot to handle. I’m not sure most folks should shoot it!

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Old May 22, 2021, 07:27 PM   #11
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Right now,the presses can't keep up with production of cartridges with much higher demand.

They are not going to pull 9mm / 223/ 308/ 6.5 CM tooling from the press to run .458 just yet.

This too,shall pass.

Of the realatively few people who shoot a .458, a lot fewer shoot over 100 rounds a month.

Many more shoot 45-70 . Likely Starline can ship you 45-70 today,or soon.

Its about "How do we make money today?"
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Old May 22, 2021, 07:56 PM   #12
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i suggest you read Capstick's "Death in the Long Grass" or any of his other books, telling of his years as a cropping officer who shot LOTS of elefants for a living. He was issued a .458 Win M70 and ammo by the game dept he worked for and I take his word about its success and failure as solid.
I have read all of Capstick's stuff (also met him in Naples FL back in the 80s), along with just about everything written by Ruark, Hemingway, Aagard, etc, etc. I read so many of those old stories that I thought I should own a 375 H&H. Still own one.

But even Capstick said the 458 wasn't all it was cracked up to be. It has too much recoil for most shooters not enough penetration for most jobs. Read all those Capstick stories again, you'll see it. He doesn't say it's not adequate, but he does tell of a lot of follow-up shots and insurance shots.

Quote:
He was issued a .458 Win M70 and ammo by the game dept he worked for and I take his word about its success and failure as solid.
The reason he shot all those animals with a Model 70 in 458 is because he was issued it and told to use it. If you want the government to pay for ammo, you use what the government says to use. And comparing the 458 in the hands of an expert marksman to the same rifle in the hands of a typical hunter is not a fair comparison.

The initial issues with the 458 was related to bullets (they would deform on impact and not penetrate), later issues were related to velocity not being up to what Winchester claimed it was supposed to be (they had reduced velocity maybe 2,000 fps rather than the 2,300 fps advertised due to pressure making the cartridges stick in hot weather). The issues with the 458 got so well-known that the 458 Lott was developed, and later the 458 3" African Express.

"Very few people" means just what it sounds like. Many hunters in Africa have moved to 338s and 416s for big stuff. Not many people get asked to kill rhinos or elephants any more. Big stuff anymore means hippos and buffalo, and those are for the tourist hunters to shoot because they are worth a bundle of dollar or euros or yen injected into the economy. If a game department hunter shoots one the locals are lucky to get meat if anything.

But hey, if you want a 458 for shooting North American game, I'm sure it will be fine.
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Old May 22, 2021, 08:00 PM   #13
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Scorch : I don't have or need a .458 . And I don't think I'll ever hunt Africa. While I don't judge or condemn the traditional Safari,and I love reading Ruark and Capstick, I just have no interest in shooting an elephant ,the cats,giraffe,rhino,hippo,etc. I'd say "No". Not my thing.

Maybe M'Bogo . Some of the more common antelope for dinner... I could shoot a hyena,on the right day.

I neck a 458 down to .375. I get something over 2600 fps with a 260 gr Accubond. Its in a 1952 FN Supreme receiver. Likely adequate for anything I'll ever face,trajectory about like a 308, and,IMO, fun to shoot.

I digress.

I think they figured out there was an issue with the Win ball powder they used in the 458 not standing up well to heat,compessed loads,etc. It was clumping and deteriorating,leading to substandard performance.

Thats from memory,of something I may have read. It may be solved...That tends to happen to 20 or 30 year old problems.

Old Shooters have long memories but we don't get the update memos.

Right,wrong,or indifferent,I bet a lot more 1895 Marlin 45-70 Guide Guns are sold for purposes of " Alaska Bush Security" than 458 bolt guns.

Last edited by JohnKSa; May 23, 2021 at 07:49 PM. Reason: .
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Old May 22, 2021, 09:16 PM   #14
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Never understood the .458 Win Mag.
Winchester had been making .300 and .375 for years, the Model 70 had the room for a full length Magnum.
They could have had something very like the Lott or any of several .45 x 2.85" wildcats.
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Old May 23, 2021, 01:44 AM   #15
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Midway has brass in stock. Expensive. But in stock.

Quote:
And i shoot a 400g Bullit
The Bullitt Mustang had a 390 ci V8, not 400.

----

I have spent time with at least three different .458 WMs. Hundreds of rounds with one of them - a Ruger 77.
I shoot them fine. The recoil doesn't bother me.
But I see no point in the cartridge for North America, or even for most game in Africa.

"Big bullet" is all it offers. Other things handle the energy, velocity, sectional density, and ballistic coefficient variables better.

I am set to go to Africa next year for various species (none dangerous). As things stand now, the "biggest" rifle I might take is a .35 Whelen. If that falls through, we'll be looking at .300/.338 WM (just to be legal for certain species) or .270 Win (and ditching the species with a .30 cal minimum).

.458 WM is for people with a dream that they will, 'one day', get a chance to drop an elephant and/or buffalo ... but they can't afford a .470 Nitro or .416 Remington.
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Old May 23, 2021, 06:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
but they can't afford a .470 Nitro or .416 Remington.
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Old May 23, 2021, 11:20 AM   #17
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The 458 Win Mag is vastly better today than it's ever been, thanks to newer bullets and powders. With its smaller case capacity relative to most of the British large bores it competed with, it should have had 420-450 grains bullets from the beginning; the advertised 2150 fps would have been doable from the start. But now, with monometal bullets in both solid and expanding form, and powders like Accurate 2230 et. al., those better and deeper penetrating 450 grain bullets can be launched at a very real 2200 fps + out of 22" barrels.
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Old May 23, 2021, 11:23 AM   #18
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I picked up 2 bags of 458 brass in a bucket of reloading stuff last month.
No good to me, dont need it.
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Old May 23, 2021, 12:19 PM   #19
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Winchester had been making .300 and .375 for years, the Model 70 had the room for a full length Magnum.
They could have had something very like the Lott or any of several .45 x 2.85" wildcats.
I've discussed this with a friend numerous times. Since the people who made the decision are long gone, we can only guess. My best guess is that, at the time, it was not a "lets make the best, most effective and efficient round we can" thing, that it was a "lets make what we can sell the most of" thing that carried the day.

It was the mid 50s, Winchester was introducing the "short" magnum (shorter than the H&H case, the only other magnum at the time), the .264 and the .338. so there is some sense in using the same basic brass for the .458.

And, while the Model 70 had the room to take an H&H length round, I think they made the .458 short enough to fit in a standard action in order to sell more. It seems to have been a rare case of a company taking a longer view than usual.

While making the length that could be fit into just about everyone's rifle didn't directly help them sell model 70s, it did make the .458 into the most popular (and most sold) cartridge in its class.

Absolutely, it was sold to the guys who always wanted an "Africa" heavy rifle, knowing they were never going to go. And, yes the marketing claimed performance that the actual round did not deliver. For the "few people" using it for dangerous game this was a serious issue, for the 98% or so of American .458 owners who never went on safari, it was much less of a concern.

There are better performing cartridges today, there were better performing cartridges then...but the .458 Win did work, worked even better once they got the bugs out, and you could get it. Kynoch stopped making ammo for the famous African express rifles, and Winchester was making .458 ammo, so its kind of a n0-brainer, you use what you can get ammo for, even if its not as good a performer, if it still gets the job done.

Quote:
But I see no point in the cartridge for North America, or even for most game in Africa.
Ok, this I can agree with, YOU see no point in the cartridge. I get that. there are lots of things (even some gun things) that I see no point to.

Its a valid opinion, and one I understand, but tis a lot different than saying the cartridge is useless. A LOT different.

I'm never going to Africa (outside of my imagination) and I never planned to, even back when it was remotely possible for me to do it. But I wanted a .458 Win, so I could see for myself what it would, and wouldn't do.

Which is the same reason I got most of my guns in calibers I wasn't experienced with, to have them and see what they could do and wouldn't do in MY hands. Not what writers wrote about, but what I could actually do (and way before the Internet).

I was one paycheck away from having one put together in the mid 70s, had a Herter's barreled action and stock picked out (but not purchased) when I got ordered overseas, and then life got in the way of my .458 project for about 20 years...When I finally did get one, it was a real oddball .458. Found it at a gun show for a deal I couldn't pass up.

Its NOT a DGR. Someone built a lovely mountain rifle on a 1909 Argentine Mauser 98 action, fitting a nice thumbhole stock on it, and, for some unknown reason added a .458 Win Mag barrel to the less than 8lb package. Good open sights, decent trigger, drilled and tapped with bases, and a scope safety. I bought a couple hundred new brass, and my only complaint is mechanically, it could feed "slicker" (and probably would if I were using the 500gr FMJ RNs. but it does work ok with the 400gr cast and jacketed slugs I feed it.

I've run 400gr jacketed up to 2100fps, and discovered that about all the recoil I want to take, and running cast at about 1900fps is much easier on my shoulder. And the bullets still go about 2 feet deep in an elm tree (found when the tree was cut down) and that's good enough for me. Not worried about elephants though there are "buffalo" (Bison) about a mile down the road from me...I like my rifle, and I'm ok with the .458 Win cartridge, but I'm not madly passionate about it, now that I know what it is, and isn't, from personal experience.
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Old May 23, 2021, 12:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Ok, this I can agree with, YOU see no point in the cartridge. I get that. there are lots of things (even some gun things) that I see no point to.
That.
I see no point.
But I won't go so far as to dismiss the cartridge entirely.
(I reserve that insult for the guys that never shut up about how the world needs nothing more than their .25-06s and 6.5 Creeds.)


The .458 WM does have its amazing party trick, too: The ability to turn a brand new rifle into a discounted used rifle with just one round fired.
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Old May 24, 2021, 09:22 AM   #21
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The reason he shot all those animals with a Model 70 in 458 is because he was issued it and told to use it. If you want the government to pay for ammo, you use what the government says to use. And comparing the 458 in the hands of an expert marksman to the same rifle in the hands of a typical hunter is not a fair comparison.
Actually, for more decades than the .458WM has been around, THE issued rifle for 99.9% of African game departments was the .404 Jeffrey.

The .458WM is a Johnny-Come-Lately round to the African hunting scene.

The default load for Jeffery's .404 was a 400grn/.423-dia RN bullet @ 2050-2100fps. Despite that rather tame velocity, it made its reputation by killing the Big Bad stuff right now, out of all disproportion to its "paper ballistics."

More importantly, for a .400-class cartridge the .404 imparted relatively mild felt-recoil, no worse than a .375H&H with 300grn loads. That's why it proved so popular with Game Dept personnel, staffed generally by skinny, underfed, indigenous tribe folks.

In his book on African rifles and cartridges, "Pondoro" Taylor cites the Jeff .404 as being "the elephant gun" in his time there, but also for rhinos, hippos, and lions. He also noted that most complaints about "stopping power" were due to either poor bullet-construction (a common problem back then) or poorly placed shots, not lack of velocity.

It was only in the early 2000s, when CZ was offering its 550-based Magnum rifles chambered for a variety of African cartridges, including the .404, that Hornady decided - for no good reason - to increase the velocity of its .404 ammo 250-fps faster than the original load with a 400grn bullet. Right up there with the 416s, like the Rigby.

It also needlessly increased felt-recoil. Ask me how I know.

When down-loaded to its original specs with Hornady's RN or SP bullets (or any other modern high-quality .423 bullet), the .404 in my view is still the best of the .400-class of African DG cartridges.
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Old May 24, 2021, 09:38 AM   #22
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And before cheap Mausers took over, the .450-.400 was a common round with about the same ballistics.
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Old May 24, 2021, 10:17 AM   #23
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One reason the .458 got popular was price, they were affordable.
When Kynoch quit making ammo for most big bore African guns, .458 ammo was available.
It had problems, Hornady fixed the bullets, different factory loads solved the ignition troubles. And the velocity went down to 1950-2000fps.
Now we have better, new powders. Velocity is back up.
Yes, 99% of the .458s never leave the country, but I don't think it is going anywhere for a long time.
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Old May 24, 2021, 11:39 AM   #24
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Since this thread started out with a false premise in that the OP asked if the .458 Win Mag was dead then complained only about lack of reloading components, I'll close it now.

If any other member wants to continue the various big bore discussions started here, please feel free to do so.
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