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458 Win Mag "performance loads"

777flyer777flyer Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
Hay folks, I am looking for current information on improving my loading of the 458 Win Mag. I am sure that with some of the modern powders available today that I can improve my velocity with 500g bullets. My manuals are all from the dim past and I hope there is someone here that can bring me up to date. Thanks.


  • mbsamsmbsams Member Posts: 1,076 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Give us a clue --- what is your performance now?
  • 777flyer777flyer Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    At the present I am getting 2190 fps average from a Ruger M77 in 458 Win Mag. with 76g H335 and Hornady 500g solids. Just looking for other options etc.
  • duckyducky Member Posts: 1,501 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    2190fps really isn't that bad for a 458 Win, IMO. You really should pick up the current Barnes and Hornady manuals. I believe A-Square has load data for the .458 Win as well.

    I wouldn't expect to get full .458 Lott performance out of the Win, but I think you could maybe get a smidge more out of the 500gr bullet. If you want extra velocity, 400gr would be a great compromise, IMO.

    Best of luck to you.
  • ChetStaffordChetStafford Member Posts: 2,794
    edited November -1
    my barnes manual shows a 400 gr. maximum load RL7 65 gr at 2334fps and a 450gr at 2278fps with 73 gr.of imr 4895 these are max loads and should be reduced and then worked bac up to [8D]
  • 777flyer777flyer Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks folks, The 500 g bullet is probably what I want for buffalo and the 4895 loads run into case capacity problems it would seem. So I will continue my search.
  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,221 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you are going after buffalo then forget the FPS. Go with the load that NEVER,EVER fails.

    A 500 grain bullet pushed to 2250 that causes extraction problems on a very hot dusty day is useless.

    A 500 grain bullet at 2100 followed by a second or third because the gun worked is a lot better.

    Dead is a function of accuracy a whole lot more than another 150 FPS.

    All the above IMO.
  • nononsensenononsense Member Posts: 10,934 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    Unfortunately, there haven't been any miraculous discoveries in the world of propellants and the .458 Win. Mag. The loads that I have in my files are running right around 2,000 to 2200 FPS from my 22" barrel when the loads are regulated for ambient (hot) temperatures. The improvements have been in the areas of cleaner burning, better efficiency, less sensitivity to environmental changes and greater consistancy shot-to-shot.

    Your load for the 500 gr. solid will work just fine for your Buffalo hunt if you put the bullet where it does the most good.

    This is from the Ramshot website:
    .458 Winchester

    Barrel: 24", Twist 1-14" Primer: FED 215
    X-Terminator 350 HDY RN 72.0 2,250 80.0 2,550 56,000 2.950
    X-Terminator 500 HDY RN 65.0 1,900 72.0 2,150 57,500 3.310

    It will take a good deal more velocity to get any greater benefits from the energy resulting from the higher velocity. Your best bet is to upgrade to the .458 Lott or the .460 Weatherby if you want to concentrate on velocity. My loads for the Lott are running +2300 FPS with temperature moderated loads. Loads for the Weatherby are in the low to mid-2500 FPS.

    If you want to run with the big dogs, you should look into the .510 Wells Express. I think IShute still uses one of these on a regular basis. Mine is torn down while I make some adjustments to the stock.

  • 777flyer777flyer Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ahhh, the 458 Lott. Yes it will give me a little more velocity but at the expense of a long action. My rifle is the short action. I am satisfied with the 458 with my load now. I was curious to see if there was some new technology available in powders that I did not know about that could make good things better and it would seem that that is not the case. I appreciate everyone's efforts on my behalf.

  • duckyducky Member Posts: 1,501 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    777, the Ruger in .458 Lott is really a good choice to consider, if you were inclined to do so. My father owns one in .458 Lott, while I've got the 416 Rigby. With the cost of Hornady ammo, you can shoot up the factory stuff and retain the brass for your Lott reloading adventures if you went that route. As you work with the Win Mag though, please post any progress you make with your handloads. I'd be real interested in what you turn out.

    This may be somewhat off the main topic though, but whereabouts are you heading in Africa (I'm assuming you're going for Cape Buffalo, and not like Vietnamese water buffalo [:)]) for the buffalo? My father, brother, and I are heading to Tanzania in early season '08 if we can get the contracts and down payments done in the next couple months. Best wishes to you whenever and wherever you go.
  • 777flyer777flyer Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well, thanks. I am going to Tanzania also. We leave early in Oct of this year for two weeks. Two buffalo on licence. Good luck on your hunt.
  • Noah MercyNoah Mercy Member Posts: 43 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    How do, 777flyer, a couple things come to mind;

    You might consider the Tungsten-cored solid by Speer, if you're not already using them. They are a shorter bullet (due to the denser-than-lead core) and intrude into the case less than a traditional bullet. The extra powder capacity might win you another 50-100 fps. (My Winchester Super Grade African launches those slugs at 2220 fps average with mild pressures.)

    Look at VihtaVuori Oy powders also. They manufacture a line of "high energy" powders (the 500 series). Their N530 combined with the Tungsten-cored African Grand Slam bullet would be potent.

    To be honest, I am very comfortable using the 458 Win Mag with the tungstens at slightly below the maximum loads. They are accurate and plenty powerful. There is a reason that most PH's use the 458 Win does all that is asked of it while demanding very little in return. Factory fodder is easy to come by, it performs well with proper bullets, the rifles chambered for it use standard length actions, and are generally more accurate than they need to be.

    Don't get hung up on velocity and energy. A foot-pound never killed anything...the projectile is what does it. As long as you can place a bullet where it needs to go and the bullet penetrates deeply enough to reach vitals, the animal will be dead. The 458 has killed hundreds of thousands of Mbogo and tuskers over the years without being's as capable today as it ever was.[:D]
  • 777flyer777flyer Member Posts: 7 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks Noah, I will try the speer solids and the powder. I enjoy the challenge. You are quite right of course in your estimation of the 458. I know it will do the job if I do. Thanks for the responce and the info.

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