Would you be thinking of Frank C. Barnes' .458 X 2" American? It's a .458 Winchester cut back to 2". The original rifle was a Remington 722. There's considerable loading data in Cartridges of the World, 6th, 7th & 9th editions for sure. The top load is a 405 gr. Winchester bullet ahead of 51 gr. of IMR 4198 for 2100 fps.
I played with one for quite a while in the early 80's. Very impressive little cartridge and works nicely in short actions. Built mine on a short Model 70 with a cheap E.R. Shaw barrel, but it shot very very well, and wasn't finicky about loads, shooting most anything you fed it better than I could see the reciever sights it wore.
I even did a lot of experimenting with paper-patched .45LC bullets in this little monster. What fun! Time consuming, but the results were gratifying.
I kick myself, because when I let that gun go in a trade, the fellow whom I traded it to wanted all my loading data for the gun... like a dummy I gave it all to him without copying it! Later lost touch with the chap, and haven't any idea what ever happened to the data or the gun!
A fun toy, but nothing over our new Guide Guns either for portability nor power. Don't think I'd do the project over again with the great .45-70's we have available today!
The 458x2 American is essentially a458Win mag shortened to 2" and inside reamed to seat the 458 cal bullets. with the introduction of the 450Marlin, chamber a bolt gun for it and have a factory round. The bolt action is its ideal situation for a warmly loaded 450. Winchester offers the 450Marlin in a custom M70 for 񘜼+/-.
I once worked with a man from South Georgia that collected all belted magnum cases and he and his Dad would don their safety glasses and full face shields and trim hundreds of them at a single sitting on a drill press rig that they had. Their extended family members all shot this same cartridge and i was tempted to give it a try, but I already had three 45/70's, two 45/90's, and three 458 WinMags, so i was already covered up in 458's. I still am. But a fellow from Florida moved up here that shoots a 451 Express or something and he uses several different cases to form them from. They vary in length from 2.16 to 2.2 inches and he uses .452 inch bullets. The 356 Marlin can be opened up to 452 inch for an interesting looking cartridge.
It is a nice cartridge; sort of a 45-70 BUT works well in a bolt action, with a staggered nag. Rimmed cartridges generally have feeding problems from staggered mags, ie the standard mag. The 45-70 would be a better choice in a single, double, or tubular magazine rifle.
The Marlin 450 is never a better choice. It is a very unpopular cartridge in a totally unique case, that can never be formed from a parent. It was born an ugly orphan.
13 year-old thread...even older cartridge idea. Sometimes less is more and if you didn't need the unmitigated stomp of a 458WM, why I guess a 458x2" American would be one way to go. Seems like the 444 Marlin would be an easier way to get there, but I've taken the long way around a few times myself.
I own an old Remington Model 722 rifle that I had converted to .458 X 2" AMERICAN. Had it built back in 1976 and still have it. Very good cartridge, very accurate; I've taken seven Deer with it using a light load of: 42.0 GRS / IMR-4198 / 300 grain Hornady HP bullet. ~GOOD BRUSH/WOODS RIFLE!!
There are two basic criticisms of it. First, it could be accidentally chambered into something like a Rem. 7mm Magnum rifle. Secondly, it has all of the taper of the 458 Win. Mag., but in a half inch shorter package. The 450 Marlin didn't cut it against the newbie, hot 45-70 loads, but the extra length belt, does prevent it from being put into any standard belted cases' chambers. Of course this includes the 458 Win. Mag.
F.W.I.W. You could probably buy some custom forming dies to swage the 450 Marlin's belt into the 375 Ruger cases, but it will be costly, and time consuming. IMO, as long as you start out with the 458 Win. Mag.'s virgin brass, and work it down to the 458 x 2 inch ( 458 American), I think you'll be O.K. At the least, these cases won't say 7mm Rem Mag, or something similar.
A loaded round of 458 American cannot be inadvertantly chambered in a 7 Rem Mag unless the bullet is seated so deep into the case that the projectile only emerges a quarter inch from the brass. Typically it would extend much further and thus restrict chambering... just sayin'. I admire the rounds of yesteryear and would prefer this one over the 45-70. The 458 Win Mag has a leg up on it's 2" brethren,tho.
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