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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Much to my surprise... I am now the owner of a Mark X .458 Win Mag. This is a commercial Mauser action, imported by Interarms, and similar to Parker-Hale and Belgian FN rifles.

What can I say... the price was right. Was planning on getting a 'guide gun' but anytime you can get a nice bolt gun for half the price of a Marlin it's hard to pass up! Not much of a market for them in TX I suppose. Probably will end up with a guide gun at some point too but this got me sidetracked.

So... any loads or suggestions? I am probably going to just emulate 'fast' .45-70 loads, as we are in short supply when it comes to elephants around here. Factory ammo is $2/trigger pull and most of what you find is covered with green stuff. My recoil tolerance is not all that great, another reason to stay on the low end of .458 loads.

I have some Speer 405's and may order some Rem bulk 405's. Hear tell that the Speer & Hornady 350's are supposed to be pretty good bullets for the .458, any game experience with them? Most suitable quarry here in Texas will be wild pigs. Should make quite a pig thumper!

Cast loads/suggestions welcome. I even have a box of .457 round balls to get started (3 grains of Bullseye?).
 

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Some fun loads for the .458 WM

Mike,

I know that I promised you some loads, so might as well put them here for others as well.

With a good hard cast 400-410 grain bullet sized to .460" and seated to engage the lands in the throat of your rifle, try using WLRP's and 24.0g of 2400 powder. A nice 1200-1300 fps load in most .458's I've tried.

Too, I've gotten into paper patching the .45 Colt bullets for the .458's and fun loads. Try taking a cast 300 grain .452" bullet, paper patching with two wraps of 20lb rag bond paper, a squirt of Hornady One-Shot case lube on the dried paper patched bullets, and seat to engage rifling in the throat of your rifle. Once again WLRP's and 15 grains of Blue Dot for a really fun, addicting load in a .458 WM. Capable of excellent accuracy and asking Bambi to dinner.

More later, but these should get you shooting in fun style!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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MikeG,
Like you, I've fallen into a couple of .458's. I've found the 350 gr. speer over 70.0 grs of 4198, ignited by a large rifle primer, to be extremely accurate(MOA) in both my Ruger 77 and #1. Velocity is a whooping 2600 fps ! This is also a fairly flat shooting load. Nothin' like owning a true big bore !
Jeff
 

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I've just fallen into a Ruger #1 in 458 Win Mag and plan on doing the same thing, using lighter loads for 90% or more of my shooting. The single shot gives me the option of using spire pointed bullets to maximize BC, such as the Barnes X 400gr is an excellent and sleek bullet that should be very flat shooting out to 250 yards or so.

I've heard good things about the 350gr Speer, it's a bonded-core bullet and very tough at high velocities.

Also want to work up a heavyweight cast bullet loading to about 1900-2000fps for hogs, etc. Still LOTS of wallop and alot easier on the shooter!

The 458 Win Mag is sort of like a 600 HP Corvette, you don't have to use all that power too often, but it's there if you want to tap into it.

PS: If you can't tell... I grew up on Elmer Keith
 

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I've had my Mark X whitworth for 14 years now. My personal favorite load is the 405gr Rem with 79.0gr BLC-2. Fed 215 primer. The jacket of that bullet is paper thin. So, when it hits that gallon jug, it really puts on a show - and they are sooo 'cheap' to shoot. :)

HKW
 

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I have shot the 458 Win Mag extensively for severak years. It gets all handloads, most cast, to keep costs down. Found some 500 gr FMJ on sale at Lock,Stock, and Barrel few years ago and bought 600 for about 1/3 the price. They get used when I feel like some real fun. We have as many Elephants in Indiana as Texas does so it is mostly stress relief.

Saeco makes a neat 405 gr pointed mould that feeds slick as can be. I use them about 1500 fps for fun. Also have a 550 gr paper patch mould that raises eyebrows at the shooting line. They can equal factory loads easily. I use IMR4895 for most loads but with the lighter charges I have had a problem with it lighting properly.

Enjoy, the 458 has been a ton of fun for me.
 

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Used 350gr hornadys in my cz 550, 68gr ar2207 same as imr 4198 chronographed at 2475fps. This load was pleasant to shoot and killed like a sledge hammer on deer and pigs.
good hunting :cool:
 

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closs said:
Used 350gr hornadys in my cz 550, 68gr ar2207 same as imr 4198 chronographed at 2475fps. This load was pleasant to shoot and killed like a sledge hammer on deer and pigs.
good hunting :cool:
Mike G........Congrates on the Big Bore!

I like the .350 grain bullets for just plinking around at targets and smaller game animals. However the .450 Barnes X bullet shoots very well out of my 22 inch .458 barrel. It is really all the bullet one needs on any game short of Rhino or Elephant.

I feel that the .458 just wasn't made for the 500 grain bullet! Hence my reason for using the Barnes 450 X bullet. It does get great penetration. I did use that 350 Barnes X on a hog hunt with great satisfaction and it stopped that over tooth critter in his tracks. The bullet entered just behind the front shoulder and made it's exist through the off side shoulder at 40 yards.
 

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I have got to second the use of the 400 gr. X bullet. You can make that thing sing and flat shooting to boot. I get 2247 fps (it is supposed to be 2350 fps but my Ruger with its shorter barrel has always tended to run about 100 fps slower than the manuals) with IMR 3031 powder and get 3/4 inch groups with it, but if I were to switch to another powder, 2400 fps or a bit more is within reason. Recoil with the 400 is not that bad either. I know a lot of people dump on the .458 Winny, but I think they are mainly just parroting criticisms from long ago. I have run into none of the problems the old sages talked about, and I have gotten 2150 fps with 500 gr. bullets too, although I must admit they were absolute max in my rifle, and probably not a good round to shoot on a hot day.
 
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The .458 is very versatile, and is an excellent choice for bear protection, hunting anything from small deer to brown bear on this continent. I carried a Win. Mdl.70 push-feed type while solo backpacking and fishing in Alaska. I used the Barnes 400 grain X bullet In a Rem. case ahead of a Win. LR/Mag primer and 68 gr. of H3031.
 

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Before you leap to your loading bench and try the load I quoted in my reply of this date, using the Barnes .458 400 grain bullet, CONSULT THE BARNES LOADING MANUAL. That load was safe in my rifle but may be dangerous in yours. Barnes X bullets tend to produce higher pressures than conventional bullets using comparable powder charges. START LOW AND WORK UP, WHILE WATCHING FOR PRESSURE SIGNS. Don't start halfway to the top with recommended loads. This could result in someone having to extricate part of a rifle bolt from your fragile skull.
 

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John S. said:
Before you leap to your loading bench and try the load I quoted in my reply of this date, using the Barnes .458 400 grain bullet, CONSULT THE BARNES LOADING MANUAL. That load was safe in my rifle but may be dangerous in yours. Barnes X bullets tend to produce higher pressures than conventional bullets using comparable powder charges. START LOW AND WORK UP, WHILE WATCHING FOR PRESSURE SIGNS. Don't start halfway to the top with recommended loads. This could result in someone having to extricate part of a rifle bolt from your fragile skull.
John S,

Thanks, I had just finished doing just that when you made your second post. Barnes lists 67.0gr as the starting load with that bullet and powder and 72.0gr as the max. So you're load was down at the low end it appears. Best performance is not always at the top anyway and is harder on the gun and shooter.

I've not tried the Barnes yet, but will put it on my list of "things to do".

I did just find a wonderful moderate load this week with the 550gr Woodleigh Weldcore at about 1825fps in my .458 #1... 3 shots at 50 yards into .45" group. Plenty for any North American game and surprisingly accurate.

Thanks for the input, I think it's a wonderfully versatile round in the hands of a reloader just as you said... Anything from Hogs and deer up to the biggest critters on the planet.
 

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2Bits said:
Mike G........Congrates on the Big Bore!

I like the .350 grain bullets for just plinking around at targets and smaller game animals. However the .450 Barnes X bullet shoots very well out of my 22 inch .458 barrel. It is really all the bullet one needs on any game short of Rhino or Elephant.

I feel that the .458 just wasn't made for the 500 grain bullet! Hence my reason for using the Barnes 450 X bullet. It does get great penetration. I did use that 350 Barnes X on a hog hunt with great satisfaction and it stopped that over tooth critter in his tracks. The bullet entered just behind the front shoulder and made it's exist through the off side shoulder at 40 yards.
Yes, I agree and even the critics of the .458 Win do too - they generally stipulate that factory loadings are the source of the complaints that have arisen, at least in the past. Good handloads with premium bullets make the .458 the world standard of what DG cartriges should be. It's certainly not the most powerful round, but like the old .45 ACP it gets the job done all over the world and has for years.

Apparently the factory softened-up the .458 Win and dropped velocities down about 150-200 fps in some cases, which is where the complaints that you see arise from. This was done due to heavily compressed powder charges not burning properly if ammo got old. With the modern high energy powders that are less bulky the reloader can bring the .458 right up to that 2150fps velocity the "experts" insist on as Ideal.

I personally have no need for those maximum loadings or velocities anyway... moderate loads in the .458 are pleasant to shoot and still have power to spare for North America.
 

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Mike G........Congrates on the Big Bore!

I like the .350 grain bullets for just plinking around at targets and smaller game animals. However the .450 Barnes X bullet shoots very well out of my 22 inch .458 barrel. It is really all the bullet one needs on any game short of Rhino or Elephant.

I feel that the .458 just wasn't made for the 500 grain bullet! Hence my reason for using the Barnes 450 X bullet. It does get great penetration. I did use that 350 Barnes X on a hog hunt with great satisfaction and it stopped that over tooth critter in his tracks. The bullet entered just behind the front shoulder and made it's exist through the off side shoulder at 40 yards.
What are you pushing that 450 TXSF with? I am trying to push it at about 2240 and am having a bit of trouble trusting the Barnes loads that seem rather hot.
 

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These "warm & fuzzy" .458 loads....

sound a lot like the ones I get with a 430 gr maxiball over 120gr of FF, out of a .54 "smoke-pole" ---- difference is, it's a whole lot cheaper to shoot--- you can bruise the heck out of your shoulder for the same $2.00
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Discussion Starter #16
Goodness gracious, someone resurrected a thread I started 15 years ago :eek:

Rifle long since traded off, though! :p
 

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For downloading the 458 I would go with H4895 powder and 350-400 grain bullets from Hawk bullets. Flat points can be had in either .025 or .035 jacket, depending on velocity, so fine tuning is possible. If you need a little more range, they have spitzers as well.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If you don't mind my asking why did you part with yours ?
You know how it is often said you don't feel recoil while hunting? Well, with a nine and a half pound .458, you surely do :eek:

That about sums it up... it was a nice, accurate rifle, for what it's worth.
 

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I played around with mid range 458 loads some years ago. I used 350 grain Hornady RN @ about 1800 fps. Recoil was much easier to live with than full house 500 grain 458s. IIRC, I took a deer and a pig with them and it was quite effective.

I finally stopped hunting with it because any rifle heavy enough to shoot with 458 loads is heavier than I want to lug around just for deer and pigs. I now shoot a 6.5 lb 308 and I'm not going back.
 
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