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#1448080 - 05/23/07 458 Winchester Load Development Results
IndyCA35 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 3596
Loc:
Here is what I came up with. I appreciate the advice posted here in March and would appreciate any comments or criticisms, especially from those who have shot game with any of these bullets.

CAUTION: These are my loads in my rifle using my chronograph. They may be dangerous in yours so work up slowly.

Elephant bullets: The 450 grain North Fork was highly recommended. I preferred the Barnes 450 grain monolithic. Both have flat meplats, like Elmer Kieth revolver bullets, which are said to penetrate better than a round nosed bullet. The Barnes meplat is 7mm in diameter and the North Fork 8mm, a small difference. But the North Fork is much harder to crimp because the crimping grooves are so small and close together. The North Fork may group a little tighter but not enough to bother with. Velocity was about the same.

450 grain vs. 500 grain Barnes solids: The nose is identical. Many people recommend the 450, which I decided to use because the recoil is noticeably less. Some say the 450 penetrates deeper because it yaws less at close range. However, with AA2230 I can get adequate velocity with either in my Model 70.

Powders: AA2230 was recommended for 500 grain bullets and H4895 for 450 grain bullets. I concluded that AA2230 is better for all bullets. It's denser and you can get more in the case. Also you need less because it is a little faster burning. For instance, even with the 350 grain Hornady bullet, 80 grains of H4895 got me 2370 fps vs. 77 grains of AA2230 yielding 2500. I will use no other powder unless someone thinks AA2230 is very temperature sensitive.

These loads seemed very good and non-maximum. All grouped 2" to 2.5" at 100 yards (and my bench technique is not so good with this rifle) except the Hornady seemed a little worse.

72-AA2230-500 Barnes solid 2220 fps for elephant

73-AA2230-450 Barnes solid 2320 fps for elephant

73-AA2230-450 Barnes TSX 2275 fps for non-dangerous stuff

77-AA2230-350 Hornady SP 2510 fps for non-dangerous stuff

All but the Hornady load comfortably exceed 5000 foot pounds. I don't know whether to take the 350 Hornady or the 450 TSX for my expanding bullet load. All four loads shoot to about the same aim point at 100 yards but I have not yet shot them at 200. The 350 grain bullet's higher velocity might let it drop less, but its awful ballistic coefficient might give the advantage to the pointed TSX.

Bench shooting technique: I always wear a heavy leather padded High-power coat made by Creedmore. In this case, I folded up a towel and placed it over my right shoulder inside the coat as well. I grasp the rifle firmly with both hands. This makes bench shooting tolerable. Recoil is less obnoxious than my 300 Weatherby Ultra-Lightweight, which has a nasty habit of cutting my finger with the trigger guard if I'm not careful.

Don't trust loading manuals: At least two prominent manuals list 78 grains of AA2230 as the maximum load for 500 grain bullets. So I loaded a few with 77 grains. The first one chronographed 2376 fps but, funny thing, the bolt handle was hard to lift! I shot no more of these. BTW: If I take the Hornady load on safari, I will probably cut it to 76 grains, just on general principles.

A sensitivity test: I ran this with H4895 and 450 grain Barnes solids. One shot was fired at each charge weight. I then smoothed the data with a second order polynomial to get a smooth average. Charges and velocities were:

72 2210
73 2220
74 2230
75 2250
76 2290

I suspect this indicates sharp pressure rises after 74 grains and I would use no heavier charge.







_________________________
Liberals think you can do anything you want, as long as the government makes it mandatory.

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#1448268 - 05/24/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: IndyCA35]
AussieGunWriter Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 5306
I had my .458 out on Sunday chronographing a few loads.

350gn X over 78gn of H 4198 = 2582 fps and cases fell out of the chamber.

400gn X 74gn H 4198 = 2434 fps slightly compressed
76gn H 322 = 2380 fps

450gn TSX 72gn H 322 = 2381 fps mild and slightly compressed
68gn H 4198 = 2359 fps mild and most accurate load

I think the .458 is one of the most underrated big game cartridge we have, as it can be loaded down to .45/70 loads to handle deer and light game or loaded up to 2050 fps with 550 grain bullets and do it all. I also like the 300 grain X bullets loaded to 2650fps usig 75 grains of H 4198 and used this a lot for feral culling.

AGW
_________________________
The .30/06 threads tend to confirm that there is no animal that cannot be taken using the appropriate bullet.
This essentially means, only a legal aspect remains.

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#1448431 - 05/24/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: AussieGunWriter]
toltecgriz Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 17539
IIRC the flat meplat helps hold direction better and better penetration follows as a result.
_________________________
"Be sure you're right. Then go ahead." Fess Parker as Davy Crockett

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#1448730 - 05/24/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: toltecgriz]
MoccasinJoe1 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 266
Amen to that. You may wish to try 72.0 gr H4895/450 TSX very accurate in my Mauser action

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#1449046 - 05/24/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: MoccasinJoe1]
atkinsonhunting Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 6954
Loc: Filer, Idaho, USA
Lots of folks get 2100 plus with the .458, but you cannot do that without "compaction" or 100% plus loading density, therein lies my complaint witht the .458 Win. If I were inclined to use it these days (have used it in the past) then I would punch it out to a Lott (easy to do) and shoot it at 2200 FPS.

The 458 has time and time again failed on its supporters, what does it take to convience the populace it is a poorly designed round that can and has, got hunters in trouble. When it works its very good, but when it fails its very very bad.

But in the end, it is up to each of us to make that decision, and then we must live with it.
_________________________
Ray Atkinson
www.atkinsonhunting.com
ray@atkinsonhunting.com
208-326-4120

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#1449283 - 05/24/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: atkinsonhunting]
IndyCA35 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 3596
Loc:
I don't think compaction is any problem with the .458. The loads I listed are not compacted very much, including the one with the 500 grain bullet above 2200 fps.

I am familiar with the old stories about WW748 powder clumping together after laying around the tropics for years, but that's far different from AA2230 fired maybe two months after loading. I don't use WW748.

I used to use a really compacted H4831 load for 1000 yards at Camp Perry, Ohio, using a 30-06 with 190 grain MatchKings. It gets a lot hotter and more humid at Camp Perry in August than it does during the usual hunting months in southern Africa. I never had velocity changes due to any compaction, which I am certain would have showed up at 1000 yards.
_________________________
Liberals think you can do anything you want, as long as the government makes it mandatory.

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#1449758 - 05/24/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: IndyCA35]
JPK Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/23/06
Posts: 782
I'm guessing Ray's comments are based on experience predating some of the best powders for the 458wm. I have no compaction issues with my elephant loads at all, either with 500gr Woodleighs at 2135fps using AA2230 or 450gr North Forks at 2190 using H4895 and both loads offer plenty of penetration.

Indy, I used 500gr Woodleighs over AA2230 this past September and October on several elephants and noted no temperature issues. Temps were over 100* many days. But my load is lighter than yours I believe.

BTW, my objections with AA2230 and 450gr North Forks were somewhat inconsistent velocity and dirty barrels. Since my rifle shot the 450gr North Forks better with the H4895 at sufficient velocity to get the job done and some and left no residue in the barrels I went with it. My rifle is a double rifle so getting the barrels shooting together is the overriding goal once performance citeria are reached.

I believe the truncated cone shape of the North Forks is what provides their amazing performance. But, as I believe Peter has confirmed, I am sure the Barnes will do all that you need.

JPK


Edited by JPK (05/24/07)

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#1452233 - 05/26/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: JPK]
MoccasinJoe1 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 266
This very afternoon I shot one of my handloads of 72.0 gr H4895/450gr TSX into a dried an knotted ash stump. I was using it as my chopping block to split firewood. Then I split the stump with a sledge and wedges to look for the TSX. If I knew how to post pictures I would post one of it. Picture book expansion and though I didn't weigh it as my scale goes to just 350gr it looks to be perfect 450 grs weight. This is after 17" of boreing thru knotted dried ash. I can hardly wait to drive one into the vitals of a dugga boy \:\)

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#1453245 - 05/26/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: atkinsonhunting]
IndyCA35 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 3596
Loc:
Ray,

Regarding compaction, I just loaded some 458 Winchester rounds with 73 grains of AA2230 and 450 grain Barnes TSXs, WW cases. COL was 3.34 inches, which is what is recommended.

With this load there is no compaction. Powder density is just about 100%. With this load I get almost 2300fps and comfortably over 5000 foot pounds of energy.

I therefore have to agree with some others: The .458 Magnum is indeed an underrated cartridge.
_________________________
Liberals think you can do anything you want, as long as the government makes it mandatory.

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#1454486 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: IndyCA35]
458Win Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 2665
Loc: AK peninsula
A lot of folks are still hung up on a few bad reviews of older 458 Win ammo. If they would actually try loads with powders like AA2230 they would see that the 458 Win indeed does equal - and often best - the old nitro cartridges that they dearly love.
After fifty years, the 458 is better than ever and a true big bore classic.
_________________________
Phil Shoemaker
www.grizzlyskinsofalaska.com

Anyone who claims the 30-06 is not effective has either not used one, or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship.

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#1454603 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: 458Win]
IndyCA35 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/25/02
Posts: 3596
Loc:
"If they would actually try loads with powders like AA2230 they would see that the 458 Win indeed does equal - and often best - the old nitro cartridges that they dearly love."

Exactly right in my opinion. Example: The 470 Nitro Express fired a 480 grain bullet at a listed 2150 fps (if I recall correctly). Further, that was in a 28" barrel. Even the double rifles of the time usually had 24" or 26" barrels, so the true velocity was more like 2050 (see the book "Ndlovu" for documentation of this).

It is no trick at all to load a .458 with a 24" barrel to 2200 fps (chronographed) with a 500 grain solid. Heavier bullet at higher velocity beats the .470 by a lot. And the .458 even has better sectional density for penetration.

Finally, today's bullets like Barnes monolithics and North Fork make the .458 even better, though these are available for other calibers as well.
_________________________
Liberals think you can do anything you want, as long as the government makes it mandatory.

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#1454637 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: IndyCA35]
MoccasinJoe1 Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 266
Those whom would look down their long noses at the .458WM while holding a .470NE in their hands are more interested in what other people see them holding than ballistics. I doubt their ego will allow them to see clearly.

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#1454690 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: IndyCA35]
JPK Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/23/06
Posts: 782
 Originally Posted By: IndyCA35
"If they would actually try loads with powders like AA2230 they would see that the 458 Win indeed does equal - and often best - the old nitro cartridges that they dearly love."

Exactly right in my opinion. Example: The 470 Nitro Express fired a 480 grain bullet at a listed 2150 fps (if I recall correctly). Further, that was in a 28" barrel. Even the double rifles of the time usually had 24" or 26" barrels, so the true velocity was more like 2050 (see the book "Ndlovu" for documentation of this).

It is no trick at all to load a .458 with a 24" barrel to 2200 fps (chronographed) with a 500 grain solid. Heavier bullet at higher velocity beats the .470 by a lot. And the .458 even has better sectional density for penetration.

Finally, today's bullets like Barnes monolithics and North Fork make the .458 even better, though these are available for other calibers as well.


Indy,

You point is right on but the support you cite is off a little.

The 450NE 3 1/4", grandfather of all smokeless DG cartridges, shoots a 480gr bullet at a nominal 2150fps, specced at 28" barrels. I have a log somewhere that records actual velocities acheived by owners of 450NE 3 1/4" rifles with loads that regulate and the velocity range is from 2050fps or so to one that reached 2165fps. Like you say, most rifles had 24" or 26" barrels, though there are some that have 28" barreles.

The 470 shoots a 500gr bullet at a nominal 2125fps out of a 31" barrel. For some fun comparrisons see Kynoch's website here: http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/

My elephant and buffalo loads push a 500 at 2135fps as I have mentioned this is beyond the in the field performance of most all 450NE rifles. Throw in the 450 NF's which penetrate further and the 458wm is more rifle today than the 450NE and 470NE which remain benchmarks for their record of success in the field.

The old, but often repeated myth of lagging 458wm performance is just that, myth.

JPK

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#1454700 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: JPK]
jorgeI Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 23987
Loc: Orange Park, Florida
JPK: Just for my edification, are ALL loads compressed in the 458Win in order to achieve 2100 fps regardless of powder used? thanks, jorge
_________________________
Originally Posted By JoeBob
I don't need a genealogy lesson from a Cuban mustefino who caught a ride over on a leaky 1957 Chevy that used milk jugs for floats.
Of course, I do have some lettuce that needs to be picked if you are interested.

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#1454761 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: jorgeI]
Tod Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 12/17/06
Posts: 7680
Loc: Helena MT
No. You can get loads that are not compressed, even at 2100 fps. There may be issues with pressure however.
_________________________
Be the person your dog thinks you are.

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#1454777 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: Tod]
JPK Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/23/06
Posts: 782
Jorge,

No. Neither of my loads is compressed and I'm not using a drop tube, though I do tap the cases to settle the powder. My loads are not near maximum by the "book" but they sure work. I had my North Fork load pressure tested and it is well below maximum.

I don't get the issue with lighly compressed loads anyway. While I have never used a compressed load, that I know of - maybe factory fodder ?, from what I read, 100% or slightly higher load density aids in reliability. The old issues were with powder that clumped due to storage and age issues. I use fresh ammo for DG hunting just because I load and shoot alot prior to my trips. Seems easy to avoid even remotely possible problems by loading fresh ammo for any DG trip, no matter what cartridge you're using.

JPK

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#1454873 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: 458Win]
atkinsonhunting Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/04/01
Posts: 6954
Loc: Filer, Idaho, USA
When you get 100% density, you have compaction. The case is full to the top, then you stick a long 450 or 500 gr. bullet in it, you have compaction.

These are not "old stories", it happens every year a couple of times. In my business we hear about it when it happens. It has happened with factory ammo. It has happened in our camp several times over the years and enough times that I won't hunt with the .458 Win.

For those that are convinced otherwise, that is there choice but I see no reason to position myself in that group, based on my own experiences, when I have so many choices, such as punching it out just a tad to a .458 Lott, and loading the Lott down and really lowering the pressure.

What I suggest is put that 100% density ammo on the shelf for a year, then pull the bullets, you will have to dig it out with a screw driver as a rule. I don't find it unusual that someone has good luck at the range in hot temps with compacted ammo, but then the gun has not been sitting in the sun for hours at a time as it may be in Africa.

As to killing power, I have no complaints with the .458, any bullet weighing 500 grs. at 2000 FPS will kill anything., but reliability in the field is foremost with me, as I have seen many cases where a hunter is in a precarious position and his gun jams, or misfires or doesn't fire, and he is playing switch finger while everyone else is sorting out his mess.

I also see a lot of loads for that caliber that just don't click on my chronograph and velocity is guessed and by goshed at.

The above is only my personal opinnion, your is yours. If you are confident with the .458 then by all means use it.
_________________________
Ray Atkinson
www.atkinsonhunting.com
ray@atkinsonhunting.com
208-326-4120

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#1454908 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: JPK]
jorgeI Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 23987
Loc: Orange Park, Florida
JPK: Being a Weatherby shooter, I have no issues with lightly compressed loads, that is, where the base of the bullet lightly pushes down on the powder. I don't own a 458, but if one were to ever come up, I'd have no issues with one, but I much prefer a 450 Dakota or Rigby. jorge
_________________________
Originally Posted By JoeBob
I don't need a genealogy lesson from a Cuban mustefino who caught a ride over on a leaky 1957 Chevy that used milk jugs for floats.
Of course, I do have some lettuce that needs to be picked if you are interested.

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#1454952 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: jorgeI]
458Win Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 2665
Loc: AK peninsula
Ray, You know I am interested in this stuff and I would love to hear your first hand accounts of the 458's failings and the details as to why. Is it possible that any of the loads you saw fail were old and/or factory ? Have you actually tried any AA2230 powder in the 458 ? It works wonders in my experience and tales of acheiving 2300fps are not exagerated.
Finn Aagaard always claimed that most of the 458 bashing was due to hunters blaming their ammo for their poor shooting. Currently Don Heath, Charlie Haley and Mike LaGrange, who as you know, are three of the foremost ballistic experts in Africa ( with many years and many thousands of elephants to their credit) claim that the current 458 Win is one of the best elephant cartridges.
Elephants and buffalo are not my field but I can verify that good 500gr bullets @ 2100fps drops big bears with the authority of a crane falling on them.
_________________________
Phil Shoemaker
www.grizzlyskinsofalaska.com

Anyone who claims the 30-06 is not effective has either not used one, or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship.

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#1454974 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: atkinsonhunting]
George_De_Vries_3rd Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 10913
Loc: Iowa
atkinson-

I've never owned or used a 458 Win or hunted in hot climates with any big bore or taken a buff although I do hope to rectify that. I'm a non-expert and am not posing as one.

While those here who've used the 458 W with good results have experience that cannot be denied, Terry Wieland's book, DANGEROUS GAME RIFLES, pretty much sums up the 458 W and it's past as you've described. He claims that many loads with a 500-gr bullet barely reached 1900 fps from a "standard length" barrel when it first came out. Obviously, the 458 has improved with more and different powders according to its proponents here and sounds like it has become what was originally intended.

It's an interesting discussion but why I am having a Lott built instead. And I freely admit I'm doing it based purely on what I've read. I can have a 458 W- a 500-gr bullet at an easy 2150 to 2200 fps - but at greatly reduced pressure.

Gdv


Edited by goodnews (05/27/07)

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#1455011 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: George_De_Vries_3rd]
jwp475 Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 19400
Loc: USA
 Originally Posted By: goodnews
atkinson-

I've never owned or used a 458 Win or hunted in hot climates with any big bore or taken a buff although I do hope to rectify that.

While those here who've used the 458 W with good results have experience that cannot be denied, Terry Wieland's book, DANGEROUS GAME RIFLES, pretty much sums up the 458 W and it's past as you've described. He claims that many loads with a 500-gr bullet barely reached 1900 fps from a "standard length" barrel when it first came out. Obviously, the 458 has improved with more and different powders according to its proponents here.

It's an interesting discussion but why I am having a Lott built instead.

Gdv


If you or Terry Wieland is claiming that a 45 cal.500 grain bullet at 1900 FPS is not effective then I have serious doubts about about anyhting else that is said.......
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Jeff_O
.they WAY over penetrate on deer...


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#1455014 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: jwp475]
George_De_Vries_3rd Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 10913
Loc: Iowa

I did not say that nor did I say he stated that.

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#1455029 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: George_De_Vries_3rd]
JPK Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 01/23/06
Posts: 782
First, lets look at some real first hand experience with the mythically troubled 458wm and Winchester factory 500gr solid ammo. Just two fellows in Zimbabwe killed nearly 10,000 elephant between them with the 458wm and neither ever had an issue. The two, Ron Thompson and Richard Harlan are both still alive. They didn't enjoy the substantial increase in performance available from today's powders, but Harlan clocked his old Winchester rounds at 2050fps on an Ohler.

Then we have Ray's stories. Hmmmm...

JPK

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#1455062 - 05/27/07 Re: 458 Winchester Load Development Results [Re: JPK]
jwp475 Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 19400
Loc: USA



I have only owned one 458 Mag and that was when I lived in Alsaka. the rifle was a Interarms Whitworth and it gave me 2110 fps with 500 grain bullets and IMR-4895.....
_________________________
Originally Posted By: Jeff_O
.they WAY over penetrate on deer...


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