In 1956, the .458 Winchester Magnum was introduced to the public as a means of competing with the .450 and the .470 Nitro Express cartridges.
A cartridge refers to a harmful and belted rifle bullet, which perfectly suits the needs of hunters.
The first rifle, which featured the cartridge, was the Winchester Model 70. Note, however, that presently, you can find several rifles for the cartridge, giving you several options.
A lot of ammunition manufacturers choose to offer .458 cartridge.
The main reason is that it is considered to have the most useful features for those who wish to hunt animals during hunting seasons.
.458 Winchester Magnum Specifications
This cartridge is popular among dangerous game hunters in Africa because of its excellent performance.
It has a strong outlet plus it is capable of hitting animals even those from a far distance when you’re shooting.
You can also find .416 cartridges designed for hunting but note that many still consider the .458 Winchester Magnum as the best.
It works well, especially if you’re planning to hunt in the wildlife, as you can use it to hunt heavy-skinned animals.
Its manufacturers say that you’ll enjoy the 2,150 feet/second or 600 meter/second capacity of the cartridge.
This makes it a fantastic and powerful bullet, capable of hitting your target animal on the specific area you intend to hit him.
This 33-gr bullet is capable of shooting from a 660-mm or 26-inch rifle barrel.
Its reduced 2.5-inch case is also an advantage as it aids in making it easier for the user to adjust the bullet within the case.
Note that this bullet is the longest one produced and introduced by Winchester.
You can find the cartridge in various sizes, but take note that all of them just have similar features and functions.
Moreover, take note that there are no major differences on the length.
.458 Winchester Magnum Performance
.458 Winchester Magnum can deliver an excellent performance – starting from its featured bullet to the actual rifle.
As an authentic 510-gr bullet, it can also fire a velocity 2,150 feet per second. If you plan to want to choose one, which can deliver an excellent performance then go for the 60-mm or 26-inch barrel rifle as this is ideal for shooting.
However, take note that you also need to choose between barrel rifles of 24 and 26 inches for the cartridge.
This is to ensure that your choice will deliver the highest level of shooting accuracy and performance once you start to hunt.
Other bullets are capable of delivering high-density shooting but note that the bullets in the .458 Winchester Magnum can also produce harmful shooting effects, so killing your target animal, if that’s what you prefer, is possible.
With its power and impressive shooting range, hunters like you will be given the opportunity to handle wild lives when the hunting season arrives.
The fact that the bullet weighs reasonably – they’re not too heavy – also ensures that nothing will distract you once you start to hunt and shoot.
However, you may also find this a disadvantage as this may be the reason why you can’t hit an animal at an extremely long range.
Other models don’t offer the kind of weight and accuracy provided by .458 Winchester.
Presently, you get the chance to utilize modern powers as a means of launching a powerful bullet and hitting the target.
.458 Winchester Magnum and Its Sporting Usage
.458 has an excellent sporting usage and bullet performance, so it’s always a good choice if you’re planning to target heavy animals with thick skin in your next hunting adventure.
It has a high velocity and performance level, making it effective in killing African animals, such as the African Cape buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant.
Rifles made for the bullets weighing 11 pounds, particularly the .458 cartridge, perfectly suit you if you’re planning to use it to hunt in the African continent.
Its power is strong enough that you can expect to target and hit even lions and leopards in Africa.
Note, however, that the cartridge does not work that well on wild lives with thick skin. Still, it’s a good choice, especially if you are unfamiliar with the hunting area.
Just ensuring that the rifle and cartridge is around when you’re hunting is already enough to help you shoot a heavy animal during the hunting sessions.
You can also use it to improve your hunting experience.
Its bullets’ weight plus its velocity level are among the major reasons why many prefer to use it. It can also make the process of hunting Alaskan and polar bear even easier.
However, note that its bullets don’t suit long-distance shooting due to several conditions.
If you intend to use it to shoot a heavy-skinned animal at over 150 yards away from you, then you can’t expect it to produce your desired results.
Its shooting range is only around fifty to eighty yards.
One remarkable thing about it is that you can choose to integrate reloading dies into the rifles. It’s mainly because it can significantly lessen the problem linked to reloading the rifle.
It’s also important for you to spend more time on manual and hand loading when you’re hunting. The good news is that the adjustable dies can help promote fast and accurate reloading choice.
The reloading dies is also capable of converting the rifle’s chambers. This makes it easier for you to utilize the .458 Lott rifle for the .458 bullets.
The die is also a huge help in solving issues related to the case budge affecting bullets.
.458 Winchester Magnum Benefits
Whether you are a hunting professional, or just someone who is passionate about this activity, it is crucial for you to pick a cartridge based on your target.
However, some find the cartridge unnecessary because it is incapable of doing long-distance shooting. Still, rest assured that it also has several benefits.
For one, it boasts of its high velocity (around 2,150 feet per second using a 500-grain bullet.
It’s also light in weight, which is a good thing because it makes it easier for you to reach your target without being influenced by the wind and other outdoor elements. If you’re interested in African hunting, then this cartridge is a good choice.
Most hunters prefer the .458 Winchester Magnum because aside from its high velocity and lightweight bullet, it also has a high level of accuracy.
Take note, however, that the cartridge only works ideally on short-range, heavy-skinned animals.
The high accuracy rate of the cartridge also makes it possible for you to target various animals like African buffalo and elephant, provided they are around 100 yards.
Also, note that one cartridge is often enough to block the production of oxygen in a heavy-skinned animal.
Some .458 Winchester Magnum Drawbacks
Because all cartridges have their individual flaws and they don’t suit all types of hunting, expect the same from the .458 Winchester Magnum.
One drawback is its inability to provide you with a great experience when shooting at a long distance. When shooting at long distances, it won’t be as accurate when doing it at a short distance.
The cartridge does not also work that well on thick-skinned animal. Some examples are lion or leopard – both of which are not ideal hunting targets if you’re using 500-grain bullet.
Another drawback is that it is not good for those who are planning to use a cartridge for practice hunting.
It’s not good for that purpose as it only works for real hunting session. Using it for practice is also costly as one round bullet may already cause you to spend between $120 and $140.
That said, it would be best to go for the more budget type, so you won’t waste too much money when practicing.
There are also certain cases and areas where the cartridge is not ideal. For instance, you shouldn’t buy it solely for hunting deer.
Because this animal is thick-skinned, you can expect bullets of standard caliber to work for them. The .458 cartridge is more ideal for dangerous hunting.
My Hunting Experience
African hunting is always a challenge, and the result is always dependent on the right choice of bullets.
It’s often advisable for hunters to bring 2-3 hunting rifles with various caliber bullets to make their experience easier and more unforgettable.
I decided to buy one classic rifle and the .458 cartridge rifle. The latter costed me around $560 including two rounds of bullets.
For three years, I enjoyed hunting. In fact, I already hunted seven buffalos within that period.
I chose the .458 cartridges to hunt for African buffalos because they are heavy-skinned. I tried various calibers before, but sadly, I didn’t get the results I wanted.
That’s not the case for my newly purchased .458 as its shooting range can hit a buffalo within a 50-yard distance with just one bullet.
Since the cartridge always performs well, there is no need for me to utilize a rifle to hunt. One bullet is often enough to block the production of oxygen on my target animal.
The problem is that I never used it to hunt thick-skinned animals. It’s mainly because their bullets are not ideal for them.
The Most Ideal Rifles for .458 Winchester Magnum
The many rifles currently available for the cartridge may cause confusion on your part. Fortunately, four of the rifles that work perfectly for the .458 Winchester Magnum are indicated in this article.
1 CZ 550 American Safari Bolt Action Rifle
CZ 550 American Safari Bolt perfectly suits the .458 bullet, making it work well for anyone who wishes to experience a more challenging and tougher hunting experience.
It’s a good choice with its American pattern stock feature. It’s also available in three laminate color combinations, so picking one, which you really like is possible.
It has a 24-inch barrel rifle, making it ideal for the cartridge. It’s also a good choice for traditional African hunters.
The rifle features a wooden pattern, which provides a hundred percent assurance that its structure is solid, making it last for a long time. It can also result to a smoother shooting experience.
2 WTHBY DGM458NR4O MKV DGR 458WIN
Despite being more expensive than the other versions, expect this rifle to be a premium choice with its several useful feature.
This features a 24-inch barrel, as well as 3+1 capacity. Furthermore, it is bolt actioned and boasts of a black and blue finish.
It also has an adjustable trigger. This means that you can make adjustments to it while also providing you with an excellent shooting experience.
The fact that you can make the necessary adjustments is also a good thing, as this can provide you with adequate shooting space. It also makes it useful for short range shooting.
3 Ruger No. 1 Centerfire Rifle
If you are an avid hunter, then you will also definitely fall in love with the Ruger® No. 1 Centerfire Rifle.
It features a rigid and sculpted receiver, which offers adequate support to the breech block, stock and barrel.
It also features an adjustable ejector mechanism designed to provide ease of extraction.
Furthermore, it makes use of the scope-mounting system, which takes pride of its integrated, quarter-rib scope bases.
With this rifle, each shot will be worth it. It has a high level of accuracy plus prevent casings from hitting the ground during reloads.
The system used in this rifle also prevents you from shooting loose.
With its sliding tang safety feature, you will also know whether it’s the perfect time for the rifle to shoot. It also features a sophisticated grip cap, offering protection to the base.
.458 Winchester Magnum is indeed one of those cartridges, which boasts a lot of power. It works well for harmful and challenging hunting games.
This is the main reason why you shouldn’t compromise when making your choice among the many harmful hunting sessions in Africa.
The cartridge has several useful features plus it delivers an excellent shooting performance, so expect it to be a major help in improving your hunting experience and career.
Just make sure to pick the most suitable rifle for it. Choose those that are ideal for short-range hunting as this is the field where the .458 Winchester Magnum thrives the most.
The good news is that experienced hunters will no longer have a hard time finding the most ideal rifles for it, as they are already skilled in this area.
However, if you’re still a beginner, avoid choosing rifles of at least 26 inches as this is over the required length.
That said, it might cause a huge problem when hunting as this also means inaccuracies and inefficiencies in the range.