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458 winchester magnum

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31 March 2019, 03:22
458 winchester magnum
COTW 15th Edition:

31 March 2019, 03:27

Enough history of the transitions, eh?
Time for me to cowboy-up and start paper-patching some bullets for the .450 Bore.
Will try them first with black powder in a .458 WIN.
That will bring the .458 Winchester Magnum full circle back to where it started,
as a .450 Rook & Rabbit Rifle.
Rip ...
31 March 2019, 06:30
Originally posted by RIP:
Yep, per SAAMI:

.475 Linebaugh MAP = 50,000 psi

.480 Ruger MAP = 48,000 psi

.454 Casull MAP = 65,000 psi

.458 Lott MAP = 62,500 psi

.458 Winchester Magnum MAP = 60,000 psi

The .458 Winchester Magnum is only 50 fps slower than the .458 Lott with 500-grainer if all SAAMI restrictions are adhered to for both cartridges.

It is no wonder that the .458 WIN LongCOL can beat the .458 Lott if both are loaded to the same COL and pressure.

It is, however, a wonder that the .454 Casull brass is allowed to go to 65,000 psi MAP per SAAMI.
It looks just like modern .45 Long Colt brass in cross-section of head.

The Starline .45-2.6" brass is no doubt capable of 62,500 psi in the Ruger No.1.
The RIP (Riflecrank Internationale Permanente) homologation for the .45-100 Sharps Winchester Throat 2.6-Inch will include a MAP of 62,500 psi, as of 3-30-2019 update.
Same as for .458 WIN LongCOL, a new cartridge, no longer a wildcat, as of 3-30-2018, per RIP homologation.
Rip ...

According to John Linebaugh the loads that Ross used when he took the Cape buffalo with his Linebaugh revolver chambered in 45 colt were in the 60,000 psi range loaded in 45 colt brass.


A 9mm may expand to a larger diameter, but a 45 ain't going to shrink

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill
31 March 2019, 20:54

That is a great parallel to the .458 WIN versus the .458 Lott debate.

The .45 Long Colt brass is the equal of .454 Casull brass when made by the same, modern makers such as Winchester.
I have sectioned the two different cases from Winchester myself.
They are identical, as far as I can tell, except for the .45 Long Colt being shorter.
Ross Seyfried pointed out that the only difference in ballistics of the two, for the handloader,
comes from the limits of the handgun they are chambered in.

I lied about being done with history, because I opened up Pierre van der Walt's book and looked at the chapter on the .577/.450 Solid Martini-Henry.
Bore: .450"
Groove: .464"
There is nothing ".458" about the .577/.450 Solid Martini-Henry.
Nevertheless, those South African Boers are as bonkers about it as Americans are about the .45-70 Govt.

Pierre also relates how the English favoritism for the .450-bore started with the civilian "Volunteer Movement" and the "National Rifle Association,"
founded in 1859, twelve years before the "NRA of the USA" in 1871.
This was during a period of British fear of possible French Invaders.
Unhappy with the accuracy of their military-surplus .577-caliber Enfield rifled muskets, there was a wave of re-barreling those to .450-bore,
with the result of greatly improved accuracy at 2000-yard shooting competitions. rotflmo
The load was with a 560-grain conical in those .450-bore muzzleloaders, at 1300 fps, according to van der Walt.
Very respectable for the time.
Actually quite HOT-DAMN! for the time.
Thus was the reputation of the .450 bore born in the muzzleloading era, and carried over to the breechloader era.
That sterling reputation has survived to this day,
in the form of the .458 WIN and the .458 WTF,
having their .450-bore origins in 1850's England,
with the English military R&D (1852-1857), the English Volunteer Rifle Brigade System, and the
NRA of the UK, as it is now known:

"Founded in 1859, The National Rifle Association of the
United Kingdom [NRA] is the National Governing Body of full bore
rifle and pistol shooting sports in the United Kingdom."

Rip ...
02 April 2019, 22:01
I have found the mother lode article regarding the origins of the .450-bore rifle, starting with scientific improvement of the muzzleloader from .577 to .450-bore.

"The Long-Range Muzzleloading Rifles" (pp. 106-119)
by Thomas D. Schiffer

Excerpts for book review purposes.

Book Review: Great book. Scores 5 of possible 5: tu2 tu2 tu2 tu2 tu2
I have all editions. Would not miss out on any of them.

According to Thomas D. Schiffer:

"Earlier, in 1852, Lord Hardinge, then English Master General of Ordnance, asked Joseph Whitworth, the foremost mechanical engineer of his day, to find out why some government muskets shot well and others did not. Whitworth immediately launched an investigation into the science of musketry. He was restricted to the 530 grains of lead and 70 grains of powder used in the service ammunition of that day. After a detailed scientific investigation he determined a bore size of .451-inch worked far better with 70 grains of powder than the .577-inch bore of the government's musket. Reducing the bore size to 45 caliber required a much longer bullet to weigh 530 grains. He then empirically determined that a much faster twist rate was necessary to keep the bullet stable in flight. He increased the rate of spin from one turn in 78 inches to one turn in 20 inches. This essentially defines all rifles you see here. All (except one of the Alexander Henrys) are of 45 caliber and all have the 1:20 rate of twist--or very close to it ...

... Tests at the Hythe School of Musketry in 1857 compared the accuracy of Whitworth's system to that of current service rifle. The best service rifle, made at Enfield Lock, produced a 20-shot 'pattern' over 6 feet in diameter at 500 yards ...
However, the Whitworth rifle, tested under the same conditions, produced a 20-shot group measuring slightly over one foot in diameter.
While this looks like a ratio of 1:6, consider that a circle enclosing the Enfield bullets has an area of nearly 50 square feet,
whereas the area of a circle enclosing the Whitworth bullets would be a little over three-quarters of one square foot. That is a ratio of 50:1!

The rest is HISTORY,
the history of the .458 WIN.
Rip ...
02 April 2019, 23:56
whitworth parker hale musket civil war


hex bore sniper rifle 45 cal

did not take very long for the boys to put um to work thinning the union generals

Type Rifled Musket
Place of origin United Kingdom

Service history
Used by Confederate States of America
Wars American Civil War

Production history
Designer Joseph Whitworth
Designed 1854-1857
Manufacturer Whitworth Rifle Company
Produced 1857-1865
No. built 13,400
Length 49 in (1,200 mm)
Barrel length 33 in (840 mm)
Cartridge .451 caliber bullet
Caliber 0.451 in (11.5 mm)
Action muzzle loaded
Rate of fire 2–3 rounds per minute

Effective firing range 800 to 1,000 yd (730 to 910 m)

Maximum firing range 1,500 yd (1,400 m)

Feed system muzzleloader

Sights classic iron sights scope




Anyway it matters not, because my experience always has been that of---- a loss of snot and enamel on both sides of the 458 Win----
03 April 2019, 00:07


While the barrel design of the Whitworth rifle was innovative, the rest of the rifle was similar to other rifles and rifle-muskets used at the time. The rifle was muzzle loaded, and used a percussion lock firing mechanism. The lock mechanism was very similar to that used on the Enfield rifle-musket.

Whitworth chose to use a longer and more slender bullet than was common at the time, which resulted in a bore diameter of .451 caliber, significantly smaller than the Enfield's .577 caliber bore. Whitworth's bullets were more stable at longer ranges than the shorter and larger diameter bullets found in other rifles of the time. Whitworth also engineered the barrel with a 1-in-20" twist, quite a bit tighter than the 1-in-78" of the 1853 Enfield, or the later 1856/1858 variants with 5 groove barrels and a 1-in-48" twist. The extra spin the faster twist imparted to the projectile further stabilized the bullet in flight.

The Whitworth rifle weighed 9 pounds. Other long range rifles of the period tended to have much larger and heavier barrels, which made them too heavy for standard infantry use.

Whitworth rifles, being used by sharpshooters, were usually rested against a tree or log while fired to increase their accuracy. Some sharpshooters carried their own forked rests for the rifle, so that a suitable rest was always available.[4]

In 1860, the British National Rifle Association held its first annual meeting at Wimbledon. Queen Victoria fired the first shot from a Whitworth rifle on a machine rest at 400 yards, and struck the bull's-eye 1-1/4 inch from its center.[5]

Britain was officially neutral during the American Civil War, but private arms manufacturers were not required to remain neutral. The Whitworth Rifle Company, for example, sold the rifle to the Confederacy. The Confederate soldiers that used these rifles were referred to as Whitworth Sharpshooters. They accompanied regular infantrymen, and were usually used to eliminate Union artillery gun crews.

The Whitworth was held responsible for at least two deaths of high-ranking Officers: On Sept 19, 1863, at the Battle of Chickamauga, an unnamed Confederate sharpshooter mortally wounded Union General William Lytle, who was leading a charge at the time.[citation needed]

Later in the war, on May 9, 1864, during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Union General John Sedgwick according to popular accounts was chiding some of his troops for lying down in a ditch to avoid Confederate sharpshooters at a range of around 800 to 1000 yards. Shots from Confederate Whitworth rifles, easily identifiable due to the shrill whistling noises their hexagonal bullets made in flight, caused members of his staff and artillerymen to duck for cover. Sedgwick strode around in the open and was quoted as saying, "What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Although ashamed, his men continued to flinch and he repeated, "I'm ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Just seconds later he fell forward with a bullet hole below his left eye. At least five Confederate soldiers claimed that they had fired the fatal shot.

The Whitworth rifle with a hexagonal bore and rapid regular twist, when it was tested by the Union's Ordnance Committee

Anyway it matters not, because my experience always has been that of---- a loss of snot and enamel on both sides of the 458 Win----
03 April 2019, 00:21
Whitworth rifles were made with barrel lengths of 33, 36, and 39 inches, giving the weapon an overall length of 49, 52, and 55 inches respectively.[7] The barrel was attached to the stock using two or three barrel bands, depending on the barrel's length.

Two types of bullets were used in the Whitworth rifle, hexagonal and cylindrical. The cylindrical bullets had to be made out of soft pure lead, with a small hollow in the base. Under the influence of the explosion of 80 to 90 grains of fine rifle powder the bullet would upset into the hexagonal bore. Recovered bullets were found to be as hexagonal as those which had been factory-made to a hexagonal shape. The hexagonal form bullet did not need to expand to properly grip the barrel, and therefore could be made out of a harder lead alloy.[8]

The sights used on Whitworth rifles varied. Some used Enfield type flip up sights that were graduated to 1,200 yards in 100 yard increments. Others used a sliding blade sight with an adjustment for windage. Some had simple fixed front sights, while others used a post and globe front sight. A small number of Whitworth rifles were equipped with a four power telescopic sight, designed by Colonel Davidson which, unlike modern rifle scopes, was attached to the left side of the weapon instead of the top. While the telescopic sight was very advanced for its time, it had a reputation for leaving the user with a black eye due to the rifle's fairly substantial recoil.

While polygonal rifling has been around since the earliest days of rifled barrels, it had faded out of use by the time of the early cordite cartridges.

The principle of the polygonal barrel was proposed in 1853 by Sir Joseph Whitworth, a prominent British engineer and entrepreneur. Whitworth experimented with cannons using twisted hexagonal barrels instead of traditional round rifled barrels, which was patented in 1854. In 1856, this concept was demonstrated in a series of experiments using brass howitzers. The British military, however, rejected Whitworth's polygonal rifled designs. Whitworth believed that polygonal rifling could be used to create a more accurate rifled musket to replace the Pattern 1853 Enfield. During the American Civil War, Whitworth's polygonal rifled Whitworth rifle was successfully used by the Confederate States Army Whitworth Sharpshooters. The muzzleloading Whitworth rifle is often called the 'sharpshooter' because of its accuracy compared to other rifled muskets of its era (far surpassing the breech loading Sharps rifle used by the Union Army), and is considered one of the earliest examples of a sniper rifle


Diemakers - Swaging a Hexagonal (Whitworth) Bullet?
The rifle that got my father - and subsequently me - into casting is a replica of the Civil War era British / Confederate Whitworth sniper rifle. In the event that you're unfamiliar with the gun and its rather unique projectile,

In a nutshell, the round-nose bullet is a .451 (across the flats) x .459 (across the points) hexagon with the flats slanted to mechanically fit the 1-20" (possibly 1-22") twist of the hexagonally-profiled bore. The mold we are using makes a slight hollow base for inserting the "pigtail" of the paper patching these bullets are typically wrapped in to prevent fouling.

The downside is that these long, hollow-based, nose-poured, punched-out-by-the-nose bullets are a BEEE-YOTCH to cast cleanly. It seems like that bullet design is an ideal candidate for press-swaging - - which would allow for variation in point design and weight - - if only dies could be constructed.

I'm sure that there are mechanical challenges to making hexagonal holes in a die, but I lack the engineering background to articulate just what those might be. Thought I'd throw it out there for your contemplation.

Anyway it matters not, because my experience always has been that of---- a loss of snot and enamel on both sides of the 458 Win----
03 April 2019, 00:39
QUOTE--.. ''I've been shooting a P-H Whitworth for about 17 years. There is no REAL need for the hexagonal slugs. Even back in the Whitworth's heyday of the 1860's, ten times as many conicals were fired out of them as the hexagonal slugs. The Whitworth bore form was discarded fairly rapidly as it wasn't that, that was magic but rather the fast (20") twist that did the deed ''


Anyway it matters not, because my experience always has been that of---- a loss of snot and enamel on both sides of the 458 Win----
03 April 2019, 08:39
Thanks for THE MISSION support, all of which seems consistent with THE MOTHER LODE article. Very cool to have your Whitworth pictured.
That is the great-grandfather of the .458 WIN.

03 April 2019, 08:42

03 April 2019, 08:44

03 April 2019, 08:45

03 April 2019, 08:47

03 April 2019, 08:48

03 April 2019, 08:49

03 April 2019, 08:50

03 April 2019, 08:52

03 April 2019, 08:54

03 April 2019, 08:56

03 April 2019, 08:57

03 April 2019, 08:59

03 April 2019, 09:01

Rip ...
04 April 2019, 09:18
Dixie Gun Works sells the hexagonal bored rifles, moulds and bullets for Whitworth Re-enactors:

Apparently both are made by Pedersoli, but you pay an extra 200 bucks for the cartouche stamped on the buttstock, and some barrel stamping from Navy Arms importer?:

04 April 2019, 09:23
Above rifle is about 1800 bucks, below is about 1600 bucks, IIRC:

04 April 2019, 09:28
Sight-mounting hardware is extra:

04 April 2019, 09:31
Hexagonal bullet mould is 157 bucks, twice the cost of a round-bullet mould:

04 April 2019, 09:33
Or buy'em ready-made:

04 April 2019, 10:08
John Rigby Senior (b. 1758 in Dublin, d. 12 Aug 1818) founded the Rigby manufactory of arms in Dublin circa 1775 when he was 17 y.o. Precocious!
He had been working for a gunmaker in Dublin when he took over that business that was said to have been founded in 1735 Dublin. That was possibly Edward Dalton's or Thomas Trulock's business, dating to 1735.
Hence the John Rigby & Co. claim to 1735,
though the founder was not born until 1758.

John Rigby Senior begat:
Frances Rigby (1781-1811)
William Rigby (1787-1858)
John Jason Rigby (1797-1845).

William Rigby begat:
Four daughters and one son,
John Rigby b. 1829 in Dublin, d. 1 Nov 1916, Gunmaker, Superintendent ROf Enfield.
The third John Rigby of the John Rigby & Co. must have played with toy guns instead of dolls, eh?

John Rigby (1829-1916) may be considered the greatest rifleman ever, considering all spheres of endeavor.
He could shoot and he could build rifles.
He masterminded the switch from black powder to full Nitro Express.
Besides overseeing the .303 British from BP to Cordite, as Superintendent of Enfield Lock,
politics and celebrity allowed him to grease the skids for new brass and new barrel steels to build the first ever Nitro Express double rifle,
after he was mandatorily retired from his government position in 1894 due to age alone. 65!!!
I guess he showed them!

He was winning the Wimbledon Cup in London in 1864 with his .451-bore muzzleloader, at age 35.
He was 82 years old when his .416 Rigby arrived in 1911.
Not bad for an Irishman.

John Rigby liked the ".450-2.6-Inch Match" along the way to the .450-3.25-Inch Nitro Express at age 67.
The .458 WIN LongCOL's heritage is most thoroughly from John Rigby.
He won tournaments and developed the Nitro Express with .458-caliber bullets.
Jolly good fellow he was, for THE MISSION.
Rip ...
05 April 2019, 01:09
On to page 119, a special merging of Ed Weatherby's version of the .416 Rigby with the .458 WIN African,
via the Jim Wisner-made copy of a Pre-'64 Winchester rear sight.
I do not think John Rigby (1829-1916) would disapprove of this .416 Weatherby Magnum rifle of model year 2016,
a century after his death:

05 April 2019, 01:13
The point of this?
It is to show that the original "African" rear sight of the .458 WIN gave about 16 inches of elevation adjustment at 100 yards:

05 April 2019, 01:14

05 April 2019, 01:15

05 April 2019, 01:16
Dog Yoga, no Downward Dog here:

05 April 2019, 01:16

"A house is not a home without a Min Pin."
Rip ...
05 April 2019, 01:21
Recall that the .458 WIN LongCOL is also capable of +2800 fps with a 350-grain TSX,
in the 25" barrel of Bobbarrella Shilen-CZ:

350-grain TSX treated with Tubb's hBN
Once-fired Hornady brass trimmed to 2.500"
WLRM primer
COL 3.440"
25" Shilen barrel
H4198 81.0 grains (drop-tubed for ~104% volumetric fill, mildly compressed)
Started shooting at 43*F with lesser loads, finished with this load at 41*F.

3 shots, 5-yard chronograph fps:
Instrumental Velocity Average = 2788 fps
Sd = 7.9 fps
MOA = 0.93
Corrected to MV for BC of .271 (add 18 fps) >>> 2806 fps
Kinetic Energy at muzzle = 6119 ft-lbs

Hey, it's for THE MISSION!
And the muzzle brake stuff is getting no action on the "muzzle brake thread."
OK, time to quit procrastinating and paper-patch some round, not hexagonal, .451"-diameter/530-grain lead bullets to shoot in the .458 WIN LongCOL,
in homage to John Rigby (1829-1916).
Rip ...
05 April 2019, 01:41
Glad to see a little 416 shooting.

The 2846 fps with a 350 grain TSX is pretty close to our CZ Rigbys at 2825 fps and 350 gn TTSX. Our course, if and when I get a 20" 416 Ruger I'll have to be content with 2600fps.


"A well-rounded hunting battery might include:
500 AccRel Nyati, 416 Rigby or 416 Ruger, 375Ruger or 338WM, 308 or 270, 243, 223" --
Conserving creation, hunting the harvest.
05 April 2019, 20:02
''[quote]. ''In 1907, an uprising in the British Territories of India and Sudan led to a complete ban on all .45 caliber ammunition, to prevent any of the insurgents from reloading the then-popular .577/.450 Martini-Henry rifle ammunition. Due to the popularity of the .450 Nitro Express as a sporting round in both Africa and India, ammunition manufacturers scrambled to come up with a cartridge of similar ballistics, yet of a different bore diameter, so as to be compliant with The Crown’s new ruling. There were many responses, such as the Holland & Holland .500/.465 NE and the Westley Richards .476 NE, but the one that would prove to be the most popular was Joseph Lang’s .470 Nitro Express. Driving a 500-grain round nosed bullet to a muzzle velocity of between 2,100 fps and 2,150 fps, the .470 Nitro Express generates just over 5,000 ft.-lbs. of muzzle energy''

the 450 ne set the standard using a 500 gn bullet with a yield of 5000 # --foot pounds-- which equilibrated to 2,100 ->2,200 fps with the lighter 480 grain bullets

in 1905 the german 9.3 x 62 came to the farmers resque

in terms of affordable and effective the efficient little cartridge just worked

little else was needed

It would be just about another 50 years before winchester captured James Watts concept and mass produced the 458 winchester magnum

a big brother to the german 1904 farm fix

the new rifle / cartridge combination was very affordable -available -effective- absolutly efficient, and even in its worst hour -lowest day -darkest time-

shot right up with the short barrel, slower than reported, double rifles available at the time [ BUT only if you were well oiled and lucky enough to source ammunition]

never was the old short- slow- double rifles questioned NO MATTER THE CALIBER or the classic single shots in the vintage rim calibers

- just the new american [alaskan] .458 win

no matter that it cost less -killed more- was to be found within a short 10 years on every continent

life's not fair but GIVEN TIME we do have a memory

and as such

the 458 is back-- right where it always ever was

not to hot -- not to cold -- just about right -

at about the price an african farmer can afford

will kill anything you point it at

Anyway it matters not, because my experience always has been that of---- a loss of snot and enamel on both sides of the 458 Win----
05 April 2019, 20:54
Holy homily stradling!
Church of the Dead Horse Gospel!
So it was, is, and ever shall be.

The .458 WIN is the Rifleman's Cartridge.
There can be only one.

Rip ...
08 April 2019, 02:13
Excerpt for book review, GUN DIGEST 1968. Book review: Great book.
The excerpt is Merrill K. Lindsay's great article, "Breech Loading Firearms," which is an excerpt from his great book, 100 Great Guns.

From Lindsay we learn that breechloading cannon and other firearms have been around since about 1250,
but muzzleloaders took over until the breechloader was all but forgotten after 600 years.
So the flurry of patents for breechloaders in the mid 1800's were mostly for old ideas.

And, an almost-chamber-obturating, centerfire, rifle/musket cartridge much like a paper shotgun shell was offered to Napoleon in a breechloader,
by Swiss Mr. Pauly in 1812,
and was turned down. Waterloo.
An Englishman got to patent the Boxer cartridge over a half century later.
Whipped'em again!