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  #1  
Old 10-16-2018, 09:31 AM
navyrifleman navyrifleman is offline
 
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Default 03A3 in .458 Winchester Magnum

About 50 years ago, my Dad converted a Smith Corona 03A3 to .458 Winchester Magnum. It required, of course, a new barrel and some change to the bolt face to fit the belted magnum case head. In addition, he polished and blued the action, and re-stocked the rifle.

When I was about 19, I fired it with a full factory load from standing position, and ended up taking about three steps backward. Talk about a kick!

Dad used it mainly for target shooting, using reloads with cast bullets. I recall that he used to first load the case with powder, and then used "Wheatena" for filler before seating the bullet. This was to keep the powder closer to the primer. I think his loads were approximately equal to that of a .45-70.

Has anyone else hand loaded for the .458 Win Mag? Any recommended or favorite loads?
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2018, 09:37 AM
rcolarco rcolarco is offline
 
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Hornady 300 HP, 40 grains of IMR 4198. About like a hot .45-70. Easy on the shoulder, accurate, no filler required.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2018, 03:15 PM
ceresco ceresco is offline
 
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IMR 3031, 70 to 72grs with the 300 and 350gr bullets. Excellent accuracy and tolerable recoil in a Ruger no 1 and Winchester M70. I use cases trimmed to 1.8" and 48grs 3031 for Michigan legal deer loads. Never fired a factory .458 load and never will!! Good Shooting. ...
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Old 10-17-2018, 11:04 AM
rcolarco rcolarco is offline
 
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You can also just use .45-70 data and duplicate any .45-70 load you like. Ceresco's suggestion to trim the cases may produce more efficient operation, but that's a lot of trimming. Probably start with a tiny pipe cutter.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2018, 11:05 AM
rcolarco rcolarco is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceresco View Post
IMR 3031, 70 to 72grs with the 300 and 350gr bullets. Excellent accuracy and tolerable recoil in a Ruger no 1 and Winchester M70. I use cases trimmed to 1.8" and 48grs 3031 for Michigan legal deer loads. Never fired a factory .458 load and never will!! Good Shooting. ...
What is the "Michigan legal" concern? related to case length?
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2018, 03:55 PM
Slapshot Slapshot is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcolarco View Post
What is the "Michigan legal" concern? related to case length?
Yes. For southern MI you can use .35 or larger straight wall rifle cartridges. Cases to have maximum of 1.8" length.
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2018, 03:08 AM
rcolarco rcolarco is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slapshot View Post
Yes. For southern MI you can use .35 or larger straight wall rifle cartridges. Cases to have maximum of 1.8" length.
Very interesting. Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2018, 07:03 AM
milprileb milprileb is offline
 
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I own a 458 Win Mag , inherited it from my father who got on a magnum kick in his 80's in prep for a safari for the Big 5. Magnaported, properly stocked rifle with thick recoil pad. As a younger guy in his mid 30's at this time, I fired this monster 3 times and my day of shooting was over . The aspect of loading down to 45/70 level recoil hugely appeals to me...35 years after firing those 3 rds which was the only 3 rounds that I ever shot out of that rifle.

458 Win Mag: if the price of a box of factory ammo does not turn you off, shooting the box of ammo damn sure will.
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2018, 08:08 AM
navyrifleman navyrifleman is offline
 
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Thanks for all the comments. I think that my Dad's handloads might have been from the 45-70 recipes. I have his shooting book and his old reloading manuals.

Use of "old timey" style breechloading cartridges on Southern Michigan deer is something new. I grew up there and when I started hunting in 1965, the only guns allowed for the (then) MYTHICAL Whitetail Deer were the .22 rimfire rifle or a shotgun with either slugs or buckshot. And Red was the suggested color for clothing.

The next year, 1966, marked two significant changes in the Michigan Hunting rules: the .22 was no longer legal, but you could now use a muzzle loader of 40 caliber or larger instead of a shotgun. The other change was that Florescent Orange (100 square inches minimum) was required wear.

The bag limit was one buck per hunter, and it was published in the hunting regulations that only about one in five hunters were expected to fill their tags. A very limited number of doe permits were available on a lottery basis and if you drew a permit it meant you could take an antlerless deer INSTEAD of that one buck.

I would hunt every day of the deer season, and only see two or three deer the whole season. Seeing a deer track or sign was something to talk about the next day in school. If you were lucky enough to even see a deer and get a shot, it was pure luck hitting him with a smoothbore shotgun and "pumpkin ball" slug.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2018, 10:21 AM
ceresco ceresco is offline
 
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The history of whitetail deer in Michigan is an interesting story. They were essentially wiped out in southern Michigan in the 20s and 30s when the rural population shot them for food and to protect the small farms that dominated the area. Navyrifleman has it right. It was a big deal to see tracks and I remember a newspaper article about a motorist seeing a big buck cross the road in front of him near Kalamazoo around 1960. My father always went north to hunt along lake michigan near Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. It was a long shot to get any buck (or a bear, which the license allowed) so even a fork horn was a big sucess. By the middle 60s a few hunters started staying in the south as the deer population grew and by the mid 70s I was taking 6 or 8 per year and eating a lot of venison. Much has happened since then, TB, viral diseases, now CWD and many regulation changes, Ticks, once as rare as deer, now infest southern Michigan. The current "straight wall cartridge" rule is a welcome change long overdue. Sadly, and for no good reason except to boost the .450 bushmaster, it excludes longer cases including the .45-70. This is what happens when politics take over. Good Shooting. ..
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