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Thread: My new Winchester .458

  1. #1
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    My new Winchester .458

    Hi guys,

    Here is my latest (and last) rifle purchase... and it's a ripper!
    It's a Winchester M70 'Safari Express' in .458WM and even though I bought it secondhand it's in great condition.
    Even though I bought it secondhand, I have followed this particular rifle's history quite closely on a couple of shooting forums. When first bought, this particular rifle was... well... a lemon! It was advertised as in excellent condition and the first owner eagerly snapped it up. However all was not what it seemed! The bedding job that was done on the rifle was done completely wrong and after 7 shots the stock cracked behind the tang. Also the rifle wouldn't feed the second round from the magazine which essentially meant it was a single shot. And finally, the barrel band that held the sling swivel was loose and slid freely up and down the barrel.
    The owner contemplated what to do and considered returning the rifle, however the gunshop came to the party and offered to help get the rifle fixed so off to the gunsmith it went.
    When it came back the bedding was done correctly and the chips behind the tang were repaired. It fed all rounds flawlessly and the barrel band was repaired. The owner was so happy with the end result he went to the N.T. with it and shot some buffalo!
    Eventually he sold it to it's new owner and that's who I bought it off.
    I got it for a very reasonable price - especially considering all the gunsmithing that went into it and it really is a very nice rifle.
    The first thing I did was fit the Talley bases to the rifle and fit some steel Talley rings to them. My tried and tested Pentax 2.5x scope was fitted to the rings and the whole package came up nice.
    Now, what to feed it?
    I had some reloads left over from my last .458 which was built on a magnum length action. The projectiles on these reloads were seated out long to suit the action and thus they were to long to fit in the Winchester's magazine. So what I did was slowly seat the projectiles in deeper until they just fitted in the magazine. These loads consist of the 500gn Woodleigh PP and a hot load of 77.5gn of AR2206H which proved mild in the last rifle, but with the bullets seated deeper I was worried that they may prove too hot for the Winchester..?

    So today saw me doing a session over the chronograph, where I chrono'd 3 loads;

    Reload. 300gn HP over a mild load of 2207 = 2661fps
    Winchester factory load. 510gn SP = 1980fps
    Reload. 500gn Woodleigh PP 77.5gr 2206H = 2220fps

    That last load did prove to be safe in my rifle, with the cases falling out of the chamber and the primer and miked case were fine. Despite that, I'm only after 2150fps so I think a little tweaking may be in order. I'm going to drop it back a grain which will prove easier on the case, rifle and the shooter!

    Speaking of the shooter the chrono session was punishing. The rifle isn't particularly heavy for a .458 - and indeed, of the 3 .458's I've owned, this is the lightest. I fired off 14 rounds of the 500gn reloads off the bench and the recoil was brutal. I even copped a scope to the head but luckily I was wearing safety glasses and judging by the chunk that was taken out of them I'm glad I was...
    By using a ballistic calculator I worked out that recoil is around 72ft/lbs which is getting up there in anyone's language..
    So there you have it, my new rifle.
    This is my third .458 and I think it may be my favourite so far.
    It's just such a complete rifle and there's nothing that I would change.
    As far as I'm concerned it's the perfect rifle..
    outdoorlad, 199p and john m like this.

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    As soon as I've posted 5 posts, I'll post pics!

  3. #3
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    Back in the early 1970's I took a .458 Winchester Mod 70 African hunting in the Lewis Pass. I parked by the NZDA lodge just on dawn and was getting out my gear when a sleepy hunter came out of the hut. He looked at the muzzle of my rifle and said "Gee, that's a funny looking shotgun." He did a real double take when my hunting partner pulled out his 12/12/9.3x74R Sauer M30 ex-Lufwaffe drilling! Unfortunately, no animals were harmed in this wee adventure.
    Badboymelvin and Sideshow like this.

  4. #4
    Member stug's Avatar
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    @Badboymelvin I saw the pics over on Accurate reloading, nice looking rifle. Just put up a few posts with a single full stop to get your post count up.

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    .
    Sideshow likes this.

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    ..
    Sideshow likes this.

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    ...

  8. #8
    Member Sideshow's Avatar
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    Just a couple more.........

  9. #9
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    add a comment or opinion to one of the other threads. Im sure there would be something you could add your 2 cents to.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badboymelvin View Post
    Like it!
    However, I also value my right shoulder and arm functions.... So for a racing sardine, I don't think I'll be aiming to buy one
    Please excuse spelling, as finger speed is sometimes behind brain spped........ Or maybe the other wayy.....

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    This shows the Woodleigh 500gn PP seated out a bit to make best use of the Winchester's magazine..

  15. #15
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    Very nice.

 

 

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