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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.458 Lott

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Jan 07 2014

 

The .458 Lott dates back to 1971, when gun writer Jack Lott had a couple of bad experiences with dangerous African game and wanted a .458-caliber rifle that would offer greater power than the standard .458 Winchester Magnum. By using .375 H&H Magnum brass straightened (with taper), cut to 2.800 inches and necked to accept .458-inch bullets, his cartridge would push 500-grain bullets to 2,300 fps. Essentially, the Lott was a lengthened .458 Winchester Magnum case. Since the case headspaces on the belt, a rifle chambered in .458 Lott can also fire .458 Winchester Magnum cartridges.

While there were already .458-caliber cartridges that duplicated or exceeded .458 Lott ballistics, such as the .460 Weatherby Magnum, most required a comparatively large bolt action to house them. The .458 Lott has an overall cartridge length of 3.600 inches and can be housed in any action that is suitable for the .375 H&H Magnum. Thus, there are many suitable actions to chamber the Lott which (usually) result in a lighter, trimmer rifle.

In 2002 Hornady Manufacturing introduced the .458 Lott to the industry and began offering ammunition. Factory loads are advertised to push a 500-grain bullet to 2,300 fps, which in the 24-inch barrel of the rifle used here, produced 2,271 fps, a substantial gain over .458 Winchester Magnum performance. Several manufacturers, including Ruger, offer rifles.

Cases should be full-length sized, and the case mouth expanded to just enough to allow the bullet a reliable "start" when being seated, which will help prevent buckling the case mouth. A heavy roll crimp should be applied to help ignite the large powder charges, and always use Large Rifle Magnum primers. Loads containing ball (or spherical) powders should not be reduced, or erratic ignition and hang-fires will occur.