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  • Gun writers?

    You can take to the bank what some of them they say and some are full of hooey!

    I read an article last night in Rifle Shooter magazine written by Kevin Steele. The article was on Buff Busters and was centered around the 458 lott. He paid some good credit to the late Jack Lott and for that I applaud him. However in the article Mr Steele refers to the 458 mag as stubby and he states that it has always lacked true stopping power. Well from what I can cypher... there is 150fps difference between the 458 mag and the Lott with any given bullet weight. I can throw a rock 150 fps.

    The load he was refering to as lacking stopping power was a 500 grain slug at 2150fps. Sounds like we're all undergunned!

  • #2
    Well, gunwriters are like the rest of us, all have opinions and you know the rest. Based on the comment that the 458 Lott lacks stopping power, then the big bores used back in the heyday of commercial elephant hunting in Africa were all under gunned and lacked stopping power. As you well know, its not necessarily the size of the rifle and bullet (to a point) but where you put that 500 grain slug that'll determine stopping power. I've meet a couple gun writers and to be truthful, haven't been particularly impressed, to include Mr. Boddington. But hey have to earn a living so they write what they think, even if its not entirely accurate.

    Comment


    • #3
      We photographed (we're pros) a group of well-known NFL stars one time, and it took longer to make sure that each of them was wearing or carrying "sponsored" clothes and gear than to take the photos.

      Ever wonder where gun writers get all those guns, the great clothing and expensive trips? OF COURSE they are going to be careful what they say and find the words to make their sponsors look best. Doesn't mean there is a darned thing objective in their writing, any more than politicians are objective about issues near and dear to his sugar daddies.
      "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
      Merle Haggard

      Comment


      • #4
        The only legitemite beef with the 458 win mag is the case was too small to hold enough to achieve 2100 fps w/ 500 gr when it was introduced, modern powders and bullets have helped matters. To say the win mag was underpowered is BS, scores of the biggest thickest skin game have been dropped with 480 to 500 gr bullets @ 2000-2150 fps from the various 45-47 cal nitro expresses for a solid century, and a good 1/2 century from the win mag.

        I'm about as big a fan of the 458 Lott as you find, as I believe it is a much better design than the 458 win mag, but only a fool would say the win mag lacks power.

        I've mostly given up on the gun rags, most of the writers are no more than gear whores and product pimps, and boring to read.
        Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

        If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          The Puny 458 Win

          I never met Jack Lott, but I have talked to friends of his who knew him and he was described as a true gun man, really knew about them. His experience with the 458 Winnie was back in the 1960's.

          As the story was related to me, and as I have seen in print, is that the 458 was loaded with a compressed load of fine grained ball powder. (powder developed by olin for the 5.56x45 military round) This was the only powder with which Winchester could achieve the advertised 2050 fps with the 510 grain bullet. The compressed load and the warm African sun worked on the ammo and caused the powder to cake together and, when fired, only part of it ignited the rest was launched from the muzzle behind the bullet. Velocity then was much less than advertised and it's killing power reduced to about zilch. It was one of these squib loads that Mr. Lott was using when he tried to stop a Buff and it didn't go well. I hear he reffered to the 458 as the 458 Winchester problem.

          As to it's lack of power, I will say if you have ever used it you would know it is a smacker! I have chronographed loads, both factory and handloaded, from at least 40 different 458 Win Mags. 2100 fps is achievable with many 500 grain bullets. Easily with RL-12 powder. But factory loads rarely break the 2000 fps barrier. Some are as low as 1800 and change. My own FN Browning, with 24" barrel, shoots Remington Safari ammo at 1847 fps and my RL-12 handload at 2110 fps. The newer ammo of today is much better than any of the older stuff. Winchesters solution to the caked powder was to reduce the charge (not compressed) and therefore lowered the velocity, about 1950 fps is typical.

          A 500 grain slug at 2000 fps is what built the reputation of the great double rifles of the 20th century. The 450 and the 470, almost all of them regulate at velocities from 1950 -2050 fps. Bullet weights vary as do bore sizes but velocity is pretty much the same. The 458 Win Mag is right there in the middle of it when it hits the 2000 fps mark. These ballistics were picked to duplicate the performance of the 450 N.E. double. Obviously inferior ammunition can build a bad rep for any caliber. There are very few detractors of the 458 Win in Africa.

          Many P.H.'s carry them. It is not as effective on buffalo as the various 500's, but pretty much equal to the 470 N.E. Not many P.H.'s carry double guns anymore, and a good Mauser can be made in 458 Win or 458 Lott for the same money. I will say the 458 Lott is typically a 500 grain at 2300 fps and that is 300 fps faster than the average 458 Win. So that does make it a step up. It is probably also true that most Lott shooters don't load to the 2300 figure especially in warm climates. The 500 Jeffery is coming back and is the big gun to have in a bolt rifle. It launches a 535 grain at about 2350 fps. I wouldn't hesitate to take on cape buffalo with a 458 Win Mag. The Lott is just such a neat package with the ability to step up to a little stronger performer. I don't own one, but I have shot a few of them and I like it.
          Good shootin'.

          Murphy

          Now, as for gun writers, I think they ought to be like Nascar drivers. Wear their sponsors on their uniforms so we would know who's paying them before they open their mouth. I've talked to Boddington, he's not such a bad guy, but like said he needs his racing suit.
          Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


          Comment


          • #6
            Writers

            That does seem rediculous to say that a 500 gr. .458 bullet at 2150 fps is weak! You're right, it seems all the rage nowadays to dis the Win Mag, but if you take one to the local range, I'll be willing to bet many won't even want to shoot it!

            If the .458 Win. actually did 2150 fps with the 500 gr solid, without excessive pressures, the .458 Lott may never have been developed. Like Murphy said, 500gr @ 2150 is the age old formula for success against the biggest of beasts using the Nitro Express cartridges, and it would certainly carry over to modern cartridges.

            Maybe Mr. Steele meant to address the early caked powder problems and ultra low velocity that Murphy talked about. Even so, that's silly considering the potential of the cartridge with handloading, not just with modern powders but with modern bullets. I've read a lot of people get the velocities up (and energy) by dropping down slightly in bullet weight (i.e. 465 gr. and 450 gr.) and some bullet maker produces a 500 gr. with the cannelure set far back so handloaders can (with a properly long chamber) seat them out far enough to give a considerable increase in powder capacity.

            Of course, there's no flies in the .458 Lott ointment either! Since it is with us to stay, or so it seems, there's no reason not to opt for that chambering when given a choice.

            Just my .05 (inflation)

            BTW, my favorite writer would have to be Clay Harvey. Great sense of humor!

            Oh Murphy, I too have talked to Boddington a couple times last year and he actually does lately wear shirts with Surefire embroidered on them! He must have read your mind! I do like his Boddington on Buffalo DVD, now I need to get the Leopard show.

            Dave

            Comment


            • #7
              My favorite writers are the ones that pull no punches, Jeff Cooper, Jack O, Elmer...."Hell I was there" and of course Murphy!

              Thanks for the input on this 458 vs Lott issue!

              Comment


              • #8
                Good list...

                Yeah EKC,

                I'd have to concur with your list of good writers! Murphy, you made EKC's bookshelf of fame!

                Dave

                P.S.- Does anyone here besides me miss the writing of Bob Milek?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Gun Writers

                  Guys,

                  To even be listed on the same page with those people is being honored and humbled at the same time. I could only hope to walk in their foot prints.
                  You made my day!

                  I also miss Bob Milek. He was a Contender guy and wildcatted those back in the '70's when I was doing that, too. He was a straight shooter.

                  Good shootin'.
                  Murphy
                  Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Piling On:

                    Kevin Steel has writen more total BS articles that any three gunzine writer around.
                    In a 1980 Guns article he articulated that only Officers required pistols and that (mere) enlisted men were served adequatly with a bayonet for their personal defense weapon. Try selling that line of BS to our guys in Afganistan and Iraq.
                    He is also part of the natorious point shooting for self defense click.
                    Don't use your sights as the Modern Technique has proven, but rather shoot "by instinct"
                    I could go on, but I will not bore you further.
                    I once recieved a S&W 629 DX for a local writer, he (honest) did not know how to release the thumblatch! On a Smith & Wesson. He went on to write, and Imust assume get paid for writting an article about that gun???
                    I muss Skeeter Skelton, & Bill Jordan. I read the cover off Bob Milek's Handgun Hunting Annual while stationed in West Germany.
                    John Taffin, Brian Pierce and a few others seem to be the last of the old school.
                    Rob

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Boddington

                      Craig wears many hats since retiring from the Marines. As a paid employee of SureFire it would make sense for him to wear a SureFire shirt especially at trade shows etc. Looking through Craig's website SureFire is the only "sponsor" I see listed. I know companies put together writers trips for a group of writers to try new products and yes I am sure the companies pay for these trips but I would bet that if his articles were researched you would find that in his hands most of the time you will find his favorite beater rifle, no camo etc. Yes I am biased as Craig is a friend of mine.


                      Taken from SureFire website-
                      January 28th, 2005
                      Renowned Outdoor Author Joins SureFire
                      Craig Boddington, author of 18 big game hunting books, has joined SureFire as the director of outdoor market development.


                      Doug
                      http://www.alaskasgreatoutdoors.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        More on the good Col....

                        I do recall reading in one of his books (I think) about how everyone thinks he gets all his trips for free but that he actually has to pay for some (most?) out of his own pocket.

                        I like Mr. Boddington's writing overall. He's very knowledgeable, especially about Africa, and gets his point across well. Sometimes his style seems to be missing any humor/light-heartedness, but after reading so much of Capstick, who can compete with that?

                        I do like how accessible he is to the public. Like I said to Murphy, last year, I met him twice. The first time was at a local (Northeast Wisconsin) chapter of SCI mini-sport show at Lambeau Field in Green Bay where I purchased his Buffalo DVD and got an old book signed. The second was at the DU Great Outdoors Festival in Oshkosh. At DU, it was kind of funny in that a buddy of mine and his son and I were standing behind the firing line where several manufacturers booths were located (you could try out different guns) and I turned around and Craig was right there! Needless to say, I started talking about his upcoming Leopard DVD! That was kind of cool.

                        Dave

                        Edited to add;
                        does anyone know his true rank? For years he was Colonel, then a couple years ago(?) I read in several mags that he was promoted to Brigadier General but lately I've still seen references to him being a Col. yet.? Just curious.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Gun writers

                          Thirty years or so ago, while at a NRA meeting, a well known whitetail hunter and nationally known writer, made a statement which has stuck with me all through the years. He prefaced it with the comment that he would be literally blackballed in the "hack" world for saying that "Most of the one minute of angle groups" were shot with a typewriter! He was sitting at the table with many of the "true" shooters of the time. Most of whom are gone now. I have kept this in mind throughout the decades since while reading magazine articles of all types.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Boddington

                            Craig retired as a full Colonel, his field promotion sparked much controversy and the Senate never approved the promotion. He waited and waited and finally said forget it and retired.

                            Doug

                            Originally posted by AKWannabe
                            I do recall reading in one of his books (I think) about how everyone thinks he gets all his trips for free but that he actually has to pay for some (most?) out of his own pocket.

                            I like Mr. Boddington's writing overall. He's very knowledgeable, especially about Africa, and gets his point across well. Sometimes his style seems to be missing any humor/light-heartedness, but after reading so much of Capstick, who can compete with that?

                            I do like how accessible he is to the public. Like I said to Murphy, last year, I met him twice. The first time was at a local (Northeast Wisconsin) chapter of SCI mini-sport show at Lambeau Field in Green Bay where I purchased his Buffalo DVD and got an old book signed. The second was at the DU Great Outdoors Festival in Oshkosh. At DU, it was kind of funny in that a buddy of mine and his son and I were standing behind the firing line where several manufacturers booths were located (you could try out different guns) and I turned around and Craig was right there! Needless to say, I started talking about his upcoming Leopard DVD! That was kind of cool.

                            Dave

                            Edited to add;
                            does anyone know his true rank? For years he was Colonel, then a couple years ago(?) I read in several mags that he was promoted to Brigadier General but lately I've still seen references to him being a Col. yet.? Just curious.
                            http://www.alaskasgreatoutdoors.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bwhite
                              Thirty years or so ago, while at a NRA meeting, a well known whitetail hunter and nationally known writer, made a statement which has stuck with me all through the years. He prefaced it with the comment that he would be literally blackballed in the "hack" world for saying that "Most of the one minute of angle groups" were shot with a typewriter! He was sitting at the table with many of the "true" shooters of the time. Most of whom are gone now. I have kept this in mind throughout the decades since while reading magazine articles of all types.
                              That wouldn't surprise me! Well, anymore just being 1 MOA isn't such a big deal, but maybe a dumpster full of the sub .5 MOA guys could be so much baloney.

                              Dave

                              BTW, for those of you who truly can CONSISTANTLY get groups like that, my sincerest appologies and admiration!

                              Comment

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