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458 Lott

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  • 458 Lott

    I ran onto a CZ safari in 458 Lott sitting in a gun rack in a small gun shop in south central Iowa. Turnes out someone put some money down and had the gun ordered but never showed up to get it. To make a long story short I ended up with the big CZ, Hornady dies and 100 rounds of Lott brass and the gunshop owner ended up with a pile of lesser stuff that I had accumulated over the years and we were both smiling when we parted ways.

    To be quite honest my experience with big bores is pretty much nill. I recently read an article by Garrett Bullet co. concerning velocity and penetration. The article states that a cetain 400 grain, .458 grain solid bullet traveling at 45-70 velocities(1600fps) will penetrate through 6 feet of wet newspaper while the same bullet in a 460 Wizzby traveling over a thousand fps faster had conciderably less penentration ( less than half if I remember right). I'm having a little trouble grasping that concept. Any thoughts about this penetration test and or opinions of the Lott cartridge in general would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Lotts of Penetration...


    Congrats on the new Lott. I have loaded for about 8 Lotts and like them, they are stoppers. They are capable of launching 500 grains at 2400 fps, maybe a little more. Or they can be loaded anywhere from 2100 to 2400 fps to fill any big bore need.

    Penetration......well velocity can increase penetration or decrease penetration. I don't know what the test was that Garrett did nor do I know what "solid" bullet he used. When dealing with hard cast bullets (hard to be defined I guess) I have found that there is a point in velocity where a cast bullet will begin to break up, or the edges of it crumble at impact. That velocity is about 1500 fps for a 300 grain .451 when fired into wet card board, and most animals. When the bullet begins to deface it causes it to veer off course or just deminishes penetration. Hand guns and hard cast bullets go so well together because this is their window. Often this combination will perform better than modern rifles. When the bullet is heavier, or larger in diameter, it will start to crumble at a lower velocity. This is based on a heat treated BHN 21 bullet. If the bullet is made of harder alloy but not heat treated to get the BHN number it will crumble and break up at much lower velocity. (such as high antimony content bullets) The standard, or actually the epitome of hard cast bullet performance, is the heat treated BHN 21 alloyed bullets by Bear Tooth and Cast Performance. By heat treatment we can make the bullet harder but not brittle.

    Now for solid, FMJ copper alloy over lead, this really is only slightly better because the bullet will rivet (deform at the nose) when impact velocity is over 1800 fps. (this based on 45 cal 500 grains) of course depending on what it hits. When using the various solids of copper or alloyed copper, your mileage may vary. The homogenous (actually marine bronze) solids are very tough and almost never rivet or break up from impact with animal bones at very high (above 2400 fps) impact velocity. A 500 grain impacting at 2400 fps is a bunch of energy to deal with and will destroy any lightly built bullet on even modest sized cape buffalo.

    Jack Lott came up with the 458 Lott because of the 458 Win problem with compressed loads of ball powder when winchester was trying to get the advertised velocity of 2100 fps from their new elephant gun. The powder would cake up when a little warm and most of the "powder cake" would exit the barrel as a 'clump' right behind the bullet but would usually go farther. Jack was tossed by a wounded buff after his shot failed to stop the old boy and he contributed that to the anemic factory load. I find Jack Lott one of the most interesting characters to have ever lived and I am glad we have the 458 Lott cartridge to remember him. He was a warrior for freedom in a cruel and unforgiving world. His life would make a great Clancy story.

    Enjoy the Lott and good shootin'.

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


    • #3
      I'm happy you found such a rifle. I am also a resident of iowa and i have been wanting to shoot a lott really badly. You'll have to post again after you take it to the range an let everyone know how it shot/recoil/ anything else interesting.
      I would save for one, but don't know if i could learn to handle the recoil. anyways, try it out for sure.


      • #4
        I've had two 458 Lotts, picked up one built on a model 1917 enfield at an Anchorage pawn shop, repaired the stock and loaded for it, sold it, then had a second one built. What's wonderful about the Lott is it can be downloaded to 45 colt pistol levels, any level of 45-70, 458 win mag and full patch lott levels. I beg to differ with Murphy about the velocity level with 500 gr loads, as I consider 2300 fps a reasonable max velocity, and 2350 pushing it, but achievable with longer barrels, 2400 IMHO is way too hot.

        For enjoyable shooting try starting around 76 gr of RL 7 with a 350 gr and work up to 2400-2500 fps, whatever shoots best in your gun. Recoil is on par with a 375 H&H, ie no big deal. Full patch 500 gr loads are an entirely different matter, they take your full and utter attention, and shooting sessions should be limited to the number of rounds you can fire, 10 shots for me with full patch 500's is my limit.

        As far as Garretts advertising, well if you're hunting trophy wet newsprint, maybe his stuff is the best there is. If you're hunting thick skinned dangerous game, you just might find that the old English formula of 500 gr @ 2150 fps or perhaps a tad more in a 45 caliber is smashingly succesful on game.

        So long as you handload the lott is a wonderfully shootable chambering. If you stick to full patch 500 gr fodder, you might find it brutishly powerful and not terribly pleasant to shoot. By all means shoot it standing with the 500 gr stuff, I've done it off the bench and do not recomend it.
        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.


        • #5
          A Lott more than a 458


          Feel free to disagree with me anytime, keeps me inline. And, if I may differ with your choice of powder for the Lott. RL-7 is great for the 45-70 and some 458 WM loads but a little fast for the larger capacity of the Lott.

          I have access to my data now. Two of these rifles were A Square Hannibal rifles with 23" barrels and that velocity with RL-12 is, 86.0 grs---2346 fps.
          87.0 grs---2404 fps and I note as Max. With H4895, 83.0 grs---2343 fps, and 85.0 grs---2396 fps and noted as Max. This was with a A square DT 500 gr soft point. With the 500 gr soft point Hornady and H4895 85.0 grs---2414 fps for a Max load and IMR 4064 84.0 grs ---2389 fps at Max.

          Also I have very similar velocity for the Ruger Rifle with it's 23" barrel. The 24" guns are about 20-30 fps higher. It does limit out at about 2400 fps. But you are right, it can be loaded at just about any level and RL-7 is good with 350 grain Speers at about 2300 fps with about 70.0 grs.

          RL-7 for the 500 gr Hornady SP is 72.0 grs---2210 fps and 74.0 grs--- 2254 fps and I listed this load as Max. IMR 3031 is about like RL-7 with pressure vs. velocity.

          I also spent some time with the 450 Ackley, owned a couple of these. It is a bit faster but not as versatile and of course we can't use the 458 WM ammo in it. The Lott is truly the best of the big 45's for a bolt gun.

          Recoil...well it is stimulating. The A Square rifles were weren't bad, they were heavy and had a very wide stock. ('coil check'), but a couple of others rechambered from 458 WM and were too light for the caliber. One more was a rechambered Browning FN Safari rifle, they have very good stock to begin with and this was portable and shootable. I wanted that one. I would also buy a Ruger Magnum rifle in the Lott. The big CZ is also very good. I do like the 458 Lott. I think I would load it with good 500 grain soft points and H4895 powder to about 2300 fps at the muzzle and hunt with iron sights or a scout mounted scope, with a 75 yard zero. It will take a back seat to no other shoulder arm in a portable package. A serious fight stopper. Good shootin'.

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


          • #6
            Murphy have you ever read Veral Smith's book on Shooting Cast Bullets at Jacketed Bullet Velocities? Veral is the person who designed the LBT moulds that Beartooth Bullets and Cast Performance Bullets use too make their bullets. Very good reading material as far as it comes too shooting hard cast bullets.


            • #7
              Oops! I'll try again

              Ok! the previous post has some errors. Rather than try to edit I'll do this.

              The 500 gr A Square DT bullet is 465 grains, not 500 grains. Other than that everything is ok, powder charge etc. All the loads are with CCI-250 primers. And the 500 Hornady loads are all in 24" barrelled guns. So maybe paul was more right than I thought. Sorry, Paul.


              No I haven't read his book. I'd like to find a copy. I know who he is of course and have read some of his LBT writings and am convinced he is right. I realize that cast are very good in both rifle and pistol. I've shot a lot of the CP and BT bullets and bullets from various Smith LBT molds. Do you know where I can find his book?

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


              • #8
                Paul isnt just talking. I bought his first Lott off him. I used his loading data and ran it through the chrony myself. I had a kevlar stock made for it since the cheap enfield (birch or something like) disenegrated on me. the rifle weighed around 7 1/2 lbs. I had a recoil reducer installed. it would knock some fillings loose LOL. RE-7 works.

                Kicking my self for selling it, it wasnt the prettiest but it would shoot.


                • #9
                  16 1/2" .458 Lott Carbine

                  As some of you may know (from my previous postings on the ol' forum format) I think an obvious winning aspect of hunting with the .458 LOTT is when Game breaks over the 1000 pound mark at ranges 150 yards and in. Therefore I feel it is a full patcher 500 grain shooter, and it should be super handy. If down-loading... in my practice - just use a .375 H&H., .338 Mag, or some .30 cal., 7 mag etc. rifle for hunting instead.

                  Over the Chrony... I get 2243-2269 fps with Hornady factory 500 grain loads from my 16.5" Hard-chrome Heavy contour bbl. custom Rem 700 Safari. Recoil is stout, tho' not too bad on the shoulder after a box -- it hurts the pocket book... then a few hours after a box or two, you actually feel a difffference in your back teeth! It's the "only" rifle and chambering in my collection that I get the noticable sensations to the back teeth!!! It is also the only rifle where one fella turned a "winter cold" Past recoil shoulder pad into broken Rice Chex, or akin to the contents from a game of asteroids, and I personallly bent my Benchmaster shooter's rest.

                  As an all-arounder - the LOTT is not! The LOTT is a noticeable stopper!

                  Brian Richardson


                  • #10
                    .350 RM or Lott

                    Hi EKC,

                    congratulations on the find! I'd love to get a deal on a Lott. Can't decide on CZ 550, Ruger Magnum Rifle, or Ruger #1 (kinda nostalgic) though.

                    Back on the 14th, you started a thread about the .350 Rem mag model 77. I suppose being handier and stainless, that one will still be the go to "big critter" gun. I was wondering if you might have changed your mind now with the really big iron?

                    I'm waiting to see if next week you come across a .500 Nitro Express! ;-)



                    • #11
                      The Lott is an amazing round and remember it does not always have to be loaded to its max. The previous posters made some great points.
                      I can not think of any other large bore 45 caliber that is an cheap to play with. Hornady brass is dirt cheap compared to other rounds and reloading dies are off the shelf. Plus it has the ability to chamber and fire standard 458 WM rounds.
                      The next time I head off on a brown bear hunt I will have mine loaded with Swifts 400 grain bullets at about 2,400fps. I think the 500's are better utilized in Africa on the big stuff.


                      • #12
                        500 Nitro?

                        Not interested in a 500 Nitro.

                        The 350 Rem mag will be my big stuff gun. I am still waiting for brass and dies for that gun. I stuck a Nikon Monarch 2-7 scope on it and it fits me like a glove.

                        I also recently purchased a 325 WSM in a Kimber. This might stir the pot a little but I like the Ruger better than the Kimber. The Kimber doesn't fit me quite straight stocked or something. From what I'm finding out the 325 isn't quite living up to the lable that it was originally given. The original hype from the now defunct Winchester folk claimed it was on par with the 338 mag. Its closer to the stiff loaded 8x57 than the 338. I already have a couple of the sporterized 8x57's. The WSM with a 200 grain bullet out does the 8x57 by 100ft/sec. Whoopy poop! Thats not a put down on the 8x57 either as it is one of my favorite rounds. I just expected more from the 325 than I'm getting.

                        I am probably like a lot of you in that for every 10 guns I drag home only one stays forever. I can tell you now that the 350 mag stays. I have pondered one of them since the first time they were around. I can't say for sure about the Kimber 325WSM. I already have a buddy buggin me about it. He could very well end up with it. Who knows. I might add that I am pretty careful about what I pay for a gun. I have bought or horse traded for guns that didn't really trip my trigger but they were something that I hadn't owned before and the price was right. The Kimber was one of those. I have $900 tied up in it so in the worst case senerio I pass a good deal on to someone else and learn something in the process.

                        The new hasn't worn off the Lott yet so I hesitate to speculate about it. I plan on finding out what recoil that you can feel in your back teeth is all about. I CAN"T WAIT!


                        • #13
                          350 Rem and 458 Lott

                          Lots of great advice from the guys that Lott is the Biggest and Baddest dog on the block when it comes to stopping a fight I had mine exactly one month before a doctor friend of mine just had to have it to go to Africa with and he loves it and I love the money he gave me for it.I'm a pretty good size old fat man but I don't mind telling you that **** Lott hurt me more than a 460 weatherby and I sold it too now on the other hand my two 350 mags are just plain fun both Remingtons a 660 and a 700 and I sure would like to get my hands on a Ruger like yours to try I have always liked Rugers and had good luck with them.Both of my guns will shoot 180 grain up to 250 grain bullets really well.I still have 4 boxes of the Remington 250 grain corelokts dad bought for the 660 in Anchorage right after the 660s came out and they are accurate the 200 grain corelokts never shot worth a hoot in my rifles either wish remington had kept the 250 loading instead of the 200 but they didn't.Let me know how your Ruger shoots when you get all your reloading stuff in and if I can be of any help to you just give me a holler.Good shooting Ronnie


                          • #14
                            458 Lott

                            My hunting partner and I whacked to Cape Buffalo with Lotts last year. Mary used the Ruger with 500 Barnes Banded Solids and 500 bonded Hornady's. I choose 450 TSX and Banded Solids. Expect no more than a solid 2300 fps for 500 out of a Lott. Taking apart factory rounds showed a ball powder with 79 grains of powder average. I loaded Mary's with Varget, which is considered a good powder for heavy bullet 458 and Lotts. Velocity was 2200. Yes, Varget is not heat sensitive, but point of inpact was indentical for softs and solids. I pulled 2400 for the TSX and 2450 with the Banded (bore riding) solids using Benchmark. My CZ likes 83 grains of it....BUT DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT START with that load. It is pushing 6000 pound-feet. The Lott is everything the 458 Win should have been 50 years ago this year. In working up the rifle for Zim I shattered two stocks (and untold brain cells). Not to worry... if I was brain dead I would be pushing gun control.


                            • #15
                              Murph, your speeds make much more sense with 465's. I wasn't trying to call bs, just wanted the original poster to not try and hotrod the Lott. Several folks have. One important note is there are definately differences in the chambers of the various guns out there. My first Lott had a very generous chamber, and a looong throat. My latest one has a very tight chamber. So loads that work well in one gun, may be way too hot in others. Also much of the original data was worked up without the aid of pressure testing.

                              RL-7 is a great 350 gr powder, should also be good for 400's, but it's too fast for anything heavier. I've used RL-15 and Varget with good results with 500 gr, other than the loads have to be compressed. Even though it looks like a monstrous case, it's hard to get enough of the proper burn rate powder under a 500 gr bullet.

                              It's definately the most practical big bore round. I also have a 500 Jeffrey, and that's a massive increase in cost for brass, dies and componet bullets, and also all of them are harder to come by.
                              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.


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