Skip to main content Skip to main content
Advertisement

.458 Winchester Magnum History: The Complete Story

Introduced in 1956, the .458 Winchester Magnum is still one of the best dangerous-game cartridges in the world. Here's the complete story and some history behind the big-bore rifle cartridge.

.458 Winchester Magnum History: The Complete Story

Introduced in 1956, the .458 Win. Mag. (right) is a direct descendant of the .450 Nitro Express 3 1⁄4 inch (left) and the .450 Watts. (center). 

The .458 Winchester Magnum is a fairly modern cartridge, but its story begins back in 1898. That’s when John Rigby, an Englishman famous for building high-quality double-barrel rifles, loaded the case of the old .450 Black Powder Express with 70.0 grains of a then-new high-nitroglycerine-content smokeless propellant called cordite and renamed it the .450 Nitro Express 3¼ inches. Advertised velocity for three styles of 0.458-inch bullets weighing 480 grains was 2,175 fps, but since they were from 28-inch pressure barrels and mixed with a pinch of exaggeration, actual velocity from the 26-inch barrels of double rifles usually ranged from 2,025 to 2,075 fps. Cordite had a...

Continue Reading

Recommended Articles

Advertisement

Get the Newsletter. Get it all.

Subscribe today and get the latest reviews, tips, recipes and more.

Sign Me Up