This morning I loaded a batch of test rounds for both the 458 Winchester Magnum and for the 7×57.
The 500 grain Nosler Partition I loaded over 73.0 grains of AR2208 (known as Varget in the USA) and a couple at the maximum recommended loading of 74.0 grains using new Norma cases and Winchester magnum primers.
I have had my 458 Win Mag for over twenty years and have fired over a thousand rounds through it. Over that time I have always used 500 grain projectiles and loadings of 73.0 or 74.0 grains of AR2208. I have tried Speer, Woodleigh and Hornady projectiles in both soft and solid. Over the chrony these loads gave velocities from the low to the high 2100s, which is exactly where they should be.
I never kept count of the buffalo I shot while living in the Northern Territory and in my diary I typically would only mention that “I shot some big bulls today”. Looking back over the last twenty odd years I guess I must have shot a few hundred personally and officiated at the demise of quite a few other hunters’ buffalo.
Buffalo have massive bone structure and I have seen soft points struggle to maintain weight and penetrate at times, particularly on close up shots in scrub, where you do not always have the luxury of waiting for the ideal shot placement opportunity. For many years I used solids when in thick bush and left the soft points for the longer, open country shots.
Having been quite impressed with Nosler Partition performance in smaller calibres I am expecting a lot from these 500 grainers – ideally a bullet suitable for both close up in the scrub and the open plains. We will test that later this year when I return to the NT to participate in a foot cull in heavy country.
I have previously loaded the 140 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips in my 7×57 and used 43.0 grains of AR2208. I have loaded a few 140 grain Partitions with that and will test those on Wednesday.
Both my rifles are the very strong Ruger No 1 actions.
The southerly wind has left us and been replaced by a gusty easterly wind which has resulted in warmer weather and increased humidity. As a result we are having some typical tablelands weather – light, misty showers and intermittent sunshine. About an hour ago the resident flock of whistling ducks, about 3 to 4,000 birds I would guess, was making a big racket which got my attention. So I switched my Nikon D90 to video mode and caught a little video of that to show what I so often write about.