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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 7/15/2008 7:07:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/15/2008 7:18:24 PM EST by Rabon]
I have a lot of LIL Gun on hand, is this a good powder in the 458 SoCom with bullets in the 400 Gr area. It may sound stupid to buy an upper because I have a lot of powder I need to use up but trust me , I have done much dumber stuff all ready.
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 7:33:14 PM EST
Since the 458 SOCOM forums are down anyway let's start the discussion here.

1. What are the best powders for the 458S,or maybe better, what are the pros and cons of each?

2. What are the best bullets in each weight class, 300, 350, 400, etc. for the 458S?

Link Posted: 7/15/2008 7:36:06 PM EST

Sounds like a good reason to buy a new toy. Lil'Gun will work, but can be a little tricky. By this I mean it seems to be a little less forgiving than say H110 or W296. But, the folks are using it, successfully. I have been sending out all of the reloading data files that I have compiled (a lot of requests to date), and there is some Lil'Gun data. If I have not sent them to you, drop me an e-mail and I will do so.

Link Posted: 7/15/2008 7:53:46 PM EST
I just sent you an email. I don't know if it made it, I am very computer challenged.
My email is
Thanks Teryl
Link Posted: 7/15/2008 7:55:40 PM EST
Boy Green, talk about a large task.

As to the powders, most of the usual powder quirks apply. H110/W296 likes mag primers in cold weather. The Hogdon short cut powders (Extreme line) are marketed as temperature insensitive and easy to meter. Not sure about the temp part, but they do meter well. The Socom does seem to respond to faster/slower powder and barrel length pretty well. My 20" barrel will give more velocity than published 16" loads, duplicated. I like H4198 as it is a bit slower than many of the powder the folks are using, but I can offset that a bit with my 20" barrel. As to powders in general, there are quite a few that work very well. Some other folks will have to add to this, as I have not worked with more than 5 or 6 powders.

As to the bullets, that one is even tougher to answer. One point that is not debatable is that there are 45-70 class bullets out there and 458 WinMag class bullets that will work well as to handloading. the issue is to match the bullet to the target. Critter loads need to be selected properly. Paper, steel, rocks (not to be confused with paper, scissors and rocks), or plinking pretty much any will work. I have not worked with bullets heavier than 400 grains, but everything that I have used so far have loads that will group very well. The one caveat here is that I have had pretty poor luck with the Laser Cast 400 grain fpbb bullets. I have only played with one powder type, but these were making patterns a couple of weeks ago. Cast prformance bullets work much better for me.

Personally, I am using 300 grain Partition PP bullets for hunting, and Remmington bulk for plinking. Although the bulk Remy's will work on critters. I am also whittling down my stash of various bullets that were purchased for my Guide Gun in 45-70, mostly 300 and 400 grain bullets. All are working well for plinking loads. I plan on working up loads with the newer TSX, but that is not on the front burner right now.

Ok, is this a start?

Link Posted: 7/15/2008 7:57:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Rabon:
I just sent you an email. I don't know if it made it, I am very computer challenged.
My email is
Thanks Teryl


Just got your e-mail, and sent the files. If you do not get them, let me know. Sometimes spam filters will nab these replies with attachments.

Link Posted: 7/15/2008 9:13:52 PM EST
I load all mine with Reloder7 and its great! Love it! Can use it on everything from supersonic to subsonic loads!

Link Posted: 7/15/2008 11:44:28 PM EST
I have used RL7 exclusively up until now
Having a 10" barrel and my own copy of quickload (which hopefully I will learn how to use soon) I think I am going to try some new combos
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 4:53:12 AM EST
I just put some 500gr Hornady loads together with VV N120. I haven't been able to get out to chrono them yet.

According to Quickload they should work pretty well through my 10.5" upper.
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 8:52:59 AM EST
I've been shooting the hornady 500gr fmj bullets, remington 405gr jsp bullets, and remington 300gr jhp bullets all loaded with Reloder-7 out of a 16" barrel. Everything is working great.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 8:12:50 PM EST
Concerning Barnes TSX bullets, I've found a good buy on boxes of 50 of the 300 grain flat base, are these good for the 458 SOCOM? Any issues I should know about? Are any of these TSX better for the 458 SOCOM than others, and are they all capable for hunting big boars, big whitetails, and black bear?

Lil Gun, the initial info I saw looked like it would workup loads with less pressure than any of the other common powders used with 458 SOCOM and used large pistol primers rather than the LP Magnums. Is this true? Are there any downsides to Lil Gun in the 458 SOCOM?

Which powder typically provides the highest velocity in the 458S without pressure problems or compressed loads with the 300 grain bullets?

Is WW296 out of production? I know that WW has dropped a number of powders, anyone know which ones?
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 1:10:07 PM EST

The critical thing to bear in mind when hunting with any Barnes bullet (probably true for any maker) is to find out the lower threshold for expansion (minimum velocity). This number will give a rough approximation of where you might expect the bullet to start behaving like a fmj, with no expansion. I have not checked the numbers from Barnes with the newer TSX, but I might expect it to be similar to the old, with a 1600 fps lower threshold. I think the numbers may be on Barnes' website. Plug the numbers in a ballistic calculator, and this will give a theoretical max range for the bullet to be useful, if you want expansion.

I would not worry so much about trying to look at the numbers to decide which primer will give the highest velocity. You really do need to test, and you really should start your load workup process over, when switching primers. I have read from enough sources, and confirmed in my own testing that different primers will yield different results, with predictions likely not to match perfectly. I guess the one caveat here is that historically, it is recommeded to use magnum primers with H110 and W296 in cold weather applications. I have not confirmed that this is necessary with the 458S, but I use them for all of my powder choices in the 458S, just to keep things simple.

LilGun is indeed a good choice for the 458S, but I can not say that it is necessarilly better than all of the others. One thing that I would recommend is trying 296/110 as your first choice, as the cartridge was designed around this powder. Others work well, and would likely serve well as a starting point. There is quite a bit of useable data out there confirming this. I just find that H110/296 to very reliable and forgiving for the 458S. No wierd pressure spikes or such. Just start at the reduced level, start increasing, watching for pressure signs and velocity. Stop when you find an accurate load, hit a targeted velocity, or think you may be over the line.

Link Posted: 7/18/2008 8:28:28 PM EST
W296 is my powder of choice for 300 & 405 gr. bullets. (Rem. Bulk)
I gave Lil Gun a try, but got shoddy accuracy at 100 yds.
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 7:35:30 PM EST
So W296 or H110 with LP Mag primers is the best to start working a load? Has WW quit making 296?

So the problem with Lil Gun is inconsistency? Is this at certain pressure levels, velocities, or just overall?

Could not find anything about minimum expansion velocity, but this is from the Barnes FAQ:

Do TSX Bullets always expand on game?
Because our TSX Bullets are solid copper and have a specially engineered nose cavity, it is nearly impossible for them not to expand. The cavity opens up as soon as hydraulic pressure is applied to the nose cavity. Once the bullet strikes flesh, it immediately opens, creating four razor-sharp petals that slice through tissue. Ballistic tests in gelatin show good bullet expansion within the first inch of penetration.

Are there any ballistic tip 458 bullets out there except for the Barnes MRX?
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 8:07:49 AM EST
The thing to keep in mind is that the majority of the barnes tsx bullets in .458 were designed for the .458 win mag which can fly from 1800fps to 2500fps with some hot loads. You can tell these bullets apart from the ones intended for the .45-70 which flies from around 1400fps-2100fps max in that the win mag designed TSX bullets have spire points and perform better in that +2000fps neighborhood while the .45-70 bullets like the barnes originals JSP and JHP do their best in the 1400-1800fps range. However I hear barnes is working on some new bullet configurations for the .458 socom...
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:09:03 AM EST
OK Guys I am locked into the 458 S, I have an Upper en route. I have a lot of 400 Gr. Performance Cast Bullets WLNGC I use in my 45-70s, the crimping groove is .5500 off bottom of gas check, is this bullet going to work in the 458 S ? Does the 458 S use a roll crimp ?
In the past I have used a 400 Gr. Speer FP in the 45-70s and it worked well, is the crimping groove in this bullet where it needs to be for the 458S?
I was somewhat tickeled to find H110/W296 work well in the 458 S as I am a Revolver guy and have lots of 296 as well as Lil Gun.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 9:56:36 AM EST

I have used the 400 grain Cast Performance bullet, and I am able to crimp in the groove. You will never want to use any type of roll crimp with the 458S. It will likely ruin any chance od the round chambering properly. With my cast loads I apply a little taper crimp. Not excessive, but enough to ensure that the case mouth bears a little on the top of the crimp groove, to make sure I do not get bullet set-back when feeding. The Speer bullet should work in the crimp groove. I have played with other Speer weights that did so. Please bear in mind that a crimp in the 458S is not mandatory. Likely it will only wreck accuracy.

The critical component of the crimp theory in the 458S is whether the bullet sets back in feeding. Revolver crimps are designed to keep the rounds from creeping forward in the cylinder under recoil. No issues here with the 458S. Just feeding setback that likley will not jappen. Make sure the neck tension on sized brass is good, do not excessively flare the case for seating, and likely toy will be good to go. Just need to test some dummy rounds for feeding setback, and go from there. I only really crimp my lead loads, as the noses (meplat) are so darn big I want a little insurance.


I say try the H110/296 load as it is very easy to work with. Then, once you have the reloading down, and want to try others, go for it. Again, I am not saying H110/296 is the only way to start, just reasonably fool proof.

I am not sure what to make of the Barnes info. If it were me I would 1)call Barnes and ask to talk to a tech, and 2) do a little penetration testing on newsprint or something. Even if you have to download a bit to get slower velocity for up close testing. I would say categorically if Barnes says the bullet is designed for 45-70 use, then I would likely not worry much about the expansion. If they say 458WM, then I would certainly test, no matter what they say.

The only 45-70 spire point that I am aware of is the Hornady LeverRevolution bullet. But, I do not think it is available as a component yet (perhaps never). One bullet that I had really good results with as far as accuracy is the Barnes original. It is technically a spire point with lead tip. I never tested to see if it would open at 458S velocities, as I only had a couple of boxes, and only got as far as velocity accuracy testing. They only run these bullets a finite number of times a year, and they can be hard to find, sometimes. Might be worth a look if you can find them, and want to test.

I have not heard that W296 is discontinued. I would find that to be very surprising, as it is a very popular powder.

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