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Old 04-27-2021, 02:52 PM
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Anyone Ever Take A PD With A .458? (Just Half Kidding)



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Long story, as are most of my misadventures, but in discussing the idiosyncrasies of the various Ruger No. 1 rimfire conversions with a fellow RFC member, I had occasion to take my Moyers-converted 1A Light Rifle out of the safe and fondle it for a while. Doing so caused me to realize it just wasn't for me, so I ended up selling it here on the TP.

But, while the .22 LR conversion never really spoke to me, the styling of the Ruger No. 1 Light Rifle really does, and so there was a considerable hole left in my heart when the Ruger went down the road. But, this time, I decided, it had to be a .22 Hornet in that gorgeous configuration. I drooled over the Lipsey limited-edition .22 Hornet with the red pad, color cased receiver/lever, and tasteful jeweling here and there, but the NOS one I was eyeing ended up bringing $2200 (). Not worth it, in my view, and, though the red pad and jeweling were nice, I thought I would probably prefer the polished blue receiver over the uninspiring faux cased-colors Ruger applied to that rifle. Too, the wood-to-metal fit on most recent No. 1s is just demoralizing, and there is the ever-present crap shoot on Ruger barrel quality. This is not so with some of the earlier models, so a search ensued.

I was shocked at the prices No. 1s are bringing these days, and the 1As, or any No. 1 with the red pad, seem to bring a considerable premium, usually bringing a least $1500, even in mundane chamberings…“maybe I don’t want a Ruger .22 Hornet,” I says to myself.

I continued searching, though, and found a 70’s era red-pad Tropical Rifle with great wood-to-metal fit, higher polished finish, very attractive wood, with all the sexiness of the 1As…but chambered for, you guessed it, .458 Winchester. The longer and heavier barrel also adds about two pounds over the 1A. Still, the bidding seemed slow and was hovering around the $900 mark, even an hour before the auction was scheduled to end. I added $25 to the highest bid, and, heck if I didn’t win that rifle for well under $1000.

The Dilemma:
Rebarreling with a quality Shilen would add another $200 or so to the rifle ($300 for a Lilja), making it a $1200 No. 1 in .22 Hornet (about right in my mind), figuring in a taller quarter rib, banded front sight ramp, and Hornet extractor, all of which are readily available, but the barrel channel in the requisite and matching Alexander Henry fore stock would be way too wide. Not ideal, but not insurmountable, either. Then, I spied some .500” diameter .224” centerfire barrel liners at Track of the Wolf, and the wheels started turning again. Installing and chambering the liner would be pretty simple, but then I would have a 9 lbs rifle. I doubt anyone would decry the loss of a .458 Winchester barrel, but could I live with that weight? I was even thinking of lining the barrel 2” short of the muzzle and leaving the wicked .458 maw in place. No rebluing needed, just shallowly machining the .458 Win Mag away and re-engraving.

I already have several very light, carry-around .22 Hornets, a wispy 218 Bee, a very elegant .17 AH, along with a similarly powered wildcat in a Sako L-46, so, maybe I’m not so against a 9 lbs .22 Hornet for shooting from a rest. Even with a scope, the rifle would weigh about what a loaded M1 rifle would weigh. And Landis always preached that a 9.5 to 10 lbs rifle is just about right for the woodchuck fields (I’m not sure I agree, but it helps with the rationalization process, right?)

So, I dunno. It will be a week or so before the behemoth arrives, and part of me wants to shoot it. I’ve made a couple of .460s, even a .500 Weatherby, several .378s, and I owned a .458 Lott briefly, but never a .458.

So, what think ye?

TBR
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Old 04-27-2021, 03:33 PM
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Make a few light cast bullet loads and try it out. I had a #3 in 45-70 a long time ago and made up some light loads along with the heavy ones. Huge difference in recoil and a lot of fun. 250-350 grains cast @ 800-1000 fps. The old 45-70 load was a 405 grain @ 1200 fps.
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Old 04-27-2021, 03:54 PM
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Anyone Ever Take A PD With A .458?

I think you might be a little under gunned.

Chuck40219
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Old 04-27-2021, 04:02 PM
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I have actually shot quite a few gophers, small version of a P Dog, with my left hand 460 Weatherby just for practice. Off of sticks out to 300 yards it is fun shooting and great practice. If you do much volume shooting get some 405 25 Brinell cast grain bullets used in the 45-70 and some 4895 or Trail Boss. Trail Boss works great for 150 yard or so loads, 4895 if you want to reach out farther. Makes great rounds that are much cheaper to load then full bore jacketed stuff. The trail boss loads have very little recoil so you can do a lot of shooting and not beat yourself up. Give it a try, you will love it.

Last edited by Dean2; 04-27-2021 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 04-27-2021, 04:55 PM
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I've done whistle pigs with a 375 ruger. Actually several years running. Got a steal on 1k 300 sgk, 40 rounds a day prone swear it made me walk funny. Do a lot of offhand practice on them with in now.

My main squirrel rifle is a 7mm rum on its third barrel.

I've shot them with a 4570, 500 Smith, 375, 300 rum, 7mm rum, 338 lapua, 358 sta, even lobbed a few 750 amaxs at them with a friends 50.....

Getting harder to find big enough alfalfa to hunt with the big guns, but it's fun to do.
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Old 04-27-2021, 05:17 PM
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Had a friend who shot a few PD's with a .458 WM, but it was hard to tell if he hit them or not because there wasn't much left of the PD or the mound he was standing on when the dust cleared...
Had a buddy save my life one day bear hunting when he shot a rattlesnake I couldn't hear just a few feet in front of me with his .375 H&H... dirt, grass, and rattlesnake parts rained down for quite a bit after that one...

Not sure a 10 lb Hornet sounds all that interesting, but if you are concerned about the barrel channel fit to put a more appropriate barrel on it, perhaps you could try to find a piece of wood that would match the butt and make up just a fore end piece to match. Then you could have a switch barrel from extreme ends of the spectrum....

Bob
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:00 PM
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Light loads; use a bullet with a similar BC to a 22LR and mimic the SV and that 458 will have the same trajectory as a 22LR SV but Waayyy more Thwack. Why go with a high speed needle like everyone else when you can use a slow moving brick?
Fwiw, I had a Siamese Mauser 45-70 conversion 'safari rifle' that was good for Ruger No.1 loads, but I wasnt! It was pretty sweet with 350gr. cast bullets and a full case to bullet base of Trailboss powder. I never got around to trying round ball loads in it....

Last edited by gcrank1; 04-27-2021 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:02 PM
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Uncle Ron Wisdom had a CZ chambered in .458 Lott. Detached retinas were an issue he mentioned.

Can't recall him mentioning shooting any critters though.

He thought is was great fun to load and cast for.
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Old 04-27-2021, 07:22 PM
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I've used a 45-70 with 425 grain cast at around 2000 FPS through a Browning 86 but the 22 Hornet is a better gopher killer. You should definitely play with the 458. Some times you don't know what you need or want until it lets you know.
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:00 PM
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Maybe make a sabot round for it ?

Maybe you could make a sabot round for it. And if it is successful, you could start a trend here. Commercially they are available in a few calibers, or were at one time.
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:31 PM
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TB,

I've happened to shoot a treerat or 3 with my Ruger #1 45-70. Not a lot left to eat afterwards, but weirdly satisfying.

Craig...
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Old 04-28-2021, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSc View Post

... if you are concerned about the barrel channel fit to put a more appropriate barrel on it, perhaps you could try to find a piece of wood that would match the butt and make up just a fore end piece to match. Then you could have a switch barrel from extreme ends of the spectrum....

Bob


TBR,

Knowing that you like heavy rifles about as much as I like the IRS, I doubt you would ever be satisfied with a 9+ pound Hornet. But if, as Bob suggests, you were willing to make a nice forearm for your rifle, mated to a light and accurate Hornet barrel, you could have the wispy #1 that would be right up your alley.

You did ask. . .


BRP

PS Many moons ago, I went out and killed a slew of prairie dogs with a .44 Magnum, on my 44th birthday. Rained them down on the prairie in a pink mist. Finding anything left was a real challenge! Several hand surgeries later, the big hand cannons don't get much use.
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Old 04-28-2021, 09:54 AM
TEDDY BEAR RAT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRidgeParson View Post


TBR,

Knowing that you like heavy rifles about as much as I like the IRS, I doubt you would ever be satisfied with a 9+ pound Hornet. But if, as Bob suggests, you were willing to make a nice forearm for your rifle, mated to a light and accurate Hornet barrel, you could have the wispy #1 that would be right up your alley.

You did ask. . .


BRP

PS Many moons ago, I went out and killed a slew of prairie dogs with a .44 Magnum, on my 44th birthday. Rained them down on the prairie in a pink mist. Finding anything left was a real challenge! Several hand surgeries later, the big hand cannons don't get much use.
Yes, I did ask, and I know in my heart this is absolutely true. Inletting a closely matching walnut tapered dowel in the barrel channel and then re-inletting the new narrower barrel is a relative piece of cake. That's probably what I'll end up doing. I already have the .22 Hornet extractor coming...I did hold off on the barrel liner, however, so I think my subconscious self is calling the shots here

TBR
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:20 AM
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I like 45 caliber anything, so; I maybe the wrong person to ask. The 458 Win is a very versatile round for loading. I purchased another 458 this winter for crazy low money. I sure did not need it. The estate wanted it gone. I decided to try something different with this one. But; if this nutty idea does not work out, little doubt, I will find another excuse to keep it.

I decided to try for a 45 cal varmint rifle. (Like cnelson? weirdly satisfying. ) I loaded Hornady 300gr hollow point bullets with 56gr RE for what should be pushing me over 2000 -2100fps. I could go 2300 if I want. Too fast and these bullets have been know to blow up in flight. I am curious to see what that load will do to woodchuck/racoon/porcupine size varmint. If they pass right through with little effect, perhaps borrow my friends coyote call. Or load up something heavier or go faster. The 458 can do it all. Initial accuracy not so great. That is the hobby. I am working it. As mentioned you can load cast bullets for much lower cost and replicate trapdoor loads on up. You could even try Blackhorn209, I guess- what the heck.

I am at a loss to see how dropping $1000 on a No1, to replace parts, forearm and rebarrel because and original is $1500? I dont see that. I dont think the No1 is a good choice for a Varmint rifle. You know about the Higgs accurizer? I have No1 in 45/70 and 450/400. Two of the least accurate rifles I own. Plenty good for practical considerations. Not my idea of ideal platform for any 22 cf. And a light barrel?

We agree on one point, the No1 is a class act. IMHO, prices of the used No1's have risen, I think, because; the current retail has gone way up.

Last edited by fourbore; 04-28-2021 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:04 PM
TEDDY BEAR RAT
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Quote:
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I like 45 caliber anything, so; I maybe the wrong person to ask. The 458 Win is a very versatile round for loading. I purchased another 458 this winter for crazy low money. I sure did not need it. The estate wanted it gone. I decided to try something different with this one. But; if this nutty idea does not work out, little doubt, I will find another excuse to keep it.

I decided to try for a 45 cal varmint rifle. (Like cnelson? weirdly satisfying. ) I loaded Hornady 300gr hollow point bullets with 56gr RE for what should be pushing me over 2000 -2100fps. I could go 2300 if I want. Too fast and these bullets have been know to blow up in flight. I am curious to see what that load will do to woodchuck/racoon/porcupine size varmint. If they pass right through with little effect, perhaps borrow my friends coyote call. Or load up something heavier or go faster. The 458 can do it all. Initial accuracy not so great. That is the hobby. I am working it. As mentioned you can load cast bullets for much lower cost and replicate trapdoor loads on up. You could even try Blackhorn209, I guess- what the heck.

I am at a loss to see how dropping $1000 on a No1, to replace parts, forearm and rebarrel because and original is $1500? I dont see that. I dont think the No1 is a good choice for a Varmint rifle. You know about the Higgs accurizer? I have No1 in 45/70 and 450/400. Two of the least accurate rifles I own. Plenty good for practical considerations. Not my idea of ideal platform for any 22 cf. And a light barrel?

We agree on one point, the No1 is a class act. IMHO, prices of the used No1's have risen, I think, because; the current retail has gone way up.
Maybe I wasn't very clear, but if I could have located a 1A Light Rifle in .22 Hornet for $1500, I would have bought that on the spot, but the only one even close was $2200, or more, since I don't know how high the first bidder would have been willing to go. What I was trying say is even nondescript No. 1s in common chamberings are bringing at least $1500; the Hornets typically bring much more.

We all know of the No. 1's sordid past regarding accuracy, but those are largely barrel quality issues, and then fore stock bedding issues, to a lesser degree, both of which would be remedied in this build. And we are talking about a .22 Hornet here...not really expecting 1/4", or even, 1/2" 100 yard groups. Like I said, I already have 4 or 5 mid-range walkaround varmint rifles. I just like the looks of No. 1 Light Rifles, and, if I am going to own one, I want it in a caliber I will enjoy. The 458 Tropical Rifle was just the cheapest way to get the components I needed to realize that. Any other caliber would have been at least $500 more for the donor rifle, and that still probably would not have given me the red pad, the Alexander Henry fore stock, and the better wood-to-metal fit, so I think $950 was a good deal.

Again, the dilemma was either preserving the Tropical barrel look, using an easy-to-install liner, or going full re-barrel for a Light Rifle configuration.

TBR

Last edited by TEDDY BEAR RAT; 04-28-2021 at 12:19 PM.
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