458 Lott Ammunition
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History of .458 Lott Ammunition
Ammunition designs can come from many different inspirations, sometimes the idea that a cartridge can be "just a little more accurate" or have "a little more power" can be the motivation for a leap forward in cartridge design. The .458 Lott was inspired by a near death encounter by gun writer Jacques "Jack" Lott while hunting Cape Buffalo in Africa. Lott was using a .458 Winchester Magnum that did not stop a buffalo before it injured him, thus starting Lott on his quest for a more suitable dangerous game cartridge.
After searching the hunting cartridges available at the time, Lott found that most every other cartridge on the marked did not rise to the power levels he required. With necessity being the mother of invention, in 1971 the first .458 Lott cartridge was produced. When comparing the performance of the .458 Lott, to the .458 Winchester Magnum, there isn't a huge increase in velocity, but due to the weight of the bullets, the energy increase is very respectable.
The .458 Winchester Magnum will generate about 2100 feet per second at the muzzle with a 500 grain bullet, the .458 Lott will push the same bullet at 2300 feet per second. Although not a huge difference in velocity, this will give a great increase in foot pounds of energy. The .458 Win Mag has 5084 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle while the .458 Lott registers an almost 800 foot pound increase with a muzzle energy of 5873 foot pounds.
Today the .458 Lott will most commonly be found in pursuit of dangerous African game, but it would also perform admirably on North American game such as: large bears, elk, moose and bison. .458 Lott ammo is produced by several manufacturers, to include: Hornady, Federal and Double Tap to name a few. The most common bullet weight is 500 grains, however, bullets ranging from 350 to 550 grains can be found in commercial production.
The .458 Lott is not likely to gain a large following in North American hunting circles, it is a heavy recoiling, expensive and carries much more power than is really needed for the type of game found here. However, if you are going to hunt Cape Buffalo, Elephant or any large and dangerous game, the .458 Lott is worth a close look.
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