The BiL gift finally came together last weekend when Oleg Volk gave me some of his stock of ,458 ammo (which apparently there is NONE in Middle TN) and I ran a function test on the animal. The final configuration was a Palmetto State lower and a Bear Creek Arsenal upper which was given a many fine review for what it cost. The bitch has been magazines, but mostly my stubbornness of trying to use Magpuls with dedicated followers. I was too trusty and ordered two from an online retailer who promised they would fit but didn’t without lot of file work. I ended up using GI mags but have troubles feeding reliably. I am gonna tweak the followers some more or simply eat the expense and buy a couple of truly dedicated (and expensive) 458 mags.
OK, long story short: I took the rifle and the ammo to Oleg’s range and shot several rounds testing the gun which went bang but with feeding issues from the mags. I segregated the one mag giving me crap and used the other one in controlled and aimed shooting some 60 yards to a steel silhouette. First shot rang and shook the target like Vulcan himself used his hammer on it. The second one simply took down the whole set up in spectacular way. With a mixture of elation and horror, I realized I frigging killed that steel apparently by shaking the spikes out of its base halfway out with the first shot and collapsed it with the second. I had a devil of the time trying to stand and keep the darn thing back up.
As for the recoil, as expected was bigger than with 5.56, but very controllable and not uncomfortable.
Later I checked the ballistics of the round and I am impressed: 300 grain Hornady hollow point at some 1,850 fps will most definitely make for a memorable and final impression on its target. But at over $2.60 per round of the good stuff, it makes for a non-plinking long gun.
Now I have the hankering of having my own .458 SOCOM, but I will hold till I get all the necessary stuff for reloading it. Plus, I am not experienced on bottleneck reloading and I want to make sure I know what I am doing. But before all that, I owe the missus an AR-base 9mm pistol and I don’t want her mad at me. And I am eyeing a 7-inch upper that weighs next to nothing and I want to see which part of my body I will need to trade for it.
I recall the words of Stephen Hunter about sticking an AR in the safe, lock it and before you realize it, it somehow managed to multiply.