Cartridge history::.460 Weatherby Magnum


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Cartridge history Roy Weatherby had expected that the .378 Weatherby Magnum to make some headway in the African continent but believed that his cartridge was being bypassed for low velocity, big bore cartridges by professional hunters whom he felt were resistant to change. Furthermore, new regulations prohibiting the hunting of heavy, thick skinned, dangerous game with sub-.40 caliber (10.16 mm) cartridges were being enacted in some African countries. These regulations would essentially ban the use of all previous Weatherby cartridges for the hunting of elephant, African Cape buffalo and rhinoceros.<ref name="WeatherbyBook">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

In response to these factors, Roy Weatherby believed that it was necessary to provide hunters a Weatherby cartridge that could be used to hunt African dangerous game in the countries which had legislated against hunting with sub-.40 caliber rifles. He accomplished this by necking up the .378 Weatherby Magnum case to accept a .458 caliber bullet. He named the new cartridge the .460 Weatherby Magnum. The first rifles for the .460 Weatherby Magnum were built on Brevex Magnum Mauser action.<ref name="WeatherbyBook"/>

However, Roy Weatherby was not the first cartridge designer to neck up the .378 Weatherby Magnum to .45 caliber (11.6 mm). That distinction belongs to John Buhmiller, a gunsmith and hunter from Montana. Buhmiller named his cartridge the .45 Weatherby. He had success with the cartridge in Africa shooting Cape buffalo and rogue elephants in 1956, a year before Roy Weatherby began work on his own .45-caliber cartridge.<ref name="nioa"/>

Norma Precision of Sweden was the first and only manufacturer of .460 Weatherby Magnum cases and ammunition which carried the Weatherby name and has done so under contract from Weatherby. During Weatherby’s partnership with J.P. Sauer/Dynamite-Nobel, production at Norma ceased and shifted to RWS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dynamite-Nobel. However, RWS did not tool up in time to produce the .460 Weatherby Magnum cartridge and in the end only produced substandard .300 Weatherby ammunition before production once again moved to Norma.<ref name="WeatherbyBook"/>

DuPont at one time shipped DuPont No. 4350 powder to Norma Projektilfabrik for the reloading of Weatherby ammunition. But some time later Norma was able to source a powder with similar burn characteristics locally which was used instead of DuPont's IMR 4350.<ref name="WeatherbyBook"/> Norma would later purchase the company and rename the powder Norma 204.

.460 Weatherby Magnum sections
Intro  Cartridge history  Design & specifications  Performance  Sporting usage   Rifles & ammunition   Accessories  Handloading  Criticism  Parent cartridge  See also  References  Footnotes  

Cartridge history
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