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The 458 SOCOM has gained popularity in recent years and is a large round that was built to be shot from a modified AR-15 upper but a standard AR-15 lower.
The 458 SOCOM is a chunky round and the first time you lay your eyes on one in person you’ll be impressed.
The 458 SOCOM round is one of the newer rounds that we have written on. So let is jump into the overview.
Overview of 458 SOCOM
The 458 SOCOM cartridge was developed largely due to the lack of powder charge in the 5.56 NATO round.
After talks between special forces troops after Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu, they determined they needed a cartridge with more power because the Somalis they were fighting would chew Khat all day, which curbs appetite and increases pain tolerance making it seem like the 5.56 NATO round was more ineffective than it truly was.
In 2000 Marty ter Weeme completed the cartridge design and Tromix was contracted to build the first .458 SOCOM rifle and it was released in February 2001.
Why is it called 458 SOCOM?
458 SOCOM naming convention is quite simple. 458 refers to the bullet diameter of .458 inches. SOCOM comes from the special operations command who initially had the idea and desire to make the round.
The general purpose of developing the 458 SOCOM was to create a round that was completely compatible with the M4 Carbine but have more stopping power than the 5.56 NATO.
The 458 SOCOM in its final form is a lengthened .50 AE case. Even the original prototypes bore the .50 AE headstamp which caused confusion initially because the case is longer and has a narrower rim.
This cartridge is a great brush gun as well as a low-velocity home defense cartridge.
Most of the bullet weights range from 300 to 500 grain with several major manufacturers making factory ammo this is definitely a good contender for many situations.
The performance of this round really shines within 200 yards.
At 100 yards this round is traveling at 1512.2 ft per second with 1776.2 feet lbs on target, you’ve got to love those feet lbs on target if you’re an American.
Guns that Shoot 458 SOCOM Ammo
The 458 round was created to run in an M4 Carbine so nearly any M4 can run it but the upper will have to be specific for the 458 SOCOM.
The magazines and lowers are completely interchangeable with this cartridge.
You can see the full offering of 458 SOCOM on Guns.com.
CMMG Resolute in 458 SOCOM
The CMMG Resolute is one of the many AR-15 style rifles you can get chambered in 458 SOCOM.
The Resolute rifle is your standard AR-15 platform rifle but built for 458 SOCOM.
Palmetto State Armory often has them in stock.
Wilson Combat AR-15 Recon Rifle
If you are a big believer in brands then you’ll likely love Wilson Combat’s 458 offering in this caliber.
This gun is available in several different lengths and comes with some extra bells and whistles so the nearly $2,400 price point isn’t as hard to stomach.
You can typically find the Wilson Combat Recon Rifle on Brownells.
458 SOCOM Ammo Price and Availability
Availability is almost a cuss word now in the gun world as ammo manufacturers work tirelessly to catch up to consumer demand as people stockpile ammo and continue to want to train, hunt, and practice shooting.
As of this writing, you can typically find these rounds for $3.65 /round and they typically come in 20 round boxes. That’s a bit higher than other alternative AR-15 platform calibers such as 300 blackout.
Some of the major manufacturers making 458 SOCOM ammo are Buffalo Bore, Federal, and SBR Ammo.
Reloading 458 SOCOM
Many people who have adopted the 458 SOCOM round have also taken to reloading the round.
Most people will save and reload their own brass casings but you can also buy brass all over the internet. From used to brand new brass cases.
There are a ton of questions you can ask about 458 SOCOM where are a few of the most common questions we see on the cartridge.
What is the 458 SOCOM good for?
The 458 SOCOM is a very effective round for military application. It is extremely heavy and delivers an incredible amount of energy on target. It’s also extremely effective for large North American game animals such as elk or bears.
What was the 458 SOCOM made for?
It was made to update the M4 Carbine’s offering of only 5.56 NATO and to have more stopping power and energy on target.
All of the components are the same with the exception of the barrel and bolt.
Is 458 SOCOM a good hunting round?
As long as you are hunting larger game such as elk or bear the 458 SOCOM is a great round. With the size of the round and energy delivered on target you can but might not want to use it for medium game such as whitetail deer.
How accurate is 458 SOCOM?
Inside 100 yards people have seen groups of .75 inch. This round is considered accurate inside 200 yards.