.458 SOCOM

Why This is Ideal for Big Game Hunting
This round is an ideal choice for taking on big game and even for grizzly defence. While AR-15s are often thought of as the sole reserve of deer and varmint, this post will show you why you may want to reconsider that stance…
This round (11.6x40mm) is a fairly large round that is that can be on a properly widened ejection port on the upper receiver, and still be mounted on a standard AR-15 lower receivers. This round is similar to a .45-70 in that it has a muzzle velocity of up to 1,900ft/s and 2,405 ft:lbs. However, it uses smaller cases, which are better suited to the semiautomatic action for which it is intended.
Quickly, the AR-15 platform has become a very popular choice for American hunters. And with these larger rounds, it’s possible to upgrade this from a device used mainly for deer and varmint to one that can actually be used for dangerous game. So the question is, should you consider this combo next time you head out with bigger game in mind? Let’s take a look.
The Birth
The AR-15 was originally designed for the rather small .224/5.6mm and thus it is generally not thought of as a weapon for hunting serious, dangerous game. You wouldn’t want to face off against an angry boar with such small rounds for example, would you?
But with this round, you have another option: a surprisingly powerful type of ammo designed for killing in far fewer shots. When we take a look at the history of the this round, it’s easy to see why it offers that more powerful alternative and how it came to be.
This ammo was created due to the lack of firepower with the 5.56. The military complained that it took multiple shots to neutralize enemies. Thus this round was born, following informal discussions of members of the special operations command. The Task Force Rangers expressed that multiple shots were often required to neutralize enemy combatants during Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu and this gave rise to a more powerful round.
Marty ter Weeme of Teppo Jutsu designed the cartridge itself in 2000. Tony Rumore from Tromix meanwhile was commissioned to build the first rifle capable of firing the round in February of 221. He was also the very first person to fire the ammo, which he did in the Tromix Shop in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
SOCOM stands for Special Operations Command.
The design of the this round was set out to meet a number of specific requirements. For example, it was important that the cartridge be able to fit the M4 carbine platform and magazines would also need to be capable of firing a much heavier projectile at high speeds (subsonic velocity) while using suppressors.
In fact, the many requirements of the round meant that many other cartridges were rejected by the project sponsor for failure to comply. The finished round is fully compatible with the M4 platform, including the magazine, the buffer spring, the G1 magazine, the buffer and more. The large size single stack rounds are actually the most cost effective and versatile big bore offering for any AR-15 platform.
A standard 20-round 5.56mm magazine is able to hold seven rounds of the SOCOM and a standard 30 round 5.56mm magazine can hold ten rounds.
This round is not a SAAMI standard round as of yet and thus brass for hand loading is only produced by Starline and a few others.
For Big Game Hunting
Is this round really good for hunting big game? The short answer is yes. With an AR-15, loaded with this round, you have a weapon that’s capable of delivering a full magazine of instant-follow-up semi-auto fire with heavy-bullets. That’s some serious firepower right there and it’s something that the serious AR cartridges offer very well.
At the moment, this round is not all that well known outside of the hardcore community of AR enthusiasts. Nevertheless, it has been around a while as we have already seen and has the advantage of requiring zero modification for your AR-15 lower receivers. The design is actually similar to an uncut pre-production shape of the .50 action express case and is then bottlenecked into a .458 caliber. This is a reflection of Weeme’s belief that bottleneck cases feed more reliably when used in semiautomatic firearms versus straight-wall cases. This round is 1.575 inches long and it will work fine with custom bolt-action manufacture thanks to a rim diameter similar to a .308 Winchester dimensions. The round can fire a 300-grain bullet roughly 2,000fps from a 16’’ carbine barrel, even at low 35,000psi pressure. Overall, it’s a very well performing round that is also very comfortable and controllable even when fired rapidly.
And all this makes for a weapon that is highly formidable even against large boar. One of these, well placed, will generally floor any big game in a single shot very quickly. In fat, it’s probably the best full-magazine load to put in an AR-15 if you’re facing a large, angry and wounded boar.
And yes, that means that this ammo is more potent that the .50 Beowulf and .450 Bushmaster as well.
All in all, if you’re looking for something big and powerful to take out on your next hunting trip, you can’t go wrong with the .458 SOCOM. It’s fast, it’s powerful and it’s big enough to take down large game. It’s also got a great story behind it and all in all, it’s a fantastic game stopper. It’s time to stop thinking ARs as only being good for hunting small animals. With this round loaded up, you’ll have no problem taking down boars, bears and more – and once you try this, the benefits of using and auto-loader will very quickly become apparent. It’s like shooting with a .375 H&H calibre but with a much faster rate.
The SOCOM round with an AR-15 is the perfect combo for taking down big game.