Wilson Combat .458 SOCOM Rifle

wilson combat 458 socom

Wilson Combat recently announced a reintroduction of the .458 SOCOM to the company’s rifle line. Currently, the company is offering several different models chambered for the cartridge. Here is a look at three of them:

  • Rifle456 – This rifle has a 14.7″ barrel with a 1:22″ twist. It uses a mid-length gas system with a low profile block, and comes with the company’s TRIM rail. A Rogers Super-Stoc and single stage trigger are standard. Folding sights are included. The MSRP is $2,844.95.
  • Rifle471 – According to Wilson Combat, this is the shortest possible AR for suppressed use that is not an NFA rifle. It has a 14.7″ barrel with a permanently attached Rapid Thread muzzle brake. Both the brake and the 14″ rail are designed to seamlessly work with the company’s Whisper suppressor. The MSRP is $2,605.00.
  • Rifle394 – A version of the Recon Tactical, this rifle uses a 16″ stainless steel barrel with a 1:14″ twist. The bolt carrier group is NP3 coated and the upper and lower has a Mil-Spec hard coat anodized finish. Wilson Combat uses a four pound, single stage trigger and adjustable stock on this gun, plus also includes quick detach sights. The MSRP is $2,814.95.

Popular with many AR shooters, the .458 SOCOM is said to offer ballistics similar to the venerable .45-70 Govt cartridge while still using standard AR magazines. For example, Wilson Combat loads a round with the Barnes 300 grain TAC TX bullet to 1,800 fps. Some might call that a thumper. For comparison, Winchester’s .45-70 Super-X 300 grain HP is rated at 1,880 fps.


Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Anonymoose

    1:22 seems like a really slow twist.

    • That was a fairly common rate of twist for the .45-70.

      • Anonymoose

        That may be fine for 300s and 405s, but is that good enough for a 500-600gr bullets?

        • That’s an excellent question. Baffle strikes with subsonic loads could be ugly.

  • LG

    According to the 458 SOCOM forum, Wilson Combat does NOT use proprietary reamers from Teppo Jutsu. They apparently use a reverse engineered reamer rather than pay Teppo Jutsu for use of his intellectual property. Rock River Arms, Tromix, and a few others respect intellectual rights and use reamers with proven, correct specifications from the man who developed the 458 SOCOM round. There are those who have chambers not from original Teppo Jutsu reamers that have difficulty with loads and function related to the published load data and specifications.

    • Brocus

      sounds like it’s best to just use another caliber altogether

      • zardoz711

        Whare else are are you going to get 3000+ Joules in an under 16″ and easily suppressible package?

        • M.M.D.C.

          That’s @ 2,400 ft lbs for those of us in Rio Linda.

        • Giolli Joker

          50 Beowulf?
          (plus a few other semi-wildcats that sometimes we see popping up on these pages)

      • LG

        No. It is a really fun caliber for the small AR15 platform. Just realize that the 458 SOCOM is copyrighted but NOT a SAAMI cartridge. Tromix, Paladin Machine works, etc. use the copyrighted intellectual material of Teppu Jutsu. As of my last research on the subject Wilson Combat, Pacific Tool and Guage etc., use reverse engineered specifications. Remember, a copy of a copy is never as sharp as the original. It is possible that Hornady, to push their creation, the 450 Bushmaster, thwarts the 450 SOCOM from being accepted by SAAMI. Whatever, it is an enjoyable, reasonably hard hitting, round for what it is designed. If you like the 45-70, then you will like the 458 SOCOM. There are a plethora of slugs suitable for reloading. In the AR platform it is stated to hold the pressure below 35,000 PSI, to keep the bolt thrust within design parameters for the bolt lugs. Since the SOCOM has a larger case head diameter, it should have greater bolt thrust for a given chamber pressure than a smaller 223 head size cartridge. Suitable loads may vary, depending upon the gas tube length, carbine or mid-size. Teppo Jutsu, I believe, designed the round around a carbine length gas system. The Rock Rivers are mid-length gas systems, so slower powders such as Reloder 7 may work better than faster ones such as Lil’Gun. If it were not for the 458 SOCOM, I would not use the AR15 type platform at all.

        • itsmefool

          Well stated!

        • TechnoTriticale

          re: 458 SOCOM is copyrighted but NOT a SAAMI cartridge.

          Interestingly, it was also trademarked for a time, but is no longer, the mark having been abandoned in 2013, according to USPTO. Hard to say just what to make of that.

    • Antonio Rodriguez

      LG are you saying that any 458 socom ammo won’t feed or fire properly in Wilson’s AR? I’m genuinely interested as it’s next on my wish list and my perception is that whether I buy factory ammo from them, Lehigh Defense, Underwood Ammo, or SBR that it should all function well since the caliber is one and the same.

      • Don

        Antonio, there is nothing wrong with Wilson Combat’s .458 Socom’s. There are loyalist who say anything other than one designed by Jutsu is garbage just like there are people who say anything other than a Ford is garbage. There was a time awhile back when Corbon made .458 Socom rounds that we’re having feed issues in EVERY manufacture’s .458s. People were trying to blame it on non-“Jutsu” rifle chambers until Corbon came out and recalled their ammo. Don’t let LG’s rhetoric scare you away from Wilson’s rifles. I have a non-Jutsu .458 (Not a Wilson either) that I have fired every type/brand of ammo out there with and have had no issues whatsoever, I’ll put my bull barreled rifle up against LG’s any day of the week. The problem is that the LG’s of the world don’t want to admit that most people don’t even find out who Jutsu is until they have bought/built their .458’s and they start hanging around the forum boards and they learn the back story to the round. I didnt know of him until I found the .458 Socom forum, way after I had built mine. The great thing about others jumping in on the manufacturing band wagon is that with more manufacturers brings cheaper priced ammo and parts, affordability means more people can dive in and enjoy the round as well… So jump in and have some fun my friend…

        • Giolli Joker

          I see it more as a matter of respect and doing business properly.
          A serious company wouldn’t chamber his rifle in a Weatherby clone calling it the real thing.
          If you want to capitalize on the popularity of the caliber, pay the fees.
          Otherwise create your copy, call it differently and see how it does on the market.
          If you’re a big company, you can even be more successful (see .300 BLK vs .300 Whisper).
          I guess that WC saw their success with 7.62x40WT and preferred the name 458 SOCOM over 11.63×40 WT…
          They’re profiting on a name, for free.
          It might not enrage you, but it’s something I personally don’t like and (provided that I know it beforehand) it would prevent me from dealing with such a company.
          (Especially in a case like Wilson Combat, where you can’t really say that at least they offered an affordable entry to the .458 SOCOM world…)

          • LG

            Well said.

          • Don

            Your point is moot… If it mattered that much to the designing company he would be suing the other companies for using the .458 socom name. And again, if it mattered that much to the designing company they would make sure that it is loud and clear all over the internet that they were the only ones that were licensed to manufacture the round/parts. I was all over the internet looking for parts while I was building mine and I didn’t see anything about the licensing of anything to do with the round, that was until I started going to the forum boards. What makes you think that everyone that builds AR’s even thinks about or cares to find out about the history of the round? Most people get drawn into the round for what it can do and not about who designed it. To me it seems that the designer isn’t saying anything or doing anything about the copycats because he is hoping the more popular the round gets it will help it become a SAAMI round. And to your last point… So you’re saying that if Wilson or any other non-licensed manufacturer offered an affordably priced .458 that it wouldn’t be so bad? Make up your mind…

          • Giolli Joker

            Opinions, man.

            I do not know what went through the head of Marty ter Weeme when he designed the cartridge or the legal precautions he took.
            Possibly things did not really go as he planned, maybe he was just hoping that gentlemen agreements could regulate the business around the .458 SOCOM.
            I did not say that the consumer has the moral obligation to gather all the info about the cartridge development or else.
            I just said that, now that I know these details, my choice is easily done.
            Regarding the last point, I made up my mind already; I was just pointing out that a 3,000$ a piece manufacturer is not that advantageous to the consumer.

            However, opinions.

      • LG

        Check out the 458 SOCOM FORUM. The real problem, appears to be with reloading. If the cartridge is pushed to it’s maximum, then the Wilson Combat chamber, a reversed engineered proposition, has been known to act in a fashion not as predicted from Teppo Jutsu. Besides, if a company is “cheating” a copyright holder, where do you think they are “cheating” you. The cartridge is outstanding. It just is quite unsettling to me that a “supposedly ” first class company would not begin to honor intellectual property. Again, check with the designer of the cartridge, Teppo Jutsu. The best slugs that I have found to load in the 250 grain Cutting Edge Raptor, 300 grain Barnes TTSX, and The Lehigh Defense Extreme Penetrator. The Lehigh Maximium Expansion is too long for the AR platform, and must be used in a bolt gun. Personally, I prefer the Raptors and Extreme Penetrator.

    • Giolli Joker

      Because WC wanted to offer very affordable products therefore they had to save on royalties…

    • itsmefool

      Thanks for this comment…when I saw WC and .458 in the same sentence, my first question was “are those Arkansans finally getting into spec with this caliber?”

    • Blake
  • Matthew

    14.7″ with a mid length gas system: I know this isn’t 5.56 but isn’t that what carbine length gas systems are for?

    • Anonymoose

      The only thing more tacticool than a mid-length 14.5″/14.7″ would be a rifle-length 14.5″ skeletonized AR with a massive brake on the end, or a 13.7″ with a permed Flaming Pig.

      In all seriousness, since the .458 SOCOM is a low pressure round, I think a carbine gas system would be a bit better than mid-length, unless you were running it suppressed all the time.

      • Matthew

        This isn’t the first manufacturer I’ve seen selling mid-length 14.5″ barrels. It’s like people hear that mid-length systems are better for 16″ setups and conclude that mid-length > carbine-length in all cases.

        Also, 13.7″ barrel with a rifle-length gas system and a pinned brake: 5/7 would pay 100 pennies for

      • Lee Attiny

        My first .458 socom was a 16″ barrel with mid-length gas from RRA. It ran fine with the right buffer in it but I never understood what the purpose was for putting midlength gas on this caliber. I eventually bought a 12″ tromix barrel with pistol length gas and have found it runs much better, suppressed or not.

  • vwVwwVwv

    now you need a revolver in 458 socom and you have the alaska package.

    • Anonymoose

      Unfortunately bottlenecked cartridges in revolvers tend to jump the crimp too easily.

      • Matthew

        I’d heard it was because the shoulder expands forward and the pressure between the case head and the shoulder could lock up the cylinder but I have no way of knowing how true that is or not.

        • LG

          It was not infrequent with the 22 Jet in Smith and Wesson revolvers. Smith went so far as to state that the chambers should not be oiled prior to firing.

    • Giolli Joker

      Google 45 Raptor. 😉

      • vwVwwVwv

        it is wwwwwWWWWWWOWWWWWWoooooooowwwwau

        1 dream more

    • LG

      “When the government is afraid of the people, it is called a democracy. When the people are afraid of the government it is called tyranny.”

      • vwVwwVwv

        God bless the NRA

  • Some of these new lighter weight BCGs require a mid gas system for the rifle to work. I believe it’s easier on suppressors as well. I could be wrong on that part.

    • BillC

      Hmm.. news to me. More stuff for me to research, again.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    From reading up on thumpers, I’m seeing that 600 grains is the upper limit for the AR, not so much in pressure or recoil but just that performance deteriorates if you push above that. I had been set on Beowulf for a while because I figured you could get the heaviest-possible bullet out of the largest caliber, and thus get the most energy downrange under the sub-sonic velocity limit of suppressed fire. With performance peaking between both .450 and .50 at 600 grains, though, the .458 has better ballistics, if just slightly so. Other advantages are choice of bullets and the ability to use existing .45 caliber suppressors. So I’m glad that .458 is getting some attention again, because it’s really cost-prohibitive as a toy until you’re really fiending for yet another odd AR chambering. Now I’m hoping a company like Lee comes out with a 600-grain .458 mold the way they did a 230-grain .308, specifically designed for subsonic Blackout.