At first glance I was a bit confused by this photo. The Lancer mags show us the rounds and they are huge. Since it appears to be single stack with ballistic tips I thought this was some bizzare pistol caliber round. Nope it is .458 SOCOM.

Below is a photo comparing 5.56 to .458 Socom.

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  • bmartin79

    Dear god .

    • Y-man

      Yep! What he said just before the muzzle blast…

    • LG

      Come on. The 458 SOCOM has no more noticeable muzzle blast than those 5.56mm peanuts who absolutely must have a muzzle break, deflecting everything but the bullet backward. Even the 10.5″ barrel 458 SOCOM is no dragon, unless one makes mountains out of mole hills.

      • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

        I shoot and reload .458 SOCOM. The muzzle blast isn’t super significant. It DOES have some pretty hefty recoil though.

        • LG

          Recoil is not an issue with the 458 SOCOM. If recoil is a problem with 458 SOCOM do not try to use a 1903 Springfield to qualify much less use dangerous game weapons, 404 Jeffery, 416 Rigby, 500 NE, etc.

          • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

            Who said it’s an issue? The recoil is significant. That’s a statement of fact. Nothing more.

      • Baggy270

        Brake

      • Y-man

        I’m referring to the poor fellow IN FRONT of that BIG muzzle!

      • Jeff

        That would be brake.

    • Lee Attiny

      I have two .458’s. Depending on how you have it setup the recoil can vary drastically. With no brake and standard bcg and gas system it shoots like a 12 gauge. Suppressed with low mass carrier and adjustable gas its no different than a .300 blackout.

  • Y-man

    Whats the maximun range for this round? In the longest possible barrel?

    • capybara

      Effective range is under 200 yards. Those giant rounds will go a lot farther but with a ton of drop. It’s the rifle version of a .45 ACP 230 gr round. Great for hogs!

      • Phillip Cooper

        This is PRECISELY what I’m considering building one for. Well, that and whitetail.

    • Nick Russo

      300-400 yards max in my opinion. I built one a few years ago and I just couldn’t get consistent groups anywhere beyond that. This caliber in this platform is just not meant for long distance shooting of any kind. And like I said, this is just in my experience and in my opinion.

    • gordon

      The bullet wouldn’t exit the longest possible barrel;-)

      • Y-man

        LOL! True talk: The “LONGEST possible barrel” would actually terminate just a few parsecs after Alpha Centauri!

        Ok: I meant for example: How it would perform coming out of a 24 inch barrel for example… EFFIICIENT Powder Burn etc…

        • gordon

          One of the major advantages of the .458 SOCOM is that it reaches near peak performance in fairly short barrels. Some on the .458 forum have reported loss of velocity in longer barrels with some loads. However, your question can still not really be answered unless one knows what you’d be wanting the bullet to do, how good your range estimates will be, how skilled you are, and things like that. That said, from a 20″ barrel you might push a Barnes 300gr TTSX to 1850fps. At this muzzle velocity at sea level, it will drop below it’s reliable expansion velocity (1300fps I have heard) at about 200yds. It will also drop 27″ at the point – probably requiring a 10″ holdover if you zeroed at 125yds. I hope this helps.

  • HH

    assuming you can load them sub sonic – which i imagine you can- it’d be a great suppressed round for short distances with heavy punch.

    I shot a friends. kick wasnt too terrible either.

    • Giolli Joker

      I see online subsonic loads up to 600 grs.

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      Heavy, sub sonic rounds at short distance is exactly what this round was developed for.

    • Me

      A guy had one at the range this past weekend. He let me run a mag of the full power red tipped ones through it (I don’t know what gr or brand) but I would compare it to a 12g target load. Not bad at all.

    • Phillip Cooper

      It’s called “SOCOM” for a reaason…

      • Kivaari

        Probably as a selling point. Like calling anything for weapons and black “tactical”.

        • Phillip Cooper

          Actually, from what I’ve heard, SOCOM was actively involved in this round’s development.
          Let’s just say it wasn’t designed to put mule deer down…. or any other 4-legged vermin.

  • Road

    Three questions for anyone:

    1. Are there any piston-driven uppers available in this caliber?

    2. Are reloading supplies for this caliber readily available? Brass?

    3. What bullets does it take? Is it a proprietary caliber that no other cartridge uses, or can you use bullets from another existing cartridge (like the same way 300 Blackout uses regular .308 Win bullets)?

    • Sunshine_Shooter

      #1: Get a piston conversion system from any number of companies

      #2: Reloading is how 95% of all .458 SOCOM owners afford the caliber at all, so I can only assume so. (though factory ammo recently jumped in availability)

      #3: It uses .458 bullets. They come in a surprisingly wide range of weights and constructions.

      • Road

        Many thanks.

        • Sunshine_Shooter

          I hope I didn’t come across as too rude or sarcastic, sometimes being blunt can come across the wrong way.

          • Road

            Haha not at all.

    • LG

      Starline has all the brass that one needs. It uses .458″ slugs, the same as a 45-70, so MANY cast bullet molds, jacketed, and monumental bullets are available. One can turn the 458 SOCOM brass into 375 SOCOM brass.

      • Giolli Joker

        LOL, the use of the term “monumental” instead of “monolithic”, thinking at the size of these bullets, gave me a good laugh.

        • LG

          Sorry, it was a spell check error and my lack of attention. Try the Cutting Edge Raptor, 250 gain, or the Lehigh Extreme penetrator in the 458 SOCOM. I would NOT use them on dangerous game, but within 150 yards they are good for anything on the North American continent. But in a small package it still will not equal my 404 Jeffery or 500 NE.

    • Tom

      Your rifle so do it your way but curious as to why you think a piston would be superior to DI? I.E. you intend to switch between suppressed and unsurpassed or just very different loadings?

      • Road

        It comes from a bad experience I had in the Army. I went to a convoy live fire exercise with a squeaky clean, properly lubed M4. After about four or five mags, the action got so gunked up, it stopped cycling completely, and I had to manually charge every round after that. It just left a bad taste in my mouth and I haven’t really trusted DI ever since.

        • CommonSense23

          Then you had a broken gun. DI is superior in the AR platform.

          • Road

            Cool.

          • CommonSense23

            No you had a broken gun. I’ve had issue rifle go over 6000 rounds without cleaning or malfunction and the majority of those rounds were suppressed. The guns run fine dirty.

          • Road

            Then you had a brand new gun.

          • CommonSense23

            The op rod driven AR has been around for decades. Its pretty easy to make sweeping statements about the system when it’s been proven again and again. The AR15 wasn’t meant to run OP Rod(piston).
            You had broken and worn gun, that doesn’t make it a bad design. And the major issue with early ARs was the non chrome lined chambers in a jungle environment and then having worn gear.

          • Road

            It’s been around for about two decades at best, whereas the platform was born with the DI system about six decades ago. Yeah, piston AR’s were around before that, but barely anybody was making them and nobody was buying them. The DI system had about a 40 year head start, and a never-ending supply of feedback from military and police to draw from.

            DI has been proven again and again, but it has also been disproven again and again. And it doesn’t matter what the AR was originally intended to have, designs evolve over time. No product design has ever been set in stone. Car engines weren’t originally intended to have an ECU, but they do now, and they perform better because of it. I’m not even going to get into the modifications the 1911 has seen.

            If you like DI, that’s fine; I’m not going to try to convince you that pistons are better. But you’re certainly not going to convince me that DI is the best, given that there are countless testimonies documenting its failures.

          • raz-0

            there isn’t enough fouling in 150 rounds to do that, so.. no you had a broken gun, or broken mag, or messd up ammo.

          • Road

            Like I said to someone else already, the only thing that was broken was the impingement system. Mags were fine. It’s possible that the ammo was just a really dirty batch. I’m not doing this again. See above.

          • raz-0

            So you measured out the mags? Which part of the di system was broken?

          • Road

            Everything: From concept, to thumbnails, to technical drawings, to manufacture, to today. See last comment for more details.

          • raz-0

            So basically you don’t know what you are talking about, got it.

          • Road

            I love you.

        • GearHeadTony

          No seriously, you had a broken gun. You should search the TFB archives for the article about the range in Vegas that puts thousands of rounds per day through all sorts of different weapons platforms. Even in a completely clean indoor range environment, the DI guns outperformed the piston ARs all day long.

        • Rock or Something

          Meh. I had a 240B go down on a mixed live fire, blank fire convoy exercise one day. It passed between different Soldiers, and by the time I got behind it the second time it failed to feed properly. And that thing has a big ole piston.

        • J.K.

          You are sidelining all DI ARs based on one rifle’s malfunctions? Piston on an AR is a solution looking for a problem. DI > piston, and the horse has been beaten beyond death, its now pulp.

          Search for the various articles posted here on TFB and other, more recent reports coming out of Battlefield Las Vegas.

          Look up Mike Pannone, M4 Myth, BCM filthy 14, Battlefield Las Vegas postings on forums, and most recently Mr. GunsNGear’s YT video interviewing the BF Las Vegas armorer.

          If you build your DI correctly, maintain for the most part and lube it, it will outlast a piston system.

          • Studious_Citizen

            “Piston on an AR is a solution looking for a problem.”

            Because carbon fouling is imaginary, right?

          • J.K.

            I never dismissed carbon fouling as imaginary. What’s your point? That Piston ARs are more reliable because because they “crap less where it eats”?

            “Look up Mike Pannone, M4 Myth, BCM filthy 14, Battlefield Las Vegas postings on forums, and most recently Mr. GunsNGear’s YT video interviewing the BF Las Vegas armorer.”

            Read up on those and come back to me. You’ve obviously drank the piston koolaide, so not going to waste any more keystrokes w/o you being ready to face facts.

  • thedonn007

    Annother upper that I need for my AR15. Although I would go with .450 Bushmaster.

    • LG

      458 SOCOM is vastly superior to the 450 Bushmaster IMHO. The range of rounds in .458″ is excellent providing great range from subsonic to supersonics. The bottleneck cartridge provides much more reliable headspacing than the straight case 450 Bushmaster, if one reloads. And if you like the 458 SOCOM and need a little longer legs then use the 375 SOCOM, the same case necked dorn to .375 caliber.

      • John Yossarian

        A selling point for the .450 Bushmaster is the straight-walled cartridge – Which makes it one of the few rifle cartridges legal for deer hunting in Indiana and the lower 1/3 of Michigan.

        • Nicholas C

          And Ohio.

          • Oregon213

            Weird midwest/east coast hunting laws….

        • Giolli Joker

          What about .50 Beowulf then? More bullet availability than .450 (less than .458, though).

  • valorius

    Good black bear gun 🙂

    • Billy Jack

      Good most anything gun.

      • valorius

        I find the AR platformed big bores to be marginal vs velociraptors. They lack the kind of true knockdown power you’re looking for when being counter-hunted by a pack of cunning dinosaurs.

        In a rapid firing self loader, only 3″ magnum 1 and 1/2 ounce hardened alloy full bore Brenneke slugs are up to the task. Fired from a Benelli M1 super 90.

        Obviously.

        • Billy Jack

          I defer to your prehistoric tactical expertise sir.

        • LG

          You could try the steel slugs with petals at Ballistics Products!

        • Budogunner

          Don’t want us using .458 SOCOM on Velociraptors, eh? Clever girl…

          They’ve learned to type.

  • Arie Heath

    Perfect for those weekend hunting excursions to Isla Nublar.

  • Disarmed in CA

    at $2-3/round, that’s also heavy on the wallet to fire!

  • Jeff

    What does he mean 5.56 looks like a varmint round? It IS a varmint round, silly.

  • Blake

    5.56x45mm *IS* a varmint round 🙂