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AR-15 equipped swine hunters! Firepower-obsessed TactiKoolAid drinkers! Want an AR-15 that hits like an AR-10 with suppressor compatible rounds? It’s a .458 SOCOM upper for you boyo. You hurt your what? “The [Special Operations Command cartridge] was reportedly given birth over a barbeque and some cold brew,” Ralphy at reports. “It was at an informal gathering of special ops personnel, specifically Task Force Ranger, when the subject of stopping power came up. It seems it took multiple hits to permanently take the opposition ‘out of the game’ in Mogadishu, Somalia. The consensus was a one-shot stop would sure be nice . . .

Marty ter Weeme, founder of a company called Teppo Jutsu, L.L.C., went to work. In 2000 a sledgehammer cartridge that would launch 250- to 600-grain .45 caliber bullets from a standard size AR-15 with a proper barrel and chamber was born — enter the .458 SOCOM.”

Wilson Combat’s down with that . . .

Think of the .458 SOCOM as a .45-70 in a modern AR platform weapon. It’s capable of firing 250gr through 600gr bullets, however is best suited for bullets in the 250gr – 400gr range for hunting. It’s at it’s very best when firing the purpose built Barnes 300gr TAC TX bullet in the 1750fps – 1800fps velocity range. [Below, currently sold out.] However the SOCOM will also fire 500gr – 600gr bullets subsonic for tactical purposes. 

Building the .458 SOCOM takes only the following “unique” parts: Barrel, bolt and extractor. However Wilson Combat is optimizing their .458 SOCOMs by also adding their new adjustable gas block and straight gas tube as a standard feature. Having the ability to adjust your gas volume allows the end user to fine tune their carbine for a specific load. In addition, minor machining has to be done to the ejection port opening of the upper receiver to allow clearance for the larger cartridge case.

Why bother? I mean, it ain’t the cheapest of options ($1,295 for a complete upper.) But wait! There’s less! Less barrel.

One really nice attribute of the SOCOM is the fact that it doesn’t require a long barrel to achieve its optimum performance level, very little can be gained with a barrel length over 16”.

In our opinion the .458 SOCOM has several design and performance advantages over the .450 Bushmaster and the .500 Beowulf, two of which are improved functional reliability and the use of a standard AR magazine.

Put another way, by Bill Wilson himself . . .

My conclusions are that the combination of the AR platform and the .458 SOCOM cartridge results in the HAMMER OF DEATH for wild hogs within its 150 yard optimal range.

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    • 45 raptor is out now for the AR 10 , with a 62,000 case pressure max it is crazy powerful some loads. I’m trying to chose one out for a cabin gun . I like the socom a lot but the raptor is too tempting .

  1. I’m a .50 Beowulf owner, and certainly wish that I could use standard magazines. Then again, it’s not hard to find dedicated magazines, and the .50 is a real thumper. The 5.56 begrudgingly knocks bowling pins down, whereas the .50 sends them flying.

    Either caliber would certainly smoke the 5.56 up close for barrier penetration and stopping power. For vehicle check point duty, I’d rather have the .50.

  2. Cool idea, but never really took off for more than the novelty factor. 45-70’s in a Marlin are less than half the price for a rifle and about half the price for the ammo. Talk about Hammer o’ Death, but then again 5.56’s and 30-30’s take out a huge amount of hogs around here.

  3. I’ve shot a .50 Beowulf, a loaner from a Texas-bound hog hunter, and it was a hoot to shoot. It looks like it would open a whole can of whoop-ass on hogs, but I don’t see the 10-round magazine capacity of these cartridges proving very useful for most military applications.

  4. The .458 Socom is a great round and have had good results reloading. The same can be said for my .50 Beo except it is more fun to shoot and so far less expensive to reload. I have not experienced any reliability issues either with hundreds of rounds fired so far.

  5. I am going to build a .458 socom dose the lower need any modifications from a standard ar15, such as a stronger buffer spring or buffer?

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