458 socom for charging cats?

John Telford

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So I found myself in a Texas gun shop yesterday that had a big sign out front reading “ build your own AR...” . Since there were no classic rifles for me to fondle In this small but very interesting shop I got thinking about what ARI would build if it were legal to carry one as a PH back up? The guys behind the counter found the topic equally interesting and the owners young son showed me a few cartridges I’d never seen before. One was the 50 Beuwolf and the second the 458 Socom.
Apparently this round was designed to be used at road blocks where it would be called On to punch a hole through an engine block of car! To be honest an AR with a 10 round mag would make a very hand bushpig gun and better yet a very handy Cat gun don’t you think?
 

mark-hunter

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To put it in perspective, energy of 458 socom, or 50 beowulf is similar or comparable to 30-06.
One more cartridge of this class to consider is .450 bushmaster. (also available in ar15 platform)

Use for charging cats?
I dont know.

If charging lion qualifies as charging cat, probably not for that. (400 - 500 pounds mass)

For charging leopard, could be considered possible. Body mass 150 - 200 pounds. (leopard calibers are frequently discussed, without overall consensus, as they are smallest of DG animal group)

For pigs, and hogs would be very good.
That would be for calibers per se.

For semi auto, ar15:
Use of semi auto in africa, is very much limited, if possible at all.
And I cannot think of any example of using semi auto for DG.
 

Forrest Halley

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There is a .458 Winchester Magnum option on the Omen rifle. I would do that rather than the socom, all things considered. I don't think the rebated rim is a place I want to go when the chips are down. I don't think it has the kind of energy you seek. It would be swat, swat, swat, rather than smack or slam.
 

crs

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Sigh!!
Just look at the ballistics and see that standard .458 Socom ammo is about 100 fps faster than a .45-70 for the same bullet weight .
A friend of mine used shotguns, .458 win mag, and 45-70 on Leopards and he settled on the Marlin .45-70 as being most handy and effective. At last count he had taken 13 leopards and was still hunting them.
My 1886 .45-90 kills big Leopards very dead, very quick with 300 grain Nosler PP hand loads at 2200 fps:

Not me in pic, but shooter that used my rifle on PAC hunt.

My son shoots the .458 Socom and it is very effective on larger game such as Nilgai; hogs are a no brainer as I kill them with anything from my ,357 rifle on up. He also kills feral hogs with AR in .223.

Personally, I do not like the AR type rifles for hunting animals, but they have a good track record for hunting men. I have no personal experience with the latter application.
 

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crs

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Forrest,
I have a copy of the Omen .458 WM video and it still makes me smile. Those two are having FUN shooting that rifle. I like the line about "when you have to kill the whole herd" :)
 

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Not having owned one, but judging by the performance of a .45-70, I don't know as there is a lion on the planet that would notice the difference between the two and .45-70 with the right load is certainly capable of killing a lion. As to stopping a charge, I will defer to people who have actually had to do it, but apparently large cats are susceptible to hydrostatic shock due to their finely tuned nervous system. For a charge I would want something with weight and speed... more in the .338-.375 magnum class of cartridges and better still I would think a .416 throwing a 350 grain TTSX at 2,600fps would be about perfect. All theory for me though, as I have never done it.

I think the main issue you might have is that of a semi automatic "black rifle" in Africa... I don't know as that would go over so well with African airport security.
 

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Let's see - with the "mighty" .458 SOCOM with a 300 gr bullet one gets 1900 FPS (the 405 gr bullet a blistering 1600 FPS), around 2400 foot pounds of energy, and has the SD of an ashtray. I wouldn't take it hog hunting much less after dangerous game or engine blocks.

It is another one of the AR rounds with a cool name, a big bore, lousy velocity and with little utility other than to generate sales among the urban commandos.
 

WebleyGreene455

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Let's see - with the "mighty" .458 SOCOM with a 300 gr bullet one gets 1900 FPS (the 405 gr bullet a blistering 1600 FPS), around 2400 foot pounds of energy, and has the SD of an ashtray. I wouldn't take it hog hunting much less after dangerous game or engine blocks.

It is another one of the AR rounds with a cool name, a big bore, lousy velocity and with little utility other than to generate sales among the urban commandos.
According to Wikipedia, the .458 SOCOM was designed after feedback from US personnel in Somalia (especially TF Ranger during Mogadishu) who needed more power against the militants who spent the day chewing khat and were all hopped-up on it. They needed something that'd put a helluva hole in a human being, which I expect it'd do pretty well in close-quarters urban fighting. But it never got adopted, it's not anything more than a curiosity now, and the SOCOM name is little more than silly advertising. I bet if you went and had a look at all the fun toys SOCOM get to use, they don't even have any. Outside of the bigger wound, it probably doesn't do anything that a 7.62 NATO couldn't, and you get more rounds from a 7.62 as well.
 

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I know a bit about this stuff (three decades in the Army).

It, like several other rounds, was created with the idea of walloping an unarmored biped in room-to-room / house-to-house combat with an AR platform. For that very specific role it would be a pretty good choice as a carbine round. The problem is that the team or platoon's mission the next day might be an ambush along a ridge line miles from anywhere with the likely fight over extended ranges. For that battle a 7.62 would be hard to beat.

The logical compromise keeps returning to the 5.56. It can be devastating at close range even with standard ball ammunition and provides reasonable capability in a longer range fight. Moreover the infantryman or operator can carry a lot of ammunition in his basic load.

If I had to (note, I have zero desire) take to take an AR hunting in Africa, it would be chambered in 7.62. At least it would have some utility.
 

Forrest Halley

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Forrest,
I have a copy of the Omen .458 WM video and it still makes me smile. Those two are having FUN shooting that rifle. I like the line about "when you have to kill the whole herd" :)
Charles,
It is an enjoyable video indeed. It would be quite the ticket for a sounder of hogs. I imagine you could cull a heard of elephants or buffalo quite nicely. Somehow I think that hunt would have to be filmed with a great big Hornady sticker on the gun. How else could one afford to keep such a gun happy? Just send a pallet of ammo...I wonder if it could be made to feed those Speer 400 grain bullets or the PPU 405's? Once you get the brass stock it wouldn't be so bad I guess. Progressive .458 loading...haha! Marvelous!
 

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I thought of an ar one time based on the 308 winchester. I figured than I could get uppers in calibers from 243 to 358 winchester. It looked to be very expensive and if I was going to spend that much better to by a Blazer R 8.
 

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I know a bit about this stuff (three decades in the Army).

It, like several other rounds, was created with the idea of walloping an unarmored biped in room-to-room / house-to-house combat with an AR platform. For that very specific role it would be a pretty good choice as a carbine round. The problem is that the team or platoon's mission the next day might be an ambush along a ridge line miles from anywhere with the likely fight over extended ranges. For that battle a 7.62 would be hard to beat.

Several 458 SOCOMS made it into the inventory of a variety of SOF units for exactly this purpose..

To @Red Leg 's point.. over time most (if not all) have been phased out of those same units.. They were deployed with varying degrees of success.. but ultimately better options have been found that are are a bit more universal in nature and have more wide ranging capabilities, but can still put the desired whallop on a bad guy or a vehicle at close distances..

To my knowledge they were mostly used at ECP's for the purpose of VBIED/Vehicular attack defense at close ranges..


All of that said.. I own a .458 SOCOM AR (among several others).. for hunting purposes, I think it is very linear.. but.. it does fill one particular role quite well (IMO)..

For hog hunting at ranges of 150 yards or less.. its an absolute hammer.. not only on big boars.. but on sounders...

Youre getting 45-70 trapdoor ballistics (same 300, 350, and 400 gr projectiles thrown at roughly the same speed).. out of a short, lightweight platform, that handles exceptionally well when fired at a fast rate, is easy to get in and out of a stand with, manipulate in a stand or any other tight space (collapsible stock, short barrel, etc).. thats affordable (If you already own an AR, getting a 458 SOCOM running is just a matter of slapping a 458 SOCOM upper to your already owned lower, for a price of about $325..)..

Combine a 458 SOCOM AR with either low cost night vision (ATN X-Sight, or Sightmark Wraith).. and for less than $1000 all in, you have a rifle that can be used day or night, that is nearly perfect medicine (IMO) for when a dozen hairy, rooting, destructive bastards, start tearing up your favorite deer hunting food plot..

Could a smaller round do the same thing? Sure... I also own a 350 Legend AR (similar ballistics to a .30-30).. and a 556 AR shooting heavy bonded bullets like the 64gr SST from Nosler can also do the trick..

But.. not with the same authority the 458 SOCOM provides..

I've seen a lot of hogs/deer get up and run after being hit with 556, 300 BLK, 7.62x39, etc..

I've never seen one move more than 3 feet after being properly hit with a 45-70 or a 458 SOCOM...

The difference is the 458 SOCOM can drop 10x rounds of 350gr TTSX on a sounder in 10 seconds... I dont know of any 45-70 that can do that same thing..
 

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I bet if you went and had a look at all the fun toys SOCOM get to use, they don't even have any.

you'd lose that bet...

I know of several SF units that got them (my guess is all of them got a handful).. of at least one SEAL team that got them.. and I know at least 1 of the Army's SMU's got them..

Not sure about the USAF SOF or USMC SOF elements..
 

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I thought of an ar one time based on the 308 winchester. I figured than I could get uppers in calibers from 243 to 358 winchester. It looked to be very expensive and if I was going to spend that much better to by a Blazer R 8.

the AR10 type platforms are significantly more expensive than the AR15 type platforms.. you're definitely going to spend a lot more building a 308 "AR" than you will anything that can be built on the AR15 platform like a 6.5 Grendel, 458 SOCOM, 350 Legend, etc..
 

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Should have added in one of the posts above...

I've never hunted the big cats...

but based on what I've read here, seen in videos, the opinions and thoughts of PH's that I respect that have been shared with me, etc.. I dont think the 458 SOCOM would be my first (or even second or third) choice for a stopping gun for leopards, lions, etc..
 

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I toyed with the idea of 458SOCOM for a subsonic bolt action for use in pest animal control (non-dangerous game). While the design concept was sound, the cartridge developers made a huge error in not going down the SAAMI acceptance path until it was too late. As a consequence there is no universal specification for brass, chamber nor lab tested load data. Most of the chamber reamers, barrels and brass that are available don't match the original design spec. By the time the developers tried to pursue SAAMI accreditation, there were too many variations in circulation and the whole thing failed to progress. In a bolt action you could treat it as a one-off wildcat with a degree of success, in an auto there's too much to go wrong.
 

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Pfft.


M1 Garand in .458 WinMag. PING!!!
 

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