He used a lengthened .50 Action Express (.50 AE) case with a rebated rim (down to .473″ from .515″) as the basis for the new cartridge and loaded it with a .458″ bullet. Firing a 300 grain bullet at 1,845 feet per second, (2,267 ft-lbs of energy), the .458 SOCOM packs a heck of a punch into a relatively small package and still functions very well in the standard AR platform with a variety of barrel lengths. Before we get started, I have an administrative note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. As you can see, recoil is pretty comparable between the .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and .50 Beowulf. The penetration potential of a bullet is derived from its sectional density. That was a great read. I love the 275 Barnes. Thanks, super great article. In the end, it comes down to what you have the most confidence with, especially when looking at two similar rounds. At 1.7″, the .450 Bushmaster has a longer case length than the .458 SOCOM (1.575″) and .50 Beowulf (1.65″). Mostly just for paper and sage rats. Of course, how much penetration you need is going to depend on the game you are hunting. Could you send me the specs, brands, and sources you prefer for a build. And even then, when it comes to shots within 100 yards, we don’t think one cartridge has any advantage over the other to accuracy. From the muzzle out to 150yds, there is no difference between these two cartridges. The averages for the 200 and 300 yard mark for both cartridges are 1,052 and 800ft.lb for the .50 Beowulf and 1,056 and 810ft.lb for the .458 SOCOM rounds. In addition to Bushmaster, Ruger also produces their semi-automatic AR-556 in .450 Bushmaster. Those recoil figures will match up fairly well with bolt action guns across the board. Try Shaw or Ballistic Advantage if you want a barrel. Especially when chambered in a handy, short barreled semi-automatic rifle, they are all absolutely deadly on a wide variety of game at close range and offer hunters a pretty fast follow-up shot. Not missing a thing from Beowulf. Want to take a rifle chambered in one of these cartridges on a hunt? Buy an excellent .450 Bushmaster hunting rifle here. The reason was again because of the low stopping power with the traditional rounds, and a large, .50 cal cartridge gave the promise for a round with devastating power in close quarters to mid range shots. a lot of experience with the 50 BW and just training with the 450 BM, no use of the .458SC other than shooting it. We are dealing with two cartridges that were designed for close quarters situations. Still, these numbers give you an idea of how these two cartridges stack up against each other. I hope it is not too late. CVA produces their single shot Hunter and Scout rifles in the cartridge. These are powerful loads, with 100 yard KPS values of 53.6 and 53.8 for the Beowulf and Bushmaster loads, respectively, while the SOCOM load has a 100 yard KPS of 58.7. Additionally, Black Butterfly and Buffalo Bore both produce .450 Bushmaster and .458 SOCOM ammo while Inceptor, Great Lakes, Underwood all sell factory ammo for all three cartridges. For a non handloaded hunting deer, hogs, black bear, the .450 would be a top choice. Great article. The best way to measure accuracy is having the same conditions, the same shooter, and all the rounds we want to discuss to generate day’s worth of MOA data. I’m a fan of 16 inch barrels due to the utility of the gun. Both of these cartridges fill a very specific niche within the shooting world, and because of this, a number of options you have for factory loads are very limited when compared to more popular defense and hunting rounds. As you can see, both of these large bore cartridges are much larger than your typical 5.56 round. This is a small sample size, though maybe not with the amount of factory loaded options out there, but with handloading you could increase the BC with these cartridges by using certain bullets that just are not available in factory loads at the moment. The story of the .450 Bushmaster, the .458 SOCOM, and the .50 Beowulf all start with the .223 Remington and the AR-15. Derived from the .223 Remington (also known as the .223 Rem), the original M193 ball load for the 5.56x45mm fired a .224″ 55 grain full metal jacket bullet at 3,250 feet per second (1,290 foot pounds of energy). This kinetic energy is derived from the mass and the velocity of the bullet. Basically, he thought an ideal hunting firearm was a semi-automatic rifle .44 caliber or larger that was capable of taking large game out to 250 yards. He called the new cartridge the .45 Professional. Of course, with the internet, you are going to be able to get your hands on whatever you need, but it might take more time. As you can see, 300+ yards is going to offer some difficult shooting for even skilled marksmen. Before we get into our comparisons, there is one more note that we would like to make. We also have to bring recoil into the discussion. The .50 Beowulf rounds had on average, several more ft.lb of force than the .458 SOCOM rounds. One last item before we get to the fun stuff. Anyone choosing the 50 Beowulf or 458 SOCOM should handload to take advantage of the many different bullets available to keep costs reasonable. LeGendre licensed the cartridge to Bushmaster, who in turn collaborated with Hornady in bringing the project to market. Hornady and Bushmaster made some slight modifications to .45 Professional and released the new cartridge as the .450 Bushmaster (sometimes called the .450 BM for short). It carries 1400# to two hundred yards, 1200# to 250. 458 SOCOM SBR Hornady Interlock JHP 300gr, 458 SOCOM Buffalo Bore Jacketed Flat Nose 350gr, 458 SOCOM Underwood Ammo Lehigh Controlled Fracture HP 300gr, 458 SOCOM Buffalo Bore Subsonic Jacketed Round Nose 500gr, 50 Beowulf Alexander Arms Rainier Plated HP 335gr, 50 Beowulf Underwood Ammunition Bonded JHP 325gr, 50 Beowulf Alexander Arms Millennium Solid Brass Spitzer 350gr, 50 Beowulf Underwood Ammunition Xtreme Penetrator 325gr. The AR-platform is the most popular style of rifle in the United States and offers many inherent advantages for hunters, so designers have made many attempts at building more powerful cartridges for the AR-15 over the years. Each cartridge also uses different diameter bullets: .452″ for the Bushmaster, .458″ for the SOCOM, and .500″ for the Beowulf. When shot out of the muzzle the .50 Beowulf exhibits greater bullet energy than .458 Socom. Even 500 yards might be overkill, but it was a nice round number. Even then, how consistent would this data be? The .450 Bushmaster and .458 SOCOM have a .473″ rim diameter, which is the same as other popular cartridges like the .30-06, .308, and .270 Winchester. The .450 Bushmaster and .50 Beowulf are usually permitted in these states and are more than powerful enough to get the job done during any conceivable deer hunting situation. It is another deer rifle for this season. Unlike other comparison attempts, we want to bring an unbiased look at these two cartridges to the table. No, none of these cartridges are interchangeable because (unlike the 223 and 5.56 or 308 and 7.62×51) they all shoot different diameter bullets. They don't have a lot in common. On the other hand, the .50 Beowulf has a .447″ rim diameter, which is the same as the 7.62x39mm cartridge used in the AK-47. We have collected the velocity (fps) data for all of these rounds from the muzzle out to 500 yards. John. Obviously, its highly unlikely that you’re going to take that many rounds directly. I have a lot to learn. Glad you found the article useful Robert! Hope this helps! Still, the numbers shouldn’t vary that much, and it doesn’t take away from the purpose of this article for the .458 SOCOM vs .50 Beowulf. It has to do with the muzzle velocity of the rounds that we put into the calculation which came from the manufacturer’s website and a point of interest that we will look at in an upcoming section. A 30 round AR mag for 5.56/.223 is a 10 round .458 mag. It has some of the best ballistic properties available for factory loaded .458 SOCOM rounds and has more than enough bullet energy, penetration, and expansion for excellent stopping power for medium size game out to 300 yards. The data backs up their original purpose in that they have tremendous stopping power coming from an AR platform and have the velocities behind them to push through thick hide, cover, and even body armor. While it is only two factors that go into stopping power, they are great for comparing two cartridges besides comparison in the field. There are several companies producing factory loaded .458 SOCOM cartridges, but the availability is limited. I have shot 45-70 in dense bush hunts and found it effective. John. They make uppers for all 3 and their prices are fantastic. We don’t mean these rounds will knock you down, but when used in lighter AR platforms for competition, home defense, and even for some hunting situations, you want to be able to get quick shots in succession off at times and recoil can hamper that. The Big Game Hunting Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com.au, and other Amazon stores worldwide. For the .458 SOCOM versus the 50 Beowulf comparison, the BC might not have the same relevance as it would for more long range cartridges. Buy, Sell, and Trade your Firearms and Gear. I like a good old 1/2" slug, but the 458 socom headspaces off the shoulder which is a good thing. As your charts demonstrated, the energy of the .450 beats all the others. On a side note, the also made a .50 375 grain xpb spire point but the recoil difference was just too much. The ballistic coefficient is derived from an equation that uses several bullet and cartridge variables and may or may not have any relevance to you. Firearm Discussion and Resources from AR-15, AK-47, Handguns and more! And receive our newsletter with the best articles covering guides, guns & gear. It is designed on the AR (Armalite) platform. Receive our newsletter with the best articles covering guides, guns & gear. Coming up on wounded animals, especially if they are predators, can be dangerous and being able to drop them cleanly takes this risk away. They both have rounds that perform more efficiently in each category, but there were some very slight differences when comparing the two. Heavier bullets with the same diameter are going to penetrate deeper than lighter rounds with the same diameter. The 458 SOCOM was designed for a very specific purpose. Arguments will abound from both sides of the aisle concerning which cartridge is preferable. The 458 socom is a 300-grain round offers a supersonic muzzle velocity of 1,900 ft/s and 2,405 ft⋅lbf, similar to a light .45-70 but with a much smaller case. The BC is most known to influence a bullet’s trajectory so let’s take a look at this in our next section. The ballistic coefficient gives you an idea of how streamlined a bullet is. While most hunters and shooters would probably agree that Modern Sporting Rifles chambered in .223 Remington are great for general plinking, more serious target shooting, and varmint hunting, using the diminutive cartridge on larger game is a very contentious subject. 50 Beowulf vs 458 Socom Demolition Ranch. Obviously, flatter trajectories (less bullet drop) is going to be more advantageous for the shooter than one where you have to make more radical adjustments to shot placement. Neither of these rounds has a SAAMI rating for case capacity or max pressure and the handloading references out there for these two rounds vary. All three cartridges will work extremely well under those conditions and there is very little difference between them at short range. 6.5 grendel 50 beowulf and .458 socom Our Fallen Members. As you might guess by looking the cartridges themselves, the .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and .50 Beowulf have very similar ballistics. A little faster and more knock down power. I DO agree that at distances of 150 yds. Presently, the .350 Legend, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf are the only short (1.8 inches or shorter) commercial straight wall rifle cartridges, so are of prime interest to those who hunt in the jurisdictions noted above, plus anyone who may be interested in hunting with an AR-15 rifle chambered in a medium or large bore cartridge. (in the foreground), and.50 Beowulf,.450 Bushmaster and.458 Socom (in the background) is apparent. Not likely to hunt with it. The M855 bullet incorporated a steel penetrator, which markedly improved the penetration capabilities of the round compared to the old 55gr M193 load. After deliberations and experimentation, the .458 SOCOM came to be in the early 2000’s. I just bought a RugerAmerican .450BM. Finally, while they are all generally loaded to similar pressure levels, the .450 Bushmaster is the only SAAMI certified cartridge of the bunch and has a maximum average pressure of 38,500psi. Penetration. I’m very interested in a Big Bore AR Pistol for personal protection / home defense work. Thinking I was “settling for a bit less”, I didn’t have great joy till I shot it. Sign in to follow this . The .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf are not SAAMI certified and no major ammunition companies produce ammo for them. A flatter trajectory helps negate small errors that can be made during these situations. and 2,234 ft.-lbs. On the other hand, only a few companies make firearms chambered in .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf. All of those companies still make very good quality firearms chambered in their respective cartridge. The Lyman 50th Edition (p348-349, 350-351, p373-374), and Hornady 10th Edition (p751-753, p776-777) reloading manuals were also used as references for the history of the cartridges and provided data to compare their size and recoil. Civilian interest in the AR-15 and .223 Remington cartridge grew over the years, particularly for varmint hunting and target shooting. With factory ammo prices usually starting around $1 per round and quickly going up from there, ammunition is pretty expensive for all three cartridges. By the way, hats off for Bear Creek Arsenal. Well it took over 50 rounds for it to bend the plate and eventually shattering the lower half of it. When a bullet is launched from the barrel down range (best .458 SOCOM barrels), it carries a kinetic energy along with it. Factory loads for the .50 Beowulf are lacking compared to other cartridges but is slowly gaining traction. How much energy is required to take down an animal or neutralize a target varies, and the amount that gets transferred to the target varies as well. In this cartridge comparison of the .458 SOCOM vs .50 Beowulf, we are going to take a look at how these two cartridges, which often compete in the same shooting niches, compare to each other in a variety of ballistic and other performance categories. thanks jim. i,m building a lower for a big bore and have not made a decision on which caliber upper to install . .22 bolt (from grandfather), 10-22 takedown, 6mm on a Mauser 98 action (made for father in law–it’s back), M1 30-06 CDMP (when they were only 150.00), H&K 91 (308)(before clinton became president & band them), 6.5 Creedmore (won it at NRA annual meeting from Shaw Barrels–check them out great people). I primarily use lighter bullets like the Barnes XPB 275gr, 240 leheigh (crazy speed & explosive), 300 gr Speer and Hornady. Hope this helps! 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