The Salt Rifle Club by The Trunnion reviews the big daddy 458 SOCOM and its ballistics, and compare it to other AR designed calibers including the 50 Beowulf, the 450 Bushmaster, the 6.8SPC and the .223/5.56. We also test the .458 SOCOM’s explosive power in the Rock River Arms LAR-458 AR 15 against wood boards and bricks using Underwood , Great Lakes and Swift ammunition.
“Inspired by the lack of power offered by the 5.56 NATO cartridge used in the M4 carbine and the M16 rifle, the .458 SOCOM came about from informal discussion of members of the special operations community, specifically Task Force Ranger’s experience that multiple shots were required to neutralize members of the opposing force in Mogadishu during Operation Gothic Serpent. Marty ter Weeme of Teppo Jutsu designed the cartridge in 2000 and Tony Rumore of Tromix was contracted to build the first .458 SOCOM rifle in February 2001. Tony Rumore fired the very first round of .458 SOCOM ammunition in the Tromix shop located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma on February 16, 2001, at 8:30pm.”
The 458 SOCOM “was designed to be 100% compatible with the M4 platform. This included the buffer, buffer spring, GI magazines, many aftermarket .223/5.56 magazines, and magazine well. In .223/5.56 caliber, cartridges stack in a staggered (double stack) fashion. However, with the much larger .458 SOCOM, rounds “single stack” without any modification to the standard GI magazine feed lips or follower, making it the most versatile and cost effective big bore offering in an AR-15 platform. A standard 20-round 5.56mm NATO magazine can hold seven .458 SOCOM rounds and a standard 30-round 5.56mm NATO magazine can hold ten .458 SOCOM rounds.”
“Today, .458 SOCOM rifles and complete upper halves are available from Rock River Arms and Tromix. Disappear Gear and Wilson Combat offer barrels and uppers although they do not use designer-copyrighted reamers and functionality may be compromised. Barrels and bolts can be purchased from Southern Ballistic Research and Tromix. Because this round has not been accepted as a SAAMI standard round, brass for hand loading is exclusively produced by Starline. Loaded ammunition is also manufactured by Southern Ballistic Research, Cor-Bon, in addition to several smaller boutique loaders.” Wikipedia.
“Rock River Arms is owned and operated by brothers Mark and Chuck Larson. Between 1981 and 1991 the Larsons worked at Springfield Armory, Inc., where Mark was the head armorer. From Springfield Armory, the Larsons went into partnership with Les Baer to form Les Baer Custom and build custom 1911 pistols. Parting ways with Les Baer in 1993, the Larsons began to build AR-15 type rifles for Eagle Arms in Coal Valley, Illinois. At around the same time, they began their own venture, Tolerance Plus (the name was later changed to Rock River Arms), producing custom 1911 pistols. The Larson brothers severed their connection with Eagle Arms in 1997 when that firm moved to Geneseo, Illinois. At the same time, Rock River Arms began to build AR-15 style rifles. For a time, Rock River Arms produced M1911 pattern pistols in addition to rifles, however eventually they dropped that line and now focus their production exclusively on AR-15 pattern rifles.” Wikipedia.
If Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok were alive today . . .