You are new to the .458 SOCOM caliber and want to purchase .458 SOCOM ammunition.


Before we get into .458 SOCOM ammunition, let's review the caliber itself.

History of the .458 SOCOM caliber: 

“The impetus [for developing the .458 SOCOM] was an informal (“beer and barbecue”) discussion with a senior member of the US special operations community regarding the apparent lack of effectiveness of the 5.56 x 45 cartridge in recent war usage. In particular, reports from the Task Force Ranger in Mogadishu, Somalia complained that multiple shots were required to neutralize members of the opposing force, leading to a formal request to develop a new cartridge that would deliver far more energy from short barrels at relatively short distances. After the design was completed, Tony Rumore of Tromix Corp in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was contacted to build the first prototype. Based on the ensuing favorable reviews, commercial production started, and the initial rifles were produced by Tromix. Currently, several firms offer rifles or upper assemblies in this caliber, including AR-15s, AK-47s, single shot and bolt action rifles.”

Things to know about the 458 SOCOM and what is it good for?

Military Applications?

Unfortunately, as a military rifle platform it never really caught on.  There could be many reasons for this. One reason could be the size and weight of the ammunition. By comparison, most military ammunition projectiles weigh in at 55 to 62 grains, the enormous .458 SOCOM common FMJ weight is 350 grains. That is huge! This additional weight is more than three times the standard 5.56 Nato projectile weight and with all things considered, it's an easy choice to make when you pick up 500 rounds of 5.56 ammo verses 500 rounds of 350 gain FMJ .458 SOCOM ammo.


This is where the .458 SOCOM really shines. With ballistics similar to the beloved .45-70 government, but in an AR platform, it has really evolved into a trusted big game killing machine. This is especially evident in states like Texas and Florida where feral hogs have exploded in numbers in the last ten years. The .458 SOCOM has become a go to rifle for many hog hunters who are chasing hogs which typically run in "sounders" or packs of multiple hogs. The fact the .458 SOCOM is in an AR platform has really helped to it rise in popularity with hog hunters. Unlike lever actions or bolt action big bore rifles, a .458 SOCOM can run through multiple mags in a few seconds if needed.

I constantly have folks ask about the .458 SOCOM for big game in North America. I like to remind them the .45-70 gov't almost eradicated the American Bison which was reported to be in the tens of millions before the settlers came. At distances out to 100 yards, a well-placed shot will and will take down any big game in North America.

"Another use for .458 SOCOM is as a hunting round. The sheer amount of energy delivered by the heavy round is adequate for all large North American game animals, from moose to elk to bear. The round is perfectly serviceable for wild pigs and deer but overkill for animals smaller than a hundred pounds."

Source: National

Self Defense?

Another reason to own the .458 SOCOM is for close range self-defense applications. The reason behind the invention of this big bore rifle was for combat stopping power. This has helped the caliber evolve into a rifle of choice for home defense. Do to issues with over perpetration, many folks have gravitated to subsonic and lead-free frangible ammunition for home defense. Again, the versatility of the .458 SOCOM quickly becomes evident when you run subsonic loads through it. 

Range fun?

Again, due to the wide variety of available loads made by Black Butterfly Ammunition the sky is the limit for range day fun! We offer soft shooting "Thumper Loads", faster harder hitting "Range Rounds", frangible for lead free ranges and a full inventory of all things from subsonic to supersonic hunting loads.

But is it accurate?

Absolutely!  The .458 SOCOM platform in a standard AR15 is extremely accurate out to 100 yards and routinely hits 1" or less groups. 

But what about the recoil?

Having grown up in part of the country that only allowed shot gun slug hunting for deer, I personally feel that recoil is similar to that of a 20-gauge slug gun. However, subsonic and plinker loads are much softer shooting. 

Is it hard to build?

If you are new to rifle building, I would recommend you simply order an upper and slap it on your AR15 multiple caliber lower. This caliber is typically ready to rock and roll on any multi caliber lower.  There are many quality uppers on the market. We recommend the OG Tromix or other manufacturers we reviewed which can be found by clicking here.

What about mags?

We recommend modified Lancer Mags or Standard Metal GI Mags but with a 1/2 moon in the front lip. You can also add .458 SOCOM followers which are readily available. We do however recommend only 8-9 rounds per mag to give it room to breathe! 

Also, check out our video on mags for the .458 SOCOM by clicking here!

So.....what is the best ammunition for the .458 SOCOM?

Before purchasing any ammunition for your rifle, I would visit our YouTube channel and watch some of the high-speed gel videos we have released. These videos will allow you to see what the different projectiles do when impacting ballistic gel. These videos are pretty amazing to watch if you have never witnessed the brute force of the .458 SOCOM.

Here are a few of my favorites which can be purchased on our website at

  • 260 grain "Maximus Fractura"
    • This rounds really pushes the speed limit in the .458 SOCOM and fractures petals on impact. 
  • 300 grain Hornady JHP
    • A retooled favorite 45-70 government projectile that is extremely accurate and great on deer and hogs. 
  • 300 grain Barnes TTSX "HOG STOPPER"
    • One of our most popular rounds for hogs.
  • 350 grain Plinker Pro
    • Soft shooting range ammo for a great day of fun!
  • 325 Hornady FTX
    • Big, slow and devastating copper jacketed lead. 
  • 350 grain "FMJ"
    • A stout military load designed to mimic military applications. 
  • 476 grain "A-BOMB" and 500 grain "BUZZ SAW"
    • Absolutely devastating Maker Bullets solid copper low velocity expander projectiles.
  • 600 grain "D600 Colossus JHP"
    • The heaviest round we load! Made with a soft copper jacket, these hollow points are enormous!

Thanks for taking the time to read this article and I hope you enjoy your rifle with our quality ammo!

Nick The Owner