458 SOCOM | Born Out of US Special Operations Command

Developed in 2000 and released in 2001 as a short-range option for the underpowered 5.56 NATO cartridge.

The 458 SOCOM was created out of an after-action report by members of Task Force Ranger regarding Operation Gothic Serpent in Mogadishu.


The issue that was identified was that it took multiple shots from the 5.56 NATO cartridge to incapacitate members of the opposing force. This was due to them chewing on Khat all day which increased their pain tolerance.

That increased pain tolerance required multiple shots from the 5.56 round to incapacitate them.

One other very important requirement of the 458 SOCOM was that it had to be 100% compatible with the AR-15/M4 platform, short of a barrel and bolt carrier group swap.

458 Socom/ 450 Bushmaster Bolt Carrier Group

at Faxon Firearms
Prices accurate at time of writing

Faxon 458 SOCOM Bolt Carrier Groups are Superfinished to reduce friction, increase the smoothness of operation, and reduce fouling.

Further, they are full-Auto rated and maintain the trip for full-auto fire control groups and new multi-stage trigger systems. Gas keys use grade 8 fasteners and are fully staked for a lifetime of service.

458 SOCOM Barrel

The industry standard 1:14 twist barrels seem to be the best choice for over 350-grain bullets and/or subsonic loads and will shoot all suitable bullet weights acceptably well.

We recommend this twist rate if you plan to use a suppressor to eliminate the chance of a baffle strike. The 458 SOCOM is also capable of launching 500- 600 grain bullets at subsonic velocities for suppressed or tactical use.

Faxon 16" Gunner Big Bore Profile AR15 Barrel, 458 Socom

at Faxon Firearms
Prices accurate at time of writing

Faxon Firearms barrels are the pinnacle of value. Manufactured 100% in-house, these 458 SOCOM barrels are fully stress relieved, air-gauge tested, and 11-degree target crowned to ensure superior accuracy.

Faxon 458 SOCOM Barrel Specs

  • Barrel Material: 4150 CMV
  • Barrel Type: Button Rifled
  • Barrel Caliber: 458 Socom
  • Barrel Twist: 1:14
  • Barrel Length: 16"
  • Barrel Profile:  Gunner Big Bore
  • Barrel Gas System: Carbine
  • Inside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride
  • Outside Finish: Salt Bath Nitride
  • Muzzle Thread: 11/16×24
  • Gas Block Diameter: .875"
  • Gas Block Journal Length: 1.1"
  • Barrel Extension: Big Bore barrel extension
  • Weight:  1.72  lbs
  • Magnetic Particle Inspected
  • Polished 11-degree Target Crown
  • 458 SOCOM Ballistics

458 SOCOM Ballistics

The nomenclature of the 458 SOCOM is quite simple. 458 refers to the bullet diameter of .458 inches.

The 458 SOCOM cartridge offers the practical ballistics of the legendary .45-70 in a modern AR 15 platform and is capable of firing 250 to 600-grain .458 caliber bullets in a lightweight, controllable package.

At 100 yards the 458 round is traveling at ~1512.2 ft per second with 1776.2 foot lbs on target (depending on the ammunition). You’ve got to love those foot lbs on target; Merica!

Faxon Firearms Barrels

For hunting medium to large game; bullets in the 250-grain to 400-grain weight range possess devastating killing power.

In testing, the .458 SOCOM offers peak terminal performance when firing the purpose-built Barnes 300 grain TAC TX bullet reaching the 1,750 to 1,800 feet-per-second velocity range.

458 SOCOM Magazine

The 458 SOCOM feeds flawlessly from most standard 5.56 AR magazines. Testing has found the Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter Magazine to be optimal for this round.

The Lancer 20 round 5.56 magazine holds seven 458 SOCOM rounds and the 30 round 5.56 magazine will hold nine.

In our opinion, the .458 SOCOM has several design and performance advantages over the 450 Bushmaster and the 50 Beowulf including improved functional reliability and the use of a standard AR magazine.

Standard 5.56 NATO cartridges stack in a staggered (double stack) fashion. However, the much larger 458 SOCOM rounds “single stack" without any modification to the standard GI magazine feed lips or follower.

458 SOCOM Ammo

Ammo availability across the board is an ongoing challenge in the firearm industry as ammunition manufacturers work tirelessly to catch up to consumer demand as people stockpile ammo for training, hunting, and range practice.

You can typically find 458 SOCOM ammo for ~$3.65/round and they typically come in 20-round boxes.


at Freedom Munitions
Prices accurate at time of writing

What is a 458 SOCOM Good For?

458 SOCOM is great for our special operations units to field in specific mission sets. It’s also extremely effective at hunting North American big game such as elk or bear.

What is the Effective Range of a 458 SOCOM?

Inside 100 yards people have seen groups of .75 inches (sub-moa). The 458 SOCOM round is considered extremely accurate inside 200 yards which is where it was designed to perform best.

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