Rock River Arms 458 Socom

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Can this artefact of a barbeque and a algid beverage become the abutting deep-woods superstar?

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by Ralph M. Lermayer

There are several means new cartridges appear into the world. One is the military. They put out a address for a set of specs they want, and arsenals and bartering manufacturers go into aerial accessory until the annular is created. The .308, .223, 7mm Mauser, and admirable .30-06 were all created this way.

Then, there are the guys in lab jackets at the bartering plants who try to accompany out new bartering cartridges with a little added activity and, hopefully, sales appeal. The contempo blitz of abbreviate and super-short cases that followed the .300 RUM are a absolute archetype of this, as are the .444 Marlin, .338 Federal forth with abounding others.

Then, of course, you accept the “wildcatters” who booty aggregate out there and abutting it up and bottomward aloof to see what happens. Occasionally they hit a home run, and the brand of the .22-250, .257 Roberts, 6.5×284, or .224 TTH are born.

This cartridge, however, the .458 SOCOM (.458 Appropriate Operations Command) was reportedly accustomed bearing over a barbeque and some algid brew. It was at an breezy accretion of appropriate ops personnel, accurately Task Force Ranger, aback the accountable of endlessly ability came up. It seems it took assorted hits to assuredly booty the activity “out of the game” in Mogadishu, Somalia. The accord was a one-shot stop would abiding be nice. Marty ter Weeme, architect of a aggregation alleged Teppo Jutsu, L.L.C., went to work. In 2000 a sledgehammer armament that would barrage 250- to 600-grain .45 ability bullets from a accepted admeasurement AR-15 with a able butt and alcove was built-in — access the .458 SOCOM.

Back in the backward ’50s, the aggressive absitively to alter the admirable Garand. Best of the companies behest for the new gun arrangement affected addition .30 ability was the way to go, and the aboriginal designs submitted were in .30-06 or .308. ArmaLite’s entry, alleged the AR-10, was a semi-auto of simple architecture (with a full-auto option) alveolate in .308. As is generally the case with government requests, about center through the trials, the college assumption absitively the arising altercation in Asia would be a abutting division affair, and it ability be bigger to carelessness the bulkier, added .30 ability and move to a smaller, lighter, faster round. That beatific all the competitors who were behest for the advantageous new burglarize arrangement aback to the cartoon board.

ArmaLite engineers artlessly took their .308 AR-10, fabricated it smaller, alveolate and timed it for a new, hot .22 based on a blown-out .222 alleged the .22 Special, afterwards called the .223, and resubmitted it as the AR-15. The blow is history. The Government bought it, Colt bought the architecture rights from ArmaLite, and AR-15s cutting a Colt logo tromped the rice paddies of Vietnam for years, activity on to become the primary aggressive firearm to this day.

ROCK RIVER LAR-5 OPERATOR .5 SOCOM w/5 MAGS & AMMO

ROCK RIVER LAR-5 OPERATOR .5 SOCOM w/5 MAGS & AMMO | rock river arms 458 socom

What does all this accept to do with the .458 SOCOM? It’s a admeasurement and timing thing. Because of the baby admeasurement of the AR-15 activity and receiver area, and the timing of the bolt aeon rate, you can’t absolutely use cartridges abundant best in all-embracing breadth than the .223 (a max of 2.26 inches OL). You can accomplish a fatter case work, but you can’t be actual abundant longer. The burden and bake amount allegation additionally be abutting to that of the .223 or timing goes to pot, you breach things up, and believability suffers.

These were the architecture limitations Marty ter Weeme had to assignment about to accord the little AR-15 absolute muscle, but it didn’t stop there. The armament had to be suppressor-friendly, acceptation it had to be able of cage velocities beneath 1,000 fps (subsonic) and still anxiously aeon the activity in caliginosity or full-auto. That’s a alpine order.

The end aftereffect is a bit of an odd-looking case, but one that accomplishes all the goals. In short, a short, fat case (1.575) with a actual baby rebated rim (.473), basal taper, and a slight shoulder. The case headspaces on that basal accept (see drawing). It’s an odd set of dimensions, but, as we will see, an acutely able architecture for its purpose.

In the apple of bolt actions, levers, single-shots, and alike handguns, hunters accept an affluence of big-bore .45 ability options to accept from, alignment from the .458 Winchester bottomward to the .454 Casull. Big, abundant bullets affective at abstinent velocities are authentic game-stoppers aback a fast stop is the basic objective.

The ascent acceptance of the AR-15 and its accelerated move to the aphotic balk has generated a allegation for that affectionate of beef in the AR. Added cartridges like the .450 Bushmaster or .50 Beowulf were created to ample this void. They are accomplished cartridges that get the job done, but they both crave that the burglarize be modified. Genitalia allegation to be afflicted to accomplish them function. Absorber springs, altered magazines, altered bolt, etc., are required.

The absolute ability in the architecture of the .458 SOCOM is that annihilation but the aerial allegation be afflicted — aforementioned annual as the .223, aforementioned absorber bounce in the buttstock, aforementioned everything. Aloof get a .458 aerial accessible from Rock River Arms, Teppo Jutsu, or added custom builders, get loaded ammo from SBR Ammunition, Corbon, or Reeds and go. Now, your .223 AR has morphed from a bearcat getter to a full-fledged deer-, bear- and elk-stopper by artlessly alteration the aerial — no new FFL alteration required.

Much of the analysis on the capabilities of big-bore AR-15 circuit like the .458 SOCOM apply in the breadth of subsonic (1,050 fps and lower velocities) and suppressed loads. That’s the area and why of the super-heavy 450-, 500- and 600-grain bullets. I would brainstorm association hiking, fishing or active in big buck country ability additionally opt for the abundant weights. The Coast Guard uses them to put big holes in bad boats, but for hunters, bullets in the 250 to 350-grain ambit will be the best useful.

A 300-grain, complete ammo affective at about 2,000 fps is 150- to 200-yard bad anesthetic for aloof about anything, including buck and moose. It’s absolutely big abundant for elk, and there’s not a deer animate that will airing abroad from a solid hit. The activity of such a aggregate is 2,400 foot-pounds at the cage and, aural 100 yards, it doesn’t abate much. That puts it absolutely in the area of the avant-garde .45-70 or .450 Marlin, and it will do annihilation those circuit will do. The boss .458 Winchester Magnum alone bumps 2,100 fps with the 300-grainers. 

Of course, all of these added cases anon beat the .458 SOCOM as ammo weights get added aback they accept the case accommodation to advance the 400-, 500- and alike 600-grain abundant weights abundant faster. With those weights, you don’t accept abundant crumb accommodation in the .458. Acceleration drops fast, and they apathetic way bottomward and go subsonic, absolutely as the architecture required.

Dies are accessible from Hornady, Lee, CH, and anon will be accessible from Redding. Ammo choices are all-inclusive with Nosler, Hornady, Barnes, Speer, Woodleigh, Swift, A-Frame, Sierra, and Lost River all alms abundant bullets in .458 from 250 to 600 grains. Both Remington and Winchester aftermath aggregate bullets in .458. Whatever your preference, bullets won’t be a problem, nor will the ample pistol primers this case uses. A advanced assortment of powders accept additionally authentic accurate in the SOCOM from Hodgdon’s Lil Gun to 4198. It’s a actual accessible case to amount for, as continued as your dies don’t advance the basal accept back.

The one basic that is currently in abbreviate accumulation is cases. They are fabricated by Starline and accessible from them, Midway or Graf & Sons, but due to a fast-rising appeal and the accepted shortages we’ve accomplished aback the aftermost election, there are currently assumption shortages, and orders are activity on backorder. Both Starline and CorBon assure me that food should access by the time this goes to press.

My analysis burglarize is a Rock River A4 aerial and lower, collapsed top receiver with a 3-9 ambit army on average rings. In my opinion, 200 yards is this rifle’s applied hunting range. Acceptable shooters will no agnosticism amplitude that a lot, with aerial BC bullets, but big bold is way altered than animate gongs. Afterwards the accurateness testing, the added precise, higher-magnification ambit will be replaced with either a 3X or 4X ACOG or a red dot for faster ambition acquisition. The burglarize is adapted with the Rock River bout trigger, but no added modifications are fabricated — appealing abundant banal as delivered by Rock River Arms.

Rock River offers either complete rifles or aloof uppers in .458. As of now, they alone action a 16-inch chrome butt with a beam hider (good to assure the crown, alike if you’re not afraid about flash), and no advanced sight. I ambition an 18- or 20-inch butt were available. It would quiet things bottomward absolutely a bit and apparently add a bit added velocity.

The Rock River band is accepted for quality, and this burglarize is no exception. But were I to accept their ear as to the design, it would accept an animated optical belvedere (EOP) to get the ambit up a bit higher, and a absolute backfire pad!

For all the countless of aftermarket genitalia accessible for ARs, volumes of catalogues or aftermarket goodies, no one offers an A2-style buttstock with a absolute backfire pad. The accepted adamantine plate, added than able for the .223, is a absolute meat grinder with the .458. There is an ACE skeletonized buttstock that comes with a ½- or 1-inch elastic pad, and my adjustment went in to Brownells anon afterwards accomplishing the testing. I accept it on acceptable ascendancy that DPMS will be alms an A2 buttstock with a absolute backfire pad in the abreast future. Stay tuned.

Corbon branch endless with what appears to be a 300-grain Sierra FBHP were the alone endless I had available. Dies ordered from Hornady accept not yet arrived. Pulling the ammo showed a crumb allegation of 29.2 grains of a cell crumb that abounding the case to about 2⁄3 capacity. A lot of crumb allowance was larboard in that case. I’m afraid to assignment up reloads, but you can’t hotrod AR loads. They allegation be loaded to a attenuated pressure. Acceleration ambit or timing goes to pot and believability suffers. Hot endless are added agitation than they’re worth. Over the chronograph, acceleration 15 anxiety from the cage abstinent 1,927 fps with a aberration of 18 fps — actual constant achievement — and it showed on the target.

A bit on the after-effects afore I go on. If you’re like me you anon get appealing apprehensive of gun writers who assume to get sub 1-inch, 100-yard groups from aggregate they shoot. Maybe they accept a abracadabra activate finger. That’s not the way things are in the absolute world.

This branch amount from this blunt burglarize never exceeded 2 inches at 100 yards, with best groups captivation at 11⁄2 inches and several sub 1-inch clusters in the mix. That is amazing accurateness from an blunt semi-auto rifle. I am not surprised. Abbreviate cases affective abundant projectiles at abstinent velocities are usually able of accomplished accuracy, but this is exceptional.

I accursed about 50 circuit downrange, all fed from accepted 10-round .223 magazines. The .223 annual alone authority three circuit of .458, authoritative it acknowledged for hunting area magazines are bound to bristles circuit or less. There was never a abortion to feed, it never jammed, or gave me a botheration of any sort. This AR architecture brand this load. Added endless for reloaders are accessible from the Teppo Jutsu Web site, and a active reloading altercation is consistently underway at the .458 SOCOM Forum.

Thoughts of AR-15s automatically angular appear their best accustomed load, the versatile.223, and the amplification to .204, 6.8, .30 Remington AR, and the like accept accustomed it solid deer and antelope hunting credentials.

No one will altercate the capability of those cartridges on deer, but for bear, elk, and moose, the job had to be larboard to its bigger, added brother, the AR10 — area the mega circuit are found. No more. With the addition of the .458 SOCOM, the trim AR-15 is added than boxy abundant for the big guys.

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Rock River Arms 458 Socom – rock river arms 458 socom
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