One thing that jumps out to us is that all of the rounds bleed off velocity pretty rapidly, though we also have to keep in mind that these rounds are designed for much closer range shooting than 400 and 500 yards. Both of these cartridges are relatively obscure and do not have as large a market as other typical hunting/tactical rounds. Most .450 Bushmaster ammo typically has bullet weights in the 158gr to 300 gr range, with 250gr and 260 gr bullets being the most popular. The size difference between.223 Rem. Availability, expense of ammo, performance, components and all all other factors tell me the .450 is the best choice all around. 458 Socom can tackle the 600-grain, while 450 Bushmaster can handle half of this number. That’s not always easy and can cost quite a bit of money, but we can look back at previous ballistic data and try a roundabout way to look at accuracy between the 458 SOCOM vs 50 Beowulf cartridges. All of these rounds are in the 300-350gr range besides the single subsonic .458 SOCOM round which is 500gr. I’ve handloaded for years, so perfect cartridges for me. Hope this helps! Both have enough recoil to make quick successive shots difficult especially for placing all those shots where you want them. From the muzzle, the most noticeable trend between these two rounds presents itself. I have the 50 beowulf and the 450 Bushmaster and the thing that stands out the most to me is that you can buy the 450 Bushmaster at most sporting goods stores or gun shops but the 50 beowulf is sometimes very hard to get. 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. 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. While I am fairly ignorant on the semi auto rifle platforms described, I am an avid hunter looking to expand the range of animals I can hunt, cook, and eat. If you look at each round, barring the subsonic 458 SOCOM round, at these ranges, the biggest difference between two rounds is 1” and the rest less than .5”. The same goes for the quality of rifles available, which varies considerably. 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. You might come across them, but the selections for both are going to be limited. Make sure you follow The Big Game Hunting Blog on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Most bullet weights fall in the 300-350gr category, and there are much larger options available for subsonic rounds. 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. Both the 300 Blackout and the .450 Bushmaster shoot bullets are a similar velocity, but the .450 Bushmaster uses larger diameter bullets. and less that all three will perform similarly (with like bullet weights and types). THE BEST GUN DEALS AND HANDPICKED GEAR RECOMMENDATIONS, Subscribe to our Newsletter and we send you the best deals right into your inbox. To be effective, a bullet must be able to penetrate through sometimes very thick hide and bone to reach vital organs. Both have the stopping power, but if you want to go with the most destruction available, the .50 Beowulf rounds have slightly higher ft.lb of energy behind them at close ranges and the large .50 cal bullet is going to be brutal. Finally, the .450 Bushmaster and .50 Beowulf are also somewhat popular with hunters in the mid-west who are restricted to using straight walled cases during deer season. .50 BEOWULF At the biggest end of the bigbore AR-15 scale, the .50 Beowulf was likewise developed by Alexander Arms for use in a slightly modified upper receiver and standard-dimension magazine well. You have seen the performance specs, and if nothing stood out to you in those areas, it might come down to price for you. Though it is not rated by a governing body, the max pressure for both of these rounds heeded by hand loaders is 35,000psi. As a side note, the .50 Beowulf does have a little less recoil energy than the .450 Bushmaster and .458 SOCOM in the above table, but that’s due in large part to the fact that the .50 Beowulf load was being fired from a heavier rifle. 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. Of course, the increased recoil of the .50 Beowulf might make successive shots more difficult to put on target when compared to the .458 SOCOM. And it is deviating to hogs. (ii). As you can see, recoil is pretty comparable between the .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and .50 Beowulf. Jan 23, 2017 - Explore Todd Walter's board ".50 Beowulf" on Pinterest. Sign in to follow this . I know the bolt for the 50 Beowulf will fit on the 7.62x39 and the 6.5 Grendel Is the bolt different for the 450 Bushmaster, 458 Socom, 6.8 SPC? Great read. I just like thew thump and power of the big ones. The new straight walled cartridge functions in the AR-15 platform and, pushing a .452″ 250gr bullet at 2,200 feet per second (2,686 ft-lbs of energy), delivers the bone crushing performance out of an easy to handle semi-auto rifle just like Colonel Cooper originally envisioned. I hit a 190# hog in the near side leg bone, penetrated through and hit the ball joint on the far side, smashing it to pieces. That being said, each has different strengths and weaknesses that you should be aware of before purchasing one. I’ve been looking at all 3 cartridges listed but don’t have a ton of information on how they would perform out of a 10″ barrel with supressor or something similar. It does not have the expansion of our choice for the .458 SOCOM, but what it does have with the .50 cal bullet is enough to make clean kills up to 300 yards, and the trajectory is extremely flat when compared to other. This 40mm long case was designed to be fitted with the much larger .458 diameter bullets that produce dramatically more force than the 5.56 rounds but still able to be used with an AR magazine and a specialized .458 SOCOM upper receiver. I’m a fan of 16 inch barrels due to the utility of the gun. Obviously, its highly unlikely that you’re going to take that many rounds directly. A book or a website recommendation would be greatly appreciated. It is designed on the AR (Armalite) platform. We have looked at several ballistic and other performance categories for the .50 Beowulf vs 458 .SOCOM debate, we have seen evidence that both of these rounds can function in several shooting capacities. By the way, hats off for Bear Creek Arsenal. When it comes to the ballistics, we saw that both of these cartridges have very similar profiles. Do you want to hunt larger game animals like elk, moose, or brown bear? Thank you for the excellent and precise writing. The data used to compare the trajectory and wind drift of the cartridges was obtained from Midway USA (here, here, and here), Hornady, and Buffalo Bore. Maximum pressure obtained from SAAMI (p171 and p172). I used the Hornady Ballistic calculator and ShootersCalculator.com to compare wind drift and recoil for the cartridges. 6.5 grendel 50 beowulf and .458 socom Our Fallen Members. Happy hunting and tactical prep. In fact they’re all roughly comparable to the .45-70 Government. For self-defense, the reason for wanting a round with incredible stopping power is obvious. CVA produces their single shot Hunter and Scout rifles in the cartridge. But that could change. Not likely to hunt with it. Even these numbers can change depending on the variables such as powder charge, type of powder, and firearm weight. I find them on the same level of quality as AR Performance. 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. As we have said several times, these are lower velocity rounds, for rifle cartridges, and all of the rounds fall below supersonic speeds by the 300-yard mark which is the upper limit for the range of these cartridges. 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. 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. In the end, it comes down to what you have the most confidence with, especially when looking at two similar rounds. For instance, Federal, Hornady, Remington, and Winchester all manufacture .450 Bushmaster ammo. The .458 SOCOM rounds have slightly lower recoil energies when compared to the .50 Beowulf, which has several rounds in the 39-32ft.lb range compared to the highest .458 SOCOM round at 28.89ft.lb. Like the .458 SOCOM, the .50 AE is also the parent case of the .50 Beowulf. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Shoots under 2″ all day at 100 yards. John. Designed by Alexander Arms, the .50 Beowulf was actually the first of these three big bore AR cartridges to hit the market and, firing .500″ bullets, is the largest of the group. Down side of this situation is hogs. and 2,234 ft.-lbs. Before we get started, I have an administrative note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Differences Between 450 Bushmaster And 458 Socom Power. All three cartridges are solid performers and there is quite a bit of overlap in their capabilities. Even though these rounds are not meant to be used in long range situations, the trajectory of the round is going to be important for mid range shooting which still includes home defense and hunting purposes. 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. Followers 2. If you’d rather listen than read, you can either just press play below or click the appropriate link to download the episode through your preferred service. The rifle and cartridge suffered through major teething problems during the Vietnam War, but modifications to the rifle and the propellant used in the cartridge eventually solved most of those issues. Googled .450 vs. .50 vs. 458 and your article came up. Thank you. Mr. McAdams, Unlike other comparison attempts, we want to bring an unbiased look at these two cartridges to the table. The M855 bullet incorporated a steel penetrator, which markedly improved the penetration capabilities of the round compared to the old 55gr M193 load. Coming up on wounded animals, especially if they are predators, can be dangerous and being able to drop them cleanly takes this risk away. At the 200 and 300 yard mark, the energies associated with bullets from both cartridges begin to tighten closer together even more. The 454 casull is a hunting revolver cartridge, like but heavier than the 44 rem mag. Still, for those on the fence of one round or the other, we will take a look at the kinetic energy (ft.lb) of our selected rounds. Below we have listed the averages for each cartridge out to 300 yards. So, if you want a 16″ barrel, go for it. May 31, 2018 225 50 39 Spartanburg, SC. Thanks, super great article. While the differences between them (450 Bushmaster vs 458 SOCOM vs 50 Beowulf) are relatively large in a few areas, they’re all good choices for a wide range of hunting tasks. I hunt up close and personal. A 30 round AR mag for 5.56/.223 is a 10 round .458 mag. This is not the same as the kick you feel when firing, but increased recoil energies do translate to increased felt recoil. From the muzzle out to 150yds, there is no difference between these two cartridges. Mostly just for paper and sage rats. Similar to the .458 SOCOM, the .50 Beowulf cartridge was designed and produced in the early 2000’s with the idea to generate a large bore cartridge that could be used in the AR-15/M16 style weapons that traditionally are chambered for the 5.56×45 rounds. Both the .450 Bushmaster and .50 Beowulf are straight walled cartridges while the .458 SOCOM has a very small shoulder. I DO agree that at distances of 150 yds. And as we mentioned near the start of the article, these different ballistic categories also influence other performance factors including stopping power and further warrant a closer look. Buy some of the best .50 Beowulf hunting ammo here. It is another deer rifle for this season. 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. Put a small hole in them, filled with water, plugged the hole and KABLOOEY! There is great information out there that has been compiled by expert shooters, but does their data correlate to your skill level? At 1.7″, the .450 Bushmaster has a longer case length than the .458 SOCOM (1.575″) and .50 Beowulf (1.65″). Great read! Unfortunately, those same designers must also operate within relatively severe constraints when building larger bore cartridges that will reliably function in an AR-15. For that reason, hunters desiring a big bore AR currently only have three mainstream choices: the .450 Bushmaster, the .458 SOCOM, and the .50 Beowulf. The slightly better BCs and the higher average velocities out at 100 and 200 yards might sway you towards the .458 SOCOM rounds when it comes to hunting purposes. Hunting whitetail with .50 muzzleloader, shotgun, or 30-30 (depending on location and season) is the only hunting in which I have any proficiency (setting aside turkey hunts on occasion). Not missing a thing from Beowulf. 16, 18 or 20 inch. Both can handle your needs, but at the end of the day, your personal preference is going to be from confidence in the round from use. Heavier bullets with the same diameter are going to penetrate deeper than lighter rounds with the same diameter. Thanks , john for the information on big bore guns . I have a 2 AR15's. 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. He called the new cartridge the .45 Professional. There are several companies producing factory loaded .458 SOCOM cartridges, but the availability is limited. At the 300 yard mark, we see the biggest difference between the cartridges with a little over four inches of difference with the .458 SOCOM round having the flatter of the trajectories. Since we do not have ballistic gel data and since the bullet type plays a role and is seen in both cartridges, we will use the sectional density of the rounds. Maybe even Radical. 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. All that said, all three cartridges are on the light side for cape buffalo hunting, so use them for that task at your own risk. Nice , plain spoken and yet comprehensive and widely detailed comparison! One a 16 inch barreled close quarters set up and one a 20 inch long rang set up. We have collected the velocity (fps) data for all of these rounds from the muzzle out to 500 yards. Other companies sometimes sell .50 Beowulf ammo listed as 12.7x42mm. 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. 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. Finally, I recorded an entire podcast episode on the various cartridge options for the AR-15 (to include the .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and .50 Beowulf). The cartridge has found some popularity in the civilian shooting world as well and is very popular among AR enthusiasts and hand loaders. When a bullet is launched from the barrel down range (best .458 SOCOM barrels), it carries a kinetic energy along with it. I reload and find that helps a lot. .458 socom Posted by Josh Murphy on Sep 13th 2020 I love the rifle it functions perfectly I wish it had a thread protector or a simple muzzle brake and the shipping took longer than expected but during the pandemic I should have expected as much over all Im pleased with my purchase And like most ballistic numbers, environmental conditions can change these slightly from day to day based on temperature and pressure, among others. 270 vs 308: Which One Should You Hunt With? Expansion not only creates a larger wound, but it is also critical for transferring the energy from the bullet to the surrounding tissue more efficiently. On the other hand, Alexander Arms remains the primary source of rifles chambered in .50 Beowulf. Hope this helps! Buy a quality .458 SOCOM hunting rifle here. Too high a velocity, little expansion, and deep penetration can pass completely through the target and endanger others in the room or the area. Really enjoyed the article and found it useful as I train al lot of active AR users in tactical use. BONUS OFFER: Get your 500 Page Ammo Comparison Handbook (worth $43) for FREE right into your inbox. I load it in the Beo. Do you primarily hunt deer sized game at ranges less than 200 yards? The .223 Remington obviously did not fill the need for a heavy hitting big bore cartridge. When they reach the 200 and 300 yard marks, the difference starts getting smaller, with the .50 Beowulf maintaining the lead. Any advice is appreciated and I will subscribe to your podcast ASAP. Initially, the .50 Beowulf rounds show a higher muzzle velocity but lose this advantage quickly. Still, these numbers give you an idea of how these two cartridges stack up against each other. could not decide on 458 or 450. I find as a reloader that I can get much better performance than described from my 50BW. I am extremely interested in all three and was thinking about putting together an AR that's chambered for one of them. With the right bullets, they’re also suitable for larger and tougher game as well like moose and brown bear. 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. I have been interested in a black rifle in a bigger caliber for hunting and home defense, ended up going with the .450 Bushmaster for ballistics and ammo availability, but I plan on getting uppers in .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf as well. Which if you happen to live in CA (Communist America or Kalifornia), which I used to, is an excellent point to consider. looks like your right about the availiblity of ammo on all 3 looks like the 450 may be the best way to go to begin and with a lower built with big bore in mind , i can always pin one of the other 2 on . Pumpkins, gallon jugs, and cell phones beware, .500 Auto Max versus .458 SOCOM is here! We find it difficult to say that this small difference would lead to a difference in accuracy, but in theory, the higher performing .458 SOCOM rounds should be easier to put on target at greater distances than the .50 Beowulf. Even 500 yards might be overkill, but it was a nice round number. But the 50 beowulf also comes in … 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. Buy some high quality .458 SOCOM hunting ammo here (check out another good .458 SOCOM ammo option here). This data is for Alexander Arms, Buffalo Bore, Hornady, Remington, and Southern Ballistic Research (SBR) factory loads using a 150 yard zero. 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. As a general rule, if you’d feel comfortable hunting it with a .45-70, then you can probably ethically hunt it with any of these cartridges as well. But that’s the case with just about every round. I like all three and they’ll all work very well for you. Huston is a hunting enthusiast who believes your success in the field is directly correlated to the amount of preparation at home. However, they are all very similar at normal hunting ranges. Try Shaw or Ballistic Advantage if you want a barrel. Interestingly, their recoil is only slightly more than the low pressure .45-70 load and considerably less than the high pressure .45-70 load when fired from a slightly lighter Marlin Model 1895 rifle. For instance, one popular load by Alexander Arms fires a 350 grain bullet at 1,771 feet per second (2,437ft-lbs of energy). For the .50 Beowulf, the Alexander Arms Rainier Plated HP 335gr is one of our favorite hunting rounds. I loved shooting the Beowulf, specially disintegrating pumpkins in the fall after my wife finished decorating with them. Just another option! While the averages give you an idea of the differences between the two cartridges, we do want to point out that the rounds are interspersed regarding the amount of bullet energy. Used mainly for practicing with and defense from animals or bad people in the mountain area of Idaho. The penetration potential of a bullet is derived from its sectional density. The military eventually settled on the high velocity 5.56x45mm cartridge and the M-16 rifle, a military adaption of the civilian AR-15, which was itself a scaled down version of the AR-10. Made a nice stencil and marked the magazines with “.458 SOCOM Only” mark while living there. Have you seen the Bear Creek Arsenal uppers? I primarily use lighter bullets like the Barnes XPB 275gr, 240 leheigh (crazy speed & explosive), 300 gr Speer and Hornady. 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. Thanks for your support. We will go ahead and say that there is not a round on this list that wouldn’t neutralize a target at close range or that couldn’t take out medium sized game within a reasonable range. Understanding how these bullets behave is highly advantageous because it lets you better adjust shots and helps you understand the cartridges limitations. I have a lot to learn. They are now 10 round mags for your .458 Upper. Want to take a rifle chambered in one of these cartridges on a hunt? Normally, velocity is critical for both hunting and self-defense for a variety of reasons including performance at long range, proper expansion, and penetration. What we are comparing in this section is the amount that the bullet drops over its flight. The .458 SOCOM came on the scene via a slightly different route. Specifically, it shows a 250gr Hornady FTX load (.210 BC) in .450 Bushmaster, a 300 gr SBR JHP load (.197 BC) in .458 SOCOM, and a 350gr Alexander Arms XTP (.145 BC) in .50 Beowulf load compared to 405gr Remington Core-Lokt (.281 BC) and 350gr Buffalo Bore loads (.232 BC) in .45-70 Government. My buddy ordered his 450 BM upper from them with a side charging handle. We also have not mentioned the subsonic 458 SOCOM round up to this point which takes a dive past the 300 yard mark, but it’s not an issue as subsonic rounds are almost exclusively used for close range applications. Buy an excellent .450 Bushmaster hunting rifle here. You’ll probably see a slight decrease in perceived recoil with a good AR. You’re going to get more than enough penetration and energy to cleanly kill game up to 200 yards with both of these cartridges, and both have good hunting options that offer a little more expansion for maximal energy transfer. I have the 50 BW, I just bought 458 socom, I love the way it shoots, I will get the 450 bushmaster next. I am interested in learning about the different cartridges and how they compare. As you might guess by looking the cartridges themselves, the .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, and .50 Beowulf have very similar ballistics. They both have rounds that perform more efficiently in each category, but there were some very slight differences when comparing the two. Which one is better in a shorter barrel, like 16 inches? Can’t wait to see the performance on deer. Bushmaster was the first gun manufacturer to produce firearms in .450 Bushmaster, Tromix was the original firearms manufacturer for the .458 SOCOM, and Alexander Arms developed the first rifles in .50 Beowulf. They’re all very effective on a wide variety of game at short to moderate range. We have listed the averages for max capacities we have found from reliable sources here, and we see that they hold similar amounts of powder and they are also fitted with similar weight bullets. For the .458 SOCOM, we like the SBR Barnes Tipped TTSX 300gr round. Would you have a suggestion on which of the three would fill the rifle line up I mentioned? I see mags for .450 advertised at $27.00 apiece. I hope it is not too late. What is your opinion? Anyone choosing the 50 Beowulf or 458 SOCOM should handload to take advantage of the many different bullets available to keep costs reasonable. What do you think would be the shortest combo you could use and still get a full burn? The lower BCs make sense for these rounds. Extremely excellent information for unsure in bigger calibers. Accuracy when discussing a comparison of any two cartridges and even any two rounds of the same cartridge can lead down a road of arguments hotter and more passionate than any political debate. 200 and 300 yard marks, the energy of the.450 Bushmaster for wild boar, but does data! Sources you prefer for a very specific purpose enjoyed the article and found it effective in for. Indeed, the.50 Beowulf ammo listed as 12.7x42mm the game you are hunting the rounds! Less arching trajectory than the.458 SOCOM a culmination of several factors including bullet energy than.458 round. 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