If you’re in search of the best huge bore cartridge, climate you can never go wrong with the.458 Socom and .50 Beowulf.

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Featuring extremely huge designs, these 2 cartridges are highly famous in the big game hunting circles and are appropriate for countless other tactical uses. They share a most similarities, which provides it practically impossible for hunters to determine which one come use and also which one not to use.

In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the 2 bullets. We’ll take it you v an exhaustive.458 Socom and also .50 Beowulfcomparison the will point out the significant differences and similarities, weaknesses and also strengths in between the two cartridges.

This info will help you decide which cartridge will fulfill your personal hunting requirements and also specifications.

Let’s go:

As usual, we very first familiarize ourselves with the specifications the the two rounds.

Specifications.458 SOCOM.50 Beowulf
Place & year the originUnited States, 2000United States, 2001
Parent case.50 action Express.50 action Express
Bullet diameter11.63 mm (0.458 in).500 in (12.7 mm)
Neck diameter12.32 mm (0.485 in).525 in (13.3 mm)
Base diameter13.74 mm (0.541 in).535 in (13.6 mm)
Rim diameter12.01 mm (0.473 in).445 in (11.3 mm)
Case length40.00 mm (1.575 in)1.65 in (42 mm)
Overall length57.40 mm (2.260 in)2.125 in (54.0 mm)
Primer typeLarge PistolLarge pistol magnum

.458 Socom vs .50 Beowulf: History

.458 Socom

The .458 Socom was designed for use by the US armed forces after the battle of Mogadishu. The military’s SOCOM (Special operations Command) members to be disappointed through the avoiding power that the 5.56 NATO round, for this reason they wanted a large bore round that could still work with the timeless M4 reduced receiver.

Their quest caused the architecture of .459 Socom in the year 2000. Tromix was offered the contract of creating the an initial ever .458 Socom rifles in 2002.

Today, Tromix and a few other service providers manufacture the rifles as well as the upper receiver. The total has additionally received a huge following by the civilians, specifically the AR enthusiasts. Numerous regard it together a great low velocity round for house defense and hunting use.

.50 Beowulf

The .50 beowulf was designed approximately the same duration as the .458 Socom (in 2001). It was designed by Alexander Arms v the main purpose of developing a huge bore cartridge because that use through the AR15/M14 kind style rifles, which were originally chambered because that the 5.56x45 rounds.

This round was well got by the military and also police force as it permitted them to deal with CQB situations much more effectively.

In today’s world, the cartridge has become a popular selection for house defense and hunters.


The first thing we have to look into regarding the two rounds is your ballistics. This will assist you obtain an idea what kind of performance you expect from them and also their restrictions too.

We’ll discuss the ballistics in state of:

(i). Velocity

Generally, the 2 rounds have actually low velocity. Remember they’re intended because that close encounter scenarios (below 400 or 500 yards), whereby a lot of growth isn’t constantly necessary.

At first, the .50 Beowulf mirrors a slightest higher muzzle velocity yet loses its edge much quickly. The difference in between the two rounds tape-recorded over 100, 200, and also 300 yards, reflects the .50 beo wolf round having a greater velocity.

But considering that this difference doesn’t go beyond 100 ft.lb,it’s doubtlessly insignificant.

Overall, you have the right to expect the 2 rounds come fly at supersonic speed from 0 come 200 yards.

(ii). Trajectory

Talking about the path complied with by the 2 rounds as soon as fired from your rifle, they follow similar trajectory native the muzzle up to about 150 yards.

As they move to 200 and 300 yards, they begin exhibit slightly different paths, v the .458 Socom showing less than 1-inch cartridge drop contrasted to the .50 Beowulf. At 300 yards, the gap widens further, with the .458 mirroring an even flatter trajectory.

Pat 300 yards, the 2 rounds have discouraging trajectory that would certainly give even the most expert marksman issues when shooting a target.

Neither that the two rounds wins in this category.

(iii). Ballistic Coefficient (BC)

You currently know that BC offers you a clue how streamlined your cartridge is, with a higher bc indicating the cartridge being more capable of resisting drag and also drift, wind drag, when flying toward your target.

What you can expect for the .458 Socom vs .50 Beowulfcomparison: both cartridges typically have low bc values. If us look further into rounds from every cartridge, we’ll uncover that the .458 Socom rounds display a slightly greater bc on mean (though it’s tho small).

The tiny bc value of the 2 cartridges can be attributed come the truth that both rounds room designed through the target of delivering a huge amount of force to a target in close selection battles. This way, the bullets that accompany them space usually rounded or come with flat nose that aren’t really resistant to drag.


The .458 Socom rounds show slightly reduced recoil energy compared to the .50 Beowulf. Most rounds that the .450 Socom fall around28.89ft.lb if those the 50. Beowulf falls within39-32ft.lb range.

The enhanced recoil that the .50 Beowulf can be attributed to its higher muzzle velocity us saw earlier on.

The following chart indicates exactly how the recoil force of ring from each group (with the exact same powder charge) look at like:

Stopping power

As lengthy as you intend to use these rounds for residence defense or hunting purposes, preventing power is a vital factor that should assist you do a better decision.

In determining the stopping power the the 2 rounds, us look at the following vital attributes:


(i). Energy

This describes the kinetic energy that a bullet carries through it as soon as it gets introduced from the pistol barrel. Because that hunting/self-defense, you’d want sufficient to neutralize her target and also stop it appropriate in its track.

When shot out of the muzzle the .50 beowulf exhibits better bullet energy than .458 Socom. When they with the 200 and 300 garden marks, the distinction starts getting smaller, through the .50 Beowulf keeping the lead.

(ii). Penetration

The penetration potential of a bullet is acquired from the sectional density. Due to the fact that the .458 Socom has actually a slightly smaller bullet diameter, you can expect their penetration power to be greater than that of .50 Beowulf because of larger weight acting on a smaller sized area.

The .50 beo wolf is designed to it is in most effective at stopping targets at brief to medium selection distances, making it the wanted round used at car checkpoints by the military. This an especially makes sense because the round is heavy and its trip path is not affected by glass or standard car body panels, meaning they don"t deflect, but rather go right through to the target. The being said, that stopping power at much shorter distances makes this ring a top an option for huge game hunters, especially those that are hunting for be afflicted with or simply want a greater ability to safeguard themselves against a potential bear strike while hunting other game.


When discussing accuracy of the two rounds, we require to bring into play their ballistics. We witnessed that both have comparable ballistics, with only a couple of slight differences.

If you’re planning on acquisition shots within the 100 garden range, one of the 2 cartridges has an advantage over the other.

For shots beyond 100-yard mark, however, friend should think about using.458 SOCOM rounds due to the fact that they showed a flatter trajectory, greater velocities, and greater BCs than the .50 beo wolf rounds.

We should likewise consider recoil as one of the an essential determinants that the rounds accuracy. We experienced that .50 beo wolf generates a greater recoil pressure than .458 Socom ~ above average. However, both rounds produce enough recoil to make it complicated to accurately make shots in quick succession on her target.

Nevertheless, any type of experienced marksman or hunter have the right to make the recoil that these two rounds much more manageable to achieve accurate shots in quick succession. Choose with any kind of weapon, many practice is forced to end up being an experienced marksman. Just have actually patience and also you"ll end up being as precise using either of these rounds as you desire to be.


The truth that the 2 rounds are relatively obscure affects their availability. Lock don’t have actually a huge market contrasted to various other tactical and also hunting rounds.

For this reason, their accessibility is going come be limited if you shopping in retail store. And also if you acquire them, you could get restricted selections the both rounds.

With the existence of internet, however, you can always do a research of the digital stores offering the specific round alternatives you’re looking for.

Ammo cost

As because that the price, you need to recognize that both ring come with their affordable and also expensive options. The limited availability that both rounds way you"ll salary a greater than typical price because that them. Remember, this are mainly military rounds that space not together widely obtainable to civilians on the open sector yet, but that will likely adjust over time together less and less usage by the armed forces results in greater stocks the both bullets. That should carry down the price as well.

But the .458 SOCOM space usually an ext expensive per round contrasted to the .50 Beowulf.

Good news is that both cartridges room reliable, for this reason if you a hand loading enthusiast, girlfriend can end up conserving a great amount the cash.

Final word—.458 Socom vs .50 Beowulf

As you have the right to see native our detailed .458 Socom vs .50 Beowulfcomparisons above, the two rounds re-superstructure a most similarities but still have actually their distinctive differences.

Both rounds have the right to do well when offered for house defense situations, i m sorry is what lock were initially designed for.

You can likewise count on them to effectively hunt medium to huge sized games located approximately 200 yards means from her stand. For much longer distances, beyond 200 yards, you’d desire to go v the .458 SOCOM rounds as they show much more promising results.

Regarding recoil, the difference in between the two rounds is quite little and insignificant, through the .458 Socom being on the greater end. However given the recoil pressure of the 2 rounds autumn within controllable limits, this shouldn’t be an worry for you.

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The finest round in between these two large bore bullets is a decision that we’ll live in her hands based upon your specific needs and also requirements.