Building The Better Cartridge

Two requirements were stated. First, a bigger round had to be fired using a standard M16 simply by exchanging the upper, with no changes to the recoil spring, buffer, or anything else. It also had to be able to feed totally reliably from a stock USGI aluminum magazine. The Rangers wanted big heavy bullets for everyday operations plus the ability to use extra-heavy bullets at subsonic speeds fired through suppressors.

Marty ter Weeme and Tony Rumore eventually heard about their complaints. In 2000, Marty designed a fat new bottlenecked cartridge using readily available .458 bullets for the .45-70 and Tony had the first rifle ready in 2001. Properly engineered in the first place, the rifle and cartridge were a success from the first time out. They named it the 458 SOCOM in honor of the Special Operations Command warriors who needed it.

Southern Ballistic Research has been making SOCOM ammo since the very beginning and their continuing research and development has led to an extensive line of ammunition — currently 29 different loads — for law enforcement, military use and hunting. The SOCOM round has established an impressive reputation among hog and bear hunters. What could be better than a 10-round magazine-fed semi-auto equivalent of the venerable .45-70? Today, several other companies also offer 458 SOCOM ammo.