which cartridge will win: .458 SOCOM, .45 Bushmaster, .50 Beowulf, .499 LW


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atek3
October 26, 2007, 09:32 PM
Forgive me if this one has been hashed to death, but it seems like there are 4 cartridges that fulfill the same niche... Which cartridges are going to die out and which will be around in 5 years?

thanks,
atek3

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Frog48
October 26, 2007, 09:41 PM
.50 Beowulf and .450 Bushmaster probably have the best chances, in my opinion.

browningguy
October 26, 2007, 09:50 PM
The LW is long gone, as much as I like my .50 Beowulf I think the .458 Socom will far outshine it in sales. AA decided to keep the .50 as a non-SAMMI cartridge so no one else builds uppers for it, but several people build the Socom uppers. I'm still not sure why Bushmaster decided to come out with another one, perhaps they believe they can beat out the Socom with marketing power.

shuter
October 26, 2007, 10:04 PM
see my post on my new .450 BM above. The .450 is a nice, simple straight-walled case that should last forever, from a strength standpoint (all it is is a cut down .284 Win case).

I also like it over the .458 Socom because it uses bullets developed for the .454 Casull/.460 S&W that operate well in it's velocity range, and are proven big game bullets (like the Hornady XTP's).

I guess the 300 grain HP's for the .45-70 fall into this range as well, and should work very well in the .458, too.

I know Rock River chambers for the Socom, so that's good. But I doubt that any ammo manufacturer will step up and standardize the round as Hornady has done for the .450.

Regardless, I think it'll come down to the .450 BM and the Socom, and those are 2 pretty awesome choices for a Thumper.

see ya

rbernie
October 26, 2007, 10:09 PM
458 Socom will have more market share five years from now than any of the others.

shuter
October 26, 2007, 11:39 PM
You may be right, but I'm curious.

biggameballs
October 27, 2007, 12:06 AM
I dont know much about AR style rifles but why the heck dont they just make them in 454 instead of comming out with these wacky rounds. Honestly I may buy an AR if it were chambered in 454 but I would never buy one in one of these odd ball rounds. (well odd ball to us hunters anyways)

shuter
October 27, 2007, 12:14 AM
same bullets as the .454 uses. However, a rimmed cartridge, such as the .454 CASULL (if that's what you were referring to) creates problems for a semi-auto like the AR, in terms of reliable feeding.

So, "oddball" is what you're stuck with if you want this kind of power (.454 Casull + about 25%, if that turns you on) in an AR-15.

Believe me, I own .454 Casulls, .500 S&W's, a zillion .44 mags, .45 Colts, and I love .45-70's more than anything with gunpowder in it. However, I've never had as much fun with a firearm - with the possible exception of a couple .22 lr's, and a .17 HMR on jackrabbits - as I have with my .450 Bushmaster.

It really is a "kick".

see ya

TimboKhan
October 27, 2007, 01:08 AM
I am not opposed to any of the rounds, but I don't know if any one of them will "make it". My suspicion is that each will have it's adherents, and each will hang around, but none of them will ever have mass appeal. If I had to pick one, I think my vote would go to the Beowulf, but I am just not convinced that any of these cartridges are going to succeed long term.

LoadedDrum
October 27, 2007, 07:23 AM
Corbon factory loads the 458 SOCOM

I like that it uses UNMODIFIED AR mags as opposed to needing a special follower.

Don't Tread On Me
October 27, 2007, 08:36 AM
Whichever is the most industry supported will win. Not really which one is most popular with consumers. Such things are still in the marketing/introduction stage of their product lives. What counts is who can get them out the most and the cheapest so they can become established. People will like that which is available and at the right price. This isn't a contest of which one actually performs better. They all hit hard. What weights on the consumer mind is availability long-term.


.450 has Bushmaster behind it. .458 has Cor-Bon loading. Things like that help a lot.


I'd say the one with the most abundant and lowest price uppers, and secondly the one with the most factory loadings will win in the long run.

rbernie
October 27, 2007, 11:50 AM
I'd say the one with the most abundant and lowest price uppers, and secondly the one with the most factory loadings will win in the long run.When RRA backed the 458 SOCOM and Cor-Bon made factory loads available for it, the stage was set (IMO) for the 458 to claw its way to top of the big-bore AR heap.

Bushy may have its own chambering, but so far they've not managed to get factory ammo reasonably available nor reloading components/load data out on the street.

shuter
October 27, 2007, 11:53 AM
.450 also has Hornady loading AND producing brass for it.

Having said that, I'll probably get a SOCOM in addition tot he .450. If one Thumper is good, 2 have to be better!

Plus, Rock River makes nice AR's, and I can sling 500gr bullets with the .458. I still think the .450 BM will be around longer in the end,though.

We'll see.

LeibstandarteAdH
October 27, 2007, 07:10 PM
.45 bushy

.50 beowolf to me is just a novelty, its reverse tapered rim and all.

eldon519
October 27, 2007, 07:21 PM
The .458 SOCOM is much more versatile than the others. It's basically a semi-auto .45-70. I like that you can load up 600-grain bullets for sub-sonic shooting. Basically a suppressable sledgehammer.

The choice to go with .454" bullets in the Bushmaster was a dumb one in my opinion. That drops it out of the realm of large, dangerous game usage in my book.

cat_IT_guy
October 28, 2007, 12:24 AM
I cant guess which one will do the best, as I have no experience with any of them, however, I suspect that none of them will ever gain a whole lot of popularity, as ammo will be too expensive for the high volume shooting we like to do with our ARs. I would imagine that even with reloading it just wouldnt be worth it, although I guess the .450 would be pretty easy to do since it is a straight walled case.

Maybe one or more of these cartridges will surprise me, but right now I just see them as novelty shooting/hunting rigs.

Dont get me wrong, I love playing with new cartridges, but I just dont see these really catching on.

mrsig
October 28, 2007, 01:27 AM
Do the Bushmaster and SOCOM both use unmodified mags?

- Sig

shuter
October 28, 2007, 02:12 AM
for "large and DANGEROUS game"? I know I wouldn't! Now, I would use my .450 BM on any Elk that ever walked.

see ya

bbshriver
October 28, 2007, 02:07 PM
I'm hoping the beowulf, since that's what I got. To me it definitely has the most novelty appeal, based soley on the .50 part of it.

eldon519
October 28, 2007, 03:39 PM
would you really use an AR-based gun for "large and DANGEROUS game"? I know I wouldn't! Now, I would use my .450 BM on any Elk that ever walked.


I don't see why not. They use them against AK-47 wielding Muslim extremists. Don't see why you couldn't use one on a grizzly bear in an appropriate caliber.

Zundfolge
October 28, 2007, 04:11 PM
The .50 Beowulf has a good sized following, so I expect it will always be around.

However, I have to agree that CorBon's support of the .458 SOCOM (and the fact that it uses the same bullets as a popular caliber like .454 Casull) will end up giving it market superiority.

I expect the .45 Bushmaster will go the way of the .45GAP primarily because Bushmaster is owned by a large company and as such unless it takes off like a rocket, they'll end up abandoning it pretty quickly when the bean counters say drop it.

Keep in mind that one of the things pushing these types of cartridges is the threat of a .50 ban.

shuter
October 28, 2007, 10:36 PM
Zund, the Socom does NOT use the same bullets as the .454.

Eldon, no way in hell I'd knowingly go after a brown bear, or any other dangerous critter with a gas-operated autoloader. That's why God made bolt and lever guns.

These are fun guns, elk guns, deer guns, and maybe people guns.

To each his own.

eldon519
October 29, 2007, 01:46 AM
Well seeing as the people they are typically used on pose much more of a threat than any animal, I don't see much logic behind that. If it's good enough for Marines to trust their lives to, it's a good enough system for me. People say how much the AR sucks all the time, but truth is it's an excellent, reliable weapon.

Hell, I've had my Marlin 1895 Guide Gun tie up on me too. It's not like lever guns are incapable of jamming. Bolt guns I can't fault, but I'd feel alot better being able to rattle off 10-rounds on a charging brown without taking my finger off the trigger than I would trying to cycle a bolt and work through my three or four round magazine.

zinj
October 29, 2007, 02:07 AM
The .458 SOCOM is much more versatile than the others. It's basically a semi-auto .45-70. I like that you can load up 600-grain bullets for sub-sonic shooting. Basically a suppressable sledgehammer.

The choice to go with .454" bullets in the Bushmaster was a dumb one in my opinion. That drops it out of the realm of large, dangerous game usage in my book.

Comparing any of these big-bore AR cartridges to dangerous game cartridges, say a .458 Win Mag, is a bit like comparing the .30 Carbine to a .30-06. Same caliber, a world's difference in power.

eldon519
October 29, 2007, 02:41 AM
The .458 SOCOM has about the same performance as a .45-70. I would consider a .45-70 to be fine for dangerous game. It's plenty adequate for just about any dangerous game in the US. Dangerous game does not necessarily imply you're going to Africa.

cracked butt
October 29, 2007, 11:19 AM
I think the SOCOM has the most going for it:
-Readily available bullets that work well in the intended velocity range (see 45/70)
-Has been on the market for quite a while and is well established.
-Uses standard mags.

Halo is for Kids
October 29, 2007, 01:00 PM
If it's good enough for Marines to trust their lives to, it's a good enough system for me.

I have to disagree; Man vs Bear and Marines vs Insurgents are two very different problems.

As for the OP's question:
-The winner will be determined by marketing and support. If the consumer can't buy ammo/components locally, the novelty will quickly wear off.

Zundfolge
October 29, 2007, 01:34 PM
Zund, the Socom does NOT use the same bullets as the .454.
Oops ... well I stand corrected there.

Anyway, the first part of the sentence still stands :)

shuter
October 29, 2007, 05:21 PM
I've decided to get a .458 Socom . . . in addition to the .450 BM I just picked up!

These big bore AR's are simply too much fun not to own.

As I get older, I'm tending to gravitate toward "fun guns". This has included more and more .22 LR's (Volquartsen and Anschutz mostly), .17 HMR's (same), suppressed weapons (nice to shoot without ear muffs), and now these "Thumper" AR's.

Just WAY too much fun!

see ya

PercyShelley
October 29, 2007, 06:36 PM
I dont know much about AR style rifles but why the heck dont they just make them in 454 instead of comming out with these wacky rounds. Honestly I may buy an AR if it were chambered in 454 but I would never buy one in one of these odd ball rounds. (well odd ball to us hunters anyways)

The AR-15 bolt face has to be opened up to accommodate cartridges with larger rims than the .223. Accommodating the 7.62x39 is pushing it, as handloaders who snap the bolt lugs shooting hot 6.5 grendel loads seem to be finding out.

Mating the huge rimmed rear end of a .454 to an AR bolt face is probably impossible, thus the goofy rounds and the odd looking rebated rim on the beowulf. It would be possible to make a .454 AR, but it would require a new, completely redesigned bolt, and probably new magazines as well.

I'll throw my vote in for the SOCOM. The load data I've seen so far suggests it spanks the bushmaster. It also appears to be the first of the AR thumper cartridges to transcend the AR platform; tromix is offering custom AKs in the caliber.

.50 Beowulf might have a chance, but I don't think it has the same load flexibility as the SOCOM, nor the following right now. .499 LW is dead, of course.

shuter
October 29, 2007, 07:06 PM
"I'll throw my vote in for the SOCOM. The load data I've seen so far suggests it spanks the bushmaster"

Actually, with same-weight bullets, velocities will be virtually identical. I averaged 2,170 fps from Hornady's 250gr load last week, from my 16" .450 BM barrel.

David Fortier's test awhile back of the Socom showed a max of about 2,000 fps with a .458 300gr bullet. That should definitely be doable from the Bushie, with a 300gr bullet.

The advantage the Socom has is with bullets heavier than 300gr. That's why I just ordered one:) Now I've just gotta get a suppressor setup for 600gr subsonic loads!

AR Thumpers . . . the most legal fun you can have with your pants on.

How about that for a bumper sticker?

see ya

rkh
October 29, 2007, 08:04 PM
Here's a quote taken from LWRC's forum:


I am ashamed to admit, I neglect the .499 forum.

The .499 has been a pain in the ass for us as there are a number of ex coast guard uppers floating around the marketplace. They were made by LMT and the quality is not on par with what we expect.

The .499 is being redesigned. As they stand now, each one takes quite a bit of tinkering to make it reliable. We test fire them, 10 rounds. They go out. But most times, we test fire, tinker, test fire, tinker.

The .499 as originally drawn was a tapered case cartridge. This allowed it to feed out of modified AR mags reliably. It made feeding much more reliable.

There is a reason John Moses Browing designed every automatic rifle and MG to feed tapered case ammunition. It also improves extraction. The straight walls obturate to the chamber then shrink a bit, and then the gun has to drag that big ass case the whole way out draggin on the walls. A tapered case obturates, shrinks. The gun only has to pull it a small distance backward and the tapered case and chamber completely free it making extraction easier.

The extractor needs a minor modification, the ejection port needs to be widened (along the bottom).

The .499 is the last vestage of PLW. It needs a bit of TLC before I will market it. The ammo has been redesigned and we are set with the new chamber reamers and all of the mods. As soon as ammo arrives, I will let you guys know how it is going.

For some reason, Jesse and I never got involved with the .499. We were very busy with the other stuff.

We cannot afford to do the tinkering thing anymore and must take this back to grass roots to make a rifle that works the first time, every time.

That said, we have .499 impingement uppers that sit in the vault. We have people that want to buy them, but I don't want to sell them unless the guy understands it is a tinkerers dream.

The new .499 should kick ass and take names.

_________________
Sincerely,

Darren.

Dileas Gu Brath

shuter
October 29, 2007, 09:25 PM
doesn't it? Wow, I'd be pissed if I owned one.

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