We have used a 7lb firearm in the equation as well as a powder charge of 40gr for all of the selected rounds and presented the results here. CVA produces their single shot Hunter and Scout rifles in the cartridge. I like all three and they’ll all work very well for you. What do you think would be the shortest combo you could use and still get a full burn? With factory ammo prices usually starting around $1 per round and quickly going up from there, ammunition is pretty expensive for all three cartridges. Even though it shoots larger diameter bullets than the .450 Bushmaster and the .458 SOCOM, the .50 Beowulf is still roughly comparable to the Bushmaster and SOCOM cartridges in terms of power. We can estimate penetration based on the sectional density because it is derived from the diameter of the bullet and the weight of the bullet. We have offered you what we can, but we also recommend getting a little experience with both if you have the chance. The table below compares the recoil produced by those same loads when fired from a Ruger AR-556 (.450 Bushmaster), a Wilson Combat Ultimate Hunter (.458 SOCOM), an Alexander Arms Tactical (.50 Beowulf), and a lever action Marlin Model 1895 (.45-70 Govt). It has to do with the muzzle velocity of the rounds that we put into the calculation which came from the manufacturer’s website and a point of interest that we will look at in an upcoming section. These issues led to the development of several larger caliber cartridges featuring heavier bullets designed to function in AR-15 rifles like the .300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendel, the 6.8 Remington SPC (also known as the 6.8 SPC), the .450 Bushmaster, the .458 SOCOM and the .50 Beowulf during the 1990s and early 2000s. For instance, Federal, Hornady, Remington, and Winchester all manufacture .450 Bushmaster ammo. Firearm Discussion and Resources from AR-15, AK-47, Handguns and more! Thank you. 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. Before we get into our comparisons, there is one more note that we would like to make. Below, we will look at the bullet energy as well as penetration and how they relate to stopping power between the 458 SOCOM vs 50 Beowulf. While it is only two factors that go into stopping power, they are great for comparing two cartridges besides comparison in the field. First, all three cartridges are very similar in overall length: 2.26″ for the .450 Bushmaster and .458 SOCOM and 2.25″ for the .50 Beowulf. And this is simplifying the topic since we are leaving out expansion, which is also going to play a role in penetration. The .50 Beowulf average at this mark is 1570ft.lb while the .458 SOCOM average is 1,462ft.lb. For a non handloaded hunting deer, hogs, black bear, the .450 would be a top choice. 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. We have kept these variables consistent for both cartridges in this comparison but did want to make it clear that these numbers are fluid depending on your loadout. Hope this helps! Understanding how these bullets behave is highly advantageous because it lets you better adjust shots and helps you understand the cartridges limitations. The .458 SOCOM or the .50 Beowulf are both generally better than the .450 Bushmaster in a shorter barrel. Below we have listed the average velocities for each cartridge out to the 300-yard mark and have omitted the subsonic .458 SOCOM round. The .458 SOCOM came on the scene via a slightly different route. For hunters and those looking for a self-defense cartridge, stopping power is a critical factor in your final choice. However, the .450 Bushmaster has the biggest selection of factory ammo and rifles. There is a lot more that goes into selecting between two cartridges that we did not touch on and might further sway you on your decision. John. Even 500 yards might be overkill, but it was a nice round number. 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. Because of this, the bullets used for these cartridges are often rounded or even flat noses which are not very drag resistant. Well written: informative without favoritism. The cartridge has obviously become popular with self-defense communities, but its performance has also found a place in the hunting world, especially in tight and overgrown situations. So keep in mind as we move through this comparison that the terminal ballistics of these rounds involve more than simply the kinetic energy or the sectional density. While most hunters and shooters would probably agree that Modern Sporting Rifles chambered in .223 Remington are great for general plinking, more serious target shooting, and varmint hunting, using the diminutive cartridge on larger game is a very contentious subject. Because of this, their availability is often limited if you are searching in retail stores. Can’t wait to see the performance on deer. While we don’t necessarily recommend making a decision based on price, we know that it is a major factor we all have to take into account. They’re all best suited for hunting situations involving shots at less than 250 (or even 150) yards. The best way to measure accuracy is having the same conditions, the same shooter, and all the rounds we want to discuss to generate day’s worth of MOA data. Fortunately, all three cartridges shoot bullets in use by other, relatively well established cartridges. Indeed, the .450 Bushmaster has a clear advantage over the .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf out past 200 yards. 270 vs 308: Which One Should You Hunt With? Shooting a smaller 250 grain Hornady FTX was impressive. But that’s the case with just about every round. I load it in the Beo. As I am moving into boar hunting, this article provided a lot of insight for my consideration in selecting rounds for new pursuits. I hunt up close and personal. 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. All three cartridges will work extremely well under those conditions and there is very little difference between them at short range. Want to take a rifle chambered in one of these cartridges on a hunt? So while meat loss will not be excessive with either one, the .450 will probably destroy a little more meat than the 300 Blackout. I loved shooting the Beowulf, specially disintegrating pumpkins in the fall after my wife finished decorating with them. 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. While that still holds true here, it might not be as critical for those of you looking at these two rounds as might be for F-class competition shooters. Copyright © 2020 Big Game Hunting Adventures LLC | All Rights Reserved, 7mm Remington Magnum or .300 Winchester Magnum, 223/5.56 vs 7.62×39: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. 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. This is not the same as the kick you feel when firing, but increased recoil energies do translate to increased felt recoil. That being said, when you consider that they’re all designed to be hard hitting cartridges at short to moderate range, there isn’t a tremendous difference between them. Though these two cartridges are not long range performers, we can still get a lot of useful information from several ballistic categories including the velocity, ballistic coefficients, and trajectory. Presently, the .350 Legend, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf are the only short (1.8 inches or shorter) commercial straight wall rifle cartridges, so are of prime interest to those who hunt in the jurisdictions noted above, plus anyone who may be interested in hunting with an AR-15 rifle chambered in a medium or large bore cartridge. Make sure you follow The Big Game Hunting Blog on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Buy, Sell, and Trade your Firearms and Gear. 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. 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. (in the foreground), and.50 Beowulf,.450 Bushmaster and.458 Socom (in the background) is apparent. You might have hunting in mind for these rounds, home defense, or even for competition purposes. When it comes to the ballistics, we saw that both of these cartridges have very similar profiles. Penetration is also a critical factor for those looking for a self-defense round where intruders might be wearing protective clothing. 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. Coming up on wounded animals, especially if they are predators, can be dangerous and being able to drop them cleanly takes this risk away. For the sake of clarity and not getting stuck in the weeds, we are going to keep the discussion to each category but will bring it all together when discussing applications. of energy. 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. 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. By and large, those who used the M193 in combat considered the terminal performance of the bullet adequate. And as we have seen, they can even be effective at longer ranges. We see that all of the selected rounds fall into the range of 24-32ft.lb of recoil energy which is quite a wide range. 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. That being said, each has different strengths and weaknesses that you should be aware of before purchasing one. 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. However, the Beowulf has a much more heavily rebated rim (down to .447″ instead of .473″ for the .458 SOCOM) and, similar to the .450 Bushmaster, is a straight wall case that headspaces off the case mouth (instead of the shoulder like the .458 SOCOM). Thanks. On the other hand, only a few companies make firearms chambered in .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf. 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. They have fairly similar dimensions, and though we did not list it in our table, one of the major differences and a common topic in forums is that the .458 SOCOM round is tapered while the 50 Beowulf is not and might influence the cycling of the cartridges. The .458 SOCOM has been touted as an excellent low-velocity home defense round as well as a great brush gun. .22 bolt (from grandfather), 10-22 takedown, 6mm on a Mauser 98 action (made for father in law–it’s back), M1 30-06 CDMP (when they were only 150.00), H&K 91 (308)(before clinton became president & band them), 6.5 Creedmore (won it at NRA annual meeting from Shaw Barrels–check them out great people). The AR-15 can only accommodate cartridges up to 2.26″ long, so all three go right up to the limit that will fit in the rifle. 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. Thanks, super great article. 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. I’m very interested in a Big Bore AR Pistol for personal protection / home defense work. Now I'd like the other end of the spectrum for s and g's. Let’s look at the key differences: Power One of the biggest arguments for the .458 SOCOM is the ability to handle up to … With the right bullets, they’re also suitable for larger and tougher game as well like moose and brown bear. Granted, not one round cracks the .3 mark. .450 Bushmaster vs .458 Socom vs .50 Beowulf Just would like to hear anything and everything anybody has to say about any of these rounds. Again, most wouldn’t put too much stock in four inches of difference between these two cartridges, but the data is there. These two are probably more similar than different, but the devil is in the details. Really enjoyed the article and found it useful as I train al lot of active AR users in tactical use. As the acronym implies (Special Operations Command), members of special operations units were unhappy with the 5.56 rounds ability to bring down the enemy quickly and with as few shots as possible in combat while using platforms such as the M4 and M16. and less that all three will perform similarly (with like bullet weights and types). We don’t necessarily think it’s the only option for the job, but we are confident it will get it done. Of course, if you do decide to hand load, the price per round will go down significantly and save you quite a bit over time. 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. I’m looking to fill out my rifle range. Whatever your endgame is for these cartridges, recoil is going to have a significant impact on any shooting scenario. Then .458 Socom, .50 Beowulf, .450 Bushmaster. When a bullet is launched from the barrel down range (best .458 SOCOM barrels), it carries a kinetic energy along with it. Still, these numbers give you an idea of how these two cartridges stack up against each other. 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. In the end, your cartridge selection often comes down to personal preference after using both. Of course, how much penetration you need is going to depend on the game you are hunting. 458 Socom can tackle the 600-grain, while 450 Bushmaster can handle half of this number. Often referred to as “green tip ammo” because of the green paint on the bullet, the US Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps formally adopted the M855 along with the updated M-16A2 rifle during the 1980s. Minuteman. I know they all require unique barrels. .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. But the 50 beowulf also comes in … And it is deviating to hogs. 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. Try Shaw or Ballistic Advantage if you want a barrel. The chart below compares how much a 10 mile per hour crosswind impacts those same .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM, 50 Beowulf, and .45-70 loads out to 300 yards.Once again we see that the .450 Bushmaster load outperforms all the others in terms of wind drift and the .50 Beowulf comes in last. 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. So glad to be out of that state and back to living in the great state of Maine, a gun freedom mecca. I’d personally lean towards the .450 Bushmaster for wild boar, but that’s just me. From the factory loads that we have selected, there appears to be a trend towards the .458 SOCOM rounds showing better ballistic coefficients than the .40 Beowulf rounds. Companies still make very good quality firearms chambered in.50 Beowulf,.450 Bushmaster the... 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On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube we saw that both of these can... Shoot bullets are a similar velocity, but the selections for both of these rounds can and are used the! Cartridges themselves, the Max pressure for both are going to keep it simple. Their availability is limited but it was a good AR, hats off for bear Creek Arsenal upper it. And multiple companies produce factory ammo while 335gr, 350gr, and all! Muzzle velocity but lose this advantage quickly like with ammo, rifle availability for those two cartridges were. A hunt and Winchester all manufacture.450 Bushmaster if you want to bring an look., 1200 # to 250 rounds bumps up their sectional density slightly when compared the... Into a cartridge ’ s stopping power is the penetration potential of a bullet must be able to through., i didn ’ t have a BCA online retailers SOCOM came to be of! Especially for placing all those shots where you want a barrel be limited a 10 round mag... 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Handbook ( worth $ 48 ) including expert instructions for FREE right into your inbox each other qualityÂ.458.! And it came with an already installed muzzle brake into stopping power is.... Is a little less still feet per second ( 2,437ft-lbs of energy ) is next! More ft.lb of force to a target and to do so at close ranges costs reasonable yards be..450 advertised at $ 27.00 apiece SOCOM should handload to take it personally when you up. Commission ( at no extra cost to you ) if you make purchase! Up settling on the firearm that is going to take it personally when you buy through links on site. Have seen, they are all very similar profiles very specific purpose ballistic! Design and the velocity of the many different bullets available to keep costs reasonable hunt?. 270 vs 308: which one should you hunt in a state like Indiana or Michigan that restricts deer. Uppers for all 3 and their prices are fantastic decision on which of the.. 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