The 458 Socom is a hard-hitting big brother of the .223/5.56 caliber that can be fired from an AR-15 setup by just swapping the bolt and the barrel. Considering these replacements, the barrel becomes an important component when transitioning to a 458 Socom rifle.
This article here will be covering the topic in detail and will also introduce you to some of the best 458 Socom barrels available on the market today.
Comparison of the Best .458 SOCOM Barrels
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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Barrel for a 458 SOCOM Build
Choosing a barrel for your AR build is probably the part that requires the most contemplation. When the cartridge in question is an uncommon caliber like the 458 Socom. Some factors become very important to be considered. Let’s understand what these are:
This Section Written By:
Ankit Kumar is an engineer turned writer who specializes in topics related to firearms, gun safety and weapon tech. His passion towards enrolling in the Army drifted his interest towards light and heavy firearms. He’s a qualified competitive air rifle shooter and an avid nature lover. His other areas of expertise include survival, prepping and firearms/ammo storage. When he’s not writing, he’s either learning a new skill, trekking or enjoying a long drive.
The Optimal Twist Rate
The 458 Socom is a heavy bullet ranging from 250 to 600 grains in weight. Mostly shooting at subsonic speeds. The generally accepted twist rate for these bullets is 1:14. However, some people also prefer faster rates of 1:10 when working with supersonic ammo.
But as far as practical data is concerned. This faster rate doesn’t make any significant difference. Plus a faster twist rate makes the bullet prone to ‘over stabilization and the 458 Socom is also not a very long range bullet.
Preferable Barrel Length, Weight & Strength
This ammo was designed to work with short barrel lengths. The preferred industry standard falls between 9.5 to 12 inches. The max length you’d find these 458 Socom bullets to be feasible with is 16 inches. That’s because these rounds don’t deliver any velocity-to-range advantages on long ranges.
Talking about strength, the 458 Socom operates at a pressure of 35,000 psi but it propels a far heavier projectile when compared with normal .223/5.56 loads. Plus, factors like the use of cast bullets are another relevant area of discussion for the matter. But anyway, make sure your barrel is strong enough with good rifling to withstand the 458 Socom. Plus, the weight is manageable.
Relevance of a Suppressor/Brake
Shorter barrels are in definitive need of a suppressor or brake. Longer barrels too can be mounted with one if required. Especially if you are concerned with the recoil. And you may very well be, given the weight of the bullet. A permanently attached muzzle device will also count towards overall barrel length. Hence also helping with some legalities.
Adjustable Gas Block
This add-on is for people who want fine-tuning to their gas block settings. In order to get the maximum out of their loads. While not a necessity, having an adjustable block does help a little with fine adjustments when shooting different loads consistently.
Additionally, it also has some effect on recoil. This becomes an important consideration if you are using standard buffers and springs with 500 or 600 gr bullets.
Review of the Best .458 SOCOM Barrels
Now that you know how to properly judge a .458 SOCOM barrel, let’s take a look at the best on the market. While we’ve rounded up the best of the best, you’ll want to keep in mind the aspects discussed to find the right one for you.
Faxon Firearms - AR-15 Gunner Big Bore Barrel .458 Socom
Those of you who are looking for a shorter barrel need not worry, as we haven’t forgotten you and neither has Faxon Firearms. At 10.5 inches, we think this barrel length is an excellent compromise between the maneuverability of a shorter barrel and the versatility of a longer barrel.
Created from 4150 CMV steel, it is ready to take on larger-caliber cartridges and is specially designed for the .458 SOCOM. Faxon Firearms has further added a black-nitride salt bath finish that is a gorgeous flat black and helps resist both corrosion and reflection.
It features a 1-in-14 rate of twist, a pistol-length gas system, and button rifling. You’ll enjoy exceptional accuracy as a result of not only the barrel length in contrast to most shorter barrels, but also these features. Lastly, you get an 11-degree target crown to further enhance your accuracy.
Additionally, you get a threaded muzzle for support of suppressors. When using a shorter barrel, and frankly the .458 SOCOM in general, we strongly recommend the use of a suppressor, so this is a good thing to watch out for.
All of this is on offer for a very reasonable price, too. While shorter barrels tend to be a bit lower in price compared to their longer and more material-hungry brethren, this is still well-priced compared to comparable barrels of this length.
Those looking for a short barrel but wanting to keep as much accuracy and performance as possible should seriously consider the well-made and well-priced Faxon Firearms .458 SOCOM barrel.
Best .458 Socom 18-Inch Barrel:
Remington 700 .458 Socom 18″ Barrel
If you’re looking to go long, the Tromix Remington 700 .458 SOCOM 18” barrel is for you. We’re never shy about voicing our admiration from Tromix products, as we’ve separately taken a look at their excellent complete upper for the .458 SOCOM.
Here, you’ll get an 18” barrel with a 1-in-14 twist, a Remington 700 chambered in a .458 SOCOM. While it only comes in stainless steel, a black finish may be chosen. It features a muzzle threaded to 5/8 at 24 threads per inch, weighing in at an even two pounds.
You’ll want to be aware that it requires a Remage—that is, Remington of Savage—a barrel nut as it installs similarly to a Savage. Installation for most users will require a gunsmith. When ordering, it is possible to request the barrel nut for a little extra.
In terms of performance, you’ll enjoy exceptionally low recoil and maximized bullet velocity. All this ensures optimum accuracy while the long barrel ensures those who prefer to stretch the .458 SOCOM to its range limits will be happy to attach their most complementary accessories.
Lastly, what we always love about Tromix is that their reputation is built not only on quality and high-performing parts, but the fact that all their parts are hand-made and individually inspected. Their parts always ship very quickly and their customer service is top-notch.
Those looking for a long barrel would be wise to entrust the widely-loved Tromix, who put their heart into each piece, including this quality and velocity-maximizing barrel.
Best .458 Socom 8-Inch Barrel:
.458 Socom Barrel & Bolt Combo
Those looking to go as short as possible while retaining performance must take great care to find the best solution, lest they introduce a lot of undesirable side-effects such as reduced bullet velocity or wild recoil. Of course, durability is also a concern with less material handling the kick.
Just as they have the best option for a longer barrel, Tromix has the ideal solution for a short barrel. While this barrel is available in a wide range of sizes, it is perfect for those looking for an 8” length.
First of all, it’s constructed with 4150 carbon steel or 416 stainless steel for superior durability. Featuring a 1-in-14 twist and a .458 SOCOM bolt with right-hand ejection, you get an extractor, ejector, and the gas rings.
For legality concerns, you should keep the barrel’s total measurements and the total measurement of your build in mind. The profile is .900” below the barrel’s hand guards, .875” to the gas block and .850” to the muzzle.
It features a hard-working and efficient pistol length gas system and an incredibly maneuverable weight of only 1.03 pounds.
It is threaded to 5/8-24 threads per inch. Bear in mind that you will undoubtedly want a suppressor for this length of barrel, too. We strongly recommend it for using the .458 SOCOM in general, but at this length, it’s practically a necessity.
That said, we find that this barrel offers great recoil considering its length and weight, in large part due to the quality craftsmanship and material that back every Tromix product.
As is usually the case with Tromix, you may choose your finish, although it is matched to the steel. Thus, if you opt for the stainless steel, you will not get the reflection-resistant black finish of the 4150 carbon steel.
Those looking to go as low as an 8” barrel should do themselves a favor and trust Tromix, who has manufactured a barrel capable of withstanding the punishment of a .458 SOCOM cartridge for the long haul.
4. Brownells - AR-15 .458 Socom Barrel
It is from Brownells, and is also 16 inches in length, but it does offer some key differences while maintaining a great price tag and construction that made the first entry our top pick. In fact, this one is Brownell’s idea of a “budget barrel,” and as such there are some downgrades, but these changes are very reasonable.
First of all, instead of the 416R gun barrel steel, you get 4150 GBQ mil-spec, bar-stock steel. Nonetheless, its durability has been enhanced thanks to stress relief and further nitride-treatment with a matte black finish. Not only does all of this make for comparable durability but it also addresses our desire for a reflection-resistant surface.
Here, you get button rifling, a traditional land-and-groove rifling, and a 1:14 rate of twist. There is also a threaded muzzle to support a suppressor attachment. It comes with a bolt and optional 3-post muzzle brake. You’ll also get a .875” OD gas block and an 11-degree target crown.
Ultimately, these features make for a more specific type of user than our previous entrant, but great design and choices such as the 11-degree target crown will certainly make it appeal to many. Add an even better price tag, and it should make it a very attractive barrel for anyone on a budget.
While it doesn’t match the first entrant on our list, Brownells has ensured this lower-priced option is still durable, effective, and well-designed.
5. Brownells Premium Barrels - 16" .458 Socom W/Muzzle Brake And Bolt
More than just a great place to start your search, Brownells can always be counted on to provide superior value. Their 16” .458 SOCOM barrel is not only well-priced, but offers both excellent construction and excellent performance, with a generous bit of extras.
First of all, this barrel is machined from 416R gun barrel steel and is given a stainless-steel finish. It features 5R rifling and a 1-in-14 twist rate. Performance is exceptional and beyond what should be a baseline standard, with as minimal a recoil as you can realistically get from the barrel itself.
It offers a carbine-length gas system and the muzzle has been threaded at ¾-24 with a gas shoulder that accepts .936 gas blocks. On the other side of the gas port are dimples which help to secure the gas block’s set screws to prevent unwanted movement.
Further enhancing stability, the barrel comes with a stainless-steel heliport muzzle break and a head-spaced bolt. All this helps to improve the already low recoil you’ll get with this barrel.
Ultimately, it makes for excellent performance at an excellent price. Is it the absolute best in terms of performance? Not necessarily, but it certainly can give everyone else a run for their money, while asking very little money from you. For this reason, we think this barrel is a solid place to start your search. The value to performance ratio is simply the best.
Our only criticism would be—and it’s a bit nitpicky—that you can’t get this in a black finish to resist reflection. That said, it’s not a particularly uncommon issue, and you could always have it treated if you so wished.
Brownells has produced, as they often do, what the model barrel for using the .458 SOCOM ammo should be. Soundly produced all-around and offered at a great price, this is simply an excellent barrel for the average user.
Barrel Length 101 - What Length is Ideal and Why?
Often, there is no single best option when it comes to gun accessories, and it’s the same with barrels for the .458 SOCOM. Which length makes sense depends upon how you’ll be using your gun, but it’s pretty simple to determine which is ideal.
Even though the .458 ammo is powerful, it’s commonly used in short-barrel rifles and pistols, so a very short length is on offer, down to 7.5 inches. In reality, the .458 SOCOM has been optimized for 9.5 inches, so this is not as extreme as it sounds.
That said, you’ll want to foremost keep legality in mind. Federal and state guidelines will dictate how short you can go. Add the fact that you’ll be limiting yourself on venting and fluting, and contributing to recoil, and short barrels can be tricky to get just right. Of course, if you’re shooting from shorter ranges and want to maximize your maneuverability and lower your heft, nothing beats a shorter barrel.
As always, a longer barrel adds velocity and thus, distance while being heavier and less maneuverable. Beyond 16 inches, there is no added benefit in terms of velocity, although longer barrels are available. It’s a good idea only to go beyond 16 inches as a matter of preference or compatibility with your accessories.
Bottom line: You’ll want to find a barrel that suits your preferences, but keep in mind that the ammo is tailored for 9.5 inches, and anything beyond 16 inches isn't likely to improve velocity.
While there’s no right or wrong barrel length, you can certainly choose the wrong barrel for you, be it the wrong length or brand. Use our guide to determine what to look for, and shop only for the quality barrels we’ve rounded up to ensure your build can handle your next hunt.