Best .458 SOCOM Uppers – [2019 Complete Buyer’s Guide]

The .458 SOCOM offers a virtually unparalleled range of higher-power, higher-grain rounds, and taming this beast requires a highly-capable upper. Knowing where to start can be difficult and getting the best upper certainly matters from a performance standpoint. Let’s take a look at how to choose the best, as well as the top products available today.

Comparison of the Best .458 SOCOM Uppers

PRODUCT DETAILS
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​Cross Machine Tool Co., Inc. - AR-15/M16 458 SOCOM Billet Upper

  • Best .458 SOCOM AR upper
  • Features an expanded ejection port for proper ejection
  • Slick design does not require a forward assist or ejection port cover
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​Radical Firearms 10.5" 458 SOCOM Complete Upper

  • Best 458 Socom upper receiver on the market
  • Durable construction with melonite coating for longer service life
  • Radical Firearms 9" FHR Hybrid rail system and KeyMod compatibility
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Anderson Manufacturing - 458 SOCOM Stripped Upper

  • 458 Socom forged-aluminum, stripped upper receiver
  • Durable hard-coat anodized finish
  • Fits easily on a standard AR-15 lower without fitting
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​Cross Machine Tool - AR15 CMT Billet Upper Receiver .458 SOCOM

  • Machined for a sturdy and durable aluminum billet
  • Sleek and aesthetically pleasing due to precise machining
  • Compatible with "Tactical Link" Enhanced Battery Assist Lever
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​.458 SOCOM Complete Assembled Upper

  • Available in a ton of different configurations and designs
  • Full-length rail with KeyMod compatibility for accessories
  • Barrels coated with 2400 Series Bake-On GunKote
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How to Choose a .458 SOCOM Upper

Because the .450 SOCOM is so versatile in terms of acceptable grains, it’s important to understand that uppers will vary in terms of how they tame the upper and lower limits. These variations mean you should pay careful attention to:

Your Goals

With a .458 SOCOM, you could easily take down very large game. However, in some states, the maze of legislation has turned some hunters to the .458 SOCOM simply to hunt deer. Upper receivers designed to handle 600-grain rounds might sound very impressive, and they are, but since you’re not trying to take down bigfoot, you should pay more attention to build quality and other factors. On the other hand, if you are trying to take down larger game, just how the uppers handle powerful rounds matters a lot.

Range

The .458 SOCOM, by nature, will not enable you to accurately shoot at long ranges, but that means accuracy at the upper end of its range is all the more important. If you’ll be shooting within 100 yards, then you clearly don’t want your accuracy to suffer and force you to move even closer.

Durability

With great power comes great durability, hopefully. From breaking locking lugs to stuck cases, problems can run aplenty with ill-designed uppers. While this is especially true for the highest-grain rounds, don’t forget that even 250-grain rounds require substantially more durability than your standard AR.

Recoil Absorption

We always want recoil absorption, but if ever it was critical, it’s with the .458 SOCOM. From built-in accessories to just plain solid design, there are many things an upper can do—or not do—to reign in the kick.

Review of the Best .458 SOCOM  Uppers

Now that we’ve taken a close look at the .458 SOCOM uppers in general and told you what to look for, let’s delve into the products on the market today. While these are our picks for the best of the best, each has unique advantages for certain types of shooters, so keep your preferences in mind, even though we’ve categorized each.

Pros

  • Excellent Value
  • Corrosion and Reflection-Resistant
  • Excellent Build From 7075 Billet Aluminum
  • Large Ejection Port for Improved Reliability
  • Hard-Coated Anodization Matte Black Finish

Cons

  • A Very Basic Upper Without Extras

Built from a durable T6 7075 billet aluminum with a hard coat anodization and black matte finish, the Cross Machine Tool Co. Inc SOCOM Upper receiver for the Ar-15 or M16 offers exceptional durability. Not only does the strong material design handle the power of the SOCOM well, but it further resists corrosion and moisture. Also, the matte black finish keeps you stealthy at the necessary close ranges by resisting reflection.

The upper drops onto any standard lower with an expanded ejection port to accommodate not only the .458 SOCOM, but also other big-bore calibers. Its smart design doesn’t require a forward assist or an ejection port cover for great simplicity. Additionally, it has M4 feed ramps and will accept any standard bolt carrier, charging handle, and barrel nut, although these are sold separately.

The larger ejection port not only increases reliability by design but also enables quick access to remove spent casings whenever there is an occasional jam. Installation is simple and provides a perfect, solid fit.

Additionally, it is available at an excellent price, making it perfectly reliable for a wide range of users. From its solid construction, impeccable contact between receivers, and excellent finish for aesthetic appeal and stealthy performance, this is an amazing upper receiver.

While it doesn’t offer much in the way of extras—for example, it does not come with a charging handle or bolt carrier—its excellent price point and solid construction make it a very reasonable purchase for those who would prefer to choose those parts for themselves.

If you’re looking to create your own SOCOM build by starting with the top upper receiver on the market, this is an excellent first step.

Bottom Line

For those looking for a basic upper that provides durability and superior craftsmanship at a reasonable price, this is the perfect solution.

Best .458 SOCOM Pistol Upper: 
Radical Firearms 10.5" 458 SOCOM Complete Upper

Pros

  • Includes Panzer Muzzle Brake
  • Great Construction of Both the Upper and Barrel
  • Includes Bolt Carrier Group and Charging Handle
  • Composed From Some of Radical Firearm’s Best Components
  • Wide Support for Accessories With a Hybrid Rail, Keymod, and Picatinny Rail

Cons

  • Might be Too Much for Those Looking for a More Basic Upper

For those looking for a more full-featured solution, Radical Firearms has a solid .458 SOCOM pistol upper. Radical Firearms consistently produces excellent products, and they think this is one of the best uppers they’ve ever created. We agree.

You not only get a fully-assembled upper receiver, but also a forward assist, a custom ejection port door, a barrel nut, and a 10.5” barrel featuring their newly-designed Panzer Muzzle Brake for some serious taming of the SOCOM’s might. Additionally, Radical Firearms includes a bolt carrier group and a charging handle, the latter of which can be customized to your preferences.

Of course, the construction itself is excellent. The upper receiver is mil-std forged. The barrel is 4140V with a melonite coating and features a 1 in 14” twist rate. You’ll get a .936” gas block and a stainless, full carbine-length gas tube with direct gas impingement.

For accessories, you get a Radical Firearms 9” FHR Hybrid Rail System, as well as a set of integrated Keymod attachments on the bottom and sides and Picatinny rails at the fore end. Mounting sights, lights, or lasers are a breeze and fit right at home.

We always love what Radical Firearms produces, and this complete upper ensures you’ll get a wealth of their best options in one solution. While it’s a bit pricier, it’s certainly worth the investment, and definitely more affordable than purchasing the parts individually.

Bottom Line

Radical Firearms serves up their best products in one complete upper that makes for the best pistol upper and is worth every penny.

Pros

  • Excellent Value
  • Perfect Solution for Custom Builds
  • Great Construction From 7075 T6 Forged Aluminum
  • Hard-Coat Anodized Finish in Reflection-Resistant Matte Black
  • Wide Ejection Port to Improve Reliability and Remove Spent Casings

Cons

  • Not Suitable for Those Who Don’t Want to Spend Time on a Custom Build

Going back to a more barebones solution, if you want something that’s stripped down and ready to be your fresh, powerhouse canvas, look no further than the Anderson Manufacturing 458 SOCOM Stripped Upper. While Anderson Manufacturing has a great suite of components you could choose from, you are free to build your own model with this stripped upper. Designed to provide the utmost in capability for the round dimensions and power, it also gets out of your way to allow you complete freedom.

Starting with a 7075 T6 forged aluminum build, Anderson Manufacturing completed their upper with a durable, hard-coat anodized finish. Black and completely reflection-resistant, you can trust that this upper will provide a long-lasting base.

Additionally, a wider ejection port than standard provides for exceptional reliability as well as the ability to easily remove spent casings in the event of a jam.

There are no feed ramps while the barrel extension features a large relief for feeding. It comes with standard-sized pins and will take any standard dust covers.

Lastly, it is priced very reasonably and makes for a great beginning to your custom AR-SOCOM build. Of course, those looking for a full package or something ready to shoot need to look elsewhere, but those who enjoy building their own AR will love the versatility and strong base provided by Anderson Manufacturing.

Bottom Line

Those who want to create their dream AR build to accommodate the .458 SOCOM need look no further than this well-priced and well-built stripped upper receiver.

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Corrosion and Reflection-Resistant
  • Durable Construction From 7075 T6 Aluminum
  • Mil-Spec Type III Hard-Coat Anodized Black Finish
  • Compatible With Just About Any Potential SOCOM Build Using Mil-Spec Parts

Cons

  • As it Strikes a Balance Between a Complete Upper and a Stripped Upper, it Won’t Satisfy Those Looking for Either Extreme

A more moderate solution for those not looking to get a vast and pricy upper or a barebones and stripped upper receiver, the Cross Machine Tool AR15 Upper strikes right in the middle of the spectrum. Nonetheless, you can rest assured that it provides ample room to grow, along with a solid foundation that will let you hit the ground running. After all, Cross Machine created the best on our list overall, so you can bet that this model comes close.

Starting from a 7075 T6 aluminum construction with a mil-spec, Type III, hard-coat anodized black-finish, it provides exceptional durability along with corrosion and reflection resistance.

You also get M4 feed ramps, a 1913 Picatinny rail flat-top, a shell deflector, a forward assist that is machined into the receiver, and a dust cover port also machined into the receiver. The ejection port is enlarged, allowing for greater reliability and the ability to quickly remove spent casings.

It is compatible with just about any aftermarket handguard or rail system or mil-spec aftermarket parts. It is also compatible with the Tactical Link Enhanced Battery Assist Lever.

Additionally, you get a lifetime warranty against any manufacturer defects, which is a feature we wish we could highlight more often. This is particularly useful for those tooling with their own builds a bit, as those who get complete uppers are less likely to notice potential problems than those customizing their build.

Overall, we find this receiver to be a great balance. If you enjoyed the Cross Machines entrant that topped our list but wanted to venture out a little more on your own, this is a solid choice.

Bottom Line

An excellent starting point for those who want most of the build done for them, Cross Machine has bred an upper ready to go but with plenty of room to grow in any direction.

Best Tromix .458 SOCOM Upper: 
.458 SOCOM Complete Assembled Upper

Pros

  • Stripped Option Also Available
  • All Options Are Premium Tromix Parts
  • Much Cheaper Than Having a Gunsmith Assist With a Custom Build
  • Tons of Options for a Custom Build That Can be Assembled for You
  • Responsive Customer Service and Quick Shipping for a Custom Build

Cons

  • While the Parts Used are Excellent Quality, You Will be Limited to Tromix Components

One of the things we love about Tromix is the fact that you can get complete, assembled uppers from them that are deeply customizable, which is why they warrant their own category on our list. If you’re looking for a .458 SOCOM build that’s your own but can be assembled for you from premium parts that you specify, Tromix is absolutely the way to go.

With tons of options for the barrel length and type, including black carbon steel or 416 stainless, or a length of anything from 8” to 16.5”, as well as weight options to ensure that you have the maneuverability or stability that you prefer, you can truly customize this upper to your own preferences.

Of course, your options are only just beginning. You can also choose from five types of M-Lok handguards or two freely floating tubes, opt for an ambidextrous charging handle, add an ejection port cover specifically designed for the .458 SOCOM, and add a muzzle brake port in black or stainless.

If you’re really looking to go the extra mile, you can add a black or stainless radial compensator or three different types of linear compensators. You can also choose from tank brakes, opt for a thread protector or a flash hider, upgrade to a bolt made of nickel boron, or even upgrade your gas block to stainless steel.

You might think all these options would take a while to build, but Tromix is unusually fast and your order will typically be sent out within one or two days, unless the blackened stainless barrel is chosen. This is in spite of the fact that each is hand-made and manually tested.

Bottom Line

Many gun owners would prefer to build their own perfect AR but not spend the time—or encounter the potential frustration—of doing their own build. The best option is this custom build from Tromix.

Are All .458 SOCOM Uppers The Same?

When it comes to uppers, they are rarely interchangeable. Gun owners typically realize this but can forget it when switching uppers to enable access to a different caliber.

Just as with a standard caliber with your AR, it matters a great deal whether you are purchasing a complete upper or a stripped upper. That might be obvious, but don’t forget that what one person considers a complete upper might be excessive to the next, and what might be stripped to one person might be a bit too stripped for someone else. Lingo tends to be used a bit loosely sometimes when talking about uppers, so be sure that before you commit to your purchase you really look at what’s included, regardless of whether the upper calls itself stripped or complete.

Cross Machine Tool Co., Inc. - AR-15/M16 458 Socom Billet Upper

For anything but a stripped upper, it’s important to realize that you’re getting specific parts that you may not want or may not be of equal quality. You might get a great all-around receiver, but if the barrel is longer than you want it to be, that’s a problem. Just because something is made from quality parts does not mean that concerns like maneuverability or heft magically disappear.

Even with stripped uppers, it’s important to look for design choices that cannot be “fixed” with aftermarket parts. For example, the size of the ejection port will, for the life of the upper, determine how effectively you can handle jams.

All of the uppers on our list are excellent, but the feature set that appeals to you the most is the one you should choose.

Benefits of Upgrading Your .458 Socom Upper

Before throwing down for just any .458 SOCOM upper receiver, consider the following factors:

Compatibility

Bear in mind that you’re not just looking for an upper that will enable you to handle the .458 SOCOM, but also to adjust your build to accommodate the unique qualities of this caliber. Who cares if you can handle the caliber, but you can’t install the accessories that you need in order to shoot effectively?

Durability

We cannot stress enough that the .458 SOCOM can pack a serious kick, especially if you’re going to use the highest grain size. If you want your investment to last, you absolutely must choose a model such as those on our list that is built from high-quality parts.

Value

Too often, those who move on to the .458 SOCOM or other calibers neglect to consider potential future needs. Often, simply purchasing a cheap upper or just swapping out their barrel, they quickly realize the value of getting a complete upper that has been thought-out by expert manufacturers or starting from a stripped upper and thoroughly building the right gun.

Conclusion

Taming the .458 SOCOM requires more than just the right barrel. A well-designed upper made from quality parts will ensure maximum performance and many years of solid shooting. Use our guide to understand what to look for and pick from our top products on the market to reliably take down larger game.

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