308 vs 458 SOCOM – What You Need To Know

458 socom vs 308 Winchester
Alfred Mendoza
As AR ammo favorites, the 458 SOCOM vs 308 Winchester are both powerful and efficiently proven by the military for decades, but one of them is better than the other. Which one is it? To help you find which ammo better suits your rifle and hunting needs, we have prepared this in-depth comparison between the two.

Based on our experience the difference between the 458 SOCOM and the 308 Winchester is the 308 Winchester can more effectively shoot past 300 yards. If you’re looking to shoot medium to large size game, then the 308 is preferred. Although, the rest is difficult to spot if you are a novice in the shooting community, considering their marginal terminal ballistics in the shooting range. 

Developed in 2000, the 458 SOCOM was an upgrade for the standard M4/M16/AR-15 family of rifles. In contrast, the 308 Winchester came about in 1952, decades earlier than the birth of 458 SOCOM. Moreover, the 458 SOCOM was practically designed for AR-15, M4, and M16 rifles while the 308 Win was chambered for an AR-10.

Specification Chart


  • Brand: Tromix
  • Model: 458 SOCOM
  • Bullet Weight: 250 gr
  • Bullet Size: 0.458 inches
  • Bullet Diameter: 0.458 inches
  • Shell Case Length: 1.575 inches
  • Energy (per 200 yards): 1,179 ft-lbs
  • Velocity (per 200 yards): 1,330 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2,565 ft-lbs
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,150 ft/s

308 Winchester

  • Brand: Winchester
  • Model: 308
  • Bullet Weight: 175 gr
  • Bullet Size: 0.308 inches
  • Bullet Diameter: 0.308 inches
  • Shell Case Length: 2.015
  • Energy (per 200 yards): 1,983 ft-lbs
  • Velocity (per 200 yards): 2,306 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 2,720 ft-lbs
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,645 ft/s

Detailed Comparison


Since the 308 Winchester offers military surplus ammo or brass, it is relatively cheaper than 458 SOCOM. In this category, the 308 Win takes its first win against the 458 SOCOM.

Winchester 308 & SOCOM 458 Trajectory

Since the SOCOM 458 is the heavier bullet compared to the Winchester 308, it is more likely to claim that the former has more bullet drop and arch when shot in long-range shooting games.

A SOCOM 458 usually drops at past 300 yards while the Winchester 308 could go beyond 1000 yards before hitting the zero drop. Obviously, Winchester 308 won this round.

308 winchester trajectory

Long Distance Shooting

It is more evident that the 308 Win works better for a longer range than the 458 SOCOM. Although it is safe to claim that 450 SOCOM could smack a better bang inside 150 yards, it fails to stretch a distance up to 200 yards or beyond. While the 308 Win usually takes about 600 to 800 yards before a bullet drop. In this case, the 308 Winchester got another win.

Alternative ammo great for long distance shooting: Blackout 300 and Legend 350

Loading Type - 458 SOCOM vs 308

Economically speaking, handloading and reloading of ammunition is a great way to cut your hunting and shooting expenses. Well, affordability wise, the 308 brass is cheaper than 458 factory load ammo. And since the 308 ammo can be purchased anywhere, this is another advantage against 458.

Bullet Weights

bullet weight

Both cartridges offer a range of bullet grains shooting enthusiasts could choose from, depending on their specific hunting needs. The 308 Winchester offers ammo ranging from 125 gr to 175 gr while the 458 SOCOM offers 250 gr to 600 gr, which are heavier.

Since the 308 Winchester are lighter, it travels faster when shot. Hence, it will spend less time in the barrel, causing it to have less recoil. With this, the 308 wind over the 450 SOCOM.

If you want to know more why bullet weights matter, try this 6.5×47 LAPUA and 6.5 Creedmoor comparison here.

308 & 458 SOCOM Bullet Energy

With heavier bullet weights, the 458 can put more energy into any target at subsonic speeds compared to the 308 Winchester. And although the 308 could stomp over the 458 SOCOM in the distance, the 458 would stomp on the 308 for bullet weight and will take down just about any target you wish to hunt. Always remember that for a heavier the game, the heavier your bullet should be because heavier slugs always carry more energy. With this, the 458 SOCOM takes another win.

458 SOCOM Pros & Cons



308 Winchester Pros & Cons



Our Pick Between 308 & 458 SOCOM is…

Our pick between 308 & 458 SOCOM is the 308 Winchester because it outperforms the 458 in affordability, trajectory, bullet weights, loading type, and distance shooting. But if you are shooting at shorter distances and want to have more bullet energy, purchasing the 458 SOCOM is not a bad idea. In 458 SOCOM vs 308 Winchester, the 308 wins.

Are you interested in self-defense handguns? Check out Glock 43 and Walther PPS M2 here

Our #1 Recommendation

308 Winchester

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