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Posted: 3/20/2009 6:18:45 PM EDT
My brother lives in Alaska and wants to build an AR that is light and he can use on any game at close range. Mainly for protection from grizzlys and brown bears when hiking or fishing so he wants a 16" barrel. He will also use it to take big game a reasonable ranges (caribou, moose, bears, wolf etc.). What are the advantages of each? He wants to take into consideration stopping power and ballistics (Is there a chart somewhere comparing the three in energy, velocity and amount of drop at range?). He also wants to consider mags, availability of ammo and reloading components (selection and availabliity of brass and heavy bullets) and what companies make the different types of uppers or barrels. Thanks
Link Posted: 3/20/2009 7:00:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2009 7:13:45 PM EDT by vermont2nd]
I only have experience with the 458, but I love the thing. Marty ter Wemme, the cartridge designer is a member on here; his ARF name is MartytW. If you were to do a search of his posts, you could gain a lot of info from the various threads that he posts in on the subject. Hope that helps a little.

ETA: There is also a 458 vs 50 thread, I believe, somewhere in the variants forum. I'll see if I can find the link for it, as there is a lot of good info in that thread that would answer most of your questions.

ETA: here is the link
Link Posted: 3/20/2009 8:03:18 PM EDT
What it basically boils down to is that the 450B and the 50B use pistol bullets pushed a little beyond their optimum velocities. The 458S uses rifle bullets at the bottom end of their optimum velocities. However, with Barnes stepping up to the plate, the 458 has some really nice dedicated bullets available. And a nice shoulder available to headspace off of.

Disclaimer: I got a RRA 458 upper and it has gotten me really excited about shooting and loading again. I think it's the most well thought out, versatile big bore out there.
Link Posted: 3/20/2009 8:51:33 PM EDT
I would pick the .458 (oh wait, I already have) due to the massive number of rifle bullets out there available for it. There are some damn fine pieces of lead/brass/aluminum in .458...

Link Posted: 3/21/2009 6:48:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2009 6:51:15 AM EDT by tammons]
If it wasnt AK and you were not up against Grizzers I would say get the 450B since its a cartridge backed by a major manuf.

As above the 50B and 450B both use pistol bullets, but Hawks makes bullets for each. None of the three is really ideal for a Big bear gun.
The BC is so low the FPE drops off too fast.
Reliability factor is probably the biggest issue.

The SD of any of the bullets for these rounds is not that great either.

I read a story, cant remember where, where a guy shot a brown bear with a 50B at about 100 or so yards, and it did a complete flip, then the bear got up and ran off.

Bullet selection is much better for a 458, although as I said above if you use a premium bullet like a Hawks they are all aboutthe same.

I was also headed in the same direction as your brother, to build a brown bear AR15, but these rounds are just too limited in FPE. You really want a min of 2000 fpe at 200 yards. 300 yards would be better though.

If he is serious about a real bear gun, either get marty or dtech to build him a 458 WSSM off of an oly upper.
I figured with a 458 WSSM with the right bullet running at about 60k you would get close to 2000 fpe at 300 yards, with a lot of recoil.

One of the AR10 magnums would work, or maybe a 338 federal AR10.

This link on the 50B might interest you, but any of the three with the right bullet would do the same.

http://www.50beowulf.com/bboard/showthread.php?t=40

Link Posted: 3/21/2009 7:21:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2009 7:25:26 AM EDT by SOC]
A big +1 to the above poster.

These guys can pack some serious firepower into an AR10.

450 Marlin should do fine.
Link Posted: 3/21/2009 7:51:57 AM EDT
Shot placement is key when going up against ANY critter, which is a huge discussion in and of itself, one that I do not wish to reignite. Bullet selection also makes a difference.

There are several accounts of large bore AR shooters who have successfully engaged both brown and black bear at a variety of distances. While it is feasible, there would appear to be a feeling that the large bore ARs for some reason may not be adequate. This, however, seems to be contradictory to the fact that the 44 Magnum revolver appears to be considered an adequate sidearm in bear country, for the specific purpose of defense against bear. The large bore ARs will exceed the ballistics of the 44 Magnum and therefore, by extension, could be considered adequate.
Link Posted: 3/21/2009 11:06:38 AM EDT
.458 SOCOM hands down.
Link Posted: 3/21/2009 4:43:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2009 4:46:44 PM EDT by tammons]
Personally for black bears I think any of the three would be okay, but in AK you want more umph.
True shot placement is key as it is with any hunting, but if you dont have enough SD and FPE you
are not going to stop a huge brown bear on the first shot. I am not saying you cant kill a grizzer with one of the above,
I am just saying there are better tools for the job.

If I knew I had to use an AR15 it would be a 458 socom, but an AR10 in a better caliber or if you have
to have an automatic a browning BAR in 338 winmag would be a much better choice.
You can get a BAR 338 winmag for about 1G and its much better suited to AK.

A handgun is more of a last ditch effort and a few guides think you would be better off throwing rocks.
That said a 44 magnum is reguarded a minimum for backup with a pistol for brown bear and grizzleys.
Take a 44 magnum rifle bear huntin and your guide will tell you to forget it and hand you a 338 winmag.

You need a minimum of .270 SD and over .3 SD is better and you cant load any of those 3 shells to a
reasonable velocity with anything even close.

You need a minimum of 2000 fpe at 200 yards and you cant get that number either.

More importantly is reliability. You dont want a stovepipe at a critical moment and
I used to get them occasionally with my 50beo.

If he has to stick with an AR15, I would opt for a 458 socom over the other two, due to the case shoulder and feeding
and load it up with some Hawks 350 grain bullets or have a custom 458 magnum made.
Link Posted: 3/21/2009 5:32:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/21/2009 5:34:42 PM EDT by QuicksilverJPR]
Originally Posted By Toondaddy:
My brother lives in Alaska and wants to build an AR that is light and he can use on any game at close range. Mainly for protection from grizzlys and brown bears when hiking or fishing so he wants a 16" barrel. He will also use it to take big game a reasonable ranges (caribou, moose, bears, wolf etc.). What are the advantages of each? He wants to take into consideration stopping power and ballistics (Is there a chart somewhere comparing the three in energy, velocity and amount of drop at range?). He also wants to consider mags, availability of ammo and reloading components (selection and availabliity of brass and heavy bullets) and what companies make the different types of uppers or barrels. Thanks


Crazy as it sounds, has your brother considered something from Wild West Guns? They make some nasty lever action big bores that have serious performance numbers...

Or even a Marlin 1895G using Buffalo Bore ammo. That's plenty enough firepower right there...
Link Posted: 3/24/2009 10:23:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2009 10:27:30 PM EDT by samwe]
I know of 4 .458 SOCOM AR's up here. I vote for more of us Alaskan's buying them.
A friend and I will be bear hunting this spring with ours.

Suitable .458 bullets will be more commonly found in AK then for the 450bm and 50. Mail order sucks when you want to go shooting now!
Only the brass is hard to get.

Link Posted: 3/25/2009 4:32:15 AM EDT
All I can add is that every time I pull the trigger on my 458 Socom, I get giddly like a school girl. It is just that awesome! Nothing like the muzzle blast off a big bore. I liked the SOCOM since it has a great variety of bullets available. The Remington 405s have very good accuracy and are about the cheapest bullets available for general fun use. If you want to get something serious there is a huge selection of hunting bullets available. Even 500gr solids. I really want to know what one of those would do to an engine block. I think Speer even makes a tungsten core 500gr solid. $2 a bullet but very cool.
Link Posted: 3/25/2009 11:21:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By tammons:
If it wasnt AK and you were not up against Grizzers I would say get the 450B since its a cartridge backed by a major manuf.

As above the 50B and 450B both use pistol bullets, but Hawks makes bullets for each. None of the three is really ideal for a Big bear gun.
The BC is so low the FPE drops off too fast.
Reliability factor is probably the biggest issue.

The SD of any of the bullets for these rounds is not that great either.

I read a story, cant remember where, where a guy shot a brown bear with a 50B at about 100 or so yards, and it did a complete flip, then the bear got up and ran off.

Bullet selection is much better for a 458, although as I said above if you use a premium bullet like a Hawks they are all aboutthe same.

I was also headed in the same direction as your brother, to build a brown bear AR15, but these rounds are just too limited in FPE. You really want a min of 2000 fpe at 200 yards. 300 yards would be better though.

If he is serious about a real bear gun, either get marty or dtech to build him a 458 WSSM off of an oly upper.
I figured with a 458 WSSM with the right bullet running at about 60k you would get close to 2000 fpe at 300 yards, with a lot of recoil.

One of the AR10 magnums would work, or maybe a 338 federal AR10.

This link on the 50B might interest you, but any of the three with the right bullet would do the same.

http://www.50beowulf.com/bboard/showthread.php?t=40




I have the 450 and love it, far more accurate sub 250 yards then any 458 ive shot.,....also to the above a 450 bushy can drop anything on the Morth American continent, just because some guy had a bad shot doesnt mean it wont drop em
Link Posted: 3/25/2009 12:41:31 PM EDT
simple, get one of each..
Link Posted: 3/25/2009 1:25:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JB24Dolphins:
Originally Posted By tammons:
If it wasnt AK and you were not up against Grizzers I would say get the 450B since its a cartridge backed by a major manuf.

As above the 50B and 450B both use pistol bullets, but Hawks makes bullets for each. None of the three is really ideal for a Big bear gun.
The BC is so low the FPE drops off too fast.
Reliability factor is probably the biggest issue.

The SD of any of the bullets for these rounds is not that great either.

I read a story, cant remember where, where a guy shot a brown bear with a 50B at about 100 or so yards, and it did a complete flip, then the bear got up and ran off.

Bullet selection is much better for a 458, although as I said above if you use a premium bullet like a Hawks they are all aboutthe same.

I was also headed in the same direction as your brother, to build a brown bear AR15, but these rounds are just too limited in FPE. You really want a min of 2000 fpe at 200 yards. 300 yards would be better though.

If he is serious about a real bear gun, either get marty or dtech to build him a 458 WSSM off of an oly upper.
I figured with a 458 WSSM with the right bullet running at about 60k you would get close to 2000 fpe at 300 yards, with a lot of recoil.

One of the AR10 magnums would work, or maybe a 338 federal AR10.

This link on the 50B might interest you, but any of the three with the right bullet would do the same.

http://www.50beowulf.com/bboard/showthread.php?t=40




I have the 450 and love it, far more accurate sub 250 yards then any 458 ive shot.,....also to the above a 450 bushy can drop anything on the Morth American continent, just because some guy had a bad shot doesnt mean it wont drop em



Lots of sub-MOA .458s out there with far more devastating bullets available off the shelf with no mods...
Link Posted: 3/25/2009 5:59:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2009 6:02:33 PM EDT by No_Limit]
From the eight years I lived in Alaska, My Idea of a "out in the bush bear gun" is a large caliber fast gun for up close and personal work. Where you have done every thing you can to avoid the conflict and it's live or die time. You can't shoot a grizzly at 300, or even 200 maybe even a 100 yards and say it was attacking you. Fish and game is going to burn your ass. That being said my 450 BM would serve just fine as would the others. But one thing I would say for certain iffing I was to go back up there to hunt grizzly bears I would leave my AR15s at home.
Link Posted: 3/25/2009 6:35:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tojan19:
All I can add is that every time I pull the trigger on my 458 Socom, I get giddly like a school girl. It is just that awesome! Nothing like the muzzle blast off a big bore. I liked the SOCOM since it has a great variety of bullets available. The Remington 405s have very good accuracy and are about the cheapest bullets available for general fun use. If you want to get something serious there is a huge selection of hunting bullets available. Even 500gr solids. I really want to know what one of those would do to an engine block. I think Speer even makes a tungsten core 500gr solid. $2 a bullet but very cool.


The AGS-T used to run $125 for 20 bullets.... a wee bit more than $2 per bullet. The regular (no tungsten core) may be less. Speer no longer makes these, that product line was purchased by a former employee who now runs that business as his own. I can get you in contact with him if you like.

Link Posted: 3/25/2009 7:36:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/25/2009 7:40:27 PM EDT by QuicksilverJPR]
Originally Posted By MartytW:
Originally Posted By tojan19:
All I can add is that every time I pull the trigger on my 458 Socom, I get giddly like a school girl. It is just that awesome! Nothing like the muzzle blast off a big bore. I liked the SOCOM since it has a great variety of bullets available. The Remington 405s have very good accuracy and are about the cheapest bullets available for general fun use. If you want to get something serious there is a huge selection of hunting bullets available. Even 500gr solids. I really want to know what one of those would do to an engine block. I think Speer even makes a tungsten core 500gr solid. $2 a bullet but very cool.


The AGS-T used to run $125 for 20 bullets.... a wee bit more than $2 per bullet. The regular (no tungsten core) may be less. Speer no longer makes these, that product line was purchased by a former employee who now runs that business as his own. I can get you in contact with him if you like.



Speer makes another masher in the Trophy Bonded Sledgehammer (500gr). Have you happened to blasted any engine blocks with that round?

They're like $125 for 25 bullets
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 6:04:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2009 6:06:37 AM EDT by HueTheHand]
How about a Titan Armory .500 baa here is some info from his sight looks bad azz

Real .510 caliber bullets not puny pistol or black powder projectiles!!

Built on an AR-15 platform!! Upper mounts on any AR-15 lower!!

16" Barrel

Uses PRi 6.8 Magazines

Bullets from 150 grain aluminum core up to the massive FN 750 grain thumpers!!!

Uses readily available popular standard dies (no expensive custom dies with long lead times)

Using a popular parent case it only requires trimming to OAL and deburring. No fire forming, multiple sizing, or annealing. In fact no sizing is necessary at all on new cases. Trim, Prime, Drop Powder Charge, Seat the Bullet, and you are good to go. That simple. Full size massive .510 caliber big bore power wrapped up in an AR-15 platform. By far the most powerful chambered AR-15 period. Nothing comes remotely close. Using 150-750 grain bullets producing in excess of 4300 ft lbs of energy, this is THE Mega Xtreme Thumper. The ultimate big game AR-15 which is more then capable of taking any game on this or any continent. Designed for maximum performance from 16" and shorter barrels with a velocity lose of only 50 fps going down from a 16" to a 12.5" barrel. Even dropping all the way to a super short, very compact, and maneuverable 10.5" yields only a 100fps velocity loss from that of a 16" barrel. Yet only gains 15 fps going up to an 18" and a total gain of barely 25 fps if increased to 20" from 16". Optimized for these short overall lengths makes it ideal in thick brush or woods or for any tactical situation calling for maximum penetration and power in a compact package.

* Compact
* Light Weight
* Highly Maneuverable
* Controllable Recoil
* Massive Power
* Extreme Penetration thru most objects
* Bullet expansion of up to 1.5" in diameter
* Effective Range of over 250 yards.
* High Capacity
* Capable of a High Rate of Fire

If you need a firearm with the above capabilities the .500 BAAR Mega Xtreme fills the bill and then some.



Projected velocities from a 16" barrels:

150 gr: 3300 fps

300 gr: 2550 fps

450 gr: 2100 fps

500 gr: 1950 fps

600 gr: 1600 fps

700 gr: 1450 fps

750 gr: 1325 fps

Over 4300 ft lbs of energy!!!!

This is MY definition of a true Big Bore Thumper What more its in the most popular rifle in the USA the AR-15!!!!


.500 BAA
http://www.titanarmory.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/AR15/.pond/500_BAAR_Ammo_vs_6.8.jpg.w560h420.jpg
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 7:59:15 AM EDT
All things being equal (availability of uppers and ammo) I would/did take the .458 SOCOM. However, the current reality is that you are in for a long wait on any of them that you order.

They will all do the job. So under current conditions, I would choose the one that you can find an upper/complete rifle and ammo (or reloading components, if you reload) for. I've seen a few of the 450BM's (new rifles) in gun shops and pawn shops. Online, I have seen all three (used uppers).

Good luck finding any right now and if I were you I would get the ammo at the same time as it is becoming harder and harder to find.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 8:48:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By HueTheHand:
How about a Titan Armory .500 baa here is some info from his sight looks bad azz

Real .510 caliber bullets not puny pistol or black powder projectiles!!

Built on an AR-15 platform!! Upper mounts on any AR-15 lower!!

16" Barrel

Uses PRi 6.8 Magazines

Bullets from 150 grain aluminum core up to the massive FN 750 grain thumpers!!!

Uses readily available popular standard dies (no expensive custom dies with long lead times)

Using a popular parent case it only requires trimming to OAL and deburring. No fire forming, multiple sizing, or annealing. In fact no sizing is necessary at all on new cases. Trim, Prime, Drop Powder Charge, Seat the Bullet, and you are good to go. That simple. Full size massive .510 caliber big bore power wrapped up in an AR-15 platform. By far the most powerful chambered AR-15 period. Nothing comes remotely close. Using 150-750 grain bullets producing in excess of 4300 ft lbs of energy, this is THE Mega Xtreme Thumper. The ultimate big game AR-15 which is more then capable of taking any game on this or any continent. Designed for maximum performance from 16" and shorter barrels with a velocity lose of only 50 fps going down from a 16" to a 12.5" barrel. Even dropping all the way to a super short, very compact, and maneuverable 10.5" yields only a 100fps velocity loss from that of a 16" barrel. Yet only gains 15 fps going up to an 18" and a total gain of barely 25 fps if increased to 20" from 16". Optimized for these short overall lengths makes it ideal in thick brush or woods or for any tactical situation calling for maximum penetration and power in a compact package.

* Compact
* Light Weight
* Highly Maneuverable
* Controllable Recoil
* Massive Power
* Extreme Penetration thru most objects
* Bullet expansion of up to 1.5" in diameter
* Effective Range of over 250 yards.
* High Capacity
* Capable of a High Rate of Fire

If you need a firearm with the above capabilities the .500 BAAR Mega Xtreme fills the bill and then some.



Projected velocities from a 16" barrels:

150 gr: 3300 fps

300 gr: 2550 fps

450 gr: 2100 fps

500 gr: 1950 fps

600 gr: 1600 fps

700 gr: 1450 fps

750 gr: 1325 fps

Over 4300 ft lbs of energy!!!!

This is MY definition of a true Big Bore Thumper What more its in the most popular rifle in the USA the AR-15!!!!


.500 BAA
http://www.titanarmory.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/AR15/.pond/500_BAAR_Ammo_vs_6.8.jpg.w560h420.jpg


The only issue with this is that Tim hasnt done much with it, and its untested, and of course no factory ammo.... I want one but if you want something a little more proven i would go with one of the other options.
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 10:48:59 AM EDT
I thought calibers over .501 become destructive devices and require the tax etc?
Link Posted: 3/26/2009 12:59:17 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MartytW:
Originally Posted By tojan19:
All I can add is that every time I pull the trigger on my 458 Socom, I get giddly like a school girl. It is just that awesome! Nothing like the muzzle blast off a big bore. I liked the SOCOM since it has a great variety of bullets available. The Remington 405s have very good accuracy and are about the cheapest bullets available for general fun use. If you want to get something serious there is a huge selection of hunting bullets available. Even 500gr solids. I really want to know what one of those would do to an engine block. I think Speer even makes a tungsten core 500gr solid. $2 a bullet but very cool.


The AGS-T used to run $125 for 20 bullets.... a wee bit more than $2 per bullet. The regular (no tungsten core) may be less. Speer no longer makes these, that product line was purchased by a former employee who now runs that business as his own. I can get you in contact with him if you like.



It might be nice just to have a box of these on hand....you know, for a rainy day.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 5:54:53 AM EDT
Well I have the Beowulf and love shooting it. I would think it would do the job for short range. I dont have experience with others but this thing rolls the hogs well.
Link Posted: 3/27/2009 6:49:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By talonxracer:
I thought calibers over .501 become destructive devices and require the tax etc?


Over .510 is the "magic" number, as .50 BMG is really .510 bullet diameter (as is .500 Jeffery, .500 AA, etc). Also, you can submit a cartridge over .510 to BATFE for a sporting exemption. Examples of that include .577 T-Rex, .600 Overkill, .585 Nyati, etc.

Interesting case on the .500 BAA, looks to be a shortened RSAUM or WSM case? How well does the AR-15 bolt withstand being used in that application?

Link Posted: 3/27/2009 6:58:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MartytW:
Originally Posted By talonxracer:
I thought calibers over .501 become destructive devices and require the tax etc?


Over .510 is the "magic" number, as .50 BMG is really .510 bullet diameter (as is .500 Jeffery, .500 AA, etc). Also, you can submit a cartridge over .510 to BATFE for a sporting exemption. Examples of that include .577 T-Rex, .600 Overkill, .585 Nyati, etc.

Interesting case on the .500 BAA, looks to be a shortened RSAUM or WSM case? How well does the AR-15 bolt withstand being used in that application?




I wonder if he's using the Oly WSSM bolt...
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 5:35:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MartytW:
Originally Posted By talonxracer:
I thought calibers over .501 become destructive devices and require the tax etc?


Over .510 is the "magic" number, as .50 BMG is really .510 bullet diameter (as is .500 Jeffery, .500 AA, etc). Also, you can submit a cartridge over .510 to BATFE for a sporting exemption. Examples of that include .577 T-Rex, .600 Overkill, .585 Nyati, etc.




Thnx Marty for clarifying that for me. Looks like I was simply dyslexic with the measurement, LOL
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 6:31:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Flintknapper:
.458 SOCOM hands down.


I like, I want, I cannot afford
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