The Best .458 SOCOM Magazines

| | ,

The Best .458 SOCOM Magazines

One of the most important accessories that you can have for any firearm is a high quality magazine. If you own an AR-15 in .458 SOCOM, investing in several high quality .458 SOCOM magazines is important. 

Magazines are usually available and easy to find. However, times are changing.

As a result of massive social unrest, an economic recession, and general uncertainty about the way things are headed in the future, people are stocking up on firearms, magazines, and ammunition in greater numbers than ever before.

This is why stocking up on magazines is more urgent and critical now than it has been in years prior. However, not all .458 SOCOM magazines are created equal, and there are specific factors and qualities that you will need to look for. 

In this guide, we will dive into the best .458 SOCOM magazines, in addition to a discussion of the merits of the .458 SOCOM round, and the top qualities to look for in a magazine. 

The 3 Best .458 SOCOM Magazines For 2021

But before we talk about what to look for, here are the top three best .458 SOCOM magazines that you can get in 2021:

C Products Defense .458 SOCOM Magazine

The first magazine that we will take a look at is the C Products Defense .458 SOCOM Magazine. This is a magazine that is designed specifically for the .458 SOCOM. 

As we will discuss later, the .458 SOCOM is meant to fit and work in standard 5.56 AR-15 magazines. However, not all 5.56 magazines will be reliable with the .458 SOCOM round. The best solution is to go with a magazine designed specifically for the .458 SOCOM.

This is exactly what C Products Defense intended to do with this magazine. It was designed from the ground up to work with the .458 SOCOM round. This magazine is the same size as a standard AR-15 magazine in 5.56 that would normally hold thirty rounds, but it holds ten rounds of .458 SOCOM.

Note that since this magazine holds ten rounds that it is currently legal to own in all US states. 

The C Products Defense is built out of stainless steel, which admittedly makes it heavy, but it also comes with USGI styling. Indeed, it is very hard to distinguish from the standard GI metal magazine just by looking at it. It also comes with a rust and corrosion resistant finish to ensure it holds up better out in the elements as well. 


  • Stainless steel construction 
  • Rust resistant finish
  • Based off of the proven GI metal magazines 


  • Heavy

D&H Tactical .458 SOCOM Magazine

The next .458 SOCOM magazine that we will take a look at is the D&H Tactical .458 SOCOM magazine. As with the C Products Defense magazine that we just took a look at, the D&H Tactical magazine is designed specifically for the .458 SOCOM round in order to ensure proper reliability. 

Also as with the C Products Defense, the body to the D&H Tactical is built to resemble the classic GI style of metal magazine. However, rather than the stainless steel of the C Products Defense, the D&H Tactical is built out of a slightly less durable but also lighter aircraft grade aluminum. It also comes with a hard coat anodized finish and a Teflon coating to ensure optimal rust and corrosion resistance. 

The biggest negative to the D&H Tactical, however, is that the more compact versions only carry four rounds of ammunition. While this is fine for hunting purposes, for more tactical purposes it leaves a lot to be desired. 


–      Very rust and corrosion resistant due to the Teflon coating and the hard coat anodized finish 

–      Design is very similar to the classic GI Magazines

–      Very lightweight for an AR-15 magazine 


–  Aluminum construction is not as durable the stainless steel of other USGI magazines 

CMMG MKW-15 .458 SOCOM 10 Round Magazine

The last magazine that we will take a look at is the CMMG MKW-15 .458 SOCOM magazine. This is another magazine that is designed to function with the .458 SOCOM specifically to ensure good reliability.

The MKW-15 is essentially a copy of the Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter magazine, only it has been redesigned from the 5.56 round that the L5 is built for into the .458 SOCOM.

The MKW-15 built out of polymer, which is much more lightweight in comparison to aluminum or stainless steel but also not quite as durable. However, the magazine catch is built out of steel. 

As with the Lancer L5, this magazine also  comes with a special non-tilt follower in order to help feed the rounds reliably from the magazine into the chamber. 


–      Redesigned from the proven Lancer L5 Advanced Warfighter magazine 

–      Lightweight polymer design 

–      Non-tilt follower results in reliable feeding 


–      Polymer is not as durable as stainless steel or aluminum 

Why Should You Go With The .458 SOCOM For An AR-15?

We need to discuss the top reasons to go with the .458 SOCOM round to begin with. The .458 SOCOM is a larger round that is designed to increase the stopping power and effectiveness of the AR-15 on larger game or for tactical uses. It’s also designed to accomplish this in an AR-15 sized carbine, so you are not forced to resort to the larger and heavier AR-10 platform. 

Ballistically, the .458 SOCOM is comparable to the .45-70 Government round, which has long been used as a round on North American big game since its release back in the 1870s. But even though the ballistics are very similar, the .458 is also a much shorter round than the .45-70. You will notice when you hold the two rounds side by side. 

The upper receiver of a .458 SOCOM AR-15 is also compatible with a standard AR-15 lower. This means if you already have a standard AR-15 in 5.56 and .223, you should be able to easily switch over to the .458 SOCOM by simply swapping the upper receivers out. 

History of the .458 SOCOM

The .458 SOCOM was originally made for the United States SOCOM, or United States Special Operations Command. The development of the round formally began when it was decided that the AR-15 needed a new caliber that could offer greater stopping power. 

In the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, many enemy combatants required multiple hits from standard M16s and M4 in 5.56 to be brought down. 

The .458 SOCOM was officially released in 2001 to SOCOM, and it was only a matter of months before it reached the civilian market as well.

SOCOM settled on the .458 after testing it against the 9x39mm Grom, .50 Action Express, and .450 Bushmaster.

Even though each of these calibers offers greater stopping power than the standard 5.56, the main advantage of the .458 SOCOM is the fact that it is capable of firing rounds at subsonic velocities with the attachment of a suppressor. 

Despite its many advantages, the .458 SOCOM is still a much larger round than the usual 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington calibers. As a result, AR-15 magazines can hold much fewer .458 SOCOM cartridges. 

A standard 30 round AR-15 metal GI magazine will hold 10 .458 SOCOM rounds, and the 20 20 round GI magazine will hold just seven rounds. For these reasons, the .458 SOCOM has never been formally adopted by the military into frontline service.

The main market where the .458 SOCOM has found greater success has been in the hands of civilians. As noted previously, the ballistics of the .458 SOCOM are very similar to that of the .45-70 Government.

The .45-70 Government is a round often used by hunting guides in Alaska and Canada to stop dangerous big game such as brown bear due to the fact that it’s a hard hitting round with lots of stopping power. However, most .45-70 Government rifles are lever actions, with limited capacity, a slow firing rate, and slow reloading times. 

The .458 SOCOM, with its similar ballistics, is like having the .45-70 in an AR-15 semi-automatic package. As a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable box magazine, the AR-15 offers greater firepower and faster reloading times than .45-70 lever action rifles such as the Marlin 1895. The AR-15 is also a light and compact rifle, especially in its 16 inch barreled form. 

This is the primary reason to own a .458 SOCOM AR-15: to have a rifle that you can carry out in the woods and that you know is capable of stopping the most dangerous North American big game.

It’s also worth noting that while the .458 SOCOM round is supposed to fit in standard 5.56 magazines, it will not fit in all such magazines. For instance, you are more likely to encounter reliability issues when shooting the round out of polymer 5.56 magazines rather than GI metal magazines.

The best solution is to go with magazines that are designed specifically for the .458 SOCOM instead. 

How Many .458 SOCOM Magazines Do You Need?

So, just how many .458 SOCOM magazines do you need? The short answer to this question is that you can never have too many. That’s even more true in today’s time than in years previously. Let’s explain.

Fundamentally you can never have too many magazines because without them, your AR-15 could not even function for its intended purposes. Furthermore, anything can happen to your magazines that can cause them to become useless (which would therefore make your AR-15 borderline useless as well).

Think about it: your magazines could become lost, they could become damaged, the springs could wear out, or they could become stolen. Yes, you could order more to resupply yourself…but what if you can’t because everywhere is out of stock?

The Current Supply Situation in SOCOM Magazines

In today’s world, we have experienced more uncertainty about what the future holds than any point in recent memory. It’s largely for this reason that more people have been purchasing firearms, magazines, and ammunition than at any point in recent memory as well. 

From the pandemic to deep political divisions to massive social unrest to a hard economic recession, people are afraid. And because they are afraid they’re stocking up. 


Magazines are already becoming hard to find, and it’s not unfeasible to think that they will become nearly impossible to get in the near future. That’s why you should stockpile as many magazines as your budget will allow now.

A good rule of thumb is to have, at minimum, three magazines per magazine fed weapon in your possession. This will ensure that you will always have one magazine in your weapon and two spares on your person. 

Having extra magazines in storage is always wise. You never know when you’ll need them.

An extra complication when it comes to .458 SOCOM magazines in particular is the fact that the .458 SOCOM is not a particularly popular round for the AR-15, which means that the magazines can be a bit harder to find. 

The lesson: stock up now while you still can.

The Top Qualities In A .458 SOCOM Magazine 

When looking for a 458 SOCOM magazine, these are the top qualities to look for:

Build Quality

The first quality to look for in a .458 SOCOM magazine is build quality. AR-15 magazines can be built out of a wide variety of materials, but the three most common are polymer, aircraft grade aluminum, and stainless steel.

Out of these three options, stainless steel is the most durable but also the heaviest. Meanwhile, polymer is the least durable but also the most lightweight. For the lesser weight alone, the Magpul PMAGs are among the most popular AR-15 magazines. The polymer construction also means that they are slightly less expensive to manufacture and sell. 

At the end of the day, polymer, aluminum, and stainless steel are each good choices for a magazine. Some magazines, such as Lancer magazines, will even include both polymer and metal components (such as having a polymer build construction with steel feed lips).

Follower and Spring

While the build quality for your magazine is of the utmost importance, what has the biggest impact on the reliability of your magazine is having a high quality spring and follower. 

The follower to your magazine should be built out of a high quality polymer and have an anti-tilt design. Meanwhile, the spring should be built out of a high quality metal such as stainless steel; this ensures it is more rigid so the rounds feed reliably. 

Avoid going with a magazine that does not have an anti-tilt follower and/or that does not come with a steel spring. You’ll regret it in the long run. 


In general, a magazine for an AR-15 chambered in .458 SOCOM will hold between four to ten rounds on average and depending on the magazine size. 

A 30 round 5.56 magazine, or a magazine of the same size as a 30 round 5.56 magazine, can hold 10 .458 SOCOM cartridges. Meanwhile, a 20 round 5.56 magazine normally chambered for 5.56 will hold 7 cartridges; a 10 round 5.56 magazine will hold 4 cartridges. 

The .458 SOCOM is a larger sized round, which is why the magazines hold less ammunition in them. It’s largely for this lower capacity that the military has not adopted the .458 SOCOM despite the round being commissioned to be made by SOCOM (hence the name). 

For tactical use, ten rounds would certainly be preferable to seven or four, but the tradeoff is you’re then going with a larger sized magazine with more weight and bulk. When it comes to hunting purposes, a four or seven round magazine should easily be sufficient for most needs. 

Wrap Up

In conclusion, if you want an AR-15 that offers superior firepower over the standard 5.56 for hunting purposes, the .458 SOCOM is a great round to go with. 

Just remember that you also need to make sure you have high quality magazines to go along with your rifle. While you can technically use 5.56 magazines for the .458 SOCOM rounds, not all 5.56 magazines will feed .458 rounds reliably.

The best solution is to go with AR-15 magazines made specifically for the .458 instead. Any one of the above magazines that we have covered will be a suitable option. Alternatively, you can also refer to the list of features and qualities to look for in a .458 SOCOM magazine.

Related Posts
Related Posts

Walther P99 Review

Arguably the most underrated service pistol in today’s firearms market is the Walther P99 series of pistols.  Reliable, ergonomic, and

Read More »