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Discussion Starter #1
My .458 SOCOM upper for my AR-15 rifle is due soon, and it will be time for reloading. I have all I need to start, but shooting lead is an area I would like to explore with this rifle. I am thinking about your 325 gr. FNGC, but have two concerns. First, are there any problems with shooting a GC lead through a gas operated autoloader? I doubt there is, but better safe than sorry with a brand new upper. Second, do you have any information as to whether the flat nose bullet will feed through an autoloader. Speer 405 gr. jacketed bullets reportedly do fine, as do 300 gr. JSP, so I see no reason why these would not also. Give me the thumbs up and I'll send in my order, along with the ML lapping bullets I need. Thanks.
 

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I haven't had our bullets used in that application as of yet, at least not to my knowlege. I can't see any down-side to using them in your new acquisition, just so long as there's a way of cleaning the gas port on this receiver. There can, and will be some amount of lead buildup in the gas-port of this gun, and provided that you can access the gas-port for cleaning this will pose no problem, and shouldn't need to be done except after every 400-500 rounds.

As far as feeding goes, I think you'll find absolutely no problems whatsoever. If it'll feed the Speer 405 FN Jacketed pill, it'll surely feed our 325g FNGC without a hitch.

Let me know, and we'll get you outfitted.

Thanks, and I'll look forward to an update on this project!

God Bless,
 

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Thanks Marshall. The upper is due to ship out to me today, so once it gets here I'll slug the barrel and call you to place the order for the SOCOM bullets and the ML lap bullets. Now if the dies and brass arrive I'll be all set to play with it a little. The dies are due any day but the brass not until mid September, so I won't be out shooting it anytime soon, bullets or not. I see from the specs that the meplate on the FN is smaller than on the LFNGC so I think the FN is less blunt than the LFNGC. Since both have the same crimp to nose length, the FN should be more "pointed" looking than even the LFN, correct? This bullet should be a perfect match for the SOCOM in both weight, shape, and downrange performance. I may have to try some of my 405 LFNGC bullets too and see how they stack up. I can't wait...
 

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Rats! After sitting down and going through, thread by thread the 29 pages on the troubleshooting section on the .458 SOCOM, I found that they do not recommend shooting lead in it. Mainly for the lead deposits in the gas block and tube reasons. Since this is straight from the primary builder of .458 SOCOM uppers, I suppose it would be wise to listen to him. Darn it to heck. :(
 

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Big Bore,
I don't suggest you go against the mfg's reccomendation....but. The .22LR conversion for the regular AR has had this issue as well, and the accepted practice is to just shoot regular ammo in the rifle and "blow out" the lead/lube fouling every once in a while. The gas blocks are not terribly hard to clean if you're adept at taking the upper apart, but it is a bit of a job.
 

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Big Bore said:
Rats! After sitting down and going through, thread by thread the 29 pages on the troubleshooting section on the .458 SOCOM, I found that they do not recommend shooting lead in it. Mainly for the lead deposits in the gas block and tube reasons. Since this is straight from the primary builder of .458 SOCOM uppers, I suppose it would be wise to listen to him. Darn it to heck. :(
NUTS! It would be such a great application for a cast bullet in all other respects. Hmmmm, perhaps a custom hand cannon.... of course you don't know anything about those :D!

Maybe on another project. I do have the ML lapping bullets on-hand though.

God Bless,
 

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NEVER shoot lead in a gas operated system!

Let me know how that socom shoots. I debated it versus the Beowulf but I just had to have the biggest bullet. ;)
 

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I honestly don't see what it would hurt to shoot lead occasionally, if you feel confident that you can take it apart and clean it. All gas-operated systems are going to get some amount of crud in them and need occasional maintenance.

Gas-check bullets would probably the foul the least.

Calcualate the cost difference on the bullets, and the extra time necessary for an occasional cleaning, and decide if it's worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Taking the gas block off is not that great a problem, but in all honesty, I am a very lazy person. Tearing down the AR that much is not something that I can honestly say I enjoy doing. Since the upper was a custom hand build job, the fit is extremely tight and constant tearing down is sure to loosen things up over time. The normal cleaning of the gas block and tube do not require tearing the whole thing down, or at least I have never had to do so in the 10 years I have been shooting ARs. The only time I have "needed" to take the GB off is when switching out handguards to free float tubes. Like I said, not a big job, but one I don't care to do. As much as I regret it and hate to admit it, I guess the cost of bulk .45-70 JHP bullets is not that much more than lead.

All reports from Marty and Tony are showing that the .458 SOCOM is proving to be a very accurate round, with most people getting MOA or better groups, with 300 gr. bullets coming out of the 16-20" barrels at between 1900 and 2100 fps, and the 500 gr. bullets up to 1200 fps. Other reports about the .50 B (AR15.com) have been that the .50 B is having trouble, accuracy wise, living up to AA's claims. Have you found accuracy difficult to achieve in your .50B? I anguished long and hard over which to get, and with the much better selection of bullets in the .458, (250-600 gr.) all of which have been proven in the SOCOM, I decided to go with it, especially since I have several hundred 300 gr. .458 X bullets on the shelf. Those were the bullets Marty designed the .458 SOCOM around, and they make it an honest 200 yard shooter. The fact that the SOCOM headspaces on the shoulder instead of the case mouth clinched the deal. Since the .458 SOCOM is a twin of the .45-70 in a form that will work in an autoloader, I really did not want another .45-70 type round, I have too many of them already. But, since I also have a couple of 50s, rifle and pistol, the .458 SOCOM finally got the nod. If the .50 B turns out to be a good shooter also, and if Marty or Tony don't bring out a .50 of their own that headspaces on the shoulder, then a .50 B upper might just find its way home also, maybe. I agree that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a bigger hole!

Marshall, correct you are about being used in handcannons. SSK is already doing AR-15 Conversions to the .458 SOCOM AND making Encore barrels. Since I already have a .50 AK barrel for the Encore, a .458 SOCOM barrel might just happen to find its way into my mailbox someday, but it won't be tomorrow I can tell you that!

I still have about a month to go before the brass is expected to arrive, but the dies should be here any time now. Since Cor-Bon is shipping loaded rounds ($32/20) I may have to order a box just so I can shoot this thing. If the dies get here, at least I would have 20 cases to reload and work up a load with. So many toys, so little time, and money!
 
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