How did the Wilson Combat 458 HAM’R come to be?
Most stories surrounding the .458 SOCOM seem to revolve around large slow bullets delivering significant energy out of an M4. It had to fit on an M4 lower with no modification and use GI magazines. The result was impressive launching 250 grain projectiles at 2,100 fps delivering more than 2,500 foot pounds of energy — roughly the same as a .308 and double that of a .223.
Most GI magazines will work, so does the buffer and spring. Game wardens in states with predators the size of pickup trucks love it. Hog hunting, including Bill Wilson’s (Wilson Combat) WC ranch in Texas became its home. Used effectively on huge hogs, Bill wanted more energy, more range, and the ability to hunt most anything on this continent. The result was the Wilson Combat 458 HAM’R, and it is impressive.
The Wilson Combat Tactical-Hunter
Wilson Combat’s HAM’R uses a custom receiver set that accommodates a modified AR-10 bolt carrier. It mates to a barrel using an AR-10 extension, both of which deal with the increased pressure.
Wilson machines its lower receiver to accept AR-15 magazines. It comes with two modified Lancer magazines holding seven rounds.
Slightly larger than an AR-15, the Tactical Hunter model weighs in at about 7.5 pounds. Using an 18-inch barrel, Barnes 300 grain TTSX delivers more than 2,900 foot pounds of energy at 2,100 fps, outclassing any similar AR-15 cartridge. Expanding bullets are devastating with deep penetration making it capable of hunting anything walking in North America, maybe even the entire planet.
My test rifle included a Leupold Optics VX-R 2-17x33mm FireDot scope mounted in Wilson Combat LW rings. A Wilson Rogers stock keeps it light.
The Tactical Hunter barrel is fluted, 18 inches in length, and threaded 11/16×24 to accommodate a suppressor. Liberty Suppressors’ Goliath is rated for this caliber and was used throughout testing.
A 14.6-inch Wilson Combat rail using M-LOK covers the barrel, while the grip is a starburst. For ammunition, I stuck with Wilson Combat, using the Barnes 300 grain TTSX and Hornady 250 Grain MFT (MonoFlex Tip).
Read more about the Tactical Hunter below the video.
Wilson Combat 458 HAM’R Range Performance
Accuracy on the range was excellent. The Barnes ammo made one very large hole at 50 yards firing from a bench.
Unsuppressed it’s a handful, noticeably stouter than the .458 SOCOM. Adding a Liberty Suppressors Goliath tamed it nicely. The Goliath reduced felt recoil significantly. Not to mention it’s very quiet and the rifle ran perfectly. At 20 ounces it stays manageable.
My video shows the difference in recoil and why that was the only time it was used without the Goliath.
A few shots into water and concrete made for some impressive video and was a ton of fun.
Perfect Hunting Rifle?
Coming in at just a tad more than $2,900, the Tactical Hunter is a hand built AR-15 designed to be the perfect hunting AR inside 200 yards (where most hunting occurs).
At 300 yards the Barnes still delivers more energy than a .223 at the muzzle. Shortening the barrel would just make it a .458 SOCOM, so it’s primarily a hunter. Even suppressed it was neither barrel heavy or unwieldy. Suppressed, it’s very controllable even on rapid fire.
One thing is for sure, bring this to any fight within a couple hundred yards and the words “I needed a bigger gun” are unlikely.
For more information, please visit WilsonCombat.com.
Wilson Combat 458 HAM’R Tactical Hunter Specifications
- Caliber/Gauge: 458 HAM’R
- Receiver Set: Wilson Combat
- Barrel: 18 inches
- OA Length: 35 inches
- Weight: 7.5 pounds
- Sights: Flat Top / Accepts rail mounted sights and optics.
- Stocks/Grips: Wilson Rogers Stock / Starburst Grip
- Action: Semi-Automatic / Rotating Bolt / Direct Impingement
- Finish: Cerakote (custom camo)
- Capacity: Wilson Combat Altered Lancer Magazines (7 rounds)
- Price: $2,905
Load Velocity Group
WC 250 grain Hornady MFT 2125 .60 Inches
WC 300 grain Barnes TTSX 2100 .47 Inches
Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity as per manufacturer. Accuracy in inches for three five round groups fired from 50 yards using a bi-pod standing behind a ben