(Image: Left to right: 50 Beowulf, 450 Bushmaster, 458 SOCOM, 45 Raptor)
Do you want even more energy then the 458 SOCOM, 450 Bushmaster or 50 Beowulf?
Enter the 45 Raptor…
Take a 308 round and neck it up to a .451 bullet and you have a straight-walled powerhouse for just about any game animal you can think of.
The .45 Raptor was designed in 2014 and was developed as a rimless cartridge for the AR-10 platform. It’s primary advantage over rounds like the .458 SOCOM, 450 Bushmaster and .50 Beowulf, is the .45 Raptor is about 30% more powerful. It shoots faster, flatter, and can reliably feed hollow point rounds.
Despite the improved performance, .45 Raptor never seemed to pick up the way other wildcat cartridges of the day did. This could be attributed to a lack of marketing for the round, or the fact that it was developed for the less popular AR-10 platform, as opposed to the AR-15 platform utilized by the .458 SOCOM, 450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf. However, just like the more popular rounds, you can still find the components needed to modify your AR-10 for the .45 Raptor and the rounds themselves can still be found with some digging, for example, we offer 45 Raptor at AmmoSquared.
As mentioned earlier, the 45 Raptor is about 30% more powerful then it’s AR15 chambered counterparts like the 458 SOCOM, 450 Bushmaster and 50 Beowulf.
Here are some ballistic numbers for a 300 grain bullet out of a 16" barrel in each of those calibers:
458 SOCOM: 1960 fps
450 Bushmaster: 1900 fps
50 Beowulf: 1900 fps
45 Raptor: 2250 fps
458 SOCOM: 2558 fpe
450 Bushmaster: 2404 fpe
50 Beowulf: 2404 fpe
45 Raptor: 3371 fpe (31.7% more energy!)
Bullet Drop at 200 yards:
458 SOCOM: 6.6 in
450 Bushmaster: 7.6 in
50 Beowulf: 12.9 in
45 Raptor: 2.29 in
The .45 Raptor utilizes .460 S&W loading data and dies, but makes use of a rimless cartridge to ensure functionality in the semi-automatic AR-10 platform. One of the strong points of the .45 Raptor (besides its cool name and great performance) is the fact that only the barrel and magazine need be changed out on an AR-10 to use the round - no bolt change needed. Unlike some other wildcat calibers that require different bolt carrier groups for retrofit, the .45 Raptor conversion is straightforward.
Like with most alternative calibers for the AR15 or AR10 platforms, the easiest approach is to buy or build a separate upper. Then you just need to drop in your bolt, jerk in a new mag and you are ready to go hunt velociraptors!