The .450 Bushmaster is also a fairly young cartridge and was first developed to provide a large, heavy bullet to use in Modern Sporting Rifles (AR rifles) to hunt larger game. Also developed by Hornady, the round was first offered in Bushmaster MSRs, and has had some success in the market, but demand for this round has exploded as a result of hunting regulations in several states, such as Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.

Some states have areas that are restricted to shotgun slug-only, and several have changed the regulations to allow rifles that use straight-walled ammunition. Whatever your opinion about the regulations (and not withstanding the amazing performance of modern slug guns and ammunition, but that’s another story), hunters in those areas were excited about hunting deer with rifles. 450 BUSHMASTER

Some options included rifles using large-caliber handgun ammunition (.357, .44, .500, and .460 Magnums) and older calibers like the .44-70, but the .450 Bushmaster is an excellent option. 450 BUSHMASTER AMMO

The Ruger American we had to shoot is not what I’d describe as a ‘pretty’ rifle, but it is a performer. A recoil pad and muzzle brake help tame a strong recoil, and though that recoil is stiffer than the 6.5 Creedmoor, it is manageable for any hunter. I mounted a 3-9X40mm Vortex Diamondback Tactical scope on it, and while the initial rounds were about 3-4 inches high and to the right, it zeroed quickly and was spot-on after that point. 450 BUSHMASTER AMMO

This scope is perfect for muzzleloaders, slug guns, and this rifle caliber, where the bullet drops fairly quickly. While it has “Tactical” aiming points on the reticle, these are easily adapted to using as holdover points that will make it very accurate to over 200 yards, with some practice and experience.450 bushmaster upper

The .450 Bushmaster shoots a 250- or 260-grain bullet at about 2,200 fps and will drop a deer with no problem, provided the hunter puts the bullet where it should go. One problem with this caliber is that ammunition is (at this writing) only available from Hornady (250-grain bullet) or Remington (260-grain bullet), and in areas where the regulations did not change, even that ammunition is not always easily available. Living in Wisconsin, I found four boxes in a Cabela’s in Green Bay, and over two months looking in perhaps a dozen other stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota, I did not find any more on the shelf. Ordering online was no problem. I imagine that in states where this caliber is popular it will be more readily available.450 bushmaster upper

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