450 Bushmaster

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by J E Custom, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I would like everyone's opinion on the 450 bushmaster round in an AR platform.

    I found a good deal on one and though I would try it for Hogs,

    Any experience with it on large/tough game ?

    Please share good or bad.

    It would be used for up close and comfortable hunting. (250 yards Max).

    The factory load looks like a good starting point (250grain FTX @ 2200 ft/sec
    and 2686 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle.

    Pictures of kills would also be great.

  2. LouBoyd

    LouBoyd Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    To me the choice boils down to bullet selection which pretty well determines the ballistics. There are three commonly available "big bore" AR-15 calibers. 50 Beowulf (Beo), 458 SOCOM, and 450 Bushmaster (BM). Of the three I don't own a 450 BM though I considered them all.

    All three cartridges suffer from not being able to shoot heavy low drag bullets when shot from the AR-15 magazine which only allows a 2.28" cartridge OAL. That pretty much limits the range of the 50 Beo and the 450 BM to 300 yards supersonic. The 458 SOCOM has a little shorter but fatter case and can launch bullets with higher BCs, though not with as much energy. The 450 BM shoots .451" dia bullets so the section is pretty much what will shoot in a 45 ACP, though the 450 BM will shoot hem with a lot more energy. The 24" twist rate of the 450 BM also limits bullet length. (the standard 50 Beo is 19" and the standard 458 SOCOOM is 14" twist).

    For hog hunting at up to a couple of hundred yards the 458 BM should provide good terminal energy as will the other two. You'll have to decide which bullets for any of the three cartridges will provide the penetration and expansion characteristics you want.

    This is the "Long Range Hunting" forum. I wouldn't call any of the three rifles "long range". but in order of useful range I'd rate them 458 SCOM #1, 50 Beowulf #2, and 450 Bushmaster #3. The edge on muzzle energy goes to the 50 Beowulf.

    As far as rifle quality I have Busmasters in other chamberings. All three companies make good quality rifles. Look at ammo and/or brass availability. All three are proprietary cartridges with spotty availability and limited factory bullet selectons. You could get a Marlin 45/70 lever gun for less money which will kill hogs as well with better ammo availability.

    Or maybe 458 Win mag for considerably more range and muzzle energy. Hogs come in sizes from under 100 to over 1000 lbs. Size does matter.
  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Thanks LOU.

    Kind of what I also found but I did notice that brass for the 450 Bushmaster could be made
    from the 6.5 284 Win And the 6.5 284 Norma. and that was the swing vote because I have
    dealt with the propitiatory brass and it is a pain.

    I needed something that I could Carry on my 4 wheeler for quick follow up shots on hogs
    and the 223 was just to light.

    Intended range is less than 250 yards and there are lots of 45 calibre bullets to substitute
    up to 400 grains.

    Also our hogs are not that big (400 lbs max) so I thought it would work.

    Thanks again.

  4. mdwyer

    mdwyer Member

    Jan 22, 2010
    I have beeb happy with mine (20" 450BM). After looking at ammo I made the call for the 450BM. Remington and Hornady are both making factory ammo and so far it produces. Been loading LiL Gun and have been happy with the results.

    So far no critter has complained, but a 200 yard + gun it is not. I would buy it again if that is any recommendation.

  5. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    I have an upper for my AR I got about a year ago. I have not shot any critters with it so no results to share on that. i would think it would be a serious close range hog thumper though.

    Mine shoots fairly well for what it is...... about 1" to 1 1/4" at 100. It does make the AR KICK! It is not that bad, but when you are used to the 223 upper with a heavy match barrel and switch to the short light 450..... WOW!

    I have all the brass and bullets to load with but have not loaded any yet, just shot factory ammo. I have not shot it through my chrono yet either.

    I'm not a lot of help with your question......... but what the heck, buy it! We all NEED more guns!!
  6. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    I think I'm going to be very happy with the 450 for hunting it shoots very well and with a good
    scope it should improve. (And me to).

    I ran the balistics against the Socom and the Beowulf and the Beowulf with the 400 grain bullet
    edged out the 450 in energy by almost 200ft/lbs @ the muzzle (2878ft/lbs to 2687 ft/lbs but the
    450 came back At 100 yards with 1909 ft/lbs to 2001ft/lbs for the Beowulf.

    At 200 yards the Beowulf was still ahead 1403 to 1330 but with 14.1 in drop compared to 8.7"
    for the 450. and at 300yards the beowulf dropped 50.3" and the 450 dropped 32.0"

    These are not long range rifles by any means but for the intended use they should work well
    on large game inside of 200 yards.

    Hornady knew what they were doing when they chose a .452 dia bullet over a .458 because at
    the velocities that the AR platform was capabable of the .458 heavy jacketed bullets would be at
    the lower end of there performance range at the muzzle and at 100 yards would be at the
    bottom the operating range(1800 ft/sec). but with the pistol bullets it is at the upper end of
    there design velocity and with the FTX bullet that was designed for these velocity ranges, It
    should perform well.

    Any way it looks like we have several choices for big bore rounds and the 450 should be a

  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Re: 450 Bushmaster "Up date"

    Finally got to shoot the Bushmaster with a decent scope even though it was only 4X
    It performed well.

    The Izzy Break doesn't work very well to control muzzle rise so I installed a Vias and hope
    to do some testing with it.

    The IZZY break also has a port directly in the vertical and at night this port will temporarily
    blind you with the muzzle flash so I oriented the Vias so that the ports were at 11;00
    and 1;00 o'clock.

    The muzzle rise was enough to lose sight of the target making follow up shots slow to
    acquire (The reason for a Semi auto).

    Accuracy was good for what it is, (1 1/2 moa for 15 rounds) the thing that impressed me
    was that after 15 rounds fairly fast the POI did not change even though the barrel was
    very hot.

    Recoil was brisk but not brutal even in the light weight rifle and it was fun to shoot.

    This may become my Home defence weapon if I can make the frangible bullets work.

    Cant wait to wear some hogs out with it.

    Just some more info.

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  8. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    One more update for the guys that have the 450 Bushmaster.

    I am a big fan of the Vias Break but I found it insufficient for controled follow up shots

    Ron Bartlett of Vias Told me that brakes were less efficient with the big bores because of
    lower pressures and velocities ( They reduce recoil about 30 to 35 %) and this was the

    I have the Vias brakes on some 300s and 338s and they work very well.

    So I decided to build a large 3 or 4 port break and see if that would make a difference,
    And it did.

    The port size is 3/4" X 3 and it allows more gas to escape to the sides and not follow the

    I also fabricated a fish gill break like the 50BMG has (Only not as big) and it had about the
    same recoil reduction as the 3 port did but was noticeably louder and strung the group out

    The round 3 port performed very good and shot one group @ 100 yards that was .722 and
    another at .938 And consistently less than 1 MOA .

    If anyone wants to Tame the 450 for Quicker follow up shots the big side port brakes Like
    the Holland, DE, Pain killer and others should make a large difference.

    The only problem is the 11/16 24 TPI is not common and you will have to get the manufacture
    of the break to thread it to fit the 11/16 x 24 barrel threads. )That is the reason I fabricated
    my own.

    I can't wait to ware out some hogs with it.

    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  9. ncwg2boatguy

    ncwg2boatguy Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2013

    Yes I am fond of it... Anything in North America will go down hard from this round. Honady 250gr, Remington 260 gr or handloading with 325gr 452dia Swift Bullets. reloading with the 325 Swifts is devistating.