The Ruger Ranch chambered for the 450 Bushmaster is an exceptionally accurate combination with factory ammunition and with handloads. The only issue with handloads is that bullets intended for rifles rather than handguns are used. These are all spire tipped, long for bore and found as marketed specifically for the 450 Bushmaster or 0.451″ bullets mounted is sabots for use in muzzle loaders. The issue, circumstances and underlying factors were addressed in prior coverage, along with applicable handload data.
It should be a contender…
Pictured left to right, 45 Colt, 450 Bushmaster, 45-70 Gov’t. The 450 Bushmaster delivers excellent stopping power and accuracy, while skipping the shoulder bashing conduct of 45-70 +P ammunition and the mediocre performance of the rifle bound 45 Colt. The 450 Bushmaster also sidesteps the firearm stressing 65,000 PSI operating pressure of the 460 S&W.
The 450 Bushmaster should be the king of woodland cartridge, hog slayer supreme and unchallenged leading purveyor of venison. It is not, but Ruger’s little bolt action blaster may help the cartridge catch up and overcome Remington’s lack of inspiration and vision. What the 450 Bushmaster lacks is a sufficient selection of factory ammunition and reloading components.
Remington acquired Bushmaster, inclusive of the 450 Bushmaster cartridge, so it was theirs to support and promote or theirs to let it die on the vine… like so many other Remington acquisitions. Decentralized marketing in large and unwieldy organizations might do wonders.
Yes, Hornady Black 450 Bushmaster ammunition is very good, but it is available one bullet weight and type. Remington loads only one type, it is only seasonally produced and almost always out of stock. Sabot mounted bullets are currently produced in grain weights of: 245, 250, 275, and 300. Even if ammunition manufacturers won’t run the risk of manufacturing and inventorying loaded ammo, the least they could so is sell the components without sabots for the handloader, then watch the consumption and see of there is enough traffic to support additional types of loaded ammunition.
Four from the last project… + 1
The selection of bullets below, with the exception of the 450 Bushmaster specific Hornady 250 grain SST bullet and Barnes 275 grain TSX, were cannibalized from .50 caliber sabot ammo. Designed to work with modern triple charge, magnum muzzle loaders, these .45 caliber projectiles can hold 1 MOA out beyond 300 yards and impact with controlled, but full expansion at 450 Bushmaster velocity.
|Barnes Spitfire MZ||HPBT||245||0.968||0.4504||2.260||44.0|
|Barnes Spitfire TMZ||PTBT||250||1.110||0.4506||2.260||38.3|
|Barnes TSX FB||HPFB||275||1.025||0.4505||2.210||39.2|
The SAAMI bullet diameter specification for the Bushmaster is 0.452″ +0.000″/-0.003″, so all of the bullets indicated meet that criteria. This does not universally apply to all .50 Caliber sabot projectiles. As an example, the Remington AccuTip 260 grain bullet contained in a .50 caliber sabot projectile measures 0.448″; close, but no cigar. The bullets above as assembled below.
Ballistic coefficient for the bullets indicated fall between 0.203 and 0.250. While significantly better than their blunt nose handgun bullet counterparts with a BC between 0.150 and 0.180, there is little chance that they will skip off the atmosphere and enter low orbit. Excepting the subsonic Trail Boss load, the rest will hold 1000 ft-lbs at 250 yards while remaining supersonic and shoot point blank between 185 and 205 yards without wandering an inch above or below line of sight.
|Barnes 275 Grain TSX|
|Velocity – fps||2130||1951||1782||1622||1477||1346||1234|
|Energy – ft.-lbs.||2770||2324||1938||1607||1332||1107||930|
|Momentum – lbs-sec||2.59||2.37||2.17||1.97||1.80||1.64||1.50|
|Path – in.||-1.5||2.8||4.8||4.0||-0.0||-8.0||-20.9|
And, while riding off into the sunset…
I hope Ruger’s attention to the 450 Bushmaster, within the context of its excellent Ruger American Rifle Ranch edition, will shed the light of success on this combination. With performance so far ahead of its price tag, it certainly belongs in the hands of a serious woodland hunter.