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Just picked up a new .450 Bushmaster . . .

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by shuter, Oct 24, 2007.

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  1. shuter

    shuter Member

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    the 16" Carbine model. I saw a post a couple weeks back wondering about the rig, so I thought I'd comment.

    First of all, I've only fired a handful of rounds through it thus far, but so far so good.

    The case is actually a cut down .284 win, and uses .452 diameter bullets. The case is nearly as long as the .460 S&W, and would develop ballistics close to what that cartridge does in a handgun, when the BM is fired in it's 16 inch carbine barrel. In other words, not a ".45-70 semi-auto", but close enough for most big game, if that's your intent.

    Here are a couple of quotes I wanted to try to address (from the previous thread on the topic), based on my limited exposure to the rifle/round:

    "Part of me thinks it's awesome, but then there is those 5rd mags. It seems silly to make that cool of a round for the AR-15 and only make 5rd mags for it. And the upper costs more than a good lever gun, a lever gun that holds 5rds (of .45/70).

    Not to mention all the big bore uppers who's sales aren't doing so hot as it is. (Can anyone say Leitner-Weise, AKA the original HITRON?) Hopefully the ammo support from Hornady will be great enough to get the product off the ground."

    - Well, it's not a cheap rig. I paid $1,200 for the Carbine, plus scope (the new Weaver Extreme 30mm illuminated reticle - very nice scope for the $$$), sling, Ace FX stock, and all other goodies to make it field ready. I will say, though, that it's the tightest fitting AR I've seen in a long time.

    - The 5 round mag thing is interesting. They ship it with a 5 rounder, obviously, to make it legal for hunting in most states. All the mag is is a 20 round AR mag with a single-shot follower. In taking it apart, however, they've substituted the standard 20 round spring with a longer one that takes up more room. That's the way they reduce the capacity from 7 (which is what you get when you put a standard spring in) to 7. I swapped out the springs, and have an 7 rd mag. The 30 rounders hold 10.

    - As far as all of the other big bore AR rounds go, I'm hoping that Hornady's backing will mean good things. They seem to support a round when they bring it out . . . even when sales are less than "brisk" (see .405 Win, .480 Ruger). The cases could also be made from .284 Win brass, apparently.

    " The only magazines they can get to reliably function so far are the five rounders."

    - Don't know. My 30 rounder with standard AR spring, and the single shot follower popped in works fine so far.

    Anyway, basically all I've done so far is function fire the thing. Looks like it'll be a ton of fun. I'm looking forward to getting some handloads built with Hornady 300 gr. XTP's. Should be able to get 1800 or so out of them with no problem. Considering that's a good 200 fps more than a .454 Casull can do from a long-barreled handgun, it oughta be a blast to hammer out 10 round mags with!

    I bought the 80 rounds of factory ammo that the shop had. Will salvage the brass and play with it as time allows. I'll report back further findings when I can.

    see ya
     
  2. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Welcome to THR. Heck of a first post, bragging rights on that thing! Nice!

    It seems very cool, let us know how it shoots. It's a big old honkin' piece of ammo :)

    Commercial ammo seems to be well in excess of $1 each from what I can tell so handloads would be needed for sure.
     
  3. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    Keep us posted I have been looking at this rifle myself and am still undecided between the .450 Bushmaster and the .50 beowulf.
     
  4. daehawc

    daehawc Member

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    Nice rifle

    I actually just picked up the same version of that rifle about two hours ago. I never was able to find any reviews about it but after looking at the ballistics I decided why not. I found Cheaperthandirt has ammo for about $23 for club pricing. I just ordered 80 rounds for $100 shipped. Sure beats the 2 boxes the shop sold me for almost $70. I'll post some pictures and range report after I get a chance to shoot it Saturday but I'm definitely glad to hear yours worked well. You don't happen to know a cheaper place to buy the single shot followers do you?
     
  5. brasskeeper

    brasskeeper Member

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    Awesome post guys, I would like to hear more. A new upper may be in my future!
     
  6. MMcfpd

    MMcfpd Member

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    Congrats on the Thumper!

    As far as the magazine capacity goes, that's not really a big deal. I've got a .50 Beowulf which I suspect offers a similar shooting experience and the 7 and 10 round magazines are plenty big enough - I don't think I'll ever empty the 10 rounder with back-to-back shots.
     
  7. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Member

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    That sounds like a cool purchase. Happy Hunting! :cool:
     
  8. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    Awesome first post....except....we need pics!!! :cool: Congrats on your purchase - sounds like you got a beast....Welcome to THR!
     
  9. shuter

    shuter Member

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    Thanks so much for the welcome guys.

    Texas and daehawc, I paid $28/box of 20 rounds, so they ain't cheap.

    TIMC, I've always wanted a "Thumper" AR, but held off due to lack of standardization a big bore round for it. To me, the .450 BM is as close as we're likely to get in that area with Hornady producing it.

    Hopefully, they'll start kicking out empty brass, as well. Can't wait to stuff some of their 300 gr XTP's in it!

    Also, as I mentioned earlier, I can (in a pinch - though I wouldn't wanna have to) cut down .284 brass, though that ain't exactly common either.

    By the way, I mentioned the Weaver Classic Extreme scope that I put on it. Forgot to say it's the 1.5-4.5X version. Guys, if you haven't checked these out, you should. As I said before, they have 30mm tubes, illuminated reticles, fast focus eye pieces, adjustment knobs that reset to 0 by just lifting them up and pushing back down to lock. It feels extremely solid, as well.

    I'll post photos when I become something above retarded where that's concerned. Embarassing, but I've never done it. Any direction would be appreciated.

    see ya
     
  10. daehawc

    daehawc Member

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    Love this rifle

    I had a little time after work today before the range shut down but it was enough to break in the barrel and sight in my eotech. So far, definitely impressed. I swapped the follower from the 5rd mag and placed it in one of my Brownell's 30 rd mags with perfect results. The recoil is no where near as bad as I imagined, "thumper" seems to be a very accurate term.

    Shuter: You mentioned that your's was one of the "tightest" fitting AR's you've used. Mine seems almost too tight. I can't even break the thing down without using something to help punch the rear pin. Any tips?

    Lastly, I haven't gotten into reloading yet but I spoke with Hornaday and used their online calculator to get an idea of ballistics. From that info I sighted my eotech at 33 yds for a 175 yd zero. It should place the rounds +2.6in at 100 yds and -2.5in at 200. Does this seem right?
     
  11. shuter

    shuter Member

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    Dont' know about the trajectory . . .

    I'd trust Hornady though! About needing a tool to break it down, that don't bother me none! I carry a little plastic punch just for that.

    see ya
     
  12. peyton

    peyton Member

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    Did you have to chase the brass into the next county? I am curios because that has always bothered me with my AR. Does the cartridge have any lighter bullets available?
     
  13. daehawc

    daehawc Member

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    You bet I did. Even though I don't reload yet I know as soon as I start I'd kill myself for throwing out this brass. Right now, ammo selection is easy. You can either shoot hornady 250 gr SST w/ FTT or you can shoot one of your other weapons. Hopefully this round catches on and more loads are made. I was about to buy a .50 Beowulf when I ran into this at my local shop. My hope is that with Hornady and bushmaster (probably the two biggest names in ammo/"homeland defense rifles") behind this we will have a fighting chance of a large bore AR becoming a little more common place. Until then, I'm slowly stocking up on ammo for it and keep telling everyone I know to get one.
     
  14. NevadaTopGun

    NevadaTopGun Member

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    Shuter - I am fairly new to the AR game (more of a hand gunner) and like you just picked up a new .450 Bushmaster. I have more experience with the .223, but understand it is just a matter of changing out the upper. I haven't investigated that as yet. Am really interested in the magazine issue. Having a 5 shot AR does not make a whole lot of sense to me. Can the single shot follower and regular AR15 spring be ordered individually or must I swap out from the 5 hot magazine? Also, what type of sights/scope do you recommend/use? Have not fired the .450 yet, but am looking forward to doing that tomorrow.
     
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