Beating Around the Bushmaster: A look at the 450 BM
By Chris Eger
Evolving from a Jeff Cooper concept, the .450 Bushmaster has grown in popularity in the past decade, especially in areas where deer regs have made it a must-have.
Cooper, a legendary gun writer and shooting theorist, wrote about a gun he described as “The Thumper” in his 1998 book, “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.” The idea was something akin to an M1 Carbine chambered in a round like the .44 AutoMag but able to reach out to 250 yards. Fast forward a decade and, following lots of groundwork and burning of lean muscle tissue into the night, Tim LeGendre of LeMag Firearms, developed the “.45 Professional” as a big-bore AR round then moved the design to AR-maker Bushmaster– hence the slightly shorter resulting cartridge’s name– and Hornady took it to market in 2007.
At the time, Hornady described the round as “the hardest-hitting production cartridge ever to be chambered in an AR-15-style rifle.”
Approved by SAAMI, the .450 BM has the appeal of being just one upper change away from working on most AR platforms, although magazines can sometimes be tricky, leading some manufacturers to produce low-capacity (to meet the needs of hunting regs) mags specifically chambered in the rounds.