What Is The Difference Between .450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington?

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.450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington Comparison

The debate between the 450 Bushmaster vs 223 Remington has been ongoing among firearms enthusiasts for quite some time. Both cartridges have their own unique advantages and characteristics that make them suitable for different purposes.

In this article, we will delve into the details of these two popular calibers, exploring their features, uses, and the key differences that set them apart. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter, a competitive shooter, or simply someone interested in firearms, understanding the distinctions between these two rounds is essential. So let’s dive in and explore the world of the 450 Bushmaster and the 223.

About the 450 Bushmaster

The 450 Bushmaster is a relatively new rifle cartridge that was designed to offer enhanced stopping power while maintaining compatibility with standard AR-15 platforms. It was introduced by Hornady in 2007 and quickly gained popularity among hunters and sports shooters due to its impressive ballistic performance.

.450 Bushmaster History
.450 Bushmaster History

Power and Performance

One of the main reasons why the 450 Bushmaster stands out is its sheer power. This cartridge packs a punch, delivering exceptional energy and stopping power compared to many other commonly used rounds.

With a bullet diameter of .452 inches and a case length of 1.7 inches, the 450 Bushmaster boasts a substantial amount of energy upon impact, making it an ideal choice for big game hunting and stopping dangerous animals in their tracks.

Versatility and Adaptability

Another advantage of the 450 Bushmaster is its versatility. While initially developed for AR-15 rifles, it can also be chambered in bolt-action rifles, providing shooters with more options when it comes to firearm selection.

This versatility allows shooters to choose between rapid-fire capability with an AR-15 or the inherent accuracy of a bolt-action rifle depending on their specific needs and preferences.

.450 Bushmaster Overview
.450 Bushmaster Overview

Effective Range

When it comes to the effective range, the 450 Bushmaster performs admirably within its intended purpose. Typically, it is recommended for shots within 200 yards, making it exceptionally suitable for hunting in dense woods or thick brush where longer shots are uncommon. However, it’s worth noting that with proper training and skill, shooters can extend the effective range of the cartridge beyond this limit.

About the .223 Remington

The .223 Remington, also known as the 5.56x45mm NATO, has been a popular choice among shooters for decades. Originally developed for military use, the 223 offers several advantages that make it a highly versatile cartridge.

The 223 Remington Rifle is available in two main types
The 223 Remington Rifle is available in two main types

Lightweight and Fast

One of the significant advantages of the 223 is its lightweight design, which allows shooters to carry more ammunition without being weighed down. Additionally, the high velocity of the round contributes to its effectiveness by providing a flat trajectory and minimizing bullet drop over long ranges.

These characteristics make the 223 an excellent choice for target shooting, varmint hunting, and situations where rapid follow-up shots may be required.

Ammunition Availability and Affordability

Due to its widespread use in both the military and civilian markets, the 223 enjoys abundant availability and affordable pricing. This accessibility makes it an attractive option for shooters who are looking for a reliable round that won’t break the bank.

The extensive range of bullet choices and readily available reloading components further adds to the appeal of the 223 for those who prefer customization and handloading their own ammunition.

223 Remington
223 Remington

Long-Range Potential

While the 450 Bushmaster excels in close to medium-range engagements, the 223 boasts a longer effective range. With the right setup, skilled shooters can accurately engage targets at distances exceeding 500 yards.

This long-range potential, combined with its flat trajectory, makes the 223 a favored caliber for competitive shooting disciplines such as precision rifle competitions and long-range benchrest shooting.

Quick 450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington Comparison Table

Characteristic .450 Bushmaster .223 Remington
Caliber .450 inches (11.43mm) .223 inches (5.56mm)
Bullet Diameter .452 inches (11.53mm) .224 inches (5.69mm)
Case Length 1.700 inches (43.18mm) 1.760 inches (44.70mm)
Overall Length 2.260 inches (57.40mm) 2.260 inches (57.40mm)
Bullet Weight Range 200 to 300 grains 35 to 77 grains
Typical Bullet Weight 250 to 300 grains 55 to 62 grains
Muzzle Velocity Range 2000 to 2400 feet per second (fps) 2700 to 3300 fps
Muzzle Energy Range 2400 to 2900 foot-pounds (ft-lbs) 1100 to 1300 ft-lbs
Recoil Moderate to Heavy Light to Moderate
Effective Range Up to 250 yards (with accuracy) Up to 400 yards (with accuracy)
Purpose Big Game Hunting, Short-Range Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Home Defense
Magazine Capacity Typically lower (due to larger rounds) Standard capacity varies by firearm
Availability Less common Extremely common
Cost of Ammunition Generally more expensive More affordable
Firearm Platform AR-15-style rifles, bolt-action rifles AR-15-style rifles, bolt-action rifles, semi-automatic handguns

Detailed .450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington Comparison

.450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington Comparison
.450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington Comparison


Accuracy is one of the most important factors when it comes to firearms. The .223 Remington cartridge is renowned for its accuracy due to its low recoil and flat trajectory.

The 450 Bushmaster, on the other hand, has more recoil and a steeper trajectory, making it less accurate than the .223 Remington at long distances. The winner in terms of accuracy is the .223 Remington.


The 450 Bushmaster is a much more powerful cartridge than the .223 Remington. It was designed specifically for hunting large game, such as deer and bear, and can take down these animals with ease.

The .223 Remington, while still a powerful cartridge, is better suited for smaller game and varmint hunting. In terms of power, the 450 Bushmaster is the clear winner.


Recoil is another important factor to consider when comparing cartridges. The 450 Bushmaster has a significant recoil, which can be unpleasant for some shooters. The .223 Remington, on the other hand, has a much lighter recoil, making it easier to shoot for extended periods. The winner in terms of recoil is the .223 Remington.

Magazine Capacity

Magazine capacity is an important consideration for shooters who prefer semi-automatic rifles. The .223 Remington has a higher magazine capacity compared to the 450 Bushmaster, allowing for more shots without having to reload. The winner in terms of magazine capacity is the .223 Remington.

Ammunition Cost

The cost of ammunition is an important consideration for many shooters. The .223 Remington is a very popular cartridge and has a wide availability of ammunition, making it much cheaper than the 450 Bushmaster. The 450 Bushmaster is a specialty cartridge and is therefore more expensive to purchase. In terms of ammunition cost, the winner is the .223 Remington.


Availability is an important factor to consider when choosing a cartridge. The .223 Remington is widely available and can be found in most gun shops and sporting goods stores. The 450 Bushmaster, on the other hand, is a specialty cartridge and may be harder to find. In terms of availability, the winner is the .223 Remington.

How to Use the 450 Bushmaster vs 223

Understanding how to best utilize the 450 Bushmaster and the 223 is crucial for maximizing their performance and effectiveness in various scenarios. Let’s take a look at some tips for utilizing these calibers effectively:

.450 Bushmaster

  1. Choose the right firearm: Ensure that you have a rifle chambered specifically for the 450 Bushmaster, whether it’s an AR-15 or a bolt-action rifle.
  2. Matching optics: Select appropriate optics that align with the intended purpose of your firearm. Consider red dot sights for quick target acquisition or magnified scopes for accurate long-range shooting.
  3. Suitable ammunition: Opt for high-quality ammunition designed for the 450 Bushmaster to guarantee reliable feeding, consistent performance, and maximum stopping power.


  1. Firearm selection: The 223 is most commonly used in AR-15 rifles, but be sure to check the specific chambering of your firearm to ensure compatibility.
  2. Accessorize appropriately: Depending on your shooting preferences, consider adding accessories such as adjustable stocks, foregrips, or muzzle devices to enhance control and maneuverability.
  3. Bullet selection: Experiment with different bullet weights and types to find the optimal balance between accuracy, terminal performance, and your intended shooting application.

Examples of 450 Bushmaster vs 223 Applications

Let’s explore a few examples where the choice between the 450 Bushmaster and the 223 can significantly impact performance:

Hunting: If you’re hunting large game like deer or boar in dense cover, the 450 Bushmaster’s superior stopping power and larger caliber may make it the preferred choice. On the other hand, varmint hunting or small game hunting in open terrain may favor the 223 due to its flatter trajectory and higher magazine capacity.

Home Defense: When it comes to home defense, both calibers can be effective. The 450 Bushmaster’s increased stopping power may offer a slight advantage in close-quarters scenarios, while the 223’s high magazine capacity and reduced recoil make it easier to handle in high-stress situations.

Target Shooting: For precision target shooting or long-range competitions, the 223’s superior long-range capabilities and wide range of bullet options give it an edge over the 450 Bushmaster.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the 450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington

To summarize the key points, here are the advantages and disadvantages of each caliber:

Advantages Disadvantages
450 Bushmaster
  • Impressive stopping power
  • Versatility in firearm selection
  • Optimal for close to medium-range engagements
  • Limited effective range compared to the 223
  • Reduced ammunition availability and higher costs
223 Remington
  • Lightweight design for increased ammunition capacity
  • Flat trajectory and long-range potential
  • Widely available and affordable ammunition
  • Lower stopping power compared to the 450 Bushmaster
  • Limited effectiveness against large game animals

450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington Comparison Video

FAQs about 450 Bushmaster vs .223 Remington

Q1: Which caliber is better for hunting deer, the 450 Bushmaster or the 223?

Both calibers can be used for deer hunting, but the 450 Bushmaster is generally considered better due to its larger bullet diameter and superior stopping power. However, shot placement and hunting conditions also play significant roles in determining the effectiveness of a particular caliber.

Q2: Can the 223 be used for self-defense purposes?

Yes, the 223 can be used effectively for self-defense. Its lightweight design, low recoil, and high magazine capacity make it a popular choice for home defense and personal protection.

The legality of using the 450 Bushmaster for hunting varies from state to state. It’s important to check and comply with local hunting regulations to ensure you are using an appropriate caliber.

Q4: Can I hunt varmints with the 450 Bushmaster?

While the 450 Bushmaster may be capable of taking down varmints, its larger bullet size and higher cost compared to other varmint-specific rounds may make it less practical. The 223 is often a more suitable choice due to its lighter weight, flatter trajectory, and lower ammunition costs.

Q5: Can I use the 450 Bushmaster in an AR-15 platform?

Yes, the 450 Bushmaster can be used in certain AR-15 platforms, but it requires a specific upper receiver chambered for the cartridge. It’s important to confirm the compatibility of your firearm with the 450 Bushmaster before attempting to use it.


In the ongoing 450 Bushmaster vs 223 Remington debate, both calibers possess unique qualities that make them well-suited for different purposes. The 450 Bushmaster offers superior stopping power and versatility in rifle selection, making it ideal for close to medium-range engagements and hunting large game.

On the other hand, the 223 shines with its lightweight design, long-range potential, and wide availability, making it a popular choice for various shooting applications, including target shooting and varmint hunting.

Ultimately, selecting the right caliber depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the intended use of your firearm. Whichever you choose, always prioritize safety, practice responsible shooting, and comply with all local laws and regulations.

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by

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