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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Suitable ammunition: Opt for high-quality ammunition designed for the 450 Bushmaster to guarantee reliable feeding, consistent performance, and maximum stopping power.
- 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.
- Accessorize appropriately: Depending on your shooting preferences, consider adding accessories such as adjustable stocks, foregrips, or muzzle devices to enhance control and maneuverability.
- 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:
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.
Q3: Is the 450 Bushmaster legal for hunting in all states?
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.
Shelly Jark Drakny is a retired SF weapons sergeant (E-5 or above) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) code 18B. He served 24 years in the military, including assignments in SF, Infantry, and Special Forces.