.450 Bushmaster Ammo

Best .450 Bushmaster Magazines

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The .450 Bushmaster is a respectable and yet hugely overlooked round. Its purpose is to provide the AR-15 with a lot more firepower to bring down big game on the North American continent. Today the .450 is available for many different firearms beyond the AR-15, including bolt action rifles such as the Ruger GSR and the Ruger American.

In this article, we will go over our choices for the top three best .450 Bushmaster magazines. We’ll cover the reasons why they are the very best. We’ll also talk about the importance of owning a lot of magazines. Buyer’s guide of the top qualities and features to look for in the .450 Bushmaster magazines. And lastly, what makes the .450 Bushmaster such a great round, to begin with.

Here’s the rundown of our top pick .450 Bushmaster magazines:

ASC .450 Bushmaster Magazine
  • 5 rounds
  • Durable 410 stainless steel body will be long lasting and rust and corrosion resistant
  • Comes with a self-lubricating marlube finish
  • Follower is polymer
$29 Shop NowClick to read my review
D&H .450 Bushmaster Magazine
  • 4 rounds
  • Made in the United States
  • Built out of aircraft grade aluminum
  • Not ideal for tactical uses as four rounds is rather low
$25 Shop NowClick to read my review
Bushmaster .450 Bushmaster Magazine
  • 5 rounds
  • Single stack follower ensures good reliability
  • Stainless steel construction is very sturdy and corrosion resistant
  • 5 rounds is not ideal for tactical or non-hunting scenarios
$27 Shop NowClick to read my review
C Products Defense .450 Bushmaster Magazine
  • 5 or 7 rounds
  • The special black hard coating of CPD ensures smooth operation
  • Internal bracing has been improved to prevent unwanted jam
  • Some AR-15s may have issues with external dimensions
$28 Shop NowClick to read my review

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Quick History

The .450 Bushmaster was designed by Tim LeGendre, who worked with LeMag Firearms. The .450 Bushmaster gained its name because it is technically licensed with Bushmaster Firearms International.

LeGendre designed the .450 Bushmaster to use with standard AR-15 (and M16 and M4) rifles. All you’ll need is a new upper receiver assembly and most likely a new magazine (more on the magazines later). He also got the idea for the round originally from famed gun expert Jeff Cooper. The one who had a greater impact on modern firearm tactics than any other individual in history.

Cooper recognized the merits of the AR-15 as a platform. But for the most part, many were unhappy with the 5.56x45mm NATO and .223 Remington rounds. He believed that they were too underpowered for hunting North American big game.

Cooper envisioned a larger caliber, and LeGendre took his advice to develop the new .45 Professional cartridge. Bushmaster took the .45 Professional and had Hornady shorten it a bit so they could accommodate a flex tipped bullet. The result, of course, is the .450 Bushmaster round that we have today. So in other words, a .450 Bushmaster is just a shortened .45 Professional.

Why Go With The .450 Bushmaster Round?

In many ways, the .450 Bushmaster is a lot like the .45-70 Government: it’s not exactly a ‘long range’ caliber. But within moderate distances, it hits hard. It can put down the biggest game animals such as grizzly bears or moose.

Needless to say, if you already own an AR-15 chambered in 5.56 and want to upgrade it to use for hunting big game in North America, swapping out the 5.56 parts for .450 components can be a great way to do it (all you should really need to swap out is the upper receiver). While you can technically use 5.56 magazines for the .450 if you want to, you’ll most likely be much better served by investing in actual .450 Bushmaster magazines instead in order to ensure truly proper function. That’s because while the .450 Bushmaster rounds will fit in 5.56 magazines, they will not necessarily feed reliably in it. 

The .450 is a high pressure round, in order to adequately propel the .452” bullets it fired. The round offers a flat trajectory out to around two hundred yards. By zeroing your .450 out to a hundred and fifty yards, you can expect a drop of nearly five inches at two hundred yards and a rise of just under two inches at a hundred yards. This is why the .450 is also comparable to the .45-70 Government: it’s not a precision long-range round by any stretch of the imagination, but it hits hard within moderate distances.

The .450 Bushmaster Usefulness

Today, the AR-15 platform is the most common rifle platform for the .450 Bushmaster round, and each of the magazines that we will be taking a look at later are for the AR-15.

(AR-15 with Bushmaster .450 cartridges and mag; Photo credit: Andrew Haight)
(AR-15 with Bushmaster .450 cartridges and mag; 
Photo credit: Andrew Haight)

Technically, the .450 Bushmaster will fit as a single stack round in the double-stack 5.56 AR-15 magazines. A thirty-round 5.56 magazine will hold thirteen rounds of .450 Bushmaster, a twenty-round magazine will hold nine, and a ten-round magazine will hold five rounds.

The issue is that even though any 5.56 magazine should be able to theoretically hold .450 Bushmaster rounds, that doesn’t mean that they can reliably (chances are good that metal GI style magazines will work better with .450 Bushmaster rounds than polymer magazines such as those made by Lancer or Magpul). If you truly want to ensure proper feeding for your .450 Bushmaster AR, then you should buy magazines specifically made to hold the .450 Bushmaster round. We have many more guides on this caliber, including one on .450 Bushmaster muzzle brakes.

And if you are going to be converting your 5.56 AR into a .450 Bushmaster, you should stock up on a lot of magazines.

This leads us to our next topic…

How Many Magazines Do You Really Need?

Having plenty of spare magazines is always a smart idea, and for more reasons than one.

Magazines can be worn down, beaten on the outside, or the springs can get worn out to name a few things. Any one of these things will cause feeding issues. Of course, that’s also not to mention that your magazines could easily become lost as well.

Complicating things for the .450 Bushmaster is that it’s not nearly as popular or commonplace as other rounds like 5.56 or .308. As a result, manufacturers would try to produce more popular chambering magazines first. This means that even if 5.56 magazines were to become common against a future shortage, it would likely take a while longer before .450 magazines would become widely available again.

So the question isn’t if you should stock up on extra magazines. But rather exactly how many magazines you should stock up on.

My rule of thumb is to have around five magazines per round. That may seem like a lot to some of you. For me, it ensures I always have a couple of working magazines even if one or two fail on me. Fortunately, magazines are relatively inexpensive and therefore not something I need to skimp on.

AR-15 Magazines
AR-15 Magazines; photo credit: GunSkins

Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best .450 Bushmaster Magazines

These are the most important factors to consider when looking for a new magazine for your .450 Bushmaster rifle:

Materials

Magazines are typically made out of either durable polymer or aluminum. Either are good to go. Between the two, aluminum is probably more durable and will last longer, but will also be heavier. However, polymer magazines such as those made by Lancer or Magpul are very common due to their quality and lighter weight.

Feeding and Design

There is an abundance of magazines made specifically for the .450 Bushmaster round that do not feed well at all due to the design of the feed limps or the follower. This means that just because you buy a magazine marked .450 Bushmaster does not necessarily mean that it will function properly. You really have to do your market research to find one that you know will work just fine (like any of the three that we will dive into later).

Capacity

As with other AR-15 magazines, .450 Bushmaster magazines are available across a wide variety of different magazine sizes. However, magazines that hold under ten rounds are very common for the .450 Bushmaster. The round’s primary use is for hunting rather than tactical use.

The 3 Best .450 Bushmaster Magazines For 2020

Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a magazine and the pros and cons of the .450 Bushmaster round, here is the list of the best .450 Bushmaster magazines on the market for today:

ASC .450 Bushmaster Magazine 5 Round

This is a five-around AR-15 magazine made specifically for the .450 Bushmaster round and is made by ASC – the Ammunition Storage Company. This magazine is built out of 410 stainless steel, which is not only rust and corrosion-resistant but is also durable enough to handle the .450 Bushmaster round. The magazine was chemically treated even further to make it more rust and corrosion resistant as well (rust can be a major problem with metal magazines of any kind).

Furthermore, ASC coats these magazines with a marlube finish, which has cool self-lubricating properties so they won’t chip off after extended use. It also means that any scratches this magazine sustains will be self–repairable. The curved structure of the magazine also ensures that you can get a good grip over it.

The follower to this magazine is made out of polymer and not metal, but fortunately, it has a good anti-tilt mechanism, and the floorplate is also made out of durable 300 stainless steel.

To sum up, the ASC .450 Bushmaster magazine comes with a number of neat features for the money, including a self-lubricating finish, a stainless steel body construction, and a non-reflective finish to keep the sun’s glare away. This ASC magazine is a solid option for a .450 Bushmaster rifle and an overall good value. If you want a magazine that is durable and that will absorb scratches and dents, this is the magazine you want.

Pros
  • Durable 410 stainless steel body will be long lasting and rust and corrosion resistant
  • Non-reflective matte finish
  • Excellent performance for the AR-15
  • Comes with a self-lubricating marlube finish
  • Curved structure will give you a good grip
Cons
  • Follower is polymer

D&H .450 Bushmaster 4 Round AR-15 Magazine

D&H deserves a spot on this list due to the immense amount of work that goes into producing each and every one of their magazines. Based out of Wisconsin (so you know that you’re buying an American-made product), each magazine that they make is built out of high-grade precision aircraft-grade aluminum and steel and is also heat-treated for superior durability. For reference, this is the same level of quality that usually goes into making the AR-15 itself and not just its magazine.

Furthermore, D&H thoroughly tests a few examples in each batch of magazines that they make, running the magazines through various stresses and the elements to ensure that they work properly. Each magazine is also Teflon hard coat anodized on the outside to ensure that they are fully resistant against rust and corrosion as well.

If there is a downside to this magazine, it’s that it only holds four rounds of ammunition. While that’s fine for hunting, it is definitely rather low for other purposes, such as tactical use. 5.56 magazines will even hold more .450 rounds in them.

This may not be the best choice for a tactical magazine (as the four-round count is definitely rather low), but there’s no denying that a lot of work went into the D&H .450 Bushmaster magazine to ensure that it’s as durable and well-made as possible.

The D&H is the cheapest magazine in this list and it’s also one of the best .450 Bushmaster magazines in existence: built out of the same materials that are used to build the AR-15s themselves and strenuously stress tested to ensure proper function, it’s just hard to look past this offering from D&H.

Pros
  • Ideal for hunting
  • Top qualities materials used
  • Went through a rigorous testing process before being approved
  • Made in the United States
  • Magazine spring is very corrosion resistant
  • Built out of aircraft grade aluminum
  • Heat treated for even better durability
  • Hard coat anodized for superior rust and corrosion resistance
Cons
  • Not ideal for tactical uses as four rounds is rather low

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Bushmaster .450 Bushmaster AR-15 Magazine

If you want to stick with factory components, you can go with the Bushmaster .450 AR-15 magazine for your Bushmaster .450 rifle. Bushmaster has been in existence since 1973 being officially based out of North Carolina. Today, the name is virtually synonymous with ‘AR-15.’

As a five-round magazine, this definitely isn’t the best choice for tactical use, but it’s still good for hunting purposes. Keep in mind the lower capacity means that it will be fully compliant in states that do not allow so-called high capacity magazines.

Bushmaster based the design of this magazine off of the classic USGI AR-15 magazine design. It’s built out of a very strong and rust-resistant stainless steel with a standard black finish, which is also low glare and will keep the sun at bay.

If you want a magazine for your .450 Bushmaster AR-15 that is both classic looking in its appearance and fully durable in its construction, look no further than this magazine that Bushmaster has designed.

The Bushmaster .450 is a factory Bushmaster product with the name attached to it, it’s a very high-quality product with an incredibly strong steel body and a reinforced follower. Therefore, it is our top overall choice from the list.

Pros
  • Single stack follower ensures good reliability
  • Stainless steel construction is very sturdy and corrosion resistant
  • Five round capacity is suitable for hunting scenarios
  • American made
  • Extra strong and rust resistant stainless steel body
  • Follower is reinforced
  • Low glare finish
Cons
  • 5 rounds is not ideal for tactical or non-hunting scenarios

C Products Defense .450 Bushmaster Magazine

Magazines from C Products Defense use some of the most advanced manufacturing technologies known. These magazines are also known as Duramag. Their products are also among the most durable on the market. As a result, the C Products Defense.450 Magazines are a great option.

The C-Product magazines come with all of the corrosion-resistant and friction-reducing finishes that normal magazines come with. These magazines include all of the normal features as well as dimensions tailored to 450 Bushmaster rounds. To create more inner dimensionality, the manufacturer uses a special 0.02 gauge stainless steel. This allows for better round stacking and drastically minimizes the risk of a jam. The 400 series heat-treated stainless also has a matte black finish. It resulted in reduced glare and visibility.

Rather than just inserting a 450 Bushmaster follower in a conventional AR-15 mag, the body of this magazine can fit the flat cartridge case. In addition, the follower’s inner bracing is stronger, providing greater support for round stabilization.

As a result, this 450 Bushmaster magazine outlasts several others. It also feeds more consistently than a 450 Bushmaster follower AR-15 magazine. However, you cannot convert this magazine to a standard AR-15 magazine, and its external dimensions may not be compatible with all AR-15s.

To summarize, CPD magazines are unbeatable. It boasts the most advanced features and is long-lasting.

Pros
  • Long-lasting magazine
  • The special black hard coating of CPD ensures smooth operation
  • Internal bracing has been improved to prevent unwanted jam
  • Makes feeding rounds consistent and reliable
  • Corrosion resistant
Cons
  • Can’t convert into a standard AR 15 magazine
  • Some AR-15s may have issues with external dimensions

The Final Word

Remember that your rifle is only really going to be as reliable as the weakest part, and that is often the magazine. You can have the highest quality and most reliable rifle ever made, but it simply won’t function properly if you don’t use good mags.

Furthermore, you have to be especially careful with the .450 Bushmaster round. There is an abundance of high-quality magazines made for the 5.56 you would think worked with the .450, but they don’t always do that. Double-check it works with the .450 before you buy.

The magazines covered here are inexpensive and reliable and any one of them will last you a long time.

Read also: Our buying guide on the Best .450 Bushmaster Muzzle Brakes and the Best .450 Bushmaster Barrels.

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  1. There is a reason for the lower pressure on the 450 Bushmaster (original name was 45 Professional and they must be placed directly on the doorstep of Hornady. Tim LeGendre and I started this project May 1993 and I was officially the Co-Designer and the technical man and we designed using 63,817 and higher chamber pressures using bullets from 185-230 grains ONLY. When Bushmaster went into production they wanted Hornady to make the ammo and Hornady wanted to use their 257-grain bullet with the polymer tip when all they had to do was put such a tip on 185, 200, and 230-grain bullets. Then they lowered the chamber pressure to 38,000 or 39,000 psi. We used 40+ inch twist in the barrels with 51-inch twist being the very best. Hornady forced a change to a 24-inch twist because the velocities dropped severely. Our highest velocity was 3,600 fps with 185-grain bullets. Hornady is why you are having feed problems. I still have the highspeed video from our development work starting the 3rd Saturday of May 1993. It will not be long until the original 45 Professional will be going into production to regain all of the lost performance. A new 45 ProMax will join the lineup for AR-15 pistols and also the 45 Mamba cartridge that is even more powerful. A 50 caliber has been designed and may or may not go into production as it is not yet decision time;.

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