There is nothing like a big piece of lead to put the hurt on big game, and when a cartridge such as the .450 Bushmaster is paired with a proven hunting rifle such as the Ruger No. 1 single shot, it’s a formidable package.
The strength of the No. 1 action is such that it can chamber some of the most powerful hunting cartridges ever made. The .450 is not among those in that upper class of powerful cartridges, but it is a contender for this year’s most relevant.
The .450 is gaining popularity because it is the most powerful commonly available cartridge that fits not only our favorite rifles, but also into state hunting law in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and possibly more due to its straight case walls.
The rifle features a 20-inch cold hammer-forged barrel cut with 5R rifling on a 1:10-inch right-hand twist and a muzzle brake. The barrel is smooth so you will need to mount a scope, and naturally, this model features Ruger’s patented scope mounting system including Ruger scope rings that come with each rifle.
Ruger’s No. 1 has been chambered for some stout cartridges, so it is up to the task of handling the .450 Bushmaster. The round, originally developed for use in a modern semi-auto sporting rifle, has some impressive ballistics.
Ruger went ahead with making the rifle not only extremely reliable but also exceptionally easy to use. The operation is simple, with the only moving part in the action being the block. Simply open the lever and lower the block, insert a cartridge, and close it. After firing, lowering the block allows the case to eject straight back. It quite literally shoots straight out and clear of the action. Many single-shots have an extractor, but not an ejector meaning that the case stays in action, but are just slightly moved out of the chamber.
According to Hornady, its 250-grain FTX bullet in the BLACK ammunition series checks out of a 20-inch barrel at an impressive 2,200 fps with an awesome 2,686 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. At 100 yards, the bullet is still warping along at 1,840 fps with 1,879 foot-pounds of energy. Definitely enough to knock down an elk, hog, buck, caribou or black bear one might encounter.
The .450 Bushmaster’s parent case is the .284 Winchester, but this one is a straight-wall cartridge with a rebated rim. Not to be confused with the .450 Marlin, the .450 Bushmaster is good for game out to at least 250 yards. After that trajectory takes over and the energy drops to below 1,000 foot-pounds.
I came away with the impression that this is a solid, working rifle for a serious, no-excuses hunter. The gun is exceptionally rugged, was supremely reliable, and very accurate. If you want to turn some heads at the range, this will certainly be your ticket to do so.
MODEL: No. 1 Standard
ACTION: Single Shot
FINISH: Satin Stainless
STOCK/FRAME: Laminate Stock
STOCK/GRIPS: Black Laminate
SPC FEATURE: Threaded Barrel Model
SAFETY:2 Position Top Tang
ADDL INFO: Rings & Integral Scope Base
ADDL INFO: Quarter Rib
ADDL INFO: Muzzle Brake/Thread Protector