Managing Recoil: .450 Bushmaster

Managing Recoil: .450 Bushmaster

Managing Recoil: .450 Bushmaster

Whether you’re using a bolt-action rifle or a semi-auto AR-pattern rifle, one thing is for certain: the .450 Bushmaster is a big cartridge. Not only is it considerably larger in diameter than most AR cartridges (and plenty of bolt-action ones, too), it’s also a straightwall cartridge instead of a bottleneck.

The name is derived from the caliber bullet it fires and the company to which the design was originally licensed. Well, sort of. Bushmaster licensed the cartridge, but the caliber is a little off. Instead of firing a .450-inch bullet, it is loaded instead with a .452-inch bullet. Still, .450 Bushmaster sounds better than .452 Bushmaster.

At any rate, it’s a popular cartridge that packs a punch. Exactly how much of a punch in a question that many people ask when they see a .450 Bushmaster cartridge sitting next to other cartridges that many people consider large, like the .30-06 Springfield or the .45-70 Government. So, how does it stack up against those, and other, rifle calibers?

How Much Recoil Does a .450 Bushmaster Have?

While the exact amount of recoil you’ll experience from a .450 Bushmaster will depend on a lot of different factors including bullet weight, rifle weight, powder charge, and more, we’re going to give our numbers using a 268-grain bullet with 2,175 fps in muzzle velocity.

This results in 22.22 ft-lbs of free recoil energy, which is how much recoil you’re going to feel in your shoulder, and 12.27 fps of recoil velocity, which is how abrupt or jolting a rifle’s recoil will be.

How to Reduce .450 Bushmaster Recoil

Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, you’re probably wondering how you can reduce the recoil from a .450 Bushmaster. There are a lot of different ways to do so, but here are three of the biggest ones.

Use a Suppressor

Suppressors (also called silencers) are arguably the best firearm attachment you can buy. The barrel-shaped device attaches to the muzzle of your firearm to slow down the explosive force with which propellant gases escape the muzzle, leading to less recoil.

Also, using a suppressor reduces gunfire noise and muzzle flash, making you less likely to flinch and miss when you shoot a suppressed firearm. Lastly, you can get a suppressor that adds weight to your barrel to minimize muzzle rise and stabilize your shot for better accuracy.

Use a Muzzle Brake

Vents or ports in the brake are designed to send some of the gas back at a 45-degree angle to the shooter, which pulls the gun forward. This redirection provides less gas (and energy) to be pushed back onto the shooter.

Basically, the goal of using a muzzle brake is to send the gas in any direction other than backward. This comes especially in handy when you’re shooting a large caliber rifle. The bigger the caliber, the more energy. That extra energy translates into more recoil, which makes those large calibers less fun to shoot the more you do it, unless you’ve got a good muzzle brake.

Have a Good Shooting Stance

Whether you’re using a suppressor or a muzzle brake or not, you still need a good shooting stance. Standing straight with your legs together or with your back against a solid object is not optimal for managing recoil. Reducing felt recoil requires taking a stance that allows your body to absorb and roll with the recoil, dispersing most of the felt recoil and reducing the risk of injury.

For example, you can minimize felt recoil by centering your body over your knees and leaning forward slightly at the hips. The stance will stabilize your upper body, allowing you to absorb more of the recoil and lose less accuracy.

.450 Bushmaster Recoil Comparisons

For our recoil comparisons listed below, you’ll see four different numbers listed one after the other in the following order: foot-pounds of free recoil energy, feet per second of recoil velocity, average bullet weight, and average muzzle velocity.

The first two numbers will be the biggest indicators of our recoil comparison, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the final two because different bullet weights and muzzle velocities can change how you perceive the recoil.

.450 Bushmaster vs .308 Winchester

.450 Bushmaster: 22.22; 12.27; 268; 2,175
.308 Winchester: 18.27; 11.62; 202; 2,491

While the .450 Bushmaster is using a heavier bullet that’s travelling slower than the .308 Winchester, the ft-lbs of recoil energy and fps of recoil velocity aren’t too far apart on these two calibers. As a result, the recoil is fairly comparable between a .450 Bushmaster and a .308 Winchester.

.450 Bushmaster vs .45-70 Government

.450 Bushmaster: 22.22; 12.27; 268; 2,175
.45-70 Government: 30.81; 37.66; 325; 2,050

The ft-lbs of recoil energy and fps recoil velocity are vastly different between the .450 Bushmaster and the .45-70 Government in these two particular loads. Despite this, the muzzle velocity isn’t too terribly far apart. This is largely due to the grain weight difference of the bullet. You can certainly get lighter .45-70 loads, but with this particular match-up, the .450 Bushmaster is going to be easier on your shoulder in terms of recoil.

.450 Bushmaster vs .30-06 Springfield

.450 Bushmaster: 22.22; 12.27; 268; 2,175
.30-06 Springfield: 21.34; 12.55; 205; 2,646

The .450 Bushmaster and the .30-06 Springfield are almost dead even with this bullet weight and muzzle velocity. There’s less than 1 point of difference in recoil energy and less than three-tenths of a point of difference in terms of recoil velocity. As a result, it’s almost a dead heat between .450 Bushmaster and .30-06 Springfield.

.450 Bushmaster vs .300 Winchester Magnum

.450 Bushmaster: 22.22; 12.27; 268; 2,175
.300 Win Mag: 29.99; 14.88; 205; 2,903

There’s more muzzle velocity out of the .300 Win Mag and it’s using a lighter bullet, but you’re going to feel more recoil from that cartridge than you would from the .450 Bushmaster. That’s because the recoil energy of the .300 Win Mag is 7 points higher than the .450 Bushmaster and its recoil velocity is a tad more than 2 points higher.

Start Shooting with Less Recoil Today

Now that you understand how various calibers stack up to the .450 Bushmaster and that you have much to gain from minimizing recoil, you may be considering buying a suppressor. Besides lowering felt recoil, a suppressor will muffle gunfire to protect your ears.

Several suppressors are available for various firearms in .450 Bushmaster and other calibers, and you can find the highest-quality suppressors at Silencer Central. We have options for different budgets and shooting needs, and we deliver to customers in all 42 states where silencers are legal. Contact us today to get expert advice regarding the best silencer to buy, or browse our stock and order your favorite suppressor.