The 450 Bushmaster is one of many straight-walled cartridges designed for the AR 15. With that said, it’s also available for firearms outside of the AR-15 pattern. It’s a sweet-shooting round that’s been kicking around since 2007. In standard AR 15s, the 450 Bushmaster can be used with slightly modified magazines. Like most straight-walled cartridges, the 450 Bushmaster is quite the little thumper and hits hard within its effective range. As with most rifle cartridges however, the caliber and the weapon that fires it could benefit from an optic.
Optics can allow you to maximize your range, increase your speed, and ensure you hit true in the worst of conditions. The 450 Bushmaster is a unique round that has its own individual requirements. With that in mind, we’ve gathered the seven best optics for your 450 Bushmaster across a multitude of platforms.
We also plan to impart a little scope knowledge to you so you can make your own choices down the road. First, let’s start by looking at the round itself so that we better understand how to properly equip it, optically.
The Best 450 Bushmasters Scopes
- Trijicon TR24 Accupoint
- Holosun HS512C
- Leupold FXII Ultralight 2.5x20mm
- Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9x
- Swampfox Trihawk
- Holosun 509T
- Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6X
The 450 Bushmaster As A Round
In 2007 Tim LeGendre of LeMag firearms began the development of the 450 Bushmaster. The round was based on Jeff Cooper’s Thumper concept. This concept called for an AR 15 caliber that was capable of taking big game. The 5.56 round was great, but it didn’t do well against medium to large game. The idea would be a straight-walled cartridge with a 45 caliber projectile useful for out to 250 yards.
250 yards is the accepted max range of the Bushmaster, but making shots at 350 and even 400 yards is possible with modern, lighter projectiles. The max range will guide the optic you choose, and as you can see, you don’t need a superbly powerful level of magnification to get the most out of the 450 Bushmaster. Outside of dealing with the max range, you need to examine the situations in which you’d use your 450 Bushmaster. The situation will dictate the equipment needed, including the optic.
The round was designed for hunting purposes, mostly with big North American game in mind. It’s capable of taking bear, large hogs, elk, and even your standard whitetail deer. Some states have specific laws regarding what type of rifle cartridge can be used while hunting, with straight-walled cartridges being a requirement. The 450 Bushmaster fits the bill to a T.
The round can also be used for effective bear and large animal defense. You might be out camping, hiking, or fishing and run into an angry and very large animal. The 450 Bushmaster in an AR 15 gives you a light and handy rifle capable of firing rapid follow-up shots on charging animals.
Finally, if you live in a ban state with restrictive magazine capacity laws, then it makes a lot of sense to pack ten 450 Bushmaster rounds over ten 5.56 rounds. The bigger round will deal significant damage, and if you can deal with the increased recoil, then the bigger, harder-hitting round is worth it. Although if you live in free states, I’d gladly take 30 5.56 over ten 450 Bushmaster rounds.
The 450 Bushmaster started in the AR 15 and over the years has moved into a wide variety of platforms. The various platforms of the world each have different optical needs and requirements. This could vary between the height an optic needs to be, the magnification, and eye relief necessary for actually seeing through the optics. Let’s cover some of the more common platforms you’ll find the 450 Bushmaster in.
Well, duh, the round was designed for the AR-15. It makes sense that you can get a wide variety of AR-15s that utilize the round. In the AR 15 realm, the 450 Bushmaster comes in both rifle and pistol platforms. AR pistols aren’t your normal pistols, so don’t let that fool you. The in-line stock design of the AR-15 does require a higher mount than normal. A wide variety of modern red dots and prism optics come with AR height mounts. For variable or LPVO optics, you’ll have no problems finding AR-15 height scope rings and mounts. You can use any kind of optic on an AR-15.
Rifles from Savage, Ruger, Mossberg, and many more produce bolt action 450 Bushmaster rifles. For those wanting to maximize accuracy and potentially stay within their state laws, these rifles offer you a healthy alternative. Bolt actions also allow for lower mounted optic, and anything AR height makes it tough to get a rock-solid cheek weld. Since these optics do not have in-line stocks, you can and should use a lower mount.
Single-shot rifles like the Henry Single Shot 450 Bushmaster represent the lightest, handiest option for the Bushmaster cartridge. These super-simple rifles are also tough to break and are as close to invincible as a gun gets. Like the bolt action guns, these are well suited for lighter and low-mounted optics.
Yep, the 450 Bushmaster round found its way into a wide variety of handguns. This includes a revolver from Magnum Research and a number of single-shot, large format pistols. These big handguns require crazy eye relief because you must extend your arms to fire them. Handguns obviously have a lower effective range simply because it’s a handgun. As such, you’ll want a lower-powered scout-style scope or a red dot for them.
Let’s take a brief moment to discuss the different types of optics. This way, when I use certain terms, you’ll understand exactly what I mean and better understand the optics I’m talking about.
Red Dots – Red dots are simplistic optics that utilize a simple red dot as the reticle. However, some use more complicated reticles that are more versatile. These optics are quite handy for close-quarter shooting between 0 and 100 yards. Red dots have zero magnification but can be backed by a magnifier to extend your range.
LPVOs – LPVO stands for Low Powered Variable Optics. These optics typically start at 1X or 1.5X and can go anywhere from 4X to 10X. These offer nearly unbeatable versatility and are well suited for the 450 Bushmaster and its effective ranges.
Variables – Variable optics are your traditional rifle scopes that pack nearly any level of magnification. From 3-9X all the way to something crazy like 10 to 80X. Sure they might not always be handy on the 450 Bushmaster, but the more moderate options work well for hunters.
Fixed Power and Prisms Fixed power optics, and prism scopes offer one magnification setting often beyond 1X. These are typically lower-powered and rarely rise above 5X. They usually offer magnification on the lower side but have a smaller footprint and are fairly lightweight. This makes them well suited to the 450 Bushmaster.
Best 450 Bushmaster Scopes
|Trijicon TR24 Accupoint||1-4X||10.3 inches||14.4 ounces||LPVO|
|Holosun HS512C||1X||3.35 inches||8.1 ounces||Red Dot|
|Leupold FXll Ultralight||2.5X||8 inches||6.5 ounces||Fixed Power Scope|
|Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster||3-9X||12.49 inches||12.2 ounces||Variable|
|Swampfox Trihawk||3X||4.55 inches||15.4 ounces||Prism|
|Holosun 509T||1X||1.13 inches||1.72 ounces||Red Dot|
|Vortex Viper PST||1-6X||10.83 inches||22.7 ounces||LPVO|
The Best 450 Bushmasters Scopes Reviews
We’ve listed out our top 7 choices for the Best 450 Bushmaster Scopes above. Now let us look at these individually, we’ll break down each scope, their specs, our review, their pros and cons and price points.
Trijicon TR24 Accupoint Specs
- Magnification 1-4X
- Length 10.3 inches
- Weight 14.4 ounces
- Optic Type LPVO
Trijicon TR24 Accupoint Review
The Accupoint is an OG LPVO from Trijicon. It was one of the first real popular options, and the Accupoint delivers a rather solid little compact optic. The TR24 might be considered a little outdated in the face of 1-10X LPVOS, but for a 450 Bushmaster, it offers an excellent option for range. It gives you red dot performance with a true 1X low-end magnification, and when you extend the magnification range to 4X, you can easily reach out and touch a target at the max 250-yard range of the 450 Bushmaster round.
Reticle selection is important and for the 450 Bushmaster and the TR24 offers a red or yellow triangle option. These massive triangles are perfect for snapshots and rapid engagements, which are ideal for close-range hunting and still viable at the 4X magnification. The little reticle is illuminated brightly, but if batteries die, the reticle is etched.
Trijicon built this optic with a generous eye box and a respectable eye relief of 3.2 inches. This makes it fast and capable of getting behind and on target. It offers you both defensive capability and hunting capability and sits well on any rifle.
Trijicon TR24 Accupoint Pros and Cons
- Light and Compact
- Versatile magnification range
- Rugged and Durable
Trijicon TR24 Accupoint Deals
Holosun HS512C Specs
- Magnification 1X
- Length 3.35 inches
- Weight 8.1 ounces
- Optic Type Red Dot
Holosun HS512C Review
The Holosun HS512C is Holsoun’s take on the square-shaped, enclosed optic that’s ready for duty, the range, and the 450 Bushmaster. This big beefy optic is professional grade, and the enclosed emitter ensures no weather, dirt, dust, debris, or whatever gets between it and the lens. The Holosun HS512C is a relatively new optic, but it’s the latest and greatest in the Holosun line.
On top of the optic, we get two solar panels that provide a second source of power to support the battery’s power source. The HS512C also comes with three reticles, which include a 2 MOA dot, a 65 MOA circle, and a 65 MOA circle with a 2 MOA dot. These reticles allow you a different level of customization and work extremely well for shooters with astigmatism.
The HS512C comes with a built-in AR height mount, so it sits high for other platforms. The optic itself is perfect for defensive use if the 450 Bushmaster is your bear guard. It also allows for hefty close-range hunting and allows you to take rapid follow-up shots on packs of hogs or multiple coyotes. It allows for getting on target quickly but also lets you take precise shots within most of the Bushmaster’s effective range.
Holosun HS512C Pros and Cons
- Robust and Durable
- Perfect for Close Range Use
- AR Height mount only.
Holosun HS512C Deals
Leupold FXll Ultralight Specs
- Magnification 2.5X
- Length 8 inches
- Weight 6.5 ounces
- Optic Type Fixed Power Scope
Leupold FXll Ultralight Review
Keeping in mind the limited range of the 450 Bushmaster, it’s tough not to love the FXII Ultralight. As a fan of light and handy rifles, I’m also a fan of light and handy optics. With the name Ultralight, you might wonder how much it weighs. Well, it’s a mere 6.5 ounces! That’s it. The super-light little optic packs only 2.5X magnification and is a fixed power optic. That low level of magnification makes it handy at both close and moderate ranges.
The Leupold FXII Ultralight provides a very simple option for those wielding something like the Henry or CVA single shot 450 Bushmaster rifles. It keeps things lightweight and makes it capable of getting snapped onto a target for rapid shots, but it also allows you to slow down and take those shots at more moderate ranges.
The wide duplex reticle is easy to see as well as wide and thick enough to provide a consistent reticle at close range. The FXII Ultralight optic provides a generous eye relief that allows you to get behind the gun and get on target with little drama. Like most Leupold optics, the Ultralight is extremely durable, well made, and will easily stand up to the rigors of the world.
Leupold FXll Ultralight Pros and Cons
- Superbly Lightweight
- Quick On Target
- Jack of All Trades but Master of none
Leupold FXll Ultralight Deals
Leupold VX-Freedom Specs
- Magnification 3-9X
- Length 12.49 inches
- Weight 12.2 ounces
- Optic Type Variable
Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster Review
Finding high-quality optics designed specifically for the 450 Bushmaster is tough. It’s a niche caliber among a world of 5.56 rifles. The VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster provides a 3-9X optics option for the hunter wielding the 450 Bushmaster. That magnification range is perfect for a variety of environments for both close and far ranges. The straight-walled 450 Bushmaster is a 250-yard cartridge, and 9X provides plenty of magnification for that.
The VX-Freedom is a Leupold optic, and that alone is a testament to their durability, purpose, and design. Leupold has been in this game for decades, and they’ve mastered the art of producing high-quality optics. You are spitting hefty chunks of lead, and the protection from recoil is a must-have. It’s incredibly simple but effective in its construction and design.
So, where does the 450 Bushmaster come into this optic? It’s not the reticle. That’s a very fine duplex that works well with a 100 yard zero. What’s makes the VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster approved are the custom dials. These turrets allow you to dial in your shot with no-guess elevation adjustments. If you need to make that precision-driven 200-yard shot, you can dial it in and destroy whatever target you’re aiming at.
Leupold VX-Freedom Pros and Cons
- 450 Bushmaster Ready
- Versatile 3-9X magnification range
- Leupold reliability
- Large Footprint
Leupold VX-Freedom Deals
Swampfox Trihawk Specs
- Magnification – 3X Magnification – 3X
- Length 4.55 inches
- Weight 15.4 ounces
- Optic Type Prism
Swampfox Trihawk Review
The Swampfox Trihawk is a fixed power prism optic with a 3X level of magnification and a great reticle system. If you choose to get the Trihawk go with the MOA reticle and not the BDC reticle. The BDC is set up for the 5.56 and not the 450 Bushmaster. The MOA reticle allows you to know your dope and make correct elevation calls for ballistic drop. The Trihawk is more than a reticle, though.
This 3X optic makes it quite easy to see and hit targets at 250 yards and provides a very bright and clear picture. You can certainly see any targets within your effective range. The Trihawk packs the widest field of view currently on the market for a prism optic, and it’s 52 feet wide at 100 yards. That’s a massive field of view for an optic this compact.
Like most prism optics, it’s a fixed power optic, and it’s also very robust. It will more than stand up to the stress and recoil of the 450 Bushmaster. The little Trihawk is only suited for weapons that require AR height optics, and on other platforms, it will seem somewhat tall. However, on a 450 Bushmaster AR, it’s going to be tough to beat, especially at its price point.
Swampfox Trihawk Pros and Cons
- Massive Field Of View
- ARs only
Swampfox Trihawk Deals
Holosun 509T Specs
- Magnification 1X
- Length 1.13 inches
- Weight 1.72 ounces
- Optic Type Red Dot
Holosun 509T Review
Another Holosun, but it’s an enclosed optic that provides the same durability and reliability as a well-made rifle optic. The Enclosed nature of the 509T makes it perfect for a multitude of roles, even within the 450 Bushmaster. It could be an offset optic for a magnified option or even on a 450 Bushmaster AR-type rifle if you want a light and easy handling optic. To me, this is perfect for the 450 Bushmaster pistol.
The 450 Bushmaster comes in both single-shot pistols and massive revolvers from companies like Magnum Research. Popping an optic on the gun just makes sense. With the Holosun 509T on board, you have a reliable and durable optics option for hunting. It doesn’t have a ton of weight to the gun and has unlimited eye relief. You can reach out and extend your effective range over iron sights significantly with a red dot.
The Holosun 509T comes with multiple reticles, including a 2 MOA dot, a 32 MOA circle, and a 2 MOA dot with a 32 MOA circle. The big reticles make those fast shots quick, and the little dot makes it easy to see your target at multiple ranges. It also has a brilliant solar panel to help power the optic and compatibility with Trijicon RMR mounts for easy aftermarket mount finding.
Holosun 509T Pros and Cons
- Solar Powered
- Super Small
- Extremely Well Made
Holosun 509T Deals
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6X Specs
- Magnification 1-6X
- Length 10.83 inches
- Weight 22.7 ounces
- Optic Type LPVO
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6X Reviw
The Vortex Viper PST Gen II is a compact 1-6X low-powered variable optic designed to embrace the versatility of the LPVO. Within the short range of the 450 Bushmaster, the 1-6X optic embraces the round versatility for hunting on nearly any rifle. It’s a rock-solid magnification range that allows you to utilize both the close range potential of the round and reach out and touch a target with it.
The Viper PST is a second focal plane optic that utilizes an MRAD or MOA reticle. These are not tied to a specific round like a BDC, and if you know the dope of your rifle and its ballistic drop, then it’s easy to make this reticle work for you. The Viper’s reticle does feature ten different levels of illumination for rapid on-target engagements, especially at close range. It has a feature I love that utilizes an off setting between each illumination setting.
A look through the optic gives you a surprisingly clear view with edge to edge clarity. The Vortex Viper PST allows you to see targets and game in bright and vivid detail. It’s absolutely brilliant and makes it easy to see in low-light situations as well as bright daylight.
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6X Pros and Cons
- Versatile magnification range
- Extremely Clear Optic
- Awesome Reticle
Vortex Viper PST Gen II 1-6X Deals
Best Scopes for the 450 Bushmaster – Buyers Guide
Now that we have what I think are awesome optics for the 450 Bushmaster, I want to impart a bit of wisdom to you on how to choose your very own 450 Bushmaster optic. It’s the information I used when choosing optics combined with my own personal optics’ experience.
Eye relief is the measurement of the distance between your eye and the rear lens of the optic. A closer eye relief has your face closer to the optic, and a longer eye relief puts your eye further from the optic. Eye relief is important for a variety of reasons.
First, the 450 Bushmaster generates a little recoil. It’s not bad but should be noted. Recoil forces the gun rearward, and if your eye is close to the optic, this becomes quickly uncomfortable. Getting popped in the eye because your scope is too close can be annoying or downright painful and eye blackening.
Second, a longer eye relief is more forgiving and makes it faster to get behind the optic and on target. Eye relief should be a big consideration when choosing an optic for your 450 Bushmaster rifle and especially important for your 450 Bushmaster handgun.
For handguns, you’ll want an optic with ‘long eye relief’, which extends the eye relief range out from 9 to 12 inches. Optics like red dots have unlimited eye relief, meaning you can see the reticle clearly at any eye relief range.
New rifle owners often think that more magnification is always better. If you can see your target with a higher level of clarity, then you’ll more easily hit it, right? It sounds good, but for rounds like the 450 Bushmaster, it’s not necessary. Having 18X magnification on a 450 Bushmaster is just a waste.
A high level of magnification requires a dang fine optic to provide clarity at that level of magnification. This leads you to spend a ton of money to get a nice optic you don’t really need or to get a crappy cheap optic you also don’t really need. It’s better to save money and buy a premium-grade optic with a realistic magnification range.
Anything more than 10X seems silly, and even then, it’s unlikely you’ll need the 10X setting due to long-range shots with the 450 Bushmaster. Choosing magnification will also depend on the size of your target and the effective range. If you are within 100 yards on deer and pigs, then a red dot or lower-powered prism or fixed power optic is perfect. If you are hunting over an open area that reaches that max range, then a variable optic of 2-7X or 3-9X can be quite nice. You might need to make identification on a deer to ensure it’s a buck and not a doe. Be realistic in your expectations.
We talked about the fact that the 450 Bushmaster has some recoil. If you purchase cheap and crappy optics, that recoil will beat them up and likely break them. Those 30 dollar amazon red dots and 120 dollar combinations of scope, red dot, and laser will also break. In addition, cheap optics will probably lose zero and their illumination will suffer due to the recoil causing flickering as a result of crappy battery connections.
You don’t want a junk optic from a no-name company. Optics from ‘companies’ like Pinty and Feyachi are absolute trash, and you should keep at least one arm’s distance from them.
Matching the Optic to the Gun
So what’s your gun? An AR? Well, if you get low-scope rings or an optic with a low mount, you’ll hate trying to get behind it. The in-line stock requires a higher mount to effectively use it. AR height mounts are widely available and place the optic at various heights. I prefer my optic to be as low as possible, but if you hate obscured cowitnessing, then higher mounts can help.
More traditional bolt action and single-shot rifles will often benefit from a lower mount. This helps eliminate some height over bore issues and allows for more precision overall. With a higher mount, you’ll be challenged with your cheek weld on these guns and bear in mind, optics with large objective lenses often require a higher mount. With the 450 Bushmaster, the relatively short-range doesn’t necessitate the need for a massive 50mm objective lens and massive bell that accompanies it.
Another question you should ask is, what is the weapon’s purpose? A 450 Bushmaster designed for hunting will best be served with some magnification. One designed for pest removal and animal defense will dominate with a red dot. One designed for both might benefit from a prism optic or an LPVO.
First or Second Focal Plane?
I’ve used that term a few times in this article, and I want to talk about it just a bit. First focal plane scopes have a reticle that grows or shrinks as the magnification increase or decreases. This allows the reticle to be accurate at any magnification range. This is important for estimating ballistic drop and range, and with an FFP, the measurements are accurate at any power level.
With an SFP scope, the measurements between the elevation marks vary depending on magnification. Therefore the elevation and windage marks are only accurate at the highest power with SFP scopes. FFP scopes are quite popular with long-range shooters and make a lot of sense on most rifles.
With an SFP scope, the reticle remains the same size as you rotate through every magnification level. The benefit to this is that at lower power levels, the reticle remains large and easy to see. With lower-powered LPVOs, this can be quite valuable. With higher-powered scopes designed for long-range shooting, it’s not so useful.
FFP and SFP scopes are quite different, and you might wonder which works best. With most rifles, I’d say go with the first focal plane scope. With the 450 Bushmaster, the close-range design is unlikely to require a first focal plane scope. In fact, the rifles and round might benefit from the use of a second focal plane scope for close-range shots at lower magnification settings.
The 450 Bushmaster is one heck of a round. It’s potent, powerful, and hits hard. The Thumper nickname makes a whole lotta sense when you consider the size and weight of the round, the power, and the penetration it offers. If you want to expand your capability with this man-stopping, bear-hunting, hard-hitting round, then you’ll need an optic. There are various optics out there that can solve this problem. Hopefully, our article has helped you find the right optic for your rifle or handgun. If you’re still feeling confused, ask your questions below!
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