Ruger American Ranch Rifle in 450 Bushmaster Chambering

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 7th, 2017


Click pictures for a larger version.





Very effective muzzle brake.







Bolt release.





Ruger magazine allows for a much-longer overall cartridge length than does an AR-15 magazine.

It has now been about eighteen months since I reviewed the Ruger American Ranch Rifle. That first specimen was chambered for the 300 AAC Blackout cartridge. This new version of the Ranch rifle is very similar, so I won’t re-plow the same ground here, but will deal only with the specifics of the 450 Bushmaster version.

The Ranch rifle shown here wears the correct tan stock color. The early 300 that I reviewed was shipped with a black stock, but all production American Ranch rifles now have the correct tan color. The rifle has the same superb bedding system and Ruger Marksman adjustable trigger. It has the same seventy-degree bolt lift, but wears a magazine which protrudes from the bottom of the stock to accommodate three of the large 450 Bushmaster cartridges. The 16.12-inch barrel wears a very effective muzzle brake, which can be detached, if desired. A thread protector is provided to cover the 1 1/16x24 TPI threaded muzzle.

The 450 Bushmaster cartridge was developed for use in the AR-15 rifle system, thereby limiting its overall length to fit the AR magazine. In the Ruger, the three-shot magazine is long enough to allow for a longer overall cartridge length, increasing powder capacity to any given bullet weight. One of my favorite bullets, and probably my absolute favorite, is the Barnes homogenous copper tipped bullet. It feeds perfectly from the Ruger magazine, weighs 250 grains, and offers ideal performance, even when pushed very fast. In the Ruger, I was able to safely push the Barnes bullet to 2500 feet-per-second (fps), beating the factory load by almost 400 fps. This really ups the power and performance of the 450 Bushmaster cartridge beyond what can be obtained in the AR-15 rifle, by seating the bullet out of the case by about 3/16 inch, and using Hodgdon H-110 powder. Neither Hodgdon nor Barnes list this load, so I will not give the data, but the load was absolutely safe IN MY RIFLE. As always, work up a load that is suitable in your rifle.

Accuracy was excellent, especially with the handload using the Barnes bullet. The Hornady factory ammo was almost as accurate, turning in three-shot groups of about one and one-half inches at 100 yards. The handload broke the one MOA barrier.

The Ruger Ranch rifle comes with a one-piece scope base. Atop the base I mounted a Leupold VX-6 1 to 6 power scope, which is ideal for such a rifle that may be used as close as a few feet or out to a couple of hundred yards and more. The optical clarity is superb. The scope focuses closely enough to clearly see the muzzle brake through the scope when set on its lowest magnification.

Shooting the 450 Bushmaster rifle was very enjoyable. Even from the bench, this lightweight rifle was a pleasure to shoot, due to the excellent stock design, muzzle brake, and the soft recoil pad. The rifle proved 100 percent reliable with proper ammunition. I tried some very blunt lead pistol bullets, but they did not feed reliably. The semi-pointed factory ammo and all other handloads using bullets of similar shape fed, fired, and ejected perfectly. The thirty-six-inch overall length and 5.5-pound weight make the Ranch rifle a delight to carry in the woods or field. The bolt runs smoothly, and the Marksman trigger is an excellent trigger for such a rifle, offering adjustability and a crisp release.

Again, I won’t go into all the details of the Ruger American rifle design, as I have covered that in previous reviews, so I refer the reader to those previous reviews for the intricate details, but for someone wanting a powerful big-bore bolt gun for use on deer and hogs, the 450 Bushmaster version of the American will be hard to beat. It is much lighter, handier, and less-costly than an AR-15 chambered for the same cartridge.

The 450 Bushmaster American Ranch Rifle is light, handy, powerful, accurate, reliable, and made in the USA.

The Ruger American Ranch 450 Bushmaster rifle is available now, with a suggested retail price of $599 US as of the date of this review, but a little shopping should find one for a bit less. That is less than half the price of a new 450 Bushmaster AR, and the Ruger weighs about two and one-half pounds less. The Ruger American Ranch Rifle is an excellent choice for a lightweight Thumper.

Check out the Ruger American Ranch Rifle online at

For the location of a Ruger dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the Ruger American Ranch Rifle online, click on the Gun Genie at

For a closer look at the extensive line of Leupold optics, go to

To order quality 450 Bushmaster ammunition, go to and

For extra magazines and accessories, go to

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.







Leupold VX-6 1 to 6 power scope.