If you’re the kind of shooter who lives by the “Bigger is Always Better” mantra, you’re probably already a fan of the .450 Bushmaster. However, pairing an optic with this hard-hitting cartridge isn’t going to be easy. There aren’t many models calibrated specifically for .450 BM.
If you’re looking for the best scope for 450 Bushmaster, we’re here to help. In this article, we review some of the best optical partners for this “Thumper” cartridge. Whether you’re looking for a traditional riflescope for a bolt action or you want to run a modern red dot on an AR platform, we’ve got you covered.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated Scope for .450 Bushmaster:
- Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot
- Aimpoint CompM4s Red Dot
- Eotech EXPS2 Holo Sight
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24
- EOTech Vudu 1-6×24
- Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9×40 Riflescope
- Burris Fullfield II Ballistic Plex 3-9×40 Scope
- Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9×40 Scope
- Nikon Prostaff P3 2-7×32 Scope
- Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 Prism Scope
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Table of Contents
- What is .450 Bushmaster?
- Finding the Right Optic for .450 Bushmaster
- Best Scopes for 450 Bushmaster on the Market Reviews
- 1 Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot
- 2 Aimpoint CompM4s Red Dot
- 3 Eotech EXPS2 Holo Sight
- 4 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24
- 5 EOTech Vudu 1-6×24
- 6 Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9×40 Riflescope
- 7 Burris Fullfield II Ballistic Plex 3-9×40 Scope
- 8 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9×40 Scope
- 9 Nikon Prostaff P3 2-7×32 Scope
- 10 Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 Prism Scope
- Final Thoughts
What is .450 Bushmaster?
The .450 Bushmaster is a straight-walled cartridge with ballistics similar to the noble .45-70 Government. This makes it a smart choice for deer hunting, especially in areas where bottle-necked ammo is restricted.
Inspired by Jeff Cooper’s popular “Thumper” concept, the .450 BM cartridge was developed by Tim LeGendre to produce one-shot kills on big game. Unsatisfied with the performance of .223 Remington/5.56x45mm NATO cartridges, Cooper and LeGendre wanted a big bore option that would cycle through semi-automatic rifles. The .450 Bushmaster definitely fits the bill.
One reason .450 Bushmaster has become so popular is because it can be fired from AR platforms. All you need is a new upper and your AR-15 is transformed into a powerful, big-bore hunting rifle. The process only takes about fifteen minutes. You get to keep your lower receiver and your magazines. .450 Bushmaster cartridges should run through them like they were made for each other.
The .450 Bushmaster cartridge also performs well in traditional bolt-action rifles. Shooters can find quality .450 BM bolt actions from Ruger, Remington, Savage, and Mossberg.
Finding the Right Optic for .450 Bushmaster
When choosing an optic for any rifle, the most important thing to consider is what the rifle will be doing. The .450 Bushmaster is usually used for one of two applications – hunting large game or target shooting. How you plan to use your rifle will play a large part in what type of scope you should mount on your firearm.
No matter what your shooting style, it’s important to keep in mind that the .450 Bushmaster packs a pretty powerful punch. Expect recoil similar to a 20-gauge shotgun. You’ll need a shockproof optic with enough hutzpa to handle some kick.
Best Scopes for 450 Bushmaster on the Market Reviews
1 Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot
Red dot sights and AR-15s go together like peanut butter and jelly, so if you’re running an AR chambered in .450 Bushmaster, the Vortex Strikefire II deserves some serious consideration.
This affordable, scope-style red dot works well for both hunting and tactical applications. It features a highly visible, 4 MOA red dot with ten different brightness settings. The lenses are fully multi-coated to provide a crisp, bright field of view.
The main housing of the Strikefire II is constructed from a single piece of aircraft grade aluminum with a matte black, hard-anodized finish. The finish helps the optic resist scuffs, scratches, and corrosion. The whole thing is nitrogen-purged and o-ring sealed, making it fully waterproof, fogproof, shockproof. This thing is as rugged as they come.
2 Aimpoint CompM4s Red Dot
This combat-proven optic from Aimpoint was one of the first red dot optics issued to the US military for use with night vision. Made from extruded, high-strength aluminum with a hard anodized finish, this optic holds up in the harshest environments. The CompM4s is even water-resistant to 150 feet. You could conceivably go snorkeling with this red dot without wrecking it!
The front lens on the CompM4s has a unique band-pass coating that perfectly reflects certain frequencies of red light. This ensures a brilliant dot without draining undue battery power. The coating also transmits nearly 100 percent of light in the infrared and near infrared spectrum, making the CompM4s perfect for running your AR with Gen 3 night vision.
To optimize reticle visibility in any setting, the CompM4s features seven NVD-compatible brightness settings and nine daylight settings.
3 Eotech EXPS2 Holo Sight
The EOTech EXPS2 is another weapon sight that has proven its mettle on the battlefield. Not only is this holographic sight one tough cookie, it will work reliably even if the window is partially shattered or covered in mud.
The EXPS2 is EOTech’s lightest and most compact holo sight. The design leaves plenty of room on your rail to mount extra accessories. It also supports co-witnessing with your iron sight. Plus, it has a quick-detach feature, so you can easily and quickly swap out your optic if you need to.
With a 1 MOA center dot surrounded by a 68 MOA circle, the EXPS2’s reticle easily supports both CQB engagements and shooting to the outer reaches of the .450 Bushmaster’s capabilities. The reticle is incredibly intuitive to use and will help increase both your shooting speed and your accuracy.
4 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-4×24
Perfect for the budget-conscious shooter, the Vortex Crossfire II offers plenty of performance in spite of its puny price tag. Definitely one of the best value scopes in the industry, the Crossfire II features fully multi-coated optics, a rock-solid construction, and an ultra-forgiving eye box.
If you want the best match for .450 Bushmaster, you’ll want to opt for the 1-4x model of the Crossfire II. This magnification is perfect for milking accuracy out of this medium-range cartridge. This version also features Vortex’s easy-to-use V-Plex reticle. This simple, uncluttered reticle offers a clear sight picture, and ensures you won’t have to bother with BDC marks that aren’t calibrated for your ammo.
The Vortex Crossfire II is milled from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, has machine-locked lenses, and is o-ring sealed for true shockproof performance. When mounted properly, this scope will hold its zero like there’s no tomorrow, even through harsh, repetitive recoil.
5 EOTech Vudu 1-6×24
Although the EOTech Vudu may be a bit more expensive than most of the other scopes on our list, we think this one is well worth the investment. Whether you’re hunting hogs or running a 3 Gun course, the Vudu pairs nicely with an AR chambered in .450 Bushmaster. It isn’t a shabby match for a traditional bolt action, either.
The Vudu features a single-piece construction and is made from high-quality aircraft-grade aluminum. It also has a hard anodized finish wrapping up its tough-as-nails design.
With super clear, XC High-Density glass and special anti-reflective coatings, the Vudu provides a bright, crisp sight picture. This optic also features an illuminated FFP reticle to increase precision in low light shooting conditions.
Other notable features include target style turrets, a zero reset function, a fast focus eyepiece, and a throw lever for instant magnification changes.
6 Leupold VX-Freedom 450 Bushmaster 3-9×40 Riflescope
You can’t walk into a sporting goods store without practically tripping over a scope calibrated for .223 or .308. Finding an optic designed around .450 Bushmaster on the other hand…well, that is no easy feat.
The optics giant Leupold answered the call with this version of their popular VX-Freedom riflescope. It features an elevation dial designed to match the ballistic bullet drop of the most popular .450 Bushmaster loads. This takes much of the guesswork out of longer range shooting.
Rugged and dependable, the VX-Freedom is made from a sturdy aluminum alloy. The main housing is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed to provide true fogproof and waterproof performance. The optic is also shockproof and easily handles the recoil of even the most punishing .450 Bushmaster ammo.
Big game hunters will particularly appreciate Leupold’s Twilight Light Management System. Featuring proprietary coatings and high-quality glass, the Twilight Light Management System balances light transmission, color contrast, and glare reduction to deliver excellent brightness and clarity, even in dim light. This scope will prove its worth when hunting near dawn and dusk, when most game animals are on the move.
7 Burris Fullfield II Ballistic Plex 3-9×40 Scope
If you don’t have a ton of money to drop on an optic, the Burris Fullfield II is a budget-priced scope that is anything but “cheap.” This affordable rifle scope has a traditional design with some top-notch components, including large precision-ground lenses, index-matched Hi-Lume multi-coatings, and premium optical glass. These features combine to deliver excellent image brightness and clarity, even in low light.
The scope has a sturdy, one-piece construction and is nitrogen filled, making it reliably waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. Perfect for hunting in harsh environments, the Fullfield II has a knurled magnification ring and an integrated eyepiece with a no-slip grip. These features allow for easy adjustment in the field, even when conditions are wet or your hands are wrapped in gloves.
8 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 3-9×40 Scope
Bushnell seems to work magic when it comes to producing affordable scopes that don’t compromise optical quality.
As the name of this scope implies, the Banner Dawn & Dusk is optimized for low light shooting. It produces a bright, clear sight picture using multiple layers of proprietary coatings. The coatings are uniquely designed to maximize light transmission and reduce glare.
We absolutely love Bushnell’s second focal plane (SFP), the Circle-X crosshair reticle. This uncomplicated reticle is easy to see in twilight conditions and provides an open view of your target for quick, easy acquisition. This reticle works well on both stationary and fast-moving targets.
The Bushnell Banner has a rugged design and a fully waterproof construction. It is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged to prevent internal fogging, even when exposed to rapid changes in temperature.
9 Nikon Prostaff P3 2-7×32 Scope
The Prostaff is Nikon’s flagship riflescope, and its optical quality definitely lives up to the Nikon name. Not only are these riflescopes seriously awesome, they are also refreshingly affordable.
Nikon delivers crystal clear images by using premium glass and multiple layers of anti-reflective coatings on all air to glass surfaces. The result is jaw-dropping brightness and contrast, even when lighting is less than stellar.
The Prostaff is sturdy and reliable. It is o-ring sealed, nitrogen-purged, waterproof, fogproof, shockproof, and backed by Nikon’s lifetime warranty.
For an economical optic, the Prostaff is chock-full of quality features, including spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets. These turrets are ergonomically designed, incredibly precise, and have knurling for easy field adjustments, even if you’re wearing thick gloves.
10 Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 Prism Scope
The 3x magnification on this prism scope from Athlon Optics works well for most .450 Bushmaster shooting applications.
Don’t be fooled by its compact design, the Midas TSP3 is a rock-solid optic well-suited for tough tactical pursuits or rough hunting environments. It is nitrogen-filled and o-ring sealed for true waterproof performance, even in the wettest environments.
The Midas TSP3 has fully multi-coated optics for bright, crisp image quality, even in low light. The glass etched reticle provides solid shooting in daylight and the selectable red/green illumination has multiple intensity levels to optimize visibility in virtually any lighting condition.
To conserve precious battery life, the Midas TSP3 has a Smart Power Management System. This feature automatically turns the device off after six hours if no adjustments are made.
The .450 Bushmaster is a great cartridge, especially if you’re hunting whitetails in an area limited to straight-walled cartridges. It can also be a fun option for target shooting. No matter how you choose to use your rifle, a quality optic will help you shoot more accurately and have more fun doing it.
However, even the best scope for 450 Bushmaster isn’t a magic wand you can wave to become an instantly better shooter. No matter which model you choose to adorn your .450 BM, you’ll need to spend some time and energy sending lead downrange. The best way to become a better shooter is to practice, practice, and then practice some more.