The Ultimate Midwestern Whitetail Rifle - Ruger American Ranch .450 Bushmaster

The Ultimate Midwestern Whitetail Rifle - Ruger American Ranch .450 Bushmaster

In the past few years many states have relaxed rifle laws to allow for straight wall rifle calibers. Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana are a few of the states that have relaxed their laws to allow certain centerfire rifles for deer hunting. Overnight lever-action and bolt action rifles chambered in straight wall calibers have become a hot commodity.

One of the most popular and affordable rifle choices is the .450 Bushmaster American Ranch rifle. The American line of rifles have a three-lug "fat" bolt, one-piece receiver, and a narrowed ejection port for added stiffness which will improve accuracy. With a two-position tang safety for easy access it allows the rifle to be loaded and unloaded with the safety engaged.

In addition to Ruger's Power Bedding internal bedding block that free-floats, the trigger can easily be adjusted from three to five pull pounds. The flat dark earth stock rifle includes a pre-mounted aluminum top rail.

The American Ranch rifle has a 16.12-inch heavy barrel and Ruger muzzle brake with 11/16-24 threads. The short barrel keeps weight to an absolute minimum 5.5 pounds. The rifle also has an injection molded single stack magazine that holds three rounds.

Although this rifle is not intended for long-range shooting you can expect the .450 Bushmaster round to drop about 3.5 inches below zero at 300 yards when sighted in at 2.5 inches high at 100 yards. The .450 Bushmaster pushes almost 2,700 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle and a velocity of 2200 fps. There are few places in the eastern US where shots longer than 300 yards are even an option.

450 Bushmaster ammo is available from manufacturers like Hornady, Federal, Remington and Winchester. The recoil is similar to shooting a slug from a 12-gauge shotgun. Accuracy will be much better than your average slug gun.


It is our opinion that the Ruger American Ranch rifle in .450 Bushmaster makes a great midwestern whitetail gun. The compact design is perfect for treestands as well as thick cover