350 Legend vs 450 Bushmaster for Whitetail Deer Hunting

Posted by Faxon Firearms Staff on Jun 19th 2023

350 Legend vs 450 Bushmaster for Whitetail Deer Hunting

Comparing the 350 Legend and 450 Bushmaster Rifle Cartridges for Whitetail Deer Hunting

When it comes to pursuing whitetail deer, hunters have a wide range of rifle cartridges to choose from. In recent years, two cartridges that have gained significant popularity are the 350 Legend and the 450 Bushmaster. Both options fall under the category of straight walled cartridges, making them legal in states that have specific regulations for hunting with such ammunition. In this article, we will delve into a detailed comparison between the 350 Legend and the 450 Bushmaster, exploring their specifications, ballistics, and applications in the context of whitetail deer hunting.

A Comparison of the 350 Legend and 450 Bushmaster Rifle Cartridges

Specifications and Ballistics

The 350 Legend: The 350 Legend is a versatile straight-walled cartridge designed with specific hunting regulations in mind. It features a bullet diameter of .357 inches, case length of 1.71 inches, and an overall length of 2.26 inches. With a maximum average pressure of 55,000 psi, the 350 Legend offers a reliable performance in various firearms. It utilizes dedicated magazines for optimal reliability.

In terms of ballistics, the 350 Legend typically accommodates bullet weights ranging from 145 to 255 grains. It achieves muzzle velocities around 2,200 to 2,400 feet per second (fps) and delivers muzzle energies roughly between 1,700 and 1,900 foot-pounds (ft-lbs). These characteristics make it well-suited for medium-sized game, including whitetail deer, at moderate ranges.

The relatively light projectiles and higher velocities make the 350 Legend a very flat shooting and accurate cartridge within 200 yards. This combined with lower felt recoil make follow up shots quick and easy and the smaller diameter cartridge allows greater magazine capacity which is ideal for hunting feral hogs when multiple targets may present in rapid succession. There are also subsonic loadings for the 350 Legend which make it an excellent choice for use with a suppressor.

The 450 Bushmaster: Developed as a powerful option for hunters pursuing larger game, the 450 Bushmaster is also a straight-walled cartridge. It boasts a larger bullet diameter of .452 inches, a case length of 1.70 inches, and an overall length of 2.24 inches. The maximum average pressure for the 450 Bushmaster is around 38,500 psi.

With bullet weights typically ranging from 250 to 395 grains, the 450 Bushmaster delivers muzzle velocities of approximately 2,000 to 2,200 fps, generating muzzle energies of roughly 2,400 to 2,700 ft-lbs. These attributes provide excellent stopping power, making it a preferred choice for hunting large game such as whitetail deer, hogs, and black bears. Subsonic loadings are also available, and the cartridge is compatible with most .46 caliber suppressors. The larger diameter cartridge can fit into standard AR-15 magazines with a single stack follower, though this does yield a smaller magazine capacity.

350 Legend 450 Bushmaster
Bullet Diameter .3570 - .0030 inches .4520 inches
Case Length 1.71 inches 1.70 inches
Max Average Pressure 55,000 psi 38,500 psi
Magazine Compatibility Dedicated 350 Legend magazines for ideal reliability Dedicated 450 Bushmaster magazines or AR-15 magazines dedicated follower
Bullet Weight Range 145 to 255 grains 250 to 395 grains
Muzzle Velocity Range Around 2,200 to 2,400 fps *Supersonic Around 2,000 to 2,200 fps *Supersonic
Muzzle Energy Range Roughly1,700 to 1,900 ft-lbs Roughly 2,400 to 2,700 ft-lbs
Applications Suitable for states with restrictions on hunting with straight wall cartridges Suitable for states with restrictions on hunting with straight wall cartridges

Use Case Applications

The 350 Legend for Whitetail Deer Hunting: Due to its compliance with straight walled cartridge regulations, the 350 Legend is an excellent choice for hunters pursuing whitetail deer in states that impose such restrictions (Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, just to name a few). Its moderate recoil and reliable performance make it accessible to a wide range of shooters. With bullet weights designed for optimal terminal performance on deer-sized game and muzzle velocities suited for moderate ranges, the 350 Legend delivers the energy and accuracy necessary for successful whitetail deer hunting.

The 450 Bushmaster for Whitetail Deer Hunting: For hunters seeking enhanced stopping power and the ability to take down larger game, the 450 Bushmaster shines as an ideal option for whitetail deer hunting. Its heavier bullet weights, impressive muzzle velocities, and substantial muzzle energies make it highly effective in penetrating heavy cover and delivering decisive shots. With proper shot placement and suitable bullet selection, the 450 Bushmaster can deliver clean and ethical kills on whitetail deer.

When it comes to selecting the right cartridge for whitetail deer hunting, the choice between the 350 Legend and the 450 Bushmaster ultimately depends on your specific needs, hunting regulations, and personal preferences. The 350 Legend offers a versatile option for hunters in states with straight-walled cartridge requirements, providing reliable performance and moderate recoil for medium-sized game like whitetail deer. On the other hand, the 450 Bushmaster brings remarkable stopping power and penetration capabilities, making it a compelling choice for those seeking to hunt larger game. Consider factors such as game size, desired range, ammunition availability, firearm compatibility, and recoil tolerance when making your decision. Remember to adhere to local regulations and seek advice from experienced shooters or hunters for additional insights tailored to your specific hunting situation.

If you decide to go with 350 Legend or 450 Bushmaster, Faxon Firearms has you covered. We offer barrels chambered for both cartridges, to help you take down that dream whitetail this season. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get ahold of our customer service team! They would be happy to assist you in your decision, or answer any questions that you may have. They can be reached via email at customerservice@faxonfirearms.com or via phone at 513-280-8861.