It was an AR platform weapon in .450 Bushmaster.
I was sharing a blind with my youngest brother. He was using a muzzle loader. He loves his muzzle loader. He is exceptionally accurate with it. It does, however, have limitations.
In our party, we are expected to "finish" wounded deer. Whether we wounded them or some other hunting party wounded them. It is a matter of respecting animals and not allowing them to face a lingering death. A muzzle loader with one shot and an extended reload time is not optimal for that task.
That got me to thinking.
Southern Michigan's deer hunting rules are Byzantine. I can hunt coyotes, woodchucks and red squirrels with a .300 Magnum or an elephant gun but I cannot hunt deer with a 30-30 Winchester.
To hunt deer, I am restricted to shotguns (which can have rifled barrels and launch 300gr, saboted bullets at 2200fps), muzzle loaders, revolvers or center-fire rifles with cartridges less than 1.8" and without shoulders.
There are at least two cartridges that meet southern Michigan requirements that fit in the AR platform: The .450 Bushmaster and the .350 Legend.
|Speer 180gr, 0.358" bullet designed for impact velocities of the .35 Remington. Speer # 2435
I was leaning toward the .350 but as I read more I learned that the groove diameter is 0.355" while most of the bullets available for reloading are 0.357 or 0.358" diameter. It is possible to take 0.358" bullets and pass them through a resizing die but that is one more step I really don't want to do.
The .450 is similar. Most ".45" rifle bullets are 0.458" while the Bushmaster uses 0.452" bullets.
I will keep my eye on this. I just may end up buying a bolt action .350 Legend to replace the firearms I lost canoeing with Mr B. But I don't want to do it until one of the major bullet manufacturers (Hornady, Nosler, Sierra, Speer etc.) offers a slippery, 170gr or 180gr bullet designed specifically for .350 Legend groove diameters and impact velocities.