.44 mag would be fine for most southern Michigan deer shots in my experience average about 50-60 yards. .450 Bushmaster has become very popular due to availability in a wide range of guns and offers perhaps a 50 yard range advantage over the 100 yd effective range of the .44. Hunting farm fields will offer shots where the .450 has an advantage.
12 and 20 gauge rifled barrel shotguns have similar range to .450 Bushmaster but triggers are pretty bad on the most common shotguns....Remington and Mossberg pumps. Encore and Savage offer shotguns with rifle grade triggers. My Encore with rifled 12 gauge barrel shooting Hornady SST sabots has range comparable to the .450 but kicks like the dickens and .450 ammo is somewhat less expensive unless you find it on sale....and easier to reload than shotshells.
The .450 is perceived by many to be better and there have been some good deals on used shotguns with rifled barrels. Also good deals on .460 S&W barrels for Encore....but I've heard that is just as vicious recoil as 12 gauge SSTs.
Last edited by M134 Troll; 05-24-2020 at 10:52 PM.
Hello, I have a MGM 20" Standard contour 454 casull. Great accuracy and you can load the 454 case to 45 colt velocities and its accurate and fun. I load "cowboy" 45 colt loads with a hard cast and plink grouse with it, very little meat damage. I have a 2x leupold on mine and I would not hesitate at a 150-200 yd shot with the 454 round. Recoil is not bad. I had a 460 Smith, 20 " barrel about 20 rounds and it went to the auction block. I had to load it hot to get accuracy and it was punishing and contrary to popular belief it was not accurate with 454 and 45 lc loads. Some guys have ones that are accurate with reduced loads, mine wasn't. I vote would be 454 casull. Hope this helps.
If going MGM, would be hard pressed to not go 450bm. Just look at their take on it, and videos. I have one in an AR, and know of several others, including the Ruger AM, and EVERYBODY is super happy with range, accuracy, and power! Off the shelf ammo is decent priced, accurate, and most of all, available everywhere.
T/C Encores. Smokeless Savage and Remington muzzleloaders. Excalibur and Ten Point Crossbows
Location: 3 miles NW of Brownells retail store and they keep me broke!
I used to hunt the hard woods of northern Missouri where I could use any rifle that I wanted. The guys in my hunting party all used beanfield rifles for hunting in the woods. I always hunted with my marlin 1894 in 44 magnum and for three years running 1979,80 and 81 I shot wall hanger bucks with that iron sighted 1894. Not one of them made it beyond 50 yards before expiring.
I say local and or the timber that you are hunting has a lot to with which round to use. Iowa has the same straight wall centerfire rule in place. I have done almost all of my deer hunting with a handgun in recent years but this fall i will be living in western Iowa which is much more open than what I have hunted for the last 30 years. I will leave my handgun at home for my maiden voyage of open ground hunting. I will be using a Ruger American in 450 Bushmaster with a load that I tailored for shooting out to 300 yards. I will be using a 200 grain FTX and a top load of "Lil gun powder. I also have a woods load that shoots my .452 hard cast bullets at 1500 fps. The best of both worlds.