Marlin .450 Bushmaster Deer Slayer Legal for Michigan Hunter in "Limited Firearm Deer Zone"

by RPP Crew

If you live in Michigan, Indiana or Ohio, you're well aware of the whitetail deer hunting regulations which limit which rifle calibers you can use.

A change to the 2016 law in Michigan finally allows deer hunters to use certain rifles capable of using .35 caliber or larger ammunition, with a straight-walled cartridge with a minimum case length of 1.16 and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches in the "Limited Firearm Deer Zone" when taking deer. Examples of firearms now legal for the southern part of the state include, but are not limited to, a .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .450 Bushmaster, and .460 S&W.

In response to this change in Michigan law, Randy's Hunting Center got the novel idea to approach Ruger to see if they'd be willing to design a new bolt-action rifle in .450 Bushmaster for the "Limited Firearm Zone." Ruger agreed and designed the Ruger American .450 Bushmaster series of bolt-action rifles that would be sold exclusively by Randy's Hunter Center for the 2016 hunting season (available at more retailers this year). The rifle was a hit with Michigan hunters and hundreds were sold.


Marlin .450 Bushmaster Lever-Action in 2017
A few months back, we had Michigan hunter approach us to build him a precision Marlin lever-action rifle in .450 Bushmaster. He was intrigued by the idea of the .450 Bushmaster cartridge but prefers hunting with a lever-action versus a bolt action rifle. We started with a Marlin 308MX and ordered a Douglas match-grade barrel profiled in .450 Bushmaster with a 24 twist. We chambered and head-spaced the barrel and cut it to 18”. We slicked the action and gave it a crisp 3# trigger along with our Ranger Point integrated night sight set and scope mount rail on which the customer mounted a Leupold 2-7x scope. Testing at the range, the rifle delivered 1/2" to 3/4" MOA in 3-5 shots at 50 yards.

The customer was more than pleased! Upon picking up his rifle from the local FFL we received the following email, "Just picked up the rifle. WOW! I couldn't be happier, trigger is great, looks great, awesome!” And later, he posted about his new Marlin .450 Bushmaster on the MarlinOwners.com forum to share some feedback and photos with the members - Behold, the Ultimate Marlin.

For this particular Marlin .450 Bushmaster custom built rifle, we had recommended a 308MX as the donor rifle. We’ve since designed new receiver / barrel tools that will very soon allow us to also build the .450 Bushmaster on a Marlin 336 30-30 or .35 Rem rifle. With more than 10 million of these rifles out there, finding a good donor rifle is not only easy but affordable.

Basic cost for the conversion is $1,000 and includes a new match-grade Douglas barrel and a slicked action for smooth feeding.

2017 Michigan Deer Hunting Season http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153--312005-...

- Early Antlerless Firearm: Sept. 16-17, 2017

- Liberty Hunt: Sept. 16-17, 2017

- Independence Hunt: Oct. 19-22, 2017

- Archery: Oct. 1 - Nov. 14, 2017 and Dec. 1, 2017 - Jan. 1, 2018

- Regular Firearm: Nov. 15-30, 2017

- Muzzleloading:

  • Zone 1: Dec. 1-10, 2017
  • Zone 2: Dec. 1-10, 2017
  • Zone 3: Dec. 1-17, 2017

- Late Antlerless Firearm: Dec. 18, 2017 - Jan.1, 2018


Michigan's Firearm Restrictions

Certain rifles capable of using .35 caliber or larger ammunition, with a straight-walled cartridge that has a minimum case length of 1.16 and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches and a .35 caliber or larger air rifle or pistol charged only from an external high compression power source (external hand pump, air tank, or air compressor), may be used in the Limited Firearm Deer Zone when taking deer. Examples of firearms now legal for the southern part of the state include, but are not limited to, a .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .450 Bushmaster, and .460 S&W.

Indiana Firearm Deer Equipment Restrictions

Rifles with cartridges that fire a bullet of .357-inch diameter or larger; have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches; and have a maximum case length of 1.8 inches are legal to use only during the deer firearms and special antlerless seasons. Some cartridges legal for deer hunting include the .357 Magnum, .38-.40 Winchester, .41 Magnum, .41 Special, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .44-.40 Winchester, .45 Colt, .454 Casull, .458 SOCOM, .475 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, .50 Action Express, .500 S&W, .460 Smith & Wesson, .450 Bushmaster, and .50 Beowulf.

Ohio Firearm Restrictions
Straight-walled cartridge rifles in the following calibers: .357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .450 Marlin, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110, and .500 Smith & Wesson.