As I pull around to the back of the farmhouse, I notice two Tom Cars sitting in the grass and my blood starts to pump a little bit. Naturally, I hop out of my vehicle and give them a quick walk around. In the front seat of the four-door model, I notice a Remington 40-X Custom Center .450 Bushmaster rifle and prototype Remington HTP Copper ammunition for review. Yep, it’s going to be a good night testing everything out!
I already missed the first night of SHWAT™ Team hunting here. It’s already night two of our epic three-day/night hog hunt. The first night doesn’t go as planned and the crew is only able to put down 4 hogs. Obviously, that’s what happens when I am not there. Hopefully, they have learned their lesson.
First Impressions of the Remington Custom Center 450 Bushmaster Rifle
One hour later, in the middle of a West Texas wheat field, I am laying on the bed of the two-door Tom Car, zeroing half-a-dozen awesome rifles. With all of the time I have spent behind different thermals, I can generally get them zeroed very quickly. So I was pretty much “voluntold” that I needed to do this, the penalty for showing up late I suppose. Nobody said the #SHWATlife is easy!
I’m having fun, but zeroing is kind of old-hat for me.
All of the old-hat stuff disappears as Jonathan hands me a stunning .450 Bushmaster bolt gun built by Remington’s Customer Center. As I look it over, I notice just how good this rifle looks with its Cerakoted barrel, fluted bolt, and camo McMillan stock. I pause for a moment to appreciate Jonathan’s hatred for loud noises. He added a Liberty Suppressors Goliath silencer to the kit. I silently doubt just how much it will quiet the Db level of a .450 Bushmaster, but I will find out soon enough.
After I finish removing the scope caps from the Leupold 3-9x and adjusting the cheek-weld on the McMillan stock, Jonathan hands me a loaded four-round magazine. This prototype giant HTP Copper load looks different.
Remington HTP 450 Bushmaster Ammo
As I glance at the yellow tipped Barnes 250 grain TTSX BT projectile, I begin to think I should be bear hunting! I’ve never been bear hunting, but for a moment I certainly mused about it. This fat bullet leaves a 24″ barrel traveling 2200 feet per second!
Remember high school? Mass times velocity equals momentum. So with a ballistic coefficient of .195, the big Barnes TTSX projectile retains 82% of that speed (1811 FPS) delivering 1821 foot-pounds of energy on target at 100 yards. Some people could care less about energy, arguing it’s a poor measure of killing power. The Barnes .452 diameter TTSX bullet is a game-changer for 450 Bushmaster loads. It’s composition and design translate into the bullet being long for its weight, retaining its mass upon impact and penetrating deeply.
The HTP stands for High Terminal Performance. Many manufacturers load Barnes’ legendary solid copper bullets, but this version comes from Remington ammo plant in Arkansas.
I slide the magazine into place and work the bolt to chamber a round, then immediately look to Jonathan with wide eyes as he begins to chuckle. “I knew you would like that bolt!” He was right, it is silky smooth for sure, the best feeling bolt I’ve ever run.
With the round chambered and I get back on the scope, settle into my firing position and click off the safety. It’s worth mentioning that the safety on this Remington Custom Center rifle is jimped for traction, very positive, and appears to be polished as well. Finally, I place the pad of my shooting finger on the trigger and steady my aim. It’s go time.
As I begin to exhale and gently press the trigger… bang! The gun goes off. The trigger is way lighter and crisper than expected. A true surprise break on that shot. And to my delight, the Liberty does an excellent job of suppressing the felt recoil. The noise level seems hearing safe and it produces a very deep and pleasant sound. If it didn’t it would have gone BANG! Instead of bang!… Get it?
I wish I could give you exact specs from a trigger pull gauge, but mine has given up the ghost. But I can tell you that this is an excellent single-stage trigger and, based on other triggers I have and know the poundage of, this one is definitely less than two pounds and breaks clean like a glass rod.
Remington HTP 450 Bushmaster for Hog Hunting
A few shots later the rifle is zeroed and I am in love with it. We take off in search of some pigs out in the fading daylight. Unfortunately, we don’t find anything before dark sets in. Sill, my expectations for this rifle and the Remington HTP 450 Bushmaster ammo remain high. No time to linger on that thought, however. We switch to thermals, NODs, and ARs to stalk hogs through the night.
Day two and we are in search of pigs in the daylight. I’m back on the Remington 40-X Custom Center .450 Bushmaster. This evening is playing out much the same as the last, with very little movement or activity. Finally, just before dark Jared spots a small group of juveniles about 800 yards away. The hogs are just starting to come out of the brush, still hugging the fence and property line.
A quick check of the wind and I am on my way with shooting sticks and the Remington 40-X occupying my hands. How is it that none of us brought an extra sling? I make quick work of the stalk and close distance to roughly 45 yards. As I set up for the shot, I start to think that I can get closer, but ultimately decide against it. The pigs are moving down the property line no more than eight feet from safety. I don’t want to blow my daylight opportunity.
In position, I make a quick adjustment to my scope magnification, settle into my rest, click off the safety and wait for my shot. bang…! I break the shot a hair sooner than expected and as I process the shot and the pig flopping I think to myself, “Damn, that’s a nice trigger.”
Just then, my excitement level jolts as I notice the other pigs have not run off! I give a quick hand signal to Jared and Jonathan not to move and then to rack the buttery smooth bolt in a not so buttery smooth fashion. I’m not sure why the hogs didn’t run on the rifle report but jetted when I ran the bolt.
That noise is all they need as they disappear into the brush, never to be seen again.
Good news, I accomplished what I set out to do: Take down a Texas Hog in the daylight with the Remington 40-X Custom Center .450 Bushmaster. This monster of a pig has to be pushing 40 pounds but it was no match for the new Remington HTP Copper ammo. The exit wound is impressive. The Barnes TTSX blew out a quarter-sized hole with a golf ball-sized opening underneath. Honestly, it is hard to capture the depth on camera. Seen in person it is plainly devastating.
My first experience with a Remington Custom Center rifle has me very impressed. I am a tinkerer by nature. I am constantly tweaking this, that, and the other on firearms. Sometimes my tinkering works out, and though I hate to admit it, sometimes it doesn’t. But I can honestly say on this Remington 40-X .450 Bushmaster, I wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe I’d buy a sling. My appetite to see what else the Remington Custom Center can do is growing!
This first review and test of the Remington HTP in 450 Bushmaster proved both entertaining and educational. Successfully taking down a wheat bandit hog is usually entertaining and involves high fives and victory shouts. I know, some might find that offensive, but try it before you knock it.
The educational piece of the puzzle is multifaceted. I don’t think I’ve shot or hunted with Barnes projectiles before. I’ve read up on Jonathan’s use of them in 458 SOCOM and the TTSX is indeed formidable. The Remington HTP Copper load in 450 Bushmaster was completely convincing. I’d sure love to test it on a bigger pig! Given the velocity and TTSX/TSX historical performance, Pro Staffer Dylan Saunders expects this load to be a consistent through and through penetrator well capable of taking elk, moose, black bear, and big hogs. An Alaskan, he further believes the Remington HTP Copper in 450 Bushmaster could prove effective for hunting brown bear. You might want to put this one on your radar.