Ruger .44 Alaskan


August 18, 2006, 12:28 AM
This may be my next revolver any thoughts ? I do already reload for the .44 spl. (a S&W 696) going to .44 mag. would be easy. This gun would be used for fun and back country protection and home defense .

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Tom C.
August 18, 2006, 07:15 PM
I consider the 2" barrel kind of short. Mine are 5 1/2", which some may consider too long. Maybe the new 4" is just right.

August 18, 2006, 10:08 PM
The Ruger Alaskan .44 is the same as the .454 Alaskan with smaller holes. I would think this revolver would be quite strong, and being a reloader I would have alot of versatility for loading, despite the short barrel. I think it would be possible to drive 300 grn slugs in excess of 1200 fps.

August 19, 2006, 01:36 PM
I also think the 2 1/2" barrel is a bit short and maybe a little too specialized. A 4 - 4 1/2" barrel would be ideal for what I envision as a general purpose revolver for back country plinking and defense.

August 19, 2006, 02:05 PM
I wonder if the ejector rod is long enough to extract the shell cases cleanly ? Perhaps another inch on the barrel would make the Alaskan more appealing.
I'd also like to know the max. COL restrictions for the cylinder.

August 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
I would question just how much more velocity you are getting out of a 2" barrel when shooting magnums versus specials. You will get a LOT more muzzle blast, but no where near the velocity from even a 4" barrel.

I use to have a .357 2" SP101, but it only got a couple of hundred fps increase over the +P specials. Nowhere close to the 1250 fps from a 4". Lighter bullets may get a bit more speed benefit, but if you are shooting magnums you usually want at least the medium weight bullets.

In regards to the Ruger Alaskan specifically, is there any reason to go with a 2" barrel? The Super Redhawk is a beefy frame and I would think a 4" barrel would conceal as well as a 2". Unfortunately, Ruger seems to be allergic to 4" barrels. If you are looking at a .44 I would either try to find a used SRH or RH custom cut down to 4", or consider a S&W or Taurus .44 that comes easily in 4". The medium frame Taurus Tracker in .44 looks like a handy size though I have not handled one in person yet.

August 19, 2006, 05:22 PM
the best way to go is with the heaviest bullet possible. I would move up in class and get a .480. With 400 grainers moving between 1050-1100 fps, it's the best way to get the most punch out of a snubbie.

August 19, 2006, 05:25 PM
I have looked at and held them, big revolvers. I like the idea of the .44 mag.

P. Plainsman
August 19, 2006, 07:45 PM
Jeff Quinn has reviewed and chronographed the .454 and .480 versions of the Alaskan:

With good factory loads in the .454 he got velocities around 1200 fps using bullets in the 300-325 gr range. The max Casull round from Buffalo Bore was an outlier, turning in 360 @ 1219.

With the .480, a couple of the factory loads pushed 400+ gr bullets to 1000-1050 fps.

Clearly the Alaskan's short barrel costs one a fair whack of velocity; clearly there's still a lot of power left. The .454 version is more versatile than the .480 since you can use .45 Colt, but to my mind the .480, with heavy bulleted ammo, makes more ballistic sense in a snubby.

If I owned one I'd call it my ".48 Special." :cool:

We'll have to wait for chrono info on the .44 Alaskan, unless one of the gun mags has already reviewed it.

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