.44 mag Alaskan=silly


PDA






Lichen
March 10, 2007, 12:28 PM
Hey guys,

I was looking at the guns at the local hardware store a few days ago, and I thought they had --at first glance--a really big, bad-ass revolver. It's a stainless Ruger .44 mag Alaskan gun. The frame is huge, almost like the S&W X-frame, and it's billed as 'Alaskan', with about 3" of barrel.

Why make such a pop-gun?

Like someone else here said, .44 Mags are for kids.

If you enjoyed reading about ".44 mag Alaskan=silly" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
dbarale
March 10, 2007, 01:21 PM
If you like it better they also make a .454 and even a .480...

Richard.Howe
March 10, 2007, 01:41 PM
It's not silly -- it's a darn fine firearm for close-in problems.

My preference is for the .454 variety, but not everyone loves broken wrist bones the way I do. :D

Derby FALs
March 10, 2007, 01:43 PM
It looks like it would make a fine boat anchor in the .44 Mag.

hagar
March 10, 2007, 01:50 PM
Give me a 10mm Glock with 15 round magazine any day for bear protection. A lot easier to shoot accurate and fast, and enough to stop any bear. These super magnum revolvers are fine for hunting, soothing inflated egos, and about nothing else.

Revolver Ocelot
March 10, 2007, 01:54 PM
it truly is a damn fine firearm for defense in the woods in those instances where a rifle isn't the best option and someone once said to me anything thats not detered by a 44 deserves to eat you, a 44 is hardly a childs toy.

Derby FALs
March 10, 2007, 02:08 PM
The S&W Mountain Revolver packs well and is strong enough for the .44 Mag. I would hold the two in my hands first before making a decision to buy.

strat81
March 10, 2007, 02:15 PM
Give me a 10mm Glock with 15 round magazine any day for bear protection. A lot easier to shoot accurate and fast, and enough to stop any bear. These super magnum revolvers are fine for hunting, soothing inflated egos, and about nothing else.

Do you have proof that a 10mm would be effective against polar or kodiak bear, the kinds of bears you might find in Alaska? From what I've read, most in the Alaskan Wilderness prefer rifles and/or shotguns for bear attacks. I've never been attacked by any bear, so I can't speak from experience. A Glock 20 or Ruger Alaskan is probably better protection from other people you encounter in Alaska, rather than animals.

The 10mm is a damn fine round for many other types of two- and four-legged predators.

Some Kodiak bear facts: http://www.wc.adfg.state.ak.us/index.cfm?adfg=bears.trivia
-Only one person has been killed by a bear on Kodiak in the past 75 years. About once every other year a bear injures a person.
-Today hunters kill about 160 Kodiak bears each year under tightly controlled regulations. About 5,000 resident hunters apply each year for a chance at the 319 bear permits that are available for them. Hunters who are not residents of Alaska must hire a professional guide, paying $10,000 – $15,000 per hunt. Over 70% of the Kodiak bears killed by hunters are males.
-Kodiak bears are the largest bears in the world. A large male can stand over 10' tall when on his hind legs, and 5' when on all four legs. They weigh up to 1,500 pounds. Females are about 20% smaller, and 30% lighter than males.
-hough Kodiak bears are often touted as the world's largest land carnivore (meat eaters), they are really omnivores (using a variety of foods). They actually spend more time eating grass, plants and berries than meat. Fish are an important part of their diets, but few Kodiak bears expend the time or effort necessary to chase and kill mammals.

And some polar bear info:
http://www.fws.gov/species/species_accounts/bio_pola.html

Greg8098
March 10, 2007, 03:59 PM
Good luck finding any of those Alaskans :rolleyes: . IMHO they are all silly, if you can never find one to buy.

ReadyontheRight
March 10, 2007, 03:59 PM
Well...some people would say that any handgun in the woods is silly. Others say that any gun is silly. And more others say that going into the woods is silly - while they slobber over every new Anna Nicole Smith update.

Good thing it takes all kinds of people to make up this great world. And that many of us like to protect our rights go into the woods carrying whtever we like, and we couldn't care less what others like or don't like.

I don't mean this as a flame, and maybe I am missing the point, but why are ".44 mags for kids" and why is it not a good gun for carrying on your hip in the woods while you are fishing, hiking or doing other non-hunting activities? Works for me, and also works for deer hunting.

Confederate
March 10, 2007, 04:56 PM
I saw a documentary on bears which featured an incident where a fellow, using only a locking knife, drove off a black bear that had attacked his wife or girlfriend. He literally stepped in between them and was able to inflict enough painful wounds on the bear that it retreated.

Given this guy also got mauled and given he also was highly motivated, still, it highlighted the fact that man, as he came into this world, came into it with no built in weapons except his own intelligence. It also showed that given the proper motivation and even a rudimentary weapon, a man is a formidible adversary.

Any gun, even a snubby .357, can take out a bear if it's pointed in the right direction. Even such a gun used as a club can save a person's life.

Snubby magnums make a great deal of noise, plus they produce a prodigious blast and fireball, neither of which man or beast want to be on the wrong side of. And ain't it interesting that whatever weapon man develops, other men want to take it away from him.

I just heard on the radio that the mayor of D.C. is furious, FURIOUS!, that six people are challenging the city's gun prohibition. He's intent, he said, on fighting it all the way to the Supreme Court. And what makes him angriest is that only six men are driving this...in HIS city.

If you see this guy, smack him upside the head for me.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/163503_case_sm.jpg

Smith & Wesson's bear kit includes
a book, video, gun and several other items
one might need in the wilds.

Derby FALs
March 10, 2007, 05:03 PM
I would feel more trusting with my Marlin Guide Gun but the weight of my Mountain Revolver would be comforting. Need something to shoot the hares, right?:evil:

wad
March 10, 2007, 07:19 PM
I just heard on the radio that the mayor of D.C. is furious, FURIOUS!, that six people are challenging the city's gun prohibition. He's intent, he said, on fighting it all the way to the Supreme Court. And what makes him angriest is that only six men are driving this...in HIS city.

If you see this guy, smack him upside the head for me.


NBC News and news services
Updated: 6:32 p.m. CT March 9, 2007

WASHINGTON - In the most important ruling on gun control in 70 years, a federal appeals court Friday for the first time used the Second Amendment to strike down a gun law.

In a 2-1 decision, the court overturned the District of Columbia’s long-standing handgun ban, rejecting the city’s argument that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applied only to militias.

The majority held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment “are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent” on enrollment in a militia.

The ruling is a victory for Tom Palmer, a Washington resident who was once assaulted and wants a gun in the house for self-defense.

"The fact is that the criminals don't obey the law and they do have guns," he said. "It's the law-abiding citizens who are disarmed by this law."

He was one of six who went to court to challenge the city's gun law, passed as an anti-crime measure 30 years ago. It outlaws handguns or rifles except for residents with permits, mainly police or security guards.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said the ruling could put more guns in the hands of young people. "I am personally deeply disappointed and quite frankly outraged by today's decision," he said. "Today's decision flies in the face of laws that have helped decrease gun violence in the District of Columbia."

Rival judicial views
The ruling revives a long fight over the 27 words of the Second Amendment: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Gun control advocates argue that the phrase "well-regulated militia" means that owning a gun is a group right, subject to restriction.

But the court essentially said the right to bear arms is an individual right for private activities, including self-defense.

“The district’s definition of the militia is just too narrow,” Judge Laurence Silberman wrote for the majority. “There are too many instances of ‘bear arms’ indicating private use to conclude that the drafters intended only a military sense.”

That's precisely the view that the National Rifle Association has advocated for decades.

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president, said the decision gives the district “a crack in the door to join the rest of the country in full constitutional freedom.”

Judge Karen Henderson dissented, writing that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a state.

Silberman wrote that the Second Amendment is still “subject to the same sort of reasonable restrictions that have been recognized as limiting, for instance, the First Amendment.”

Such restrictions might include gun registration, firearms testing to promote public safety or restrictions on gun ownership for criminals or those deemed mentally ill.

Time for Supreme Court?
The city says it will appeal, to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

The Bush administration has endorsed individual gun-ownership rights, but the Supreme Court has never settled the issue.

“I think this is well positioned for review of the Supreme Court,” said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University. He said the D.C. circuit is historically influential with the Supreme Court because it often deals with constitutional questions.

“You also have a very well-reasoned opinion, both in the majority and the dissent,” Turley said.

If the dispute makes it to the high court, it would be the first case in nearly 70 years to address the Second Amendment’s scope.

Legal experts say Friday's ruling launches a huge battle.

"This is a monumental case that sets up the biggest fight over gun rights in the modern history of the United States," said expert Tom Goldstein.

Judge Karen Henderson dissented, writing that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a state.


I guess by Judge Henderson's logic, the residents of the District of Columbia are not protected by any constitutional rights:cuss: .

Vern Humphrey
March 10, 2007, 07:40 PM
My preference is for the .454 variety, but not everyone loves broken wrist bones the way I do.

That's the problem with all these "delightful-to-carry-but-hell-to-shoot" guns. If you practice with them, you develop bad habits. If you don't, you have little skill with them.

Either way, when the chips are down, you lose.

Walkalong
March 10, 2007, 07:47 PM
I'll tell you what. Y'all shoot em and tell me what it was like. I flinch in my dreams from the last time I shot a lightwieght .44 Mag.... OUCH.:)

plexreticle
March 10, 2007, 07:54 PM
Do you really need a special bear protection gun in Alaska? Are bears especially agressive up there or something?

I'm more worried about humans than bears.

Vern Humphrey
March 10, 2007, 07:57 PM
Do you really need a special bear protection gun in Alaska? Are bears especially agressive up there or something?

Yes. Grizzlies are far more aggressive than blackies.

plexreticle
March 10, 2007, 08:05 PM
I want an anti-killer whale gun then. Just in case.

Whale guns (http://www.whalecraft.net/Shoulder_Guns.html)

Confederate
March 10, 2007, 10:24 PM
Yes. Grizzlies are far more aggressive than blackies.
That's because they're so used to not having any natural enemies. They're not used to losing fights, especially to smelly hairless primates wearing tacky red plaid shirts and sporting backpacks.

Still, the idea of reaching into a tacklebox and pulling out a 3-inch .44 mag isn't my idea of how to use our superior brainpower.

SnWnMe
March 10, 2007, 10:42 PM
It's never about practicality. It's about keeping interest in the industry to alive to sustain it.

I held one in San Diego a few weeks ago. Not bad for a snub nose.

ReadyontheRight
March 10, 2007, 11:43 PM
Still, the idea of reaching into a tacklebox and pulling out a 3-inch .44 mag isn't my idea of how to use our superior brainpower.

What is?

Cosmoline
March 11, 2007, 12:14 AM
For .454's I found even a full size SRH too little gun. Out of a snub I would expect the blast and recoil to be unworldly. More than enough to burst eardrums if you fire six off with no protection. In .44 it's a little more sane, but then again while you have bulk you're giving up barrel length. The Alaskan weighs 41 oz. and has a wee 2 1/2" barrel, compared with a long 7 1/2" barreled SBH at 49 oz or an old model at a notch less than that. I've never understood this notion people have that they don't have to practice with the full power loads, either. Shooting a bunch of cowboy colt loads out of the thing is not going to do ANYTHING to prepare you for shooting full bore .454's out of it. Other than give you a false sense of confidence.

It seems to me that the size of firearm allegedly needed to down a bear increases the further away from bear country you get. It's some sort of weird inverse ratio.

Wolfsong
March 11, 2007, 12:17 AM
That's the problem with all these "delightful-to-carry-but-hell-to-shoot" guns. If you practice with them, you develop bad habits. If you don't, you have little skill with them.

Either way, when the chips are down, you lose.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with your premise. That's like saying if you play the banjo, you pick up bad habits for playing the guitar. I shoot just fine with both my Smith .500 And my Ruger Alaskan .44 with the 2 1\2 in. barrel. And I shoot my other various hand guns quite well, at least to my expectations, thank you very much.

I happen to enjoy shooting the larger caliber handguns, and I actually find that the opposite of what you are saying to be true. My accuracy with my .45, .40, .357, and full size .44 is better AFTER I shoot a few rounds through my .500 and\or Alaskan. 5 through each is usually my limit, and then I move on to the "smaller" calibers. I shoot without a glove, and I shoot mid to high range rounds through the smaller calibers.

If I have bad habits, then I have bad habits shooting all of my calibers. I still can hit my target well enough to stop a paper target threat, or a bowling pin. How I would do against live threats is something I hope I'll never find out, but I'm as confident as I can be in my marksmanship, regardless of the caliber.

Maybe you don't enjoy shooting "hand cannons, maybe you do, but to assert that one cannot shoot them effectively and still be proficient with a smaller caliber is utter nonsense, in my experience and opinion.

So take it back, or I'll, I'll, uh, I'll tell mom on you!:D Peace and God bless, Wolfsong.

Cosmoline
March 11, 2007, 12:25 AM
I'm happy you enjoy your firearms, but this remark is I think instructive:

5 through each is usually my limit

That's *NO* reflection on your shooting skills. It was about my limit, too. But in order to be good enough with a particular handgun to be able to defend against a bear attack, you would need to practice with full power ammo vastly more than that. Practice until it becomes second nature. With a rifle you can get away with firing a few hundred rounds out of it and it will still serve well as a bear gun, but a handgun is so much harder to aim with precision you have to be that much better with it. This is one of the main reasons I would suggest that as a bear gun, the "Alaskan" is pretty goofy.

Let me put it this way. The beat up old three screw .44 blackhawk that you've fired twenty thousand rounds out of and can hit a butterfly at fifty yards with is going to be a much better bear gun than the snubbie mega cannon you've fired a few dozen times.

Derby FALs
March 11, 2007, 12:26 AM
I used to love shooting my hand cannons but it helped wear out my wrist, elbow and shoulder.:what:

VonFatman
March 11, 2007, 01:22 AM
Kind of funny… the person that began this post (with what I'd call an inflammatory title) has not bothered to follow/chime in on his own post.

*Has made very few posts on the Forum.
*Those he has made are pretty ridiculous. (check out his comments on his so-called reloading…etc).

Anyone else smell a troll?

Bob

Geronimo45
March 11, 2007, 01:48 AM
"Do you have proof that a 10mm would be effective against polar or kodiak bear, the kinds of bears you might find in Alaska?"
http://www.specialoperations.com/Foreign/Denmark/
Scroll down to 'Sledgepatrol Sirius'

"The standard SIG210 Neuhausen sidearm was recently replaced by the 10mm Glock 20, as the stopping power of multiple 9mm rounds proved to be insufficient against a polar bear."

Wolfsong
March 11, 2007, 03:18 AM
Good counter-point there, Cosmoline. Point well taken. However, as a rather weak counter-counter-point, let me say (not quite as loudly as my last point:o ) that, while I don't have the fortitude to send hundreds of rounds down range with either the .500 or the Alaskan, I can consistently hit my target with both to the point that I feel very comfortable with my ability, and the ability\accuracy of both guns. The .500 is not practical for me to drag around in the field, but the Alaskan obviously is much easier to carry. But that being said, I don't live in Griz country, I only have to concern myself with California black bears and those sons a bitchin' mountain lions. I use a rifle for blackies, with a .357 or .44 as back up. At close quarters (that would most likely be the scenario) during a cat attack, I would be confident with the Alaskan. Notice I didn't say comfortable :D.

You are right, though. There's no way I'm shooting anywhere near the amount of ammo through a wrist breaker that I put through any other hand gun I shoot. But I do practice to the limits I can, and am happy with the results. Again, your point is well taken.

Peace and God bless, Wolfsong.

Wolfsong
March 11, 2007, 03:28 AM
Kind of funny… the person that began this post (with what I'd call an inflammatory title) has not bothered to follow/chime in on his own post.

*Has made very few posts on the Forum.
*Those he has made are pretty ridiculous. (check out his comments on his so-called reloading…etc).

Anyone else smell a troll?


Well, his choice of wording is kinda inflamatory, I gotta admit. Hey, if ya don't like the gun, o.k., don't buy it. But ".44s are for kids"? Wonder if he can afford the 8 to 9 bills that the Alaskan is going for in these parts. Maybe he can, maybe not. Doesn't much matter to me, as long as he isn't a member of the local gun club I belong to. I'd hate to have him in a shooting lane next to me. Might hurt his ears.

Peace and God bless, Wolfsong.

Edited to add: Now that I've read a couple of his posts regarding reloading for and shooting his .460, I'm CERTAINLY, DEFINITELY, POSITIVELY glad that he doesn't belong to my gun club! :rolleyes: Somebody's going to get hurt, and that ain't cool...

Antihero
March 11, 2007, 03:50 AM
Ive seen the Alaskan and to me it seems like a good idea, but a little unwieldly. Having said that i didnt get a chance to hold it.

As for the "44mags are for wimps" thing frankly in a handgun i have no use for anything over 45colt+p's and heavy 44mags. If i need more power im going to go with a 12 gauge or a a 45-70. The 500, 460 and 454 are all nice powerful rounds but all are severally outclassed compared to the aforementioned rounds as are all handgun rounds.

I dont live in alaska though either.

strat81
March 11, 2007, 04:27 AM
http://www.specialoperations.com/Foreign/Denmark/
Scroll down to 'Sledgepatrol Sirius'

"The standard SIG210 Neuhausen sidearm was recently replaced by the 10mm Glock 20, as the stopping power of multiple 9mm rounds proved to be insufficient against a polar bear."

Your link provides no proof that 10mm is effective, just that 9mm is ineffective.

4fingermick
March 11, 2007, 07:34 AM
I think in those sorts of areas I'd carry a powerful handgun. It would probably be a 44Mag Smithor Ruger or a heavily loaded 45Colt in a BH. This would allow me to be armed while I made a grab for my even more powerful rifle which I would never stray far from.

Vern Humphrey
March 11, 2007, 02:44 PM
Still, the idea of reaching into a tacklebox and pulling out a 3-inch .44 mag isn't my idea of how to use our superior brainpower.

Nor mine, either. But as Phil Shoemaker (who has been in on the kill of many a girzzley and who lives in grizzley country) points out, the great advantage to having a gun is the effect it has on you. If you are armed and confident, the bear will sense that -- and it will give you the fortitude to behave confidently in the face of danger.

Shawn Michael
March 11, 2007, 06:23 PM
I think the handguns deserve some credit as having effective firepower. In review .500 rounds deliver more energy than any 2 3/4 12ga slug I found...not to say that I exhausted the list! Some of the most wicked 3 inch mags slugs were SLIGHTLY better...That being said I think a 660 grain hardcast slug is going going to do something that a .50 500grain may not, even at lower energy, BUT with many 500 loads close to 3000lb at close range to say that handguns are not a formidable weapon does not seem accurate.

I think I can draw and fire my 500 faster than I could get off a shot with my 870 slung over my shoulder. I like to have my hands free.

dairycreek
March 11, 2007, 08:32 PM
Hey guys,

I was looking at the guns at the local hardware store a few days ago, and I thought they had --at first glance--a really big, bad-ass revolver. It's a stainless Ruger .44 mag Alaskan gun. The frame is huge, almost like the S&W X-frame, and it's billed as 'Alaskan', with about 3" of barrel.

Why make such a pop-gun?

Like someone else here said, .44 Mags are for kids.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v736/dairycreek/RUGERALASKAN.jpg


A pic of my Alaskan in 454/45LC. I pack this gun as a woods gun although the grizzly "problem" here in Oregon is pretty much solved. Actually, I have shot this with 260 grain 454 ammo and the recoil is nowhere near as bad as I thought it might be. The 45LC capability tipped the scales for me. I handload this round which has IMHO the absolute best range of choice of any of the big bore rounds. I can load stuff that is for Cowboy Action which is really, really mild and I can load stuff that will outperform any 44 magnum.

Why make this "pop gun"? First, for the just plain fun of it. But, it is a very, very flexible gun - particularly with the short barrel - which lends itself to a lot of uses and does so quite well indeed.:)

SpookyPistolero
March 11, 2007, 09:06 PM
That was my first impression too, VonFatMan.

10-Ring
March 11, 2007, 09:45 PM
I would rather go w/ something w/ a bit more barrel (4" or 5" would work) & a slightly more compact frame. The Alaskan just looks like it needs to be a single shot wheelgun because for me, I would either be looking around the woods to find where it flew off to or would have such a flinch a second shot would be pointless :o :scrutiny: :neener:

Derby FALs
March 11, 2007, 09:52 PM
Von Fatman.

Maybe he thinks measly 44 mags are popguns. He seems pretty lively about the .460.

wcwhitey
March 11, 2007, 10:27 PM
I was not going to chime in because I thought the thread was a set up, but! I am with Cosmoline on this one. I am by no means a bear or ballistic expert but I have fended off a bear attack. Does not matter to me if you pick a .460, .454, .50, .44 or a .357 you just better be comfortable with it to the point that it is second nature. The only way for a gun to become second nature is practice. If it hurts to shoot what is the point. Bill

ReadyontheRight
March 11, 2007, 10:32 PM
The beat up old three screw .44 blackhawk that you've fired twenty thousand rounds out of and can hit a butterfly at fifty yards with is going to be a much better bear gun than the snubbie mega cannon you've fired a few dozen times.

Now THAT makes a lot of sense, but I still do not understand why some folks assert that a .44 mag is not the right weapon in the field.

I guess I just am responding to troll bait.

I WOULD like to try shooting one of those snub-nose .44s sometime. :D

wcwhitey
March 11, 2007, 10:33 PM
I was not going to chime in because I thought the thread was a set up, but! I am with Cosmoline on this one. I am by no means a bear or ballistic expert but I have fended off a bear attack. Does not matter to me if you pick a .460, .454, .50, .44 or a .357 you just better be comfortable with it to the point that it is second nature. The only way for a gun to become second nature is practice. If it hurts to shoot what is the point. Bill

Sorry for the double post!

Stainz
March 12, 2007, 07:38 AM
I actually have to agree somewhat with the original post. I have shot the .454 & .480 Alaskans. Hot rounds in both could cause a fire problem... more so with the .454. You don't want to upset Smokie the Bear by destroying his habitat. For the ultimate in protection, I want the .480 - big, heavy, and a bit slower rounds should do nicely for woods protection. For .44 Magnum, I'll just take my standard 4" 629 - at only a half ounce more than the Alaskan, or, if you can find one, a 629MG weighs in at an ounce and a half less than the Alaskan. Sporting the X-frame .500 Magnum Hogue grips for recoil management, either would be a great trail companion.

Presently, my 'woods' protection is a 625MG in .45 Colt, loaded with 250gr GD's and 255 gr LSWC's - both at just over 900 fps. Of course, other than a few black bears in the Smokies, the only bears I am likely to see and shoot are in the zoo... and, after multiple 'hits' with my camera, we can both walk away! Still, if I ever see an affordable .480 Alaskan... yeah, I need another oddball round to load!

Stainz

rolltide
March 12, 2007, 03:52 PM
Just a few points.

1. I do smell troll on the original post, but the post has taken a positive direction since.

2. I have collected quite a few news stories where handguns have stopped grizzly attacks, and others where they have not. For instance a full mag of 9mm was enough to turn stop sow (it must also be noted that in this instance there was a group of people present, which could have influenced the outcome of the situation), but unfortunately the same round resulted in a near fatal mauling in another instance on a lone fisherman. The big S&W X frames seem good at turning an attack at close range in the couple instances I have seen reported.

3. The 500S&W is very close ballistically to the 2 3/4" Brenekke 12ga slug as Shawn said. That is using a 8" barrel for the 500. I doubt if the 2 1/2" barrel 500 is nearly as close ballistically. On big caliber guns (44mag included), I carry a 4" or 5" ported barrel for dangerous game protection when needed. It has a much better sight radius, better recoil management for followup shots (almost always needed), and slightly better ballisitics.

4. As far as practicing with full loads, I think it would be unwise to practice with 100's of rounds of full power loads on guns at the limits of physical endurance. I know of a professional hunter in Africa that uses a 458 Lott for protection against all dangerous game on hunts with his clients. I addition to practicing with his 375 H&H and 30-06, he practices this way with the 458 Lott. He shoots about 50-60 reduced loads in the 458 before the season. Maybe 10 per shooting session. As the season nears, he shoots about 10 or 20 full power rounds over a few sessions. After that, he never shoots the 458 again except in the line of duty, which is about 20 to 30 time a season. 100's of rounds from full bore 458 Lott will cause brain trauma and detached retinas.

He has many many years of service as a professional hunter and has always been able to defend his clients with the massive caliber after the afore mentioned practice routine which he repeats each year. Practicing with lighter calibers in similar actions also helps develope good habits. Practicing with lighter loads helps develope good habits with THAT gun. Use the lighter stuff to build good habits and muscle memory ("second nature" handling habits), and fire enough full bore rounds to make sure those habits transfer without destroying the good habits.

Just a thought,

Roll Tide

Cosmoline
March 12, 2007, 06:16 PM
Keep in mind, though, there's a big difference between long guns and short. For most of us, it takes less practice to be able to hit a fast moving target at 20 or 15 yards with a safari rifle than it does with revolver. Esp. a snub nose.

There was something I was reading recently along these lines I'll have to try to remember. Something about a rule for handgun hunting that you should practice with x number of shots for every foot of distance you might have to shoot your game at.

Edit--it's PACO'S RULE:

You want to become a long range rifle or handgun shooter and hunter... then do this...

One practice round for every yard you think you may shoot at game, out to the furthest you think you might attempt a shot.

If that is 150 yards, then the minimum is 150 rounds at various ranges, per practice session. Usually I take a 5 gallon white plastic type bucket out with me, and lots of paper patching material. When I am consistently hitting that bucket at all ranges out to the furthest I will attempt a shot... with that gun and load. Then I know I’m ready to hunt with it. I don’t like terms like middle magnum, or the 44 magnum’s little brother and such in describing the 41 magnum. It is it’s own magnum, and it is it’s own caliber with plenty of power. And the handgunner that gets to know his gun and load with this caliber, is well armed and ready to hunt.

http://www.lasc.us/TaylorPACO41Mag.htm

What applies to being ready to hunt applies doubly so to being ready to draw and fire on a charging bruin. The point of Paco's drill is to practice for the most difficult potential shot, and then practice some more. Until you reach a level where the shot in the field will be far easier than ones you make at the range. Having someone run a bear Tueller drill (roaring optional) while you're trying to hit the target at fifty yards is a good one. If you can hit a stationary bullseye under pressure at that range, you should be OK for hitting the same size target moving much faster at closer range. I just can't see any normal mortal doing this amount of regular shooting with powerhouse casulls or .500's. There are I'm sure big guys with wrists like treetrunks who can do it. But I ain't one of them! My fingers ache just thinking about it.

islandphish
March 12, 2007, 06:35 PM
I think that most men on the stronger side would be able to handle a lightweight 44mag like a Taurus. I haven't had the chance to shoot the Alaskan but I wonder how it would compare to the ultra-light Taurus in recoil. I have shot the Taurus and you better get a good grip but if I had a grizz coming at me I don't think holding on tight would be an issue!

I've lived there and after spending a long day slogging up hill and down hill fly fishing, through heavy brush and rushing streams, you would be glad you didn't tote the 870. It is times like this that the Alaskan could shine. I would love to have one for carry up there.

Confederate
March 12, 2007, 07:05 PM
100's of rounds from full bore 458 Lott will cause brain trauma and detached retinas.
That's why I use a Type 2 phaser.

http://www.tk560.com/herophaser.jpg

VonFatman
March 13, 2007, 02:41 AM
rolltide,
Agreed, some real good stuff being bought out by knowledgable folks who obviously handle/use these big guns. I'm enjoying the replies.

Bob

Lichen
March 14, 2007, 01:03 PM
Sorry, I'm not trolling, just wanted to point out the Ruger Alaskan .44 Mag looks pretty silly as a bear-stopper. When the barrel of such a gun is shortened, the ballistics suffer, and the one I am talking about only has a 3" barrel or less, so I'm sure the gun isn't pushing a 240gr bullet much more than 1,000fps...which just isn't enough for an angry grizzly bear. IMHO. Of course, I have never shot a grizzly, so who am I?

Alongside the S&W 500Mag Survival gun, which looks very similar, it's just an overbuilt, over-estimated firearm that is being billed as 'Alaskan', and I think Ruger made a mistake with it because it's only .44 magnum and I think .454 Casull is the minimum caliber for the purpose. If the same gun was a Casull, it would be a marvel, but it's a .44 Mag. As such, it is underpowered for shooting a big brown bear.

You wouldn't choose a .44 mag if you were going out to hunt a big brown bear; it would be silly. You would choose a weapon that you could be confident with as a weapon capable of stopping that man-killer in his tracks, boom, dead, just like that. You don't want to take the chance that you will wound that dangerous animal and then have it come after you. Clearly, the .44 Mag is not that gun. Every established Alaskan guide and experienced Alaskan hunter with whom I have spoken or read material from has said and maintain that the big bears are heavy, dangerous animals, and the 375 H&H is seen as the minimum sensible acceptable caliber for hunting them. So why would you deliberately take a .44 magnum to protect against the big brown bears? It's stupid, and I think the Alaskan .44 is a mistake for Ruger. I think time will tell in terms of sales for this gun, and I doubt you'll see very many of them in Alaska.

But I could be wrong. I just wanted to see what kind of thoughts you folks had on the subject, and I'm not particularly interested in trolling for flames. That's a very unfortunate development for the Internet, and a sensible person tries to avoid it IMHO.

Furthermore, the number of posts I have contributed is irrelevant. I don't have a lot of time to spend doing this. I'd rather be out there in the great outdoors shooting my guns or my bow and seeing the direct results than sitting here speculating until I have callused fingretips from typing, sorry, just kidding about the callused fingertips, not trying to provoke anyone here. It's demeaning and insulting to suggest since I have relatively few posts on your forum that somehow I should be belittled or that I can be disregarded as some kind of foolish child, which I am not.

I am a grown man who happens to always push the equipment past what it's rated for. I put five-ton boulders in the back of a 3/4-ton pickup because I can. I have put 25grains of Unique in a 45Colt case, because I can. I was experimenting, that's all. Thanks to the members of this forum (knowledgeable men who have given me sound advice, which is what I was looking for, and roundly chastised me, which I wasn't really looking for) thanks to you guys, I have now finally realised maybe I need to exercise caution, for I have no desire to have my 460 Mag hammer driven through my face because I loaded my reloads too hot by far.

Most men like to engage in a little pissing contest...my gun is bigger than yours, kind of thing. Sorry I took it too far....no need to shoot a herd of screaming beercans here.

Derby FALs
March 14, 2007, 01:13 PM
I think it is another case of giving folks what they want rather than what really be useful. Happens quite often with fireams.

454c
March 14, 2007, 03:08 PM
Curious what your response is gonna be when you find out the Alaskan originated as a 454/480 and the 44 was a recent after thought.

Derby FALs
March 14, 2007, 03:15 PM
Curious what your response is gonna be when you find out the Alaskan originated as a 454/480 and the 44 was a recent after thought.

That's just what I mean, actually. People want the .44 when it really isn't the best choice but they give 'em what they want. :evil:

Cosmoline
March 14, 2007, 03:18 PM
You wouldn't choose a .44 mag if you were going out to hunt a big brown bear

Many have. People use ARROWS as well. Heck one of the most successful hunters on Kodiak back when the bruins were REALLY big never used anything bigger than a .30-30. He killed 40 some odd bears at close range before he finally got killed. Take it back even further and the big griz were driven out of the lower 48 with low pressure black powder rifles. They're not T-Rex, but it seems odd that the further people get from them the bigger the cartridge they assume you need to kill one. Out in the bush a lot of subsistence hunters who run into griz all the time use nothing more than a Mini-14. Guides insist on the .375 H&H at a minimum because they are covering their hindends and assume for liability purposes that the clients (who are almost all from outside) are going to be poor shots. The Alaska court system is way more scary than any bear, and the last thing some guide needs is to get sued by an idiot client who claims his OK of the .30'06 caused his injuries.

SAWBONES
March 14, 2007, 05:14 PM
Silly?
I don't care what you think. I want one.:)

Cosmoline
March 14, 2007, 06:44 PM
That may be the best answer yet.

Lichen
March 14, 2007, 06:58 PM
Yes, I understand the Alaskan is also chambered in 454 Casull, and that's a sensible gun. But the .44 Mag is, as an afterthought, looking ill-advised from where I stand.

Wanting one? Hell, I want one, too. It's a nice gun.

And I realise arrows work well on animals, especially if shot at 300+fps like off a wheelie bow. I shoot recurve, myself, and I would shoot a brown bear with my bow, even if maybe I shouldn't. And I'd have a big revolver with me, too, just in case:cool:

The comment about killing really big bruins with blackpowder smoothbores puts things in perspective for me, though. You have a point, there, for sure. Makes one re-think things a little.

Old Fuff
March 14, 2007, 07:01 PM
That may be the best answer yet.

Last year I ask a Ruger Rep., "Why did you come out with such a worthless, stupid gun?"

He answered, "Because we are in business to sell guns, and they are selling like hotcakes - mostly where the bears aren't." :D

rolltide
March 14, 2007, 09:00 PM
Don't anyone fool themselves about the difference between what will kill a big brown bear (hunting) and what will keep a big brown bear from killing you (defense). The two are ENTIRELY separate matters. A big bear can cover 50 yards in about 2 seconds and kill you much faster than that AFTER you put a hardcast bullet through his heart. The only real way to stop a big bear that is intend on harming you is (1) with a CNS shot, or (2) do so much tissue and bone crushing damage that you make the bruin stop or turn long enough to finsih him off. While the big bears have been successfully hunted with the 22lr, 44, 30-30, bows, etc., none of those are reliable options for defense. Also don't kid yourself that a 500 S&W, 454 or ANY other handgun is reliable defense against big bears. NO HANDGUN IS RELIABLE DEFENSE AGAINST BIG BEARS, although some are reliable killing (hunting) weapons.
Lichen said
You would choose a weapon that you could be confident with as a weapon capable of stopping that man-killer in his tracks, boom, dead, just like that.
Under that definition, weapons start at 375H&H and even that is not 100%

Has life been saved with a 44 and other handguns against a big bear? Yes, and those guys were glad they had handguns because their rifles were not there when they needed them. Have much more powerful arms failed often enough to make one think twice about carrying ANY handgun as a primary defense against big bears? YES, 1000 TIMES YES !!!!!

So any handgun from 500S&W on down is a last ditch, last line of defense option. They should NEVER be first line of defense if you are serious about survivng an encounter with a hostile brown bear. AK game and fish used to talk about 1 out of 100 bears will attack you and maybe 1 out of 1000 will eat you. The only problem is the bears don't wear numbers so you never know if you will run into number 1-99 which will just run away when it smells you (Cosmo this was not directed at you in any shape form or fashion:D ), or if your first encounter will be with number 100 who will attack you, or if you third encounter will be with number 1000 who will simply eat you if it ever sees you unless you have the means to stop it. Journeying into big bear territory is a bit like Russian roulette. You might pull the trigger all your life and never get hurt, or you might get your brains blown out the first time.

Where danger to life is concerned I fall WAY over in the "better safe than sorry" column whether you are talking about wearing seat belts, rockclimbing protection, or fishing in AK. REDUNDANT safety is ALWAYS a MUST for situations where fatality is a possibility. So if I EVER get to AK, I will have a long gun capable of sorting out the situation with one well placed shot (or go with someone who does) AND, NOT OR BUT AND, the biggest handgun I can fire accurately. For some people that is a 44mag and that is why the 44 Ruger Alaskan is not silly.

For some say they cannot afford a big enough gun. Is that going to make any difference at all to a hungry bear? Of course not, you will taste the same to him regardless of how poor you are.

Can a 44 save your life? MAYBE, BIG MAYBE.

Is a maybe better that a sharp stick or no stick at all? About 1000 times* better.

Is a 500 S&W better than a 44 assuming you can fire both accurately? Probably 2 or 3 times as good, maybe 10 times* as good. Is a 375 H&H better than any handgun? Yep, probably 1000 times*.

Will a howitzer save you from a bear? Only if you can hit him with it.

*(all these "10 times" and "1000 times" statements are exact statistical figures worked out from exhaustive research by the Roll Tide Arm Chair Bear Defense And Auto Body Service)

Don't loose sight of reality in all this internet banter we like to engage in, and always do your best to come home alive. Mostly that will invovle using your best defensive weapon which lies right between your ears. You and your loved ones deserve nothing less than your best in that regard..

Roll Tide

Old Fuff
March 14, 2007, 10:33 PM
I would agree that any handgun is a poor choice as a primary arm if one is seriously considering defending themselves against a bear attack. But if or when someone is considering a handgun for that purpose it would be wise to remember that as the barrel is shortened, velocity decreases – and it is velocity that (hopefully) drives the bullet to a vital organ. Thus it would seem to be poor judgment to pick a revolver with a 2 ½ inch one when longer lengths are available.

The .44 Magnum Redhawk is available with in 4, 5 ½ and 7 ½ inch barrel lengths. The Super Redhawk in 44 Magnum, .454 Casull and .480 Ruger has a standard length of 7 ½ inches, but a custom gunsmith can shorten it to any length going backwards to the Alaskan’s 2 ½ inches.

A length around 5 ½ inches is still reasonable to pack – especially considering the circumstances - and offers substantially more performance where it counts.

It may be said that the larger gun is more inconvenient to carry, but it won’t seem so if it’s needed. :scrutiny:

Wolfsong
March 15, 2007, 04:28 AM
I was looking at the guns at the local hardware store a few days ago, and I thought they had --at first glance--a really big, bad-ass revolver. It's a stainless Ruger .44 mag Alaskan gun. The frame is huge, almost like the S&W X-frame, and it's billed as 'Alaskan', with about 3" of barrel.

Why make such a pop-gun?

Like someone else here said, .44 Mags are for kids.

So somehow the original post goes from calling the Alaskan .44 (with a 2 1\2 inch barrel, BTW) a silly pop gun for kids to why it's not the right choice for brown bear? Hell, no hand gun is the right choice for a BLACK bear, let alone a brownie! But back to the original message of this thread. I own an Alaskan .44 silly pop gun for kids (soon to be two). Why, you ask? Because I enjoy shooting it, for much the same reason as anyone, including you, Lichen, enjoys shooting any caliber of gun they own. And it is a bad ass gun. I could counter that your choice of the .460 is just an extention of your machoness, but THAT seems a little silly, doesn't it? Sorry that I'm not a manly man in your eyes. You just keep on pushing the envelope and shooting those hot loads. I'll be at the other end of the range appreciating and shooting my guns of choice. Just try not to hurt any shooters that might be near you when your gun blows up. :eek: Now THAT would be silly, no?

Peace and God bless, Wolfsong.

Bear Hunter
March 22, 2007, 08:26 PM
Well, I do live in grizzly country. My neighbor had one on his porch last october. Not only do I live with griz, but I spent six years guiding 21 day expeditions in the Bob Marshall wilderness, Yellowstone Park, and in a vast roadless area south of Glacier National Park known as the Badger/Two Medicine. I've had eleven close encounters with Ursus Horribilous (griz) and more black bear "face time" than memory serves. Every September, I chase wapiti with a recurve, a time of year when Montana bruins are on the move 24/7 looking for something to eat. In October (and then again in the spring), I go black bear hunting until the whitetail season opens. I've arrowed two bruins with my recurve, and sent four others to that great huckelberry patch in the sky with an -06. Yes, I have an opinion on bear protection and what it take to put 'em down.

The best protection in bear country is mind set. I learned this not from the bears, as I only felt mildly threatened on one occasion, and that was because of the way a griz "eye-balled" me before running away. I learned the mind set from a mountain lion crouched on the trail waiting for me one April afternoon as I was bowhunting blackies. Given that I'm 6'5", 245lbs, the cat changed his mind about the time I noticed him ten feet ahead of me and slighty above eye level as I was ascending a hillside. It's a damned good thing (for me) that the tom changed his mind, because the 44 on my hip wouldn't have done me a lick of good if he'd decided to pounce instead of walking away. I stopped carrying a sidearm for several years because that cat made me realize the chunk of metal on my hip had lulled me into a false sense of security. My senses needed to be resharpened, and the only way to do that was to rely on them instead of firepower. My account of the incident was published in Bowhunter magazine during the spring of 96.

The areas I archery elk hunt have become exceedingly wild over the years, and last autumn I had a long-distance encounter on the continental divide with the largest Grizzly I've ever seen. His presense some 400 yards across the open basin was enough to convince me not to shoot a nice bull that wondered across the trail in front of me at 15 yards just 30 seconds after I spotted the bear. Didn't feel like arguing with him over the meal that night.

That bear also let me know it was time to buy another 44 (stainless redhawk, 5 1/2") A heavy gun by comparison, but so what. Heavy is relative to attitude only. Your wilderness experience should hurt a bit--that's all part of the reward. But let me step right back down from my soap box and get to my point. My extensive backcountry experience, training, and research has left me with no delusions of grandure as to the stopping power of a sidearms when it comes to bears of any stripe. A systematic analysis of bear attacks in Alaska concluded that 90 % of people who pulled the trigger on a handgun during a bear attack died! Rather sobering, isn't it. Conversly, the vast majority of victims who didn't use a sidearm survived. Facts are facts.

So why have I gone back to "packin'?" Because I know what I need to know, and am confident in my mind set. By necessity I've learned to read a bear's body language, how to "guess well" as to whether or not a charge is preditory, defensive, or bluff. I know what areas bears concentrate in at given times of year, and most importantly how to keep my head out of my ass while walking through those areas smelling and sounding like an elk. I also view pulling the trigger as a last resort. My revolver carries a full belly of Buffalo Bore 340 grain hard cast rounds in front of enough powder to push them at 1402 fps from the 5 1/2 barrel. I'll never put a firing pin to them during an attack unless the wobble of the front sight no longer exceeds the distance between a bear's eyes, and I'm convinced there are no other options. Surely most of the 90% who died in Alaska did so either because they panicked, or overestimated their shooting ability, or a combination thereof. The sidearm MUST be considered a last and worst option. Moreoever, I have a great deal more faith in the can of pepper spray I also carry (except on windy days). The spray has a proven track record, certainly more so than any handgun configuration or caliber.

So there you have it. My twelve cents. All those days and nights in bear country have revealed to me a distinct protocol for self-preservation. Knowledge of animal behavior. Mind set. Only pull the trigger when all other options have passed, and then do so with the brutal intent of a wild animal fighting for its life, because you are. At that moment, it's time to kill the bear with extreme prejudice, and anybody who believes a 44 with the proper loads isn't up to the task is...well...silly. A casual scan of the photographs of cape buffalo taken with Buffalo Bore 44's should quiet the adequacy question. The gun can do it. The real question is can you?

Ah yes, one more thing. Somebody mentioned the potential damage done to our bodies by 100s of rounds of practice with heavy loads. It cannot be denied. I know a thing or two about this as well. As a strength coach I've trained three teenaged state champion powerlifters in the last few years. Repetitive motion injuries and high impact-related injuries are always a concern. Down time and periods of reduced intensity are the key to staying injury free. I've tried, mostly in vane, to convince my archery buddies that it isn't a good idea to shoot an 80lb recurve year-round. Sadly, they're bow-bending addicts. (I'm a recoverying one) Funny thing is, as we get older, more and more of them go under the knife for shoulder repair while I'm still a bendin' and a grinnin'. I force myself to take two full months off from the bow every winter. I then start up again in the spring with a mild draw weight and work up to my hunting weight of 73lbs. And I limit my shooting to three days a week with at least a day between. I swear I'm more accurate than the guys who do it every day. So the African PH mentioned above whose routine is to shoot mild rifles for practive during the off season is perfect. Any big bore handgunner would do well to invest in a 22 for plinking, do most of his/her big bore practice with light loads, and shoot the really big stuff only enough to achieve confidence.

20nickels
March 22, 2007, 09:41 PM
I'm sure many LEO's in backcountry USA like to have a highly packable anti-material weapon nearby. More for cars than bears.

Magnumite
March 23, 2007, 01:12 AM
Interesting thread. Lots of real experience being spoken.

As far as not practicing lots means inproficiency with a pistol, that is balderdash. If one is familiar with the gun, uses reduced power loads to know the gun and gain proficiency with it, then the only rounds of actual ammo one needs to shoot is enough to know its POI and its recoil/blast characteristics, and to verify shooting competence with the full power load. If the shooter is proficient, the experience shooting the load will leave an impression with the shooter. Been there, done that, with 475 Linbaugh Ruger.

Anyone who refers to the 44 Mag being for kids doesn't know or understand the cartridge. It does sound like a bit of machoism.

And using the rifle power requirements, if you have the rifle on the trip and can't get to it, then it doesn't matter what if the handgun is 44 Mag through the 500's. It is still going to be one's head and heart that will get the

Combat Controller
March 24, 2007, 02:48 AM
Just remember to file the front sight off of your handgun!

As to the lesser caliber practice comments... I have improved my marksmanship remarkably by shooting .22 pistols and rifles. Much more so than just shooting my usual calibers. If we approach our marksmanship humbly and know we can do better, and practice, practice, practice, we are better shooters for it.

Myself, my folks have 7 bears in the valley, and they are sometimes encountered at dusk by the creek in the orchard. They used to eat the honey, so the bees had to go years ago. Sometimes they come up to the house and push on the doors. From the roof rubber buckshot in the back keeps them away for good. While wandering around a .44 mag and a 12 ga are the usual. Not optimal, but there has never been an attack, they always run off. Still... You use what you can. We bring dogs, because mountain lions are the real threat, and very aggressive. Those suckers will be on you before you even know they are there. Mindset is key...

Jacka L Ope
March 24, 2007, 03:36 AM
... .44 Mags are for kids.

Rather cute given I have yet to see "kids" shooting .44 Magnums at my local range. :cool:

Sundles
March 24, 2007, 01:21 PM
I've read this entier thread and there are so many comments that need to be made, that I could spend all day typing and that aint going to happen.

First, having killed dozens of bears, some of them grizzlies, I have some thoughts.

Black bears and grizzlies are not the same critters. Black bears can be detoured with a little pain or noise. Grizzlies (normally, but not always) require death to be detoured. A griz has a different motivation than a black bear, hence the grizzly is much harder to stop.

240gr. jacketed bullets are the absolute wrong choice for bear killing, when using a 44 mag., unless we are talking smallish black bears. A good 300gr. hard cast bullet that really penetrates is the only useful choice in 44, if you want to kill a grizzly bear, but as noted above, with black bears, you dont need to kill them to stop their aggression. Buffalo Bore Ammo makes a 340gr. +P+ 44 mag. load. That bullet is going 1,400 fps out of my 5.5 inch Redhawk and is moving roughly 1200+ fps out of the Alaskan version of the Redhawk. Not all 44 ammo is created equally. That 340gr. load, which shoots great out of any version of the Redhawk, including the Alaskan, will traverse through several feet of bear, including its skull or shoulder bones.

For grizzly protection, I prefer a good rifle, but since it is not handy to always carry a rifle, a good 454 in an FA revolver, 475, or 500 Linebaugh (in a Ruger conversion) is fairly light weight and very effective. A few rounds per week fired for practice is very effective in developing decent skill and maintaining that skill. I lost track of how many bear and other critters I've killed with my 500 Linebaughs, but my carry load in griz county is a 440gr. hard cast bullet at roughly 1350 fps out of a 5.5 or 6 inch barrel and that load works, I promise.

A 44 mag. or a 454 or any revolver or rifle is only as effective as the ammo you feed it. So when folks start talking about 44 this or 44 that, without discussing the particular load, they have no idea what they are really talking about. Pick your particular ammo/load for the particluar need at hand. Doing it any onther way is pure hooey.

Combat Controller
March 24, 2007, 01:34 PM
I carry hot 300 gr loads in my .44 levergun and revolver. I often carry a .454 levergun, and it has some very hot 300 gr bullets, over 2100 fps. Now that I have a .450 I should be seeing some real penetration improvement!

Charshooter
March 24, 2007, 09:29 PM
I’m sure that a 44 magnum will offer a good measure of defense for the man that knows how to use it well. Once while hunting in Wyoming, a Grizzly bear surprised me and I quickly placed a shot in her left shoulder that set her rolling over and away from me. I them made a follow up shot into the heart/lung area at about 20 yards distance. The bear died quickly and the rest of my trip was ruined because I had to be questioned by game management.

I was hunting mule deer with a 7mm magnum; that would have also done the job if I had seen the bear further off. As it was, the revolver was the best defense. I agree that a 454 or 480 might have given me an extra margin of safety, but I have always owned the 44 magnum and trust it well. The main thing is to keep a cool head and shoot with deliberation. If you have thought this all through, you are likely to have the forethought to use the right bullet

Browning
March 25, 2007, 12:02 PM
I've read all three pages of this thread and although I wouldn't buy this particular revolver myself, I can see how someone would want to buy one if they lived in Alaska or Canada. The point is that this revolver isn't to go hunting Grizzly Bears and Black Bears with, it's to try and stop them if they happen attack you and you don't have anything else with you. It's for a very specific purpose, one that most people don't have to worry about. I sure don't anyway.

As far as the .44 Mag being a kids gun, I have to disagree. Although more powerful rounds exist now, it's hardly a kids gun. For a number of years it was THE most powerful handgun in the world, hence the lines from the movie "Dirty Harry" with Clint Eastwood. The .44 Mag makes a pretty good deer and hog cartridge for both lever action rifles and for handgun hunters. It's the most common big bore round out there. The .454, the .460, the .480 and the .500 S&W may exist now, but they aren't really common in the same way that the .44 Mag is.

If I went to Alaska I would probably want to carry a 4 inch S&W Mountain Gun in .44 Mag or a S&W model 629 with a 5 or 6 inch barrel for a little more velocity myself, I'd put up with the extra weight for the extra velocity. I wouldn't feel under armed with that at my side. It wouldn't be what I'd take to actually go hunt Grizzly Bears with (then I'd take maybe a .338 Win Mag or a .375 H&H), but I'd feel that I'd have a much better chance with something that was pretty powerful that I could actually afford to practice with and that was actually enjoyable to shoot than something that I'd only fired 20 rounds in. It would be what I had at all times up there instead of actually taking on a planned hunt. You can't take a bolt action rifle with you everywhere you go, even in Alaska. Maybe the OP feels that this is a popgun for kids, if he feels this way, he should but something bigger for himself.

That would be my take on it anyway.

Ala Dan
March 25, 2007, 04:32 PM
I sold a NIB Ruger "Redhawk" Alaskan with 2.5" barrel in .454 Casull last Friday
(23 March '07) for $649.88 + 9% sales tax~! ;) :D

oscarswanson
March 26, 2007, 09:56 AM
I own one just because it's the coolest looking big bore revolver around.
Everyone will not agree but it's not their money. It's mine.
It did bruise the crap outa my hand after only 12 rounds. I'm hopin I can build up some resistance or someones going to get a heack of a deal on it.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y267/oscarswanson/guns051.jpg

Bear Hunter
March 26, 2007, 02:35 PM
I'd like to hear more from Sundles. Sounds like you know what you're talking about. Are you a guide and or resident of Alaska? Tell us more about that 500 L of yours. What frame is it built on? How much does it weigh? Even though my previous posting probably made me sound like a dyed-in-the-wool 44 man, which is close to the truth, I actually have a good deal or respect for the 454. My only experience with that caliber was in the Super Redhawk. A great gun, but I felt it was a little too big and clumsy for all-day trecks over the continental divide. How often do you carry your sidearm on the trail?

"A rifle is always better." Truer words have yet to be spoken (at least in this thread.) Yet, a handgun is more practical in certain situations.

thisnthat
March 26, 2007, 04:29 PM
I have had two personal encounters with bears. And, a few thoughts.

The first was in Yellowstone Park. We were camped at Fishing Bridge and went walking toward the lake. Out of nowhere, we noticed a knee-high, Black bear cub about 50 feet in front of us. We froze. The bear looked at us, grunted a few times and charged. When it was about eight feet from us, it stopped and grunted a few more times. Then turned and ambled away.

We were unarmed, except for a sheath knife. In the instant of the charge, I can't say that I even remembered I had a sheath knife. We were totally unprepared. Mentally and physically. One of the earlier posts from Bear Hunter mentioned 'mindset.' I think he hit it right on. Bears were the farthest thing from out minds, even in the face of one. And it happened SO FAST and WITHOUT WARNING.

Three points from this are to be remembered. Unexpected, Unprepared and Like Lightning it appeared.

The second was in Glacier National Park. We were tent camping and I had brought along a S&W 4" Model 58 in .41 Mag. I was frying bacon on the Coleman stove at one end of a picnic table. I looked up and low-and-behold, at the other end of the table was a cinnamon/brown Black bear having a sniffing ectasy on the bacon smells. It was big enough to be shoulder-high even with the top of the table. Out of nowhere, again! The .41 was in my backpack which was in the tent. After more sniffing, the bear ambled off.

Three points to be remembered. Unexpected, Unprepared and Like Lightning it appeared.

This year, we are planning a trip into the Beartooth Mts of Montana/Wyoming. Grizzlies are known there. What will we do? Jingle bells on the boots, for sure. A 'big' gun? For sure. Constant searching and wariness, for sure.

Which gun? We have a bunch. 380, 2 .38 snubbies, a 6" 357 King Cobra, a 45 Colt Gov't, that same .41 and a heavily loaded (I handload) 6" 45 Colt Anaconda. I'm thinking she'll be carrying the 41 and me the 45 Colt--holstered. I also own a Mod 70 375 H&H Safari Classic, but thoughts of a 10 pound 'scoped walking stick have little appeal.

What have I learned from my experiences? Be mentally prepared, if I can. Have a big, powerful gun at the ready. And hope like hell I do the right thing if the situation occurs.

As per the original post, a 44 Mag is a lot better than no gun at all. And, a short barreled one is a lot more wieldy than a long barreled one in close spaces. Imagine the 44 is in your sleeping bag with you and the bear is dragging you and your sleeping bag off into the woods. The short barrel would come in handy. And, if the 44 mag is not in your sleeping bag with you, then the bear is dragging you and your sleeping bag off without it---which is a lot like frying bacon with the gun in the pack in the tent.

Remember the 'Like Lightning' part.

Sundles
March 27, 2007, 12:14 AM
Bear Hunter,

No I'm not a guide, but I used to Hunt Alaska for grizzly every year. Some times twice a year. Always looking for 10ft + bear. Hunted black bear in AK too.

Most of my bear hunting has been done in Idaho. Not only did I normally kill a bear every year, but I took several people a year bear hunting and nearly all of them took bear every time I took them.

When I first went into the ammunition manufacturing business, I gave free ammo to several bear guides in the Salmon, ID area. Then, I would accompany them on thier clients bear hunts and watch the shooting and do a basic autopsy. I saw many a bullet hole in many a bear. Learned a lot over the years.

I have several 500 and 475 Linebaughs revolvers made on Ruger Bisley frames, although most of them are not made by Linebaugh, a few of them are. Been shooting 500 Linebaughs since 1986 and have a serial no. 2 blue and a serial no. 2 stainless 500, made by John Linebaugh. 6 inch Bisley conversions normally weigh around 47 OZ.

I always carry a revolver while on the trail. Normally a 500, but not always.

Love the 454 Casull, but I would not own a clunky/heavy Redhawk in 454. I own several Freedom Arms 454's and 475's and think pretty highly of the much lighter and smaller Freedom Arms.

Bear Hunter
March 28, 2007, 01:38 PM
Thanks, Sundles. And I don't know what anybody else here thinks, but it sounds like you have entirely too much fun for one man! Good on ya.

In my opinion, 47-49 ounces sounds about right for a backcountry carry revovler in the calibers/loads we're posting. Big enough to keep recoil manageable, light enough to pack. I'm sure many would favor a light-weight, or "mountain" revolver, but there are a few issues that have yet to be addressed in this thread: how weight and barrel length effects the "pointability" of firearms, and how steady they are in a wind. A Special Forces buddy shared with me his company's montra of "slow is fast" when it comes to tactical shoot-outs. Bring the front sight up or across slow (relative to a hell-bent jerk and shoot) and stay in control. Sidearms with some heft lend themselves to this practice far better than the bantams. Bigger guns are also easier to hold steady, especially in a stiff wind. For that matter, the same applies to rifles. Over the years, I've noted a commonality among the exceedingly rare individuals of my acquaintance who've killed more than a dozen elk in their lives. Most of them shoot -06's, and their "mountain rifles" weigh a lot closer to 8.5lbs then 6.5lbs. They all tend to agree it's hard to make a decent fleeding off-hand shot (by far the most common shot you'll get at an elk) in the wind at timberline with an ultra-lightweight rifle.

Much has been said in this thread about recoil, something that's never bothered me too much. But I think a lot of guys allow their machismo to get in the way of becoming better shooters. Even though recoil doesn't bother me, I still put a pad of my 8.25lb -06, and I place a thin sandbag between the butt and my shoulder when shooting off the bench. Why hurt yourself or do physical damage if you don't have to? And I absolutely hate the idea of developing a flinch. Because of its combination of weight, caliber, and recoil pad, my rifle is so reasonable that "recoil" never enters my thoughts when leveling my crosshairs on an animal. My shoulder and retina are fine, and I'm convinced all of this makes me a better shot.

Along those lines, I really feel it's the better part of valor to minimize or manage the amount of recoil somebody feels when torching off big-bore revolvers. Again, why do the damage, and why encourage the flinch-fu....? All hail Pachmayr! I used those natural rubber grips on my old S&W 44, and put them on my new Redhawk. The difference is impressive. Why on Earth wouldn't a shooter want their grips to soak up some recoil? I recommend them to any and all.

Sundles
March 28, 2007, 02:04 PM
Bear,

I moved to Salmon, Id about 15 years ago because I was spending most of my summer and fall there every year any way. Now I live in N.W. Montana because my wife is allergic to all that sage brush around Salmon. Ohterwise, I would have lived my whole life in Elmer Keith country.

Elk? Ive killed dozens of those too. Some very large 7x7, 7x6 and 6x6 bulls amoung them. I maintain a pack string of horses and mules and spend much of my summer and fall in the high Rockies. I differ from most of your other freinds that kill lots of elk though. I normally use a 338 Win. Mag. or 340 WBY, built on CRF actions. If I use an 06, which I have several of, they are normally as light as humanly possible, at or below 7 lbs with scope.

Because of the business I am in, most of my guns (I have roughly 300 of them) have never seen any ammo other than what I load.

Bear Hunter
April 1, 2007, 02:23 AM
Yap. It's official. Sundles has entirely too much fun.

Nothing wronge with the 338 win. Big fan myself. And you've reconfirmed a trend I've noticed. Horse hunters tend to carry 300's and 338's. Hoofers tend to go lighter.

Mark8252
April 2, 2007, 04:07 AM
Your joking right?
That firearm is designed for stopping large pedators and not requiring a huge holster and a lot of weight to do so. Plinking is not intended. If you need it you will not care how much recoil it has.
Many prefer 44mag because ammo is easier to find in some places.
But then I think you knew that.

:) :) :) :)

Derby FALs
April 2, 2007, 09:55 AM
240 gr LSWC over minimum charge of Bullseye makes a dandy plinking round. Gives a nice 'push' for recoil and quite accurate.

Vern Humphrey
April 2, 2007, 10:49 AM
That firearm is designed for stopping large pedators and not requiring a huge holster and a lot of weight to do so. Plinking is not intended. If you need it you will not care how much recoil it has.

The problem is, to stop that large predator, you will need to shoot accurately and fast. And that means you must practice. And you will care about recoil when you're practicing. Typically, people who have heavy-recoilling guns either don't practice with them, or develop bad habits from the painful recoil.

Sundles
April 2, 2007, 11:26 AM
Bear Hunter,

Yep I've got the horses/mules, but I dont use them to hunt from, only to pack my gear in and pack game out.

At one time I was a light weight rifle freak. I still have all those custom made super light rifles too, but since I like the 338 so much, I seldom use the super light stuff. If I could only have one rifle to hunt all of N. A. with, it would be a light CRF 30-06.

glen walker
May 8, 2007, 10:21 PM
I lived in Alaska during the '80's. (way back up in there) I was always told that the smallest thing one should carry for grizziies was a 30-06 with a heavy 350 grain plus load. I have killed two grizzlies (full grown) in my life, but I was using a Remington 300 Win. Mag. (bolt action 700 series) The old timers told me that sometimes a .44 Mag. might 'turn' a bear, but that only a damn fool hunted grizzly with a handgun, and that they only done it about one time...If I was forced (this is just me) to go into combat with a big grizzly bear, armed only with a handgun, it would be with that big assed Walker loaded all the way around with about 68 grains of powder (Triple Seven 3f) pushing that .457 ball. I'm sure that push come to shove, and with a little luck, I might could blow his head off. At least with all the smoke and noise and bucking, I would at least think I was doing something anyway!.. ATTENTION SUNDLES!! The .338 Win. Mag. is a fine, fine round. I have a Ruger Falling Block chambered for it...

vanfunk
May 9, 2007, 07:14 AM
a 30-06 with a heavy 350 grain plus load.

Whoa, Bucky! That bullet would be 3 inches long.

As to the Colt Walker - impressive piece of iron though it is, it's really puny when compared to even a watered-down .44 Magnum. Though the smoke screen could come in handy when running from an enraged Griz:eek:

vanfunk

Ala Dan
May 9, 2007, 07:50 AM
Yep, the Ruger Alaskan in such a caliber as .44 magnum makes NO sense;
especially when Smith & Wesson is chambering the same exact round
in the scandium framed S&W 329PD~! Who wants to tote a'round a
punty old brick in the woods all day long? Certainly, not me.:eek: ;)

envonge
May 9, 2007, 08:26 AM
I have a .44 mag Alaskan and I love it. Very low recoil if you ask me.

Vern Humphrey
May 9, 2007, 11:53 AM
...If I was forced (this is just me) to go into combat with a big grizzly bear, armed only with a handgun, it would be with that big assed Walker loaded all the way around with about 68 grains of powder (Triple Seven 3f) pushing that .457 ball.

The members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were armed with .54 Caliber Harper's Ferry rifles, firing a round lead ball pushed by more powder than that, and they usually ganged up on a bear. Lewis said about the bear, "I confess I do not like the gentleman."

glocktoberfest
May 9, 2007, 12:24 PM
the Roll Tide Arm Chair Bear Defense And Auto Body Service




I want a T shirt & an estimate on my 92 pontiac .

If you enjoyed reading about ".44 mag Alaskan=silly" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!