Anyone shoot a Super Redhawk Alaskan snubby?


July 1, 2008, 02:29 PM
I am considering a snubby Alaskan in 45 Colt/454 Casull for my wilderness ventures. Just wondering, has anyone shot one? I am not very recoil sensitive, but how is it when you squeeze off a 454 out of a sub-three incher? How does the DA trigger pull feel? I am aware that this is not a fun gun for plinking.

I loved my GP100, and I am sure this is also a well crafted gun... just wondering how it "feels" to shoot.


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July 1, 2008, 02:46 PM
I had one in .44 Mag. The recoil was not bad at all, but the balance was surprisingly barrel-heavy and the whole thing felt very brickish in the hand or in the holster. It was also slow to aim, for me anyone. Too slow to be much use as a bear gun and too brickish to work well as a trail gun. Those with bigger hands might have better results.

smirnoff a
July 1, 2008, 04:32 PM
I would like some info on it as well. This is going to be my next gun purchase. I plan to use it for last-ditch bear defence when hiking and camping (I live in Alaska). Our Wal-Mart here sells em for $720. Here is the link to my post at Glocktalk.

July 1, 2008, 06:13 PM
Thanks for that link... lots of mixed feelings there. One guy said he wants a 4" or bigger. Well, thats fine and good but they dont make one. I sort of wish they made a 4" version. It's a big jump from 2.5" to 7.5". However, this is a last ditch survival gun and I assume that the snubbie will suffice for that purpose. Plus, there is no way I am hauling a 13" (overall length of the 7.5" barrel version) cannon on my hikes. My concern is if it is manageable to shoot. Does it kick so hard that a follow-up shot will take several seconds to align? It looks like most folks say the recoil is not too bad for what it is.

July 1, 2008, 06:30 PM
I like Rugers, but I see a 2" barrel on a .454, .460 or .500 as being asinine.

I'd choose a Smith 4" .460 over any 2" super magnum blaster.

smirnoff a
July 1, 2008, 06:33 PM
Ya, 454 casul wastes a lot of energy out of such a short barrel thus not utilizing the potential. There is a good report on it here:

Othewise, I can let you know how it shoots in about a week. I jsut picked up an H&K P7 and would like to wait 5 days before making another gun purchase. I alwasy get delayed, but should have it on hand and tested in about a week. I'll post a review.

July 1, 2008, 06:39 PM
The S&W 460 looks like a great alternative. Shoots 45 LC, 454, and 460 mags. It costs more, but looks like a whole lot more gun. I will have to go handle one.

July 1, 2008, 06:41 PM
Doesn't look too unmanageable to me. :)

July 1, 2008, 07:19 PM
I have the full size version of the S&W 460XVR, and was the first kid on the block with one. At first I could only shoot 454 Casull through it because I couldn't get the other ammo. When I did, I couldn't see much difference in recoil, but had to readjust the sights.

I bought the Alaskan shortly before buying the S&W Scandium in 357 Magnum. You do notice the recoil in the Slaskan, but it, like the 460XVR is not objectionable. I've let people shoot it, and they have no problem going through the whole cylinder. With the little 357 Magnum, it is usually two rounds and they hand it back to me. Weight has a lot to do with recoil. If you double the weight of the gun, the recoil is cut in half. The Alaskan is a big heavy sucker, which is why the recoil isn't bad. S&W makes a 44 Magnum Scandium. Not for me - I woldn't take one as a gift.

July 1, 2008, 08:23 PM

[QUOTE]I am considering a snubby Alaskan in 45 Colt/454 Casull for my wilderness ventures. Just wondering, has anyone shot one? I am not very recoil sensitive, but how is it when you squeeze off a 454 out of a sub-three incher? How does the DA trigger pull feel? I am aware that this is not a fun gun for plinking/QUOTE]

The pic is my Alaskan which I have had for about a year. Let me try to answer your questions somewhat specifically. Yes, I have shot this revo a lot and IMHO it is not a bad plinking weapon at all. Of course, nobody in their right mind will want to shoot a lot of heavy duty 454 loads in this gun (in doggone near any 454 for that matter) but, thank goodness, there is a real variety of loads for this gun. You can choose from some lower powered 454 stuff (still about 40% more power than a factory 44 mag load) up to 454 stuff that will make you cringe. But, if you are carrying it in Alaska as a backup gun (which I have) then the short barrel length really makes a lot of sense. If a grizzly is coming your way then getting the gun deployed quickly is of the essence and here the Alaskan shines.

Having said all that, shooting 45LC from the Alaskan is just plain fun. Shooting so-called "Cowboy" loads results in mild load which is fun to shoot. And really, really strong loads in the 45 (much more powerful than 44 mag) are available and really make the Alaskan super functional as a woods carry gun.

It is a well designed gun and, because of that, is a very, very good shooter. The 454/45 combination results in a myriad of choices which make it a really fun/functional gun. I sure like mine.

July 2, 2008, 06:29 AM
When they first came out, I was lucky... had friends with both a .454 Casull and a .480 Ruger variant. I would consider the .480 - in fact, I have looked for one ever since then. Reportedly, they will return in a five shot variant. There is something about nearly an ounce of lead - nearly 900 fps - should be a decent stopper for most anything I'd encounter.

I had owned a .454 SRH for years, so I was prepared for the .454... or so I thought! Even with milder MagTech .454s, it made a rapid recoil - I like the control of the larger older grips. The real shocker, besides the 'crack', was the side & muzzle blast... stay clear of dried underbrush, etc. The .480 had heavy/fast homebrews aboard - and 'boomed' loudly. It did not produce the fireball of the .454 version. Still, it was impressive. So is a S&W 4" .500 Magnum. My CTS spelled the end of my real bangers here. I still have two 629s - with the recoil handling .500 Magnum's grips. I also still have both my .45 ACP and Colt 625s... doubt I'll go heftier again. If that .480 Alaskan presents in an affordable price range, however...


July 3, 2008, 12:48 PM
My buddy bought the snubbie Ruger .454 SRA a couple years ago, and I have handled and shot it a few times. Here's what I like: The grip and finger grooves feel really nice and the backstrap is entirely covered and cushioned. The weight of the gun is nice, and it's a Ruger, so it is a very strong, solid frame that oozes durability. The angles, controls, design, and rear sight are all very similar to my GP100 and Redhawk .44, so it feels familiar. Here's what I don't like: Even though a snubnose revolver has it's usefullness in this world, I'm not sure it's best suited for such a large and powerful caliber. My bear gun is a 4" .44 Redhawk with 300-grain Buffalo Bore +P rounds. (Black bear and continental grizzlies, not Alaskan brownies) I think 4" is a good balance between pointability, speed, portability, recoil control, and accuracy. But, as we all know, Ruger doesn't make the SRA in a 4" barrel.

Shooting with .45 LC is not as pleasant as .38 special through a heavy .357, but it's a nice way to warm up for the .454 rounds and .45 LC can be loaded to be very potent. When I shoot full-powered .454s through the SRA, it isn't painful, but the recoil and muzzle climb are enough to convince me that a fast and accurate follow-up shot would be nearly impossible.

It's a well-made gun and fits a specific niche for brown bear defense in a tiny barrel, but I think the .460 with a longer barrel is more versatile and can produce some superior numbers to the .454. Either way, from my experience, you cannot go wrong with a Ruger revolver. Good luck and stay safe in bear country.

smirnoff a
July 3, 2008, 01:07 PM
Thank you for your responses. I am now pretty much set on purchasing it, probably on Monday. My current hiking/camping pistol is XD 45, which would be a firecracker to the bear. After the most recent incident here that actually took place on the trails I bike/hike daily,

I think that I need something that would do the job.

July 3, 2008, 03:26 PM
Bicycle riders are often attacked by wild animals. The animals don't get as much warning like they would with somebody walking and making noise, otherwise they would run away before the person got there. There have been a number of cougar attacks of bicycle riders in WA. The surprise of the rider suddenly appearing seems to upset the animals.

The grip used is the Hogue Tamer grip, I just traded my Hogue Monogrip for the Tamer grip on my GP100, it is more comfortable and more effective against recoil.

I would like to get the SRA to go with my GP100 and SP101, maybe next year.

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