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Buyers guide 480 Ruger Alaskan

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 98s1lightning, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    What do you have to watch for when considering buying a 480 alaskan, as far as the revolver goes. Some of the early ones had sticky cylinders? Then they went to a 5 shot that was super rare? Is there a revised 6 shot?
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I'd say be sure you can take the recoil, them short barrels have some nasty muzzle flip.
     
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  3. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    I'd like to try one first
     
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  4. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    The current mode is a 6 shot. I know the Blackhawks (at least some) are 5 shot but I don’t know if the Alaskans ever were. Maybe?

    My take is that the .480 is a good choice for people who want more than a .44 mag, but don’t really want a lot more recoil. The recoil overlaps with heavy .44 magnum. I believe the whole point of them is to be a reduced recoil substitute for the .454 casull. It’s a snappy enough to give most people a flinch if they aren’t careful but that’s true of a lot of guns.
     
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  5. Sneakshot92

    Sneakshot92 Member

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    Actually @MaxP was involved in the 480's development. It's actually a shortened and ever so slightly necked version on the 475 Linebaugh. He may be along eventually with more details. Just my $0.02 worth of knowledge though.

    Be safe, happy shooting and as always, keep it in the 10 ring!
     
  6. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Yep. I didn’t mean caliber, but use case.
     
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  7. Sneakshot92

    Sneakshot92 Member

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    Ahh. I'll admit i'm not as familiar with some of the big bore revolver cartridges as i'd like to be. As far as 454 Casull goes i've never fired anything in the round. Dad has an Encore pistol in 460 S&W mag, and that my friend is one hell of a barn stormer!! It's lots of fun shooting heavy max loads!!! Makes hot 44mag loads in his Redhawk feel like 22's. :D
     
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  8. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    I would look for a Toklat in 480 Ruger instead of a Alaskan, although the 480 does tend to lose the least performance wise, out of the other caliber choices available in Alaskan line-up there 98s1lightning.;)
     
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  9. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    Any owners of this model care to share how they like it?

    Unpleasant to shoot? Or OK for a few cylinders full.
     
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  10. HB

    HB Member

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    Everybody is different but big bores are a different beast. Have you shot 44s, 454s, or 460’s?

    I have no experience with 480s but you are likely looking at the 3 1/2” turkey load of the revolver world.
     
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  11. paul105

    paul105 Member

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  12. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    I've shot 44 mags, not a huge fan but can manage them. I'm looking at it more as a woods packing gun, not something I plan to shoot often. Just often enough to be proficient with it. In other words not boxes of ammo per outing.
     
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  13. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    I also read the 480 to be less snappy than 44 mag.
     
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  14. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    My question is why you want something like a 480 Ruger for woods packing in Rhode Island? I have two 480's. One is a Ruger SRH and the other is a BFR. I by far prefer the BFR for shooting. The Ruger Alaskan was initially on my "list", but then I came to my senses. If I carry something larger than my normal carry gun or a 22 in the woods, it's a S&W M57 Mountain gun (41 mag). I have never needed such in my woods but if I was headed to AK, I would carry it.
     
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  15. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I live in Alaska, so big revolvers are a daily occurrence. So I've shot a couple.

    I've shot 454 out of an Alaskan snubby. It kicks. Causes a really bad flinch. Missed a 3'x3' board of wood at 10 yards.

    I've also shot .460 out of a Smith that comes stock with a comp. That thing shoots like butter. Crushing targets with it.

    So basically what I'm saying is, go with a longer barrel, go with ports or comps. Magnum rounds in a snubby suck.

    So for a Ruger, go Toklat over Alaskan.

    For what it's worth, I carry .357 or .45 Super. I'd rather hit what I'm aiming at vs flinching under pressure.
     
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  16. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    The 480 is for active bear camp in Maine. Not for here in Rhode Island. Hah.

    I carry a 5" 357 with 170's @1300fps, but am interested in a big bore. I never cared for the snappy recoil of the hot 44 mag and have read the 480 is more of a hard push.
     
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  17. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    I also figured the Alaskan is the most likely to be on the belt, size wise, it would be out of the way choring and working. And (in Maine) walking home after dark during bear/bird season(no rifle) where you know there's a dozen bears or so (verified by camera) the 480 might be a bit more comforting than the 357. I'd add a tritium front sight too.

    Purpose wise, it's the most gun I think I could handle in the most convenient sized package. I'm not interested in the 454, but I do think using the same gun in 44mag or 45 colt leaves some performance on the table.....might as well go 480.

    I agree if you can't hit anything with it it is no good. But this is a defense pistol for CLOSE encounters. I wouldn't use it unless absolutely necessary.

    I see a, my guess, 400lb bear once, and switched from 45 auto backup to 357mag that day. Being close to a bigger bear makes you rethink. Just a couple towns over they got the Maine record 699lb bear. So 500-plus pound animals makes me rethink 357.
     
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  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Consider looking at a short barrel BFR (480/475; probably a special order). They are really smooth revolvers and operate with watch mechanical precision. I know they are single actions and you probably view them as being slower. I lack experience with high stress bear encounters but I feel that one well placed shot is better than a couple really quick ones, probably wild shots. You can shoot pretty quickly single action too. In my opinion, the SRH (and as a result the Alaskan) does not handle the recoil well as compared to a single action format. My reasoning was precisely the same as yours in terms of "power". I was and am a 41 mag shooter, but never really got into the 44 mag. The 480 seemed like a logical step up in power. You will notice that it is really a big bullet when you're used to a 44 or a 357.

    Added: The BFR gives you the option of going more powerful than the 480 with the 475 Linebaugh. The 480 Ruger is big enough for me. But it's fun to shoot a few 475's from time to time.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
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  19. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    thanks for input, i dont think i want a single action. I do like them....but in a revolvers with stout recoil (even in heavy 357) i like the "post" type GP/SRH Hogue Grip because there is no metal handle in contact with your hand its almost entirely rubber to soak up recoil. And the gun is easier to hold regardless of temperature, no metal grip to heat up in the sun or turn to ice cold in the winter

    i do think every american should own at least 1 single action

    also i like the alaskan as a big brother to the GP. makes a nice set.
    The BFR is probably twice the $$$ too
     
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  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The first time I shot the 480 (Horandy ammo) SRH with factory grips, after only a few shots I had blood all over my hands from the webs ripping with the recoil. Compared to the BFR, the SRH is no fun at all to shoot. It is a deer getter however. Good luck with your choice. Maybe in time you'll understand about the SRH format and recoil management. But if you can get the Alaskan, I hope you love it.

    My SRH is scoped (2x Leupold) and the first time I tried to sight it in, the recoil totally loosened the mounts and I thought they were tight.

    My BFR was not 2x the $. But if it was, it would be worth the price.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
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  21. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    The cost should be about the same. I think the SRH as a platform is a good one when heavy recoil is offered. The BFR with their Bisley grip also handles recoil really well, so it is essentially a matter of personal preference. As far as shooting speed, personally I find single-actions easier to shoot fast in heavy kicking calibers than double-actions, however, your experience may differ.

    I had a .480 Alaskan and liked it a lot. It was very accurate.
     
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  22. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    The Hogue on the SRH is what gave you the trouble? Or was it the older factory grips with the panel inserts on the sides
     
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  23. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Suggestion... wear a glove when shooting the 480 Ruger.

    It was the older grips with the panels. I have Hogues on it now. But still prefer the BFR.
     
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  24. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

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    Its unfortunate I don't have the ability to try each one before i buy
     
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  25. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    You might be able to shoot a SRH in 480 to get the feel. BFR's aren't real common. @MaxP knows his big bores!!
     
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