Quantcast

Buyers guide 480 Ruger Alaskan

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

  1. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,828
    You’re going to be looking a long, long time. Lots of folks have speculated about future potential, but Ruger has not yet produced a Toklat in 480. Considering how long we have had the Toklat 454, I’m not sure it’s terribly reasonable to expect a Toklat 480 to ever manifest.
     
    LoonWulf and MaxP like this.
  2. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,828
    Personally, I absolutely love the Alaskans for the novelty they are, but in terms of actual use, the 5.5” Toklat is a far better revolver.

    The Alaskan 480 was originally introduced as a 6 shot, but had some sticky extraction issues - Ruger quickly punted and retooled to 5 shot, but the small market was largely disinterested, and not impressed by the initial market failing. So it was taken out of the catalog for a year or so, before finally being reintroduced as a 6 shot once again. All of this only spanned a handful of years. The early revolvers are easily identified by the old (now) target grey finish. Any 480 recent production Alaskan in bright brushed stainless steel will post-date any of these issues, and even among the old target grey models, only the initial 6 shot models had any issues at all.

    Personally, I strongly favor the 5.5” Toklat to the Alaskan, but recognize there are no Toklats in 480. A 7.5” could be cut down to produce a Toklat clone, and if a guy were considering a 480 Alaskan as a defensive revolver, I would highly recommend this path. I tend to find the Alaskan to balance like a bowling ball, and roll like one in recoil. They’re well built, and great revolvers, but they’re not my first choice for a defensive revolver - which they were (purportedly) designed to be. The Alaskan is a great “second place option,” and better as bear defense than the 7.5” model, but I’d forego a 480 for a 454 Toklat, buy a 7.5” 480 and cut it down to 5.5”, or buy a 480 Alaskan, in that order.
     
  3. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    820
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I appreciate your well thought out comments varminterror, I don't want to buy something to cut down and go custom. I have a bazillion projects already.

    Do you prefer the 480 over the other (2) calibers as far as the Alaskan model goes?
    I will add a tritium front sight.

    I like the speer gold dot soft point bullet, and that was never offered in 45 cal which is a disappointment. They offer it in 0.429 and 0.475. The 480 cost about double the $$$ to reload, but once I have the brass the cost ain't a deal breaker. It's not going to get hundreds of round a year through it I don't think.
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,828
    I personally prefer the 454 casull to the 480, and further, I have struggled to justify the 44mag Alaskan. With an improved grip option, I prefer the Kodiak Backpacker Redhawk over the Alaskan Super Redhawk in 44mag, but I prefer the true super magnums to the 44, and prefer the SRH to the RH. If I only had one, it would be the 454, but I like all 4 of them.

    But I love the idea of more folks having more options, so if you’re on the 480 side of the fence, buy it and live happy.
     
    Beach Bum and LoonWulf like this.
  5. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    820
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Any owners care to chime in?

    Some of what I read report the 480 to be too much gun....other say it's actually fun to shoot compared to the 454 casull models.

    Some factory 480 loads look quite hot, I believe it could be a pretty sweet shooter with the [email protected] That's throttled back a few hundred feet a second compared to off the shelf from what I understand.

    I'm a little concerned recoil will be too stout, but for the guns same physical outside dimensions I would rather have it over one chambered in 44mag.
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  6. MaxP

    MaxP Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,780
    Location:
    Virginia
    It’s always characterized as pleasant but in the spirit of full disclosure, it’s not. That said, loaded to spec the .454 offers more recoil as well as a faster recoil pulse. The Alaskan may seem like it kicks harder than its longer barreled brethren, but the blast and noise level gives the illusion of more recoil assuming similar platforms and loads. That said, the .480 Alaskan, in my humble opinion, shouldn’t be throttled back as you will already be losing significant velocity going to the shorter barrel. JMHO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
    Anchorite and LoonWulf like this.
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    8,828
    Hear, hear!

    The snubby Alaskan rolls more than the 7.5” or 9.5” models, so you’ll feel the slap in the web between thumb and index more, but you’re giving up proportionately more speed than you sacrificed in weight, so the recoil is less.

    The Kodiak Backpacker Redhawk 44mag, when shooting factory grips, has had the worst feeling recoil I have ever experienced. She obviously doesn’t kick as hard, overall, but that skinny neck does NOT fit my hands well, and she runs full force into the web of my thumb. My first time out with it, I was not certain I would make it through 4 cylinders without doing real damage to my thumb and hand... so I put it away until I could source a T grip, and I spent the rest of the afternoon shooting a 475 Linebaugh Redhawk with Pachmayrs and a 454 Toklat... moral of the story - the recoil table doesn’t tell the whole story. Fit to your hand is a big influencer on your enjoyment from a big bore revolver.
     
  8. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    820
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Thanks guys.

    I just gotta wait for the right deal I guess, so if it's too much gun I can get my money back.

    I know the snub is a poor choice for many reasons, but I'm looking to wear the gun everyday on the property, in and out of the truck, choring, scouting the woods, all the time. Unless it's turns out to be bulkier than I am anticipating.
     
  9. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Burien WA
    I wasn't referring to a factory made 480 Toklat there Varminterror, I was speaking of a custom job or one of the custom 480 Toklat for sale out there.
     
  10. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,363
    Location:
    Oregon
    98s1lightning, do you load your own ammo? If you are a reloader you can tailor a 480 load to just about anything you want. Higher than .44 mag power with less than .44 mag recoil with the bigger bullet cross-sectional to boot should be very doable and very utilitarian. If you aren't a hand loader then you are pretty much stuck with factory ammo and there isn't a huge variety of .480 available. .480 seems like an excellent cartridge for a hand loader.

    If you load your own a .480 makes a lot of sense... to me at least.

    If I owned a .480 Alaskan I would load to ammo to lite .44 mag levels which would be plenty for my area and quite controllable. If you are packing a .357 now do you really feel you need more power than a .44 mag?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  11. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    820
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I do hand load, this is my thinking also.

    My plans are to get some 325gr clocking at 1100fps. I think that's going to be less recoil than off the shelf stuff.

    I couldn't/or choose not to afford 480 ammo off the shelf. It's even expensive when reloading jacketed. I think for the average guy 480 has to be a reloaders cartridge in order to justify owning one.

    I got my eyes out for one.
     
    MikeInOr likes this.
  12. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    535
    Location:
    Burien WA
    I reload 480 Ruger, also in addition to "downloading" 480, you can also "hot" load it very near 475 Linebaugh levels.
     
  13. Dave67

    Dave67 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    I have an Alaskan in 454 and one in 480 Ruger. Both hand guns were acquired while my right arm is recovering from surgery and unavailable for shooting so my impressions are based on shooting them one handed with my weak hand (a sub optimal situation). Neither of them has (to me) an unacceptable kick, but the 480 seems to have a little less recoil and more of a 'push' than the 454 which feels a little sharper. I like the 480 Alaskan enough that I bought a 480 Ruger SRH with a 7 1/2" barrel that I sent to JRH Advanced Gunsmithing for an action job and to have the barrel shortened to 4.8". I have a Toklat that twists in recoil but the Alaskan in the same caliber does not seem to. I'm looking forward to getting the 480 back with the shorter barrel and comparing it to the Toklat. All of my shooting with both of these Super Red Hawks has been with Buffalo Bore Heavy loads.

    Initially, the 480 Alaskan required a mallet to extract and a local gunsmith was unable to remedy the problem. Ruger asked me to return the revolver to them. They replaced the cylinder, set the gap, polished, and paid the postage both ways. I had the gun back in less than two weeks with the problem solved at no cost to me.
     
    1976B.L.Johns. likes this.
  14. 98s1lightning

    98s1lightning Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    820
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I picked up a 480 Alaskan. VERY happy with the overall package. I'm loading 300mp powder under the 325 Speer. Recoil is STOUT but not to be feared if your aware it will have some punch, like shooting a real HOT 45 auto, a 44 mag or stout 45 colt......you just hold on and know the guns gonna bark. I'm not intimidated by the recoil at all and I'm only 150lbs, 5'6". I may flinch now and again.....but I certainly am NOT selling it because "it's too much gun"

    Very pleased so far
     
    Alaskan Ironworker and adcoch1 like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice