Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ruger Alaskan 454 casull

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Dropyourweapon, Dec 13, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Oregon
    I am really leaning towards this gun. Is there any reason that I should go with something else? Anyone have any experience good or bad with the thing.
     
  2. DC Plumber

    DC Plumber Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    NE of The Frozen Tundra
    I have one that I bought about 9 months ago. I love it. I handload which really gives me flexibility with it. I also bought an inexpensive nylon type holster for it for $20. I think it is very well made and is fun to shoot. I bought 300 454 brass for it and have shot it close to 200 rounds. I load Hornady 240g XTP Mag with 30g of 2400 and chrono'd close to 1400 fps. I also loaded Hornady 300g XTP Mag with 25g odf 2400 and chono'd 1200 fps. My favorite plinking load is with Hornady 250g XTP (standard 45 colt bullet) with 11g of Universal for 1050fps, a real pussy cat of a load. I think that would be the ultimate snub nosed revolver for home protection.

    Now, all of that said, my buddy at the gun club bought a Ruger Redhawk in 45 Colt with the 4" barrel (or 4 1/4", whatever it is). His is legal to carry while deer hunting, mine isn't, plus he'll probably get close to the same velocities with 45 Colt brass and 45 Colt loads.

    Would I trade mine even up for his, NO. I really like it. When the liberal state of WI votes in conceal carry, I'll carry it just for fun.

    I give it a big thumbs up.
     
  3. shootingthebreeze

    shootingthebreeze Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    East Lansing MI
    The only reason to carry such a weapon would be if one is going on a camping trip in Alaska in the middle of bear country.

    Home protection? Please. That round would go through walls and hit another house!
     
  4. DC Plumber

    DC Plumber Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    NE of The Frozen Tundra
    Not where I live.
     
  5. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Oregon
    I am not really looking for it to fill any super practical purpose. A large caliber revolver just seems like a good thing right now. I recently parted with my sp101 so that only leaves me with my .22 Ruger single six as far as revolvers go. The .357 is the biggest revolver I have owned. Also I am recently into reloading so I will actually be able to shoot the thing without killing my wallet too much.
     
  6. Kentucky_Rifleman

    Kentucky_Rifleman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Messages:
    672
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Reloading for this brute is the only way to make feeding it affordable. That said, the .454 SR is a beast of a gun (as are all Ruger SRs). If you're wanting to explore the outer fringes of handgunning, the 454 is pretty close (discounting BFRs in 45-70, cut-down rifles and so on).

    The other advantage is that the 454 will shoot 45 Colt as well.

    It should be a lot of fun to play with.

    KR
     
  7. Surefire

    Surefire Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Messages:
    737
    Location:
    Tampa
    Is this for camping defense / hiking defense?

    The .454 Casull is a massive round, with significant recoil. IMO, it is too big to use as home defense (over penetration issues, etc). The nice thing is you can also load it with .45 Colt for home defense, if that is what you are looking to use it for.

    I personally own the .44 magnum version. Recoil with even full powered 300 grain .44 magnum rounds is moderate, and I have the option to go with a hot .44 special or very mild .44 magnum for home defense. I keep it loaded with hot .44 Specials currently.

    I would only use full powered magnum loads in either version if I needed a last ditch camp / hiking defense backup.

    The gun itself is amazing. It points well, is a breeze to shoot (full powered .44 magnums have moderate recoil), and generally is accurate.
     
  8. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Oregon
    Yeah I guess I could use it for home defense with the 45lc loads. I have plenty of other options for home defense though. I have looked at some others like the .460 and .480 and even considered the 500 for a bit. I like the idea of a very large powerful handgun that I could actually pack if I so desire. I was playing with the S&W titanium .44 magnum that looked really nice but am afraid it might not hold up as well as the what seems to be the very robust Alaskan. I love how tough the Rugers are.
     
  9. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Oregon
    I am trying not to seem too flaky but I do like the idea of the 460 since it shoots all the 454 does and the 460 rounds. Its just that its a big gun barrel wise. Not in the same camp as the Alaskan. An Alaskan .460 would be sweet!! Now I am even looking at the S&W 5" 500. I have to mention I am having a good time.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  10. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,050
    Location:
    SE Texas
    I think of the Alaskan as a very specialized weapon. For home defense, that short barrel is certainly not needed. A carry gun need not have quite such a short barrel, either. That being said, I want one, when available funds, a rare event lately, coincide with an Alaskan actually being available locally, another rare event. I strongly prefer to handle a sixgun before purchase.
     
  11. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Oregon
    Yeah I hear you. I have decided on the Alaskan and have spent some time trying to track one down. I called the places I usually go to within a decent distance and nothing is coming up. I usually like to hold a gun before I buy also. I am waiting on a call to see if one can be tracked down for me.
     
  12. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Messages:
    5,096
    They are not enjoyable to shoot with powerful .454 Casull.

    They are a tool meant to be carried as a last ditch measure against large dangerous animals. Where preventing being seriously injured or killed is more important than your shooting hand's comfort or your eardrums.
    If you are expecting something fun to shoot at the range you will probably be disappointed with full power loads.
    Although you have the option of the .45 Colt which would be reasonable to shoot.

    Target shooting with full power .454 may actually make you a worse shot with the gun, causing you to expect the massive unpleasant recoil. Causing either hesitation or flinching that you may not have otherwise developed when you actually need it.


    The .454 Alaskans have more perceived recoil than the .500S&Ws, but carrying a .500 is impractical and uncomfortable. While the .454's dimensions and weight are far more practical while still being able to accomplish almost as much.

    The .460S&W gives up most of the advantages of the Alaskan in .454 because of the increased cartridge length and required cylinder length. Any gun made to fire it as a result has an increased minimum size, and most guns in such powerful cartridges are already larger than the Ruger Alaskan.
    The .460S&W is on the same X frame as the .500 so the size benefits and ease of carry over the .500 S&W are also lost.
    The .460S&W also gain little in its ability to put down large animals over the .454 Casull, as the bullet weight options are about the same, with only velocity increases. It also takes an even longer barrel to really receive the velocity gains.
    Making the .460 even worse for a short barreled gun.

    The Ruger Alaskan already has a short barrel, and in short barrels the heaviest bullet weights tend to lose the least power and velocity and compare more favorably to longer barreled guns.
    Advertised energy and velocity figures for the cartridge in general are in longer barreled guns. So light bullet weights are far less powerful than advertised in a short barrel. Those light fast loads need more barrel to burn powder and continue accelerating the round. The .460S&W does not use heavier bullet weights and has a similar maximum pressure.
    So a short barreled Alaskan in .460S&W would be counterproductive, not gaining the velocity increases over the .454 Casull it was designed for, while being larger and more cumbersome in the field.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  13. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,277
    Alaskan 454 not available

    The reason you can't find a 454 alaskan is because Ruger has discontinued them. I had to have one when they first came out and even when they were being produced it was extremely hard to find one. I finally came across one and glad I purchased it especially with the deal I got.

    Here is a review I wrote for the one I own.
    http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=920

    I am not one to say I need a specialized purpose to by a firearm. If I want one and it does not take food off the table or college funds away from my kids, then the only specialized reason I need is my 2nd Amendment rights. That's special enough for me.
     
  14. gorenut

    gorenut Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    California
    Hah, I wonder if the movie: Faster increased sales or interest in the Alaskan. I know when I was watching the movie.. I really wanted one.
     
  15. DC Plumber

    DC Plumber Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    NE of The Frozen Tundra
    It is actually a very versatile handgun. While a short barreled handgun in not NEEDED for home defense, there is nothing wrong with it if you are able to hit what you want. The 250g XTP loads with 11g of universal at 1050 fps are probably going slower than factory 44 mags with 240g xtp bullets out of a 6" barrel revolver.

    If Corbon 45acp 230g +p do 950 out of my Glock model 30, and is considered good self defense ammo, I can't see how 20 more grains and 100 more fps make my ammo bad because it will way over penetrate.

    Besides, in the winter most people wear multiple layers of clothing. I'd rather error on the side of safety.

    Good luck to the OP with you hunt for the gun that meets your desires, whether there is actually a need or not for having such a beast of a gun.
     
  16. dnovo

    dnovo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Messages:
    108
    If you can find one they built in 44 Mag you may be happier. Shooting a full house 454 out of one of these is a bear. A better solution would be a heavy 45 Colt from Buffalo Bore. Easier to deal with in this gun and esker to have a second shoot on target. I normally shoot Buffalo Bore heavy 44s out of mine. Dave
     
  17. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Oregon
    Well thanks for the information guys. I understand why they do not make an Alaskan .460 now. I also understand why I am having a hard time finding an Alaskan 454. I do understand the recoil from this thing assuming I can find one is going to be pretty decent. I do remember recently shooting some Corbon 200 grain loads out of my sp101 and thought I would not want to shoot those all day. It was a pretty decent kick. I guess I need to start looking for another big revolver that catches my fancy.
     
  18. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    23,648
    Location:
    Los Anchorage
    I had an Alaskan in .44 but found it to be too brickish and sluggish in the hand. It's quite heavy so recoil with .44 Mag was not bad. I had one of the first of the SRH's in .454 and it was a real handful. It's bone-shaking both in recoil and pressure blast even out of a long barrel. With the short barrel it's just not fun to shoot powerhouse loads, and if you're sticking with .45 Colts it's pointless to use something so brickish with there are so many lean and fast platforms for that round.

    If you want a mega revolver for multiple uses I'd actually suggest a BFR in .45-70. It's a huge handgun but surprisingly pleasant with standard .45-70 loads.

    You should also look into a super blackhawk in .44 Magnum. They're very affordable used and a lot of fun to shoot. The Vaquero .44's I've had have also been a lot of fun.
     
  19. markallen

    markallen Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    My Alaskan is my favorite firearm, hands down.
    I went with the .44Mag, as I already had brass, bullets, and dies.
    And I have no regrets. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

    It's good in the woods. It's good as a carry gun, A bit big, but then I pocket carry a SP101, so weight is not that much of a concern. It weighs about the same as a full size 1911. Give or take an ounce or two.

    When I carry it concealed, I switch to a GP100 Compact grip. It makes a very compact, but robust carry.:D

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  20. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Washington
    Well, if you're moving on to looking at other big caliber revolvers, you might consider the 4" Redhawk. I didn't think much of them until I saw one laying side by side with a 4" 629; the Redhawk was much more heavily built. They can handle .45 colt+p or .44 magnum+p, depending on which caliber floats your boat. Either of these loads can come pretty close to the performance of .454 casull.

    I recently became interested in the classic Charter Arms Bulldog. .44 special in a package the size of a compact .357 magnum is nothing to sneeze at. Might be worth looking into.

    If you like single action, you might browse around to see what Magnum Research or Freedom Arms offer. Not my cup of tea, but they do have a following.
     
  21. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,277
    The 4 inch redhawk is a beautiful and capable weapon. The format and styling of the 4inch redhawk possibly due to the grips make the felt recoil worst IMHO than the ruger 454.
     
  22. lloveless

    lloveless Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    703
    Location:
    Woodbury, Tn
    The Charter arms is a decent weapon for defense of the 2 legged variety, but only can use standard loads. Alas Buffalo Bore reccomends against using their products in it. There are some discontinued S&W and Taurus that will take .44 specials greater than 1000 fps. Good luck in your quest.
    ll
     
  23. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My closest is a 4.2" Redhawk in 45 Colt. It's within 2 oz of the Alaskan as I remember. They are a little easier to find & easier on the wallet. I reload so I run the gamut from light loaded 45 Schofield loads to max 'Ruger only' hardcast. I call it 'the poor man's Alaskan' even though I don't feel I give up anything.
     
  24. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,344
    Location:
    Central Florida
    If you get one, you can call the guys at pinnacle about having it converted for .45 ACP if you'd like, you still get to shoot 45LC and 454 as well. My uncle made that move and the .45 ACP is a pussy cat in it. Granted your velocities will be low out of the 2.75" barrel but hey I like the versatility. I liked the one pick with the spurless hammer and compact GP100 grips. All said if we get Open Carry here in Florid and the winds swing the way they are looking for me than I'm getting a 7.5" barreled Super Redhawk, sending it to pinnacle to have work done for a 5" barrel and converted for .45 ACP. If I was still flush after and I could find an Alaskan I'd buy that too and have it converted to .45 ACP.
     
  25. Dropyourweapon

    Dropyourweapon Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Oregon
    I think the 454 casull is my starting point. I am sure a .44 magnum or similar would be lots of boom also but I want to try a really big one. I am going on my gut on this one and trying not to let reason come into play too much. To the Alaskan that is sweet it can be converted to take the .45 acp shells also! Does anyone know any possible adverse effects to doing this and what exactly they have to do to it? If I can find an Alaskan I will most surly be doing this to it. Being able to shoot one more caliber cannot be bad.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page