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Thread: Ruger Alaskan .475

  1. #1

    Default Ruger Alaskan .475

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    Wanted sidearm to fit this holster and wanted a little more snort than 44. S & W 500 wouldn't fit so I obtained a .480 ruger. The chambers were inconsistent with some being too short to load a round. I figured as long as I am sending it off to be fixed why not go one better and have it reamed out to .475 Linebaugh. Work performed by Jack Huntington.

    Hornady factory .480 labled 325 grain @ 1350 - felt like my .44
    Buffalo Bore .480 labled 410 grain @ 1200 - more kick but less than expected.
    Buffalo Bore .475 labled 420 grain @ 1350 - pretty good recoil. I let my arm come up with recoil. A little sting to the hand. Probably only shoot 5 per session.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Nice gun,what model holster is that

  3. #3
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    Looks like Bianchi rigs. I often pack a 4" .357, 9, or .45 in one. I like the flap for protection, but understand it'll slow the presentation. I suprised the revolver one is sized that big that it'll fit a .480.

    Interesting on the chambers. Is yours one of the few 5 shot or a 6 shot?

    Nice setup.

  4. #4

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    The holster is a Bianchi for revolver. The rivet seen holds a kind of stop in place. The holster as from the factory is sewn together for about an inch above the rivet. I removed the stitching above the rivet which allowed the wider Alaskan to fit. Presentation is slower than with other style holsters but I have the same flap style Bianchis I use for my 1911, P7, Gp100, and P99 so I feel comfortable with it. The grab lanyard helps. The redhawk I used to have with a shoulder holster usually go left at home due to discomfort so presentation with this holster is much faster than that. I also like the flap for keeping out dirt, sticks, etc and the security.

    The gun is the 5 shot model. This particular gun smith would not modify a 6 shot model.

  5. #5
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    "The gun is the 5 shot model. This particular gun smith would not modify a 6 shot model." I believe this has to do with the larger rim of the 475 Linebaugh case versus the smaller rim of the 480. 6 rounds of 475 will not fit in a SRH cylinder. That's why they turned the rim down when they created the 480. With the longer cylinder of the SRH, you can seat the bullet out further and gain more powder space. 475 factory loads have to have the bullets seated deeper because of the short Freedom Arms cylinders. By seating the bullets out further you can approach 475 ballistic and have one extra round with the 6-shooter SRH's.

  6. #6

    Default 5 shot Ruger alaskan

    Hi, from what I have heard, Ruger only sent out 120 of the 5 shot alaskan models before they stoped making them. I thought I was lucky to get one of the 6 shot 480`s. sounds like you have a nice big bore belly gun !

  7. #7

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    To the best of my knowledge which is admittedly limited, the cases are identical save for the additional length of the linebaugh. The rims mike out identical. I actually wanted the 475 for several years and contacted the smith when the 6 shot guns were being sold. He did not want to convert due to the increased pressure being exerted on the cylinder walls. 48k in 480 vs. 55+k in linebaugh. I abandoned the idea until I learned of the impending 5 shot models and then watched gunbroker constantly. I believe the pressure angle. Ruger did not convert their tooling from 6 shot to 5 without good reason. Hopefully the work on the other 119 were not as sloppy. I will probably not miss the sixth shot as I cannot envision myself getting off more than 2 or maybe 3 aimed shots at most in a crises.

  8. #8
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    The early 475 cases were formed from 45-70 cases without the rims turned down. Some current commercial 475 cases may have the same smaller rims of the 480. If you look at the Linebaugh web page, it gives direction on how to make 475 cases, trim 45-70 cases to 1.4 inch and nothing else. Jeff Quinn who writes for gunblast.com also mentioned the smaller rims of the 480 case vs 475.

  9. #9

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    I do remember reading some time ago about the 45-70 cases but I never thought to check the commercial 475 against them. There is defenitely no way 6 round made from 45-70 cases would fit in my cylinder. I do not know if the 6 shot variant has a larger diameter cylinder than my 5 shot. Thanks for the info.

  10. #10
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As far as I know, here is a brief history of the 475 Linebaugh. John Linebaughs first cartridge was the 500, made by extensively re-working the 348 Winchester case. After producing several of these guns, the 348 win brass started to dry up, so John looked at other commercial cases and settled on the 45-70 shortened to 1.4" and straightened out. Top them with a cast bullet with a .40" long from crimpling groove to meplat and you have a nominal COL of 1.80".

    Then Jack Huntington began modifying FA mdl 83's to take the 475 Linebaugh. The trouble is the FA cylinder is smaller in dia, and shorter. So Jack reduced the rims on the 45-70 cases to fit, and bullet molds were made to produce bullets with (as I recall) a .37" long nose from crimp groove to meplat. Jack modified enough of these FA's for the factory pick up on the market for these guns, so they set about getting the Linebaugh produced as factory ammo.

    So, factory 475 linebaugh brass was speced with the smaller dia rim. Ruger saw a good thing, decided most people can't handle the 475's recoil (rightfully so) and shortened the small rim 475 case to produce the 480, and dropped the opperating pressure.

    I know there have been a few 6 shooter 480's that have been re-chambered to the 475 linebaugh. I haven't heard of any of them failing. Honestly I'd venture to say the recoil in the DA will get to the shooter before one gets to the point of sticking 475 linebaughs.

    But there is a much easier and less expensive way to get your 480 to have the same powder capacity as the 475 linebaugh. Get a custom bullet mold made that allows you to load the bullet out to the end of the cylinder. My shooting buddy did that with a 400 gr lfn gc mold, and he easily drove it 1350 fps from his 7 1/2" 480 srh. I ended up trading him for the mold. Fortunately I get excellent accuracy with that bullet at 1200 fps, and I've never had a desire to pour the coals to it. I guestimate my loads are running well under 50k, and the cases just fall out of the cylinder.

    I used to have a 460 gr WFN bullet that was also loaded long in the 480. It would plod allong at 1100 fps. When I was working up loads I got it up to 1150 fps, but cases were sticky on extraction, so I backed down.

    The 460 is on the far right, the long nose 400 is next to it.

    To the left of the 400 xlfn is the lee 400 gr .475". You can see the forward canalure for the FA length 475's, and the rearward canalure for the longer cylinder 475's.




  11. #11
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    I liked the idea of the .480, but held off when stories (www.chatter) (not a real site!) started up about sticky cases. I was really looking forward to the 5 shots and figured I'd get one and have the barrel cut down to 5 or 6 inches, seemed easier that trying to make the short barrel longer. Never happened. I think Ruger missed again.

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I have at least 4000 rounds through my six shooter 480, the sticky brass hasn't been a problem. The factory loads are a tiny bit sticky, but I've only shot a cylinder full of them, every other load has been a cast handload.

    This may sound odd, but I like the fact that the factory loads are slightly sticky. That gives me a good indication of where I am at pressure wise with my handloads. So long as my handloads extract smoothly, they are running under spec pressure.

    And one of these days I'll pick up another 480, and cut it down to 5".

  13. #13

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    Wow, thanks Paul - I really enjoyed your post. Since I am already there I might as well use the 475 brass. I did buy dies and at some point will start loading but will have to stick with purchased bullets as I do not cast. Since winter is almost upon us I am going to keep shooting the store bought ammo for the rest of this summer. Buffalo Bore @ $2.40 a crack - the kids don't need that permanent fund money anyways!

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    Jack is a top notch gun smith. I have had him do gun work for me before. Nice thing is he's only about 10 miles from me. Have talked with him many times face to face and on the phone. Coundent ask for a nicer person to talk to. Will take time to answer all your questions.

    Gun Runner

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