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Thread: Help with the final decision.

  1. #1
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Help with the final decision.

    I know there's been a lot of discussion about all three of these guns on this forum, and I've browsed a bunch of it, but I'm trying to make the final decision between The Ruger Alaskan .454, the same gun in the .44 and the S&W 629 Backpacker.

    One factor with the .454 is that they are impossible to buy right at the moment, so I may have to wait a while. The question is, is it worth waiting for?

    I know there's a good amount of debate about the effectiveness of a .44 as bear protection, but I am of the opinion that a few well placed 320 grain slugs in the bread basket will stop just about anything and that a head shot from any of these and even larger handguns may only stun for a few seconds, or not even that.

    So I guess I would like some input on what you all think about caliber size for bears, but I don't want that to be the focus of the discussion. I do think I've narrowed it down to these three models so I'd love to hear what people think. I will be using the gun primarily for protection while fishing, but I do like to shoot some for fun and to stay competent. I just lost a blackhawk .44 with a 4" barrel, so I'm pretty familiar and felt safe with the .44.

    Thanks,

    Scott

  2. #2
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    The 629 is a fine gun. I would opt for a 4" tube, though. I've got a 3", 4" and 6" in the 41 mag model 57 series and the go to gun is the 4" for carry. The 3" isn't any easier to carry, and the 4" is much easier to hit with. The 6" is a great range gun.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  3. #3
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    If you are considering the 454 Alaskan why not consider the 4" Redhawk in 45 Colt? 350-360gr .452 at 1100+fps, less pressure and recoil than a 300gr .430 in the 44mag and a whole lot less muzzle flash and recoil than the 454 Alaskan. Slip it in a Simply Rugged pancake on a decent belt and forget about it.

  4. #4
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Now you did it! I just looked at some of the specs online and it looks like the .45 might not be a bad choice either. Though I still do like the shorter barrel for carrying and drawing quickly. It would be really nice if there were a gunshop with an indoor range that a guy could try each pistol before dropping a grand!

  5. #5
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    4 inch barrel is easy to pack and draw and doesn't loose much velocity. I have a 355gr load that is 1200fps out of my 7.5 inch barrel Super Black Hawk and 1150 out of the 4" Redhawk. Like gunbugs said, 4 inch is a good choice.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I would take the 45 colt over the 44's but then I now shoot a Alaskan and love it.I shoot 45 colt most of the time out of it but 454 ammo goes to the field most of the time. We have a nice used one on the sale board in Wrangell for $700 and I could get the number for you if intrested. I believe it was purchased last year with one box of shells and with tax has over a grand in it. The 4" RH in 45 is hard to beat with something like DoubleTap 335gr+p and its a LOT cheaper to shoot
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  7. #7
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    PM sent, thanks.

  8. #8
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Well, Thanks to Will, I was able to find a slightly used .454 Alaskan, so that pretty much made-up my mind for me. I can't wait till it gets here. I like having the choice of shooting .45 or .454 ammo, and everything I've read says even with the short 2.5 inch barrel, they're still a pretty accurate pistol.

    Thanks for the input guys.

  9. #9
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    Congrats there Scottsum. Let us know how it shoots for sure.

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