Ruger Alaskan

Smitty of the North

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I'll be very UpFront, and as BRAVE as I can be, by stating at the outset that I have an intense dislike for short barreled revolvers. In fact, I consider it an insult that Ruger has named a 2.5" barrel, 44 Mag. revolver "The Alaskan". In my perhaps, crazy way of thinking, that is like saying "Alaskans" are all stoopit.

Surely, we can recognize the downsides of such a contraption if we just think about it, beyond what Looks Kool, as it must look to some folks.

Comparing the (mis-named?) Ruger Alaskan model to their standard offering, with a 4" or 4.2" barrel we find a difference of only 1.5" or 1.7", AND, the difference in weight, is only 3 oz.

I know that it is difficult to pin down the velocity differences because of the different loadings, but the figures, I've seen have convinced me that it is considerable. Isn't a little bit of difference a LOT of difference at the low velocity ranges we get from a 44 Mag. revolver?

As to the difference in handling, something also important to the reasons we pack around a 44 Mag. revolver, IME, (howbeit, somewhat limited) what has been called "barrel flip", is increased considerably with the shorter barrel.

And, there certainly will be additional Muzzle Blast from the short barrel also.

The velocity loss may induce the desire to load hotter, which exaserbates the above, "downsides"?

Then there is "Porting" which helps with barrel flip, but may increase Muzzle Blast. ???

So, those of you who are owners, or even fans of the Ruger Alaskan, or can see, at least some positive attributes of them, why would you choose a Snubby 44 Mag?

I'm not mad at anybody. I don't want to take away your freedom to own or like any firearm you choose. I'm not Almighty Smitty, nor do I wanna be.

I just wanna know what the "Beeg Boys" say, about the Ruger Alaskan and other similar.

How sound is my reasoning? How correct are my conclusions? How important are they?

Thanks for your indulgence.

Smitty of the North
 

Amigo Will

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I would not chose the Alaskan in 44mag but 454 or 480 is a different critter. My Alaskan fits nice in my back pocket so handy even without belt and holster and the next shortest barrel was 7 1/2" at the time. I have two 44mags one 9 1/2" and shorty is 3 3/4". My Alaskan is a twenty five yard gun and I pratice most a fifteen yards more like the distance it will realy be used.All that being said a friend is going to buy my Alaskan and I'll be sticking my 3 3/4" SBH in my back pocket with 305gr HC bullets. I do feel your pain and know a celery stick shoved up the nose can take out your brain,no need for a hammer:)
 

Yukon77

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Thanks Amigo - didn't know the Alaskan came in .480 :) I've heard that the big heavy bullets out of the 2 1/2 inch barrels often keyhole. Have you experienced or heard of this? Too bad the 5 inch Talo isn't offered in .480.
 

Amigo Will

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Thanks Amigo - didn't know the Alaskan came in .480 :) I've heard that the big heavy bullets out of the 2 1/2 inch barrels often keyhole. Have you experienced or heard of this? Too bad the 5 inch Talo isn't offered in .480.

Hear it alot never have seen it except in the grease gun I had in VN and in that case the bore was way over sized.
 

limon32

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Seems to me that Ruger is meeting the market demand for a light, quick handling gun, whether there is truly any difference doesn't mean much if the perception that there is a difference sells guns.

I own a 4" Taurus and a 2" Taurus in .44 and they definitely carry differently, I feel like they shoot the same.


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Yukon Cornelius

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Seems to me that Ruger is meeting the market demand for a light, quick handling gun, whether there is truly any difference doesn't mean much if the perception that there is a difference sells guns.

I own a 4" Taurus and a 2" Taurus in .44 and they definitely carry differently, I feel like they shoot the same.


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tried sending you a PM regarding those Taurus handguns.
 

Smitty of the North

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Seems to me that Ruger is meeting the market demand for a light, quick handling gun, whether there is truly any difference doesn't mean much if the perception that there is a difference sells guns.

I own a 4" Taurus and a 2" Taurus in .44 and they definitely carry differently, I feel like they shoot the same.

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I would think that you'd notice a difference in Recoil, Muzzle Blast.

Same kind of guns, with 2 different barrel lengths, is a good comparison.

Carry wise, do you prefer the 2" to the 4"?

Thanks
Smitty of the North
 

limon32

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They are both ported, I really don't notice any difference when shooting them.

If I'm carrying a backpack with a waist strap I can still put the 2" version on a belt holster. The 4" version doesn't work well that way.

If I'm fishing or just out and about I actually prefer to carry the 4", it doesn't rotate on my belt the way the shorter one does sometimes.


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Smitty of the North

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They are both ported, I really don't notice any difference when shooting them.

If I'm carrying a backpack with a waist strap I can still put the 2" version on a belt holster. The 4" version doesn't work well that way.

If I'm fishing or just out and about I actually prefer to carry the 4", it doesn't rotate on my belt the way the shorter one does sometimes.


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I understand the principal of different applications. I have 2 holsters for my 44. One is a chest holster and the other is a hip holster. I take both of them with me and use whichever seems to work the best for the outing.

When I set out to buy a 44, (because of my "reasoning", above.) I decided I should have at least a 4" barrel. I got a 6", S&W.

SOTN
 

swmn

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I looked at the Alaskan pretty hard. In .454 if i remember right the Alaskan weighs 3 ounces less than the 4" bbl redhawk in .45Colt. At the time I owned a SW .38+P belly gun that weighed about half what the Redhawk weighed, ~20 ounces fully loaded.

So I coulda kept the redhawk as a field gun for open carry. Then for CCW I could either have 1 .454 Alaskan that weighed 40 ounces, or two fully loaded SW 38s that weigh 40 ounces together.

The Alaskan didn't suit my purposes at all. But for folks who don't shoot much but are outdoors a lot I think the Alaskan is a fine choice. They aren't going to break it, it is cambered in powerful cartridges, and it doesn't take up much space in a backpack or a kayak. Or VW camper bus.

I think it is too heavy by more than a pound for every day concealed carry ~ though certainly it will recoil less than something like the SW 329PD, IIRC a .44magnum made out of thin air with some black paint on it.
 

Smitty of the North

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swmn:

Nice phrase, "something like the SW 329PD, IIRC a .44magnum made out of thin air with some black paint on it." It gets the point across, for sure.

I reasoned that there was very little difference in the Alaskan between the 2.5" and the 4", as far as weight and size goes.

Then, I bemoaned velocity loss and added muzzle blast.

This, you do not accept? To any degree?

Thanks
Smitty of the North
 

swmn

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Smitty, I agree that the same load chrono'd from 2" and 4" barrels in general will have a higher velocity and a smaller muzzle blast out of the 4" barrel. Lopping 2" off a 26" rifle barrel won't make that much difference, cutting 50% off a 4" barrel will be a big difference.
 

Amigo Will

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In 45colt I found the difference per inch between fifty and sixty FPS. The 340gr. Out of my Alaskan was still 1,280 FPS average in 454.
 

Amigo Will

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Guns like the Alaskan fill a small niche in the field as handy/power. SOTN your gun fills many roles and only in a few cases may the Alaskan fill its niche more complette than your gun in the same usage.
 

Dogbuster0006

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I've owned a Ruger Alaskan for several years now and wouldn't take anything for it. Mine in 44mag shoots just as good as my dad's s&w with a 6" barrel. That being said I bought mine as a defensive hand gun for big critters and to shoot heavy +p loads something you can't do with the Smith or tarus guns the rugers are built heavy and will take it like a champ. I've yet to crono any loads out of mine but I've broken two of the spinning targets that are supposed to handle rifle calibers. Heavy 44 mag loads are near the top of my personal sucker for punishment scale so I'm satisfied with mine. I've yet to be in a situation I've felt under gunned. Maybe the Alaskan isn't for everyone just different strokes for different folks but, mine is accurate and for me very quick handling. Short barrels with properly loaded ammo will deliver the same or close to the same velocity as longer ones in a shortee more compact package nothing wrong with that. Shot placement is still king and mine will deliver 340gr +p+ loads from buffalo bore precisely where I aim them, I see no reason to have a larger caliber or longer barrel.
 
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