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Thread: Ruger Alaskan .454

  1. #1
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    I've been looking at getting a handgun for protection from four legged attackers in the woods. I was initially thinking of getting a .44 Mag because I've shot those before and they seem to be up to the task. I then thought about getting a rifle that I could use the same ammo in and was looking at some lever actions. Then I saw the Ruger Alaskan .454 and found a Puma .454 lever action rifle that caught my eye.

    I was thinking that I would carry the Alaskan loaded with .454 in the wilderness and .45 Long Colts +P Hollow Points for self defense at other times.

    Anybody have any experience with the Ruger Alaskan shooting .454 and .45 LC? Also, if there is anybody that has experience with lever action rifles in .454 I'd love to hear about it.

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    Here's the guy who I trust. He seemed to like it and the build quality is serious, it is a tank from what I can tell. He is great about answering emails very quickly, like within 24 hours or less from my experience, so send him a message if you have any questions. Oh, and the pictures will clearly demonstrate that you can expect STOUT recoil with full power loads. He says that it's a blast to shoot with .45 Colts though.

    If you plan on carrying .45 Colts on the street, look into Double Tap ammo. First of all, their prices are always lower than the competition. Their standard handgun calibers are usually 50% lower (Or better) than the competition and at the same time push Gold Dot and Golden Saber bullets at higher velocities. Their loads in every caliber are generally the highest power loads available and they use the highest quality bullets, cases (Starline I believe, nickel coated), primers and powders. Handloaders usually can't match their performance without overpressurizing, which goes to show you how carefully they select powders. Double Tap makes a significantly more powerful version of the .45 Colt (They say it's "+P") for use in strong revolvers chambered in that caliber. This gun will count as a strong revolver of course, a very strong revolver. I would love to be able to use a 300gr controlled expansion JHP in a relatively compact handgun. It moves at 1325fps and 1170ft.lb. out of a 7" barrel (1688fps out of a 16.5" carbine!!), so I bet you will still get at least 1100fps out of the load with the Alaskan, which is serious for a freakin' 300gr bullet. That is going to be a heavy hitter to say the least.

    Gunblast's awesome review (By Jeff!!):

    http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-SRHAlaskan454.htm


    Double Tap .45 Colt +P:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...hp?cPath=21_38


    Double Tap .454 Casull:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...hp?cPath=21_39


    Of course, their .454 loads are downright INSANE. One puts out a 400gr (JEEEBUS!) WFNGC at 1400fps and 1741ft.lb. out of a 7.5" barrel (1675fps out of a 20" carbine!!). The same 300gr Controlled Expansion JHP that was in the .45 Colt round is pushed to 1650fps and 1814ft.lb. out of a 7.5" barrel when loaded to .454 specs (And a blistering 2085fps out of a 20" carbine). I am liking this cartridge more and more man. I might have to get a carbine in this caliber, it's going to nail somebody pretty much as hard as a 12 gauge slug will. With a good expanding bullet it may hit harder due to the quick acceleration that takes place once it hits flesh and expands.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    I would strongly suggest shooting one in .454 before you buy if at all possible. I got mine in .44 for a couple reasons; availability of ammunition and controllability. My Alaskan has easily the smoothest trigger I’ve ever felt from a factory gun. For hiking it’s loaded with 300gr hardcast.



  4. #4
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    Checked out the gunblast site and those pictures show some serious recoil. I bet it is a blast to shoot, and I'm sure the 20" carbine in .454 would be real fun to shoot.

    I would like to shoot one with .454 before I buy, but not sure where I could. I'll have to check some gun ranges around here and see if they have one I could rent.

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    I recently (as in earlier this week) purchased a 44 magnum Puma M92 lever action rifle. I chose the 44 version because I currently carry a Taurus 44 revolver. All I can say is that you should add the cost of at least 250 rounds of ammo to the cost of the rifle. New from the factory, the Puma's are very 'stiff' meaning that it doesn't feed that well.

    Here's an excerpt of an email I wrote to one of the other members here.

    Overall, it's a very poor design. The feeding lip that raises the bullet from the mag to the chamber is polymer of some kind (unless it's on a GLOCK, I have a severe hatred for polymers) that is very rough to the touch and I think this is partially the reason why it doesn't feed that well. I'd thought of getting a very low grit sandpaper and smoothing the feeder lip out a little bit but I'll give it a couple hundred rounds before I go to that big of a step. Also, the barrel does not have a lip on it like pistols. That's what causes it to jam, the bullet face hits that bottom edge and since there's no lip, it jams instead of being fed in properly. I'm not willing to sand/grind down the edge of the barrel to make a lip for fear that I'dmess things up but I will do whatever is necessary to get it to feed properly. That would include taking it to a gunsmith to smooth/sand/grind the feeder lip and do something to the barrel to make it feed better. If I can ever get it to feed properly, I'll most likely take it to a gunsmith to have a new barrel put on it that will handle heavier bullets.

    Just so you know, Marlin and Puma carbines have natoriously slow rifling that doesn't allow the use of heavier bullets. Here's another exerpt from Buffalo Bore.


    Marlin (for an unknown, not well thought out reason) is using a very slow rate of twist (1/38 inches) on their 1894 chambered in 44 mag. Because of this slow rate of twist, the heaviest bullet that the factory Marlin will stabilize is about 270grs. Other firearm makers that chamber for the 44 mag all use a much faster rate of twist so that their guns will stabilize and therefore accurately shoot bullets over 300grs. Many
    folks today want their 44 magnums to be able to utilize the heavy 300gr. and heavier bullets—Marlin has not figured this out. If you want decent accuracy out of our new +p+ load in a Marlin, it will need to be rebarreled with a twist rate of roughly 1/20 inch. I have Dave Clay rebarrel all my Marlin 1894’s with a faster twist barrel. A 44 magnum that wont accurately shoot 300gr. or heavier bullets is useless to me.

    Translation: Bullets heavier than 270 grains won't properly stabilize, and as a result won't be accurate. Just like the platedreloads, they won't cause any damage, just might not go where you tell them to go. According to what this guy says, up to 270 is OK.

    I'll let everyone know how it performs after a couple hundred rounds.

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    Informational reading:

    http://www.garrettcartridges.com/



  7. #7
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    That ammo is massively expensive. I'd go with Double Tap (Or Buffalo Bore if I was just dying to spend more money).

    Although perhaps if I were going somewhere that I might be attacked by a buffalo I'd bring some.



    Hehe:

    "For your information, I challenged 3 wild boars to get them to charge me so I could get some practice shooting your 45-70 ammo out of my Wild West Guns Marlin Guide Gun under "exciting circumstances" in preparation for our fishing/camping trip into bear country in Alaska next month. The first two boars must have known that I was packing Garrett ammo because they ran the other way. The third boar I walked up on must have been a foreigner and did not know the difference between Garrett's and "the other ones" so he charged! I shot him right between the eyes at 20 yards with your 420-gr +P. The bullet impact blew both eye balls out of their sockets and passed completely through the boar lengthwise. This boar's estimated weight was 275 lbs."


  8. #8
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    It'd probably be worth it if I was counting on it to save me from a bear but they say on the site that the bullets themselves are too long to reliably feed in a lever action rifle. Either way, I don't see what benefits if any are worth the added price.

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