Alaskan 44 mag

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Tankhead

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
87
Location
Roswell, NM
New member and just decided on an Alaskan in a 44 mag for defense while hunting. And of course home defense. Never owned a handgun. Just got back into some serious bow hunting and an elk hunter went missing one week before I got there and I camped (tent nontheless) not 1/4 mile from where he went missing. Didn't know about the unusual circumstances of his disappearance til I met up w/ some search/rescue guys after 4 nights of camping. Predators other than bear I guess. They called off the search (hailed pretty good that day) the same day I was entering the area on my ATV. I told myself after last years deer hunt that was the last time I would go out defenseless. Almost always hunt bow. No more. This gun does not seem to be available, at a reasonable price of course. I haven't been to my local dealer yet though. I was lookin at the mid $700's for this gun. BudsGuns has a good price ($718) but out. GunsImpact has a 454 for $769 but out of the 44 mags for $749. Will they become more widely available soon? Won't be able to get it til next month anyways since I'm waiting on a per diem check thats gonna pay for it. Thanks for any help! Really psyched about gettin this gun! :D
 

GhosT

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Messages
556
Location
North East Ohio
Tankhead,

You said...
"New member and just decided on an Alaskan in a 44 mag for defense while hunting. And of course home defense. Never owned a handgun."

Mean this with total respect...... a .44 magnum snubbie, not the best choice,for a newbie handgun shooter.

The Alaskan 44 mag... A great gun, one I would like to own, but.....
I've been shooting since the late 1970's......

You got to start smaller, when starting with handguns!
As you want power right off, try a .357 magnum 4" barrel minimum.


Feel free to blow this advice off...
But if you buy an Alaskan 44 mag,and test fire it with .44 magnum loads.......if not happy with what happens...lol.....feel free to PM me.
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
Location
florida
I would probably advise the Stainless SuperBlackhawk with 4 5/8" barrel in .44 Mag. Can always shoot .44 Specials in it for a while until can hit a decent target without flinching.
Of course, Ruger makes about a hundred different answers to this problem.
I guess the #1 issue is "backup." Have some; durned near anything. And what did happen to that missing hunter anyway?
Sonnytoo
 

M'BOGO

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,949
Location
METRO DETROIT
Sonnytoo":2gznieha said:
Can always shoot .44 Specials in it for a while until can hit a decent target without flinching.
Of course, Ruger makes about a hundred different answers to this problem.
I guess the #1 issue is "backup." Have some; durned near anything. And what did happen to that missing hunter anyway?
Sonnytoo

Get what you are happy with. On the same note, full house .44 mag is as a good place to learn from is a pretty tall order. There are as many books written as there are opinions about this subject. By all means invest in some .44 spc for practice. An extra outlay in some reloading equiptment might be a good idea as well. My two cents, a Ruger in .44 or .45 Colt will take care of anything in the lower 48.
 

the fatman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Messages
325
Location
Deltona Florida
:D Howdy and welcome to my favorite forum. I will agree that .44 mag would not be my forth or fifth choice for a starting handgun. I have a .44 Alaskan and it is more comfortable to shoot then alot of other guns I have shot. I have never shot .44 specials but would think that they would be fairly tame out of the Alaskan. There for in my opinion [which carries no weight] this could possibly work.
 

kf6gub

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 6, 2005
Messages
41
Location
round rock, tx, USA
I've shot a bunch different 44's of S&W lineage. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that for me the Ruger Alaskan has been the most comfortable in comparison...even with the likes of Buffalo Bore 44 mag hard cast 340 gr ammunition. In the Smiths the ammo I used was less potent, of course. thx Jim
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,212
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Welcome to the Forum!
I have to agree with my friends above about selecting a 44 mag as your first handgun.
However, there are alternatives. Go to a commercial gun range, or a local gun club (based upon handguns,) and rent or try out several different handguns. Even better, find a good NRA Handgun instructor who will be glad to introduce you to handgunning using the ladder method.
Starting low & slow, with a .22 LR cal pistol to learn the basics, and then climb the ladder to larger & larger calibers & types of handguns. All the while get good proper gripping techniques, recoil control, follow through etc.
Then, that 44 Alaskan can be an enjoyable firearm to own.
I recall (and still hear the stories) about how the movie "Dirty Harry" came out, and the sales of S&W 44 mags went out of sight. All 44 mags were in big demand. Then as time passed, quite a few 44 mags came onto the market with a box of ammo & only 2-6 rounds fired out of a box of ammo. LOTS of macho men without proper understanding of recoil, & shooting skills were whipped by a 44 mag.
The big key is education.
 

piratedude

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 7, 2008
Messages
105
There is nothing wrong with getting a .44 mag. .44 Mag is a great round and a great gun. I would probably get at least a 4 5/8" barrel, or a 5.5" barrel. Its not just recoil that would bother me with a short barrel, its the whole package.... I just don't get it. I mean the gun is still heavy and whether it sticks down 2.5" or 4 5/8 in a side holster isn't going to be a big deal (or wouldn't be to me anyway). Overall I can just aim a lot more naturally with the mid length barrels.

I don't understand why the Alaskan is called an Alaskan. If you are in Alaska (and I am actually) why would you want a barrel so short? I don't get it. Strap on a 4 5/8. They should call the 2.5" the Detroit.

I hate 7.5 inch barrels though. To me there is absolutely no point in making a revolver barrel longer than 5.5". I've got a 7.5" Vaquero and plan on cutting it down because I just can't stand shooting the darn thing with such a big barrel. I don't even like to dry fire it.

It seems to me that most of the low power aficionados are getting up there in age.... Our aging population is probably why Ruger has started to focus on low power cowboy rounds and .44 specials.... :D

If you are in good health and reasonable shape then you should be fine with a .44. I like to shoot the .44 Blackhawk one handed..... doesn't bother me. Although I admit that I don't shoot the maxed out rounds and don't really see the point of them, as you can kill anything in North America with a standard .44 magnum.

As for starting small, my first handgun was a .45 Glock M21. While that is not as nearly rough as a .44 in terms of recoil, I was always glad that I never listened to the crowd who told me to buy a .22 or a 9mm...... Buy what you like to shoot and you will never go wrong.
 

Tankhead

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
87
Location
Roswell, NM
That's one reason why I wanted the Alaskan. The ability to shoot 44 specials and then 44 magnum while out hunting. I don't have the resources to be buying multiple handguns. We do have a local gun range but living in rural New Mexico not widely used and nothing available for testing. Having relatively large hands and in very good health for a 48 year old, I didn't think the 44 mag would be a problem. Thanks for all the input. I was kinda surprised at the replies but its what I needed to hear. Don't hold back if its an honest opinion.

Sonnytoo, never found the hunter. They put up a reward on CrimeStoppers for any tips that lead to his recovery. Based on this I suspect they found foul play involved. After I ran onto a search/rescue team , I would guess they were in the recovery mode since they asked me if I had seen any signs of circling birds while out hunting, I packed up and left not wanting to press my luck after 4 nights.
 

batmann

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
307
Location
Indianapolis, IN USA
Tankhead---WELCOME!
I have an Alaskan in .44M and even though it is your first big bore, it is a blast (pun intended) to shoot. I think it is exactly what you are looking for and I find it much more comfortable to shoot than some of my Smiths and don't let the fact it is a .44M scare you.
The Alaskan is portable, powerful and reliable, that is all I can ask out of my handguns. The Alaskan allows you to shoot the heaviest of Mag and also lets you shoot the lightest of .44 Specials. Get one, I don't think you will be dissapointed.
Price? That seems to be the going rate. Ozarkguns seems to be cheaper, so you might check there.
For what it's worth, I carry Double Tap 250gr Keith SWC in mine when I am outdoors and use Cor-Bon 165gr HP's for HD. Hope this helps.
 

markallen

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
92
Location
North east Ohio
The Alaskan makes a great backwoods gun, very packable.
It points easy, and is easy on recoil, depending of course on your sensitivity to recoil, and what grip is on the gun.
I sometimes CCW mine here in Ohio, and carry it when I'm whitetail hunting.
If you haven't shot a .44Mag before, just shoot .44 Specials, or if you handload, down load some till you get used to it.
Once your used to it, it will handle even your stoutest load, including the Garrett Hammer Heads.

alaskancarry.jpg
 

tookalisten

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
651
Location
NC
I just purchased a SBH 44 and had never shot one before. (My previous largest handgun caliber experience was only with the .357 SP101.)
I shot a box of 44 specials thru the SBH to get the "feel" of the gun and then switched to 44 mag. There was a small learning curve for me trying different grip methods shooting from 25 to 50 yds, standing, sitting, etc. I now have about 50 rounds thru it and feel very comfortable with the recoil and feel I have found a grip that works for me for both comfort and accuracy. Interestingly, I found by gripping with two hands and interlocking the little finger of my right hand with the index finger of my left hand at the base of the grip - I shot tighter groups with minimal recoil issues.
Certainly the SBH in 5.5" is a different animal than the Alaskan; but I think taking your time to shoot a lot with different loads, and you will quickly develop a comfort level without any issues.
 

Tankhead

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
87
Location
Roswell, NM
Here is a link http://forums.atvconnection.com/guns-am ... olver.html to my initial call for help in seleting a handgun. I'm happy that I'm getting a gun that was made for what I'm needing it for. New Mexico black bears will should be the largest predator it will be used against. And of course the 2-legged variety. It should give me more confidence to go that extra distance to fill my elk tag or whatever tag I have at the time. Been doing my share of research on the Alaskan in this forum today. Lots of interesting reading. Thanks for any input. I did find a site selling the 44mag for $799.
 

Rob72

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
93
Location
Gulf Coast, Tejas
Hi, Tank,
A new guy replying- :p
I think you'll be happy, I grew up shooting my dad's SBH in 44 mag and thoroughly enjoyed it! The 2" barrel is pretty stout, however, and if you haven't fired a .357, or similar, snubbie for comparison, start off with some specials to get your "feel."

It's easy to build in a flinch with high-recoil weapons, and not notice, until you have someone load a couple or three empty cylinders for you, and you shoot a qual.
8)
 

G2

Hunter
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
2,191
Location
UT/AZ
It does look like the 44's are a little hard to find at the moment, Back a year ago, saw them all the time ~$600.

I went with the 45/454 and am real happy, can shoot 45 colt's from 750 fps/312ME to Corbon 454 1700fps/1829ME.

Now I understand that those fps/ME are measured out of a little longer barrel, But let me assure you they still pack one Hell of a punch.
It's also alot of fun to shoot from mild to wild and everything in between.

The SRA is one fine built firearm. I can shoot some nice groups up to 50 yrds and can hit a 1 gallon can at 100yrds.

The Exchange has them and real nice people to deal with.
http://www.onlinegundeals.com/ItemDetai ... RH_245.htm
 

Tankhead

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
87
Location
Roswell, NM
Went out lookin at lunch yesterday. Visited a dealer i bought a 300 win mag rifle/VX-3 scope from a few months ago. Didn't have any but would sell one for $769. Trying to go local first to get a relationship goin w/ a local dealer/gunsmith. The next dealer i visited had one for $719. But, it had a "few" scratches on it. I could maybe stand one. She said it had never been fired. But it looked almost used. I like my equipment new in the box.

G2, I'd better stay with the 44 mag. I saw a video on YouTube of some guys firing a 454 at a range. That convinced me. No griz here in New Mexico. :D

Was in the Reloader forum most of last night. I guess I'll give it a go. Saw some kits is the MidwayUSDA catalog. I think I can slip one in for Christmas. Contemplating the Lee but, Hornaday and RCBS makes a couple for right under $300 if the Lee is too cheap of a kit. Wouldn't that be a good idea for these magnums cartridges? I never really was a gun kind of a guy. But starting to accumulate one after another. I also have a Moosburg 835 Ulti-Mag 12 gauge and of course .22. Got o go back to work. Any help for the newbie is appreciated. :!:

Whats the best way to carry this Alaskan? I mostly hunt bow except for sheep/antelope. Most of the outfitter holsters I've been lookin at carry it out in front of you. I need some of that space for full draw/release of the arrow. Is a crossdraw where you reach across your body?
 

batmann

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
307
Location
Indianapolis, IN USA
There are two that come to mind.
!-Simply Rugged. Great holster, great price and a member of this forum
2-The Galco from Ruger's store.

Of the two, Simply Rugged is the best, You can wear it strong side or crossdraw.
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,497
Location
Alaska, Idaho USA
There are lots of good 44's out there that should work fine for you. The Super Blackhawk is nice I like both the 4-5/8 and the 5-1/2" barrel. Seems like a single actions points well and does it quickly. I also like the 4" Redhawk. I've got an Alaskan and I'm surprised how well it handles recoil. Mine is the 454/45 Colt which works for me. Try to at least get a chance to pick up a few and handle them even if you can't shoot them. I spent over twenty years in NM before coming to Alaska. Nice thing is you don't have to use the heaviest round out. Standard JHP 240 grain should work just fine for the smaller black bears there. I would spend a lot of time "dry firing" (whichout ammo in the gun or even the room) getting accustomed to it. Then try some 44 Specials. They may be a little tough to find right now but dry firing will help you get used to working the action, the trigger control, breath control and follow through. Plan on having someone spend some time with you. I know guys just "know" everything but it will help. Single actions are not a hinderance once you get the hang of one. They all recoil and either way your most accurate shots are single action and you can cock the hammer while you recover from the recoil. Remember even with double actions you can't "fire" as fast as you can pull the trigger. You fire as fast as you re-acquire your sight picture. Pepper spray might not be bad to have with you also, although in all honesty I'm more skeptical regarding pepper spray when it comes to black bears, hope this doesn't get your topic off course. Find some books if you can by a guy names James Gary Shelton. They are in paper back and getting educated on bears are a good thing. Lots of information in those books and I highly recommend them. Also if you are new to handguns and are carrying one for 2 legged predators I recommend Massad Ayoob's book In the Gravest Extreme. Anybody can carry a gun, getting educated is just as important. I also like the Simply Rugged holster but if it works for you try the http://www.alaskasportsmanproducts.com/
 

Tankhead

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
87
Location
Roswell, NM
I knew dry firing was important with the 300 win mag I have but not so much revolvers. I went to the library today and got the ABC's to Reloading and Lyman's 48th. I got a per diem check from work that will be here in 3-4 weeks thats gonna pay for the new gun so I got time to be doing some reading. It will give me time to think about which caliber to go with. If I'm gonna get into handloading kinda throws the price/availability of ammo out the window doesn't it?. The cost of brass looks to be 1/3 more. But I can't see buying/needing more than 500 for each caliber. I saw a vidoe of a guy shootin an Alaskan 44mag and it looked almost tame compared to the vidoe of the 454. Na. it's my first, I better stay with the 44. Thanks for the help on the holsters. I saw a Mernickle outfitter type that I'm gonna look more into but if not Simply Rugged will work. Looks like I'm off to the Reloading Forum before this thread turns to a topic about that. :oops:
 

dougader

Hunter
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
3,108
Location
OryGun
Well, I have to agree... after shooting full house 454's, firing a 44 mag was a cake walk.

You can shoot 44 Specials, and 44 mags in your 44 mag Alaskan.

But you can fire 45 Colt or 454's in your 454 Alaskan. It comes down to preference if you ask me. I like both but went with the 454 just because I'm so heavy in 45 Colt.

If you do get started reloading, you can custom tailor your ammo to suit your needs and preferences.
 

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