Can the Super Red Hawk Alaskan 44 Take Buffalo Bore's +P+?

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hmbrandon

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
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5
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Monument, CO
Hello all, this is my first time here. I did a search, but I didn't find what I needed, so I apologize if I missed it. I just bought a new Super Red Hawk Alaskan in 44 mag. Buffalo Bore says I can use the 340 gr +P+ in this revolver; Ruger says no. I would only shoot a few rounds on the range to get the feel, then carry it loaded with the heavy rounds while hiking in mountains. Will the gun stand up to it? Thanks!
 

hmbrandon

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
5
Location
Monument, CO
Absolutely; but in this litigious society they are probably being conservative. Buffalo Bore clearly has an interest in not breaking guns, and they specifically list the Super Red Hawk as compatible. I just wondered if anyone has any experience with the Alaskan and the Buffalo Bore 44 mag +P+
 
Joined
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Alaska, Idaho USA
This new load is designed ONLY for certain firearms. They are as follows; Ruger Red Hawk, Ruger Super Red Hawk, Ruger Super Blackhawk or Vaquero, Freedom Arms Model 83, Taurus Raging Bull, Colt Anaconda and Dan Wesson Revolvers.

From the Buffalo Bore site regarding 44 Mag +P+ 340 Grain. I know at one time Buffalo Bore used Hornady for their pressure testing. With the demand of ammo these days I'm not sure that is still the case. I have used this and had no problems. It also states that this WILL NOT work in SMITHS. I use this in Redhawks, and Super blackhawks. I've had no problems. Having said that outside of Alaska and some places in Canada and Montana, Idaho etc, I see no purpose to use that heavy a load. Years ago I used a lighter 328 grain Hard cast lead bullet in my 44 and it would shoot through both shoulders of a moose. Not nearly as hot as the 340 grain. Even in Idaho I doubt I will use that round, although I still have some. People leave the extra time a heavy load takes to recover and get back on sight, and deliver another round as part of the whole self defense question. Good bullets (hard casts) do not require high velocity to perform. IMO
 

Chuck 100 yd

Hunter
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Ridgefield WA
I agree with Bear Paw Jack. No need for that extra little bit that requires pressures to go off the scale when a more moderate ,yet still massive, load will do the job without straining your gun. I stay inside the "Ruger Only" load levels by a fair margin and don`t think any critter will notice the difference.
 

hmbrandon

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
5
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Monument, CO
I live near the foothills of the southern Colorado Rockies, and I've seen a couple of cinnamon-colored bears pass through my yard that would have stood 6 to 7 feet tall on two legs. Maybe I'm being overly cautious for hiking defense. I figured the BB 44 340 +P+ would be the best defense, but as I consider the trade-offs, including Ruger's admonition against it as well as controllability issues, perhaps there is a more reasonable load that still does the job. Any suggestions?

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trouble

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
261
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Va
I've shot that load in regular redhawks and it handled them just fine, the Alaskan is off of the SRH frame it will handle it as well. Ridiculous to think otherwise, now your hnad might not be in the best shape but the revolver can handle it.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
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So. Florida
Considering the SuperRedhawk was designed with the .454 in mind I doubt a heavy 44magnum would put much stress on it. :D
 
Joined
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Kentucky
To the best of my knowledge, SAAMI specs 36,000 PSI for the .44 mag, and 65,000 PSI for the .454 Casull. It's likely that the SRH is good for whatever the .44 +P+ is, but the point is we don't really know, and Ruger for sure won't endorse its use without that specification.

That said, everybody is responsible for their own guns. If you're happy, I'm ecstatic!

:) :) :)
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
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10,152
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Alaska, Idaho USA
hmbrandon, I don't have a doubt in my mind the 340 will not bother the Alaskan one whit. That being said, the recoil is substantial. The Heavy .44 Magnum Ammo - 305 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N. will pass through end to end of quite a large black bear quite handily and be easier on you. After you've been around bears enough you will reach an epiphany that it's nice to get back on target more quickly than to pass through 2 bears. You might even consider the 300 grain Federal Cast Core's. Easier on you and your gun. Not to mention very effective on game.
 

KWYJIBO

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
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609
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Utah
I don't have experience with this load or with a gun like yours, but here's my general understanding of the situation:

Even Buffalo Bore will not produce a load that is unsafe in any Redhawk or large frame Blackhawk or Vaquero.

Ruger will naturally advise against anything in excess of SAAMI pressures for a given cartridge, but we know their guns will handle a lot more than that.

You can easily make your own handloads to greatly exceed the safe pressure capacity of any gun, but BB has done their research, and if they say something's safe in a Redhawk, I wouldn't worry at all about it in a Super Redhawk.

Also, I agree with what others have said about YOU being the critical piece of the formula. For bear protection, I'd not want the most powerful load that my gun can handle, but the most powerful one I can handle.
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
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May 27, 2002
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West Tennessee
Ruger will also say that their .45's are only safe at 14,000psi. So their word isn't exactly the last word. That load was made for Redhawks and I seriously doubt it goes over 40,000CUP. The Redhawk in .45Colt is safe for 50,000psi so I think the .44 should be okay.

That said, a 340gr doesn't have to run that fast to be effective. It would penetrate just as well if it were running 200fps slower and inflict a lot less pain on the shooter. I wouldn't go over 300gr unless I was specifically targeting grizzlies or bigger. A 250gr at 1200fps will handle most chores nicely.
 

hmbrandon

Bearcat
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Jul 31, 2013
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Monument, CO
Thank you all for taking the time to answer my question. There's some great advice here, and what it basically boils down to is yes, the gun WILL handle it; but the fierce recoil can cause controllability issues. For the black bears I am likely to run into here, it seems a cartridge of around 300 grains or slightly less would do the job. I will probably shoot some +P+ at the range just to enjoy the agony. Thanks again.
 

gramps

Hawkeye
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Oct 26, 2006
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Woodbury, Tn
Enjoy the agony indeed,ha ha. Yep been there done that. When in Alaska I load up my .44 mag with 300 gr WFN over 14 grs 2400. Accurate and not brutal to the shooter. In Barrow, Alaska I killed multiple soda cans in the gravel pit at minus 15 degrees. Yes, we shot fairly rapidly, and never even warmed up the Redhawk. Never saw a bear.
gramps
 

Short Barrel

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 2, 2006
Messages
515
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MT
The Alaskan can definitely take it.It was developed for those guns listed.Tim Sundles told me he spent a year and a half developing that load at the request of customers.I shot it in my 4" round butted Redhawk with no issues.I agree with Bearpaw Jack though,nasty recoil,slow recovery.A much more sane load for me is BB's 305 gr @ 1325 fps.It's a very effective load with plenty of penetration and much less wear and tear on the wrists.I've shot a good bit of game with it and have yet to recover a bullet.
 

Hugh

Buckeye
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
1,139
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West Jordan, Utah
This is what the manual for the firearm you purchased says about ammunition:

Ruger revolvers are designed for use with cartridges of the correct caliber which are manufactured in accordance with the U.S. Industry Standards.
It is clear to me.
 

WESHOOT2

Hunter
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
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2,124
Location
Duxbury, Vermont, USA
I tried blowing up Redhawks in 357, 41, and 44 Magnum (succeeded with the 44 :shock: ), and 45 Colt.
I went as far as 395g in 45 Colt trying to blow it up, but I hurt my wrist instead.

I don't think I read THAT in my Redhawk manuals; sissies :mrgreen:



I still have one 357 Redhawk, and that Ruger-repaired 44!!!
 

SL1

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
39
I agree that the BB ammo is safe-enough in the guns that they say will take it.

HOWEVER, you guys who are talking about what OTHER cartridges the Redhawks and Super Redhawks are chambered for need to know that Ruger does not make all of its cylinders and barrels from the same alloy, nor heat treat them all the same. When the .44 Magnum was first introduced, they went to a different heat treatment for the Super Balckhawks to give them the safety margin that they wanted for the high pressure. But, that didn't apply to Blackhawks chambered for .45 Colt. And, when they introduced the .454 Casull, they used a different steal for the cylinder and barrel than they use in the .44 Magnum and .45 Colt chamberings for the same models. So, "figuring" what pressure one cartridge will be safe at based on a different chambering for the same gun is NOT necessarily a safe bet. And, actually rechambering can be dangerous if you don't check-out the materials issues, first.

SL1
 
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