What are your comments on the Ruger Super RedHawk Alaskan?

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  • DJ
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    First thing I'd have to say is that these revolvers are NOT for beginners. The short barrel and excessive recoil will chew up a new handgunner and spit them out, without a doubt.

    I bought a Ruger Alaskan .480 Ruger when they first came out because I wanted a powerful yet portable double action revolver for defense when hunting in bear country, and hog hunting. Of course, the .480 Ruger cartridge was relatively short lived, so I traded the .480 back in towards a .454 Casull version of the Alaskan. I also purchased a .44mag version of the Alaskan this spring, since I'm a bit of a .44mag nut.

    Like all Ruger revolvers, the Alaskan is BOMBPROOF. The trigger was a little heavy from the factory for my liking, but after a quick tune up, it's quite nice. Having 6 shots of .44mag or .454Cassull at your disposal is pretty comforting when the prospect of a charging bear or wounded hog is on the table. I did a general action job to both of mine right out of the box, just to smooth them up a bit. They run like a swiss watch. Crisp, clean, and smooth.

    The accuracy is good for a 2.5" barrel, but the short sight radius definitely leaves these powerful pistols at a disadvantage for hunting. I had my .454 drilled and tapped for a scope mount and use a 4x red dot on it for deer season (not in bear country). I can deliver acceptable accuracy to 100yrds with the red dot sight, but the open sights make it a pretty short range proposition. I've taken a few heavy body whitetail deer with the .454, and about a dozen 150-250lb class hogs. It's certainly nice to have 6 VERY POWERFUL shots at the ready when you're searching thick scrub brush for a wounded 200-250lb hog!

    That said, these things kick like a mule. Relatively speaking, they are pretty light weight, and they have NO muzzle weight to keep the nose down under recoil, so the muzzle flip is huge. Even though the Alaskan weighs almost exactly the same as my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44mag, the excessive muzzle flip of the snub nose Alaskan makes the APPARENT recoil worse for the Alaskan than the SBH. With the monogrip, the .44mag is manageable, and it's not "TERRIBLE" even with the .454 Casull, but you're DEFINITELY not going to keep the muzzle/sights on target for 6 quick shots. 6 shots in 10sec, yeah maybe with practice, but connecting with 6 shots in 5 sec, NO WAY. The Alaskan is pretty punishing, even with the .44mag, and the .454 standing a definite rung above. (Honestly, these have worse recoil than my .460 S&W). But then again, when you buy a pistol like this, you KNOW it's not going to be a pleasure shooting plinker. It's made to put a BIG HOLE in something BIG AND MEAN.

    I had a custom IWB rig made for my Alaskans so I can conceal these beasts while backpacking, but they are DEFINITELY too much power for two legged predators and WAY too heavy for CCW. Even loaded down with .44spcl or .45colt pet loads, they're pretty over powered and have way too much weight and way too much recoil for a CCW weapon. At over 50oz loaded, these things are a pain to carry concealed, and at their size, it takes more than a T-shirt and jeans to keep them under wraps. For two-legged predators, the Ruger SP-101 in .357mag (loaded with .38spcls) is MUCH nicer to carry, which is what my wife carries on a daily basis.

    Having the option to shoot lighter, less expensive .44spcl or .45colt ammo is nice though (another advantage to getting rid of the .480 Ruger version)...

    Overall, if you're hunting or backpacking in bear country, or looking for a hog defense revolver, then I'd highly recommend the Alaskan. It's reliable, durable, accurate, and incredibly powerful, but still in a very portable and fast handling (relatively speaking) form. But these are DEFINITELY NOT two legged CCW weapons. I love mine, and wouldn't get rid of them, but they certainly aren't for everyone.

    Source(s): I'm an avid heavy cal handgunner, Ruger Alaskan owner, and handgun instructor...
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  • CLOSED
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I don’t like it. DJ gave you some great information about it. And Doc has his reasons for a short magnum I am sure. But the reason I don’t like these supper short magnums is they are placing the novice in danger. I have yet to see the average joe who bought one be accurate with them. And yet the whole marketing theme is its for bear protection. Well I know my bears, a bit too much Im afraid! If you don’t place those bullets right it doesn’t matter how powerful that handgun is. Matter of fact I have seen brown bears/grizzlies take several rounds from rifles like the 7mm mag, .300 mag and .338 magnum and keep on coming. And any of those rifles would have killed that bear IF the shot was right.

    Its very difficult to hit a charging bear in the right place with it coming at you over 35mph bounding up and down with any firearm. But trying to do that with a tiny 2+ inch barrel is a joke a very bad joke! And for some poor sap to buy one and think ‘hey I’m ready for bears now’ isn’t even funny!

    Dangerous animals aren’t like people. You shoot someone in the leg with a 44 magnum and it takes the fight right out of them. With an enraged grizzly it just enrages it more. So what one would carry for defense against a human is far different than for a bear.

    I have 44 magnum revolvers I carry for bears but none have a barrel less than 6 inches and I wouldn’t even consider one less than 4 inches.

    Why? Recovery time from each shot. With a barrel of 6 inches or more I can rapid fire all 6 shots with one hand into a 6 inch group at 25 yards. That’s with a double action like my Smith 29 and Ruger super redhawks. Despite the fact I am very good with revolvers I can’t do that with the Alaskan. As DJ said; too much muzzle flip.

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  • 9 years ago

    The first time I laid eyes on one of those things, way back in the late 1980's I said "If I bought one of those big sumbitches, first thing I'd do is cut the barrel off even with that frame extension."

    So needless to say, I think it is great idea.

    It is still a big old honking chunk of steel, but that bobbed barrel is a move in the right direction IMO.

    Doc Hudson

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