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I've never shot an Alaskan, mainly because something that big with just a 2.5" barrel frightens me a little. I would would love it, if only it had a 4 or 5" instead. (please no "that's what she said" comments)

What's the next best thing?
 

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I respect the fact that you're not to sure about the Alaskan. I own both Alaskans and they are nothing but fun to shoot. I also own the Redhawk in 44 and 45 with the 4.2" barrel. All 4 are nice firearms and fun but the Alaskan puts a smile on my face with each round that I touch off. I doubt you'll ever be able to rent them so before you rule it out wrap your hand around the grips of one at your LGS and feel how it sits in the hand. You'll be surprised.
 

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I've never shot an Alaskan, mainly because something that big with just a 2.5" barrel frightens me a little. I would would love it, if only it had a 4 or 5" instead. (please no "that's what she said" comments) What's the next best thing?
The Alaskan in .454 Casull/.45 Colt...will handle the .45 Colt (or sometimes known as the Long Colt), which is actually very comfortable to shoot in the 2.5" barreled revolver! The .454 Casull, which is really the 'magnum' version of the .45 Colt, is a bit more powerful and takes a little getting used to, especially if someone has a hesitancy about shooting it! I, however, prefer the heavier calibers...and find them fun to shoot (but not very many rounds at a time.)

Try the Redhawk in .45 Colt with a 4.2" barrel. That is a gun that I would really love to shoot sometime...and it looks comfortable to handle too!
 

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I have all three Alaskan's, (.44, .454 and .480) as well as all three SRH's with the 7.5" barrel. Though I love them all, there is just something about the short barreled Alaskans that puts a smile on my face every time I shoot them. With the houge grip, the recoil is very manageable. My .480 didn't come with the Hogue grip and it makes a tremendous difference.
If you want a longer barrel, the 7.5" SRH is a great alternative but don't be afraid of the Alaskan.
As far as accuracy, with patience, I'm consistent out to about 25-35 yards but I have watched my dad continually ring a steel rifle target at 100 yards freehand. It does take a couple of shots to find the point of impact but then it's ding, ding, ding. I wish I could shoot that well, but it does show its potential.
 

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As long as you are wearing your ear protection, the muzzle blast at full bore .454 effects people on either side at the range more than it does you. The factory grip is excellent, held properly when fired, you can quickly recover and fire double action due to the smoothness of the trigger pull.

Start with .45 LC ammo until you are comfortable with the grip and holding on target, then try a few rounds of the heavy stuff. To tell you the truth, the first time I got a chance to see one, hold it in my hands, I turned down the opportunity to purchase it.

Later, I changed my mind and I have never regretted getting the Alaskan in .454.
 

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I have the .44 Alaskan and with factory .44 Magnum like MagTech or Federal it's surprisingly mild. I haven't tried anything crazy in it yet, but I could shoot it all day if I could afford the ammo:)

I switch off between the Compact and Large Lett grip on mine and for shooting, I prefer the Large Lett grip. Even with the compact grip, it's not bad at all.
 

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I have a Dan Wesson 44mag. I had a 2.5 inch barrel made for it.

I love that baby! Very accurate and in 44spl its a nice carry gun (big, but nice)
 

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Do what I did. I do have a 44 magnum Alaskan that I Mag-Na-Ported and full coverage engraving. It's my easy to reach "Home gun". And it's not bad to shoot at all. I also have CT laser grips to help out aiming, but do admit that the lack of sight radius could be a problem.

The answer to that was in the form of a Super Redhawk 9.5". I wanted a big meaty heavy duty revolver. Trouble was I couldn't hold it up long enough to get a good sight picture. Out came the saw and I chopped it down. Brownells offers everything you need to face the muzzle off, crown it, or recess the bore. I did it all with nothing but elbow grease and now I have a wonderful "Alaskan" if you would with a 5.5" barrel. perfect balance but still having the hell bent for strong frame. Smithy.
 

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Shooting big bore snubbies is just plain fun! I actually heard someone (read: woman) scream once when I was at the range with mine when I touched off a "hot load' after shooting some mild ones.
 

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I'm with you laremm I would like to see Ruger bring out the Alaskan in 41. I would also settle for the 41 in the 4.2" barrel. Until than I'll have to settle for this Smith
 

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I sold my Alaskan 44. With a full size rubber grip:



With a compact rubber grip, the recoil felt about the same to me as my S&W 4" 29, but I liked the balance of the 29 better. Both guns were awesome with beefed up 44 specials. And while the Alaskan looked pretty rough on the outside, the trigger on mine was as good as any gun I've shot.

The proceeds of the sale went to buying a .357 Vaquero Montado:

 

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I agree with the people who suggested the 4.2 in Redhawk in either 44 mag or 45 colt.
The barrel length is perfect for a self protection revolver and plenty of ammo is available
(from target to heavy loads). I own one in 44 mag and it is a pleasure to shoot.
 

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I wanted one when they first came out and then Ruger announced the 4" Redhawk and that is what I went with in 44 mag. The actions is smooth and it is a fine revolver. Take a look at it if you can find one.
 
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