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Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan .44 or .454?

Hello to all,

I am going to pick up a Super Alaskan here soon and am conundrumed over the caliber I want. I will be taking this to Alaska in the next few years, but also want to shoot the heck out of it. I reload for both the .45 Colt and the .44 mag, but not the .454. Common cents tells me to get the .454 and then I can use the 45 Colt and the .454, but I also have a ton of .44 reloading components, so I can shoot it for cheap. I am worried that if I shoot a lot of .45 Colt the .454 cases will be hard to extract. Am I over thinking this?

My time in AK will be minimal for the overall ownership of the gun, so I am leaning towards the .44.

Any suggestions from folks who own them?

Thanks,

Matt
 

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I also have a ton of .44 reloading components, so I can shoot it for cheap.

My time in AK will be minimal for the overall ownership of the gun, so I am leaning towards the .44.
Hi Matt,

Given you have a lot of .44 reloading components, personally I would go with that calibre so you can spend a lot of time getting the hang of the gun with a wide range of reloads to see which performs best.

Also as you mention your time in Alaska will be minimal, the .44 might be better for other uses in the longer term.

Regards
Dale
 

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I don't have an Alaskan, but I've chewed on the problem that you describe.

You mention that your time in Ak will be minor compared to the time of ownership, implying, I assume, that caliber choice should not be based on exposure to Ak predators. I would point out that your current "ton" of 44 consumables is a similarly short-term condition and should not drive caliber choice.

Since you reload for 45LC and 44Mag, I assume that you own guns in both calibers. If you buy the Alaskan in 44Mag, all you've gained is a bulky snub nose 44Mag. If you buy in 454 Casull, you've enriched your experience by one cartridge and have the 45LC capability as a bridge to your current inventory.

Have you considered the new 480 Ruger Alaskan?
 

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My 2¢ is for the .44mag. If you're going to shoot the heck out of it .44mag might be more enjoyable, (or even .44 special). Plus cheaper if you ever start to buy the ammo. I don't have an alaskan either but I already wrestled with that same chambering question and decided, for me, the best idea is .44mag.
That smooth cylinder on the 454 sure looks nice though.
 

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You could do what I did and buy both. They are both great guns so you can't go wrong with ether. Now I want a 480.

Doyle
 

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I chose the .44 Mag / .44 Special model for availability of ammo.
 

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I've never been a big fan of shooting the shorter of two cartridges that can be shot in the same cylinder. Most of the time you take a hit in the accuracy department. Probably not a big deal in a gun like this that will be used at short ranges, true, but it goes against my grain, all the same. That's why I'd pick the 44.

Not that it will be a factor, since you reload, but if you had to go with factory ammo in a pinch, you'll find full power 44 mag loads just about any place that sells ammo. Full power 45 Colt loads are more of a specialty item. The usual stuff you find on the shelf is anything but "Ruger, only" load specs.

Also, controlling a 44 mag versus a 454 in the Alaskan is going to be two different things. I've shot the 44 in the Alaskan and, for me, it was doable, at least to the extent that I could practice enough with it to be effective. The 454 I haven't shot, but I know my limits enough to know that is beyond what I can handle to become proficient with it. Also a matter of how quick you can get in a follow up shot on the two.
 

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I agree with DRJ1911, get them both. I pack the 454 casull in alaska, and spend a little time on the range with it. It's the only thing I carry when salmon fishing up there. I love the 44 mag Super Blackhawk for a hunting and practice weapon - fun to shoot and easy on the recoil with a wide range of loads available. If you're a shooter then you'll probably use up the 44 ammo components in due time, so don't let that be the deciding factor on the purchase. Buy what you need for the purpose - and in Alaska you need BIG.
 

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If you reload, you can tame the .44mag easily. Even if i'm not loading "mag" rounds I will load the full length .44mag brass with loads a LITTLE hotter than the .44spl(I do the same thing with my GP100 .357, NEVER use .38spl brass dirties the cylinder too much when you shoot a lot), but not by much. Super versatile, I load .44mag for the 4 legged varmints and .44mag lite for the 2 legged variety.
Nothing against the .454, if you think you can handle, it...go for it!!
 

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44 mag just for ease of follow up shots.

Buffalo Bore makes makes some mean 44 for those bear.
 

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I went with a .44 Alaskan simply for versatility, if I had a .454 I would probably hardly shoot it but I can find cheap(er) .44 magnum like magtech or CCI at pretty much any gun shop. Even with the ammo craze not as many people are going after .44 Magnum as say, 9mm. I also already have a 4" .44 Redhawk and a 9.5" .44 SRH so I'm trying to stay with .44 Magnum rather than add a new caliber. Then again, I want a .45 LC Redhawk so I can have it cut for moonclips so I can shoot .45 ACP through it:)

It's been over a decade since I fired a round of .45 LC so the ability to use that in a .454 does little for me. I figure I can always shoot .44 Special in my .44's but like was said, there are some hot .44 mag rounds out there that approach .454 levels if you need that kind of power.
 

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My Alaskan is the 454 Casull. I like it and would probably buy another one over the 44mag Alaskan. It's real sweet shooting 45Colt through it. I haven't tried shooting it with my 300 gr near max 454 Casulls reloads yet. I know they are going to be a handful. I shot them in my SRH 9 1/2" BBL and they are a bear to hang on to.
 

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454, and don't look back! The 45 LC rounds are pleasant to shoot for trigger practice, and since you can reload them, you can shoot for cheap. At approximately 150% of the 44 mag muzzle energy, the 454 is is a whole other class. The 454 rounds are not for practice, but for when the adrenaline is pumping and the last thing on your mind is felt recoil. Hope that helps.
 

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Another vote for the .454. I've got one and its one of my most favorite guns.

Since you handload, you can shoot anything to equal the most mild of .44spl or .45 Colt loads, any .44mag load and all the .454's your hand can stand.

You can get more juice out of .454's in this shorty than you can out of .44mag loads in 4" or 6" barrels.

I shoot mine a LOT and most of what I shoot is either standard or hot ("Ruger") .45 Colt loads and the only time I've ever had extraction problems with the .454 cases is when I was working up loads and got some slightly warmer than what the gun liked. Backed 'em off a half-grain and have never had any trouble since. I clean it thoroughly after every trip to the range and have never found it difficult at all to remove any residue from the chambers resulting from shooting shorter the shorter .45 cases.

YMMV

Good luck!
 

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I own both and enjoy shooting both. My only complaint with the 454 is cost of reloading components and lack of reloading information. Like several of the other posters I don't shoot the shorter rounds in either one. If I want reduced loads I go with the starting loads for the caliber. 44 Mag bullets run as much as $10 bucks cheaper than do the 454 bullets plus you're using Large Pistol Mag primers in the 44 and Small Rifle primers in the 454. Right now I'm using about 10-12 grains more of H110 in the 454 as opposed to the 44. Recoyle difference is considerably more in the 454 over the 44. If you're only going to use the 454 for that single AK trip you might be better off going with the 44. On the other side of the coin as was said, under stress I doubt you would notice recoil anyway.
 

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I'm a big believer in practicality...and if you're already set up in .44 then go that way! If you want a .45LC / .454 Casull....you can always get another one! Buy the one you will shoot....and be happy with it! I also believe in staying in 1-2 'main' calibers and not getting too spread around...keeps costs down! XS Sights makes great tritium sights for the Alaskan as well! Happy shooting!
 

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I would go with the 454 as my experience in shooting 44 mag and 45 colt heavy loads is that you get a bit less felt recoil with 45 colt heavy loads than with 44 mag loads and you get teh 454capability when you want or need it.
 

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I have a 44 and I am very satisfied... That said: get the 45. I would recommend the greater power of the 454 if the need for Redhawk power is sought in the first place. The 45 colt will be a great conventional power round and a fun reloadable cartridge to boot. This seems way better than the 44 mag - which is out muscled by the 454, and the 44 special which costs so much (more than 44 mag where I live) and is so anemic.

If you are not a re-loader, this kind of stuff will make you one!
 
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