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Old January 12, 2013, 12:37 PM   #1
rambutan316
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Which gun would be better for outdoors protection?

For protection against big wildlife in the outdoors (bears, mountain lions, boars, wolves, alligators, coyotes, etc.) as well as personal defense against two-legged foes, which gun would be better: Ruger Redhawk Alaskan in 454 Casull or Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt. I'm really attracted to the 45 Colt cartridge and want to try handloading. Both guns seem to be really nice, I'm just not sure which one to go with. I have small hands, by the way. I'm only 5'4" and 130 pounds, but I heard the Alaskan is really ergonomic despite its large frame. Thanks!
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:10 PM   #2
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45 colt will be a handful but easier to handle than the .454. Hits count misses do not so the largest gun you can shoot accurately is your criteria not what is the most powerful gun on the planet. You might try the .357 mag in various loadings along with 45 colt with both heavy and light bullets to see what you shoot best. Unless you are planning on irritating a lot of grizzly bears either gun will be more than sufficient.
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Old January 12, 2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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You do know you can shoot .45 Colt in the .454 Alaskan, eh?
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:35 PM   #4
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You do know you can shoot .45 Colt in the .454 Alaskan, eh?
Yup, also read 5'4" 130 pounds which is why I suggested the .357.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:49 PM   #5
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i am 6'3" and over 250# and i don't like the 357 mag, at least in a trail type pistol. i prefer a 45lc or a 44mag, i find them less harsh to shoot then a 357 mag. i really don't know why so many people go to 454's, 460's 500's and such when a 44 mag will do the job with less recoil and less expense.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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45 Colt and easier to control
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Old January 12, 2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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Does action type figure into the question?

Dick Casull developed the 454 Casull using 45 Colt brass.

Go to the web site "Ballistics by the inch" and figure out how much velocity you lose in the Alaskan 454 short barrel vs the Blackhawk's longer barrel even thought the max 45 Colt load out of the Blackhawk has less charge.

It would take some load development to figure out the maximum power levels you could get out of each with each's barrel length, but I suspect H110 out of the Blackhawk would deliver decent velocity where H110 out of the Alaskan would waste a lot of H110's power and a faster powder might do better. But that is a discussion for another forum.

For self-defense against an attacking large bear, unless I were well-practiced with the single action, the double action would get my vote. In a firefight, the quick reload factor of the double action would be the deciding factor.

Between a hot 45 Colt and the 454 Casull, it is pretty much a toss-up, ballistically. The 45 Colt may deliver the same bullet as the 454 Casull at a somewhat lower velocity still has enough energy/momentum to do the job. That is, while internal and external ballistics favor the Casull, terminal ballistics (what the bullet does to the animal) are a closer call.

A Redhawk in 44 Magnum or 45 Colt with a 5.5" barrel would probably be a better choice than either. In my opinion.

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p.s. All the foregoing applies only if you can handle the round. If you can't hit what you are aiming at (and fast) a 22 rimfire will do just as well.
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Old January 12, 2013, 08:31 PM   #8
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I am thinking the one that fits your mitt the best. I find the big DA Rugers a bit hard to get a good purchase on. The SAs fit me much better.

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Old January 12, 2013, 08:33 PM   #9
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Auction_Arms.gif

This is my choice. S&W 329 Alaska Backpacker 44mag/44spl, I own a S&W Mod 60 in 357mag and the 44 mag is more pleasant to shoot.
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:15 PM   #10
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My choice : Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt . Perfect. Handle your mild to wild loads and perfect for packing. Ross Seyfried didn't need a .454 while in Africa ... so sure don't need one here in the lower 48 .
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:22 AM   #11
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Which do you shoot better?....

I would probably pick the Alaskan just for its flexibility. It will handle everything from .45C shotshells to thermonuclear .454C loads. And, with a set of stubby GP-100 grips, you can even carry it concealed.
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Old January 13, 2013, 01:25 AM   #12
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Considering the threat from 2 legged varmints today, you might consider something like one of the G20 10mm Glocks. Enough power for Denmark to use them to arm their Sirius Patrols in Greenland with to defend against polar bears but also a practical fighting weapon as opposed to doing it cowboy style.

My choice anyway...with full power loads.
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Old January 13, 2013, 03:43 AM   #13
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Well think about it. Check the weight of the 454 vs 45. Then figure you're not going hunting so you are probably only need to worry about an attack within 20 to 30'. Load up your choice with whatever you can handle and make a decision. I use my Governor loaded with 410 #6 up front and 255 hardcast as followups. I shoot to blind or hit the snout within 10' with the shot, and followup with the hardcast. But I'm not the norm, so hear out everyone and go where you feel comfortable.
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Old January 13, 2013, 06:55 AM   #14
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Tell me more about this place that has bears and alligators and two legged predators.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:14 AM   #15
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He works at Busch Gardens.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:48 AM   #16
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Central Park Zoo?
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Old January 13, 2013, 09:00 AM   #17
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I'd go with the 45 Colt. Of course, getting a 454 Casull will give you the option of bear too and you can still go with 45 Colt.
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Old January 13, 2013, 09:42 AM   #18
327 FM
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Pick the one that fits your hand the best.

FWIW I have an old model Ruger Vaquero in the 45colt. If I ever go to Alaska, this will be the gun I will carry. One of the biggest reasons is because of fixed sights. I have had the little blades on the other Ruger revolvers (blackhawk,GP100, and SP101) break leaving me with no rear sight.
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Old January 13, 2013, 11:39 AM   #19
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Have you considered a .44magnum just in case you don't want to reload almost all your non-practice ammo?

Most commercial .45LC except for Buffalo Bore (who make great stuff) and few others are "cowboy loads." The .454Casull is a not easy to find commercially most of the time.

Between the two I would go with the Blackhawk because I find the any nose Alaskan in .454 a bit too stout in recoil for my taste. (I chose a Redhawk 5.5" in .44mag about 2 years ago to fill the niche you described. I am very happy with the choice.)
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Old January 13, 2013, 12:32 PM   #20
rambutan316
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Thanks for the help everyone! It looks like I'll probably end up going with the Blackhawk. It'll probably fit my hand a little better, plus it's a lot cheaper too. I haven't held the Alaskan yet, though, so I'll try to before I make my final decision.

On the other hand, how about the SP101, particularly the 4 inch version? Recoil is probably going to be a lot more harsh, but it seems like the perfect do-everything versatile gun. I rented one before and it fit my hands like a glove.
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Old January 13, 2013, 01:05 PM   #21
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I do not hunt, so don't jump on me! My always on me Gun, a Glock 19, with 147g Ranger T, do good on humans, leave these in place? Or swap for sub gun hard ball.

I guess the question I am asking, up the nose, into the throat, deep penetration, with 124g at 1250fps. Any history on this?

If you have 16 of them?
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Old January 13, 2013, 04:23 PM   #22
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If you are going to buy the Blackhawk in 45 Colt, get the one with the extra cylinder for 45 acp. The 45 acp is a great practice round and generally available and cheaper.

I've been using the Blackhawk 45 Colt since the 1970's and with a 900+ fps load it will shoot completely through most anything you might shoot except steel plate and the recoil is easier to handle than the 44 mag. I like the 4 5/8" barrel length because it is easier to carry.
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Old January 13, 2013, 04:37 PM   #23
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I prefer the vaquero over the blackhawk in .45 colt for a role you are describing and that is the one I would recommend.
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Old January 13, 2013, 06:37 PM   #24
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On "Large caliber/magum CONTROL" ...

The thing doesn't kick till after the bullet is sent downrange. The deal with managing control of a heavy kicking gun of any kind is to figure out how to deal with that kick that happens AFTER you send it. Personally, I totally enjoy a gun that moves a lot, whether it's a revolver, shotgun, whatever.

I guess what I'm suggesting is that it doesn't take any more CONTROL to put a .22 vs a 500 mag downrange. The control factor is how you deal with the kick. Shoot the thing a few hundred times in practice and you may (or may not) decide you dig the power behind that big bullet.


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Old January 14, 2013, 01:28 PM   #25
Southern Shooter
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Ruger SRH Alaskan .454 Casull with the Diamond D Guide's Choice Holster

I am not much taller, 5' 5". And, I have found that with the right holster the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in the .454 Casull works perfect for me.

My handloads are one of two choices in terms of weight. A 264 grain cast bullet that I load to travel at an average rate of 1020 fps or loaded up to an average of 1200 fps. And, a 362 grain cast bullet that is traveling at about 920 fps to an average of 1040 fps.

The holster makes this gun much easier to carry and deploy quickly. Fun setup to carry.

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Last edited by Southern Shooter; January 14, 2013 at 02:08 PM.
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