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Old March 25, 2013, 02:48 AM   #51
farnorthdan
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My vote is for the Ruger Alaskan in .454 Casull, of course I am biased as this is what I carry when tromping around in the bush, shotguns are great until you have to carry one around all day when hiking or fishing. Oh yea one other thing, Palmer is a great place and quit beautiful, not the drug/crime ridden place others have eluded to, now the Butte on the other hand is another story
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:47 AM   #52
newfrontier45
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I've had pepper spray fail on dogs enough times not to trust it to stop an 800lb bear.
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Old March 29, 2013, 11:59 PM   #53
TimSr
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I went to Alaska to hunt black bear in 1988 with my 7 1/2" Ruger Redhawk. I declined my shot when I saw the bear's cub. My brother took one with his 30-06, about 150lbs. When I got home, I decided I wanted a bigger gun, and got the 7 1/2" Freedom Arms .454. We went back in 1989 and I dropped a huge 300lb bear in his tracks at 60 yds. 300gr bullet went through both shoulders and lodged in his cheekbone, and he dropped in his tracks. No way the 44 mag would have done that.

I love the 44 mag Redhawk, but big pistols don't compare well with rifles, as far as energy. The .454 at least brings you up there with the non magnum rifles.

I took a lot of Ohio deer with that Redhawk, but what I loved about the .454 is, unlike the .44, I've only once had to track one down.

The recoil is punishing, and as was mentioned, nothing works if you can't hit what your aiming for. If single action doesn't catch your fancy, The now available Redhawk or Taurus .454 is an option. If you are a handloader, you can load from .45 LC to .44 Mag energy levels until you learn to master the full power .454 loads. Don;t fear the 7 1/2" barrel. Its not bad for carry at all, especially in comparison to a long gun. It makes the recoil much more manageable, and will enable to keep it on target more easily, and its still a quick draw from a holster properly carried. Quite frankly, I don;t know how they even shoot those short barrel canons.

As was mentioned in another post, black bears are far more likely to be a menace than a griz but attacks by either are rare, and the elements in Alaska kill far more people than critters.
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Old March 30, 2013, 10:17 AM   #54
newfrontier45
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Quote:
We went back in 1989 and I dropped a huge 300lb bear in his tracks at 60 yds. 300gr bullet went through both shoulders and lodged in his cheekbone, and he dropped in his tracks. No way the 44 mag would have done that.
Sorry but I have to disagree. A 300lb black bear is child's play for a properly loaded .44Mag. Energy is meaningless.
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Old March 30, 2013, 02:38 PM   #55
22-rimfire
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TimSr: A 500 or 600 lb black bear is huge. All that said, I'm glad you had a good time. I agree with you on the tracking side of things on deer.

In my opinion, black bears are the ones you need to concern yourself with in Alaska. There are lots of them.
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Old March 30, 2013, 03:41 PM   #56
TimSr
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Quote:
Sorry but I have to disagree. A 300lb black bear is child's play for a properly loaded .44Mag. Energy is meaningless.
While I'd have had no qualms about taking this shot with the .44 mag, and have killed him just as dead, it doesn't handle bone nearly as well as the Casull, and I don't believe I would have had the exit wound, nor done nearly the damage all the way through caused him to drop so quickly. When I'm shooting to protect myself, I want him down NOW, and not 30 yards later.
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Old March 30, 2013, 03:48 PM   #57
TimSr
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TimSr: A 500 or 600 lb black bear is huge.
In Alaska a 300 lb black is huge. A 600 lb black is imaginary, or a mistaken ID on an inland grizzly. A 150 lb black is typical. I am aware of the occasional freakish bruiser in the lower 48. I think the record was over 800 lbs with a PA bear. My point is you don't need a gun big enough for TV bears. Most are like large dogs, and if you do run across a larger one, he probably got that way by staying very far away from humans.
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Old March 30, 2013, 04:25 PM   #58
TinyDee
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A 44 will do fine. I carried one while I was in AK for fifteen years.Don't get carried away with hype which is common.
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Old March 30, 2013, 05:17 PM   #59
newfrontier45
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While I'd have had no qualms about taking this shot with the .44 mag, and have killed him just as dead, it doesn't handle bone nearly as well as the Casull, and I don't believe I would have had the exit wound, nor done nearly the damage all the way through caused him to drop so quickly. When I'm shooting to protect myself, I want him down NOW, and not 30 yards later.
This is a function of bullet selection. Use a crappy, old school 240gr JHP, the .44Mag will absolutely fall short. Use a good 300gr or heavier and terminal performance will be identical.
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Old March 31, 2013, 02:55 PM   #60
Dman23
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Help: 44 Mag or 454 Handgun and Recommended Ammo for Extended Stay in Alaska

44 has lots of power. You will find far more bullet choices, or heck bullets at all. You will be far more likely to carry it all the time. You will probably be able to handle it easier and more accurately.

With LOTS if experience, id say go 454 or the like. Without, your 44 will be just fine!
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