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Old March 2, 2013, 10:10 PM   #44
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Join Date: November 29, 2011
Posts: 689
From shooting cans on a Sunday afternoon to protection against 2 legged bad guys to protection against 4 legged meat eaters, I would think a Ruger Alaskan .454 Casull would be one of the most versatile revolvers. You could load it with light .45 Colt loads all the way to full house .454 Casull loads and it presents itself in a relatively compact package. What are your ideas?
1) Good luck finding a Ruger Alaskan in 454 Casull. You will have to check Gunbroker frequently and have $1,000-$1,100 ready.

2) There is no gun that really meets your requirements well. Your Alaskan won't fit in your pocket like a J-Frame or K-Frame snubby. The J-Frames in 357 Magnum are not pleasant to shoot with 357 Magnum, so they're out. 357 Magnum could take care of rampaging deer, but isn't so good for bear. Follow others' advice and buy a three gun battery (22 Long Rifle, J-Frame in 38 Special +P, 44 Magnum).

I think a reasonable compromise gun would be a S&W Model 29 or 629 with four or five inch barrel. The gun with four inch barrel will carry a bit better for more situations. One with a three inch barrel is a better 44 Special launcher, but you could shoot 44 Magnum (but the Alaskan is 50+ ounces over the S&W's 39 ounces). You will feel every ounce of difference during recoil.

Boot grips are really difficult for the Alaskan to find and I am not sure they're much shorter. Badger has them. Herrett's was weird when I tried to order Jordan Troopers (boot length). They wanted me to send the gun to them for custom fitting with a three month wait time. Cost would have exceeded $150 for the stocks and at least $50 each way in shipping. Herrett's can make stocks for an M29/629 without sending the gun in.

The Model 29/629 also has better accessories. Stocks are more prevalent, as are holsters. I had to make my own holster for my Alaskan, but I did start an Alaskan holster thread on the Ruger Forum. Night sights are available for both the S&W and Ruger guns. In the end, I prefer the S&W because the grip options are better.

If I were making the choice, I'd likely go with a 629 with four inch barrel. A five inch barrel shoots better, but you pay for it when carrying it. I'd likely shoot and carry 44 Special 98% of the time and go with 44 Magnum while hiking.

Ruger Alaskan in 44 Magnum. Appendix carry holster. Speer Gold Dots.

Last edited by tomrkba; March 2, 2013 at 10:19 PM.
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