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Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan Review


Hey guys, James again for TFBTV. And today for review, I have the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44 magnum. With the Alaskan, Ruger wanted to create a packable bear gun,
something for bear protection. Now, the .44 magnum is a little bit on the light side for that, unbelievably. But, they also make this
gun in a .454 Casull .45 Long Colt version and
a .480 Ruger version. One thing you’ll notice right away about the .44 magnum that sets it apart from the .45, and
the .454, .480 versions, is that the .44 magnum is the only one that has a fluted cylinder. Whereas, the .45 Long Colt, .454 Casull, .480 Ruger, none of those
have fluted cylinders. Now, by virtue of that, the Alaskan in .44 weighs a little bit less
than it’s counterparts. Coming in at a still pretty strout 41 ounces. It’s got an adjustable rear-sight, a front ramp that comes black, so a little paint would serve you well. A six round capacity of
.44 special or .44 magnum. I’m only going to be shooting .44 magnum for today’s review. It comes with a Hogue grip over-modeled and you can see it’s massive
with these finger grooves. And hopefully that’ll sap up some of the recoil from this beast. The trigger pull, I tested
out the trigger pull. And of course it is heavier than 12 pounds on the double-action
trigger, so I got a no read. However the single-action trigger comes in consistently at
roughly 5 to 5 1/2 pounds. The cylinder is triple locked at the front, the rear, and
the bottom of the cylinder. It’s got locking lugs and locking latches at various points in the
cylinder and in the cylinder arm. It’s got a cold hammer forged barrel, which is built for the type of abuse that .44 Magnum’s gonna deliver. And it also has an overbuilt frame. Ruger said they deliberately
left a lot of heft on this frame to give
it a little more weight. To not only sap up that
recoil, but to keep the gun from pretty much splitting
in half when you shoot it. Now I know a lot of people are going to decry the 2 1/2 inch barrel on this thing. But remember, this is made as, really a last resort option, for backpacking, for hiking, where you might not want a massive six, seven, eight inch gun. Strangely enough, the Ruger Super Alaskan moves counter clockwise. So, if you need to fire one round, you’re gonna go ahead and load it in your 2 o’clock chamber
instead of your 10 or 11 o’clock. The gun’s finished and set in stainless. The 2 1/2 inch barrel has six grooves with a twist of one in 24. The overall length is 7 5/8 inches. It weighs 41 ounces. MSRP on the Ruger Super
Redhawk Alaskan is $1189. However, that is a huge
overshot from street price where you can get these guns
for around $850 to $900. So to try to Super Redhawk
for the first time, I have masterfully drawn a bear with a can of spray paint on the back of
a B-27 target for you guys. So we can get a very
realistic representation of what it would be like if you were shooting at a charging grizzly. No doubt the conditions would
be exactly the same as this. But, this is .44 magnum
out of a 2 1/2 inch barrel. This is Hornady .44 mag, not special, hollow point, so this
should be interesting. (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) So as you guys can see, I
threw those shots a little low. Actually four of’em I’m pretty happy with 10 meters
in the size of a fist. I threw two flyers from flinching. This is, I wouldn’t
say it recoils heavily, but you know it’s there,
it’s pretty significant. And I can be pretty recoil sensitive. But, I was actually quite
impressed that with full power, .44 Mag loads, that it wasn’t abusive. The recoil was really not that bad. I’d say this Hogue grip does an excellent job of sapping up the recoil. But, I’m definitely going to
have to adjust these sights. But then again, this is not made… I mean, of course nobody wants to get within ten meters of charging
bear, your probably (beeping). Really, to be honest. But, that said, this is made for last
ditch close encounters and I’m sure I could probably
just adjust the sights, but out of the box, I
would hope that they would be a little bit more on target than that. This Ruger is just about the right weight, where it’s not, it’s really not that bad. You definitely know it’s there. You definitely know you’re shooting a caliber that starts with a four. When you pull the trigger on this thing. But, it’s manageable. (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) Wow, still going very low. Tuned the sights a little bit and I think we’re in business now. Let’s have a look. I’m gonna shoot at that orange dot that I put in that silhouette target. 10 meters. (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) Alright, still a couple inches low, but, you know, I guess it’s pretty decent grouping for a .44 Magnum, full power.44 Magnum load at 10 meters out of a 2 1/2 inch barrel, not bad. And maybe it’s just me, but it really did seem like the heavier hollow points that I was shooting the other day, that those were a little bit less snappy than these 180 grain jacketed soft points. But, it’s still manageable. It definitely wants to
hop out of your hand, but at least it isn’t painful. It’s not painful. It’s just a little bit
more difficult to rangle. (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) And that was fun. Alright, let’s get it out of the way. Let’s try one handed. (grunting) God this gonna be awful. (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) (gun shooting) Ya, that was terrible. That was terrible, I mean,
I was pulling to the right. But, shots at least were on target. So, I’ll call it a win. So, is it possible to make hits from 50 yards with this
2 1/2 inch .44 Magnum? Yes. But for me, probably not. Let’s see, and the
sights are a little low. So I’m gonna kind of shoot
high and see what happens. Give me a second to get my bearings here. Going for that, roughly 12
inch white plate, 50 meters. (gun shooting) (gun shooting) Count it. (gun shooting) Count it. (gun shooting) (gun shooting) I flinched. (gun shooting) Not bad. Hard to tell where my shots are going if I’m shooting high or low. But ya, definitely if you
need to take a shot… I mean that’s a 12 inch target. It’s like maybe six inches
wide 12 inches high. It’s a pretty good shot for 50 meters, especially with hard
recoiling gun like this. So, that makes it a
little bit more effective for a threat that might be further away. So, in conclusion, the Ruget Super Redhawk Alaskan is an excellent revolver. It excels at what it’s designed to do. Unfortunately, what it’s
designed to do really only affects a very narrow quadrant
of the shooting population. But, what is this gun designed for? As I said in the beginning of the video this gun is designed
to be the most compact backpack-able weapon of last resort against a large mammal
or a large predictor that you might encounter if you’re backpacking, hiking, whatever. And it excels in that role. It’s not too heavy considering how powerful the cartridge .44 magnum is. So you’re only adding about
2 1/2 pounds to your pack and you get six rounds of
pretty potent protection. I know a lot of people
are going to get on here, if I have to guess, the
most popular criticisms are going to either be the
cost or the barrel length. This is only 2 1/2 inches of barrel. A little bit of barrel. A little bit more barrel
would’ve been nice. But, that would’ve really
cut down on it’s portability. So, there’s an argument either way. Whether you wanna get more power, squeeze more power out of this gun. Or whether or not you want
it to be more packable. So I guess what I wanna say is the two categories of people best suited for the Ruger Super Redhawk
Alaskan are going to be those people who have a lot money, or a lot of .44 magnum,
and wanna get something really fun to shoot on the range. Or, two, if you’re part
of that narrow category of backpackers, hikers, who are going to be in the back-country,
somewhere where you’re going to need some protection
against a large predator. So, in conclusion, I think that this is a fantastic gun, but it’s
limitations are it’s narrow application and it’s cost. In any case, don’t hesitate
to give it a look guys. Thanks for watching, see you next week. (patriotic music)

100 thoughts on “Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan Review

  1. Think the super RedHawk with 4 inch barrel is way better choice. Not really much bigger and barrel length really makes a better gun.

    I hear you on some of the "lighter" 44 loads being snappy. I think my RedHawk with 330 grain hard cast lead bullets is more pleasant than some of the snappy 240 or so "white tail" loads I have shot.

  2. They should do a video about the top 5 all metal 45 acp pistols then a 1911 thumbs up my comment if you'll agree

  3. I enjoyed the dry sense of humor. You are the only person I've ever seen shoot .44 Mag double action. I hope it comes with a 4" barrel. 😉

  4. James you are a great presenter and I enjoy every review you share with us, keep up the great work everyone!

    Also dat ring at 6:00

  5. The ruger 44 carbine (deer hunter) is a much better choice. More realistic for the outdoors man who won't put in the work to get accurate with a gun like that. Also the carbine is small compact and the extra barrel generates much greater velocity with the 44mag. These hand cannons are notorious for helping you develop a flinch. I know size is the issue but what's realistic life saving tool worth? Just my 2 cents. The marlin 45-70 carbine lever is a great option also

  6. S&W Model 629 Mtn. Gun, 28oz. That my friend, is snappy! I suspect that the Ruger Alaskan in 44Mag @ 41 oz is a real pussycat in comparison. And can take a constant diet of full-house bear loads [300gr Hammerheads & the like] w/o shooting loose; the Smith isn't going to stand up to that kind of abuse [but then, it's design params are to be carried often & shot rarely…] But 44Mag is deemed marginal for the big bruins; if they'd offered the Alaskan back when I got my Mtn Gun, I'd have opted for the RugAK in 454. Now all we need is for someone to do a "short barrel" load for the RugAK that takes advantage of the 454's higher pressure limits while realizing that you'll never get max velocity out of such a short barrel so what's the point of singeing the shooter's eyebrows off?

  7. I know it's mainly for black and brown bear, but do you think this would be a good gun for Pooh Bear too?

  8. I don't really understand this gun. I'm a huge Ruger fan and I love the .44 magnum but a specialized gun designed to be easier to carry instead of doing the job baffles me. Sure you are probably already carrying a half ton of gear out in the brown/white bear woods (it is after all the "Alaskan") and you want to downsize everything as much as possible but to the point of neutering it?

    As I understand it, the .44 magnum suffers lost power with anything under a 6-7" barrel. Even my fullsize S&W 629 V-Comp with a 4" barrel isn't coming close to getting full power from each shot. Not a big deal to me because I'm not walking around Alaskan bears so it's more than enough for anything I'll encounter. The .44 magnum is already considered the "lightest" caliber recommend for big bear defense and that's assuming you are using a gun capable of getting everything out of the cartridge. That snub nosed Ruger Alaskan is losing a huge part of the power of that caliber is designed to release so there's no way it's anywhere close to being near the recommended "minimum" for bear defense. Why carry a smaller gun for convenience when it's so obviously under powered and extremely likely not to save you from the bear?

    Personally I'd be fine carrying a .44 magnum in big bear country but I'm not carrying my V-Comp, as much as I would like to, because it doesn't allow me to get a full "punch" from each shot fired. It's also not designed to handle the kinds of ammo you should be carrying in big bear country but that's a different story. There's no doubt that carrying a 5.5" Ruger Redhawk or Super Blackhawk is much less convenient than carrying the snubby Ruger Alaskan but getting killed by a big bear is the ultimate in inconvenience.

     Since this review was about the .44 magnum Ruger Alaskan, perhaps it would have been more relevant to have used +P hardcast ammo (Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, HSM, Double Tap) designed to be used in big bear defense. I would like to have seen how it compared accuracy-wise as well as it's effect recoil-wise on the shooter. Hollow points and soft point ammo isn't what that gun would be loaded with in the field and it would have been interesting to see if the shooter was going to have enough time for a second shot after the recoil of the first.

    All that aside, I really like your reviews James! You are probably my favorite of the bunch (don't tell them that though…they seem sensitive lol).

  9. "Last resort option". Exactly. This is not a target gun. This is a gun to use when the bear is already on you, in which case you may as well go for the .454. Charging grizzly? When a bear comes at you it'll come so fast it WILL be on you before you get a shot off.

  10. This happens to be the first .44 mag Ive ever shot and strangely enough I shot it in the back country of Alaska, probably where it was intended to be shot. Cordova Alaska to be exact, where many people go to hunt both brown and black bear. It was a lot of fun. I can see where a slight bit of barrel length could be beneficial but to be honest I'd be totally comfortable carrying this in Alaska all day long.

  11. I like your reviews because its not really formulaic and highly edited. You get your point across without music, fancy edits. Some reviewers repeat themselves and sound like infomercials. eeehhhmmm sootch

  12. just wondered why you only used the double action when sighting it in? I understand it being a strictly defensive firearm & training with DAO, but for sighting why not go SA?

  13. I feel like James is much more tactically minded than this gun is designed for, and not entirely sure how much gun it takes to kill a bear. Still not a bad review though

  14. I have the XS Big Dot tritium sights on mine. I think that the sights are good for quick acquisition. I had a SRH with a 7.5 inch tube that developed a defect. When Ruger went to replace it I asked for this model in the .454 Casull. I'll admit that it sees mainly .45 Colt ammunition though.

  15. If .44 Magnum is light for Grizzly, why the crap would they make a .45 Colt. Lol. .454 Casull all the way!

  16. In addition to the uses you listed, this seems like a good gun for Arctic bush pilots to carry when they fly.

  17. Good review compared to videos I've seen on this gun when the shooters say "this is awesome" duh..okay. It was good to see you shoot this pistol at 50 meters. I wondered about the distance accuracy. With practice a person can hone in a lot better. You might want to mention what grain bullets you were using. Other than that good review.

  18. I owned it. It shot the hell out of anything I fed it. .44 specials were like .22 mag. Great gun. Heavy but that's what you want. With a good belt, you can iwb it no problem. I'm getting another one but the kodiac backpacker talo version. Once you get a big bore snub ruger, it's like an infection. You can't do without. And I don't live in Alaska or bear country.

  19. I hear all the time what's "Too light" for bear… I think this would be fine, granted I'd prefer just a slightly longer barrel for this type of gun like.. .1 more inch to the length. But I went out to Alaska once with a .357 lever action with an 18 inch barrel. 2 shots, thats all it took. The first round dropped him, but was still moving and didnt want to chance it so fired a second to ensure things.

    Well, .357 from an 18 inch barrel depending on the load runs anywhere from 1600 to 2,200 fps and 900 to 1,300 ft lbs on average. I ran a 158gr hard cast flat point being driven out around 1,900 fps and 1,000 ft lbs. Most .44 Magnums achieve this level of power from 4 inch guns, so I dont expect it to hit the same velocity or anything, but even out of this snubby revolver with the right ammo it'd still be effective. Bear spray according to research is more effective on average, but a gun like this is in case bear spray doesnt work or you got charged through the brush and the bear is on top of you and you're firing point blank.

    Even a .500 S&W from a snubby produces .308 levels of power, and I assure you… .308 will take down a bear just fine. If .357 from a rifle will, guarantee .308 will. Hell, there's even a guy who's taken down several with 5.45×39 in an AK-74 and 5.56×45 in an AR-15. Because as any hunter knows, shot placement and penetration are what do the job. So, a low recoil, high velocity round that penetrates deep is plenty effective. No humane for hunting, but when you're trying to keep yourself from being the bears lunch and being found as a steamer in the wild later that low recoil and high capacity suddenly becomes real handy. Allows you to fire quickly and stay on target and hopefully hit the vitals.

    I think there's a difference between whats considered "Suitable" for hunting and suitable for survival as well as there being a difference in whats "ideal" for both of of those as well. I'm not suggesting people go out there with 9mm's to take down bears(plenty of dumb ass people already trying that), but I think people need to reconsider what is and isnt capable of taking down bears. A lot more Alaskan guides and people roaming the wilds out there are packing 10mm handguns over standard revolvers these days. Probably because 15+1 rounds in a Glock 20 using hard cast lead bullets is no slouch. Considering a stock G20 weighs about as much as some of these "backpack" guns and holds significantly more ammo its worth considering. Even a Glock 29 with an extended barrel is a great option as it still allows for more capacity, a smaller gun, a lighter gun, but without sacrificing performance as much as some other calibers.

    That being said, this is a nice revolver from Ruger.. I just think their prices on some stuff is a bit too high for something like this. I always found it funny that some snub nose revolvers cost more than their long barrel counterparts. Considering it's taking less material to make and all that.

  20. Nice gun, but I really wish they would have taken the new technologies they built into the new Ruger 357 Mag LCR pistols. Namely, I wish they would have taken a partial polymer approach to the handle to help with the recoil and put a more smooth trigger on this thing that doesn't stack. I would buy this, but my gut feel is that Ruger is going to find some way to improve the recoil in the near future without adding any inches to the barrel. That is what I am hoping at any rate.

  21. The .44 mag with good shot placement is sufficient For most bear encounters I think. Any hand gun is going to have to be a head or neck shot to stop a grizz in its tracks anyway. I'd rather have a .44 mag with less recoil and faster follow up shots.

  22. Pistol grip pump shotgun. Cheap and reliable, sling it over your shoulder and you don't have to deal with power loss due to the barrel being too short, extended process of cleaning, or (depending on state) as many laws and regulations. A little more weight alot more power

  23. AWESOME RANGE TOY
    Or for people with extremely small peckers that want a EDC pecker magnifier.
    But they are heavy so those people won't be carrying them often or for long and they will soon be carrying their air weights again.

  24. Call me crazy, but my backpacking gun is a Glock 20, loaded with Buffalo Bore, 220 grain, flat nose, hard cast ammo. It's lighter than any revolver that can be shot well, under stress; and it holds as many rounds as two, 8 shot, .357 magnums. People will say that is under powered for traveling in bear country; but my goal is protection, not to hunt. The Glock is more comfortable to carry, is nearly as dependable as a revolver; and 16, 220 grain, hard cast bullets, traveling at 1200 feet per second, is nothing to sneeze at.

  25. These aren't even backpacking guns. They're tent guns, as in a last resort when the bear has ripped through your tent and a 7" barrel is too long to swing around.

  26. it would be cool to compare the 44 special recoil # to the magnum…….i think more people have less remorse after shooting the special

  27. Just shot mine last night.
    240 grains and B.B. 340+p+
    Shot low as well. Felt like sight adjustment was to elevated the max.

    Kind of disappointed.

  28. *sees the bear drawings on the targets* *guffaws and has to rewind video to hear what you were saying* 😀

  29. The Alaskan’s fame came from a 260 grain handmade bullet used by a gentleman from Alaska in self defense. Don’t bet on anything less.

  30. I have a 44 mag Redhawk 7.5 inch tube its one of my favorite guns …but if I put it in my pocket ….sorta sticks out…this might be better….be great under my pillow , sweet dreams,

  31. I could not believe how accurate these guns are..I own one in the .44 magnum..I roll my own.I never shoot anything less then full or above power.Where they MAX I go a little bit more..It's my gun so I load what I want..I shoot .44–454 4 to 6 time's a week..My Alaskan will shoot SAME HOLE!!!!

  32. I'm a big fan of .44 mag…in my 7.5" Redhawk. I much prefer a long barrel, but then again I bought mine strictly as a range toy, and handloading allows me to shoot it without breaking the bank.

  33. 44 magnum is light? What are you talking about? The 44 magnum has or will kill anything that walks the earth and a lot of things that don't.

  34. The .44 mag Alaskan combined with 300 grain grizzly getters is more than enough to stop a Kodiak from stealing your fish or making you lunch! Get rid of the "Death Grip" while shooting and your goups will improve drastically. A plus is you can shoot .357 for plinking in this gun also. Just Sayin! Have Fun!

  35. I own the Alaskan Take Down Level gun from Chiappas firearms also in .44 mag, but that one is around 7 pounds loaded, also very portable at least for traveling to the woods. I have been thinking of this revolver to take it in a hike locally where there is no bears but there are Mountain Lions, even though nobody has reported seen one. For what the gun is designed to do it is true that the price tag is high; I can find it in town for a little under 1 grand taxes included, that is 1 month rent right there but 1 grand to have peace of mind in the woods or in the desert in my case I would think it is worth it.

  36. I have a .44 Alaskan. The aim with this beast is spot on. Recoil is not bad, weight is nice and the grips fill the hand perfectly. Nice review.

  37. the 44 mag can easily be loaded up , heavy and hot to almost double the effects of a typical 44 mag round. Surprisingly, enormously more powerful.

  38. 2:29 – 'Strangely enough, the Ruger Super (Redhawk) Alaskan turns counter-clockwise'… what's so strange about that? Unless you own something like a Colt Anaconda ($$$$) or maybe a Dan Wesson, counter-clock is pretty usual.

    Castles are in Europe; "454 ca-SOOL" is an extremely powerful revolver cartridge. An orthopedic surgeon may suggest sticking with super-heavy 44s. They'll beat you up badly enough.

  39. My SP101 in .357 with 2.25" barrel needed a big brother, so I got him one! I'm so glad I did, too! It didn't recoil nearly as bad as I was expecting!

  40. James, you're killing me smalls! As a crusty old revolver guy, stop squeeeeeeeezing the DA trigger and start sweeping it!

  41. At 8:02
    "But for me, probably not…"

    No doubt.

    Having a hard time fathoming how a nationally recognized gun guy can't seem to manage recoil. Stout? Yes. But with sufficient practice, trigger control, and patience… remarkably tight groups are possible with that gun and almost any loading. Especially Hornady 180 and 240 grains factory loads.

    It's not a testosterone thing, either. If you can swing a 22oz. framer, you can swing a 3lb. baby sledge, and by extension, a 9lb. full sledge. Meaning grip and technique make all the difference in the world. Good accuracy is quite feasible, honestly.

    Stop being afraid of the baseball, and it's easier to hit line drives.

  42. In own a Super redhawk Alaskan chambered in 454 casull and that 44mag recoil looks a lot more manageable to shoot repeatedly.

  43. really good review………I keep wanting to get one……I have a Redhawk but it has a 7.5 inch barrel……i'm wanting black bear protection……..yes we have some BIG bears around here………but I can't decide this snub or the 4.2 inch barrel.
    Oh! its not castle it's pronounced CA—-sull

  44. If you don’t carry the standard 7.5 redhawk or super redhawk in bear country. You’re to pussy to be in bear country anyway

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