Ruger Alaskan

Ruger Redhawk: Alaskan
Type Revolver
Place of origin United States
Production history
Manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Company
Weight 2.75 lb (1.25 kg)
Length 7.6 in (190 mm)
Barrel length 2.5 in (64 mm)

Caliber .480 Ruger, .44 Magnum, .454 Casull
Action Double-action revolver
Feed system 6-round cylinder, 5-shot cylinder on 2008-later 480 Ruger

The Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan is a short-barrel, big-bore revolver. The firearm, which was introduced in 2005, has a 2.5 in (64 mm) barrel, brushed stainless finish, and an oversized Hogue Tamer grip designed to help reduce recoil. The Alaskan is offered in .454 Casull/.45 Colt, .480 Ruger, and most recently, .44 Magnum/.44 Special. The 480 Ruger version was originally a 6-shot revolver like the .454, but was discontinued in 2007. It was reintroduced in 2008 with a 5-shot cylinder. The 44 Magnum features a fluted cylinder while the .454 and .480 versions are unfluted.

The revolver is intended for use as a self-defense option against large, potentially dangerous animals such as grizzly bear, cougar, and wild boar. It is also usable as a potent self-defense tool against human attackers, with proper ammunition selection. Some critics feel the Alaskan's barrel is too short for such a large caliber revolver, while others believe its relatively compact size, coupled with big game stopping power, makes it a practical "pack gun" for hiking, fishing, or hunting trips in the wilderness. The large magnum cartridges do suffer ballistically from the short barrel, but still produce considerably more energy than is typically available from a compact firearm.

The Alaskan is descended from the Super Redhawk line of double action magnum revolvers made by Sturm, Ruger beginning in 1987.

Stopping power

In August 2009, Greg Brush, from Soldotna, Alaska, was walking his dog when an Alaskan brown bear charged him. Drawing his .454 Casull Ruger Alaskan while rapidly backpedaling, he fired three shots in quick succession into the bear; followed by a fourth and final shot. The fifth round failed to discharge due to a defective crimp. The animal was stopped 10 feet (3.0 m) beyond Brush's original starting position.[1][2]


  1. Campbell, Mike (9 Aug 2009). "Twig snap alerts dog-walker to charging grizzly". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
  2. Bestul, Scott (17 Aug 2009). "Charging Bear Killed in Alaska". Field & Stream Magazine. Retrieved 19 July 2011.
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