Friday, December 31, 2010

And the Winner Is...


Well, I went to Cabelas this evening to have a look at some reloading supplies, but the lack of human bombardment at the gun counter allowed me to check out a few things.  Of these, I found the two Ruger Super Redhawks I've been considering, both chambered for 454 Casull and both wrapped in the same grips and stainless steel finish.  These were perfect conditions for a tabletop comparison of the two guns.  I admire both for their particular strengths and acknowledge each gun's weaknesses.  After considering the matter, and speaking with the man behind the counter (a seemingly knowledgeable gun salesman for a change), I have concluded that the best one of these [for me] will be the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan. 

The Alaskan's balance of weight and feel just felt right to me.  It is reminiscent of my snub nose Ruger SP101 as far as dimensional characteristics go, but a lot lot bigger!  Make no mistake about it.  This gun is HUGE!  The first thing I said to myself when I picked it up was, "This is a big bitch."  Surprisingly, however, the weight isn't so much that it would be annoying to carry.  Empty weight is similar to a Ruger GP100 with a 6" barrel.  I imagine that loading up the cylinder with some 454 will make it decidedly heavier, but the comfort it will afford me when in the backwoods makes up for it. 

When I pointed the 7 1/2" barreled Super Redhawk, it felt very front heavy.  All that metal hanging out there leveraged against my hand and wrists to the point where I had to consciously correct for it.  That's all fine and good on the range, but when it counts, that barrel leverage could spell disaster should I find myself point-shooting the ground in front of a bear's paws.  True, the long barrel makes it more accurate, and it does look really cool (Lindsay likes it better as well), but for practical carry, it just doesn't fit me.  Holster options would be somewhat limited as well because a long barrel like that would make it hard to draw from a hip holster, let alone carrying all that weight down there off my belt.  No, a good cross draw style shoulder holster is a must with a weapon that large.  I just can't see myself getting used to that.  The more familiar and practiced draw from the hip is ideal for me, therefore I must sacrifice some velocity and power to achieve compactness and portability.  Besides, the 2 1/2" 454 is still more powerful than a 6" 44 magnum any day, and many a hunter find the 44 mag sufficient for bears.

At this point, the only way I could see getting the longer gun would be if I could have the barrel turned down to a more compact 5" or so.  Knocking off 2 1/2" would net me a lot better holster options as well as maintain some of that velocity of the full size version.  Hmm...

-James

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