Friday, January 29, 2016

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions...

...plague me relative to our (Brendan and me) planned trip to Alaska this spring. I have a good amount of cash stashed away for the trip, about three grand so far. That will cover both of our airfares and my part of lodging, vehicle rental and most of my expenses.

When there, I would like to assure we are properly armed to deter and if necessary kill any bears that may become problematic. This is no joking matter for me especially since I found out that to be eligible to work for the state of Alaska, on jobs like seasonal maintenance of campgrounds and whatever, you need to be eligible to carry a firearm to deter bears. That is a requirement found within in the laws of the state of Alaska. If they see the necessity you can bet I do too.

Anyway, that leaves me with a big decision to make. The decision being whether or not I should shell out now for a revolver in 44 magnum (and thus having to find that much more money for the trip) and if so, do I get the Taurus Tracker with 4" barrel or Ruger Redhawk with 5.5" barrel. 

I am leaning toward the Ruger based in part on their reputation versus the reputation of Taurus. Besides reputation, the Ruger has a six chambers and the Taurus only five. I would hate to need that sixth round and have to reload to get it even though it would be likely that I would have the chance to get off that many shots on a charging brown bear. In addition, Ruger has some outstanding features that the Taurus, as far as I am aware, does not such as the solid frame without side panels (adding lots of strength to the frame) and the triple locking cylinder. Then there is the weight difference, the Ruger is about 10 oz. heavier, which is a good thing in that sized caliber (or so I would think). And of course, there is the barrel length issue. The 44 magnum is likely to have at least just a bit more punch out of a 5.5" barrel as opposed to coming out of a 4" barrel. As for price, I can pick up a Taurus Tracker with 4" barrel for about $575 but the Ruger would cost about $905 - that's a difference of $330 (or an awful lot of 44 magnum ammo). Even with that price difference, the Ruger is the one I am leaning toward and that even tough the $330 is about the cost of a day's fishing (for one person) on a charter out of Seward, AK. Decisions, decisions, decisions...it sucks not being filthy rich and not being able to buy both - or even just independently wealthy enough not to have to worry about the price difference!

I have sent an inquiry to my local dealer to see if he has the Ruger in stock right now. If he does, I may dive right in and pop back up on the surface holding a new Ruger Redhawk. If he doesn't have it in stock and cannot get one in a reasonable amount of time, I may just have to go for the Taurus and save myself some money. Whichever, I would like to have it in hand before Brendan and I travel up to New Hampshire for a blogger get together next month. If I get the Ruger, hopefully I will still have enough for at least 100 rounds of 44 magnum ammo so we can both practice some with it while in NH. 

All the best,
Glenn B
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