6 Common Ruger Alaskan 454 Problems You Must Be Aware of

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I’ve had the chance to extensively test the Ruger Alaskan 454 out in the field, and let me tell you, it’s quite a piece of machinery. But, like anything, it has its own set of issues that you might run into

I’ve encountered a handful of Ruger Alaskan 454 Problems that seem pretty common among users. I’m talking about max load power issues, problems with the headspace, trigger issues, cases falling improperly, crimp jump, and sticky cases.

In this article, I’ll break down each problem and offer some tried-and-true solutions to get your Ruger Alaskan 454 running smoothly. 

Overview of Ruger Alaskan 454 & their Solutions

Max Load PowerStep down to lower power loads.
Problem with HeadspaceClean the cylinder’s central hole.
Trigger IssueClean the trigger assembly.
Case FallingUse rounds with lower pressure levels.
Crimp JumpTest ammo and lighten grip.
Sticky CaseCall Ruger and have the cylinder fixed.

Top 6 Ruger Alaskan 454 Problems & Solutions

1. Max Load Power Problem

Oh boy, let’s dive into the first issue: the max load power problem. This is a tricky one, especially if you’re after some serious shooting power. 

When I first got my hands on the Ruger Alaskan 454, I was pumped to try it out with max power loads. But wow, did it give me a reality check? Not only was the recoil enough to throw me off balance, but it also made it impossible to line up a second shot. 

Honestly, it became more of a struggle than fun, defeating the purpose of having a powerful revolver.


So, what did I do? I stepped down the power, folks. And I highly recommend you do the same. The manufacturers or data publishers should give us a heads-up about which guns can handle maximum power loads safely.

In my testing, sticking to lower power loads was the game-changer. It made for a much more enjoyable shooting experience and eliminated the pesky recoil problem. 

Don’t be a hero if you’re using the Ruger Alaskan 454. Stick with the less intense loads, and you’ll thank me later.

2. Problem with the Headspace

So, onto the next headache: the issue with the headspace. I started noticing something was off when I was only able to pull the trigger back halfway. 

Yep, you heard that right, just halfway. The hammer? That also went back halfway. Obviously, this is a problem you don’t want to have when you’re out and about, relying on your Ruger Alaskan 454. 

It’s not just frustrating; it’s downright worrisome. A quick inspection showed it was likely due to restricted headspace. At first, I thought it was a factory issue or maybe even the ammo, but it turns out it was neither.


So here’s the lowdown on how to fix it. I found that a bit of good ol’ cleaning did the trick. All you’ve got to do is field strip that revolver and get all the gunk out of the cylinder’s central hole. 

A solvent and some compressed air were my best friends in this process. If that doesn’t solve your problem, don’t hesitate to call up Ruger for some professional help. 

Trust me, taking the time to clean out that headspace can make a world of difference. So don’t overlook it; get it cleaned, and get back to shooting!

3. Trigger Issue

Alright, let’s talk about another biggie: a stuck trigger. Yep, the heart of the action is just refusing to budge. When I was field-testing the Ruger Alaskan 454, I found myself in this very predicament. 

I’m pulling the trigger, and what happens? Nothing, zip, zilch. This was more than just a minor inconvenience; it was a major disruption. I mean, you buy a revolver to shoot, right? If the trigger’s stuck, the whole experience goes down the drain. 

Trust me, it’s a curveball you don’t want to deal with, especially when you’re out in the field expecting reliability.


So, what’s the fix? Well, here’s what worked for me. First off, make sure the gun is unloaded for safety. Then, carefully disassemble the firearm and look at the trigger assembly. Clean it thoroughly, removing any grime or buildup that might be causing the jam. 

Sometimes, that’s all it takes. But if it’s still acting up, it might be time to take it to a professional or call Ruger’s customer service for additional guidance. 

It might be an extra step, but getting that trigger unstuck is worth it. So, don’t let a stuck trigger ruin your day; take action and fix it!

4. Problem with the Case Falling

Next up on the list of hurdles is the case falling issue. You won’t believe how often this happened to me, especially when firing a 310gr LFN cast bullet. 

I’d lift and raise the barrel, and boom, the cases would just tumble right out. Frustrating? You bet. 

The cases falling out just adds another layer of complexity you don’t need. So, why does it happen? Mostly, it’s because the cylinder’s walls are way too thin.


Alright, let’s fix this, shall we? To deal with this issue, I recommend sticking with rounds with lower pressure levels. Why? Because lower pressure rounds aren’t going to make the cases expand and get stuck. 

You want to maintain strength levels that can handle the 65,000 psi of the Ruger Alaskan 454. 

And listen, sometimes the company changes up the steel they use for the cylinder, but a good, standard stainless steel 5-shot conversion would actually do the trick without compromising the case integrity.

5. Crimp Jump Problem

Okay, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of crimp jump, a real nuisance. During my time with the Ruger Alaskan 454, I was all set for some serious shooting until the bullet leaps its crimp. The first cylinder was a mess. 

The recoil, especially with this lightweight model, is enough to force the bullet out of the casing by a millimeter or two. And guess what? That’s enough to jam your whole operation. 

So, what’s contributing to this mess? You’d be surprised to know that even an excessively tight grip can cause this issue.


So, how did I tackle this annoying issue? First things first, test your ammo. Even if it’s a bit pricey, it’s worth putting an entire box downrange to figure out which ammo type won’t give you this crimp-jumping headache. 

In my experience, testing different ammo types really narrow down the ones that behave. Next, lighten that grip, folks. A death grip on your revolver might just be making things worse. Also, check if your bullet is seated properly. 

If all else fails and you’re still experiencing the same issue, it might be time to consider selling or trading the gun for something more reliable. 

6. Issue with the Sticky Case

Let’s dive into another hiccup I encountered: the sticky case problem. Even with factory loads, the cases got stuck in the chambers. 

The last thing you want during a shooting session is to deal with cases refusing to come out. It’s a real mood killer, let me tell you. Whether you’re shooting hot ammo or not, you’ll find that the chamber has a certain roughness to it. 

This texture is what makes those brass casings stick and lock up the cylinder. Honestly, it’s an issue that can take the joy out of shooting this otherwise great revolver.


So, what did I do about this sticky situation? First off, don’t bother trying to tinker around and fix it yourself. It’s a known issue, especially with older models. Call up Ruger; that’s your best bet. 

In my case, I had to ship my Ruger back to them for some professional TLC. They either replace or polish the cylinder; voila, the problem’s fixed. Sure, it’s a bit of a hassle, but trust me, it’s worth it. 

Once your Ruger is back, you’ll find the shooting experience way smoother and more enjoyable.

Final Verdict

Let’s get one thing straight: the Ruger Alaskan 454 is a powerhouse capable of delivering some serious firepower. But it’s not without its issues. From max load power challenges to case sticking problems, it’s got a couple of bumps you’ll need to smooth out. 

However, it’s also worth noting that most problems are fixable. Whether it’s stepping down the power load, giving it a thorough cleaning, or simply swapping to low-pressure rounds, there are solutions to improve your experience with the Ruger Alaskan 454. 

To be fair, you’ll likely need to spend some time and maybe a bit of money to get everything right. 

If you’re willing to get hands-on and make those minor adjustments, you’ll have a reliable and powerful tool in your hands.


Is Ruger Alaskan worth it?

Yes, if you’re willing to make some adjustments, it’s a powerful and reliable firearm.

What is a Ruger 454?

It’s one of the most potent commercially available revolvers, known for its creative design and strong materials.

What is a Ruger Alaskan?

It’s a stainless steel double-action revolver with a 2.5-inch barrel and a robust cylinder designed for six cartridges in only three calibers.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.

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