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|Type||Rifle, Large game|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Parent case||.348 Winchester|
|Bullet diameter||.510 in (13.0 mm)|
|Neck diameter||.536 in (13.6 mm)|
|Base diameter||.553 in (14.0 mm)|
|Rim diameter||.610 in (15.5 mm)|
|Rim thickness||.070 in (1.8 mm)|
|Case length||2.10 in (53 mm)|
The .50 Alaskan is a wildcat cartridge developed by Harold Johnson and Harold Fuller of the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska in the 1950s. Johnson based the cartridge on the .348 Winchester in order to create a rifle capable of handling the large bears in Alaska.
Harold Johnson made the first 450 Alaskan in 1952, and continued to make them in the 1950s and 60s. The rifle was based on the Winchester Model 71 in .348 caliber. Bill Fuller made the reamers. John Buhmiller made the barrel. Frankl Barnes made the bullets. The "50" came later.
Since the rifle was designed for use on Alaska’s great bears, Johnson cut 720-grain (47 g) boat-tail .50 BMG bullets in half, seating the 450-grain (29 g) rear half upside down in the fireformed .50-caliber case. It didn’t take Johnson long to find out that the 450-grain truncated shaped "solid" would shoot through a big brown bear from any direction, claiming in 1988, "I never recovered a slug from a bear or moose, no matter what angle the animal was shot at."
Harold’s favorite load in the .50 Alaskan was 51.5 grains (3.34 g) of IMR-4198 with a Barnes 400-grain (26 g) flatnose, jacketed bullet for about 2,100 ft/s (640 m/s) and just under 4,000 ft⋅lbf (5,400 J)of muzzle energy..
The Alaskan is shorter than the .510 Kodiak Express and produces about 10% less energy or 33% less energy than the 50-110, out of a 71 Winchester re-barreled to chamber the 50-110 WCF 6,000 foot-pounds.
Rifles for .50 BMF Bullet are available from some specialty gunsmiths and also conversions from Marlin and Winchester lever-action rifles. Reloading dies are available from Hornady. Although it is considered a wildcat cartridge, loaded ammunition is available from Buffalo Bore.
- The .50 Alaskan Built on a Marlin Levergun by Al Anderson
- Taffin, John (March 2004). "Big Bore Hunting Rifles". Guns Magazine. Archived from the original on 28 November 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- McPherson, M.L. (November 2008). "The .510 Kodiak Express the 5,000 foot-pound Marlin". Guns Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Taylor, Jim. "The Model 71 Winchester and the .348 WCF Cartridge". Leverguns.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Available conversions". Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- Cassell, Jay (2009). Shooter's Bible: The World's Bestselling Firearms Reference. Skyhorse Publishing. p. 235.
- ".50 Alaskan 3 Die set". Archived from the original on 3 August 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- ".50 Alaskan Ammunition". Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- Taffin, John (March 2004). "Serious ammunition: heavy duty factory loads for the big-bore levergun". Guns Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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