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.
|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)|
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.
- McPherson, M.L. (November 2008). "The .510 Kodiak Express the 5,000 foot-pound Marlin". Guns Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- 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.
- "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".
- Taffin, John (March 2004). "Serious ammunition: heavy duty factory loads for the big-bore levergun". Guns Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2010.