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Model 71 in .450 Alaskan #16010487 04/19/21
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pharmvet Offline OP
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Anyone have experience with the .450 Alaskan conversion? Please elaborate. Thanks!

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Re: Model 71 in .450 Alaskan [Re: pharmvet] #16010823 04/19/21
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I’ve done a couple.
Loading area needs work for them to make the turn and get in the mag.
It’s said that it’s a good idea to devise some type of barrel band for the front end of the mag tube to keep it from puking the plug, spring, and follower or stripping the super fine threads off the tube and launching the whole works. I know a guy who bored the threads for the tube out of the receiver and used a Marlin tube and dovetail hanger. I personally just made an L shaped lug and flat magazine cap, silver soldered the two together. Counterbored a screw hole through the lug and drilled and tapped an 8x40 hole in the underside of the barrel for a screw to suck the lug up against the barrel and hold everything tight. Harold Johnson used to oxy acetylene weld a band over the barrel onto the forend cap and sometimes used a big sleeve for the end of the tube that slid over the barrel and the tube, weird arrangement.

If you plan to carry it a lot and shoot it a little a rebore works great. If you want to shoot it a lot I like to turn a blank for a little heavier contour to put a little weight out front. Loaded full tilt it can produce some pretty serious recoil and the weight out front helps keep the comb from chopping you in the cheek every time you torch it off.

I did 450s and 50s on real original 71s as well as Browning repros. Neither ever needed any real feeding work aside from opening the loading area.

Re: Model 71 in .450 Alaskan [Re: pharmvet] #16011444 04/20/21
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frank500 Offline
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It’s a 458 in a lever action. Mine was a rebarrel with a full length magazine tube. Nicely done but never figured out who did it. Restocked as well. 400 grain bullet won’t stay in elk no matter what angle you hit them at.
I sold it as my neck cannot handle much recoil any longer. Made me sad and I miss it. I shot from collar button bullets to 500 grain mastodon mashers. Excellent cartridge in an excellent rifle.

Re: Model 71 in .450 Alaskan [Re: pharmvet] #16011851 04/20/21
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There are several versions of the 450 Alaskan in circulation as it was a wildcat that was never standardised and there’s no copyright on the use of ‘Alaskan’. If you go down this route make sure the loading dies match the chamber reamer specs.

There is really not much between a 450 Alaskan and a 45/90, perhaps 50fps, if that. The 45/90 is the more practical alternative IMO. Cases and dies are inexpensive and readily available. Winchester periodically make special runs of fast twist 45/90’s. About 12 years ago I had a Browning 71 converted to 45/90. I had it built for an upcoming buffalo hunt in the Northern Territory. Loaded with heavy cast pills it performed well.

In hindsight by using bore riding cast bullets, you can load 45/70 to 45/90 length and performance, which to my mind gives the 45/70 a huge advantage in flexibility.

As mentioned, you may need to make some mods to the loading area and look at ways to mitigate the effect of recoil on the magazine tube assembly. I consider the wrap around tubing that Johnson used a major eyesore and blight on what is an otherwise good looking levergun. I believe Turnbull simply silver solders the forend tip tenon to the barrel. In my conversion I went a little further and had a Marlin magazine tube stud dovetailed and silver soldered to the barrel. This has proven effective and is totally unobtrusive.

Re: Model 71 in .450 Alaskan [Re: pharmvet] #16014608 04/21/21
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Originally Posted by pharmvet
Anyone have experience with the .450 Alaskan conversion? Please elaborate. Thanks!


There are a few relatively recent threads mentioning the .450 Alaskan... and some other likely alternatives... so you might want to do a search on those, too.

-Chris

IC-A

Re: Model 71 in .450 Alaskan [Re: pharmvet] #16016523 04/21/21
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450Fuller Offline
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I have owned 5 450 Alaskans-1 450 Fuller original and a 50 Alaskan. The 50 is now on Kodiak Island in use. The accuracy of the 50 does not
equal the 450s in MHO. Neither of my 450s required an extra barrel band. If you try to make an Ackley 450/348 you will need one.
The 450s can be loaded warmer than the 45-90. Beware any 450 AK cartridge / chamber without a shoulder.: that was NOT the original Johnson JKR
design of the 1950sw. RCBS does it right.
The pre-war Model 71 Winchester is the best platform for the 450 Alaskan/Fuller wildcats.


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