|Type Rifle, Large game|
Designer Harold Johnson
Parent case .348 Winchester
|Place of origin United States|
Case type Rimmed
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 necked out the .348 Winchester case to accept a .510" diameter bullet, and Harold Fuller developed the barrel, marrying a .50 caliber barrel to an old Winchester Model 1886 rifle.
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.
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.