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Thread: 41 mag

  1. #1
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default 41 mag

    Im not very educated in the way of handguns so I assume this would be the best place to have questions answered about the only hand gun I own.

    My father purchased 2 revolvers at a garage sale about 15 yrs ago. I got them when he passed away. 1 was a 44 and the other a 41. They looked and weighed very much the same. I dont use handguns but I like to have one in the house for protection or when fishing so I sold the 44. I kept the 41 because it seemed to be somewhat rare at least to anyone I knew or told about it.

    Can anyone tell me what the main differences are between the 41 and the 44.

    Also when did they (if they did) stop making the 41?

    Information Im reading straight off the barrel if it helps any:
    'RUGER .41 Magnum Cal.'
    'New Model Blackhawk'



    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Well, I have two of those so marked and one old model of the same 41 mag caliber. The new model blackhawks were introduced in 1973.

    The caliber was introduced in 1964 as the 41 Remington magnum. Smith and Wesson brought out the model 57 that year and I have a 1966 version of the Ruger Blackhawk in the caliber. It is the first new revolver I bought before the GCA of 1968, I didn't have to be 18. Originally the cartridge was loaded by only Remingotn with a 210 grain JSP bullet at an advertised 1500 fps but that was likely stretching things even in the 8 3/8" barrel . And also a 210 soft lead load of about 1000 fps. With a 6 1/2" barrel in the blackhawk 1500 fps is possible but I find the caliber much more effective with the 250 grain WFNGC gard cast at about 1400 fps or less.

    This caliber was developed with the efforts of Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan purveyors of the 44 and 357 respectfully. It was originally meant ot be a more powerful law enforcement round, but failed except for the M&P model 58 version made for the San Antonio police department. The S&W M58 is a fixed sight, four inch version of the M57. I have one made in 1968, truely a prized possession.

    I think as a hunters handgun, it will do all the mighty 44 can do when loaded with the right bullets; that being the 250 grain WFN hard cast or something similar.

    Scroll down to the Range Report post some chronograph notes about this 41 mag factory load.

    EDITED NOTE: As often is the case, I failed to anser your question. "Can anyone tell me what the main differences are between the 41 and the 44." .020" in diameter.
    Last edited by Murphy; 07-23-2009 at 10:56.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I have a new model blackhawk and do my handgun hunting with that gun. I was a 1911 shooter and can still hold one tight but the single action frame is easy to shoot and my 6 & 1/2 inch barrel is a very accurate gun for me. I've taken deer black bear and one elk with it. All much more fun and demanding than rifle hunting. It is a fine caliber, shoot it and enjoy it.

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    Default 41 Mag.

    This cartridge fills the void between the .357 and .44. I've never owned one but I will someday. Maybe it hasn't been super popular but the guns I have shot have been very accurate with nice mild recoil. I don't own any single action revolvers but a 5" Bisley is what I want. Good luck with yours!

  5. #5
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default thanks

    Thanks everyone. Almost had to shoot a Blackie the other night with it. He was only 15 ft away ripping apart my trash and he wouldn't back down. I finally ran him off but I was real close to squeezin the trigger more than once during our confrontation

  6. #6
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    Default What?

    Someone is going to rip you for "leaving garbage where bears can get at it." As the saying goes, "A fed bear is a dead bear."

    How long have you been in Alaska? (Fifteen feet between you and a blackie is way to close. He can cover that distance faster than you can bring your handgun up.) I had one sneak in to within ten yards and I decided then and there that this bear was going out of the woods feet first!

  7. #7
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    Default 41 Masgnum

    How much experience do you have with firearms in general?

    The 41 Blackhawk is a fine gun and will match the 44 Magnum in power and only takes a back seat when considering maximum bullet weights. But the .41 will shoot farther, flatter and retains velocity better. The difference in size is not as great as it may seem from their names. The 41 is .410 inches in diameter and the 44 is .429". The 41 Mag is not as popular as the 44, but is still manufactured.

    That said, the 41 as a home defence round is seriously underserved by annumition manufacturers. Where the 44 Mag has 44 Special cartridges available and the 357 Mag has 38 Specials (The Specials can be fired in the magnum handguns just fine.). There is no equivalent 41 Special, and home defense ammunition is hard to come by without going to a custome loader or you load your own.

    If you reload, you are set. (I note that you mentioned this is your only handgun, but that leaves open the possibility that you are experienced with rifles, and perhaps handloading for these. Handloading for handguns is much simpler/easier than handloading for rifles.)

    But the 41 is a GREAT caliber. It is the revolver (ballistic) equivalent to the original 10mm Auto (which is more powerful tham most current 10mm loadings) and quite capable of home defense/social work as the 40 Smith & Wesson, which is developing quite a respectable reputation amount police departments and other law enforcement agencies.

    My advice? Handload for this gun (cuts the cost of ammunition by 65% tp 80%). Then take it to the range and practice. That can be a lot of fun and shooting a handgun well is tougher than shooting a rifle well, but worth it.

    More unsolicited advice. A shotgun is generally a much better home defense weapon than a handgun.

    Lost Sheep.

  8. #8

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    Get yourself a single six in 22lr to go along with the 41. The trigger pull and pointability of the two are basicly the same. You can shoot all day for a few $'s and the single six will make you better with your 41!

    As for killing power of the 41 vs the 44, its a toss up with bullets up to 250 grains. I've killed alot of whitetails over the years with a 44. Last year I switched to a 41 in a New Model Blackhawk (one of the first New Model BHwk's) and was amazed at the wound channel on the two deer I killed with it.

    The pasture thats serves as my personal shooting range has a 14 inch diameter granite rock that is 204 yards from my bench. That rock has proven that the 41 shoots flatter than the 44 and its a noticable difference.

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    Default S&W Model 357

    Confusing Model # but it is the .41 Mag version of the popular .44 Mag 329 PD - not a .357 Magnum. The parent gun was the Model 57 so the the "3" was added to make it a Model 357 like for the Model 29 made into the 329.

    I picked up one of these for a good price after they were discountinued but have yet to shoot it. It is slighly heavier than the 329 and should have a bit less recoil - probably an excellent application for a .41 Mag. as the 329 is a wicked piece to touch off.


    I traded off my New Model BH but still have my Old Model - it is pleasant and enjoyable gun to shoot with reasonable loads. The loading and unlaoding of the Old Models is much easier than the New Models - it is easy to see why the OMs bring a premium.

    Personally I don't see a lot of difference between the .41 and .44 except that .44 ammo and components for handlaoding are easier to come by.
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  10. #10
    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    Don't underestimate that .41 magnum. They have a flatter trajectory, less recoil and are more accurate than most other calibers. You've got two fine revolvers, there. Either will make a fine carry gun. The .41s can be handloaded with heavy bullets(260-300 grains) for bears and such. And ammo is available from some ammo makers.
    Steve

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Its a good round for sure but as to flatter, less recoil and more accurate I don't believe an apple to apple test would show it. Its old top factory loading was flatter than the 44mags top factory loading many years ago and in same weight guns but shooting different weight loads it did have less recoil.In the early days many folks couldn't shoot the 44mag but did very well with the 41mag and still had a respectable round out of a handgun.I think still today many would do themselfs a favor droping from the 44 to the 41 accuracy wise We have some real big bore out there now but then again you find alot of 500's.460's and 454's on the guns for sale forum that claim they have only been fired five or six rounds.JMHO but I think alot of these folks are picking up the lowly 44 again after the big boy leaves

  12. #12
    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    I don't see the numbers of 500s or 460s on the used gun market(too expensive) that others do but, I see countless .44 for sale all over the place? This is not to say that the .44 aren't good, servicable, guns. They are and serve well.
    Steve

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Its a good round for sure but as to flatter, less recoil and more accurate I don't believe an apple to apple test would show it. Its old top factory loading was flatter than the 44mags top factory loading many years ago and in same weight guns but shooting different weight loads it did have less recoil.In the early days many folks couldn't shoot the 44mag but did very well with the 41mag and still had a respectable round out of a handgun.I think still today many would do themselfs a favor droping from the 44 to the 41 accuracy wise We have some real big bore out there now but then again you find alot of 500's.460's and 454's on the guns for sale forum that claim they have only been fired five or six rounds.JMHO but I think alot of these folks are picking up the lowly 44 again after the big boy leaves
    I spent a solid two years looking for a 454 or 500 lightly used like that with zero luck. I finally broke down and got a new 460V and I have been offered more than I paid for it 3 times now. 454 has taken a huge chunk out of 44mag sales over the last ten years and is still growing, add in the X frame and the 44mag is fast losing ground in market share. Yes they show up in Swap-N-Sell from time to time but they sell for new prices and they sell fast at the new prices!

    As far as accuracy with “too much gun” goes I can put 5 in a paper plate at 100 yards off hand no trouble at all and with a rest I can do the same at 300 yards. I have been a handgun nut all my life, have or had about every chambering there is in mutable guns and not a one comes close to the accuracy of this progressive rifled 460 S&W mag! Yes it starts to heart after a couple cylinders of full house 460s in it, but with 45s it feels like shooting a 22 and 454s are like shooting a 357 in my X frame.
    Andy
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    It was originally meant ot be a more powerful law enforcement round, but failed except for the M&P model 58 version made for the San Antonio police department. The S&W M58 is a fixed sight, four inch version of the M57. I have one made in 1968, truely a prized possession.

    Amen. I have one of those revolvers..

    Here's a decent read on the .41..
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_166_27/ai_109264984/

  15. #15
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    AD I too like the big guns but don't shoot near as well as you and never will,I've heard about you pistol shooting skills. I've stuck with the 454 sence the late 80's and admit I shoot alot more 45colt through it than full loads.It seemed to me I have seen more of the bigger guns for sale on our forum and folks buying the new lighter 44mag Smiths.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    AD I too like the big guns but don't shoot near as well as you and never will,I've heard about you pistol shooting skills. I've stuck with the 454 sence the late 80's and admit I shoot alot more 45colt through it than full loads.It seemed to me I have seen more of the bigger guns for sale on our forum and folks buying the new lighter 44mag Smiths.
    I would not say I'm all that great a shot just that the 460s progressive rifling is an extant cheating aid.

    I went to get a 500, picked up the 460V, liked it and took it home. Then I learned about the progressive ‘gain twist’ rifling that night and was very worried that it could never shoot with a mess like that in the bore. Boy was I ever all wet about that!!

    I agree a lot of guys are going for the light 44s so their britches stay up better, having shot them and came away with my hand throbbing worse than from my 460 I don’t think it will be a long lived trend. Plus when I run out of ammo I can chuck my X frame at him and do damage where a scandium 44 would hit like a snowflake.

    I also shoot 45s about 5 to 1 in my 460, they are fun and cheap, like 22 plinking.
    Andy
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