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Thread: best .41 mag for black bear

  1. #1
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    Default best .41 mag for black bear

    Was thinking about a Ruger Blackhawk or S&W model 58 or 57 (if I can find one used). Any other .41 suggestions ? Already have a .44 just looking for something a tad lighter that will still do the job. Not trying to open a 41 vs 44 debate.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Gotta be a wheel gun? Hotter 10mm or 460 rowland could be fun. That, or load some lighter 44's and save a buck...

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    I have a BH in 41mag and like it a lot. Would really like to find a M57 that I could afford. A 41Mag even with the rather wimpy factory loads should be very effective for Black Bear. For hunting either should work well in 6", 6 1/2".
    Hunt Ak; How can you even suggest that he load his 44 lighter when he is thinking of getting a new gun? I might go with the 10mm or Roland but certainly not make do if there is an oppertunity to get another gun.

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    Do you like SA or DA? Go from there. I've got a S&W 657 w/6" that I really like to shoot. Never shot a bear with it. Ruger is likely to be less $.

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    I had a Ruger BH 4-58" in 41 Mag, to my eternal regret I sold it. Shooting hard cast 200 grainers it would easily kill deer inside of 50 yards (as far as I'll shoot at game with a handgun) and had nowhere near the recoil of a 44 mag using even moderate handloads with a 240 grain SWC. Carried so easy on the belt I hardly knew it was there....

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    Federal offers a factory loaded 250 grain Hard cast bullet load,about 1250 fps from a 6 inch barrel i believe. Thats what me and the girlfriend carry.

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    Used to be a fan of the .41 mag and still like it, though I've settled on the .44 mag for general use. Took several Columbia Blacktail and one b bear about 200 pounds in Northern California with a .41 mag with the factory 210 grain softpoint load, and a scad of pigs in Central Cal with my own hard cast 220 grain loads but if you'd like to read a good article on .41 loads, go to this link: http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/41heavy.htm. Well worth reading.

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    Oh, I used a 6 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk in the .41 mag. Great shooting, well balanced package.

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    If you are just looking for a woods carry/black bear defence gun it's hard to go wrong with the 4&5/8 Blackhawk. I love mine. Accurate, light, almost forget it's there.
    Vance in AK.

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    Yeah, I guess that 1 7/8" extra barrel would be a burden, heh, heh.

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    To me the 41mag is perfect for black bear hunting. The 210gr factory load will be plenty especially if baiting as the bear should be unaware of your presence and you should have time for a carefully aimed shot. Recoil will be quite a bit lower than the normal 44Mag load. In a defence shot I would prefer something more like the Federal 250gr load or even better, I have a home made jacketed hardcast bullet in 270gr that leaves my 6 1/2" BH at 1200fps. It does kick a bit more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mapman5 View Post
    Already have a .44 just looking for something a tad lighter that will still do the job. Not trying to open a 41 vs 44 debate.
    I've never fired a 41.

    My intention is not to open a debate, but IS, the 41 appreciably "lighter" to carry, or "lighter" in recoil? (Than a 44.)

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    In the Ruger single action family, the .41's are on the blackhawk frame as opposed to the Super Blackhawk frame, and are therefore somewhat smaller and lighter than their .44 cal brethren. In the Redhawk and Smith & Wessons the .41's actually tend to be heavier as they are the same dimensions externally as the .44's, but have a slightly smaller hole drilled in them. I've always preferred the .41's as they do tend to have a touch less recoil than a comparable .44, because of the heavier gun and lighter bullet, and the difference downrange appears to be statistically insignificant. Plus, it seems as though the 41's have a longer life span as that chambering doesn't put as much wear and tear on the gun as a .44, all else being equal. Should be an ideal black bear gun. I would personally save my pennies for a Smith & Wesson. I'm down to 4 S&W .41's now. Love those "N" frames. I'm saving my pennies right now, I don't know what S&W it will be, but I will know it when I see it.
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    Thanks, gunbugs:

    I preciate the info.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    Used to be a fan of the .41 mag and still like it, though I've settled on the .44 mag for general use. Took several Columbia Blacktail and one b bear about 200 pounds in Northern California with a .41 mag with the factory 210 grain softpoint load, and a scad of pigs in Central Cal with my own hard cast 220 grain loads but if you'd like to read a good article on .41 loads, go to this link: http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/41heavy.htm. Well worth reading.
    Thanks for the Good reading, Mauserboy.
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    For what it's worth, I killed deer easily with a 4-5/8" BH in 41 Mag I used to have. Can't remember my load right off hand, but it was a medium stiff load using a Laser Cast SWC, I want to say it was 210 grains. Was really a slick little shooter for all day field carry, it used to be my constant companion when I was out snooping & pooping, some of it in black bear areas in Minn. Of course something else caught my eye and I sold it.

    To my mind, Ruger would have a real winner if they made a stainless Bisley with 4-5/8-5.5 inch barrel, adjustable sights, in 41 Mag, 44 Mag, & 45LC. That would be about the perfect all around belt gun...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    Yeah, I guess that 1 7/8" extra barrel would be a burden, heh, heh.
    When you are as short as I am that extra 1 7/8" means the barrel is dragging :-)
    Seriously, while having the extra 1 7/8" may not be a horrible thing, not having it probably isn't either. Personal preference. For a gun I'll spend more time packing than shooting, I'd rather have the compactness. Again, personal preference.
    Vance in AK.

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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by NDTerminator View Post
    For what it's worth, I killed deer easily with a 4-5/8" BH in 41 Mag I used to have. Can't remember my load right off hand, but it was a medium stiff load using a Laser Cast SWC, I want to say it was 210 grains. Was really a slick little shooter for all day field carry, it used to be my constant companion when I was out snooping & pooping, some of it in black bear areas in Minn. Of course something else caught my eye and I sold it.

    To my mind, Ruger would have a real winner if they made a stainless Bisley with 4-5/8-5.5 inch barrel, adjustable sights, in 41 Mag, 44 Mag, & 45LC. That would be about the perfect all around belt gun...
    Can't argue with that.

  19. #19

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    Mighty hard to beat a S&W 58 (the original police model, not the garbage remake).
    The 4" barrel and fixed sights make for real easy packing! And around bears, you never know when the double action option just might come in handy.

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    Thanks for all the help. I held a Blackhawk .41 the other day and the standard wood grips sure seem skinny. From what I've read it might be hard to find larger rubber grips for one. I like the S&W 58 idea but might take some patience to find one. When I was young and dumb in the 1970's I worked at a wholesale sporting goods company and I remember those used police Smiths coming through by the dozen. Geez how I wish I had grabbed one.

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