Originally Posted by Irish B
Try and convince me not to buy a .44 mag this weekend and a .41 instead.
I have heard it said that any animal killed with a .41 Magnum would SWEAR that it was a .44 Magnum.
The 41 is a smaller bullet, but that means for the same bullet weight the 41 is longer and skinnier and loses less velocity to air resistance. In a bullet of the same profile, it will be a lighter weight and shoot with more velocity, which means a flatter trajectory, which, at distance, means less holdover is needed.
The handloaded .41 and .44 have just about the same power levels (check your loading manuals).
If you cast your own bullets, bullet selection is moot. Once you get a mold, your are set.
The difference between .357, 41, 44 and 45 is illuminating. The .41 is actually .41" the .44 is actually .429" and the .45 is .451"
Here's how the differences work out as ratios:
357 t0 41 1.148 in diameter 1.32 in frontal area 1.515 in weight
41 to 44 1.046 in diameter 1.095 in frontal area 1.1456 in weight
44 to 45 1.051 in diameter 1.105 in frontal area 1.162 in weight
If your shooting is at distance and you don't need the greater weight (potential) of the 44, the 41 will do a bit better for trajectory and velocity retention than the 44.
The 44 may do better at making a wound channel, but just under 10% larger cross-section may not be worth the extra weight. That is your call.
But if you want throw weight, a hot (the so-called "Ruger-only" loadings) 45 Colt is the next jump up.
If you want a flat shooting, fast, powerful cartridge with medium weight bullets, the .41.
If you reload, and especially if you cast, the world is your oyster and your choices are wide. If you will depend on factory ammo, you are more limited. There is no 41 Special ammo and not that many choices in .41 Magnum. There is 44 Special and 44 Magnum in a wide range of bullets. There are 45 Colt in light, medium and a few heavy loads.