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Old January 2, 2013, 07:22 PM   #76
Deaf Smith
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While I would not mind at all getting a Lew Horten 3 inch .41 snub I can say the .44 magnum revolvers are usually the same frame size and actually weigh a bit less due to the bigger hole in the cylinder and barrel (that is less steel in the gun.) And you can always load a .44 down to a .41 but not vice-versa!

My field gun now is a 629-3 4 inch .44 magnum with 240gr LSWC and 7.5gr Unique (the old Skeeter load.) For deer I use 250gr gas checked LSWC and 10 gr. of Unique for a bit over 1000 fps.

I almost never use full powered .44 magnum ammo. Just don't run into critters that need that kind of umph.

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Old January 4, 2013, 12:03 AM   #77
yournodaisy
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It's the 20 20 gun...20% more than a 357 and 20% less than a 44 mag. That's what makes it perfect.
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Old January 4, 2013, 12:10 AM   #78
Jim Watson
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Some old guy name of Keith said the .41 shot noticeably flatter than the .44... but kicked up less dirt to spot shots with.

I was shooting metallic silhouette in the 1970s and the M29 was considered a bit delicate for high volume shooting of full power loads up to 200 metres.
The M57s held up better.
Apparently 30 grains of bullet weight took you across the threshhold of durability of a plain vanilla N frame.
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Old January 4, 2013, 07:12 PM   #79
buckhorn_cortez
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Quote:
was shooting metallic silhouette in the 1970s and the M29 was considered a bit delicate for high volume shooting of full power loads up to 200 metres.
The M57s held up better.
Apparently 30 grains of bullet weight took you across the threshhold of durability of a plain vanilla N frame.
Exactly what I found. The M29 got loose and had to be sent back to S&W twice to be fixed. During one of its vacation trips, I picked up an M57 8-3/8 barrel .41 and found it shot much flatter and accurately with a bit less recoil.

Sold the M29, bought a .44 Special 3-inch barrel gun to carry and haven't bothered to change anything for 30 years. Tried a Ruger Redhawk .44 found I disliked the trigger compared to the S&W's and sold that one.

For long range use I prefer the .41 as I shoot it more accurately. But, given the choices today, I'd probably opt for the .44 for general use or a .460 S&W if I wanted it for hunting.
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Old January 4, 2013, 07:30 PM   #80
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57

Love my S&W mod 57 41 mag.
Loading "41 Spcl" is as simple as cutting down mag brass 1/10th inch and reducing powder accordingly. Use 215gr hard cast lead and bang away all day. BTW I took many big hogs with the 41 without a problem.
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Old January 4, 2013, 11:45 PM   #81
RC20
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I find those comment about you "have to have a 44 Magnum" if you are in Alaska pretty funny.

Well, as a pretty well tried and trued Alaskan (since the age of 2) I eventually went with the 41 magnum (both my target and my woods carry).

While the 44 magnum xisted before Dirty Harry its what made it popular. Otherwise it would be on equal footing with the 41 (nothing against it, good enough).

However, the 41 magnum is a true 41 caliber and the 44 is a 43 caliber which makes them very close.

I moved from a Ruger 44 to a S&W 44 and then I saw a S&W 41 and fell in love with it. I respected the 44, but I LIKED the 41. Both are so close to equal that its the small things that seperate them.

I could shot the 44 well, but I could shoot the 41 really good. Just enough less recoil that made a difference for me and I am not and was not recoil sensitive (I worked hard core construction and you had to get it all done in the summer or the place froze up and stopped progress in those days)

And the 41 had a penetration edge over the 44 (if you hand loaded it up to max potential and I did). If you are going to take a bear on (or have to because its taking you on) then penetration is far more important than a minor difference in energy as you are on totally shaky ground shooting a bear with a pistol anyway.

So, if you want and like a 44 and can shoot it well, that's fine, but overall I found the 41 was the better choice for me. I don't think you can go wrong with either one and if one suits you better than another then that's the one for you.
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Old January 7, 2013, 11:10 PM   #82
Niantician
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I own two 44mags. A Marlin 1894, and a Taurus Tracker. If I ever found myself needing a 41mag, I'd buy a 10mm.
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Old January 8, 2013, 07:12 AM   #83
BillCA
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I got as far as page 2 and had to stop.

The arguments over .41 vs. .44 always come down to the .44 Magnum guys trying to pretend their weenies are bigger and thus better. But like the ladies say, it's how you use it that counts!

I've owned at least one .41 since 1976 and never felt the need for a .44 Mag, ever (the .44 Special is another argument). After all these years I've learned that any animal you take with a .44 can also be taken with a .41 Mag.

Originally Remington made only 2 loads. A 210gr JSP at 1300 fps and a 210gr LSWC at ~1100 fps from a six inch barrel.

Today there are more loads from more makers and in a wider variety of bullet shapes & weights than ever before. Makers include;
Remington
Winchester
Barnes
Cor-Bon
Double-Tap
Federal
Grizzly and a few others

Bullets now range from 170 grains to 265 grains.

The only thing missing from the .41 magnum ammo line-up are some lower-power loads. There are a few reloading houses that make a lower power load (usually a 210/215 gr LSWC pushed around 1000 fps from a 6"). These are good ad hoc defensive loads for the most part.


For Deaf Smith: 1986 Lew Horton 657 with 3-inch barrel, finger groove k-grips

I find the lack of moderate loads disappointing. The .41 Magnum was originally the brain child of Border Patrolman Bill Jordan in cooperation with (hmmm..either Elmer Keith or Skeeter Skelton, my memory slips). The original concept was a .41 caliber revolver firing a 200 grain LSWC from a 4-inch barrel at about 900-1050 fps. This would be stout but less punishing than the then-existing .357 Magnum loads and far less than the .44 Magnum. Jordan said he would have accepted a 5-shooter if they could stuff it into a K-Frame. That wouldn't work as it turns out so they used the N-frame and, in 1964, S&W was suffering from "Magnum-itis" so the power level was increased. Police used to JHP ammo tried to use hunting ammo for it and scores dropped fast. Those who used the 210 LSWC found it controllable.

During it's relatively short police service life, the .41 Magnum was not deployed many times that I can find. However the handful of police shootings showed the .41 Magnum did live up to expectations. Hitting someone with that large LSWC bullet usually turned out the lights. The one case where a follow-up shot was given involved a guy on PCP.

During the late 70's we found some .41 Magnum 180 grain FMJ meant for silhouette shooting and loaded them up to about 1490 fps. Brisk load and loud. But at 60 yards a 1/4" cold-rolled steel plate wouldn't stop it. And it went through a junked '63 Impala like butter.

Blackhawk, Redhawk, Model 57, Stainless 657 or Model 58, you'll find one of them to your liking. Personally, I own five and find the (until recently) scarce Model 58 to be the best woods gun but the 6-inch the better shooting gun. If you run across a Taurus 615T Titanium lightweight .41 mag in good condition it's worth considering if the barrel is ported. With 175gr Silvertips it's actually not bad for shooting (with the ribbed rubber grips on it).


S&W Model 58's, nickel and blue. The blued gun is an "S" prefix vs. "N" prefix
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Old January 8, 2013, 12:40 PM   #84
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The argument that "anything a 44 can do, a 41 can do" is a specious argument. It simply sidesteps the question of which is better. A 357 can do anything a 41 can do, does that make it the equal of the 44 also?

It is a long held and fully supported view among straight-walled revolver cartridges that bigger is better, i.e. more powerful at less pressure. A 45 Colt can do anything a 44 mag can do, and at lower pressure, and makes a bigger hole at the same time. The same is true of the 44 over the 41.

So if someone wants to argue the 41 is better than the 44, it would have to be because it is lighter (not true, comparing the same gun in both calibers), or cheaper to shoot (possibly, but due to availability of components and ammo, not very likely), or that it has less recoil (which is true).

I always thought the best "fit" for a 41 magnum would be a 5-shot revolver with a 5" barrel on an L-frame S&W. Both smaller and lighter than an N-frame Smith, it would still have less recoil and have 90%+ of the power and effectiveness of the 44 mag. At a reasonable price, I'd sure buy one!
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Old January 8, 2013, 01:11 PM   #85
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I had both. Back in the Bush 1 days with gun restrictions starting to get more stupid,yup said more stupid, could say stupider. I had to make a choice. I like both, but factory ammo and components for the 41 mag are not nearly as common as 44 fodder, at the time there were only 2 factory loads for the 41. I picked 44 and have not looked back. If I could have only one gun it would be a 44 magnum.
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Old January 8, 2013, 07:37 PM   #86
Mike Irwin
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"During it's relatively short police service life, the .41 Magnum was not deployed many times that I can find. However the handful of police shootings showed the .41 Magnum did live up to expectations. Hitting someone with that large LSWC bullet usually turned out the lights. The one case where a follow-up shot was given involved a guy on PCP. "

I believe it was Evan Marshall, the one stop shot guy, who used to carry a .41 on duty, as he expected it to be a great performer.

IIRC, he wrote that it did NOT live up to his expectations in the one or two shootings in which he was involved with it.
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Old January 8, 2013, 08:32 PM   #87
kimbers rule
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Im a huge fan of the 44 mag but they are both great calibers. Nobody I hang out with that have 41's reload and they hardly ever shoot them because ammo is hard to get. That's about the only problem I can see with the 41 mag.
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Old January 8, 2013, 08:42 PM   #88
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In the intrest of the morbid, the only use I had ever read of the .41 Magnum being used, before stumbling upon TFL of course, was that Sheriff Gene Matthews used one to shoot and kill Gordon Kahl outside of Smithvillie, AR. It was a one shot stop, from what I've read, but Sheriff Matthews was also fatally wounded in the exchange.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:44 PM   #89
jason_iowa
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44mag is one of my favorite rounds. Its extremely versatile and fun to shoot. I have never shot a 41mag though so I can't say anything good or bad about it. I can't imagine that the 41 mag does anything that the 44mag cannot
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:13 AM   #90
BillCA
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A 357 can do anything a 41 can do, does that make it the equal of the 44 also?
I'd dispute the claim that the .357 can do anything the .41 can do. Not unless you push the .357 really hard and compare against factory .41 loads.

Quote:
I believe it was Evan Marshall, the one stop shot guy, who used to carry a .41 on duty, as he expected it to be a great performer.

IIRC, he wrote that it did NOT live up to his expectations in the one or two shootings in which he was involved with it.
That may be. Of the slightly more than half dozen incidents I've read about, it's done well. The sample is really too small to say that it deserves a 75% rating with only 6/8 shootings needing one shot. Still, it bodes well. I have high confidence that anyone who is a recipient won't want to keep playing.

Someone else mentioned buying a 10mm instead of the .41 Mag. Not a bad choice if you can stock up on the higher performing ammo like the Hornady 180gr XTP.
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