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Old October 10, 2007, 12:43 PM   #1
matronk41
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the .41 Long Colt -Comeback??

I have been watching over the years, and I am 24 years old.
I have been a fan of the .41 Long colt for quite some time.. I guess ever since I saw Tombstone with Val Kilmber portraying Doc Holiday..
he carried a Colt Model 1877, who knows if the one he carried in the movie was a .41 or not.. though Doc was known to carry the .41 Colt revolver .

Now to today, its back on the market, its on the shelves for sale at high prices... because it is still an obsolete round that at one time wasn't... like so many other respectable cartridges that were lost over the years of time..

I own a .41 Colt Army Special, I enjoy this revolver, to be honest I carried it many times,there's just something about it, the way it feels in the hand, knowing at the end of the barrel its not just a .38 caliber revolver...

Elmer Keith gave the .41 colt good feedback, as a man stopper, just not paper accurate..
it was apparently stopped by the .38 special.. which took over..

Its seems though today it is trying to make a comeback in the cowboy action world.. Cimarron Arms (Uberti) has chambered the round in a few of there Revolvers, United States firearms Inc. has it offered in there single action army line up..,
My question is are there any other fans out there on this caliber, and what do you think its future will be ???
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Old October 10, 2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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Well, as originally loaded with a heeled bullet the .41 Long Colt was close to .41.

As loaded with a non-heeled, inside lubricated bullet it was closer to a true .38.

Back in the 1960s when police were looking for better performance from a handgun (S&W's solution was the .41 Mag.), Keith and a number of others advocated loading either the .38 Spl. or .357 Mag. with 200-gr. bullets, which would have come close to equaling the old .41 Long Colt, which was a decent performer when it came to having to shoot people.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing an obsolete cartridge come back to life, but I really think the .41 LC is going to remain a niche cartridge available only in Cowboy Action type guns.

I'd be very happy to see something along the lines of a 5-shot J frame or 6-shot K frame in .41 Long Colt, but I doubt if I ever will.
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Old October 10, 2007, 01:06 PM   #3
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The Heeled Bullet is what makes loading the .41 LC a real pain. No one that I know of makes a bullet mold for that style bullet and the hollow base bullets have to be very soft in order to expand properly to get any accuracy out of this ctg. at all. Who knows, maybe someone will come out with a proper bullet mold and a crimp die so that loading this ctg. will be practical again. Ya' never really know.
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Old October 10, 2007, 01:53 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure that late production .41s (20th century) used barrels that were properly sized to the inside lubricated bullet, but I may be wrong about that.
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Old October 10, 2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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Mike Ventrino has an excellent book on the SAA and all the ctgs. that is shoots. IIRC the barrels on the 41 LC were still sized for the heeled bullet.
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Old October 10, 2007, 03:34 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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In the 1930s Colt built a prototype .41 Special. Surely by then it had proper inside lubricated bullets at groove diameter, but I have never read whether it was the .386" of the hollowbase .41 LC or the .401 - .408" " of the heel bullet.
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Old October 10, 2007, 03:47 PM   #7
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OK, so you want 41 Long Colt ammo. Forget about it not offering anything in the way of performance (200 gr lead bullet at 750 fps), cases not available, and no recently chambered guns in that cartridge. With the new crop of 40 caliber bullets, if you could solve the other problems, you could reload it. 41 Long Colt was very well respected in its day, but so was the Remington 41 rimfire (short and long) and the 44 Bulldog.

Like most obsolete cartridges, if you see ammo, grab it. It is probably your only chance to actually fire an old gun chambered for it. Then again, with the popularity of CASS, maybe you wil see more of them.
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Old October 10, 2007, 04:03 PM   #8
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Was the 41 Colt Long a true 41 caliber, or was the actual bullet diameter something else? If it is a true 41, ... on another thread we are discussing a 41 special round. How about a single action, 41 caliber, that comes with two cylinders: one in 41 Colt long and the other in 41spec. That way you can have one for the true old west feel and the other for something more practical.

I don't expect to see a return of heel based bullet rounds, except maybe for cowboy action shooting.
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Old October 10, 2007, 04:42 PM   #9
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No brass available for .41 Long Colt?

Someone had better tell Starline. They're selling it to Midway!

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...979&t=11082005

Midway also carries bullets for the .41 Long Colt (they're .401 diameter???), reloading dies, and a bunch of other goodies.


And no, I don't think the .41 LC was a true .41 caliber, even in the heeled bullet days. The case dimensions just aren't right for it.


Bullets are also available.

Loading data is still kind of hard to come by, but I suspect that you could easily use heavy bullet .38 Spl. data and get into the proper ball park. I suspect that within the next 6 months you're also going to see Trail Boss data for .41 Long Colt.

Hell, they've got data for .38 Long Colt, .38 Short Colt, and .44 Colt, so why not finish off the .41s with data for the .41 Short and Long Colts, as well...
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Old October 10, 2007, 09:38 PM   #10
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OK, according to Cartridges of the World 8th edition, the .41 Colt was originally loaded with a heel-base bullet that was nominally .41 caliber.

After the heel-base bullet was dropped, the bullet diameter was .38 and change.
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Old October 10, 2007, 11:02 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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There is a section in the Lyman Pistol and Revolver Handbook 2nd Ed. that goes into that.

It is commonly said that Colt used the same barrels for .38-40 and .41 Long Colt. Well, sometimes. But sometimes you could put a .38-40 cylinder in a .41 LC gun and hit nothing because early .41 LCs were .408" to .410" and .38-40 is .401" or so. Later .41s were down around .402"+ and would do ok with .38 WCF.

Or so says Hank Williams Jr, who is a student of the SAA.

If you just must, Lee will special order a collet crimp die for .41 LC heel bullets.
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Old October 11, 2007, 07:44 AM   #12
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What is a heel based bullet? I'm not familiar with that term.
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Old October 11, 2007, 08:07 AM   #13
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The .41 Special is a TOTALLY different ctg. It is a 41 Mag cut back to 38 Spl. length to be used in a medium frame revolver. It will use the same bullets that the 41 Mag will use. As for what a "Heeled Bullet" is, take a look at a .22lr, the base of the bullet that's held in the case is actually smaller then the head of the bullet that engauges the rifling of the bore. That way the ctg. case and bullet head will be the same size but the part that crimps into the ctg. case can be made smaller.
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Old October 11, 2007, 08:36 AM   #14
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The only way I think the 41colt could make a comeback would be if it went the way of the 44colt, that is alter the original specs to acomodate todays reloader. This could easily be done by trimming 41mag brass even shorter than the 41special. It would also take some effort from Uberti and an ammo company like Black Hills. Then have DPris write up some reviews.
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Old October 11, 2007, 08:45 AM   #15
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Abndoc,

A heel-based bullet is like a .22 Long Rifle bullet.

Most bullets have a single diameter along the body section of the bullet, from the shoulder (if they have a rounded or pointed nose) down to the base.

A heel based bullet looks a little bit like a mushroom. The bullet actually has two shoulders...

The first is the same diameter as the outside of the case mouth (the mushroom cap) while the other one (the stem on the mushroom) is the same diameter as the inside of the case.

It's this smaller diameter section that is the heel, and it's what's seated inside the case to hold the bullet in place.

In the carly days of centerfire cartridges this kind of bullet was the norm, but it had some disadvantages, so starting in the early 1870s there was a gradual shift away from the heel-base bullet.
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Old October 11, 2007, 09:10 AM   #16
MADISON
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.41 Long Colt

How close is the Old .41 Long Colt to the "new" .41 Special?
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Old October 11, 2007, 10:35 AM   #17
Jim Watson
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Not a bit. There is NO interchangeability.
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Old October 11, 2007, 11:49 AM   #18
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IIRC, the .41 was the fifth most popular caliber in the Colt SAA, right behind the .45 Colt, .44-40, .38-40 and .32-20.

Quite a comedown!

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Old February 11, 2011, 07:03 PM   #19
atfsux
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bore diameter of the new guns is .401

The bore diameter of the Cimmaron Arms guns in .41 LC is .401, which is the same as .40S&W and 10mm. The load data I've come across for these modern diameter bullets indicates about 100fps less than a comparable wieght in .40S&W

So you could say that since 9mm an autoloading .38spl., the .40S&W is an autoloading .41LC,...or at least fairly close to it.
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Old February 11, 2011, 07:24 PM   #20
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A comback for 41 long colt ???????

Why not ? Gun manufactures are already offering rounds we don't need. How many different .308 choices are there now for instance?? 300 win mag, 300WSM, 300 Weatherby. 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Ruger, and the list goes on and on and on. Collectors now have more choices than Hugh Heffner. How about a .425 that would fill the gap between a .41 and a .44, or a .19 for the people who something in between a .17 and a .22 lr. Where will it end, will it end,,,,probably not.
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Old February 11, 2011, 08:54 PM   #21
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I don't see it making any kind of a comeback.

They'd have to load it very mild, so some chucklehead wouldn't stuff it in an antique revolver. How many .41 Colts were made after the switch to smokeless? I'm sure some were as I've seen Army Specials in .41LC. Not to mention the smaller bullets wouldn't work well with the originals that were barreled for the heeled bullet.

On the other hand, a 41 Special in a mid frame revolver would be kind of nice. I'd think that would be smarter as it would be compatible with the .41 Mag guns that are already on the market.
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Old March 16, 2011, 08:25 AM   #22
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Buffalo arms is selling it in both black powder and smokeless, right now.
http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/4,7587.html
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Old March 16, 2011, 08:34 AM   #23
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I mentioned in another thread some time ago that a Smith & Wesson J frame sized gun in .41 Long would be REALLY interesting.

I stand by that.
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Old March 16, 2011, 08:57 AM   #24
savit260
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Quote:
I mentioned in another thread some time ago that a Smith & Wesson J frame sized gun in .41 Long would be REALLY interesting.

I stand by that.
Now THAT would be cool! Wonder if they could fit 5 in there?
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Old March 16, 2011, 09:53 AM   #25
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I THINK they could, but I'm not 100% certain.
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