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Old February 15, 2013, 10:56 PM   #1
.40cal
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Why .41 Magnum?

Recently I've been entertaining the idea of purchasing another revolver. I want something a bit more than a .357 for wild hogs and the like. I have a few questions though.

Why .41 mag? Why not a 44? It seems that the 44 will do anything and everything that the 41 will do and with more choices in loads. Correct me if I'm wrong, but would I be better off with the 44 in the long run?
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Old February 15, 2013, 10:59 PM   #2
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If you reload, the 41 is a fun round to play around with. If you do not reload and have no plans to start reloading, do not get the 41. Ammo is hard to come by and expensive.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:30 AM   #3
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I'd get the .44, just for the projectile selection alone.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:31 AM   #4
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Pretty much.
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Old February 16, 2013, 06:15 AM   #5
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Because .41 is fun to shoot and .44 is not.
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Old February 16, 2013, 06:21 AM   #6
dahermit
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Why a .41?

1. It is unusual and unique.
2. It is exactly (for me), the right size cases to manipulate and handle while hand loading. 9MM pinches my fingers in the press, too small to get a grip on quickly. The .44 Mag and .44 Spl. cases feel a little too large in diameter to me, more difficult to grasp quickly. In my days of single-stage presses, it was important.
3. Being a bullet caster and hand loader, there is no "down side", to shooting the .41 Magnum. It is very versitile...I have loaded warm loads for hunting, to very mild loads for target work including double-action rapid fire.
4. When shooting factory loads (haven't for years), the recoil is much more pleasant and controllable than a .44 Magnum, quicker on the second (and third), shot.
5. As a .41 shooter, it is unlikely that I will ever be confused with someone who has an un-modest attitude that "bigger is better", "mine is bigger than your's, etc., etc. Bigger is not always "better". The .41 Magnum is "just right".
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Old February 16, 2013, 07:18 AM   #7
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Without reloading, a .44 is a better choice for all of the reasons you listed.
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Old February 16, 2013, 07:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
but would I be better off with the 44 in the long run?
Yes, whether or not you handload.

Quote:
The .44 Mag and .44 Spl. cases feel a little too large in diameter to me, more difficult to grasp quickly.
LOL, the .41 mag is what, 96% the diameter of the .44 mag?

Last edited by spacecoast; February 16, 2013 at 07:43 AM.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:22 AM   #9
Bob Wright
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As far as Ruger single actions are concerned, the .41 Mag is available only in the Blackhawk configuration with 6 1/2" barrel (or 4 5/8") while the .44 Mag is offered as the Super Blackhawk with 7 1/2" barrel with the Super Blackhawk "Dragoon" style grip frame.

As the Bisley, I don't think there is any difference, except the .41 Bisley is very scarce.

Of course all of the above is meaningless if you go the custom sixgun route.

But as to which cartridge, it's a toss up. The .44 will handle very heavey bullets (300 grs. or so) better, but when do you realley need 300 gr. bullets?


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Old February 16, 2013, 09:34 AM   #10
Guv
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Don't think your average hog would know the difference, 41 mag is a nice cartridge. If that's what you want go for it.
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Old February 16, 2013, 11:23 AM   #11
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I like the .41 simply because I tend to be obstinate. Also because everyone knows that only calibers that end in "1" are of adequate power for self-defense. I used to carry a .221 Remington, but even for somebody of my size that scoped XP100 was a bit hard to conceal. LOL
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Old February 16, 2013, 11:33 AM   #12
jason_iowa
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I see no reason to get a 41 mag it serves no purpose for me. I know lots of people like em. I think the 44mag is fun to shoot and more versatile whether you hand load or not. I don't need anything between 357mag and 44 mag personally. Just like I don't need anything between 44mag and 500. Don't really need a 500 either but I want one which is really all the reason ya need to get anything lol.

44 mag is going to be easier to find ammo for
44 mag has wider variety of loads both factory and handloading
44mag is going to be easier to resell should you have to someday.

I personally see no cons to the 44 mag

Someone else will have to make ya a pro list for 41mag
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:01 PM   #13
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Performance wise they are closer than many think. I've owned 41's in the past and have 44's now just because it makes life simpler. I'd not feel at all undergunned with a 41 instead.

Theoretical advantges are

Slighty reduced recoil
Slightly flatter trajectory
Better SD
More beef in cylinder walls to make a stronger cylinder.

Whether those really help is debateable.

To me you choose a 41 mag for the same reason you choose a 280, 35 Whelen, or most any other odd ball chambering. You get to use something different from the masses without really giving up any performance. You don't really gain anything either.
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Old February 16, 2013, 12:12 PM   #14
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A 175 grain Silver Tip hollow point going 1600 FPS from the barrel of my 6.5 inch Black Hawk has killed more than a few hogs. All DRT. Penetration was through, and through. The wound channel was huge.

I like the .41 Mag. It will do for me anything the .44 Mag will with a flatter trajectory, and with less recoil. I cast for mine, and hand load. Speer makes a great jacketed hollow point, and Remington makes a great jacketed soft point of 210 grains that will kill any animal south of the Mason Dixon line, and most north of it providing the shooter does their part.


If you do not reload, and have no plans to then go with the .44 Mag. Ammo while expensive can be purchased at any sporting goods store, or Walmart.
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Old February 16, 2013, 01:43 PM   #15
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I will have to agree with my Pro .41 brethren mostly. The .41 is best suited for the experienced handloader. Less recoil, flatter trajectory and in equivalent frames (to .44), are a bit more sturdy. When I use to hunt with a HG, I used a 6" Smith 57 and a 6.5" Ruger Blackhawk. My two favorites are a customized Smith 58 and an OM Ruger Blackhawk three screw. I still think the cartridge would have found a larger marked if they had created a good factory .41 Special load for SD. I mostly load my own Special rounds for them these days. The 210gr lead factory load was a bit to hot for this purpose and would tend to lead a barrel something fierce.



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Old February 16, 2013, 03:50 PM   #16
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Have both, like both, shoot both equally well but I carry the 41 because it is of the 4" persuasion and my 44 is 7 1/2" Hogs and deer will not notice the difference.

When it comes to finding ammo it is true I can almost always find 44 mag easier then 41 mag and 44 spcl is the hardest of all so I find myself buying them whenever I see a box just to make sure I have some on hand. I do recommend Hogue or Pachmayr grips for it if you get the 4" version because it will set you up straight and let you know you are shooting a big dog.
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Old February 16, 2013, 03:56 PM   #17
Bob Wright
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I will disagree with the stated flatter trajectory of the .41 Magnum. This especially with handloaded ammunition. I didn't tweak the .41 I had that much, maybe could have if I had kept it longer.

But I never really got the 1600 fps out of my .41 with the 175gr. bullets. As I recall it was actually 1550 fps, compared to the .44s 180 gr. JHP at 1715 fps. Maybe I could have bumped it up had I kept it longer, but the difference in trajectory just wasn't there.

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Old February 16, 2013, 04:38 PM   #18
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As I developed shooting, I went from 22LR to 38spl to 357 mag to 41 mag to 44 mag AND then back to 41 mag. It does everything I want a caliber of this general size does and I shot it better than a 44 mag. That's all I need to know. These were factory loads versus handloads.

Ammunition availabilty is sometimes an issue. But if you do a little planning you can always have 41 mags availabe to you. You just can't walk into Walmart and expect to find any.

I am still hoping that PMC starts loading them again.
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Old February 16, 2013, 04:52 PM   #19
Jack O'Conner
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41 MAG has a lot going for it as a hunting round. But a good used 41 MAG should sell for considerably LESS than same model in 44 MAG for reason of ammo availability. For this reason alone, 41 MAG would be a good used gun purchase.

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Old February 16, 2013, 07:57 PM   #20
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They often sell for more, or the same price as their 44 mag cousins.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:29 PM   #21
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I own both calibers in several different revolvers..both types in S&W and Ruger...that said, I like them both, but for practical reasons, I'd pick the .44 for the ammunition availability alone. Aside from the current hysteria, you can find .44 loads from target velocities (in .44 Spl), all the way up to bear killing 300 gr loads. It's very versatile. The .41, conversely, is a hand loading proposition. Factory loads are limited, and expensive when you find them. Either caliber is more inherently accurate than any of us can hold...Rod
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:16 PM   #22
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My 2 cents worth------

Friend of mine has shot both whitetail and muleys with both calibers. Probably 3-4 of each over the years. He says You can not see the difference between the two. But for choice of components alone has chosen the .44.
My experience is recoil, not much difference. Noise, .41 seems sharper, more like .30 Carbine. Weight, no difference. Sex appeal, .44 hands down. And besides that, Skeeter says it's so. So there. Neener, neener!
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:22 PM   #23
dahermit
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Quote:
Quote:
The .44 Mag and .44 Spl. cases feel a little too large in diameter to me, more difficult to grasp quickly.
Quote:
LOL, the .41 mag is what, 96% the diameter of the .44 mag?
Regardless of the difference, I can grasp the empty cases a lot easier than the .44's. I do not know why, they just are.
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Old February 16, 2013, 10:40 PM   #24
Nanuk
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41 Mag is a great round, however, anything the 41 can do the 44 does better. Anywhere that sells ammo sell 44 mag. For me it is economics and availability.
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Old February 17, 2013, 12:51 AM   #25
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How a good thing went so very bad....

The story of the .41magnum in US gun circles is not a pretty one.

The design & intended use of the caliber showed promise but the size, weight & US sales all showed that the .41magnum wasn't really that popular or even needed by most revolver users.
Retired Detroit MI law enforcement officer & gun writer; Evan Marshal wrote years ago of using a S&W model 58 DA revolver as a sidearm. He & his patrol partner packed P35 9x19mm pistols as 2nd guns.
He said in US law enforcement, the .41mag didn't impress a lot of cops & the weight/recoil made it's use for patrol officers unpopular.

As you stated, the .44spl offers a lot for a DA .44magnum owner. The smaller .357magnum, with the 125gr JHP was a standard carry round for decades with excellent results.
There are still a few .41magnum revolvers in the gun industry but it's use isn't as strong as the 1970s/1980s.
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