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Old March 17, 2001, 08:47 PM   #1
RWK
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I have intentionally bought only .357 magnum/.38 Special revolvers: two Ruger KGP-141s and two S&W "Special Edition" 627 N frames. I really enjoy the quality, precision, accuracy, and durability of these wheelguns, and I find the KGP-141s to be quite concealable, particularly when some type of "over garment" is worn.

The .41 magnum also really appeals to me, based on its own ballistics and its capability to accommodate 10mm and .40 S&W loads. From the standpoint of personal defense only -- and in a wide-range of defensive scenarios -- is there any substantial reason to favor the .41 mag over the .357 mag?

Your expert opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old March 17, 2001, 08:51 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Quite frankly, no, I personally don't think so.

.357 Mag. has more than enough power. And, more importantly, more than enough selections for defensive ammo.

The .41 Mag. is a bit short on defensive handloads. They're out there, but there aren't as many, and they're not as easy to find.

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Old March 17, 2001, 09:24 PM   #3
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For personal defense and general shooting, you are about as well off with your .357's as with a .41 Magnum. So I wouldn't get rid of your present battery in favor of the larger bore.
That said, the .41 is a very effective and accurate caliber in a longer barrel for hunting, animal defense, silhouette or any long-range shooting where extra smack and penetration is called for.
There are myriads of available factory loads for the .357, and only a few for the .41. However, handloading overcomes that objection.
If you do get a .41, I predict you will enjoy it.
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Old March 17, 2001, 09:29 PM   #4
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I wouldn't wanna pay to feed a 41 magnum when I had a good 357 magnum. I hear that you can get some pretty good hunting ballistics from 41 Magnum, but that's another story.
 
Old March 17, 2001, 10:27 PM   #5
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The 357 is a better defense load and the 41 is only marginally different in a long barrel. The availabilty of ammunition and the different calibers that the 357 will handle makes it a better choice. The cosst of 357 is less and if you reload it is even less expensive.
All IMHO.


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Old March 17, 2001, 10:31 PM   #6
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The perfect defensive bullet is suppose to be a 40 caliber projectile weighing 200 grains and traveling at 900 to 1000 feet per second. Or at least that was the original model Elmer Keith, Skeeter Skelton, and Bill Jordan had in mind when 41 Magnum came into existence. But due to the legal issues surrounding the name "Magnum", the cartridge failed to catch on. This is the same ballistics model used for the 40 Smith & Wesson and 10mm FBI loads and 40 Action Express. Is forty-one good for defense? Ask anyone that defends their lives with a 40 caliber and see what they say. Think of 40's as the 41 Magnums little brother.

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Old March 18, 2001, 12:15 AM   #7
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Forget the 41 maggie for urban (ie,human) self-defense. The 357 maggie is ten times more versatile in that role. The 41 magnum shines in the woods NOT on the street and buyin' the ammo will keep you in the poor house. Best Regards, J. Parker
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Old March 18, 2001, 02:16 AM   #8
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.41 mag, dumb cartridge, .357 or .44? .454 .50AE?
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Old March 18, 2001, 02:48 AM   #9
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WHOA NOW....

RKW stated in his post:

"The .41 magnum also really appeals to me, based on its own ballistics and it's capability to accommodate 10mm and .40 S&W loads..."

I think what you mean to say is that the .41 can be handloadedto equal these other loads. ( That is true. )

What I read is that you think you can shoot factory 10mm and .40 S&W rounds in a .41 revolver. ( This is maybe possible, and if nothing else, dumb as h*ck if it isn't outright dangerous. Please pardon my french. If I'm wrong, I apologize all to h*ll. )

Rusty


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Old March 18, 2001, 08:26 AM   #10
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Rusty,

You are right. What I meant to say . . . Sometimes getting English to match your thoughts isn't easy. Thanks.
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Old March 18, 2001, 09:31 AM   #11
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.41 mag a dumb cartridge ...?

Okay, I'll bite.

".41 mag, dumb cartridge, .357 or .44? .454 .50AE?"

zot, are you sure about that?? The .41 mag can do everything a .44 Mag can do. Same case length. 0.019 difference in bullet diameter. The .41 mag is an honest .410 while the .44 mag is really only .429. Some of the same bullet weights. Duplicate performance. I'm not saying it is appropriate for urban carry, but you listed the .44 mag, .454 and 50 AE, too.

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Old March 18, 2001, 10:45 AM   #12
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Good God Almighty! Who is disrespecting my favorite cartridge? You want to talk versatility, it will do almost everything, urban or woods. Why this wonderful round hasn't made a come back (thank you gunmag writers), I don't know. My conspiracy theory is that the market can't handle a cartridge that will do about everything and what it can't do, get a 45-70. Two calibers to do absolutely everything? The gun world wouldn't stand for it.
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Old March 18, 2001, 03:12 PM   #13
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If anything (and please forgive me all you .44 afficionados), the .44 Mag. is the dumb cartridge.

Well, maybe not the cartridge, but in my experience, the demeanor of many of the owners has rubbed off on the cartridge.

When I was working behind the counter at the gunshop we'd frequently get younger adults coming in wanting the biggest, baddest gun we had to take out on the range. So, we'd rent the .44. It was usually pretty fun to watch them shoot it. Usually by the end of the 3rd cylinderful, they were becoming quivering puddles of recoil shy jello.

Quite frequently we'd get some young testosterone-laded Gen-Xer into the store who was purchasing his first handgun. He seemed to always want the .44 Mag. Try to talk them out of it, nope, gotta have the big, bad, Dirty Harry gun...

I can't tell you how many of those guns eventually came back as consignment sale or trades on something that kicked a whole lot less.

The .44 Mag. has one thing that is really going for it, a lot of loading information (and the ability to shoot .44 Spls), so you can adjust your loads to your own tolerance.

But if it wasn't for the Dirty Harry movies, I don't think the .44 Mag. would be much more than a small blip on the radar.
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Old March 18, 2001, 04:33 PM   #14
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41magfan, I am thinking of getting a pistol in .41 mag just because I don't have one in that caliber. Can you give me some recommendations. I would primarily use it at the range.
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Old March 18, 2001, 06:19 PM   #15
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.41 Magnum

is my favorite revolver cartridge. I have owned several, but presently own only two. Both are S&W (Pre-sellout) model 57s. One is a Classic Hunter with 6 inch barrel, full under-rib, and unfluted cylinder. The other is a Mountain Gun.

I shoot cast bullets exclusively. The bullet I use is a H&G which weighs 225 gr when cast of lin-o-type. I load it from circa 600 fps for plinking and introducing new shooters, to 1,300+ fps for serious uses.


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Old March 18, 2001, 07:00 PM   #16
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.41 mag greatest cartridge ever made! I just see it as one
that is in the middle,I'm sure it can shoot as well as any
other mag, but its not as popular as other mags,
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Old March 18, 2001, 07:13 PM   #17
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I like the .41 mag.
Nothing wrong with the .357 mag.
Get what you shoot best and reload if you can.
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Old March 18, 2001, 07:18 PM   #18
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I think that assuming equal bullet placement on the target there would be no significant difference in effectiveness. However the .41 Magnum is an excellent cartridge. If you get one I am sure you will like it.
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Old March 18, 2001, 08:12 PM   #19
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I have several of both. I like both, but they are different. I reload and the 41 can be loaded down to very accurate and light levels. It can also be loaded right up there with the 44. The 41 is just about perfect in my opinion.
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Old March 18, 2001, 10:30 PM   #20
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I am a big .41 mag. fan. Own two of them. As to question: self defense.

There's a 170 gr. H.P. factory round that is fine for self defense. I know a homicide detective in So. Kalif. police dept., who carries one, on the job. 4" S&W 57. He works in a very rough city. It's saved his bacon before. He wasn't worried about it being "too much gun" when he really needed it.

FWIW. J.B.
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Old March 19, 2001, 10:54 AM   #21
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Pampers & other .41 mag owners, I'm currently looking for a S & W 657 Mountain Gun (4" barrel) for my upcoming 3 week camping/backpacking trip in July. Own a 686P .357, but I want that .41 Mag. Please keep an eye out for me. I've been told that the Mountain Gun was a limited edition. The only .41 Mag S & W now carry are 6" & 7 1/2" barrels.

Please don't suggest Taurus Trackers, have tried their products, ok for the range, not willing to BET MY LIFE on them.

Thanks.
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Old March 21, 2001, 07:07 AM   #22
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Freedom Arms has come out with a serious revolver in .41 mag. The only problem is that they cost upwards to $1600 new and $1100 used. I've never shot one but heard only spectactular reports about this company and their firearms. They are on the web (can't find the address). If you are on a budget, I can't say enough about the S&W Model 57 or 58.
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Old March 21, 2001, 09:23 AM   #23
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Thanks for the info 41, but I found exactly what I was looking for. Filling out the paperwork today for a S & W 657 Mountain Gun.
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Old March 22, 2001, 12:38 PM   #24
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Since we're so far off-topic in discussing .41 vs .44, I'll just add that my purely academic study of the topic showed that somewhere downrange, the slightly skinnier .41 bullet winds up having more retained energy than .44 Mags.

Because I had a slight interest in shooting IHMSA matches some time in the future and also harbored dreams of taking deer, I became intrigued with someday buying a .41 Mag. Almost picked up a Ruger Blackhawk, but someday still hasn't come.

The only reasons I see to prefer .357 over .41 Mag are ammo-related. One, more choices in factory loadings, as well-said above. Not a factor for me as I reload almost all of my ammo. Second, if there's a shortage, there are still one or two (?) law enforcement agencies using the .357, so I'd expect the supply of ammo and components to last longer than the .41 stuff would. Not planning any extended firefights in a "survival situation," that's not a factor for me either.

Use the one you like!
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Old March 22, 2001, 04:29 PM   #25
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That's why I own both. A .357 Mag 686P w/ 4" barrel, and now a .41 Mag 657 Mountain Gun. Pictures will be posted down the line.
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