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Old December 9, 2012, 01:42 PM   #51
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Irish, where are you?

44 vs 41 mag threads are always fun. Everyone has their opinion. Some are based on experience with both calibers and some aren't. I don't think I've noticed the OP come back on his own thread and make a comment about his thinking rather than just causing the dust to blow up with the comparison.

It boils down to get what you want as both will accomplish mostly the same role.
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Old December 9, 2012, 01:44 PM   #52
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It does not matter! I prefer the .41 for the reasons stated. One of my close friends prefers the .44 for other reasons. We don't argue about it, we just shoot them.

If this issue gets you all upset, you really should take a break because the differences are insignificant. The OP should be happy with whatever choice he makes because it is his choice for his reasons.

What's better 7.5 birdshot or 8 birdshot...about the same difference.
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Old December 9, 2012, 02:15 PM   #53
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My observation is that sure fire cut and dried stuff is not controversial. Running your engine without oil is not controversial.
Synthetic VS conventional oil will have the fanboys arguing till doomsday however.

"the thinking man's magnum"??? Really? That's got to be the most smug and condescending comment I have ever read.
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Old December 9, 2012, 02:22 PM   #54
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You must not have read many 41 mag threads. It is not an uncommon comment.
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:29 PM   #55
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Well, looks like I'll have to trade my perfectly good .44 Magnum, and all my reloading dies, in for a .41 Magnum lest the world thinks I'm a non-thinking whiskey drinkin' Camero driving mullet hairdo wearin' Jerry Springer show guest Dirty Harry wannabe.
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Old December 9, 2012, 07:41 PM   #56
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What ever works for you but tomorrow is not soon enough to make the switch.

I in fact did get rid of my 44 mags after getting comfortable with a M57 41 mag. I saw no point in both, and I definitely want to be considered a "thinking man".
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:09 PM   #57
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Well, looks like I'll have to trade my perfectly good .44 Magnum, and all my reloading dies, in for a .41 Magnum lest the world thinks I'm a non-thinking whiskey drinkin' Camero driving mullet hairdo wearin' Jerry Springer show guest Dirty Harry wannabe.,2718/
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:20 PM   #58
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Shame on you, the 40 S&W will never
do what a 45 acp has done nor
walk in it's footsteps.
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:27 PM   #59
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Re zxcvbob

Ol'Joe just needs a proper mullet hairdo to go with that Firebird (wannabe Camero) and a black rock concert t-shirt with the sides all ripped open.
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Old December 9, 2012, 08:34 PM   #60
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Have used and reloaded the 41, 44Spl, 44Mag, and 45LC for many years. If I had to choose between factory ammo offerings, it would be 44 Mag. The platform would be Ruger SBH for price and recoil. A 6" Smith 44Mag with hot loads is at the limit of my recoil tolerance.
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:41 PM   #61
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Between the two....I grab my .41 more often than the .44. But my .44 Special is still the King, to grab and go with. .41 is awesome because it is so much
fun to experiment with what limited projectiles are available. I am always trying to modify and tweak different powders, bullets and such. It is a great
caliber with a lot of capabilities..and a handloaders dream...but will also drive you crazy trying to "perfect" your loads...
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:56 PM   #62
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I'm a .44 man. Bought one back before I even heard of a .41 or 500.
How ever I'm sure one in my safe next to the .44 is not going to cause any harm. The more the merrier.
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Old January 1, 2013, 01:46 AM   #63
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After reading these posts I have concluded that .44 magnum is bought because:

1) the .44 magnum shooters think it makes them tougher
2) the .44 magnum shooters have false memories about history
3) the .44 magnum shooters believe that their personal illusion constitutes reality
4) the .44 magnum shooters enjoy their dreams about their own wisdom
5) .44 magnum owners are prone to puffery as intrinsic in a .429 caliber called instead a .44.

Just my personal opinion here. I figure any load a .44 magnum can do I can load a .41 magnum to do. .41 magnum owners are honest enough to realize that the reverse is also predominantly true, so I smile everytime I read .44 magnum shooters try to tell the world that the .44 magnum is superior to the .41 magnum.
Just to let you in on a not-so-secret secret...

If the .41mag were equal or superior to the .44mag, it would not have been a commercial failure as it has been since it's introduction. That is a fact, even if those of you in denial refuse to accept it..
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Old January 1, 2013, 02:22 AM   #64
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OK, Irish B, you asked for the argument FOR the 41

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.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; January 1, 2013 at 02:31 AM.
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Old January 1, 2013, 03:02 PM   #65
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5 rounds off hand with a 41 magnum at 100 yards

5 rounds with a 44 mag at 100 yards from a sitting position

Pray tell me kind sirs how one gun makes me a man and the other makes me a sissy or how a deer is going to care which one he was killed with? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old January 1, 2013, 03:32 PM   #66
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They cost the same to shoot. If you are a hand loader, cost never enters the equation.
This isn't accurate. If you are a handloader, you can aboslutely have the full range from either round and doing so is EASILY accomplished, but to say that cost never enters the equation isn't correct, really, at all. .44 Mag brass is WIDELY available, .41 Mag brass is not, and the two aren't close. Further, .44 Mag slugs are much more available and some available in bulk, comparable .41 Mag slugs simply are not. The difference is smaller if we are talking about cast lead bullets, but if we are talking jacketed slugs, the .44 Magnum is cheaper to handload and components are easier to get with more choices in the matter.

I'm not saying that .41 Magnum is bad, tough, or impossible to handload. I'm not saying anything of the sort. I am simply saying that .44 Mag beats it for ease and for cost at the load bench.

I wonder your idea of 'Better'. A .41 magnum shooting a 210 grain GDHP at 1200 fps is it really less punishing than a .44 magnum shooting a 210 grain GDHP at 1200 fps ? I doubt it. The main thing I looked at was the .44 magnum can be downloaded to .41 magnum ballistics, but the .41 magnum cannot be uploaded to .44 magnum ballistics.
Actually, if both are otherwise the same guns, the .41 Magnum wins by the numbers. Enough to notice? Unlikely. However, the .44 Mag will need a bit more powder to attain the same velocity with the same slug than the .41 Mag will, which adds (however small) to the recoil. Further, the .41 Mag has smaller holes in the cylinder and bore which means more steel in both places with means more weight, which mitigates recoil.

If you meant that the difference would be negligible, I agree. If you want mathematically calculable facts, .41 Magnum offers less felt recoil here.
Once again, for you .44 fans,

Arguments in favor of the .44 mag in this thread based on "power/energy" would compel one to get a .454 or .460 or whatever. Get whichever one makes the most sense to you. They are both good choices.
I totally agree!

As for the "logic" above, anything your .44 mag can do my .454, .460, .480, .475, .500 can do better.
Not true. You can't build those guns to be as svelte as a .44 Magnum. Or...maybe you could BUILD one, but it'd be a one-off. They aren't offered as small as a .44 Mag.

Now...I'm just having fun with some of the posts I've read because I'm late to the conversation. Going by how the OP worded it, his answer seems like an easy one to me.
--if he's a handloader, he should get the .41 Magnum. He's not "needing" the power for anything specific such as hunting, he just wants a new .4x revolver. .41 Mag is cool, effective, enjoyable and it has the angle of being something a bit different that is not as common. It sounds like he's looking for something of that nature.

--if he's not a handloader, he's handicapped if he selects a .41 Magnum. I think even THIS group can agree on that.

For my own opinion on what I would do... I'm a long time, dedicated and absolute hobbyist handloader. I live to make ammo at the bench and enjoy it immensely. And I bought a... .44 Magnum. Mostly because of what I detailed above...component bullets and brass availability. But I also load some damn good .41 Mag ammo for my buddy who bought a gorgeous Model 657 that I would absolutely love to own. It's a fantastic revolver and I love shooting it and I'm more than happy to help feed it.

What's the best answer otherwise?! .45 Colt can do what the .44 Magnum can do and beyond, and EASILY do much, much less, as long as you choose a .45 Colt revolver that is acceptable for heavy .45 Colt. And though the .460 S&W and/or .454 Casull can do that too, again, the .45 Colt revolver is closer to the size/weight of a .44 Magnum gun where the Casull and .460 are typically massive in size.

I think it's a fun debate and fun discussion and I'm not sure why some people CLICK on the topic if they just come to it to get peeved off at each other. It's a discussion forum. Go google a knitting forum if you don't have the desire to discuss .41 Mag vs .44 Mag. Sheeeeeeesh.
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Old January 1, 2013, 05:55 PM   #67
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Having loaded/load the 44,41mag and 45lc., I would have to lean towards agreeing with Sevens assessment.

Especially the availability of the 44 brass compared to the 41.

I used to shoot often at a local indoor range here in Lancaster, Ohio. I used to be allowed to gather brass and in total, gathered almost three, 5gal. buckets of 44. Bet I didn't gather 100.pcs. of 41 and not much more 45lc.

A true shame cause my fav. pistol round just happens to be the 41. with the 45lc coming in a very close 2nd.

Last edited by shortwave; January 1, 2013 at 06:02 PM.
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Old January 1, 2013, 06:56 PM   #68
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I came into the 44 Magnum club a bit reluctantly.

I like the 45 Colt for my purposes, which is just target shooting for fun. Not a hunter , competitor, or anything serious like that. Just shoot for fun for the most part. Have a nice tuned Blackhawk to punch paper with.

I stumbled into a used Virginian Dragoon in 44 Magnum that caught my eye. Real nice revolver, and the price was reasonable. Would have prefered it to be in 45 Colt, but being here in Mass.... I couldn't be too picky, and this Virginain Dragoon was "grandfathered" so I figured I'd snatch it up.

Bought a set of RCBS dies, and a few boxes of commercial loads. Shot those up and got some lead and started reloading.

The thing that's impressive to me about the 44 is the wide variety of bullets available to the reloader. Lots of choices. Heck, I even loaded up a few small batches with Goex! Talk about a HOOT!! Loaded up some 1100fps-ish smokeless, and even tried some Trail Boss out. ALL worked out to be very good shooting and fun.

The 44 turned out to be a lot more versitile than I would have thought.

Truth be told though... if the Virginian Dragoon had been a 41, I'd have bought a set of dies and brass for that too.
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Old January 1, 2013, 08:17 PM   #69
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Personally I have owned the 41 longer than I have the 44, and have had no issues with finding brass for either nor finding bullets for either so what has been put in as that argument is a wash. One simply has to know where to look and it is all available. It really sucked when Remington discontinued the 170gr SJHP but other than that, Sierra has one darned good one that fits the bill for a fast paced load. Just about every manufacturer makes one in 210gr, and some even heavier. For the most part I shoot the Remington 200gr SJHP and have no found much if any need to go heavier. For bras one need go no further than Starline for some of the bst in the business in both calibers.

As for one verses the other, flip a coin. I will agree that factory ammo is sometimes difficult to find, but we know you already have internet access so that is a moot point as well there are plenty of places who stock it on the net and one simple search can find them.

I also have a couple of 357's a 45 Colt and a 454 so I have the full option of picking up any one of them to head out with. I usually tote the 454 around but have to admit the 45 Colt is getting more time nowadays. I carried the 41 for nearly 15 years every time I went to the country. I still do, but am trying to draw some blood with the newer ones simply because I have them. The 41 has served me VERY well over the years with more one shot stops on hogs, than some of my rifles. Shooting them at ranges of a few feet to out past 100yds it is amazing how well it does the deed with so little effort, and this with a 200gr SJHP loaded to only 1350fps. While to some that might be a monster load, but to me it is not much more than a plinker, especially when compared tot he 300gr loads from the 454 bumping along at 1550 to 1700fps.

Like has been mentioned over and over again, there simply isn't much difference in the two, both will do the same jobs equally well if the fellow behind the trigger puts it where it needs to go.
Mike / TX
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Old January 1, 2013, 10:29 PM   #70
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For those of you who can't find .41 Magnum pistol brass it's right here.

You won't find .41 or .45 Colt brass laying around because these are manly revolvers and not for noobs. People who own them keep their brass and reload them.

Lee makes two different .41 molds so for $20 you have an unlimited supply as long as you can find lead.

Or Midway offers 20 different types.
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Old January 2, 2013, 12:06 AM   #71
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The argument about the brass was never that it was impossible to get. The argument was that "for handloaders, the cost to handload them was the same" and I am certain that's not the case.

Good, used .44 Magnum brass is widely available and it's fractional to the cost of ordering a hundred pieces of Starline from Midway.

If you simply wish to open a wallet and order new brass, Graf & Sons will even sell you a bag of 8mm Nambu, it was never about .41 Mag being impossible. When my buddy dropped good money for his gorgeous Model 657 and asked me to help him feed it, he simply punched up Starline and ordered 500 pieces of .41 Mag brass, it was no hassle whatsoever.

.44 Mag, on the other hand, I happened to have like 800 pieces of it on hand already, and this was before I even bought my revolver.

When talking purely about the costs associated with handloading a round or comparing two, it's always going to be about two factors. The cost and availability of the brass, and the cost, variety and availability of the slugs. That's where the money goes.

That's why .44 Mag is cheaper...even for the veteran handloader.

Not a deal breaker, just not an accurate argument to say that it's a wash.
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Old January 2, 2013, 10:15 AM   #72
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Every time I've purchased cast .41 bullets they have been LESS expensive, per box, than the cast bullets I buy for my .44.


Because there's less raw material in the box of .41 bullets, IF you buy the traditional bullet for each -- 210-215 gr. bullet for the .41 Mag., and 235-240 gr. for .44 Mag.

Regarding cost of brass...

I decided to go to Starline to see what the huge difference in price would be were I to purchase 1,000 pieces each of .44 Mag. brass and .41 Mag. brass...

1000 pieces of .44 Mag. brass are $167.50.

Kind of salty, but Starline is good brass.

Interesting enough, .41 Magnum brass is $167.50 for 1,000 pieces.

If, as with bullets, you take overall cost being based on the amount of raw material, then yes, the .41 Mag. brass is more exensive.

But that is, for cases at least, a silly way of looking at it because cases are not consumables.

And, when you go to Graf and Sons at the retail level? The prices on brass from Remington and Winchester are identical between the two cartridges.

The case has also been made that good, once fired brass is available in .44 Mag.

That is very true, and that would bring the price down in the .44s favor, but would it bring it down that much?

I sincerely doubt it, and if you're at that point where you're having to worry about whether or not you can afford new vs once fired brass, you've got bigger issues to worry about.

Finally, the last 200 pieces of .41 Mag brass I bought?

Once fired. $17 per hundred, IIRC.

At a gun show.

So yeah, it's out there. You have to look for it, but it's out there.

Realistically, though, and virtually every way I figure it, the difference in cost between reloaded .41 Mag. and .44 Mag. is CENTS per box, and as often as not, favors the .41 Magnum because of lower cost of "standard" weight lead projectiles.

All of that said, in reading back through this entire thread, a couple of things are clearly evident:

1. People are really wedded to their choice of cartridge, be it .41 Mag. or .44 Mag.

2. People will go to great lengths to explain, categorize, and rationalize why their choice is the superior choice, even if it's a position that is highly debatable.

3. That when you add 1 and 2 together, the result is that this is one of the silliest damned threads I've seen in a long time.
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Old January 2, 2013, 11:41 AM   #73
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The 41 magnum was never intended to be a 44 magnum. It was designed as a step BETWEEN the 357 mag and 44 Mag because most law enforcement people could not tolerate the recoil of the 44 Mag and shoot reasonably well. But law enforcement were uncomfortable with most 41 mag loadings initially available when in fact the plan was to have a lower powered 41 mag for LEO use (about 950 fps with a 210 gr bullet) and a higher powered one for hunters or hobbyists.

The window passed for LEO interest and the revolver era passed as well for LEO's.

All that said, I am and continue to be very satisfied with the 41 magnum.

I generally don't think you should download 41's or 44's to make them "easy to shoot". But a middle powered loading would be very useful. Other calibers can fulfill the low power need.
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Old January 2, 2013, 12:20 PM   #74
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I prefer .32 Winchester Special over the 30-30, the .38 Super over the 9mm, the .32 S&W Long over the various .327's, the .44 Spl. over the .44 Magnum, and the .41 Magnum over the .44 Magnum.
Replace the .32 S&W Long with a .32H&R Mag and there's not a dang thing I can argue with there.
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Old January 2, 2013, 01:43 PM   #75
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Definitely the 44 Mag. The 44 is more practical, and you have the option of shooting 44 specials. You can always get the 41 later.

A smaller bore built from the same gun adds a little weight to the 41. This extra weight with less energy makes the 41 more pleasant to shoot with full powered loads.
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