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Old June 27, 2019, 06:55 PM   #1
Brutus
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Getting the hots for a .41magnum

I'm a caliber junkie, I love reloading for all my firearms especially the odd balls.
Never had a .41 mag. so it is starting to call out to me.
Problem is the only one I'm interested in is the Smith 657 pre-lock mountain gun. Probably going to take a while to find but in the meantime I'd like some insight from those who own one.
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Old June 28, 2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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I have had my 4' S&W M-57 since 1980, keep saying I will get a long gun "someday".
Easy to reload, only drawback being the relative scarcity of bullets. I have Herrett's grips on mine. Shooting "service" loads-like shooting 38 Specials out of an N-frame.
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Old June 28, 2019, 02:57 PM   #3
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It's an oddball, just keep that in mind. You actually only need a couple bullets to cover everything. Pick one jacketed bullet for bidness and a cast one for plinking. If a guy don't hand load he's better off to stick to a .44 or .357.
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Old June 28, 2019, 06:42 PM   #4
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Pick one jacketed bullet for bidness and a cast one for plinking. If a guy don't hand load he's better off to stick to a .44 or .357.
This.

I’ve got a 6” Blackhawk, but would love to pick up a M57 someday.

I’ve got a couple jacket loads worked up for it, but shot mostly 210 grain cast lead in .41 Special loads. Factory ammo is pretty scarce for it around me (and pricey) but is available online in a decent variety.
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Old June 28, 2019, 09:47 PM   #5
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Don't forget to search places used bullet molds show up. Lee at one time offered quite a variety of .41 pistol bullets: 161gr wad cutter, 175gr SWC, 195gr SWC, 195gr Hollow point SWC, 193gr rn, 238gr rn, 240gr swc (and a few others I think) with traditional lube grooves and then in the multiple shallow groove they call TL(Tumble lube), 183gr rn, 220gr rn, 210gn swc and a 106gr round ball.

Plus most of the other mold makers have at least one in the 210gr range, often in a Keith type SWC.
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Old June 28, 2019, 09:51 PM   #6
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Much like the .32 wheelguns, the .41 Mag suffers from a lack of available bullets. I'm sure you'll find something that shoots really well in you gun, but I don't see what .41 offers that .357 and .44 doesn't.
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Old June 28, 2019, 11:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
It's an oddball, just keep that in mind. You actually only need a couple bullets to cover everything. Pick one jacketed bullet for bidness and a cast one for plinking. If a guy don't hand load he's better off to stick to a .44 or .357.
For years, I've tried to see the draw of the .41. But I just don't see the niche between the .357 and the .44 Magnums. That said, if the itch ain't there, don't scratch it!

Collecting brass is a pain and then you need to get the dies and all the other things. The .357 is, in my view, one of the most underrated calibers in the universe and the .44 Magnum is a great step up. Anything over that and I'd prefer a rifle; anything lower would be better served by a .357 revolver. The .41 weighs more because the chambers are smaller, thus adding weight to the revolver. And the .44 Special is a fine caliber in its own way, but the .41 is, in my view, an anemic .44 Magnum.





The venerable S&W 629 .44 Mag.

I just can't see the benefits of a .41, and I've read a lot of gun magazine articles trying to argue in its favor. The .357 has dropped medium sized game all over the country, and the .44 Magnum drops anything over that. So if you want the .41, then go for it. But I wish someone could tell me what the .41 would do better than a .44. It's not a better self defense round than a .357, and it's not a better hunting round than a .44.




The S&W 686 .357, a superb caliber.

So what's the draw?

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Old June 29, 2019, 05:35 AM   #8
Mike Irwin
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I have a Model 58 4", the fixed sight M&P.

LOTS of fun to shoot. You can really make people sit up and take notice on the range depending on the loads you're using.

I've never had any interest at all in the .44 Mag. Don't know why, just don't, but I jumped at the chance to get a .41.

Most of my loads are 210 LSWCs using WW 231 powder to about 1,000 fps. Makes a very nice bowling pin load without a ton of recoil.

When I want to step things up I'll turn to AA 7 powder. And when I want full power magnum loads I'll break out the WW 296.
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Old June 29, 2019, 08:45 AM   #9
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Well Stargater53 I want one because I don't have one. Got 2 .357's a Colt Python and a Dan Wesson 715 with 3 barrels. Have had the Python since the mid 70's and I bought the Wesson a about a year ago when I decided to get back into full magnum reloads, looked for a 686 but I couldn't find one without the Hillary hole, plus I liked the idea of the interchangeable barrels. A bit more costly but I have been very happy with it. I have a 629 Smith which I like very much but to be honest for use as a woods gun my 625 mountain gun in .45 Colt has become my first choice for toothy critters here in the Northwoods.
Kind of forgot about the extra weight of the smaller caliber which is why I love the .45 Colt. Don't really plan on carrying it though so it's not that big of a concern, mainly will be used as a range toy.
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Old June 29, 2019, 08:50 AM   #10
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Your a caliber junky, you reload, you obviously enjoy magnum rounds....I don’t see the dilemma here...
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Old June 29, 2019, 09:47 AM   #11
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I have an older 6" model 57. It does fit nicely in between 357 and 44 magnums for me. I am still looking for a 657 6" but they are fairly rare or too expensive for my tastes
Like others listed above- I have 2 loads- a 215 gr SWC at 900fps with Win 231 powder, and a warmer load with 215 gr plated at about 1100fps with AA7
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Old June 29, 2019, 10:36 AM   #12
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Collecting brass is a pain and then you need to get the dies and all the other things.
Not really that big of a deal.

I rarely find .41 brass as range pickup, but 9 times out of 10, whichever local sporting goods store I’m in (usually Sportsman’s warehouse, or a couple smaller mom and pop places) will have brass in stock, and My dies were picked up of the shelf as well. Brass may not be quite as cheap as for my .357, but it’s really not that bad. And, it’s not like I’m losing the brass as I shoot it like some of my autoloading pistols that fling the brass a bit farther than the palm of my hand. Shooting in a revolver, the few hundred cases ive bought should last me a couple more decades.

I’ve got .357 Mag, and .45 Colt as well as the .41 Mag, and have been eyeballing a GP100 in .44 Special...............don’t really need the .44 Special with the .41 and .45 Colt, be need has rarely been a factor in my firearms purchases.
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Old June 29, 2019, 03:09 PM   #13
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I've owned 57 and 657 since the 80s. Still have a 4" 657. For the longest time, Remington was the only brass available. With hot loads, would only get 4-5 cycles; however, Starline took care of that. I highly recommend the 41 because it's very easily to load for and VERY accurate. I also have a 41 Bisley that I like even more. I will confess that, upon acquiring Blackhawks in 44 Spl and 45 Colt, the 41s sit in the safe much more.
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Old June 29, 2019, 03:57 PM   #14
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Went to the range this morning and lo and behold a 6" Smith 41 was on display in the used gun rack. Asked to look it over and as soon as I got it in my hands and flipped it over, there it was the damn Hillary hole. Cross that one off the list.
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Old June 29, 2019, 11:24 PM   #15
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They were selling alot of 57's during the Dirty Harry era when .44's were jacked up in price and scarce.

I've never owned one, but have reloaded for friends who bought one. The first was an older Ruger 3 screw from the early 70's or maybe late 60's. It's one of those guns I was the go between on and wish I'd kept for myself.

The other was a 6" 57 which was just fun to shoot and a good looker. Early 80's so it may have even had the pinned barrel still. I think it may have even came with the wood box. I may have to check and see if he still has it.

That was back when fun money was scarce and I still have the old non-carbide dies that require the cases to be lubed.

I can't imagine that a .44 can do much more than a .41 out hunting. They say the recoil was a little less and that may be why many went the way of the .41 Mag.

It was originally supposed to be a police caliber, but never panned out that much. Everyone seems to like their 5 shot .44 Specials. I wonder if they could have made a 6 shot .41 Special in a medium frame?
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Old June 30, 2019, 06:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Collecting brass is a pain
.... Starline usually has the brass in stock. So only pain is a your wallet is a little lighter.

So, if you want to try the .41 Mag... go for it .

For me though, the .41 was a solution to a non-existent problem. Since the .429 isn't that much bigger, there really wasn't any need for it. So I've settled in with the .357, the .44s, and .45 Colt. Oh, and my reloadable .22 cartridge the .32H&R Mag. Now that .22LR is much available, the .32 use has fallen off.
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Old June 30, 2019, 07:31 PM   #17
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My 1st center fire handgun was a 41 mag Ruger Blackhawk. I liked the gun and cartridge well enough, but being a 21-22 year old college kid couldn't afford to feed it. This was in the late 1970's and IIRC the last box of factory ammo cost me $30+. That was a lot of money at the time.

I now have 357 and 44 revolvers. In the real world the only thing 357 does better is offer smaller framed guns. I seriously doubt there is anything alive that would ever know the difference between being hit with a 357, 41 or 44 magnum. But while the 41 ammo situation is much better than it was, 41 is still harder to find. Even if you reload
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Old June 30, 2019, 10:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rclark View Post
.... Starline usually has the brass in stock. So only pain is a your wallet is a little lighter.

So, if you want to try the .41 Mag... go for it .

For me though, the .41 was a solution to a non-existent problem. Since the .429 isn't that much bigger, there really wasn't any need for it. So I've settled in with the .357, the .44s, and .45 Colt. Oh, and my reloadable .22 cartridge the .32H&R Mag. Now that .22LR is much available, the .32 use has fallen off.
Yeah, the .22 availability has made the .32's that I bought thinking I would reload them and shoot them hasn't really happened. Of course we both know that there will be another panic and .22 will disappear for years, if not forever.

Agree on .44 Mag vs .41, it's a .019 difference in bullet diameter, that's not enough of a difference and that's been the bane of the .41's existence since the day it was born. Want a big bore revolver for easier carrying? Use a 5 shot .44 mag. Want a 6 shot revolver? Use .357, don't hear many complaining about lack of stopping power with that.

Do I think there's no place for a 10mm-ish revolver? No, when I found out about this thing called 10mm Magnum I thought to myself IF it had a rim and the bullet was roll crimped and not taper crimped and the cylinder was cut to use moon clips to allow the use of 10mm Auto and .40 S&W, it would be a huge hit. For plinking, cheap factory .40 ammo would be used and for power people could load the 10mm Magnum.

Does it do anything better than .357 or .44 tho? IDK, but it would certainly make more sense and be more appealing than .41 Mag.
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Old July 1, 2019, 06:11 AM   #19
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I used to have a 1st year S&W M57. I loved it! My favorite caliber used to be .357mag, until I shot .41mag. Unfortunately, I never set up to reload it (I don't reload much, I don't enjoy it like some do, and only do it occasionally) and ammo for .41mag is expensive and hard to find. I'm very tempted to buy another .41mag and get the dies to reload for it so I can afford to shoot it.

Ignoring the gun (and an N-frame .41mag is about perfect), it is a fun caliber. It gives a little more 'umph' than .357mag, but is much easier on your hands than .44mag. I don't enjoy shooting .44mag. I love .357mag but .41 has a different feel. It is definitely a bigger and heavier round, you can feel you are shooting a more powerful handgun, but in a big N-frame it is actually more comfortable (like shooting a .45ACP vs. .40S&W, the .41mag has less muzzle flip and isn't as 'snappy'- though I suppose that might be different if I shot .357mag in an N-frame instead of a K-frame). It was made to be an in-between caliber. As for the .44mag vs. .41mag comparisons, they were designed for very different purposes. The .44mag is a hunting caliber that can be downloaded for self defense. I'm not sure if the .41mag was actually designed for self defense/police work (I haven't read the histories in a number of years), but that is certainly what it was primarily loaded and adopted for. It was meant to be a more capable alternative to the .357mag, not a downloaded .44mag. Since I don't hunt, but do use guns for self-defense, that is a feature, not a bug, for me. Meanwhile, it is capable for outdoors use against anything that the .357mag can be effective against, with a little more size and power.

It may not be ideal for a one gun person or one caliber person. The .44mag is better for more general hunting/outdoors use due to available loadings, and can be downloaded with .44spl for self defense. The .357mag chambering may be the most versatile in the gun world, and even without using .38spl the .357mag options alone cover quite a few bases and can be quite a bit cheaper to shoot than .41mag. Either one may be better for a one gun or one caliber gun owner. However, you aren't that person. It does have a place and serve a niche of its own and is a worthy addition to any collectors gun safe.

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Old July 1, 2019, 06:03 PM   #20
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The 41 magnum is the red headed step child of the gun world.
Like Rodney Dangerfield ...it don't get no respect .

To utilize it's full potential you must handload and casting bullets for it helps out a great deal. Lyman stopped selling bullet moulds for the .41 a few years ago.
I purchased every Lyman mould I didn't have but wanted from Ebay used .
NOE makes new ones in several designs and Lee has only 2 moulds .
The 41 magnum and cast bullets are a good match .

My 41 magnum is a Model 58 S&W , I love it .

Welcome to the 41 magnum club !
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Old July 1, 2019, 10:39 PM   #21
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iirr someone from the Keith era envisioned a .41 as a perfect police round.
Actually, I think it was Elmer Keith. Problem is, it came out as a magnum and not the Special that would have filled the original bill.

Used to be able to get a conversion of an L frame to a 6 shot .41 Special.

Looks like years later the 10mm and then the .40 tried to fill that concept again.

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Old July 2, 2019, 07:07 AM   #22
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Don't listen to the nanny-naysayers... the .41 is alive and well. No, it's not as popular as the .357 or .44, but components and ammunition is out there... in the 30 years I've been loading for it, I've never had a problem finding components or ammunition.

I do question the 'Mountain Gun' thing, lightweight Magnum revolvers are a very niche item, and not something I would consider for a range pistol and such, unless you shoot reduced loads, or you regularly pack a big-bore pistol for some reason.

I have 4 .41's... a 4" 57, a 4" 58, a 6" Dan Wesson, and a Marlin 1894. I have had others, including a Ruger Bisley and a fantastic S&W 6.5" Classic (that I stupidly sold some years ago.) I do not own either a .357 or .44... I don't really see a need for them.
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Old July 2, 2019, 09:18 AM   #23
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I have owned several .41 Magnums over my shooting life. A three-screw Ruger Blackhawk, a S&W 58 that I milled the top strap and added a S&W j-frame rear sight, a 8 and 3/8ths barrel M57, and a 6-inch 657. I had a Saeco 240 grain round flat point mould that cast four at a time. I shot the 657 in double-action only, took a large doe about ten years ago (double-action, with a lyman 215 grain, gas-checked bullet). The Ruger Blackhawk had a five-inch barrel, was my "walking around gun" when I haunted the Pere Marquette River swamp/woods near my former home near Scottville, MI. Although I do not have one now, the .41's were always my favorites.
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Old July 2, 2019, 10:53 AM   #24
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I'm a caliber junkie, I love reloading for all my firearms especially the odd balls.
Never had a .41 mag. so it is starting to call out to me.
I'm pretty much in the same boat. Except my itch will be easier to scratch. When a 4 5/8" Blackhawk in decent shape shows up at a reasonable price I might have to buy it.
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Old July 2, 2019, 12:54 PM   #25
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"...can't see the benefits of a .41..." It's not about benefits. It's an "I want one." thing.
Jacketed or cast won't make any difference for "bidness". Either will get the attention of any ne'er do wells you may encounter.
"...the .41 is alive and well..." Yep, but that doesn't mean you'll find it everywhere. The 'Walmart Test' may be in order.
Lots of choices on Midway, et al, but buying ammo on-line gets expensive in a hurry. Not that it matters much since your local gun shop can order anything you want.
The 'Mountain Gun' 3 or 4 inch barrel kind of defeats the purpose of a magnum anything. About 200 FPS difference between a 4" and a 6". Plus the increased muzzle flash and blast. http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/41mag.html
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