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Old January 31, 2006, 08:32 PM   #1
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Smith and Wesson model 657 41 magnum

Hi all, I'm new to this forum, but I've been looking for quite some time. Just wanted a few opinions, as always. I just bought a S & W model 657 41 mag from a good friend (will take possession Friday) that appears to be like new for a very good price. I don't shoot huge amounts, and I only shoot factory ammo. This is an '87 vintage model, one year before the frame upgrades etc. It's a beautiful piece, with the firing pin on the hammer. In a nutshell, can I expect to be able to shoot alot without durability issues that you sometimes read about in the 44's? Again, this is the 41 mag version. I would like to think with just sticking with factory 210 grainers or lighter it should last. What do you think of this firearm? Also, any replacement grip recommendations would be helpful. I'm excited about this new acquisition. My friend sold it to me for $400.00, which I thought was a good price. Thanks for your help. I can tell there are some very knowledgeable folks on here, that's why I like coming here. Thanks jben P.S. Any thought on the price? One gun shop gent told me I paid too much, which kind of took me by surprise.
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Old January 31, 2006, 09:44 PM   #2
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The .41 Magnum S&W had some popularity with people who wanted a "N" frame gun but were concerned about the life of the gun when shot will full power .44 Magnum ammo.

The .41 Magnum is less intense than the .44 and the smaller caliber leaves more metal in critical areas like the cylinder and forcing cone.

You should be able to shoot a LOT of ammo without worry.

At one time the cartridge makers made a "police" load for the .41 that was less powerful than the Magnum.
This was something on the order of the difference between the .44 Magnum and the .44 Special.

For grips. a lot of revolver shooter like the Hogue Mono-Grip.
These are available in fancy woods or in rubber.
Thew wood models are available with various options like fancy wood grip caps, and with or without finger grooves.
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Old January 31, 2006, 10:42 PM   #3
Jeff F
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I have both a .41 and .44. I reload and can get the .41 right up there with .44 ballistics. Factory .41 ammo is a bit weak and you can only find a few different loads. The .41 is not all that much smaller then the .44 mag. The .41 is a true .41, being .410 diameter where the .44 has a diameter of .429. That’s only 19 thousandths difference. IMO the .41 mag is a hand loaders cartridge and that’s when it really shines.
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Old January 31, 2006, 10:56 PM   #4
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I agree with you that the 41 is very well suited to handloaders, but recently I have noticed several very enticing factory loads popping up from some of the major makers. I realize they are a little pricey, but I don't use the bigger bores for much plinking use anyway. (I don't handload) I have plenty of other cheaper handguns for that purpose. We'll just have to see how it goes with this new one. I had two others (41's) over the years that somehow got away from me. jben
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Old February 1, 2006, 02:53 PM   #5
Mark Milton
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From what I have read, the .41 never had the same durability problems (going out of time) that the .44 had in the N frames, simply because it was a tad heavier, had thicker cylinder walls and the cartridge was a tad less intense.....
I like that seven and a half inch model with unfluted cylinder myself, but I am back in school and strapped for cash right now, LOL...
I also understand that many big game animals cannot tell the difference between a .41 and a .44.....
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Old February 5, 2006, 11:12 PM   #6
Join Date: January 17, 2006
Location: Northern Wisconsin
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.41 mag

I would like to know how a .41 mag is not as "intense" as a .44. I sometimes shoot 265 grain Cor-Bons at over 1300 fps, and they sure seem "intense" to me. I haven't noticed it kicking less than my other big revolvers. I also shoot some .44s & .45s so I have something to compare it to. I love them all, the bigger, the better. I do like the .41, though!
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Old February 6, 2006, 03:20 PM   #7
Jack Malloy
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Elmer Keith once mentioned an N frame in .44 magnum shooting loose in something like 3,000 rounds or so.
I never heard of an N frame in .41 magnum shooting loose.

$400 is a good price on any N frame. I paid about that for a blued model 29 last winter that had a VERY rough finish, but was mechanically sound, and I am a notorious tightwad.
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