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Old December 6, 2012, 03:05 AM   #1
Irish B
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.41 vs .44

Alright .41 fans. Try and convince me not to buy a .44 mag this weekend and a .41 instead. Let me add I live in Colorado so my 10mm and .357 work just fine for black bear defense I am just in love with the .4 caliber and would love to have one. I'm not going to use it to hunt as I use either my 5.56 or 7.62x54 for everything around here. It's not for carrying. That's what my practical caliber handguns are for. I just want the gun for the romantics of it. If i'm going to get the mag just for the love of the game should I really just go with the .44 or is the .41 a lot more manageable and cheaper to shoot?
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Last edited by Irish B; December 6, 2012 at 03:13 AM.
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:14 AM   #2
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if you reload get the 41 mag as factory ammo is a little harder to find than 44 mag ammo. if you don't reload (and you should start) get the 44 mag. 44 mag ammo probably ain't any cheaper but is more readily available. for anything that should be shot with a handgun the 41 will do just as well as the 44. for anything more than that get a rifle
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:52 AM   #3
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If you don't "need" the magnum power an apparently don't really want it, just get a 44 Special.

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It's got everything you mentioned that you want, but in a slightly lighter, trimmer package.

I've never owned a 41 Magnum, but have owned three 44's. I didn't use them for hunting, or holding off mutant zombie bears. I shot 44 specials out of them 99% of the time. They went on down the road when I found this one. Man it's a fun gun. I suppose if I wanted to I could load it up hot and get more kick and boom, but I've never seen any reason to.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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well the 44 Mag sure offers more platforms and variety of ammo to choose from.
You can shoot 44 Specials in it. You will find ammo in stock most of the time(even wal-mart).
The 41 is rather cult-ish but a top performer and a handloaders dream as their are lots of bullets to choose from.
You can load pipsqueaks to Bruisers and take a lot of game within reasonable ranges. That said I have two 41's and no 44's.
That Cajun's 44 special is NICE !!
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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I say if you handload...still get a .44 Magnum. It has a much better selection of projectiles to choose from.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:20 AM   #6
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44 mag kicks too much to be any fun

Unless you live in Alaska you don't need the power of the 44.
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:55 AM   #7
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.44 Magnum of course!! Its like getting a .40 instead of a .45 ACP, its just wrong and a waste of $$$!! .44 Magnum leaves nothing to chance, it gets the job done the first time, everytime.

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Old December 6, 2012, 01:46 PM   #8
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Love my 44 but I carry my 41 in the woods because the barrel is 3" shorter, easier to carry and quicker to draw if needed in a hurry. You decide what you need and make your choice. Us choosing a gun for you is like us buying undewear for you. What fits us may not be to your liking.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:02 PM   #9
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The .44 Mag is probably the most versatile revolver on the market. I know I'm gonna get flamed for that but think about it. You can shoot mild .44 specials for plinking. Full house 300 grainers for anything on earth. Elephants have been taken with a .44 mag. The .41 may have its followers but it fails in comparison to a .44.

.44 mag recoil is not that bad either
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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I had a Ruger .41 Blackhawk .41 Magnum many years ago. Marketed as the "Middle Magnum" it was too close to the .44 Magnum in actuality. As has been pointed out, the .44 has a wider selection of bullets available so becomes somewhat more versatile.

The .41 is a fine revolver, but don't expect it to fill a niche in your battery.

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Old December 6, 2012, 02:12 PM   #11
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Personally I go with the .44 magnum. S&W 329PD light weight for carrying in the woods, S&W 629 Classic, Desert Eagle XIX or Marlin 1894SS, for hunting. I reload so anything from .44 Special to full house .44 magnums is available to me. I never saw the need for a .44 Special as reloading to .44 Special, or low end .44 magnum works just fine, even in my S&W 329PD (though one needs to use full .44 magnum in the Desert Eagle that is not a problem because it shoots like a .44 Special due to its weight).

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Old December 6, 2012, 02:48 PM   #12
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I have the .41 Mag and I like the heck out of it. I shoot my Ruger Black Hawk every weekend. I hand load with 210 grain home cast lead semi wad cutters. They drive tacks.

If you do not hand load do your self a huge favor get the .44 mag. You can find ammo for it at WalMart. If you get the .41 Mag it is harder to find ammo for, and most times it will cost more as well.

Both will do the job. Get the one that is more practical for you.
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Old December 6, 2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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I have both S&W model 29 (.44 Mag) and 57 (.41 Mag) with 6 1/2" barrels. When I shoot full power loads they feel the same.

If I could only have one, I'd choose the .44 Mag as it gives you a bit more options.

Using the Hornady 7th Edition reloading manual as authority, I find that it has several maximum loadings for a .44 Mag (.429") with a 240gr. jacketed bullet at 1400 FPS, and for the .41 Mag (.410") it has several maximum loadings for a 210gr. jacketed bullet at 1400 FPS. Not a whole lot of difference, but a measurable difference.
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Old December 6, 2012, 03:10 PM   #14
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I've got a Model 57 now, I owned one other one in the past and a a 4 5/8th inch Blackhawk. The .41 is a good cartridge and I hope my first post didn't make people who like it think I didn't.

I have 230 grain Keith types and 210 grain Gold Dots for my 41, which are great bullets and do basically the same thing the 240 grain Gold Dot and 250 grain Keith Type .44s do. So just those two bullets alone could take you along way. If you couldn't kill it with those, you'd probably have to go bigger than the .44 too.
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Old December 6, 2012, 04:56 PM   #15
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I just want the gun for the romantics of it.
Well then I'd definitely get the 44 mag! In fact that is what I have done on several occasions , the one I finally settled on is my 629 Classic.

Romantics aside , I've loaded my 44 with bullets ranging from 180 to 300 grains with great results. And mild 44 Special loadings too make the 44 all the more vesatile.
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Old December 6, 2012, 05:18 PM   #16
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You can get 41 or 44 ammo relatively cheap from Georgia Arms in bulk.
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Old December 6, 2012, 05:58 PM   #17
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Why is it always "either or"?

I heartily subscribe to the "one of each" philosophy.
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:17 PM   #18
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I've got 2 41s and 3 44s and both of my 41s will be more accurate than the 44s. I reload and prefer the 41s but you can't go wrong with the 44s, My 41s are tack drivers, the 44s just shoot great. Charlie
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:21 PM   #19
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It's really very simple. Buy the one YOU like. The differences are not that great. I prefer 44 specials myself but like a wise earlier poster said, What fits you may not fit me.
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:28 PM   #20
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I have both. Problem solved.
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Old December 6, 2012, 08:18 PM   #21
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A pony will never be a horse. If you are seriously going to hunt deer and larger game, then the 44 mag is THE most popular cartage for a reason.
I have a few but this one is the best one to hunt and carry all day. I would never ever get rid of it.

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Old December 6, 2012, 09:39 PM   #22
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My experience is that I much prefer the 41 magnum. My reference point is the traditional factory level and not really very interested in maximum loads or loads under about 900 fps. I shot some of the cowboy ammo and wasn't impressed.

I have owned both 44's and 41's. I shot them and discovered that on average I am a better shooter with the 41 mags. (At the time all were M57's & M29's). I got rid of the 44's. I have a 480 Ruger or 475 Linebaugh when I feel the need for "maximum loads" even though the 480 is sort of a 44 mag on steriods.

I don't think I can convince you to get a 41 mag. You just need to shoot one a bit and see what you think. I prefer them.

Ammo is harder to come by, but with planning, you can keep a good supply on hand. You just can't walk into Walmart and buy some. 41 mag loads at about 1050 to 1100 fps would be about perfect for most uses. But for the most part, you have to load those yourself although GA Arms offers some interesting loads.

Last edited by 22-rimfire; December 6, 2012 at 09:46 PM.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:54 PM   #23
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Noobs buy .44's for cheap thrills. Real men get the .41.
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Old December 7, 2012, 01:06 AM   #24
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I have owned and shot both over a 35 year period, and they are both wonderful in the N-frame S&W. I have owned 4, 5, 6, 6-1/2 and 8-3/8 inch barreled N-frames, and the 5" handles the best but is the hardest to come by. I prefer the 4" to the 6", and the 8-3/8" least of all (too muzzle heavy for me).

For a personal defense revolver, the 4" model 57 in 41 mag would be my choice, as it is more packable and has less recoil than the 44.

For hunting or target shooting I would want the 6 or 6-1/2 inch model 629 stainless 44 mag. It is more powerful and the longer barrel will help your velocity and in taming recoil. In either case handloading is nearly a must to get the most shooting enjoyment out of your purchase.
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Old December 7, 2012, 09:55 AM   #25
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I would also like to point out that the .45 ACP revolver is a very pleasing .4x N-frame option, and will be cheaper to shoot than either the .41 or .44 if you don't reload. I love my 5" 625-3, but also love my 629-4 in .44mag.
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