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Old December 15, 2012, 03:54 PM   #1
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41 Mag. Cast Bullet Loads

I am just going to start loading for the .41 mag., I have been loading the .44 mag., 357, 38 Sp. and the 32 H&R for years. Well now have bought a Ruger Blackhawk in .41 mag. with a 6.5" bbl. I have 500 215 gr. swc with a Brinell hardness of 18. Would like some suggestions on some handload data for this bullet if someone has it. Data from plinking to hunting loads if available. Thanks in advance.
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Old December 15, 2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

BHN-18 is plenty hard enough for full magnum loads, but with lead bullets your gun's bore condition and chamber dimensions really have to be right in order to get good accuracy and avoid excess leading at full power. There are threads on the requirements you can search out. If you're not going for warm loads, but rather want to stay in the 1000 fps range that commercial lead bullets for this cartridge have, then you'll probably end up with about 7 grains of Unique or of Hodgdon Universal.
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Old December 15, 2012, 08:24 PM   #3
Mike / Tx
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THere is plenty of load data out on the net for cast loads in the 41. Look up Hodgdon's Reloading page, also Accurate powders, and Alliant.

Myself and my good friend have been working on loads for ours over the past several months. We have found several powders which work very well with a variety of differnt alloys. I would suggest trying out AA-5, 2400, and Unique. If Uniwie is a bit dirty for you I understand that Universal is just about the same, and some folks say the loads can be interchanged. I cannot vouch for this nor do I condone it. There are loads for both powders use them as listed.

THe key thing with cast is fit is king and lube is queen. If your fit is right you can get by with most load with just about any type lube. It's when you get into the upper pressures that the lubes will make or break your loads. Trust me when I say, it ain't no fun cleaning out a barrel full of lead. This said you might as well find you a couple of brass Choreboy scouring pads. Make sure they are brass and not plated steel or satainless. If you find your getting leading, then take a single strand out of the pad and wrap it around your bore brush and it will shuck the lead out pretty quickly.

IF you haven't slugged your bore you should do so and your cylinder mouths as well. You bullets should be .001 or so bigger than your bore and your cylinders should also be the same so that the bullets will actually be squeezing down as they enter the forcing cone. If they are squeezed comeing through the cylinder, then they are already undersized, and you can expect leading to follow. T%his is why a lot of folks shoot the lower BHN bullets as well as they can still bumpo up as then pass throught he cone and start to enguage the rifling.

Anyway, I could go on and on but this link is MUCH easier on the both of us. Read through the listings as well as the book From Ingot to Target. It will shed a LOT of light onto things that will help you out on down the road.
An index to all of the articles/authors and handloading pages on

THere is a LOT of info there but you can browse throught he titles and get a great understanding on what your looking for.
Mike / TX
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Old December 15, 2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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With 215SWC

I've used 8gr of Unique for medium load.
I've used H-110 for the hot loads.
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Old December 17, 2012, 09:49 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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For plinking loads in my .41 I generally use 231 and 215 gr. lead bullets. I take them to about 1,000 fps. Does a good job on bowling pins.

For full-bore loads I use either WW 296 or AA 7.
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Old December 17, 2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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No, it does a FINE job on bowling pins. And is easy to control in rapid fire. My Model 57 was my favorite pin gun back in the day.
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Old December 19, 2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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I have a lot of fun with my S&W M57 6" with hardcast 210-215gr SWC sized to .413" (WW+2%tin) at approx 850-900fps with 700x, Unique, Universal, or AA#7.
I presume your bullets are commercial-cast, so are prolly .410". Since "fit is king," I think you should use them for high-power stuff, so you might be able to "bump 'em up."
Rugers quite often have a tight spot where the barrel screws into the frame, so you might use the more-powerful load to try to keep the barrel sealed. Keep an eye out for leading, tho'.
I use Herco, 2400, and AA#9 in that range. Alliant MP300, H110, and WW296 are also excellent.
Have fun,
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Old December 21, 2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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.41 magnum

Have a Model 57. Using a Lee 90330 195 SWc bullet and 7.0 of Red Dot or Promo, I get 1,100 FPS muzzle velocity. Very accurate and an ideal load for 99% of my shooting. One can use heavier loads, but I found they are not necessary most of the time.
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