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Old 02-12-2017, 09:19 AM
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Default 41 Magnum Question

Like many here, I love the 41 magnum cartridge, but unlike many others here, I am really not all that expertise on ballistics for any cartridge, including the 41. I wanted to ask for advice on the optimum barrel length for this cartridge.

I am planning on having a hunting revolver built for 41 magnum, and want to optimize the carrying characteristics along with the ballistic capability of the cartridge.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:36 AM
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6 or 6.5 inch .barrel for the best combination to carry and for ballistics. I have a 6.5 inch Blackhawk that shoots really well
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:26 AM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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The longer the barrel, the more velocity you will get out of a given load. Carrying anything over 6 or 6.5 all day can become a chore. A lot depends on what you're hunting, how far away your shots will be, whether you're carrying a rifle too, scope or iron sights, etc. Lots of variables.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:32 AM
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Going from a 6" to a 4" will only loose about 75fps in velocity , contrary to what some might say . The sight radius on the 6" definitely helps with accuracy . I shoot a 4" a lot and have found that with some practice , I shoot it was well as the 6" . As far as carrying , a 6" carries about as well as the 4" . The 4" will clear the holster faster . If you are going to carry " cross draw " or a " chest holster " , then I would definitely go with the 6" . As far as recoil , I have shot a 4" so much that I really don't notice much difference between the 4" and my 6" . Getting grips that fit your hand very comfortable is very important . I do not care for the new S&W target grips . They are very slim and wide . They feel like you are trying to wrap your hand around a 1x6 board . I hope this helps , good luck . Paul

Last edited by cowboy4evr; 02-12-2017 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:32 AM
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For comfort, and security, you'll want to research good holsters (and belts) as well, or perhaps a good shoulder or chest rig. Maybe a lanyard, too.
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Old 02-12-2017, 11:57 AM
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Check barrel length restrictions where you plane to hunt. DE is 5 3/4". Did not see a restriction on Fla web site .
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:11 PM
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I have a Model 27 with the 8.375" barrel that I had used for IHMSA matches, and it reached out well to 200m, with the understanding that it was a 357 Magnum. When I got my 6" Model 57, it seemed to balance better, it wasn't muzzle heavy. Once I got the 57, I never really had the chance to shoot it beyond 50 yards before I became disabled.

I had bought my 57 for handgun deer hunting, with the prospect of going on a guided black bear hunt, so I opted for the 6" barrel over the 4", because I wanted to optimize velocity and have a longer sight radius.

Personally, I would go with a 6" barrel and limit my shots to the distance where I could keep 6 shots single action on a 12" paper plate.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:49 PM
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I've had a few 41 mags they where rugers 6" barrels and have hunted whitetails and black bear with them very good round almost as good as 44 mag
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:29 PM
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My M29-2 with an 8 3/8 shoots nice at longer ranges. Maximizes velocity/power. And carries comfortably in a Bianchi shoulder holster.

Larry
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolguy View Post
The longer the barrel, the more velocity you will get out of a given load. Carrying anything over 6 or 6.5 all day can become a chore. A lot depends on what you're hunting, how far away your shots will be, whether you're carrying a rifle too, scope or iron sights, etc. Lots of variables.
Pretty much all of my big game hunting is currently with archery equipment, but I want to hunt more with a handgun as time goes by. So, the handgun will be the only gun available when I am hunting with it - it will not be backing up a rifle.

My eyes are starting to get relatively poor (cataracts are starting up I am told) so I may add an optic eventually, but will be using open sights as long as I can do so effectively.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:46 PM
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The cartridge was developed around a 6 inch barrel so that's what I'd opt for + or - a fraction of an inch. Shorter will reduce velocity but increase compactness. Longer will increase velocity but increase size and weight.
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:20 AM
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I am presuming the OP's inquiry is looking for recommendations of bbl length, balancing hunting, and comfortable carry, further presuming holster carry, concealment not a priority.

As noted, check the hunting rules in your home state/ areas you are likely to hunt, they vary.

Not withstanding that , it is personal preferences anywhere between 5 and 6.5 inches.
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Old 02-13-2017, 07:31 AM
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A 6" barrel is a good compromise. It typically gives manufacturer's stated velocity because that's what many use to test their loads. It does give up some velocity and sight radius over a 8 3/8" barrel, but a red dot can eliminate the sight radius problem and the velocity difference is an acceptable trade off for easy of holstering/unholstering.
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:34 PM
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I have a Tanfoglio Model 88 that's set up for both 9mm and 41 .. I don't reload and can be hard to find the ammo locally sometimes .. and its rather expense when found .. I've still got a couple of hundred rounds I bought back in 89 when it was a lot cheaper ..
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:58 PM
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I really appreciate all of the replies. A couple of things were brought out that I had not considered. Specifically, the restrictions in some areas as to barrel length for a hunting handgun. Had not even considered that element. Also, a couple of folks have noted that the caliber was designed around a six inch barrel - seems I recall that from something that Elmer Keith wrote years ago, but it took you guys to remind me of that and I thank you.

The first big bore handgun that I bought was a 41 mag Ruger with a 4 5/8 barrel. Still have it after 42 years and have been hand loading for it for almost as long as I have had it. Again, I am no ballistics expert, so I wanted some opinions from folks with minds that worked along those lines. I think that I have been convinced that 6 to 6.5 inches is the way to go for my intended use.

Thanks again everyone who helped out.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
Getting grips that fit your hand very comfortable is very important
I was never able to shoot the more energetic revolvers at all well until I had grips custom made to fit my specific hands. The length and width as well as the thickness of your hands makes a big difference.

Herrett's Gun Stock Price List
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:22 PM
steveno steveno is offline
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the Blackhawk aluminum grip frame was too small even for my hands as the little finger would end up under the grip. I had a friend put the super Blackhawk steel grip frame on it and everything was a lot better. the little additional weight over the aluminum frame makes a big difference as well. the recoil of the 41 mag isn't as much as a 44 mag but it does have noticeable recoil. I had a Blackhawk with the 4 5/8 inch barrel and it wasn't much fun to shoot.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:20 PM
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Default Grip size and composition

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowart View Post
I was never able to shoot the more energetic revolvers at all well until I had grips custom made to fit my specific hands. The length and width as well as the thickness of your hands makes a big difference.

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I can shoot pretty much anything from my Ruger 41 when it has the stock wood grips installed. I also have a set of ivory for it, but can't shoot heavy loads with them installed. The gun slips through my hand enough that the trigger guard will end up cutting my trigger finger after a couple dozen shots are taken. With the wood grips installed, there is enough additional traction supplied that the trigger guard doesn't run into my finger hard enough to cut me.

So size and shape of the grip is important, but so also is the composition of the grips.
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowart View Post
I was never able to shoot the more energetic revolvers at all well until I had grips custom made to fit my specific hands. The length and width as well as the thickness of your hands makes a big difference.

Herrett's Gun Stock Price List
My Model 57 wears Herretts Shooting Stars. They aren't custom ones, Most of my K-frames have the same grips .
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