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  #1  
Old 08-25-2011, 06:50 PM
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Default .41 Mag Reloading Project; Phase 1 - Brass Recommendations *Updated w/ Range Report*

I have never reloaded .41 Mags before so I don't have any brass. Since I'm starting with a clean slate, I'd like some recommendations from this fine forum.

I've usually just gone with Remington because I have had good results. But I notice that Midway has Starline brass for considerably less than Rem or Win. Anyone have experiences with Starline (if not in .41 Mag, then .44 M or other)?

I like Rem brass, but I'm not married to it. Tell me about your brass preferences...
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Last edited by Jack Flash; 11-23-2011 at 10:28 AM. Reason: Range Report added... See Post 31
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:53 PM
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I bought 100 new Starline 41 mag brass cartridges and have not had any problem. I would recommend them. You can buy directly from Starline's website; I think you might save a few bucks.

Last edited by 427mach1; 08-25-2011 at 06:56 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:07 PM
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I use Starline with great results for my 41 mag....I also use WLP's to set 'em off with by the way
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:22 PM
sargeny1 sargeny1 is offline
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SEE MY POST TODAY....!!! "model 57 *****1965****....
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:52 PM
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Starline is very good.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:11 PM
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Starline is great brass, and I've had good luck for a couple decades with Remington brass (prefer Starline now).

I played around w/ lots of powder, but kept coming back to 2400. I like 17.5 gr w/ 210 gr jacketed bullets of several makes (have yet to have one shoot poorly), and 17 gr w/ 215 gr hard cast SWCs. All w/ std primers, firm roll crimp. These loads hit to same POI at 50 yards in my three M57s, BTW. They are all I load in that caliber, all guns have remained zeroed for many years. Simple and good.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:33 PM
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Greetings +1 for Star- line brass. Hard to beat the price also. If you plan on keeping that 41 or like many of us getting others then do yourself a favor and buy 500. Free shipping and it will be to your house as fast as they can ship it. Shoots fine in all my 41īs.
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:45 PM
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Starline used to advertise that they made brass for ammo manufacturers and decided to go factory direct to the handloaders.

I have shot a lot of it in many different calibers and have never had a problem with it, in fact I prefer it if I have to buy brass.

The .41 is very versatile and is an all around excellent cartridge with a lot of potential that the loading manuals won't tell you about.

Last edited by Jellybean; 08-25-2011 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:39 PM
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Buffalo Bore and Fioochi Extrema Ammo are a couple of ammo makers that use Starline brass.

It's a manufacturing oddity these days. Made in the USA, private small company, top quality and lower prices. What's not to like?

If you need to "buy" brass it's one of the best. Hornady is good also.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:19 PM
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Default Same boat

Hey guys,
I'm in the same boat and have been thinking about reloading for my .41 cal. Anybody have any good "recipes" they'd share?
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:34 PM
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Brass preference?? I shoot a lot of scrounged second hand brass and 41 mag is never common. Even new it is often out of stock. So my preference is to grab every piece of it I can find and sort into piles later.

Last edited by needsmostuff; 08-25-2011 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Ranch View Post
Hey guys,
I'm in the same boat and have been thinking about reloading for my .41 cal. Anybody have any good "recipes" they'd share?
Good, basic place to start is 8 to 9 grains of Unique with the wad cutter of your choice. Simple, not earth shaking fun round.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2011, 11:52 PM
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When it comes to buying new unfired brass, I won't buy anything but Starline. They have earned my loyalty.
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  #14  
Old 08-26-2011, 12:12 AM
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I have not bought .41 Magnum brass but other Starline brass I've bought as been very good. I have bought .357 Magnum, 38 S&W, .45 Colt and 45-70 brass from Starline with great success. I see no reason why their .41 Magnum would be poor.
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  #15  
Old 08-26-2011, 12:25 AM
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I have boxes of .41 mag loaded with Remington, Winchester and Starline brass. Remington is the thinner walled brass and I prefer using it with lead bullets as you don't get the bulges in the case that you can with the other 2. Starline brass is the thickest brass. All three brands have worked fine.

The .41 mag is one of the easier cartridges to load good ammo for. I have yet to discover a bad load that doesn't shoot well in my revolvers.

With 215gr LSWC commercial cast bullets I use either 7.0grs of W231 or 8.0grs of Unique. Both these loads run 950+ fps from my 4" 657 Mountain pistol. Going to 9.5 grains of Unique sends the same bullet out the muzzle at 1,157 fps for a little more pop.

I've used H110, 2400 and AA9 with jacketed bullets, mostly 210gr Hornady XTP's. Best velocity has come from 2400 with 17.5 grs in a WW factory primed case sending the XTP out the muzzle of my 6" S&W 57 at 1,413 fps or 130 fps faster than a load of 20.3 grs of H110.
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Old 08-26-2011, 05:25 AM
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Good responses.

That tells me what I wanted to know - basically no complaints about Starline.

I'll order some and then go on to Stage 2.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:24 AM
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Default Buy a larger batch of Starline

Like everyone else...I also like Starline brass. I have used it almost exclusivly when buying new brass.

But I offer an observation. When measuring various batches of Starline brass they will vary a few thousands. Any manufacture will.

So if you buy 100 now and 100 later they will be different lengths, if you mix up thes batches you will notice your crimp will vary also.

For the sake of consistancy (this is what reloading is ALL about) you would do better to order more and all your brass will be the same length, and will crimp the same.

Someone already said order 500, that was good advice.

Good luck with your new caliber.

My favorite hunting load is Cast Performance 265 gr lead wide long nose gas checked bullet over a max load of W296 and a CCI mag primer.
Read up on using W296 and approach max load carefully and do not underload. I have neck shot deer at 85 yards and they drop instantly. This load is used in a Smith PC 657, 8-3/8 barrel with a 2x Leoupold. This is my favorite hunting handgun (and caliber).
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:19 AM
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I bought some Starline brass when I got my first .41 Magnum.
I have gotten some factory Remington and Winchester brass from factory loads. Also got some mixed brass here and there.

All of it has worked well. I have a slight preference for Starline and Winchester. Still load the Remington brass I have happily.
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Old 08-26-2011, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Ranch View Post
Hey guys,
I'm in the same boat and have been thinking about reloading for my .41 cal. Anybody have any good "recipes" they'd share?
See my post above. My three M57 no dash revolvers (4", 6" and 8 3/8") all shoot beautifully w/ a stout load of 2400. Been using these loads for almost 30 years.

Here's one of them, with the hard cast 215 gr loads:

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Old 08-26-2011, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needsmostuff View Post
Good, basic place to start is 8 to 9 grains of Unique with the wad cutter of your choice. Simple, not earth shaking fun round.
My favorite load with the same type bullet...as posted, bump it up to 9.5 if you need something hotter.....
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:18 PM
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I've been loading the .41 since about 1974 when I got my first 58. At this point I have Winchester, Remington, PMC, Federal, Midway and Starline brass. I have found no difference in the quality.

I've sorted brass by headstamp, shot it mixed and the groups never changed.

Loads:

Target: 8.0 grains of Unique or 7.0 of HP38/Winchester 231 with any cast or jacketed bullet from 200-250 grains. Velocity will be in the 900s depending on the weight.

Full: H110/Winchester296 (same powder different cans)

170 Sierra 26 grains

210 Jacketed 23-24 grains

250-265 cast 20-22 grains

285-305 cast 18-20 grains.

With full loads in H110 it seem if you put enough powder in the case so that the base of the bullet is sitting right on top of the powder so there is no air space the loads show no pressure signs, have a very low standard deviation and extreme accuracy. The load I was shooting today from a 657 Mountain Gun was 23 grains of H110 with a 210 Sierra HP. Empties just dropped out. Velocity is 1325 fps.

Berry's Bullets Berry's Manufacturing makes an excellent plated .41 bullet. I also use a Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Dies on the final stage...

Bob
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:41 AM
bnewc75 bnewc75 is offline
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Default starline

is the only local brass I can find
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:17 AM
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Superman just saved you a lot of time and money.

If you can find 170 grain Sierra get them.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:08 PM
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I was going to start a Phase 2 Thread about bullets, but...

I stopped at Cabella's and picked up four boxes of Hornady XTP 210 grainers for under $20 each OTD. So that should hold me for a while.
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Old 08-28-2011, 09:54 PM
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If you can grab some lead SWCs somewhere do so....they are my fav 41 bullet for 1200 fps and under...which is where I run all of mine
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:58 AM
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Nothing wrong with XTPs especially at that price!!

Any loads made up yet?

Bob
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:20 PM
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I loaded some trial rounds. I found some 215 grain LSWCs locally so I decided to try some of those with Unique and Remington primers. On the right are the rounds made with Hornady bullets, 2400, and CCI magnum primers. Of course I used StarLine cases.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:55 PM
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I have a pile of starline 45 auto.
it seems to be more uniform than Winchester or Remington.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:15 AM
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"Full: H110/Winchester296 (same powder different cans)

170 Sierra 26 grains

210 Jacketed 23-24 grains

250-265 cast 20-22 grains

285-305 cast 18-20 grains
"

I have to tell you, I've shot more than a few .44 Mag & .41 Mag reloads with both H110 & W296. I love both propellants to death. That said, some of the above data is way over published maximums. Hodgdon's website lists 22.0 grains of H110 w/ a Sierra 210 grain JHC as maximum. With a 250 grain lead SWC, they list 18.5 grains as maximum. I have used up to 22.5 grains of H110 with the 220 grain Lyman #410459 and the Sierra 210 grain JHC and found that the primers get pretty flat and extraction pretty "sticky" with two different S&W M57's. I wonder if 24.0 grains will even fit in some brands of cases with a 210-220 grain bullet seated properly. I "backed off" to 21.7 grains with the 210-220 grain bullets. The primers were still flat but extraction was substantially better.

All I'm saying is watch yourself with this data. H110/W296 is my favorite propellant for magnum .41 & .44 loads but it must be used with a minimum 90% load density so backing off a substantial amount is not possible, hence my cautionary advisement for the above data.



Bruce
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:30 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Lightbulb Good advice, heed it..............

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceM View Post
All I'm saying is watch yourself with this data.

Bruce
Good advice about ANY "forum published" loads. NEVER use data from a thread on a forum where ANYONE says: "I use this and you can too!" Even me and the "old salts" here on this forum.

I am not saying anything bad about anyone, well, unless you ignore mine and Bruce's warnings, but people try to remember things as they post only to find out it ain't so once they check their records and by that time the other fellow has 200 of the unsafe load loaded and wants to know how to pull them.......................... FWIW Be safe, use reputable sources for data, not entries on a web forum. All of the powder manufacturer's have their data on the web, use it first and venture out of it if you feel safe doing so.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:25 AM
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Update, Range Report:

It was getting dark when I had a chance to shoot some of these off so no meaningful test for accuracy was done.

The LSWC / Unique load:
Very pleasant. I'll make up some more of these.

The XTP / 2400 load:
Wow! A lot of blast and flash. Like I said, it was getting dark, making this all the more evident. Will have to dial this load back a little and try again.
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  #32  
Old 11-23-2011, 09:14 PM
SuperMan SuperMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
Good advice about ANY "forum published" loads. NEVER use data from a thread on a forum where ANYONE says: "I use this and you can too!" Even me and the "old salts" here on this forum.

I am not saying anything bad about anyone, well, unless you ignore mine and Bruce's warnings, but people try to remember things as they post only to find out it ain't so once they check their records and by that time the other fellow has 200 of the unsafe load loaded and wants to know how to pull them.......................... FWIW Be safe, use reputable sources for data, not entries on a web forum. All of the powder manufacturer's have their data on the web, use it first and venture out of it if you feel safe doing so.

Also what gun/barrel length are you running?

..also what gun/barrel length are you running?
Hope this helps!
I 100% agree with you guys...these loads have proved save in all my guns and have been worked up from several grains below those I listed. With the H110 loads:

"With full loads in H110 it seem if you put enough powder in the case so that the base of the bullet is sitting right on top of the powder so there is no air space the loads show no pressure signs, have a very low standard deviation and extreme accuracy. The load I was shooting today from a 657 Mountain Gun was 23 grains of H110 with a 210 Sierra HP. Empties just dropped out. Velocity is 1325 fps."

From what I have found with H110 the distance from the crimping groove to the base of the bullet detemines how much H110 goes in the case. Take the Cast Performance Bullet Co. 250 and 255 grain bullets. One would think that the 250 could use more powder than the 255 but that is not the case. The crimping groove to base distance of the 250 is greater than the 255 which has far more nose out of the case than the 250. Max (for me) with the 250 is 20 grains but the 255 with take 22 grains... I have not clocked these loads out of the same gun but they are going to be fairly close.

One has to also remember that even guns made by the same manufacturer can have different throat diameters, groove size, a constriced area where the barrel is screwed into the frame...all of that can effect pressure.

I use a chrono when developing all top end loads to watch for sudden velocity jumps or when adding powder suddenly only adds a few FPS....and the primer and how the gun ejects the empties... Is it perfect..no but it has worked for me the now 45 years I have been reloading...

Bob

ps...

Jack...if you are serious about reloading, invest in a chronograph..even a cheap Chrony is better than nothing. You will be very surprised to find many of the published data is often not even close to what you are getting from "your" fiearm. As to 2400...not sure but most people use it for cast bullets. I tried it a LONG time ago and was totally unimpressed. Pressures go up fast when top loads are reached and a lot of unburned powder if loads are not near top end...

Last edited by SuperMan; 11-23-2011 at 09:29 PM.
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  #33  
Old 11-23-2011, 11:44 PM
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sheriffoconee sheriffoconee is offline
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I look at reloading data from ALL over the net...and I NEVER start where some guys end up with their powder charges.......and I hope no one else does either......start a bit lower and WORK UP TO IT.......you will be glad you did
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  #34  
Old 12-03-2011, 08:52 PM
GF1 GF1 is offline
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Originally Posted by SuperMan View Post
I 100% agree with you guys...these loads have proved save in all my guns and have been worked up from several grains below those I listed. With the H110 loads:

"With full loads in H110 it seem if you put enough powder in the case so that the base of the bullet is sitting right on top of the powder so there is no air space the loads show no pressure signs, have a very low standard deviation and extreme accuracy. The load I was shooting today from a 657 Mountain Gun was 23 grains of H110 with a 210 Sierra HP. Empties just dropped out. Velocity is 1325 fps."

From what I have found with H110 the distance from the crimping groove to the base of the bullet detemines how much H110 goes in the case. Take the Cast Performance Bullet Co. 250 and 255 grain bullets. One would think that the 250 could use more powder than the 255 but that is not the case. The crimping groove to base distance of the 250 is greater than the 255 which has far more nose out of the case than the 250. Max (for me) with the 250 is 20 grains but the 255 with take 22 grains... I have not clocked these loads out of the same gun but they are going to be fairly close.

One has to also remember that even guns made by the same manufacturer can have different throat diameters, groove size, a constriced area where the barrel is screwed into the frame...all of that can effect pressure.

I use a chrono when developing all top end loads to watch for sudden velocity jumps or when adding powder suddenly only adds a few FPS....and the primer and how the gun ejects the empties... Is it perfect..no but it has worked for me the now 45 years I have been reloading...

Bob

ps...

Jack...if you are serious about reloading, invest in a chronograph..even a cheap Chrony is better than nothing. You will be very surprised to find many of the published data is often not even close to what you are getting from "your" fiearm. As to 2400...not sure but most people use it for cast bullets. I tried it a LONG time ago and was totally unimpressed. Pressures go up fast when top loads are reached and a lot of unburned powder if loads are not near top end...
The last comments about the pressure curve of 2400 run counter to my experience with this powder, which I've used in three magnum calibers since the mid-70s. I've found it very predictable in terms of pressure as top loads are reached, less sensitive in that regard than 231, H110, and others. It is definitely true that 2400 likes the top end, both in terms of accuracy and powder residue. It is the most accurate powder I've used in the .41 Magnum, with all three of my M57s.
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  #35  
Old 12-04-2011, 08:00 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Flash View Post
Update, Range Report:

It was getting dark when I had a chance to shoot some of these off so no meaningful test for accuracy was done.

The LSWC / Unique load:
Very pleasant. I'll make up some more of these.

The XTP / 2400 load:
Wow! A lot of blast and flash. Like I said, it was getting dark, making this all the more evident. Will have to dial this load back a little and try again.
Jack,
One thing to remember, always shoot them jacketed bullets first THEN lead. Just in case there is a leading problem. While the barrels may look smooth to the naked eye, there can be some pretty big "holes" in them that can get lead "ironed" in when a jacketed bullet is run after them if not completely cleaned. A solution of peroxide and vinegar can get it out but can be hard on your gun if left in too long.

2400 can be reduced more than H110/W296 but in all honesty, and I don't load for the 41Mag yet but have for the 44Mag, Unique will get you there better. Not to full velocity mind you, but to where 2400 can be reduced to. Hopefully that makes sense.


2400 can be reduced but at the reduced level, Unique will work better. It will be at the top of it's data though.

(Hopefully, that was better! )
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  #36  
Old 12-04-2011, 11:52 AM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMan View Post

From what I have found with H110 the distance from the crimping groove to the base of the bullet detemines how much H110 goes in the case. Take the Cast Performance Bullet Co. 250 and 255 grain bullets. One would think that the 250 could use more powder than the 255 but that is not the case. The crimping groove to base distance of the 250 is greater than the 255 which has far more nose out of the case than the 250.
This is true whenever you switch bullets , especially cast bullets. Some have a different , what I call 'shank length'. This is very critical with some powders which are sensitive to being compressed , or load density.

H110/W-296 are powders which perform best with a slightly compressed charge. My favorite .41 powder , Blue Dot , does NOT like being compressed. The Lyman book listed a max charge of 16grs with the Lyman 410459 bullet , a Keith-style bullet with long nose and short shank. I've used this load for years with no problems.
However , some novice reloaders simply looked at the bullet weight and figured it would be safe with those 210-215gr bullets , which had more shank and compressed the charge more , resulting in much higher pressure.

Lyman even lists a max of 14.6grs with their 410610 gas-check SWC and most 210gr jacketed bullets list 14grs as max.

Add to this that some recent lots of Blue Dot were said to be a bit faster burning.
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  #37  
Old 12-04-2011, 12:20 PM
whatthe whatthe is offline
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I bought 500 cases from Starline all good stuff I have been reloading with Hornady 210 grain bullets with 20.5 grains of H-110, stout load, you should use magnum primers and do not use H-110 for a light or medium load.
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  #38  
Old 12-04-2011, 03:00 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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Gun shop by me bought out a bunch of estate stuff. Owner and friend sold me a box of over 850rds of Starline virgin .41 mag brass for $50.
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  #39  
Old 12-29-2011, 09:43 PM
336A 336A is offline
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I realize that I'm a little late posting on this thread but hey I'm a .41 mag fanatic. I like to use 8.5gr of Unique under a 215gr SWC for general use from my 4 5/8" Ruger BH. For the heavier loads I have found that 18.5gr of 2400 is very accurate with a 210gr Sierra bullet. When used with a Hornady 210gr XTP however it shoots a liitle higher. The MAX load per the Hornady manual is 20gr of 2400 with the 210gr XTP, eventually I'll run some test loads with that bullet again.

IMHO I feel that when using standard bullet weights 2400 is a better fit in the .357, .41, and .44 magnums. Unless one wants to run heavy for caliber bullets at full steam then H110/296 gets the nod. I really think that most folks have gone overboard wanting to run these heavy for caliber bullets all of the time especially for the likes of dee. They just aren't needed and it's easy to get caught up in it all.

There are three examples that I always think about that keeps me grounded when thinking about this.
1.) a Gentleman out in Idaho uses a 230gr Kieth bullet over 18gr of 2400 pretty much as his go to load. This bullet weight while a little out of the norm for the .41 still isn't what I'd call heavy for caliber. He has used this load on elk and it has punched through both sides for him even out to 74yds. What more could one ask for than that.

2.) Same gent as above used a 250gr bullet over 9.2gr of Unique for about 1100fps. Result is the same as above with a dead elk laying roughly 10 yards from where it was hit.

And finally is a fella that used his .41 mag with a 220gr Kieth bullet loaded to about 1400fps. This individual took a head on shot at a bull moose from 61yd placing the bullet between the shoulders, through the brisket to take out the top of the heart. The bullet was unrecovered as it was buried deep in the paunch.

If a standard weight bullet can achieve two of the above examples with aplomb then why stress the gun and shooter more than needed with heavier loads? Now if it were for defense against some saskwatch then I got it, otherwise save the H110 for the real firebreathers.
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