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Old 02-15-2012, 08:33 PM
trauma1 trauma1 is offline
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So, i have been doing alot of research on the above 2 cartridges. From what I can find, up to 240gr bullets the 41 mag can do everything the 44mag can and sometimes a little better depending on the powder. The 44 mag has the advantage as far as heavier bullets go - 265gr and up. If what I am reading and finding is true, why isn't the 41 more popular? Seems to be superior to the 44mag in standard weights and lighter weights. Once you get above that the 44 shines but then you could go with the 45colt or 454casull and do the same and better. Seems like the 41mag just came around a little too late. definetly a better round though!
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:25 PM
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Wow, did you just open up a can of worms..gonna sit back and enjoy this.
I'll jump in first and say that while I do like the .44 Mag, I much prefer the .41, flatter shooting, a bit less recoil and just more fun. Bullets have always been a draw back if limited to factory ammo, but I cast and reload so for me that is a non-issue.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:40 PM
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I just loaded my first 12 rounds of 41 mag. I have to agree with previous poster,more fun, less recoil. However.... I also loaded my first 44mag(light) loads. They were fun too,accurate,loud report,etc...sooo I'm going to say as a reloader and just target shooter it's pretty much preference ...


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Old 02-15-2012, 09:46 PM
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i guess if Clint Eastwood had started out " this is a 41 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world" we wouldn't have this argument. Just from ballistics, seems like the 41mag is as good if not better than the 44mag. Funny how some rounds make it and some don't (257 roberts).
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:57 PM
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I'm a 41 Mag fan, so my response is going to be biased. You listed all the reasons I prefer to shoot my 41 mag.

The 44 mag was here first and the 41 is so close to the same performance that folks just didn't see the need to change. Try going into the store and buying some factory 41 mag ammo. If you can find it the cost is going to be really high. If you handload, there just isn't much difference loading for the 41 instead of the 44.

But I also enjoy loading and shooing the 222 Remington Mag, 257 Roberts, and 280 Remington. So it just goes to figure I would prefer the 41.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:00 PM
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The story goes like this.

The 41 mag was set to debut and the ballistics were fabulous. Then suddenly, the movie Dirty Harry came out in 1971. Then the line by Harry Calahan (Clint Eastwood) went like this: I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? Once the audience heard that line, the 44 magnum sales skyrocketed over night. You couldn't find a model 29 anywhere. They were just gone said a friend of mine that owned a gun shop back then. That friend of mine is 73 today. And what was left on the shelves? You quessed it. The .41 magnum says my friend.

The .41 magnum has superior ballistics, however because of the fact that nobody wanted a .41, research to develop different bullets stopped. That is why there is such a small selection of .41.

In my opinion the .41 is a better performer that the .44. I have shot both for 30+ years. If one of the bullet manufacterers would begin developing performance bullets for the .41, I believe it would begin gaining popularity.

One last note. When the movie Dirty Harry was being filmed, the first half of the movie was shot with a .41 magnum. The second half, they finally got the .44 magnum and finished the movie with the real gun.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:01 PM
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I like both so I'd say it's a matter of preference and which ones you feel like taking out to shoot or hunt with. For most everything that I want to do with a handgun either one will fill the bill nicely.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:16 PM
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I actually carried a model 58 for several years back in the 70's. I only know two other LEO's that carried this caliber. Most officers didn't even know what it was or what it would do. I quit carrying it when my department issued mod 66's, then 686's, then the Glock 17. I own several .41 mags now and sometimes CCW the 3" 657. I have a longer barrel 657 that I have deer hunted with and frequently carry it when riding my 4-wheeler.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:18 PM
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I've been shooting since I was 14, I'm 63 now. I never saw a .41 magnum. No I don't live a sheltered life, they just are not that popular. And they sell quick if a used one pops up. So availability is why I have 7 .44's. Maybe bigger is better. ( just kidding )
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:23 PM
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At one time, I owned matching 41 & 44 magnum Redhawks. I wrung them out over a couple of years. The 44 would do anything the 41 could do, plus a lot more. If I wanted lighter recoil, I'd load the 44 lighter, if I wanted more power, the 41 ran out of steam pretty early compared to the 44. I consider handgun cartridges to be pretty inefficient in the big picture, and I don't feel that the average handgun bullet even has a ballistic coefficient, so I don't see a .410 bullet having significantly flatter trajectory that a .430 bullet at normal revolver distances. Finding factory ammunition, bullets, bullet moulds, or even decent brass was a challenge. I had custom moulds made to feed the 41, then realized that while I liked the .41 much more than a .357, the 44 was much more practical. Both calibers require the same frame size, so 41s are actually heavier than 41s. Weight never made a difference to me at the range, but I could see how hunters & hikers would appreciate saving any ounce they could. The 41 went to a collector, and the 44 stayed with me. No if you want a 41, by all means buy one. That's what this is all about, but you'll never convince me that the .41 is a better all around cartridge than the 44 magnum. BTW, the comparison was actually a 3 way race. I also had a very early 45 Colt Redhawk in the game, but that's another story.

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Old 02-15-2012, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 358156hp View Post
At one time, I owned matching 41 & 44 magnum Redhawks. I wrung them out over a couple of years. The 44 would do anything the 41 could do, plus a lot more. If I wanted lighter recoil, I'd load the 44 lighter, if I wanted more power, the 41ran out of steam pretty early compared to the 44. I consider handgun cartridges to be pretty inefficient in the big picture, and I don't feel that the average handgun bullet even hasa ballistic coefficient, so I don't see a .410 bullet having significantly flatter trajectory that a .430 bullet at normal revolver distances. Finding factory ammunition, bullets, bullet moulds, or even decent brass was a challenge. I had custom moulds made to feed the 41, then realized that while I liked the .41 much more than a .357, the 44 was much more practical. Both calibers require the same frame size, so 41s are actually heavier than 41s. Weight never made a difference to me at the range, but I could see how hunters & hikers would appreciate saving any ounce they could. The 41 went to a collector, and the 44 stayed with me. No if you want a 41, by all means buy one. That's what this is all about, but you'll never convince me that the .41 is a better all around cartridge than the 44 magnum. BTW, the comparison was actually a 3 way race. I also had a very early 45 Colt Redhawk in the game, but that's another story.
I agree that a 45colt in a MODERN frame is vastly superior to both rounds. However, comparing balistics for a 41mag 215-240gr and a 44mag 215-240gr shows a distinct advantage to the 41mag. If you want 265-300gr bullet then the 44mag does have the advantage, bit at the expense of added recoil and muzzle blast. 41mag and 45cLC still win!
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:07 PM
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The story goes like this.

The 41 mag was set to debut and the ballistics were fabulous. Then suddenly, the movie Dirty Harry came out in 1971. Then the line by Harry Calahan (Clint Eastwood) went like this: I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? Once the audience heard that line, the 44 magnum sales skyrocketed over night. You couldn't find a model 29 anywhere. They were just gone said a friend of mine that owned a gun shop back then. That friend of mine is 73 today. And what was left on the shelves? You quessed it. The .41 magnum says my friend.

The .41 magnum has superior ballistics, however because of the fact that nobody wanted a .41, research to develop different bullets stopped. That is why there is such a small selection of .41.

In my opinion the .41 is a better performer that the .44. I have shot both for 30+ years. If one of the bullet manufacterers would begin developing performance bullets for the .41, I believe it would begin gaining popularity.

One last note. When the movie Dirty Harry was being filmed, the first half of the movie was shot with a .41 magnum. The second half, they finally got the .44 magnum and finished the movie with the real gun.

hmmm...cannot agree...the 41 mag.was developed to be the ideal police round...it was first sold as a M57 in 1963..NINE years prior to dirty harry...as we know it did not fare well as a police issue weapon for several reasons..one of which was police agencies of this era were not fond of the word magnum...as to all or part of the dirty harry movie being filmed with a 41 mag......this has been hashed and rehashed here many times...the experts say two M29-2's were used in the movie...eastwood kept one and the other is currently in the NRA museum here in virginia...
don't get me wrong...i love both calibers,reload for both and have a number of 41 and 44 mag.handguns....i have carried a M657 3" for quite awhile....both are super rounds and can be loaded mild to wild...i'm just glad i don't have to buy factory ammo for either...
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:29 PM
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Back in the 70's, I put a .41 Mag scoped 14" barrel on my T/C Contender. It was a really nice setup to shoot at distance.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:29 PM
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Looking purely at the diameter there really isn't much difference. (with the .44 actually being .429 diameter vs the .41 which is a true .41)

Looking at cost efficiency and ammo availability I have to give the nod to the .44 every time. But variety is the spice of life.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:47 PM
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hmmm...cannot agree...the 41 mag.was developed to be the ideal police round...it was first sold as a M57 in 1963..NINE years prior to dirty harry...as we know it did not fare well as a police issue weapon for several reasons..one of which was police agencies of this era were not fond of the word magnum...as to all or part of the dirty harry movie being filmed with a 41 mag......this has been hashed and rehashed here many times...the experts say two M29-2's were used in the movie...eastwood kept one and the other is currently in the NRA museum here in virginia...
don't get me wrong...i love both calibers,reload for both and have a number of 41 and 44 mag.handguns....i have carried a M657 3" for quite awhile....both are super rounds and can be loaded mild to wild...i'm just glad i don't have to buy factory ammo for either...
KennyB, thanks for correcting me. I thought the .41 came out in 1964, but I could be wrong. The debut from what I understand was not the intruduction the the cartridge or the gun, it was a promotion of them prior to the movie. I understand that there were two .44's and that one is in the NRA museum. However the reason that I have always thought that the first portion of the movie was shot with a .41 is because I read it and that was many years ago, before the internet. Otherwise I would not have known. If I am wrong, thank you for telling me. However, is there information that is factual because that would be great info to have. Once again, sorry for any confusion from my behalf.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:52 PM
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Looking purely at the diameter there really isn't much difference. (with the .44 actually being .429 diameter vs the .41 which is a true .41)

Looking at cost efficiency and ammo availability I have to give the nod to the .44 every time. But variety is the spice of life.
It's .020. in diameter. There is no magic. For those who load their own it means little. Little bigger case means a little bit more potential.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:53 PM
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hmmm...cannot agree...the 41 mag.was developed to be the ideal police round...it was first sold as a M57 in 1963..NINE years prior to dirty harry...as we know it did not fare well as a police issue weapon for several reasons..one of which was police agencies of this era were not fond of the word magnum...as to all or part of the dirty harry movie being filmed with a 41 mag......this has been hashed and rehashed here many times...the experts say two M29-2's were used in the movie...eastwood kept one and the other is currently in the NRA museum here in virginia...
don't get me wrong...i love both calibers,reload for both and have a number of 41 and 44 mag.handguns....i have carried a M657 3" for quite awhile....both are super rounds and can be loaded mild to wild...i'm just glad i don't have to buy factory ammo for either...
kennyb,

Dirty Harry's gun is supposedly a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver, chambered for a .44 Magnum cartridge. In the film, the gun is shown as being capable of sending assailants flying through the air, even when shot from a distance, however, in reality the gun does not produce such dramatic results. Additionally, the .44 Magnum round is not considered to be a practical caliber for urban police force use due to recoil (which makes target re-acquisition difficult) and over-penetration issues, which greatly increases the likelihood of the bullet going through its target and injuring bystanders. The actual gun used on set by Clint Eastwood was in fact a Smith & Wesson Model 29. It is a common misconception that a Model 29 could not be located and a Model 57, chambered in .41 Magnum, was used instead. Clint Eastwood contacted Bob Sauer, representative for Smith and Wesson, to acquire the pistol. The Model 29 had been out of production for several years at the time, but a number of pistols were assembled from parts at the factory and provided to the crew. Eastwood took one to a firing range to familiarize himself with the Model 29.

So there you have it. I was wrong. I am knew to the internet and looked it up. Thanks kenny.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:15 AM
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kennyb,

Dirty Harry's gun is supposedly a Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver, chambered for a .44 Magnum cartridge. In the film, the gun is shown as being capable of sending assailants flying through the air, even when shot from a distance, however, in reality the gun does not produce such dramatic results. Additionally, the .44 Magnum round is not considered to be a practical caliber for urban police force use due to recoil (which makes target re-acquisition difficult) and over-penetration issues, which greatly increases the likelihood of the bullet going through its target and injuring bystanders. The actual gun used on set by Clint Eastwood was in fact a Smith & Wesson Model 29. It is a common misconception that a Model 29 could not be located and a Model 57, chambered in .41 Magnum, was used instead. Clint Eastwood contacted Bob Sauer, representative for Smith and Wesson, to acquire the pistol. The Model 29 had been out of production for several years at the time, but a number of pistols were assembled from parts at the factory and provided to the crew. Eastwood took one to a firing range to familiarize himself with the Model 29.

So there you have it. I was wrong. I am knew to the internet and looked it up. Thanks kenny.
yes...as mentioned it is a 29-2 rather then a 29...i recently finished over 30 years in police work and agree...no one flies through the air etc.no agency that i'm familar with carries a 44mag.although i carried a 29-2 off duty for a period of time..yup...had to qualify with it on a police combat course...there are agencies that have carried the M29 as well as the M57 although i'm not aware of any that currently do...this M657 3" is a mighty nice one and fills the bill as a carry gun
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:41 AM
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both are sweet
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:58 AM
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I own both now. I bought the 41 first, by several years, after considering both.

I opted for it because I could get a light, compact gun that was still controllable (Taurus TI Tracker). The 44s I was considering at the time were all larger frames, and significantly heavier.

Of course now I have a 329PD so we'll see how my opinion changes. I can handle full-power 41Mag loads in the little Tracker, though I don't shoot many of them to spare wear and tear on the gun. I kind of doubt I would want to shoot full power loads with 300gr+ bullets out of the 329PD.

I hope some day to have steel deer hunting guns in BOTH calibers.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:32 AM
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Like said above, the .41 Magnum was developed for police duty to replace the .357 Magnum with a heavier weapon that didn't have the excessive recoil the .44 Magnum had. From what I understand the .41 Magnum fell victim to the semi-auto changeover. Around the same time the .41 Magnum would have been adopted the move to semi-autos was also beginning. (I think)

Again like said above, limited ammo and bullet selection will hurt any caliber and there is very little to choose from in .41 Magnum...
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:15 AM
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its kind of like the 10mm vs the .40 smith and wesson

you just cant find a box of ammo everywhere for a 10mm like you can with a .40 smith and wesson. ditto with the .41 mag, hence why everyone always defaults to the .44

and until a movie or a tv show gets popular with someone in the title role packing one and the demand for guns and ammo for them goes up of them its probably going to stay that way.

doesnt mean that their not great cartridges and they have their place its just its a pain in the *** to find factory ammo and if you just wanna shoot and not reload it pretty much takes it off the table for that kind of shooting recreation.

Not to mention the added price because of the availability of the cartridge and the guns made for it


also with the .44 mag I wouldnt put anything about 250 grains in mine, the model 29 is already a hopped up N frame to begin with and with anything above 250 they can develop problems from what I understand.

besides it has a very nice dirty harry boom noise to it with the factory remington 180 grain rounds moving at 1600 fps anyways.

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Old 02-16-2012, 07:41 AM
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To my knowledge, Amarillo Tx. PD was the only agency to actually issue the 41 Mag back in the 70s. I was living in Clovis New Mexico at that time and had a friend on the Amarillo PD. They issued the 41 Mag but officers were allowed to carry whatever they could qualify with.

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Old 02-16-2012, 09:58 AM
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So, i have been doing alot of research on the above 2 cartridges. ...If what I am reading and finding is true, why isn't the 41 more popular?....
Can you tell us what you are getting this information from?

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To my knowledge, Amarillo Tx. PD was the only agency to actually issue the 41 Mag back in the 70s...
There were more, including one smaller local dept. but it was short lived here. When their "gun expert" found out they offered both a lead SWC and a JSP he chose the jacketed bullet to prevent leading.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:50 AM
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The .41 magnum has superior ballistics. . .

Could someone take a minute or two and explain this to me? I'm not familiar enough with ballistics to understand how one round can be superior to another.

Thank you.
Andy
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:50 AM
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The 41Mag didn't have an "Elmer Keith" nor a bunch of years with a previous "special" cartridge behind it.

Bullet selection is a big factor in having a caliber "make it". I can get any shape going in about any weight out there for my 44, not so much for the 41.

I too think it was the semi auto craze that helped with its demise. When the gang banger on the other end of the gun fight has more bullets than you and easier to get more into action, I think that is a bad thing. Since my son is an LEO, I am quite thankful that they give him a 40S&W with a bunch of extra rounds to take with him on patrol.

Our gang bangers 'round here usually have an SKS with 30 rounds or so in them with them as they go about their unwholesome tasks.

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:09 AM
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I'm 62 in 2 months and have had at least 3 41 mags and 3 44 mags (plus a good number of 44 specials). I carried the 41 mag while guiding on hogs in grad school. I switched from a Model 29 to a Ruger 41 Blackhawk because I was getting better penetration with the 41==all things being equal (we handloaded for both).
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:38 PM
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I've only been on the .41 Magnum bandwagon for a little over a year after being on the .44 Magnum wagon for over 30 years. As much as I admire the .41 Magnum cartridge, and being thrilled to be a newer owner of one, I'm simply not seeing its superior ballistic performance over the chronograph screens to that of the .44 Magnum. It's too easy to run 240 grain .429 bullets faster than 210-220 grain .410 bullets. Superior ballistics can't be claimed by the .41 Magnum.

Going back to the days when published manuals offered real full-powered maximum loads, a peek in the 1978 Sierra manual shows loads for the .41 Magnum and their 170 grain bullet into the 1500 fps range, and loads for their 210 grain bullet into the 1300 fps range. Data for Sierra's .44 Magnum using their maximum loads show their 180 grain bullet reaching into the 1700 fps range and their 240 grain bullet into the 1500 fps range.

I've thoroughly run the .44 Magnum through the wringer and found that these velocities are easily accomplished with several powders. I've only started investigating the .41 Magnum, having tested both 210 and 220 grain bullets, but am finding that the .41 Magnum velocities published in the 1978 Sierra manual are also easily managed by the cartridge.

I used the .44 Magnum for hunter pistol silhouette, shooting for several seasons years ago, and it was used on the 100 yd. rams. I've only shot the .41 Magnum for effect at 100 yards to see if the bullet would get down there. It did. It did not shoot perceptibly flatter nor has it displayed any flatter shooting characteristics in impromptu shooting at targets of opportunity on the 200 yard range at our old home place.

If Sierra's ballistics tables in the back of their 1978 manual are to be taken at face value then the following may be found.

.41 Magnum
Sierra 170 grain JHC: 1500 fps, 100 yard drop: 9.62 inches
Sierra 210 grain JHC: 1300 fps, 100 yard drop: 11.49 inches

44 Magnum
Sierra 180 grain JHC: 1700 fps, 100 yard drop: 7.41 inches
Sierra 240 grain JHC: 1500 fps, 100 yard drop: 8.89 inches

It ain't much difference but it is in favor of the .44 magnum over the .41 Magnum. There's 4 inches or less difference in drop at 100 yards for all of the above so it's not important.

At 100 yards and longer distances the .44 Magnum shows higher retained velocities and more ft./lbs of energy than the .41 Magnum "according to the charts."

Now one can mix-'n-match different brands of bullets, different bullet weights, or bullet weights not listed and obtain different results but the .44 Magnum would still likely best the .41 Magnum by a bit no matter what combination was chosen. If the .44 Magnum is treated with the right handloaded components it should equal the .41 Magnum in penetration as well.

And yes, higher velocities may be attained than Sierra's quotes. With a grain less than the maximum listed load for their 220 grain .41 Magnum Silhouette bullet using H110, 1362 fps was achieved in the Model 57. This past season a small Texas whitetail doe was taken with this load and it was highly effective.

The highest velocities I've seen in the Model 29 .44 Magnum have been 1812 fps with the Sierra 180 grain bullet and 1550 fps with the Sierra 240 grain bullet.

In years gone by I've taken a couple of deer with the .44 Magnum and it was also highly effective.

Sierra says they used a 6-inch Smith & Wesson Model 57 for their .41 Magnum testing and a 7 1/2-inch Ruger Super Blackhawk for their .44 Magnum testing.

I used a 6-inch Model 57 and an 8 3/8-inch Model 29. Even if the barrel lengths were equal I suspect the nod would still go to the .44 Magnum.

30-something years ago when I had the money burning a hole in my pocket I intended to purchase a .41 Magnum rather than a .44 Magnum. They had no .41 Magnums in stock so I went down the .44 Magnum road and wouldn't take for the ride it's given. I still like the .41 Magnum. I enjoy shooting it a bit more and could live with it rather than a .44 Magnum.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:34 PM
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The .44 magnum, for those not man enough to handle the .41 magnum.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by trauma1 View Post
I agree that a 45colt in a MODERN frame is vastly superior to both rounds. However, comparing balistics for a 41mag 215-240gr and a 44mag 215-240gr shows a distinct advantage to the 41mag. If you want 265-300gr bullet then the 44mag does have the advantage, bit at the expense of added recoil and muzzle blast. 41mag and 45cLC still win!
Well, that's not the conclusion I reached with my experiments. If you get a moment, would you please explain what I missed? 215 gr bullets are underweight for optimum efficiency in the 44, and at 240 gr, it's just coming into its power band. I normally shoot 255 gr to 300 gr in 44. My 41 magnum Redhawk absolutely hated any bullet over 220 grains, refusing to group them well, and was the most finicky revolver I've ever tried to load for. I did finally find a good load for it, using AA5744 of all things. I talked to a lot of people about the 41 while I was experimenting, and most of them seemed to agree that the 41 was at it's best in the 170 to 220 grain weight range. Some guys got really good results with 250-265 gr LBT LFN, but I wasn't one of them.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:42 AM
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I like & shoot the 41mag but it will NEVER be the equal of the 44mag. As in any caliber, the larger the bore size, the faster you can push heavier bullets. Sure, you can run a 240gr bullet in the 41mag, but it's not even kissing the vel of a 240gr in a 44mag. Of course, there is less recoil w/ the 41mag & it's just oddball enough to make me want another one. Superior to a 44mag, hardly. With 250-270gr bullets, the 44mag has few peers for power, portability & shootability. If I could only have one handgun it would be a 4" M29 or M629.

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Old 02-17-2012, 02:53 AM
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The .41 Magnum was more a victim of bad timing than anything else. Fans of the cartridge tend to be serious shootists and tend to really like their .41s.

FWIW the .44 Magnum is really only a .429...
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:13 PM
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hmmm...cannot agree...the 41 mag.was developed to be the ideal police round...it was first sold as a M57 in 1963..NINE years prior to dirty harry...as we know it did not fare well as a police issue weapon for several reasons..one of which was police agencies of this era were not fond of the word magnum...as to all or part of the dirty harry movie being filmed with a 41 mag......this has been hashed and rehashed here many times...the experts say two M29-2's were used in the movie...eastwood kept one and the other is currently in the NRA museum here in virginia...
don't get me wrong...i love both calibers,reload for both and have a number of 41 and 44 mag.handguns....i have carried a M657 3" for quite awhile....both are super rounds and can be loaded mild to wild...i'm just glad i don't have to buy factory ammo for either...
have had a love affair with 41 mag for years---have a marlin lever gun in 41 as companion piece. Bless reloading my own.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:36 PM
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The .41 Magnum is my favorite handgun cartridge, and I have alot of experience with both the .44 and .357. In terms of the .44 vs. .41 debate, I just say that I wore out a Model 29-2 on about 20,000 rounds of hard cast linotype bullets in the late 70s. It was accurate and I loved it. It shot loose, and I just didn't want to have it refurbed, so I sold it...right after I got my first Model 57 (have three now, including the original I mention here).

The .44 Magnum is more powerful, period. Just not by so much as many would have you believe. With the larger bullets, it will penetrate as deep as similarly shaped and constructed bullets (same S.D.) in the .41. It's also nearly identical in trajectory (210 vs 240 or similar comparisons); the swamp gas that the .41 shoots flatter is just that. Run the ballistics.

The real kicker for me in the discussion/argument is that .41 caliber is the perfect size for the N frame Smith. The .44 (or really, .429) Magnum is oversize for that revolver, IMO. Let's not even speak of the Model 25 chambered for 45 LC (better load down to Colt SAA pressures, as there's not much steel in those cylinders).

That's the real picture, for me. It's not trajectory, not recoil (if you don't like the .44, you won't like the .41 either), but simply the ideal fit for a real magnum cartridge loaded repeatably to magnum pressures. The Model 57 will take it; the Model 29 will not.

Here's my 4" no dash Model 57 (bought new for $300 quite a few years ago):

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Old 02-17-2012, 01:31 PM
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Both great rounds. I invested early in .44. Later shot a friend's 57. Liked it a lot. if I had had a mulligan, I'd have gone wth the 41.
Hunting and silhouette were the missions. Either can do the deal.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:10 PM
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Shot my first .41 Mag over forty years ago. My farther was Highway Patrolman. He was one of 25 or so selected to test the Model 58. He liked the caliber so muck he bought a Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Mag. We spent many hours reloading for it. He was 6ft 5, around 235 so he did not mind carrying the N frame, but most of the other testers did not like it because of the side. Issue round was Remington-Peters 210 gr Police Load. Normally they could buy there issue guns but since it was a test they where returned to S&W after the test.

During the S&W Model 29 Dirty Harry drought I was stationed in Germany. Home on leave I went to see the movie. I was a member of the Rod and Gun Club on post. I walked in one day and a 29 Dirty Harry gun was in the display case. Price was $325 and they were going a lot higher in the states. I no longer shoot it, I lean to my .41s

Still have the Ruger, also have a Model 57 and 2 Model 58s. Shoot the 57 the most but shooting one of the 58s brings back fond memories of shooting with my Dad.. Guess thats why I love the .41 Mag.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:16 PM
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bullet for bullet the 41 can do everything the 44 can upt to a point. the 44 has the advantage in heavier wts and no argument there. my initial point was/is, the 41 is still the better round up to 215gr or so.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellybean View Post
Can you tell us what you are getting this information from?

Quoted from GaCop:

There were more, including one smaller local dept. but it was short lived here. When their "gun expert" found out they offered both a lead SWC and a JSP he chose the jacketed bullet to prevent leading.
hodgdon reloading manual.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:54 AM
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All this talk makes me want to go shooting. I've got a few hundred 44 and 41's loaded up and I'm going to the farm tomorrow for some fishing and coyote hunting...I think plinking just made the schedule too.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:02 AM
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The 44 and 41 mags compare much in the same way the 30-06 and the 308 do. with 150 grain bullets both 30 calibers are similar, but increase bullet weight to 180 grains and that's where the added case capacity of the 'ought-six makes the difference.

Cartridges are in fact internal combustion devices. Like an engine, a 30-06 has the same "bore" as a 308 but a longer stroke. The 41 and 44 mags have the same "stroke" (case length) but different size bores and as a result the 44 has greater case capacity and just like the difference between the 30-06 and the 308, the cartridge with greatest case capacity can propel heavier bullets faster.

For hunting large game animals the 300 grain bullets that can be loaded in the 44 have much greater effectiveness than the more common 240 grain bullets. The 44 magnum is almost a different cartridge loaded with these heavy, hard-hiting, deep-penetrating bullets.

I've had a couple of Ruger blackhawks in both 44 and 41 mag and liked the 41 better. but after that I had a 29 "Classic" with the 6 1/2" barrel and the unfluted cylinder and the factory hogue grips and like that better than either of the Rugers.

I have a model 58 and I like that but shoot reloads only in it because I don't like the recoil of full-power loads with the Magna grips and don't like how the gun looks without them.

Now I need to get a model 57 for shooting full power ammo and would love to find one with an 8 3/8ths inch barrel. Both the 41 and 44 mags are gerat cartriges for those of us who reload.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:52 AM
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i have multiple .44 mags. also rifles are chambered in it save the occasional marlin 1894.

factory ammo is severely limited in 41. so 44 is the way to go for me. also the fact that 41s are few and far between around here. so thats the way it is.

i wont pass judgement on the ballistics as they appear to very similar. so the availabilty tilts favor to .44
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nframes4me View Post
The 44 and 41 mags compare much in the same way the 30-06 and the 308 do. with 150 grain bullets both 30 calibers are similar, but increase bullet weight to 180 grains and that's where the added case capacity of the 'ought-six makes the difference.

Cartridges are in fact internal combustion devices. Like an engine, a 30-06 has the same "bore" as a 308 but a longer stroke. The 41 and 44 mags have the same "stroke" (case length) but different size bores and as a result the 44 has greater case capacity and just like the difference between the 30-06 and the 308, the cartridge with greatest case capacity can propel heavier bullets faster.

For hunting large game animals the 300 grain bullets that can be loaded in the 44 have much greater effectiveness than the more common 240 grain bullets. The 44 magnum is almost a different cartridge loaded with these heavy, hard-hiting, deep-penetrating bullets.

I've had a couple of Ruger blackhawks in both 44 and 41 mag and liked the 41 better. but after that I had a 29 "Classic" with the 6 1/2" barrel and the unfluted cylinder and the factory hogue grips and like that better than either of the Rugers.

I have a model 58 and I like that but shoot reloads only in it because I don't like the recoil of full-power loads with the Magna grips and don't like how the gun looks without them.

Now I need to get a model 57 for shooting full power ammo and would love to find one with an 8 3/8ths inch barrel. Both the 41 and 44 mags are gerat cartriges for those of us who reload.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:00 AM
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Wasn't the 41 Magnum originally called the 41 Police? Or maybe they just wanted to call it that? I've read this somewhere in the past I know

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Old 02-19-2012, 12:52 PM
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I too am a .41 mag fanatic and feel that it is a better fit in the N frames than the .44 is; and a better cartridge for all around use. The .41 mag has quite a unique history behind it which makes it even more fascinating, at least to me anyway. As most of us know it was Keith and Jordan that are mostly responsible for it being brought out, as they wanted a better police cartridge and thought that .40 cal would be ideal. Most of the ground work was put down by Cyril (unsure of spelling) "POP" Eimer, and Gordon Boser. Both produced powerful .400/.401 widcats that were close to .41 mag performance, even Colt almost brought forth a .40 caliber cartridge. For whatever reason Colt was to slow to introduce their .400 Colt allowing S&W to get the drop on them when they unveiled the .41 Magnum. Both Eimer and Boser used cut down .401 WSL cases however 2400 wasn't around yet (1920's) when Eimer was producing his widlcat .400/.401Eimer SPL. When Boser took up the reigns (1930's) 2400 was available at this time. Then came Herter's .401 PowerMag which Herter's brought out in in 1961 3 years before the debut of the .41 S&W Magnum. This cartridge was probably more responsible for S&W bringing forth the .41 mag than any other. It was Doug Hellstrom of S&W however that decided the new cartridge would be a true .41 and not a .40". That little nugget of info can be found here on pg 25 http://www.elmerkeithshoot.org/GA/19...orite_Load.pdf

Heavy weights for the .41 mag can be found for the .41 mag if one looks around. Penn bullets makes a 295gr SSK and Beartooth bullets makes a 300gr SSK bullet as well. Whether or not your revolver will shoot these well is gun specific just as is any firearm when it comes to what it likes or dislikes. So the .41 is certainly versatile but I think that the .41 mag is at it's best with bullets up to 265gr. There is a fella in Idaho that uses .41 mag quite often. He used a .41 mag with enough Unique to launch a 250gr WFN out of his 5 1/2" Ruger to 1100fps. When he turned that load loose on a elk from about 40-50 yards it sailed through both sides easily, the elk got real sick and fell over within 10yds. This same fella's main load that he's used for about 30 yrs on game from deer through moose; is a 230gr SWC over 18gr of 2400 with the same results. With performance like that one has to ask themselves just how much do you really need?

Another point that endears me to the .41 mag is the cylinder throats and barrels have always had good tolerances. Where as .44's can and have ranged anywhere from .429" - .432". This accounts for the reason that .41's have always had a good reputation for being accurate.

However If ones feels they must launch 300gr plus bullets on a frequent basis then the .44 mag is the better vehicle. However the .41 mag will get the same job done with less fuss and recoil. If it can't be done with a .41 mag then it probably can't be done with a .44 mag either. By that time you should have had a proper long gun for the task in the first place.

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Old 02-19-2012, 01:05 PM
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Thanks for the info 336.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:26 PM
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No problem FordTruckGuy. BTW the .41 Magnum was unveiled in 1964; as Herter's .401 PowerMag was released in 1961 3years before the debut .41 Magnum.
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Old 02-19-2012, 01:39 PM
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I own , shoot , and enjoy my .41s because , like me , they're a bit of an oddball. While everybody has heard of the mighty .44 mag , I've had people tell me they've ''never heard of the .41 mag'' , to ''there's no such thing as a .41 mag''.

The 41 mag is often called a 'cult' cartridge. It's owners are happy to own something a little bit different.

I have owned .44 magnums and still own an Old Model Ruger Super Blackhawk. But I own a dozen .41 magnums. I also own a .401 Herters PowerMag.

And when it comes down to it , all other things being equal (or close) , if any critter , 4-leg or 2 can tell the difference between a hit with a 210gr .41 bullet and a 240gr .44 bullet , I shoulda used a rifle.

I find the same discussion concerning the .270 Win vs .280 Rem , or .280 Rem vs 30-06 Springfield. Bigger is always considered better.

Viva le difference!

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:19 PM
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mkk41, do you have any .401 ammo to go with the gun? how about a pic or two.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:56 PM
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Good replies for and against. I know the history surrounding both cartridges. But in today's "customer is right" mentality I would think the gun makers would perk up a bit! Not sure if there are any current 41mag firearms being made. Maybe the ruger blackhawk? I still think the 41mag is a better round in 210gr vs the 240gr 44mag. But, no animal, 2 or 4 leg, will ever know the difference. Just nice to be one of the enlightened few.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:14 PM
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However many angels can dance on the head of the .429 pin vs the .410 pin depends on who plays the music and which song is requested.

For me, while I *like* 44 mag, the 41 mag gives me generally better accuracy offhand, and considerably more enjoyment.

A few years ago I ran a range test on my clutch of 44 mags, from 3-4-8 3/8" 629s as compared to a 4" 57, a 6" 657, a 4" mtn gun 57; , & a Super Black Hawk Rooger 7.5" with a red dot sight.

Bullet weights ran from 200 to 265 g, with similar charges of a variety of powders. Range distances were from 50' to 50 yards, as my geezer eyes don't work good enough these days to enjoy the 100+ yard open sight targets.

What I found was surprising, so I repeated the test several times.

In *MY* test with bench supported sand bags and mid-week no rush leisurely target busting....there was no significant difference in groups. What was "the best" group one test was not so at the others.

And while the independent co-variables were not precisely controlled, I've done enough IHMSA and bullseye competition over the years, to determine which recipe/gun/caliber/etc is consistently the better performer.

I confirmed that I *prefer* shooting the 41 mag under almost any circumstance, more than the 44 mag. I *prefer* 200-220 gr loafing along at around 1000fps. I *prefer* to have some kind of optic that magnifies the target, rather than the red-dot system. And *NONE* of this data transfers to anyone else, nor were these "hunting loads" by any means.

Pure joy of just of making the little holes as close together as possible, while standing on one's hind feet, continues to give my own preference to the 41 mag, and the 4" Mtn Gun M57 gives far better accuracy that I would have ever expected.
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