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Discussion Starter #1
I just got a good pistol rest to see where my guns are shooting. My 9.5 SRH went into 1 1/8 at 30 yards, 5 rounds dead center with scope. 4 out of 5 in 1 1/4 with open sights, one flyer due to the jerk on the trigger.

In the same shooting session:

The .41 4 5/8 Blackhawk went into about 4 inches at the same distance with 14 grs of A7 behind a 215 Leadhead SWC.
I tried near max loads of 2400 and A9 with the same results, except A9 strings horizontaly and the 2400 strings verticly.

Is this the best I can expect?
What loads and bullets have you been successful with?
 

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I have two Ruger .41's: A 7-1/2" Bisley and an OM 4-5/8", neither is 'scoped. The short gun is the more accurate of the two. With a 210-grain Hardcast SWC and 19 gr. of 2400, the snubby has printed groups from 1" to 1-1/8" at 25 yards. With the Hornady jacketed 210 sp and 9.0 grains Unique, it has printed 1.6".
The Bisley hasn't found a load it likes as well, but it'll stay under 4" at 50 yds with the above cast load, and around 2" at 25 yards with the jacketed bullet. I also load a LFN 240 grain made by using a flat sizing punch on the Lyman # 410426 bullet and Blue Dot, which I'd rather not give the recipe for..it's accurate but way over spec.
When I was shooting IHMSA big-bore, I fooled with a DW VHB 6" for a while, and shot one five-round group of three inches at 100yds with it, using the 210-grain cast load. It's accurate in most guns, including also a pard's Blackhawk and Contender.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My 2400 load was 18 grs for a 4" pattern, not a group. The recoil was not excessive and no pressure signs. I may try 19 grs and see.
I'm going to get some jacketed bullets today to see if they will do better.

Powders act funny in different guns. H4227 in my Super Red Hawk gives a strange twisting recoil that is very unpleasant. The bullets I have tried, 240 SWCs in two different brands and shapes keyhole at 25 yards. The next to last time I tried it, several of the cases had a large a amount of unburned powder. For the last time, I went to "factory" crimp and CCI 350s and got all of the above symptoms. I destroyed the remainder of the powder. I frankly was about half afraid of it.
 

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mine is kind of fussy I thought that all I was going to get out of it was about 2 1/2 inch groups until I borrowed my buddies ballistic cast 220 grain keith mold that bullet with either 18 grains of 2400 or 20 grains of 110 or 7.5 grains of unique will shoot a little over an inch every time. Needless to say I bought the mold too.
 

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Jim: I don't know about 4227 in the .41 Mag, but it's the best powder for accuracy at long range (IHMSA Silhouette) in the .44 Mag. SBH. A load of 23 gr. of the IMR formulation, with the 240 gr. Sierra or Hornady HP, is amply powerful for even hard-set rams, and shoots to < 6moa for the 40 shot course, without recoil fatigue. Velocity is not high, about 1250 as reported by those who have chronographed the same load in similar guns. This load would also be controllable for DA work (have tried it with a .44 Redhawk) for defense.
BTW. a good defense load for the .41 would be the flatnosed (.28 meplat) 240 grain cast Lyman #410426 that I mentioned in my earlier post, with 7-8 gr. Unique.
I have noticed that my guns shoot cast bullets better when they've been well broken in with plenty of jacketed rounds, provided that you keep jacket fouling from accumulating. Helps to cast your bullets HARD and use the right diameter slug for your bore/cylinder specs. My Ruger guns in .357, .41 and .44 all have had several thousand rounds of each kind of bullet through their bores, and barrel fouling is no problem. I don't think I'll live long enough to wear them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK guys,
I think I'm on the right track now. I shot 25 rounds each of Sierra 210 gr JHC and 25 of my 210gr SWCs over 20.4 grs of W296. Recoil is substantial but accuracy improved greatly. It produced groups rather than patterns. Most were 3 inches or less. I will drop back off of that 20.4 a bit because the primers were really ironed out flat. No cratering as I have seen with heavy loads of W296 behind 300 gr SWCs in the SRH but still enough to cause me to hesitate before loading at that level again.
Slabsides- H4227 doesn't like my SRH at all and I don't like it. I had destroyed the powder before I ever got the .41 so I don't know how it might have reacted to it.
I don't ever plan to use my handguns for defense. I like a little more area coverage. I have a couple of strategicaly located shotguns for that purpose. My handguns are for fun and hunting. Since I can't shoot a bow any more, they are my bowhunting replacements.
 

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Jim: My comments on IMR4227 and defense loads in the .44 weren't meant as a recommendation for you specifically, just general info for other readers. As was implied in my post, I don't like it for the .41, as 2400 works best in my experience. Re: your loads with W296 and the Sierra bullet: I should have mentioned that this combination of powder and bullet (don't remember the charge weight) was the only one that produced acceptable accuracy in my pard's Marlin .41 Model 1894 carbine. Good choice! And BTW, I trust you are using magnum primers with these 296 loads...everyone seems to agree with Elmer Keith that while a standard Large Pistol primer (Winchesters seem best to me) is what's indicated for big loads with 2400, that the ball powders: W296 and H110, need the extra fire in a magnum primer for best ignition and consistancy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Slabsides,
I'm using the CCI 350 primer and a heavy crimp, just short of wrinkling the case. The Sierra bullets are the best choice simply because they are all that is available localy. I could have gotten 170 grs but thats not to my taste. I like heavy bullets and heavy arrows.

You mentioned long range accuracy. 8 months ago I would have called anyone a liar that even suggested 200+ yard accuracy with a revolver. I continue to surprise my self at what can be done.
I wouldn't try it on an animal but 150 yards on an 8 inch gong is a good probability. I wouldn't want me shooting at me at that didtance.
 

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I've been reloading for the .41 Magnum since the early 70's.

For jacketed bullets from 200-220 grains my standard load is 23 gr./H110 with a good heavy crimp provided by a Lee Factory Crimp Die. It gives the most uniform roll crimp that I have ever seen.

Velocity in a Ruger Redhawk 5.5" with the 200 Speer runs right at 1500 fps and 1850 in a 14" Contender.

Velocity for a 210 grain Hornady HP runs:
M57 6"/1350, RBH 4 5/8"/1355, TC 14"1820, Marlin 20"/1850

For the 170 Sierra 26 grains of H110 is used. Velocity is:
Redhawk 5.5"/1535, Ruger BH 6.5"/1600, 10" TC/1875, 14" TC/1980, Marlin 20"/2100.

Favorite heavy cast bullet is the 255 GC from Cast Performance Bullet Company. 22 grains of H110 runs 1350 from a 5 shot custom Gary Reeder 5.5" satinless Bisley. This load has been fired from all my S&W M57's with no ill effects. I do not recommend any powder other than H110/WW296 for heavy loads in a S&W. Loads with Blue Dot and faster burning powders that were fine in the Rugers will buldge the cases and stick in the cylinders of a S&W. With H110 there has never been a problem. This bullet also has one of the largest meplats of any .41 bullet on the market at .33.

For target work with any of the above jacketed bullets or lighter cast bullets 7 grains of WW231 or 8 grains of Unique give one hole accuracy. Velocity runs 900-950 fps from a 4" S&W M57.

Another very good powder for the .41 is SR4756. Used to use 13.0 grains with the 170 Sierra for 1300 fps from a 6" M57. That was the exact same velocity that the WW Silvertip ammo runs from the same gun. The same powder charge will run the 200 Speer JSWCHP at 1275 and the 220 Speer JSWCSP at 1250.

All loads were worked up in my guns several grains below the final charge. Use a chronograph and your head when atteming to get top velocities in any gun.......Bob
 

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Old Jim,

My most accurate load was with my first 6" M57 Smith that I used to load on a Lee Handloader in my barracks room instead of studying Arabic. The load was Hercules 2400 near max load, Winchester cases, CC!300 primers, and a 215 LSWC. This load would consistenly shoot 1.5" groups at 25m from a sitting position. I would shoot after class (8hrs) and then reload 50-100 rds each that evening. I got to the point where it would take an hour per 50rds on that handloader.:)
 

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h4227 is a very accurate powder.its slower than ww296 or h110 and alot less kick.I find my best groups are shot with powder charges 1 grain under maximum loads.
 
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