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Discussion Starter #1
I want to thank all of you for responding to my "newbie" trail gun questions.  I sincerely appreciate your experienced input.

I've read some interesting articles over at sixgunner by Paco Kelly, Jim Taylor, Elmer Keith and John Taffin etc. extolling the virtues of the 41 magnum.  If this cartridge provides like 44 magnum performance (on black bear, elk etc., not the 1000 lb. mean and nasties)  w/o the heavy recoil associated with magnum rounds, why isn't this cartridge more popular?  What am I missing here?

God Bless,

Alan
 

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Good afternoon Newbie,
I'm sure you've just started a great thread.  I do not believe you missed anything.  The 41 mag is a wonderful cartridge.  Personally, in a perfect world, I think the 41 mag would be more popular than the 44 mag.  It has some less recoil.  I'll temper that with the fact that a 250 gr bullet with 22 gr of H-110 will give about the same recoil no matter if it's a 41 or 44.  It's just that the 41 typically has lighter bullets which generate less recoil at similiar velocities.  

The 2 cartridges are really so similiar that the one with the greater "macho" appeal and head start won out.  The genesis of the 41 mag is one of identity confusion and lack of marketing focus.   From what I have read, the 41 mag, as we know it, is not what Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan envisioned.  There are plenty of other reasons why.  The 41 and 44 are great cartridges that came to us from totally different directions.  They are both wonderful as hunting cartridges.  One of them is just immensly more popular and available in a lot more guns/barrel lengths.  

Just my 2 Cents

God bless....................  Bill M
 

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Alan,

Bill's post is right on the mark. While the 41 is a fine round, it's no where near as flexable as the 45 Colt or 44 mag. Using full power loads you won't be able to tell the difference in recoil so don't let that be a factor. I've known one or two people who favored the round but only because it was there, not because it held any advantage or the 44.

One big disadvantage would be ammo selection. You'll be hard pressed to locate ammo for the 41 anywhere other than a full line gunshop and it'll never be affordable. Another negative is that there's no 41 special unless you count the wildcat round. Using the 44 you can always use the 44 special for light practice and with the 45 Colt any normal factory ammo will be a pleasure to shoot. Reloading accesories, bullets, and brass are all easier to come by in 44 and 45 than the 41.

Even with its downfalls the 41 is a good round. I just always ask myself "why?".  Of course now I've opened myself up for attack from the brotherhood of the 41.

MT Callahan
 

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I have a 10" Bullberry Conter barrel with a 1X Burris Scope on it. Makes an excellent treestand gun and is a lot of fun to shoot.

However it is not really as flexible with bullet weights as the 44 mag. Then there is the popularity factor which no one can deny. (I have some 265gr LBT's I have yet to experiment with.)

The 41 is a great round and I would not hesitate to use it on deer or pigs or black bear.

It all boils down to personal preference and I would never desparage anyone for choosing it.


:cool:
 

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The .41's I've had experience with were very mild mannered and pleasant guns to shoot, and were very, very accurate!  

I've been a .44 shooter for 20+ years, and have enjoyed the flexibility of the grand old .44.  Now, having said all that, my son will be packing a 5.5" Blackhawk .41 this year during Idaho elk season.   It is an extremely efficient cartridge, and will deliver all the puch he will need for anything in the panhandle.  And, yes, with the 280g pills will reciol the same as a .44 with 280g bullets... but he has confidence in it, and isn't intimidated by the .41.   Confidence is everything, and precise bullet placement comes with confidence.

In dealing with lots of folks over the years, they either love or hate the .41!  Most of those who don't care for it have never shot one!

There are those that have more fun with their .41's!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great feedback -

Once again my little refrigerator light is going on.  I got the impression from reading various Linebaugh articles that the 45 colt, in all power ranges, was gentler in the hand because the pressure generated by this round is lower than the 44:  (an example from a Linebaugh article)

COMPARISON  
Load #1   45 Colt - 260 gr.   Average Velocity 1458   Average Pressure 30,600
Load #8  44 Mag - 250 gr.   Average Velocity 1528  Average Pressure 39,650
     fd
Load #3  45 Colt 320 gr. GC  Average Velocity 1279  Average Pressure 30,000
Load #9  44 Mag 318 gr. GC  Average Velocity 1354  Average Pressure 44.000

So, if I'm understanding this concept correctly, pressure is only significant when we are talking about safety margins and life expectancy of the case and revolver...correct?  Other than that, the point is moot because a 45 and 44 will have similar recoil when shooting a similar pill at similar velocities...correct?  Lastly, how significant is the Taylor TKO figure when comparing the 44 to the 45?  It seems that the 45, when properly loaded, will beat out the 44 by 1 taylor point...which is insignificant.  Therefore, is choosing a 44 over a 45 (or vice versa) simply a preference like choosing a Ford over a Chevy?

Whew...thanks for listening  :^)

God Bless,

Alan
 

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Alan,

To my hand there is no difference between a 44 and 45 loaded to the same level. I've talked to guys who swear up and down that the 45 is easier to shoot than the 44 but I can't say its true.

Pressure doesn't play a part in recoil. Pressure is an enemy of brass and metal. Notice the difference in pressure in the chart you listed. The 45 doesn't even come close to the pressure leval of the 44 and normally gives higher velocities, all things being equal. A 45 will outlast a 44 when fed a steady diet of hot loads. 45 brass will last longer.

The 45 may kill better, but most folks won't be able to see the difference. Between the two cartridges you might have to flip a coin. Or buy both, I did.

Sorry, no easy answer
 

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To Newbie:

Physics say that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. A 300gr pill at say 1300fps should recoil the same no matter what caliber as long as the weight of the guns are the same. The killing power of the .44 vs. the .45 to me means nothing. You can't tell me that .452 of an inch is going to kill better than .430. It all boils down to putting a bullet(what ever caliber you like) in the right place. As far as the .41 Mag goes, it is a wonderful cartridge and will do everything you can ask of it and then some. It is all a matter of preference, just like the Ford vs. Chevy.
Have a great night and God Bless

Chris
 

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You guys are missing a 2 big parts of the recoil equation and they are normally ignored. This is a major reason felt recoil is a difficult entity to derive mathmatically.

1) the jet effect/thrust developed by higher pressures

2) The step impulse curve that a higher pressure round can have because of the higher rate of acceration.

To accurately portray recoil, the projectiles acceleration curve and the guns pressure curve to muzzle is needed.


Simply, if a bunch of recoil energy is spread over a longer period of time, the less it will bother you. A sharp jolt on the other hand may give a whole different meaning of snap . Yet the both may have the same total recoil energy! 


-CAL

(Edited by CAL at 9:56 am on Feb. 3, 2001)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cal -

The "jet effect" you refer to - is this what Linebaugh describes below (copied from his web page)?

"When a firearm is fired there is pressure on the base of the bullet to propel it out the barrel. There is an equal rearward thrust against the case head and thus transferred onto the action of the firearm. This is known as CASE HEAD THRUST. Case head thrust is CHAMBER PRESSURE x THE SURFACE AREA OF THE DIAMETER OF THE REAR OF THE CHAMBER. I won’t go into great detail but a 45 Colt at 32,000 CUP chamber pressure exerts just under 3 tons of pressure on the back of the frame. A .44 magnum at 40,000 CUP chamber pressure exerts just over 3 tons of pressure on the back of the frame. Basically the same"
 

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Great posting.  I think what he was talking about is the jet effect of the gasses leaving the barrel.  A bullet leaving under high gas pressure will produce more of a jet effect than a bullet leaving under lower gas pressure, even if both bullets are moving at the same speed, same weight.  That is why a brake or compensator is more affective for rounds like the .38 Super than they are for the .45 ACP.  As the gas leaves the barrel behind the bullet, the muzzle acts like the exhaust of the jet engine, pushing the handgun rearward.  The recoil effect of the acceleration of the bullet cannot be countered by a brake, but the jet effect can be manipulated (redirected) by the brake and reduce that part of the recoil.  Also to consider in recoil is the amount of powder needed.  Bullet weight, powder charge weight, gun weight, all affect the recoil acceleration in ft-lbs of recoil energy.  Since the .45 Colt is larger than the .44 Magnum, it will move a bullet of the same weight at lower pressures, but it will take a larger charge of powder to do so.  Since the differences are so slight, they kind of cancel out each other (lower pressure and more powder)and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two(the .45 Colt produces only 1 ft-lb of recoil more than the .44 mag, but uses 1.5 gr. more powder to do so, 300 gr. bullet at 1300 fps), but if you move up to a different caliber, like the 416 Remington with it's 400 gr. bullet at 2400 fps, and the .416 Rigby, equal weight, equal velocity, it take a lot more powder to move the Rigby's bullet, but it does so at less pressure.  In guns of equal weight, the Rigby will give more recoil (68 ft-lbs Rigby vs 60 ft-lbs Rem) because it uses 20 more grains of powder to do the same thing as the Remington, but a brake is more effective in reducing recoil on the Remington since it is opperating at near twice the PSI of the Rigby.  What is a maximum load for the Remington is merely a starting load for the Rigby.

Clar as mud, I thought so.  I have a headache now; got any aspirin?
 

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Gentlemen,

I thought I'd post some numbers here for everyones enjoyment.

.500 Linebaugh  440 grain bullet at 1250 fps  29 grains of H110. I searched and searched and could not find the pressure data for this load. I believe its around 30,000 CUP although it could be less.

47 ft/lbs of recoil energy.  Recoil velocity 35 fps


.475 Linebaugh 420 grain bullet at 1400 fps  27 grains of H110 generating 49,600psi (sorry don't have a conversion to CUP)

54 ft/lbs of recoil energy.  Recoil velocity 37 fps


45 Colt  300 grain bullet at 1325 fps.  23 grains of H110 generating 30,000 CUP

25 ft/lbs of recoil energy. Recoil velocity 25 fps


44 Magnum  280 grain bullet at 1325 fps. 20.5 grains of H110 generating app 34,800 CUP

22 ft/lbs of recoil energy. Recoil velocity 23 fps


What does this tell us? That a 45 Colt with a comparable load recoils slightly more than a 44 magnum and the 475 Linebaugh using a much hotter load recoils more than a 500 Linebaugh.

Look at those numbers. The 475 is using a bullet only 20 grains lighter than the 500 but driving it 150 fps faster. To my mind thats alot of extra horsepower and penetration ability for just a bit more recoil.

Just thought this might be fun. Alan, go crazy buddy :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"....puh-tay-do, po-tah-to, tuh-may-do, to-mah-to, let's call the whole thing off"  <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->

Outstanding info gents!  

I'm very curious if people (inexperienced shooters like myself) associate increased muzzle blast with increased "felt" recoil.  If so, MT's 44/45 recoil data supports the idea that some feel a 45 kicks less.

God Bless,

Alan
 

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Did someone mention the 41magnum? My my my, I think they did. With marshall's 280g bullet at 1300fps in my 5.5" redhawk compared to my dad's taurus 44mag         8 3/8" with a 320g bullet at 1275, the recoil was the same to him and I. It's just not as popular because you have to handload it to get its full potential, just like the 44mag. But like you said ford, chevy, dodge it's a matter of preference. doug
 

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It looks like you were set on something else, but I didn't want you to forget about the 44 Special and Standard 45 LC.  Both loads are great for defense and hunting and don't have near the recoil of, really, any of the magnum rounds.

Just my 2 cents.

Kid
 

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What happened to "if you reload, get the .45, if not, get the .44"?  :)

Really though, there is some truth to that.  I'd say if you reload, pick one (.41, .44, .45) and have fun with it.  Soon enough you'll probably own the others.   I'd say recoil is a moot point when you reload because you'd end up with your own tailored loads anyway.  
 

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Ther is nothing wrong with the 41mag. In fact, the brass will last longer than the other rounds mentioned.
Some people say that there is a lack of compoments but once you find a couple of good loads you don't need to look much further. Unless you are going to hunt really large critters the 41mag is just fine. If I had one I would not rush out to get a 44 or 45.
One good reason for a 41mag is the new Tarus Tracker. I think you could get about 1200 fps with a 250 gr bullet which would make the ideal trail gun considering it's size and weight. I want one.
 

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Hey someone mentioned the .41Mag. Personally it's my favorite revolver caliber, posssibly my favorite handgun caliber.
So it doesn't have as many components available, big deal. I've used the 210-215gr Lswc's for everything for almost 15 years.
I've shot everything from Elk to a Skunk with my 6" Smith and have never wanted more. The Elk was shot at 15Y and the bullet crossed through the chest and broke hte offside shoulder and exited. The Elk dropped in its tracks, almost fell into the campfire.
The .41 does shoot a bit flatter than a .44 or .45 making long range hits easier, and if it means anything cheaper than the "bigger" bores.
I do have a .44 Mountain Gun, the only reason is they didn't make a .41 back when I got it. But the .41's are so much easier to use and hit with it's almost not funny.
You may consider a .44 Special, they are great for the recoil sensitive and many good ones are available again. I'd keep on hte lookout for a 80's vintage 24 or 624 4" or 6.5". The Smith 696 is nice too, and the Taurus has been getting rave reviews.
The .45 Colt Taurus with the barrel ports seems nice too, and if you are going to carry a short barrel the bigger the bullet the better.
 

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Just a quick comment on the .41. I bought my 6.5 in blackhawk last year and have put a very large amount of rounds through it. It is VERY accurate and is relatively easy to shoot. Like most pistol shooters I have developed favorite loads. A low recoiling midrange plinker and hunting loads.
My problem has been that this pistol shoots every thing so well that I'm having a very hard time deciding on a hunting load.
Shot a deer last year with the 265 LFN LBT GC with 19.5 gr 296, shot it in the front shoulder and it came out the opposite side rear ham, full length penetration.  
The .41 is a great cartridge and will take any game animal within reason at reasonable distances.  
 
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