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I recently saw a .41 magnum revolver for sale at the LGS. It was an older smith in stainless. A beautiful firearm and I might of bought it if they weren't asking more for it used than a new smith in .44 or .357 cost. But I'm wondering why it died out as a cartridge. Looking at it, it would have been the .40 s&w of the revolvers back in the day. It produced results right in between the .357 and .44, it seems it would have been a better all around deal. You could buy light magnums for a good self defense round and bump up the power for an excellent hunting cartridge. I'm assuming recoil was more manageable than .44 as well making it more favorable to people who didn't like .44 recoil at the time. I guess I'm asking if anyone knows why it didn't catch on back when?
 

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A couple of reasons. First, no guns were available sized to fit the cartridge so they were all built on the .44 frame. With the smaller bore and chambers leaving more metal, the guns were actually slightly heavier than the same piece in .44. Secondly, since the .41 was so close to the .44 in bore size and case volume (only a couple of grains of powder in many loads), there was little practical difference between the two cartridges. Recoil was also essentially equal. If in about 1962 or '63, had someone created a commercial mid-range load in the .44 (maybe a 220gr bullet at an honest 850-900fps), it would have served the intended purpose (police use) and the .41 would have likely never seen the light of day.
 

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The 41 mag did have a mid range police load when it came out of about 950 FPS. The M-57 M-58 handles the 41 mag perfectly and is ideal for the cartridge. The 41 210 grain full power kicks enough less than the 44 mag with full power loads that I can shoot the 41 accurately faster.

The 41 is .019" less diameter than the 44 and the 44 is .022" less diameter than the 45. The 44 was extremely popular before the 41 mag came out and most people just stayed with the 44. It took many years before I tried the 41 and I wish I would have gotten one when it first came out.

The 41 mag is a worth while cartridge that most missed out on IMHO.
 
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The Ruger BH 3-screw .41 Mag still gets my reloads on a regular basis.
 
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I own a few .44 Magnum handguns and a few .41 handguns. My favorite farm carry gun and woods loafing gun is a 6-inch Ruger SA .41 Magnum stoked with my cast 195 grain SWC hard bullets. My Ruger is accurate and handy on the tractors or checking fence. I agree the .41 Magnum should be more popular. I like mine, but most handgunners seem to be readers of the gun magazines that tout the .40 S&W, or the 9mm or .45 ACP to the exclusion of other very good handgun calibers.

As the USA becomes more urban, year by year, there are fewer folks who live on the land and appreciate the .41 Magnum.

Webley
 

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I own a few .44 Magnum handguns and a few .41 handguns. My favorite farm carry gun and woods loafing gun is a 6-inch Ruger SA .41 Magnum stoked with my cast 195 grain SWC hard bullets. My Ruger is accurate and handy on the tractors or checking fence. I agree the .41 Magnum should be more popular. I like mine, but most handgunners seem to be readers of the gun magazines that tout the .40 S&W, or the 9mm or .45 ACP to the exclusion of other very good handgun calibers.

As the USA becomes more urban, year by year, there are fewer folks who live on the land and appreciate the .41 Magnum.

Webley
Most firearm owners are not hunters anymore. I confess, I really enjoy hunting, but do not have the time or money for it much anymore. I live in a rural state, but I still work too much to spend time out in the desert. Most hunting I participate in anymore is small game. Dove, quail, rabbit, and sometimes we go shoot prairie dogs too. So most firearm owners might own many handguns and only one rifle or a single shotgun for home defense. I know many of them. Most own a semiautomatic high capacity rifle in a small caliber such as .223 or 7.62x39 and that is the only rifle they own. And then they usually have 3 or 4 different autoloading handguns as well. Some own revolvers. But they have no need for high power rifles or even handguns for the matter. They just don't have a use for them. I recently purchased a .44 magnum with the intent of using it for hunting later this year. Hopefully I get to use it.
 

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These guys have hit on most the points.

If I remember correctly, there were leading issues with the mid-range load that came out as the police load. But people were enamored with the 44 anyway.

I bought my first 41, a Ruger BH, back in '79. With a 4 5/8" tube at 38 ounces, it was the most powerful handgun in that size package. It's still one of my favorite pistols for carry in the back woods, just recently replaced by the Ruger Lipsey BH in 44 Special.

I typically shoot the Lyman 410459 210 gr Keith bullet at about 900FPS with 6 gr W231. That's a great load
 

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The .41 got hit by a one-two punch. First, the switch to semi-autos by the police came followed by the rush to the .475/480's and .500's by the experts. The .44 was well established but the .41 wasn't.
 

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The .41 has never been better at my house. I have three of them.

My favorite load is 16.8/H-110 with a hard cast LBT 255 flat point shot lubed but un-sized.

It may be a point of interest that when the big five gun writers talked Remington and S&W into building the .41 Mag, there were THREE guns planned, not the two they built. The third gun was supposed to be the Model 59 and be the 'undercover' gun. The specs were for a 3" barrel with fixed sights and a round butt.

Like this- It would be much more practical as a five shot, of course.
 

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For sure it is not dead. Not a caliber in my collection, but one I admire for many reasons noted herein.
 

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Like was mentioned the Dirty Harry movies had more to do with the .44 mags popularity rather than any perceived advantage over the .41. Other than S&W and Ruger not many manufactures jumped on the .41 band wagon. To top it off the .44 just sounds more American with tones of the old west.
 

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followed by the rush to the .475/480's and .500's by the experts. The .44 was well established but the .41 wasn't.
The .41 was left by the wayside long before the .480 and various .500s came into being. Remember that the .480 Ruger was introduced in 2001. The .475 has never been popular in the mainstream, while still maintaining a solid following with the hardcore. Not a fair comparison as the .41 isn't in the same zip code as any of the above mentioned. I think its proximity to the .44 is the main problem. Personally, I think it's a great round.
 

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The 41 magnum never got the popularity it deserved, because as usual, remington screwed the pooch.

Bill Jorden and Elmer Keith both loved it and stumped for a police load at 850-900fps with a 210gr lead bullet. they also called for a 210gr jacketed bullet for hunting at higher velocities.

So of course remington in it's never ending wisdom markets a 210gr Bullet at 1100-1200fps to the police, and did nothing to change it when Police departments complained about recoil and leading issues.

Jorden and Keith both thought the 41mag as the ultimate police round, but once again Remington killed the baby before it could even walk.

I personally have no use for the .429magnum. I own (3) 45colts, and (3) 41magnums. Anything the .429 does the others can do better. Load a 45colt in a model 92lever gun with stout handloads, and it has more energy and killing power than a 30-30 or 35remington. 250gr bullets at 1800-2000fps isn't too hard to do.
 

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I have owned 3 of the 41 mags over the decades, and found all of them to be superbly accurate. In my experience it has about 90% of the 44's effectiveness with about 25% less recoil. A heavy WFN at 1400 fps for hunting and a 170-180 gr jhp at 1100 fps for defense were my main loads. Marketing has let this cartridge down.
 

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Owned 4 and still have 2 (as well as five 41 long Colts). If you think it has died out, try finding a 41 OM Blackhawk! My wife carries hers (New Model) in bear country:



Here's my OM with sheep horn grips by Grashorn (Yes, it has been converted before I got it):
 

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Owned 4 and still have 2 (as well as five 41 long Colts). If you think it has died out, try finding a 41 OM Blackhawk! My wife carries hers (New Model) in bear country:
What?? Not a can of bear spray?? :D:D:D:D





Sorry, couldn't resist.
 

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If in about 1962 or '63, had someone created a commercial mid-range load in the .44 (maybe a 220gr bullet at an honest 850-900fps), it would have served the intended purpose (police use) and the .41 would have likely never seen the light of day.
Almost certainly the problem. And, of course, "real men" used to shoot a .44M, (now only girlie men do). The mid stream .41 was considered too much for many, and not enough for most. My biggest snag was the limited availability and range of bullet weights available. 30-40 years ago there was very little latitude by todays standards, and even today, components for the .357/.44M's is dazzling, the .41, not so much.

The .44M mid range loads are pretty scarce, and .41M mid range loads are even scarcer. For the most part, the same could/can be said for .357 loads. I've often wondered why that was the case, as few shooters can actually sustain a continuous diet of any of them in a handgun. I have a M69 S&W and a Ruger SP101, and full on loads with either, not for me. You couldn't run fast enough to give me one of the Scandium shooters in any of the magnums.

I'm glad I load my own. My collection is ready for everything from beer cans to bears :D
 
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