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Thread: .41 Magnum

  1. #1
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    .41 Magnum

    I was watching a show of Magnum (named) firearms on the History Channel the other day. It was a rerun (I first caught it on the itsy bitsy TV in my hospital room last year).

    It goes into a big deal on the .44 magnum and how its popularity grew almost exponentially after Clint Eastwood made his "Dirty Harry" movies (though .44 magnums in both double and single actions had been around for some time).

    Earlier the show touched on the .357 magnum that was needed to replace the .38 special (though most police departments do NOT issue anything other than a .38 special - at least I know Long Beach doesn't).

    But not a darn word was said about the .41 magnum. If I recall the ballistic tables correctly, the .41 has more penetrating power than the .44 though the latter has more "stopping" power. While I was still in the gun shop business back in the late 70's, my wife bought me a Ruger SA in .41 magnum to take with us when we camped out on our vacant land in Oregon (found bear tracks there the first time up and all I had were wad-cutters in my .45 ACP for rattlesnakes. Then the Indians told me there were NO rattlers in that corner created by the intersection of the Sycan and Sprague Rivers).

    Anyway, just thought I'd ask what you folks thought of the .41 magnum.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    The 41 sounds like an answer to a question no one ever asked. It's too big to be in the small/medium category, but too small to really pack the punch of a large pistol.

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    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut
    The 41 sounds like an answer to a question no one ever asked. It's too big to be in the small/medium category, but too small to really pack the punch of a large pistol.
    Actually I found the recoil (with the SJ full power bullets) just about the same as with a .44 magnum. Because of its slightly greater penetrating power, I felt very confident with it on my side should a bulky bear with a thick skull decide that I was the intruder.

    And with its 7 1/2" barrel, it LOOKS like a big gun and really is (Ruger used the same frame as with their original .44s).

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    The .41 is a true magnum and a real hotrod. It has the velocity, penetration, and recoil to match.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Yeah but sometimes you don't want a hot round. Sometimes you want bullet weight.

    The 9mm Lugar has more penetration and much higher velocity than the 45 ACP, but it's not a man-stopper. Our guys in Iraq have complained that 9mm just doesn't put a man down while the 45 knocks him on his butt.

    I personally like the 9mm and 357 mag over the 45. But that's because I'm weak and feable and unable to control the recoil of a 45 ACP. Besides, I believe in "volume" of fire to compensate for low bullet weight per shot.

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    There is no such thing as a 'manstopper'.

    Bullets do not 'knock' people over, not even 12 gauge slugs.

    Kinetic energy is a a function of mass times velocity squared. Double mass, and you double KE, however, double velocity, and you square KE.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    There could be over penetration. Ideally we want the bullet to stay in the target. But too much velocity will carry the bullet straight through unless it encounters a bone. This is why I don't think 5.7x28 will take off against unarmored targets.

    I don't doubt the power of a 41 mag, but over penetration could be an issue.

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    'Overpenetration' is good in a battlefield or hunting weapon. 'Overpenetration' means an exit wound, more blood loss(quicker loss of conciousness and easier tracking), and twice the chance of infection.

    It's only in civilian applications that it is problematic.

  9. #9
    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut
    Yeah but sometimes you don't want a hot round. Sometimes you want bullet weight.

    Ah, that's what I liked about the commercial ammo that was offered for the .41 magnum. You had an all lead loaded to under magnum velocities for general stopping power of medium weight game (deer, cougar, house intruder, etc.). Then you could buy the "hot" ammo of Semi-Jacketed rounds that would take out the Abominable Snowman.


    I personally like the 9mm and 357 mag over the 45. But that's because I'm weak and feable and unable to control the recoil of a 45 ACP. Besides, I believe in "volume" of fire to compensate for low bullet weight per shot. :biggrin:
    Weak and feeble my donkey. At the Los Alamitos Police Pistol training class for WOMEN (my wife took the course also), we saw a pretty and petite lady no more than 5-foot tall and MAYBE 90 lbs take on a S&W .44 Magnum. Each shot would send her stepping backwards a couple of steps but each time she moved back up to the line. After she fired her 5 rounds she looked over at the Police instructor and the NRA advisor with a big grin on her face and asked, "Can I do this again?"


    "Man (or petite woman) over machine". That's what it's all about.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    'Overpenetration' is good in a battlefield or hunting weapon. 'Overpenetration' means an exit wound, more blood loss(quicker loss of conciousness and easier tracking), and twice the chance of infection.

    It's only in civilian applications that it is problematic.
    I guess I've been reading too much of the liberal gun propaganda. Generally civilian users don't want the round to go through the bad guy, the dry wall, the glass door, and then kill the lady on the sofa watching Wheel of Fortune.

    Good thing I'm sticking with my 9mm and 357 mag despite the "overpenetration" problem.

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    Senior Contributor Swift Sword's Avatar
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    High Guys,

    I do not currently own a .41 Magnum but have in the past.

    The thing with the .41 Mag is that it was designed from the ground up as a magnum, not a stretch job on an existing, lower pressure cartridge. This makes it a bit more of an efficient propostion.

    What was inefficient about the .41 Magnum was the choice of guns when it came out: they were just too flipping big and heavy. I owned a pair of Model 58 S & Ws for awhile and they are just a bit of a burden. I am six foot and 180 pounds and have carried N frame revolvers concealed so I am no stranger to big guns.

    IIRC, the guys that conceived the .41 Magnum were thinking along the lines of a holster gun with a frame along the lines of Colt's I frame. Smith & Wesson's L frame would probably make a nice .41 Magnum if there were enough interest.

    S & Ws new Model 21 might make an acceptable, reasonably portable weapon were it chambered in .41 Mag. N frames with heavy and/or lugged pipes are a pain in the ass as far as I am concerned.

    Depending upon what is out there in molds, a heavy for calilber bullet in a .41 Mag--say something like a 250 grain Keith style semi wadcutter cast as hard as can be--would probably make a sweet hunting load.

    Regards,

    William
    Pharoh was pimp but now he is dead. What are you going to do today?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut
    I guess I've been reading too much of the liberal gun propaganda. Generally civilian users don't want the round to go through the bad guy, the dry wall, the glass door, and then kill the lady on the sofa watching Wheel of Fortune.

    Good thing I'm sticking with my 9mm and 357 mag despite the "overpenetration" problem.
    In civilian apps overpenetration is a real problem. In military and hunting aps, there is really no such animal.

  13. #13
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    In civilian apps overpenetration is a real problem. In military and hunting aps, there is really no such animal.
    Ah yes, I'm a big fan of "if brute force is not doing the job for you, you aren't using enough" also.

    But you are right, and that's why I switched from a loaded mini-14 to a pump shotgun for home defense.
    Last edited by gunnut; 02 Mar 06, at 19:20.

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    I used to have a 4" Model 57 Smith in .41 mag. It was without a doubt one of the very best shooting revolvers I have ever owned. Personally I think it's an excellent round, very good for all 2 legged and most 4 legged predators.

    The only down side, imo, is that there is no "41 Special", so low power rounds are not really available, though you can buy Blazers or something like that for plinking.

    But all in all, it's an excellent caliber, a little faster and flatter than a .44 and just as much energy. Although I think an "L" Frame would be a little fragile for the .41 if you planned to shoot it a lot, as the cyl. wall would be pretty dang thin.

    edit to add: Lol, I had to call my brother, apparently I still have the M57!
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008

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    Defense Professional RustyBattleship's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highsea
    The only down side, imo, is that there is no "41 Special", so low power rounds are not really available, though you can buy Blazers or something like that for plinking.
    Well, my gun cabinet is about 24 inches behind my left shoulder so it was no trouble for me to swivel my chair around and take out a couple of boxes of .41 magnums. One is the Remington 210 grain SOFT POINT (half-jacketed). That's the hot one. The other is Peters 210 grain LEAD. That's the lower powered round that would be roughly equivilent to a .41 "Special". I don't have the ballistic tables on the difference between them. But having fired both from my Ruger Blackhawk, I can pretty well guess from the difference in recoil.

    I haven't checked the gun shops lately to see if they still carry .41 magnum ammo of two different bullets and speeds. If not, they should.

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