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The .41 Magnum
Nation Year Max. press.
U.S.A. 1964
    Conceived as a police round, and introduced to the public in 1964, the .41 Magnum has found a home, primarily with handgun hunters. This cartridge was the idea of handgun expert, Elmer Keith. He proposed a medium caliber round, driven at moderate velocities, as a hard hitting but easily handled duty cartridge. Much to the misfortune of police officers, but the great good luck of hunters, Smith and Wesson completely misunderstood the nature of the round, as put forth by Keith. Though some "low powered" loads were worked up, after the fashion of those suggested by Keith, the S&W interpretation of the new cartridge was vividly attested to, but their naming of the round as the 41 Magnum, rather than as the 41 Police, as was originally put forth.
    The 41 Magnum continues to be a very hard hitting round, indeed, but has traded away some of it's controllability in return for energy, and long range performance. Keith had envisioned the round as a step up from the duty 38, but it has become instead, a close competitor of the 44 Magnum. Energy levels, bullet weights, and bore diameter are very similar, between the 41, and 44. Only when taken to it's limits, by handloaders, will the 44 begin to outperform the 41.
    This would probably be my first choice in revolver rounds, and one of my favorite pistol rounds ot any type, except for the lack of firearms chambered for it. Only Smith and Wesson, along with Taurus, and Dan Wesson chamber pistols for it (unless you count the 41 version of the Desert Eagle). Each company produces but a single model in this caliber. There are no carbines chambered for the round, at least none of which I am aware.
    It is very nearly a given, that 41 enthusiasts need to be handloaders. There are very few factory loaded rounds for this cartridge, and fewer still which manage to wring the full potential from it. The factory ammunition being produced is also quite expensive, in most cases costing more than that of the 44 Magnum. Because the two rounds are so similar, there is often the temptation for the handloader to turn the 41 into a sort of baby 44. This is generally a mistake, and the cartridge will serve far better when loaded according to it's own merits.

Standard Load
Bullet Powder Measure Velocity Energy Comment


Bullet Powder Measure Velocity Energy Comment