Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Based on a number of very positive things I've heard about the 41 magnum, I'm considering buying an FA 97 .41 premier 7-1/2"

For you long time users (Joe Mack and Smayle and anyone else who'd like to chime in), I have a few questions:

1. Bullet choices seem to be limited; even for reloading. I've seen mostly 210 Gr., a 175, and a 240. What choices are you aware of? Have the choices been adequate? Which ones do you like best?

2. What loads have worked well for you?

3. Is it fair to say that it is as versatile as I've been led to believe; that is, you can load it down like a .357 or up, close to or past a .44?

4. Compare the accuracy of the round to a .44. My 629 shoots quite well, but I'm hoping with a little reduced recoil and the manufacturing tolerances of an FA, I'll see tighter groups (admit that all the guns I own will shoot better than I can)

5. Any qualms about taking an elk out to 75 yards with the .41?

6. Read an article that indicated more energy, flatter shooting than a .44? Blowin' smoke or good information (obviously somewhat subjective...pushing a 180 gr XTP with 30 Gr's of H110, my .44 seems to do real well out to 100 yds.)?

Thanks for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
Currently own 11 .41 caliber hand guns 7 of them are in .41 RemMag, the other 4 are wildcat .41s'. There are bullets 170g- 290g in .41. I have used 170, 210, 215, 220 jacketed and 215, 250, 255, 265, and 280 cast stuff in my .41s. For many years my hunting load was 19.5/2400/210Sierra and it killed many deer and pigs real dead real quick. I currently use a 250g GC from CBPT or BearTooth. I have killed some pretty big animals with my .41s. The largest being a feral steer at a bit over 1800lbs (killed three of these over the years all over 1500lbs) also last year killed a cow bison at 1200+ lbs. I have never had to shoot more than once with the .41. IMO it is best handgun round out there. It will do what ever you ask of it with less bark and bite to the hand. I still use the 170 and 210 jacketed stuff in my carry gun (Taurus 425 Tracker).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's Great Feedback

What's a 250 gr GC...I assume it is a cast bullet? Are you casting your own or buying from Bear Tooth? Does BT have a website?

Whose revolvers do you like best for the .41? Do you have any of Freedom's to compare with your others?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
While I've been shooting a 41 for 20 years I probably don't have the experience of some of the others you have mention but will put in my 2 cents. Yes bullet selection is somewhat limited but how many do you need to choose from. To date most of my shooting and hunting has been with various 210-215 gr bullets and I have yet to be disappointed. My first few deer were shot with 215 gr hard cast bullets. As of late I have been using 210 gr Hornady XTP's at slightly above max load, for deer, with good results but probably would not recommend this for anything larger. Just this last year for a plinker load I have been shooting a 175 gr cast (lee tumble lube style) with good results. I plan on experimenting with some heavier cast bullets this summer. The lighter jacketed bullets (170gr) do not seem to shoot well from my 4 5/8" Blackhawk so I haven't used them much. I find that my home cast unsized bullets seem to work best in my gun in regards to accuracy and leading. Commercial cast bullets are mostly sized .410 and want to lead badly in my gun. I also avoid bevel base cast bullets for the same reason. By the way the 250 gr GC is a cast gas checked bullet.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
I have 3 41 mags.

I really like my Redhawk - mainly because its stainless and built heavy enough I'm not hesitant to use heavy loads in it. Actually think my Ruger Bisley may be more accurate and its nearly as beefy. Smith is the smoothest but after using a bunch of heavy loads I had to send it to their shop for a retime so I don't puch it as hard as the other 2.

When you look at the various manufacturers there are quite a few bullets to choose from. For jacketed bullets I like the Hornady xtp and Speer SWC, and Nosler. The no longer available Rem 170s shot really well for me but the 200s are just so-so. For hunting I'm using Corbon 250 and 265 hard cast loads. Try Federal cast core 250s too. A lot of bullet casting companies offer a 210 to 215 bullets I just wish most weren't bevel base. Laser cast are nice. For reloading heavy bullets Cast Performance Bullets and Beartooth make the 250 to 265 hunting bullets. Both have web sites and some of Cast Performance bullets are available through Cabela's and some of the other big mail order outfits. The 255 WFN appeals to me but I haven't developed a load for them.

Crawfish - your post is most interesting - can you share more of your 41 mag experience and advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/ for BearTooth and http://performance.elixirlabs.com/index.php for CPBT. I got into handgun hunting as the result of a treestand accident in 1989 which made longguns not a hunting option for me. My doctor suggested I try handguns as a means to stay in hunting. Not knowing any better my first hunting gun was a S/W 657 that I scoped. I killed my first and best (135 7/8 gross, 135 5/8 net BC 8 point) whitetail on Jan 1 1991 have been a BIG fan of the .41 RemMag and all the various .41 caliber wildcats ever since. :) Most of my hunting is done on my own farm here in NC but I usually make two trips out of state to hunt deer or pigs mostly in the south. I have been to OR twice for elk and blacktail, elk 2, crawfish 0 but I did fill on blacktail both times. The feral cattle were killed in S. Texas on married into family property. Seems that some of the animals raised in Mexico for the bull ring have done the same as pigs have done here and gone feral. BIG animals and nasty to the core, surprisingly good beef even when killed under hunting conditions. The cow bison was a favor to a friend who owns a kids zoo. This old cow was running amuck amoung the llamas and peacocks. The day I killed it it had killed a donkey and crippled a zebra so badly that it had to be put down. We chased that thing around that place for almost 5 hours before I got a shot at about 60yards. One 18.5/2400/250g GC CBPT just below center in the front shoulder and her amuck days were over. I have slaughtered angus steers on my farm that have scaled at 1700 lbs. That cow bison sure looked bigger but his scale said just a bit over 1200lbs. I get to go to ME this Sept to hunt blackbear over bait. I won an internet contest from Where2Hunt.net of a week paid blackbear hunt with Indian Rock Outfitters. Hunt is the first week in Sept 2003.
There are a few reasons that I use the 250g and more bullets now. The main being that I have limited mobility as the result of the treestand thing so I can't go chaseing after animals that don't know they are dead. So I wait for a broadside shot and shoot for center front shoulder to break both and down they go. The other reason I use the heavy cast bullets is the result of a dance I had with a 300+ feral sow. Was still using the 19.5/2400/210g Sierra at that time. Shot her heart/lung at 18 yards from a shooting house. She did a 90 deg and came full tilt, hit the door so hard that the frame sprung, died on that door. The only thing that kept that animal outside was the door opened out. My boys had to move her before I could get out. After that dance I started looking for something bigger and found CBPT and BearTooth. So that is it. I have .41 caliber handguns in .41RemMag, .41GNR, .41GNR#2, .414Super, and .411JDJ. Carry a Taurus in .41RemMag. Like it well enough to bet my life on it, guess that says alot.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
23,307 Posts
I dont use many jacketed bullets so I wont even comment on that part. For cast bullets i use mostly the ballistic cast 220 lfn and the lyman keith. I also shoot 250 grain lfns and wlfns and a couple of the lee molds. What works best in my guns is the bc 220 with either 9.0 grains of unique or universal clays. or 17 grains of 2400 or 20 grains of 110. All these loads are very accurate. I dont see much use for the bullets over 250 grain if I feel I need something heavier I use a bigger gun. You wont go wrong with the .41. I have a 4 5/8s blued bisley that I made from a couple guns it is my favorite packin gun but it soon may be replace with a custom .41 Dave clements is building me on a old model .357. It too will be a 4 5/8s gun. Accuracy low recoil good killing power and excellent portabilty imo a good short barreled .41 has it all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
41 Cal cast bullets

Lloyd,

I assume that you haven't tried the 265 grain bullets from the Ballisticast mould yet. Using that bullet in the 41 Redhawk, I have shot groups under 2" at 65 yards. I'll send you some gas checks for those bullets...

Single Fan,

I have found that when using cast bullets of 250 grains or heavier that my front sight is not tall enough. However, when you get out to 65 yards and beyond, the bullets fall down into the sight range. I have killed deer with both the XTP bullets and the Cast Performance 255 grain hard cast bullets, and either will do the job nicely. Federal loads the Cast Performance 255 grain bullets in their CastCore loads.

I have been happiest using 2400 rather than H110 for my 41 mag loads. Seems that it's just more accurate in my gun for some reason. The Cast Performance web site lists their recommended loads for the heavier lead bullets, and any manual will list loads for the jacketed 210-220 grain bullets.

This is quite a versatile caliber - I use cast 220 grain (from a Lyman mould) for plinking (with 18 grains of 2400) and the heavier lead from Cast Performance or from custom moulds for hunting. It may not be as versitile as the 44 mag, but since you can develop personal protection loads, plinking loads, and hunting loads for the 41, it's versatile enough for most needs.

Once you develop a load you like, line up several milk jugs full of water at 75 yards. When your bullet penetrates (or devastates) 2 or more jugs, you know that you'll be fine for elk. I wouldn't have any qualms about shooting an elk at 75 yards with my Redhawk, as long as I had a means to hold the gun steady before the shot.

As to flatter shooting, I truly can't tell the difference out to 100 yards between a 41 and a 44.

I hope this helps. It's a great caliber. You'll love it!

The Blade
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
41 mag

Crawfish and others thanks for sharing real hunting experience. I'm a novice in handgun hunting though I've carried my 41s for years. Took a little bitty caribou with my 41 last fall - 265 Corbon. It gives me more confidence to stick after reading your posts. I corresponded a little with Paco Kelly before I hunted this fall. He too has taken some feral cattle and hogs with the 41 and encouraged me to carry on. Now I just need to improve my accuracy. I'll try some of the loads recommended.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I have been shooting a 41 mag in a T/C Contender 10" Bl. for about 24 yrs. The pistol is scoped with a 2x6 Bushnell. I shot the Rem. 210 s.p. load for years until I tried the 210gr. JHP Federal Classic load and it will shoot on the average around 1 1/2 " at a hundred yds. It IS my favorite handgun and I have taken a few deer with it. Give that 41 a try you won't be dissapointed. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
no cast bullets for me.

wish I knew any benefits from shooting cast bullets.too much dust,and the residue on firearms and hands during handloading,makes cast bullets a somber experience.I have only tried a few types of cast and will never shoot unjacketed bullets again,I WOULDNT SHOOT CAST IF THEY WERE FREE.just my 2 cents.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
Cast bullets are fine - preferable in a lot of cases.

1badmagnum - Read the various posts by truly experienced shooters on the effectiveness of cast bullets for hunting - especially flat nosed models like semi wad cutters or the LBT series if you want to know why folks use them. They sure have convinced me. Seems like a lot of serious target shooters use cast bullets too.

I think your fears of lead are misplaced. Again read the cast bullets forums. With modest care one has little to worry about lead poisoning from lead bullets. The cases of shooters w lead poisoning that I know about were more likely from shooting in indoor ranges and were more likely caused by the lead in the priming compounds and poor ventillation than from handling or casting lead bullets.

Leading in the bores can be a real pain but its usually manageable with proper lube, loads, sizing and alloy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
here in ohio our hunting season is a whole week long:(
I spend most of my time at the range,and I cannot shoot cast bullets in my de pistols.I do not have a great amount of experience using cast lead,but like I mentioned,shooting cast creates a huge cloud of smoke,and fills the whole range:(
I imagine the laser cast or some other types of cast might work better,but I tend to learn my lessons quickly,maybe too quickly.
thanks for the insight on your experience,have any high quality cast bullets you would like to reccommend?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
Cast bullets

I like Cast Performance bullets and the Oregon Trail Laser casts. Can't remember the other brand I have - something out of Nevada all hard cast. I once bought a small lot of 41 bullets at an Oregon gun show and they were some of the best shooting bullets I ever came across - they had purple lube in the grooves. I can't figure out why you are getting lots of smoke - mine sure don't, nor the Federal or Corbon loads I use for the 41 mag. Maybe the lube or powder being used. I use a lot of Unique, 2400, and H110 - no smoke. Billy Marr advertises on GB here - he's real knowledgable about cast bullets and so are a bunch of others. Hang out on the cast bullet and reloading pages - or post your question there and I'm sure you'll get a bunch of answers. I've been thinking about trying Bill Marr's bullets but I'm well stocked right now and ai cast some of my own.

Mr. Smale, Billy Marr - shoot - Mr. GB himself is a very accomplished cast bullet man. Any of you have some hints for 1badmagnum???
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
23,307 Posts
Re: 41 Cal cast bullets

Blade and crawfish are the men to talk to on the .41s they have more experience with it then me! I havent tried the wlfns yet cause the lyman gas checks I have are falling off the bullets. Those ****** lyman gas checks **** the ones I have here for the .41 will fit on the base of a .44 gas check shank with finger pressure! Thats a great looking bullet though pal I sure hope it shoots if so I will be calling balistic cast! as far as jacketed bullets go after last weekends penetration tests I wouldnt use one to kill a rabbit! So far in the .41s we have worked up loads for by far the most accurate bullet we found is that ballistic cast 220 that bullet is just the most consistantly accurate bullet I cast. With 17 grains of 2400 or 9 grains of unique or universal clays it shoots cloverleafs in 4 different .41s! The only bullet that has come close is the half jacket speer but you know my opinion on the copper part!
The Blade said:
Lloyd,

I assume that you haven't tried the 265 grain bullets from the Ballisticast mould yet. Using that bullet in the 41 Redhawk, I have shot groups under 2" at 65 yards. I'll send you some gas checks for those bullets...

Single Fan,

I have found that when using cast bullets of 250 grains or heavier that my front sight is not tall enough. However, when you get out to 65 yards and beyond, the bullets fall down into the sight range. I have killed deer with both the XTP bullets and the Cast Performance 255 grain hard cast bullets, and either will do the job nicely. Federal loads the Cast Performance 255 grain bullets in their CastCore loads.

I have been happiest using 2400 rather than H110 for my 41 mag loads. Seems that it's just more accurate in my gun for some reason. The Cast Performance web site lists their recommended loads for the heavier lead bullets, and any manual will list loads for the jacketed 210-220 grain bullets.

This is quite a versatile caliber - I use cast 220 grain (from a Lyman mould) for plinking (with 18 grains of 2400) and the heavier lead from Cast Performance or from custom moulds for hunting. It may not be as versitile as the 44 mag, but since you can develop personal protection loads, plinking loads, and hunting loads for the 41, it's versatile enough for most needs.

Once you develop a load you like, line up several milk jugs full of water at 75 yards. When your bullet penetrates (or devastates) 2 or more jugs, you know that you'll be fine for elk. I wouldn't have any qualms about shooting an elk at 75 yards with my Redhawk, as long as I had a means to hold the gun steady before the shot.

As to flatter shooting, I truly can't tell the difference out to 100 yards between a 41 and a 44.

I hope this helps. It's a great caliber. You'll love it!

The Blade
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Lloyd,

I've had similar problems with the Lyman 41 caliber gas checks. I ordered a box of Hornady .416 gas checks, and they work great.

The best all around load that I've found for the 41 mag is the Lyman bullet 410459 and 18 grains of 2400. It's not a top end load in my gun, and it's very accurate out to 100 yards.

Why is it that the Lyman gas checks are so much more expensive than the Hornady ones?

The Blade
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
364 Posts
1 badmagnum,
If you are really serious about shooting lead in your .41 you should go to BearTooth and order their Tech Manual at the URL here. http://beartoothbullets.com/pdf/price_list.pdf at the bottom right of the page. This book is well worth the $14.00 price. Just the procedures on how to "slug" your cylinder is worth the cost. You will not find better people to ask questions to than the bunch at BearTooth. As I said my .41s' show a preference for .410 or .411 sized bullets. I would have never known to even try anything but .410s' until I sluged my guns using the method explained in the manual. The book will also tell you how to correct leading problems. But really if you shoot gas checked (GC) bullets there is no problem with leaded barrels. Some of my guns operate at 2000+fps that is fast for lead even haard cast stuff BUT with the GC bullets I don't experence any leading.
I have promised a few posters on other sites that I would send them my load data after I got it converted into electronic data form, welll.... with all the war build up I have been very occupied with job duties and many projects have had to not only be "back burnered" but taken off the stove altogether. I have decided to post the data here when it is finished.
I too have found that my .41s' will shot better that I can hold. Lock them down in a mechinal rest to take out the human factor and they are real eye poppers. I seldom shoot "groups" anymore. I love my Contenders and it ids more important to me to know where that first bullet will land. I'll call my first shot out of a cold gun with any of my Contenders out to 200 yards and buy you dinner if is more than a caliber away, do the same with my Reeder SBH out to 150 yards.
On the 13th of this month my wife and I celebrate out 38th anniversary. I see all those blond "hotrods" but the tried and true is what I want , same with the .41. Never felt the need to look around once I found the one that will do all I ask and then some. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
1bigbadmagnum,

Dittos on crawfish's recommendation on the beartooth book. I just loaned mine out, and the new "owner" loves it, too!

It's a fine way to spend very few $$$.

The Blade
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top