Did I Jump the Gun?


.41 magnum man
July 23, 2007, 03:34 AM
Hi all. I'm new here. I read some of the posts here, including the sticky for beginners, which was great, by the way. I have never reloaded in my life, and just ordered a Lee Classic Turret Press Kit from Cabelas and some things that were not included in the kit, like a brass trimmer, primer pocket cleaner, and other stuff like that. I also ordered a couple of books: Lee Modern Reloading Manual #2, and a book specially for .41 mags by Loadbooks USA. I also have a Speers # 11 manual a friend let me borrow, which I have read.

I also ordered some 210 grain Hornady bullets and some Remington brass. What I am wondering is if I got the cart before the horse by getting any components before looking at the books, especially the casings? I understand that the different brass manufacturers can vary from each other in wall thicknesses, and can have an effect on the loads. So what I am wondering is:

Do the books give data on each type of brass? Is that even a major concern? (The Speer book I have doesn't give but about 4 loads for a .41 magnum, and that is with W-W brass and Speer bullets.)

What if the book doesn't say anything about those Remington cases, does that mean I can't use them unless I do get a book that has them listed?

Also, is it going to matter which brand bullets I use? If a book lists a 210 grain bullet by Speer, does that mean that the same load worked up with a 210 grain Hornady bullet will not be same?

The main thing I want to do is be safe and not blow my head off, so if my questions are dumb, I don't care. As the Frankenstein monster on Van Helsig said, "I want to live!" And have fun too, of course. :D

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July 23, 2007, 07:53 AM
LOL - Welcome to what is going to become and expensive hobby for you. :)

You didn't do anything wrong at all ..there are minor differences in brass thickness but you don't have to worry about not having specific load data for that brass. If you follow the standard rule of starting 10% low and working your way up then you'll EASILY account for differences in brass wall thickness.

Just my .02

Have fun!! (This stuff isn't as complex as it seems . . . . .just don't try to load heavy loads until you've done lots of practice.)

Have a good one,

July 23, 2007, 08:36 AM
Ditto. You are in good shape. :)

Mal H
July 23, 2007, 10:01 AM
Welcome to THR!

Like the others said, you're fine using reloading data for most brands of cases with the exception of Amerc cases, don't use them at all if you happen to find some in your collection.

You also asked about using load data for different bullets of the same weight. That's a little more complicated than the case issue. Even though bullets might weigh the same, they can have different shapes which can affect the load used. Most of the problem is how much of a particular bullet will be inside the case which can affect the pressure of the round. Also, the composition of the bullet is a factor. In general lead bullets take less of a load than jacketed bullets. In other words, don't blindly interchange load data specifically for jacketed bullets with lead bullets, and vice versa.

I note that you used the magic words "worked up" in your bullet question. Always do that, and you'll be just fine with your reloading. However, a caution is in order on the working up thing. Don't go below the minimum listed load either. In some cases a too light load is as bad or even worse than a too heavy load.

The light vs heavy load brings up a different issue you should know about. As your reloading manual collection grows (it should), you find that data from one source seems to contradict the data in another manual. Don't fret too much over that. As long as you stay in the average range of loads for a particular bullet weight, it's a non-problem.

July 23, 2007, 10:43 AM
There are no dumb questions when it comes to safety.

As others have said, start at the bottom, and work your way up. When I first started reloading (30+ years ago) I wanted to get to max load as quickly as possible, and I sometimes cut corners. It is remarkable, in hindsight, that I have all my fingers, both my eyes, and never blew up a gun. Now I find that my best loads are way below maximum, and give me the best accuracy, efficiency, and cost/value ratio.

July 23, 2007, 10:43 AM
.41 Magnums Rule.

I'm My opinion they are the .270 of Magnum revolvers.

I like using 2400 in my 4"Taurus Tracker,it makes cool Flames with the porting.


.41 magnum man
July 23, 2007, 11:15 AM
I sure do appreciate those replies. That explained everything I wondered and then some.

Thanks for the bullet info also, Mal H. Sistema, I am in no rush to get to the heavy loads. Accuracy is more important to me. I want just enough wallop that will put down a deer. I'm not a power freak. (how does, "I'm a lover, not a heavy loader", sound?) Of course, once I get into it, who knows what I might end up doing.

Crazy4nitro, I am just getting started with this revolver, but I put a lot of research into deciding what I wanted. This seems the best all around gun for me. The only thing I have shot in it so far is a few boxes of 175 gr. Winchesters. That is all that is available around here. They don't shoot worth a crap either. At 12 yards they go all over the place in a four inch circle. Once I get to reloading I guess I'll be shooting that thing all the time. As I can afford it anyway, as dmftoy so wonderfully brought to my attention! The only piece of info I didn't like hearing was about the "expensive hobby"! What have I done, dmftoy?

Well, with that understanding, I feel better about ordering the components. My local gun shop is just starting to sell reloading equipment and such, and should have an order of powder coming in on the 30th of this month. That will save me a hazard fee. I think I am going to start out with H110, but will wait till I get more info before I decide.

Well, thanks again. Anything else I need to know, I'm all ears. @..@

Mal H
July 23, 2007, 11:39 AM
Weellll, I would choose a different powder as a starter/learning powder if 'twer me. H110 and Win296 are specifically for max loads. They should not be downloaded more than 3% from max (and they require magnum primers). So you won't get the benefit of seeing what happens as you work up a load.

I would choose perhaps Unique or 2400 for starting out with the .41 Magnum. The one unfortunate thing about your choice of calibers is that you won't find many loads using relatively "mild" powders such as W231 or Universal Clays.

July 23, 2007, 11:51 AM
I started using Hornady XTP 210g with H110 (starline brass and win primers). They hold a really nice tight group to 50yds. I also load some 200g Remington with Trailboss. That is another great load that shoots 2" groups at 25yds and is very mild. Anyway you go the 41mag is terrific.

July 23, 2007, 12:00 PM
Welcome, and enjoy your new hobby. Mal is on the mark with the powder choice. Be careful not to go below the minimum with the H110 and W296. 2400 offers a greater loading range and will give the velocities of the H110/296 with lower starting pressures. Does not require magnum primers either. Unique like Mal mentioned is a good choice for lead bullets in the lower to medium range. Check the manuals and look for accuracy loadings with your particular bullet. Pay particular attention to cast lead vs. jacketed, they load different for the same weights. This will also give you a good idea as to what particular powder works well with that caliber. The .41 Magnum is an excellent round, it can be loaded very accurately, mild to .44 Magnum range power. The fun part is finding the sweet spot where power and accuracy come together. LOL and Enjoy!

July 23, 2007, 12:19 PM
Hope this is more of a tangential note than a veer...

In the specific case of .41 Magnum with H110 / W296 and magnum primers.

Winchester lists their WLP as suitable for both standard and magnum loads. I believe Remington has no specific primer for magnum large pistol either but I don't know if they claim "suitable for magnum" as Winchester does. CCI and Federal have both standard and magnum in large pistol.

I didn't notice this complication with .357 - everybody and their brother makes small pistol and small pistol magnum primers.

So, are we good to go with Winchester WLPs in H110 / .41? Is it closer to a CCI 350 than 300? Is there less of a difference between standard and magnum large pistol primers than small pistol primers?

Based on Chuck Hawk's notes on the A-square data, the Winchesters do indeed seem to be "hotter" - at least with rifles. Not sure how up to date that is, though.


Mal H
July 23, 2007, 12:39 PM
Good point, Hawk. Yes, Win WLP primers are good for H110/W296. I've used them almost exclusively over the last 5 years or more with those powders and they always work as designed.

July 23, 2007, 12:44 PM
Welcome, and congratulations on your approach to this interesting hobby. You've done great on your research, reading, and asking questions. Also you've chosen a great press to start out with. The beauty of the lee turret is you can do batch loading,(one operation at a time), by taking the indexing rod out to keep using the same die, or put the indexer in and complete one round with 3 or 4 pulls of the handle.

There's a learning curve to anything. Taking the index rod out, setting up one die at a time by running 10 - 20 cases through each die in turn will allow you to learn how each die works. Once you have that down pat, you can put the indexer in and run each shell through the entire process. Doing that can result in 200 rounds per hour, even more after some experience.

As far as powder choice goes, one not mentioned is alliant blue-dot. It can be loaded down to moderate levels, and up nearly to top levels for velocity. Some say the lower loads are dirty, not in my experience.

Bullets weighing the same from different manufactures, can be loaded by starting at the lowest powder charges listed, then working up, watching for pressure signs. Pressure signs that are the most accurate for revolvers is how much force is required to extract the shell(s) from the cylinder. Your make, model, and barrel length of your revolver might help some give more specific advice.

July 23, 2007, 01:08 PM
All good advice so far. You might want to order the Lyman Pistol and Revolver Manual, 3rd edition. You'll find lots of data for the .41 Magnum in there.

I carried a 6.5" S&W Model 57 as my duty gun for many, many years and it's a fine firearm and caliber. There is great versatility in the caliber and it will do just about anything you require of a handgun. All of my loads for Winchester 296 used the Winchester Large Pistol Primer. I've shot the loads in hot and cold weather and never had a problem.

Hope this helps.


July 23, 2007, 07:48 PM
Trimming handgun brass, nope! Stick to trimming for rifle cases and you can measure the handgun brass for C.O.A.L. and toss the few handgun cases that may indicate a need for trimming.

July 23, 2007, 08:12 PM
The only piece of info I didn't like hearing was about the "expensive hobby"! What have I done, dmftoy?

The expensive part is that you start out using the same budget as 'last year' and then it just keeps growing and you shoot more and then reload more and then shoot more and eventually you're spending MUCH more than you did before you started. The two years before I took up reloading for the second time in my life I had a yearly ammo budget of $90-$100 which bought me 400-500 rounds of UMC .45 acp on sale at Dick's. Last year I started buying 8lb jugs of powder . . . .. they start around $110 . .add to that the bullets, primers, and now bullet casting supplies . . .

Of course I used to consider 400-500 rounds a good years worth of shooting . . . .now I consider that an average or slightly below average month. :)

As far as WLP and H110 . . .I've had bad experiences with that combination . .it could've been my trying to ride the low end of the load charts but I had a heck of a time getting H110 lit until I went to magnum primers and heavy crimp. FWIW

Have a good one,

July 23, 2007, 08:24 PM
The only reason for trimming handgun brass is to keep it uniform length to get that "just-perfect" crimp. While the cylinders don't care how long your brass is, the crimping die has a firm opinion on the subject.

If you don't need a "just-perfect" crimp, you can usually not mess with trimming pistol brass.

.41 magnum man
July 23, 2007, 10:32 PM
Boy, I sure am glad I found this site. You all are great. I am learning a lot here. Some things I don't understand fully, but I'm catching on. I won't do anything until I am 100% sure of what I am doing though. I don't know why I didn't mention that I have a Ruger New Model Blackhawk. I had bought a Taurus .45 PT1911 earlier this summer. It was my first of the 1911, and I liked it. It shot great, but I realized that I would be happier with something I could hunt with as well. So I sold it and got the Ruger. Wish I could have kept both, but thats the way it goes sometimes. Anyway, I can tell I am really going to get a lot of enjoyment from this revolver, especially since I will be reloading too.

Now one question I have, is about the primers. Until I read Hawk's reply, I didn't realize that either a large pistol primer or a magnum pistol primer could be used. Did I understand that right? I guess the books tell which one to use. I also understand that even the brand of primer can cause a difference in pressures? The Lee website recommends using either CCI or Winchester primers in their equipment. They say it works smoother than other brands in their auto primer. But I guess it is not a good idea to use a CCI primer in a load if it calls for another brand?

I just checked the Speers book I have and they do list several different powder brands including H110 (I see that powder is in the upper velocity ranges as Mal H indicated), Blue Dot, UNIQUE, as well as some others. Oh, there is 2400 that WC spoke of. I guess I'll have to play with several powders as someone suggested. Man, this could turn out to be too much fun! I see what you mean Dmftoy.

Thanks, Snuffy, for the info, especially on the Lee press. Makes me feel good to know I chose good equipment.

Oh, one other thing: What does C.O.A.L. stand for?
I will check out that Lyman book you recommend, Fred. RC109a, I started to get some of those 200 grain remingtons. I was kind of thinking they might be good for plinking and then use the Hornadys for hunting.

Thanks again. You all are great, and I truly appreciate your time in helping me out.

Jeff, the .41 Magnum Man.

July 24, 2007, 02:40 AM
Jeff, C.O.A.L. stands for Cartridge Over All Length. That means the ENTIRE loaded round, bullet, and case end to end. It's usually shortened to COL, it usually is listed in the loading manuals so you can set your seater die.

Most of the time, it is so that a shell will fit in a magazine, or cylinder without being too long to feed or not allow the cylinder to rotate. Rifles with blind magazines have limited space, so the COL listed will allow the shell to fit down into the mag without the tip of the bullet jamming the shells. Sometimes if a bullet has a cannelure,(serrated grove to crimp into), the COL listed will make the mouth of the case arrive right at the cannelure.

July 24, 2007, 11:34 AM
I load Both Blue-Dot and 2400 in my .41

I like 17gr of 2400 with a 170gr JHP...that will be fairly close to the Silvertip Load you shot. I find that a real nice,Moderate accurate load.

The Gun Downloaded will be a Puppy,but once you get comfy and decide to start working up you will see what a Spanker it can turn into.:what:


July 24, 2007, 12:02 PM
Another 2400 lover here:D

Mal H
July 24, 2007, 04:45 PM
.41 magnum man - about your primer question. Opinions on primers and their usage vary widely in the reloading community. This is my take on them.

In general, there are two types of primers in each size (large pistol, small pistol, large rifle and small rifle.) Those are "standard" and "magnum". There are others (e.g., benchrest), but those are the main ones.

The loading manuals will most always specify which type of primer to use for the powders they recommend. It would be hard to go wrong by following their lead.

I think your question is something like, "can I substitute primer manufacturers when a manual calls for a specific one such as CCI." The answer is "usually". For example, I don't hesitate to use a different large pistol standard primer in place of a CCI 300. The key, as with all component changes from the recommended loads is to back off at least 10% from your previous load using the CCI's and work up again. If you start out a new load whether it's with the recommended primer or a substitute, you would normally start at the min load anyway and work up. Just remember to substitute like for like; you wouldn't want to substitute a Remington magnum primer for a CCI standard or vice versa.

Now for the one case that made me say "usually" instead of "always". That's the Winchester WLP primers. Those are a little hotter than a "standard" primer, but not quite as hot as a true magnum primer, but it's close enough. Win doesn't make a large pistol magnum primer, they recommend using WLP's in both standard and magnum loads. In fact, that's what I do and it has worked well so far. I mention this because you will be using large pistol primers in your .41 Mag, and will use both types depending on which powder you use. WLP's tend to solve the problem with one type of primer.

One other thing - I know you didn't ask, but it's not usually wise to substitute rifle primers for pistol primers and vice versa. Rifle primers have a slightly different dimension, they are a little hotter and most importantly they use a thicker or harder metal cup. That is because they need to withstand considerably higher pressures and firing pins that almost always have stronger springs or hammer blows behind them.

July 24, 2007, 05:20 PM
Once again I have to agree with Mal. I have no problem going from one primer to the other for my standard target loads (read this as low pressure). These loads are generally far away from max and a small increase in pressure generated by a different brand of primer will not impact the overall picture. You will see point of impact changes with primer changes and that will go also with powder from lot to lot. This is not true in high pressure loadings. When I put together hunting loads on the upper end of the scale I go strictly by the book. Look in the books for the instuctions on signs of pressure and always be on the look out. There is no point sacraficing a body part or firearm because you saved fifty cents on primers. I will also compliment you on your approach to reloading, ask all the question you like. There are many experienced loaders here, I have learned a great deal myself. Bill

July 24, 2007, 08:01 PM
Welcome aboard. wait to you shoot your first handloads then you will be hooked

.41 magnum man
July 25, 2007, 01:38 AM
Mal H, and WCWhitey, thanks so much for the information. That was a good lesson there. I am glad I have these postings to refer back to. I might just print them out and hang them up at my reloading bench.

Scrat, I am so excited to get going I can't sit still. Done twisted up my underwear 20 times due to squirming around in just the last hour! :D

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