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.41 Magnum or .45 Colt Mountain Gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. Whimsy, Feb 2, 2010.

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  1. Mr. Whimsy

    Mr. Whimsy member

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    For that matter, does anyone even own a .41 Mag. Mountain Gun? It just seems like I have read a lot on the .45 Colt version (all good BTW). Experiences welcome.

    This gun will be used for CCW. My only real concern are 2-legged predators. I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't accompany me deer hunting in the event that a buck comes within 20 yards. Mostly though it will be a packing sixgun for farm use.

    I would have to invest in dies, casings, etc. to reload for .41. I already have all the reloading stuff for .45 Colt, though I don't currently own any guns. I'm familiar with how it recoils in a Mountain Gun because I previously owned a 625 in .45 ACP, probably not too dissimilar.

    But like an itch I just can't scratch, I am fascinated with the .41's reputation for recoil in between the .357 and .44 Mag. Is the recoil really significantly less than a .44 Mag. in the Mountain Gun? Or is it just a pricier, more esoteric version of same? If so I would be better off going heavy and slow with the .45 Colt. So is it all .41-fanboy hype?

    Also, does anyone possess any knowledge concerning relative stopping power between the cartridges? I'm fairly confident in a 255 gr. .45 Colt bullet, but what about a 175 gr. .41 Mag.? I've Googled but not found any info on it. Back in the day I read the Marshall and Sanow statistics that claimed magnums in self defense are ineffective, but have begun to question their logic. To be honest, I've always thought a .41 Mag. would be an outstanding round for stopping evildoers. Or big dogs on the rampage.

    What are your experiences/thoughts?
    Keep in mind I live in a rural environment, not a city.
     
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I have a M57 Mountain Gun in 41 mag. I like the gun a lot and it is probably one of the most fired centerfire revolvers I own along with a Colt Trooper Mark III in 357 mag. There is no question that the 41 mag will have devastating results with "evil doers" as would the 44 mag. I have not shot the 175 gr Federal load, but I believe it is a fairly light load and would be the most suitable factory loaded defense load in 41 mag. As you know, the argument against the magnum handgun calibers for self defense is the energy dump is not as complete before the bullet completely penetrates the "evil doer". You can buy cowboy loads from GA Arms which are very light.

    I carry my MG if I hunt deer with a rifle. You could probably reach out a bit more than 20 yds with some practice even with the 4" barrel.

    For me it would be too large a gun for CCW, but that's me.

    You are probably better off with the 45LC since you already shoot that one. But I am not well versed in the 45LC other than reading about it here. I had a 4" M25 Smith which I sold. Never really shot it much which is why I sold it. That was in my buying and selling days and many guns did not last long in my possession during that time.

    All that aside, I think you would enjoy a 41 mag. The Mountain Gun is a good choice. It may be the beginning of a new love affair. I like it because I shoot it better than a 44 mag. I'm sure recoil is part of that equation. Some 44 mag folks say that they can't tell much difference between the 44 and 41 in terms of recoil. I hit what I aim at consistantly with the 41 mag out to about 50 yds and further with a longer barreled Smith.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I have a .45 ACP Mountan gun, and a pre-Mountain Gun mountain gun in a .44 Spl. 4 1/2" 1950 Target.
    My hunting pard has two Mountain Guns in .45 Colt and .41 Mag.

    World of differance.
    .41 Mag weighs more due to smaller holes in everything.
    Very ear splitting muzzle blast without hearing protection.
    I guess recoil is less then a .44 Mag, but not much.

    I would pick the .45 Colt or ACP version myself, with .44 Mag running in third place.

    Much greater choice of bullets in .44 & .45 Caliber then there is in .41.

    As for hunting?
    The .41 can probably be a better hunting caliber in an N-Frame due to much higher velocity and higher SD & BC bullets giving very flat trajectory and deeper penetration.

    As for SD stopping power?
    Who knows?
    Deep penetration is relative on a 12" thick human.

    A .45 Colt or ACP is a .45, and we know what they can do.

    rc
     
  4. RugRev

    RugRev Member

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    In the past had a .45 Colt and .44 mag Mtn. Gun (wish I still did have both). The .45 will be a bit less ear splitting in that even with +P loads the pressure is less and the dwell time at peak greater i.e. less of a spike. As you already have the loading eqpt. the .45 would be a bit less costly to get into than the .41 and the gun is lighter as noted above than the .41. As to recoil due to weight with stout loads they all will recoil with the .45 a bit more of a shove or push as to a sharp recoil which may or may not be noticeable.

    In looking at only one custom maker, Corbon (just as an example), they list a .41 mag
    170 JHP load at 1275 fps and 614 ft/lbs. energy ( http://www.dakotaammo.net/Self-Defe...RBON-Self-Defense-JHP/SD41M170-20/100/Product ) and a .45 Colt 200 gr +P load at 1100 fps and 537 ft/lbs energy ( http://www.dakotaammo.net/Self-Defe...RBON-Self-Defense-JHP/SD45C200-20/100/Product ) for 2 legged defense.

    As noted above .45 components probably are a bit easier to come by than .41, the .41 probably would be the better hunting gun and the .45 better for defense against the 2 legged type predators.
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Had a friend that had a .41, but I took the view "anything the .41 can do the .44 can do better and have bought .44 magnums. If you already reload, than recoil shouldn't be an issue. Just load a .44 starting load and you'll equal the performance of a .41. If you want to buy ammo at the store, you're better off with a .44. Can't even remember my store have .41's on the shelf. If recoil is REALLY an issue, than you can shoot .44 specials. There's no .41 special on the shelf.

    Maybe the worst thing you can say about the comparison is that you'd need about 1 grain more of powder in the .44 to make a load equal to that of a .41.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The N-frame can be carried concealed, but it's not easy.:)

    If I were going to get a full-size .45 to carry concealed, I'd just get a 1911.

    Here's my thought about Mountain Guns...

    1. .45 cylinder walls are getting mighty thin. Remember why Elmer Keith, a big fan of the .45 Colt, switched to .44 (actually .43") for his experiments with high-powered revolver rounds? Where's the "Mountain" in the .45, really, if you can't run "Ruger-only" loads?

    2. The .41 is heavier than the .44 or .45, and the marginally flatter trajectory than a .44 wouldn't be a major selling point, to me, in a lightened 4" revolver. The .41 lacks the "difference that makes a difference", and that's why the .44 has been far more popular than the .41.

    3. The .44 splits the difference in weight between the two, and allows the most versatility in your choice of rounds. It's the Mountain Gun that makes the most sense to me. And it's the one I plopped down my hard-earned money to buy. I really do like that gun, and I highly recommend it, in whatever caliber you choose.
     
  7. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    The .41 is a very nifty cartridge and can be loaded to fire-breathing status... but then again, so can the .45 LC if your gun can handle it. Since you are already setup to load .45's, you may as well stick with that. Roll some heavy 255g hard cast SWC-FP bullets backed by enough push to make them hot (but not overly hot). You will have penetration for days. It would make a great woods cartridge.
     
  8. zfk55

    zfk55 Member

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    Here in NW Montana we have black bear running through our place regularly. When Im out and about afoot or on the Rhino I carry this with 250gr hardcast bullets in the .41 mag.

    [​IMG]

    And this might shed some light.
    http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/41heavy.htm

    zfk55
     
  9. Mr. Whimsy

    Mr. Whimsy member

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    I'm grateful for so much feedback gentlemen.. Thank you all.

    Unfortunately, .44 Mag. is not an option, or I would just do that. Only have a line on a new .45 and .41, both blue and at greatly reduced price because of not being in .44 I would imagine. I figure one of the these misfits deserves a good home.

    Boy, .41 components are mostly out of stock... whereas the more popular .45 components seem easy to find online. Would have thought it would be the opposite.
     
  10. zfk55

    zfk55 Member

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  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Cabelas has .41 brass and a number of bullets. Maybe not the cheapest, but they actually have it.:)

    As far as giving a good home to some blue Mountain Guns, I'd say, go for it!

    (And tell me where to find the one you don't buy.:))
     
  12. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Both the .41 and .45 Colt are good rounds, but the .357 is lighter and is at least as effective as the others -- which raises the question of why you'd prefer the heavier guns.

    When stopping bears or taking larger game, deeper penetration is a must; however, penetration can work against you with larger calibers. In fact, as far as I know, no handgun caliber known can beat the 125 gr JHP .357 mag. Creatures with greater body mass can go down better and faster with the larger calibers, but for humans, why carry the extra weight and risk gross overpenetration?
     
  13. zfk55

    zfk55 Member

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    Nominal figures.
    .357: 180gr MV 1,180fps ... ME 550
    Comparative .41 mag load: 175gr MV 1,250 ... ME 640

    Typical .41 mag load: 250gr MV 1,325... ME 975

    Not quite similar, or?

    zfk55
     
  14. sw282

    sw282 Member

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    41- Simply because it "IS" a magnum.
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    They stand no chance against a .45 Colt, and it has less recoil & ear splitting blast in a defense situation with no hearing protection.
     
  16. Mr. Whimsy

    Mr. Whimsy member

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    Confederate, I have heard the .357 is an effective anti-personnel round for years. And then there's that State Trooper who emptied his .357 into a bad guy and then was killed by the BG's .22. I think his name was Coats. I wonder how he would feel about the .357 if he could talk?

    More effective than the other 2 calibers? I don't know about that.

    I would simply feel more confident in either .45 LC or .41 Mag. Besides, I just like N frames.
     
  17. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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  18. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    If I were choosing a caliber to do what you're wanting to do I'd rather go with the 44 magnum. Since you're already mentioning reloading I think you'll get a whole lot more mileage out of the 44. A 44 special load will generally keep up with a 45acp load - and you can load both hotter if you like.

    If you want more oomph use the magnums. I settle for a mild magnum load for smaller game and plinking - more than a 44spl and you can shoot it all day. It's tough to beat a 44 mag for reliability, endurance, and versatility - especially if you reload. I own several Ruger SBH's for this very reason.

    If I can't persuade you to the 44mag, then go with the 45. You will find it considerably more difficult to find ammo and reloading components for a 41 than for a 44 or 45. 45LC rounds can be tough to locate, weak when you find them (cowboy loads), and as expensive as 44 mag ammo.

    Just my 2 cents,
    -MW
     
  19. Mr. Whimsy

    Mr. Whimsy member

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    I'm finding that .45 bullet offerings vastly outnumber the .41 pills.

    Many good bullets like Golden Sabers aren't offered in .41.

    I will try the websites you guys mentioned.
     
  20. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Member

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    W/O a doubt, the .41 magnum. Why the .41? I've got more brass and bullets for the .41 than I can a shake a stick at.
     
  21. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    You'll have fewer choices in the .41 for ammo unless you load your own, and even then components are very difficult - but not impossible - to find.

    I just got done reading an older Skeeter Skelton article on the .41. It is quite comparable to the .44 Magnum in loadability, from very mild to stompers. IIRC, Skelton said that the .44 Mag will produce 16 foot/lbs of recoil; the .41 something like 13 ft/lbs but, he added, he really can't tell the difference between the two. The .41 arguably is a little flatter shooting than a .44.

    I can't speak to the .45 as I have never shot one. From what I've seen on shelves, though, .45 Colt is available for ammo and components are all over the place.

    If you go .41, Missouri Bullet has a nice 215gr Keith-style SWC that's a nice bullet. I've put that over 8gr Unique for a nice medium plinker and recently found 2400 to make some real thumpers to see what I can stand out of my Blackhawk.

    For me, the choice was easy: my .41 Blackhawk was under $300 sticker. Similar guns in .45 are 50% more.

    Q
     
  22. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    If you are a handloader, the .45LC and the .41 Mag are great choices (not to say that the .44 isn't as well).

    Before I started handloading, I had three .44s...today I have none. Instead I have two .41 Mags and three .45LCs, and I shoot them a lot more. :)

    If you are set up to load .45LC, then get one, and you will enjoy it. If you want to venture out a bit, get a .41...or better yet, do both, as time and resources permit.

    Brass for each is available from StarLine, projectiles are available everywhere (just got an order from Missouri Bullet) and loads for each cartridge are available. I have loads for W231 and Green Dot for range loads for both. For serious .41 loads, W296 and 2400 will do the trick.

    I also own at least three .357 Magnum revolvers, but seldom shoot them any more. Between the .41 and the .45, I have all bases covered.

    And as far a N-frames being difficult to carry...well, if you can carry a 4" K-frame, a 4" N-frame is no big deal. I actually have and use two K-frame holsters (one IWB and one OWB) that were gently stretched to fit an N-frame. I can carry either revolver in either holster, but when I carry a revolver, it's going to be a caliber the starts with a 4.

    Have fun. :)
     
  23. Mr. Whimsy

    Mr. Whimsy member

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    Yes I am a handloader, and probably would never require factory ammo so long as I could acquire JHP's. Which is good, since I haven't actually located a box of ammo for it.

    Components seem to be a real problem right now. Maybe they are seasonal. I can find any .41 JHP I want, so long as it's 210 gr. The lighter 170's seem to be out of stock everywhere. Lead bullets are not as hard to get, but of course are not suitable for high speed unless you like pricey gas-checked ones.

    Darn it. I was looking forward to something different, but frankly it seems the .41 is dying, even compared to niche calibers like 10mm. Several vendors don't even offer the Sierra 170 gr. bullet any more.
     
  24. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    I'll walk with Walkalong on this - if SD is a main role, the .45 Colt is the answer. Ammo availability? Ammo energy range? Reloading components? No question - I love the .45 Colt. And - recall that the standard spec for .45 Colt is 14 kPSI - and the S&W 625 cylinder, barrel, frame, etc, were designed for the 21+ kPSI .45 ACP.

    That ammo range is important - all .41 Magnum commercial loads I've seen - and shot some years ago in a friend's 657 - were true Magnums - fairly hot. The .45 Colt fare runs the gamut - softer Cowboy loads to real defensive loads. And, if you really need more oomph, get a .454 Casull! BTW, a great stopper - a 255gr LSWC at 850+ fps - or, the slow speed opener Speer #4484 250gr Gold Dot.

    I have .44 Magnums - but I love my pair of 625MGs in .45 Colt. Fun, powerful, and nostalgic. That's the only revolver model I have a 'backup' in! Of course, already having the reloading dies, etc, helps. In my case, I started reloading for the .45 Colt - and my first-ever S&W - a 625MG in .45 Colt... but I am not opinionated at all...

    Stainz

    PS A great alternative - a 625JM in .45 ACP. Load the .45 Colt 255gr LSWC lead or 250gr GDJHPs in .45 Auto Rims & an HKS #25 speedloader. I keep >200 moonclips full of 230gr FMJ ball ammo loads for frugal plinking - and Zombie deterence. Talk about 'readily available' ammo...
     
  25. Mr. Whimsy

    Mr. Whimsy member

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    Stainz, it's funny but I also have .45 ACP S&W's, and once foolishly sold my 625 MG in ACP. They are the bees knees.

    I think you are right, the .45 Colt is better for SD and is good enough for outdoor requirements without resorting to blast and recoil.

    John Linebough says magnums = range and trajectory... and he carries a .45 Colt Mountain Gun that's NOT loaded hot. That speaks volumes about stopping power without even mentioning it.
     
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