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.41 magnum vs .44 magnum? do you need both calibers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by AirPower, Sep 12, 2004.

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  1. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    I got a .41mag that I enjoy shooting but the other day's viewing of Dirty Harry got me fired up on the .44mag. Would you recommend getting .44mag AS WELL AS .41mag? Or would one caliber in this power range be enough? Any point of getting .44 magnum just because Harry used it?
     
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    With today available ammo, I see no reason to have to have both. But it's always nice to have both! :D

    Now, if you had neither, I would say buy the 44 Mag.
     
  3. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    would it be worth it say, to sell .41mag and then buy the .44mag?
     
  4. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    Since I have a pile of .41s, I don't need a .44.
    I've always been more interested in the .41 than in the .44.
     
  5. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV.

    My first question, though, is this: what are you gonna use it for?

    Paper punching? Both will go the whole way through.

    Plate shooting, or pins? Probably not much difference there, either.

    Hunting? Supposedly you can do a wee bit more with the .44, but I gather the difference is mostly academic.

    Personal preference/The Cool Factor? Only you can decide that.

    JMO,
    Mike
     
  6. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    You have a lot more options in factory ammo for the .44 Magnum, and that's a big plus in my book - anything from low-recoil .44 Specials through to the wrist-stomping heavies from Garrett and Buffalo Bore. Versatility is the name of the game with this caliber.

    However, the .41 Magnum, properly loaded (which implies hand-loading to get the same spectrum of loads as the .44 Magnum, I'm afraid...) will do 95% of what the .44 will do. So, unless you aren't into .41 much, or don't reload, I don't see a need to move up to the larger caliber.

    For myself, I think that if I had a good selection of .41 Magnum guns, I could dispose of both the .357 and .44 Magnum, and standardize on the "mid-Magnum" caliber for anything I want to do with a revolver. However, I have lots of .357's, and a couple of .44's, so I'll stay with those two. YMMV...
     
  7. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    yep, paper punching, and not for hunting. I do also plan to reload, either .41 or .44mag, which ever I decide to stay with. In that case, would .41 be as versatile as .44, and also be more "pleasurable" to shoot?

    I'd rather stick with .41 too but the only draw back of .41mag is also bothersome. I always have to explain the calibler.

    Friend: "So that's the Dirty Harry gun?"
    Me: "No, that's not the kind you saw in the movie"
    Friend: "But it's one of those 44 magnum?"
    Me: "no, it's a 41 magnum"
    Friend: "41? Never heard of it"
    Me: (shrug)
    Friend: "is it as powerful as .44"?
    Me: "kind of"
    Friend: "44 sounds bigger than 41"
    Me: (feeling inadequate)
     
  8. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I don't think one necessarily needs weapons chambered for both
    calibers. Having owned both, I can't see but one advantage of
    one over the other; and Preacherman has already nailed that.
    And that is the availability of more diverse ammo for the .44 mag
    over that of the .41 mag. But, handloading is a viable option that
    makes both about equal.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  9. stans

    stans Member

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    For big bore paper punching I would go with 41 Magnum if I was a reloader (and I am). When I was in the market for a big magnum, I looked high and low for a S&W model 57, preferably blue, with a six inch barrel. Finding none, I settled on a 29-3, nickeled, six inch barrel. It is a sweet gun and I stoke it with my mild loads, but it can't do anything that a 41 magnum could not have done.

    I see revolvers in 44 magnum all the time, it is rare that I see one in 41 magnum and they usually are not in the case or on the table for very long. The 41 magnum does have one distinct advantage over the 44, flatter trajectory. Oh, yeah, a little less recoil too!
     
  10. steveno

    steveno Member

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    get rid of the 44 mag. if a 41 mag can't handle the situation you probably will need a rifle anyway
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2004
  11. unspellable

    unspellable Member

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    41 vs 44

    You should have both. The next step would be a 43 wildcat to plug the performance gap between them.

    You know you have gone too far when you start planning a 31-30 wildcat to plug the performance gap between your 30-30 and your 32 Special.
     
  12. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I think they're pretty much the same thing, although 44 Magnum has a bunch more factory ammo availability and usually the ammo is cheaper than 41 Magnum. I got rid of my 41 Model 57 in favor of a 44 Model 29 and haven't looked back. YMMV
     
  13. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    There is one other "advantage" to the .44 Magnum: if you wish, you can get a lever-action or semi-auto carbine or rifle chambered for the same cartridge. Out to 100-125 yards, this makes a very fine deer rifle, easily equivalent to the .30-30 in field performance. Marlin recently released their Model 1894 in .41 Magnum, but it's hard to find, and there are no alternatives out there. The .44 Magnum is chambered by Winchester, Marlin, Rossi and Ruger in lever-actions, and by Ruger in a semi-auto. Just a thought...
     
  14. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    here's one more for reloaders. does it cost more/less/same to load .41 vs. .44? and any difficulties reloading either caliber?

    Also would .41 reload material dry up over the long run? It's definitely not fading a way but it's not "out there" with the .44mag.
     
  15. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Greeting's Again All-

    Air Power, I have handloaded for both the .41 and the
    .44 magnum; and there is not enough monetary difference to claim
    much of a savings. As too the availability of .41 magnum reloading
    supplies, my dealer is well stocked with all the necessities for this
    caliber with the R.C.B.S. line. I don't think that the .41 magnum is
    ready to roll over and die yet.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  16. Bullet Bob

    Bullet Bob Member

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    EXACTLY what unspellable said. You should have both to be considered a handgun nut, and it's required if you love S&W's.
     
  17. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    This is true. You should be trying to get the whole set.

    Mike ;)
     
  18. 41 magnum fan

    41 magnum fan Member

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    In my experience the 41 mag has been more accurate than comparable 44 mags.Also if you handload the 41 will do anything that the 44 will with less recoil and better accuracy.
     
  19. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    If I was going to reloading and had a 41 Mag, had no 44 Mag, I would not sell or trade my 41 Mag in favor of the 44 Mag. For your needs there's no reason to do so and it's just more payola spent.

    Keep your 41 Mag, reaload and enjoy! When you can afford to buy a 44 Mag and still want one, get one.


    Now, how much ya want for that 41 Mag? :evil:
     
  20. stans

    stans Member

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    Not exactly, you see the 41 magnum is a true 0.410" caliber, but the 44 magnum is actually 0.429", so to fill the gap you need a 0.4195" diameter, we can round it off to a 42 magnum.:D
     
  21. Little Loudmouth

    Little Loudmouth Member

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    No, you don't need both. You just need the .41.

    Then again, ACP230 has biased me on that factor, so, what do I know? :D
     
  22. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    do like harry callahan shoot lite 44spcls out of a 44mag ;)
     
  23. Majic

    Majic Member

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    I have both, but honestly my .44mag just rounds out a collection ( I just traded off a M29-8 for a M25-5). Now my .41mags range from the 3 incher to the 7.5 incher with all the stops inbetween and they see plenty of service.
    As far as explaining it to friends and admirers I learned long ago to just let them think what they want it to be and life's so much easier.

    BTW....people have been killing off and predicting the death of the .41mag since it first came out in the early 1960's and it's still with us alive and kicking. Don't worry about supplies drying up.
     
  24. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    I've owned both calibers for over 20 years. I will continue to own and shoot both. But if I had to choose only I caliber of the two I would keep the 41. Yes uyou do need to reload to bring out the best in the 41 but it wasn't all that long ago that you could say the same thing about the 44magnum/44 special.

    THere are now more factofy loadings and more different component bullets available for the 41 than ever before.I was around nine years old whan the 41 magnum was debuted but it will long outlive me. If you think about it there are more factory loadings in 41 magnum than there are in 45 Colt and no one is saying that the 45 Colt is dying.





    dictated by BluesBear via phone, typed by Lady45
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2004
  25. halvey

    halvey Member

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    I had a .41 mag. Its a cool caliber and for deer will work just fine. Besides, the .44 isn't that cool anymore since the other bigger calibers have come about.

    If I had to choose one, I'd take the .41, just because it's different and I reload.
     
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