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Reloading .41 Magnum

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by joeoim, Oct 10, 2006.

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  1. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    I'm reloading for a Marlin Lever gun, and two stainless steel Smith & Wesson Revolvers. A 4", and a 6". I'm useing 210 gr JHP. I don't have access to my load data, but I loaded 200 with Herco, and 200 with Bullseye. I seemed to get a better pattern with the Bullseye in both pistols. I was wondering if anyone else had loaded .41 Mag with either of these?

    Joe
     
  2. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    No, but if you have lil gun, 2400, 296, blue dot, or N110, I'd be glad to give you some chrono data I have.

    Bullseye isn't the best choice for the rifle unless you want light end plinkers though. I'd stick with the herco given those 2 choices.
     
  3. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    I have been using Unique for loads shot in my Marlin 1894FG, various Smith .41 Magnums, and a couple .41 Magnum Ruger Redhawks. (Yes, I am addicted but I don't want help.)

    My loads are usually made with lead semiwadcutters. I'm currently shooting 230 grain SWCs, but have also used 215 and 225s. All shoot pretty well with loads around 900 fps. This just about duplicates the velocity of the old .41 Magnum "Police Load." It is still a good load for the .41.
     
  4. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    I used herco last about '95-'96, so the memory isn't so good.
    I found herco works best with 170 grain bullets, so I have no data for you as I didn't find anything that was acceptable.
    For accuracy with 210 grain bullets, I'd recommend 2400. The 17.5 grain load is VERY accurate, and will prolly be about the middle of what you could expect as far as recoil. As usual, the books are wrong on velocity, it's at least 100 lower than what the books say.
    For the same accuracy, and a bit more OOMPH!, try H110 with a magnum primer.
    With the load I used I use 3 pounds of powder, and don't have 1000 rounds made, so you go through some powder, but console yourself with the fact that you're saving a poopload of money by not buying factory ammo.
    Remember, as always, do NOT reduce H110 below listed minimums, it gets a little squirrely.
    2400 is an excellent powder for .41 magnum.
    I haven't found a fast powder that groups acceptable in the 'middle magnum', it likes slow powders.
    Your best bet to use up that herco is to buy some 170 grain bullets.
    I seem to remember very good accuracy from sierra 170, but they weren't cheap, even back then.
     
  5. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    "I'd stick with the herco given those 2 choices"
    I agree.


    "lil gun, 2400, 296, blue dot, or N110, I'd be glad to give you some chrono data I have."
    Ben I'd appreciate that. I am looking for 1 powder to load for both rifle and revolver.

    ACP230 said
    I have been using Unique for loads shot in my Marlin 1894FG, various Smith .41 Magnums, and a couple .41 Magnum Ruger Redhawks. (Yes, I am addicted but I don't want help.)

    My loads are usually made with lead semiwadcutters. I'm currently shooting 230 grain SWCs, but have also used 215 and 225s. All shoot pretty well with loads around 900 fps. This just about duplicates the velocity of the old .41 Magnum "Police Load." It is still a good load for the .41.

    ACP230, what velocity differences are you seeing between the rifle and Redhawk?

    Thanks for the input. I was hoping someone had experience with Bullseye or Herco as I've had the best luck with the Herco in my 357s & 38s.

    Joe
     
  6. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    caz223

    Thank-You. I'm not familiar with the H100.
    What are You shooting these through?

    Joe
     
  7. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    I have lots of .41s, I have 3 657s, a performance center, several blackhawks, a taurus, etc.....
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    Need I go on......
     
  8. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    I have a 6" Redhawk, 6" 657, & 4" 657 that I'm loading for. A Marlin SS 41LTD, and I think the other Marlin Lever is a 1894 FG. It's the one with the curved lever and an 18 or 20' barrel.


    Joe
     
  9. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    Thank-you for the pictures. Very nice. I have to go, but I'd like to hear more.

    Joe
     
  10. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    I tried to buy one of the marlins, but they were in short supply when the came out.
    After 6 months, in a brief moment of sanity I canceled my order.
    I couldn't really think of anything I could use it for..........
     
  11. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    I'd say blue dot or 2400 then. Blue dot will give you more *rounds per pound* than 2400. And velocity wise blue dot will safely do 1400 with a 210 slug. Faster just isn't needed, unless you want it to act like a varmit bullet.

    2400 will be slightly dirtier than blue dot, can be pushed a little harder than blue dot, is a little less flashy, and less temperature sensitive.

    If you have a 44 mag or do heavy 45 colt stuff 2400 would be your best bet, if ONLY 41 mag concerns you, then I'd steer you toward blue dot. IME blue dot is THE powder for 41 mag if accuracy is your goal.

    OR-
    If you're not concened with all-out velocity max effort type stuff, and don't mind paying a little more for powder, N110 is EXELLENT in 41 mag. VERY clean burning, and just as accurate as 2400, blue dot, or 296/H110. I've also found it very temperature stable(unlike blue dot, which can have issues), and it has shown me very low SD and ES numbers over the chrono.

    Sidenote-
    My 2 favorite 41 slugs:

    1. A speer 210 HJHP with a heavy roll crimp right over the front edge of the jacket with a heavy charge of blue dot in winchester brass and lit by a federal large pistol primer.

    2. A kieth type semi-wadcutter that drops out of my moulds at 230 grains, in winchester brass, with a heavy charge of 2400 or 296, lit by a federal large magnum primer if I'm wanting an all-out load.

    I would use a lot more N110, but it's just too spendy for me to load bulk ammo with. And to really appreciate how clean it is jacketed slugs are required. I load on roughly a 10:1 ratio of lead vs. jacketed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  12. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    Joeoim:
    I haven't chronographed the loads from the rifle. They were around 900fps from a six-inch M57.

    I should get a chrono up and running, but other things have come first.
     
  13. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    Haven't found that to be the case. It's not bad, but it's not as consistant.
    Nothing quantifiable, but it seems like I have more bad days when I bring blue dot to the range, in any caliber except 10mm.
    Then again, I like it HOT!
     
  14. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    Lots of good info. Thank-You.

    I wanted to load with Herco, thinking since it's a slower powder that I might get a little more benefit out of the longer rifle barrels than the 4 or 6" pistol barrels. Does this seem reasonable?

    If there is an advantage to a slower burning powder when the same cartridge is used in both rifle and pistol, How fast burning are Blue Dot, 2400, H110, and N110?

    Joe
     
  15. CMcDermott

    CMcDermott Member

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    Relative burning speed would be (fastest to slowest)

    Blue Dot
    2400
    N110
    H110/W296
    Lil'Gun

    The last three seem to be about the same burning rate, and change places depending on which cartridge and how much pressure is being generated. I prefer Lil' Gun for my full power 41 Magnum loads as H110/W296 has a recommendation for not going below 3% of maximum pressure and N110 is harder to find locally. The other powders which work well for full power loads are AA #9, IMR4227 & H4227. AA #9 is a little slower than 2400 and gets a little flaky at full pressure, a little more powder giving a lot more pressure. The 4227's are the slowest burning, actually a little too slow and won't deliver as much velocity as the N110, W296/H110 and Lil' Gun.
     
  16. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Caz223:

    I'm just the oppisite, blue dot seems the most accurate in all my 41's. That's why I put up with the temperature sensitivity. It's also been the powder that gives me the lowest velocity variation in shot strings.
    'Lil gun runs real fast, but it's giving me more deviation shot to shot than I like.

    But hey, that's why we load, right? Find the best for our particular gun.:D

    GOOD SHOOTING!!!
     
  17. Hobie

    Hobie Member

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    I load the 210 gr. JHP (XTP in my case) over 22.5 gr. Lil'Gun. Safe in MY gun. This is a MAGNUM load and produces 1800+ fps in a 16" barrel.
     
  18. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    Ben, ACP230, CAZ223, CMcDermott:

    Thank-You all for the input. This thread has already given me insight that would have taken a long time to learn on my own. I will put any and all personal preferences to good use and find something that will work for me. I really appreciate the varied responses.

    Most of the handloaders I know used Unique in 357 pistols, and I chanced upon a pound of Herco and it grouped so much better I havn't tried anything else. It doesn't seem to do so in the S&W .41s though.

    Joe
     
  19. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Joeoim, are you using a firm crimp with your herco loads?
     
  20. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    Ben,

    I do. Infact I've always thought I didn't need it quite that firm

    Joe.
     
  21. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    .41 mag likes a firm roll crimp, it makes all those slow powders a bit more consistant.
    The slower the powder, the more need for crimp.
    H110/Win296 is for advanced users and is NOT for plinking.
    If you shoot at all in the winter, I'd avoid blue dot, the only squib I ever had was with a compressed load of blue dot, a standard primer, and I was shooting in horrible conditions, well below freezing. It would have ignited fine with a magnum primer, in fact I use magnum primers with blue dot now. But I have seen some pretty wierd stuff from blue dot below freezing.
    H110/Win 296 definately require mag primers.
    I have never used lil gun, so you're on your own there.
    Most of the powders listed are very fine ball powders, and run through powder measures very consistantly, except blue dot, which is coarse flake.
    It meters OK, but definately not quite as well as the others.
     
  22. joeoim

    joeoim Member

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    I do shoot a lot in the winter so blue dots out, I don't want to risk any inconsistancy's. Can you tell me more about H110/Win296? Why do you consider it for advanced use?
    From the info here H110/Win296 or Lill gun seem to be where I need to start with and I'm unfamiliar with all.

    Joe
     
  23. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    H110/296 is for *advanced* use becuase of it's unforgiving nature. You just don't have the luxury of a wide charge range. You pretty much have to run it at all out pressures for it to remain happy.

    As long as you keep that in mind it works just fine. There are 2 things I consider mandatory with either of these powders:

    1. Firm to heavy crimp.
    2. Magnum primer.

    If you're just starting out, and shoot in a wide range of temperatures I think you should really heavily consider 2400. It can be loaded from fairly light loads clear up to 95% of what 296/H110 can do. Where as 296/H110 is a full-horse only proposition. Also 2400 is a fairly forgiving powder, it doesn't seem to go from safe to *OOPS* in a .2 grain difference. It can be slightly sooty at lower pressures, but nothing a rag won't wipe right off. Accuracy is also very good IME. I have several 2400 loads that stay under 1" at 25 yards in my redhawks.

    Where you are shooting in cold temperatures I also suggest developing all your 2400 loads with magnum primers.

    You do have a chrono, right?
     
  24. caz223

    caz223 Member

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    Agreed. Ben has done his homework.
     
  25. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    One other strong reccomendation from A LOT of personal experience:

    AVOID remington brass like the plague in this caliber. The stuff is JUNK.:banghead:

    Use starline, federal or winchester brass. You'll be much happier, and avoid a lot of trouble. Trust me.
     
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