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.41 magnum vs .44 magnum

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Old 11-25-2013, 01:44 AM   #1
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Default .41 magnum vs .44 magnum

What do you prefer?
How much more recoil does the 44 have?
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:54 AM   #2
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45 colt, its classier falls in between the two. with hand loads in a blackhawk it easily outclasses the 44mag
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:46 AM   #3
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My experience and observations are based on the Ruger Single Actions and the S&W double action guns, so:

Choice of guns is Smith is pretty equal. The N-Framed .41 and .44 Magnum revovler features pretty well are duplicate each other, so choice is a toss-up.

In Ruger Single Actions, the .41 is available only in the Blackhawk, with 4 5/8" or 6 1/2" barel lengths. The .44 is available as a Super Blackhawk with barrels of 4 5/8", 6 1/2" or 7 1/2", and the Super is a slightly more deluxe gun.

As to cartridges, both are pretty close to being equal in power. Reloading components for the .44 are more widely varied in bullet weights and styles and usually more easily found than for the .41.

As to comparing the three, including the .45 Colt, the .45 Colt shines with very heavy bullets, running up to 350 grs. or more, whlie the .44 tops out at about 325 grs. I'm not familiar with heavy .41 caliber bullets.

With lightweight bullets, the .44 Magnum outshines the three in high velocity, in excess of 1750 fps with some handloads.

For the non-reloader, the .44 Magnum has the widest array of factory loaded ammunition, including an array of .44 Special ammunition which can be used in the .44 Magnum revovlers.

I've just about told you all I know on the subject.

Bob Wright

P.S. As to recoil, it depends on what you stuff into the chambers.

Last edited by Bob Wright; 11-25-2013 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:21 AM   #4
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I never fired a .41 magnum, but a .44 mag with light standard loads (240gr@1200fps) in a full sized 44 mag revolver isn't bad at all, not much different than firing a snub nosed .357 mag.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:31 AM   #5
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I've shot both, and want both. The .44 mag was a little more powerful when it comes to recoil, but not enough to make a big difference.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:08 AM   #6
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To me the .41 recoil is "different". My S&W's tend to recoil straight back with little muzzle rise. The .44 S&W's have more "jump". The .41 is slightly heavier as the external dimensions are the same, the holes bored are smaller.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:30 AM   #7
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For availability of ammo, and reloading components I'd go with the .44. Loved my model 29 in .44.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:33 AM   #8
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The .44 Mag. has many more available choices of ammunition and reloading components. The .44 Mag can fire the .44 Russian and .44 S&W Special both great target rounds. If you cast bullets there is a very wide selection of .429 and .430 molds and sizers.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:45 AM   #9
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Back in the '70's, I had a 6" S&W 57 and loved shooting the .41 Mag. It was fast, powerful, flat shooting & accurate. Ken Hackathorn & I used to go to the strip mines and shoot long range targets with our pistols. I once made a shot so far that Ken still remembers it. I reloaded several jacketed bullet types and all worked well. Then, like a fool, I sold kid, needed money, the usual drill. What a fool I was! Then in the early '80's I was working some at Novak's .45 Shop and read about Mag-Na-Port's Larry Kelly's hunting .44 mags. Wow! I was impressed, so we took a 6.5" S&W 29, and put an 8 & 3/8ths inch bbl. on it and sent it to Mag-Na-Port for the "Predator" work-up. They ported the bbl., put a quick-detach lugs on the bbl. for a sling, put a 3-ring SSG mount for a scope and hard-chromed the entire thing. What a beauty! I still have and use it to hunt deer. I load several bullet weights for it and it is accurate and easily kills deer and other small game out to a couple hundred yards. The recoil for both can be heavy if loaded up near capacity but both are manageable and fun to shoot. As far as using the .45 Colt, I only use mine for SASS shooting but would not hesitate to load and use it to hunt in a Ruger Blackhawk or Redhawk.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:58 AM   #10
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I never hunted with a handgun, but always had a handgun while hunting. That's because I've always had a character flaw and have been a little insecure and worried about 2 legged game way out in the woods.

The first time I ever shot a .41 mag was in the early 70's from a Ruger Blackhawk with a 4 1/2" barrel. It belonged to a friend and I was very impressed. I always carried my Colt SAA .45, so never really felt the need for anything larger. The .41 mag is one heck of a powerful round, but the 41 in general has always been considered an odd ball round for some reason, even back when the 41LC was used in the old SA's. They were always hard to find, so many switched out their .41 cylinders in their old Colts for a 38-40 cylinder and that solved their problem where locating ammo was concerned.

Not being a ballistics expert, or ever did my own reloading, I have always depended on getting my ammo off a gun shop shelf, or having someone else load it for me. I guess I got hooked on the Dirty Harry movies in the early 70's and ended up buying the S&W mod 29 .44 mag in nickel with the 6 1/2" barrel. It's a great gun and since the mid 70's I've shot it numerous times at a large array of targets that I blew the hell out of. I've mostly used .44 special ammo though and even on occasion .44 Russian.

I know the Ruger is a tank and can handle very hot loads. Maybe if you're a handgun hunter that's important, but for my needs it makes no difference. I've never owned a Ruger, cause I'm a life long fan of the Colt and have a number of them. I'm sure if I should ever need either my .45, or .44 mag they'll both do the job they were intended to do.

If choosing between the 41 and 44 it's the 44 round that definitely has the advantage, but while being fired I couldn't say if there was any substantial difference between the two where actual damage was caused. I love all three of these guns and have put them to use for many years. My vintage 1880's Colt .41LC Thunderer will never be shot.
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Last edited by gunsmoke11; 11-25-2013 at 06:03 AM.
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