.41 magnum vs .44 magnum

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by rman598, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. rman598

    rman598 New Member

    What do you prefer?
    How much more recoil does the 44 have?
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    45 colt, its classier falls in between the two. with hand loads in a blackhawk it easily outclasses the 44mag

  3. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

    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: Nov 24, 2013
  4. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

    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.
  5. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

    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.
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    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.
  7. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    For availability of ammo, and reloading components I'd go with the .44. Loved my model 29 in .44.
  8. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

    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. :)
  9. therukh

    therukh New Member

    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 it...college 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.
  10. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

    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.
    Colt SAA .45 2nd gen.
    Colt New Service .45
    S&W Model 29-2 .44mag
    Colt Thunderer .41LC
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  11. rman598

    rman598 New Member

    Thats pretty cool. Is it legal in every state to hunt with handguns?
  12. Donn

    Donn Active Member

    Have both, Ruger Redhawk 41mag, S&W Model 29 44mag. Similar barrel lengths, 6"-6.5" both are DA revolvers. The 44 recoil is noticeably more severe than the 41, which affects second shot acquisition, but it's manageable. Both are expensive to shoot, and 41mag can be hard to find. Whichever one you decide on, you might want to think about loading your own, (unless you do already), or finding a friend who does.
  13. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

    I would advise you to check the game laws for the state you plan to hunt. Some states have caliber restrictions, others have barrel length restrictions.

    Here in NC we have laws that vary from county to county. An example would be you can't carry a pistol over a certain size the on Cape Fear river in Cumberland county. Hunting from the Chowan river is legal in Hertford county but hunting from the Chowan river in Gates county is illegal. The Chowan river is the county line for Hertford and Gates counties. I am sure other states have laws that are just as screwed up.
  14. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    I've been interested in these two caliber for some time now.

    Thanks for the opinions on the two, everyone.
  15. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    Other than the .41 mag. being a little quicker & the .44 mag making a little bigger hole, I don`t notice a lot of difference...............
  16. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

    IF you don't have a 357 or 44mag and plan on hand loading ?? Buy the 41 mag as hand loads from 195gr wad cutters up to 265gr are possible along with low powdered wad cutter loads for plink'n. If a factory ammo shooter only, get a 44 mag.
    Forget what JonM said about the 45lc unless you are a hand loader. Hotter 44mag level 45lc factory ammo is not hanging around in many gun shops and if your looking to load to max for each the5e less than 1% between them and then someone will say "well buy a 454, NO a 460 , why not a 500". Short of a pissed off coastal brown bear the 44 can handle anything around with the right load . Then the 460 or 500 may not help you out.
  17. therukh

    therukh New Member

    You would have to check the state in which you plan to hunt. Back when West Virginia was trying to get handgun hunting passed and signed into law, Jay Rockefeller was Governor and was waffling on whether he'd sign the bill. When he traveled to Parkersburg and had a public meeting, I questioned him and got him to commit, for the first time, to signing the bill, which he later did. First & last time he did anything for gun owners that I know of.
  18. yazul42

    yazul42 Active Member Lifetime Supporter

    I have two .41 magnums,, a Redhawk and a Blackhawk that was re-barreled by Mr. Gary Reeder of Arizona. That revolver is remarkably accurate. He did an outstanding job on the piece. The .44 magnum is probably more practical,, it shoots the .44 specials, etc., the availability of ammo and reloading components is very good while .41 factory rounds are not very common in many shops,, I reload so nothing major for me. I just like .41 magnums, if I need more in a handgun, I grab my .500 Wyoming Express.
  19. headhunter

    headhunter Member

    I concur that for a reloader either will do, for a non-reloader most likely the .44. With the current ammo shortage which round do you see most on the dealer's shelves?
    The comments on recoil, remember that most .41 are built on .44 frames (exception: a vintage Ruger Blackhhawk not Super Blackhawk) so .41s are a little heavier . The standard wt. bullet for the .44 is 240 gr. and the standard wt. for the .41 is 210 gr. If both bullets are driven at the same velocity because of a lighter bullet and a heavier gun the .41 will recoil less.
    Many feel that the .41 will range better. A really good friend loves his .41s. My .44s makes me smile.
  20. Artbrownsr

    Artbrownsr Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    The general opinion of hand guns in the wild up here is: If you bring a .44 to protect yourself from a bear, FILE the front site off first, It won't hurt so much when the bear shoves it up your --------!