Testing the Obsolete .41 Long Colt
This one won't generate wide interest but might be interesting to a few old codgers who appreciate obsolete self defense cartridges of bygone times.
We're going to resurrect this thread:http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...cartridge.html in order to provide a followup and give a report on the velocity performance of the good ol' .41 Long Colt.
I had a day out with the .38 Special on Tuesday of last week and shot different loads through revolvers of different barrel lengths.
While out with all the .38 Specials, I thought to take along the Colt New Navy .41 with 4 1/2-inch barrel. It was fired over the chronograph with 10 rounds from each of two boxes of Winchester Western ammunition.
Both boxes were of Winchester Western manufacture. One is the "white box" ammunition from the production run made for L. M. Burney in the mid-1970s (as I understand it to be). The other box is a typical yellow Western box as was commonly sold in the late 50s/early 60s.
Both boxes of ammunition feature the 200 grain copper-plated lead "Lubaloy" round nose bullet. Cases are headstamped: WESTERN .41 LONG COLT. The cartridges look absolutely identical as they come from the boxes.
They didn't share common shooting characteristics except for very similar velocities.
Ten rounds of Winchester Western "white box" ammunition performed as follows:
Muzzle velocity 709 fps
Muzzle Energy 223 ft./lbs.
Extreme Spread 107 fps
Standard Deviation 46 fps
Ten rounds of Western ammunition in the yellow box performed as follows:
Muzzle Velocity: 720 fps
Muzzle Energy: 230 ft./lbs.
Extreme Spread: 16 fps
Standard Deviation: 6 fps
It is curious that the ammunition yielded such different results though it looks exactly the same. The Winchester Western in the white box gave very inconsistent velocities and was all over the place. The yellow box Western ammunition gave outstandingly consistent velocities; even better than a good performance from some factory .38 Special Remington 148 grain hollow based wadcutter target ammunition fired later in the same afternoon.
The revolver has a good bore and was squeaky clean before the test. I didn't fire a series of shots to "foul the cylinder" before beginning the test as I didn't want to waste precious ammunition. Most revolvers don't display much difference in velocities between a fouling shot and subsequent shots. The white box ammunition was fired first. Either the old revolver had to get "leaded up good" before it would shoot with consistent velocities or else the white box Winchester Western was not up to the standards of previous years.
Through the kindness of "muddyboots" from another forum, I took delivery just yesterday of some bright, clean, post World War II Remington .41 Long Colt. This full box of ammo features a 195 grain lead round nose bullet. Velocity and consistency testing will continue on this new ammo acquisition soon in order that we will have more .41 Long Colt data than we thought we ever wanted to know.