Late Season Deer With .41 Magnum

This is a discussion on Late Season Deer With .41 Magnum within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Better late than never. I waited until the next to the last weekend of the season here to have some deer hunting success. I'd been ...

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Thread: Late Season Deer With .41 Magnum

  1. #1
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    Late Season Deer With .41 Magnum

    Better late than never.

    I waited until the next to the last weekend of the season here to have some deer hunting success. I'd been itching to use the Smith & Wesson Model 57 .41 Magnum that I picked up late last year. I wasn't going to bother with shooting this doe with a rifle that I also had along when she was farther out, but when she came toward the blind and got within handgun range the .41 Magnum was poked out the window and a bullet was sent her way, hitting just behind the right shoulder at a bit over 30 yards. Load used was a Sierra 220 grain Silhouette bullet over a warmish charge of Hodgdon H110 giving a muzzle velocity a bit over 1360 fps.



    This bullet is effectively a half-jacketed semi-wadcutter and possesses no hollow point. It cult a .41 hole through hide and a rib upon entrance and left a larger exit hole, also hitting a rib. The photo was taken of the deer lying as I first walked up. The exit hole was larger than expected, using such a bullet. A bit of lung tissue was lying on the ground behind where she was standing when the bullet struck and she was completely bled out inside the body cavity with both lungs sustaining severe damage. What was really nice though was the fact that there was no massive bloodshot meat. When I skinned her out and cut her up it was discovered that one could eat "right up to the hole." Since "the hole" was through ribs it really didn't matter though. A bullet from a high-powered rifle can still spoil a portion of shoulder with the same shot placement due to bruised, bloodshot meat.

    I was enthused about the shot placement and the cartridge's effectiveness. The small deer did hunker down and go into a mad run for a short distance but was really dead on her feet. About 20 years ago I shot a larger doe from about 20 yards with a .44 Magnum using a Sierra 240 grain JHP with a muzzle velocity of 1480 fps. The shot placement was exactly the same but on that occasion the deer ran a long distance (150+ yards), all of it through thick underbrush, giving me a merry time trailing her. Exit hole wasn't nearly as impressive. Maybe the hollow point didn't open up and just slipped through? I always wondered.

    From inside the confines of a small box stand, the .41 Magnum gave a throaty bark and the pungent odor of burned H110 immediately filled the stand. I didn't notice how loud it sounded at the time but, after field dressing the deer, I had a few more hours to hunt so got back in the stand. After sitting for an hour or so my left ear suddenly set up a constant ring for perhaps 5 minutes. After this subsided I noticed no more ill effects.


    Here's a link to the revolver used on Saturday.

    New Pistole: An Itch, Well Scratched.
    WHEC724 and pistola like this.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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  3. #2
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    Nice way to put that Model 57 to work, very impressive exit wound.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    And there it is! Another testimony to the effectiveness of a simple, solid bullet design. My estimation is that if that bullet velocity been 300 fps slower, similar results could be expected.

    Bryan, this is exactly the performance I have experienced over the years with similar calibers. Penetration is key over expansion.

    Well done! Perfect shot placemen. Nothing quite as satisfying as taking game with a handgun.
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    Nice! Jane Doe was suitably "impressed' with that handsome, nickel-plated 57! Very classy. Oh, and the shootin' ain't bad, either.

    Bon appetit!
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    Darn... that gun is almost bigger than the deer!

    Congrats & nicely done at 30 yards - no problem for the .41 mag I see.
    I bagged a "nub'n" buck a couple years ago (earn a buck area) about the same size w/my .45 Colt @ about 20 yards - about the same results w/corbon +P ammo.
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    Man I love the .41 magnum!! It is such a great round for hunting. Did you take that doe in the Hill Country?
    bmcgilvray likes this.
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    Where can I find how to date code my S&W I have one just like it but next size up barrel, Also used for deer hunting.
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Better late than never.

    I waited until the next to the last weekend of the season here to have some deer hunting success. I'd been itching to use the Smith & Wesson Model 57 .41 Magnum that I picked up late last year. I wasn't going to bother with shooting this doe with a rifle that I also had along when she was farther out, but when she came toward the blind and got within handgun range the .41 Magnum was poked out the window and a bullet was sent her way, hitting just behind the right shoulder at a bit over 30 yards. Load used was a Sierra 220 grain Silhouette bullet over a warmish charge of Hodgdon H110 giving a muzzle velocity a bit over 1360 fps.



    This bullet is effectively a half-jacketed semi-wadcutter and possesses no hollow point. It cult a .41 hole through hide and a rib upon entrance and left a larger exit hole, also hitting a rib. The photo was taken of the deer lying as I first walked up. The exit hole was larger than expected, using such a bullet. A bit of lung tissue was lying on the ground behind where she was standing when the bullet struck and she was completely bled out inside the body cavity with both lungs sustaining severe damage. What was really nice though was the fact that there was no massive bloodshot meat. When I skinned her out and cut her up it was discovered that one could eat "right up to the hole." Since "the hole" was through ribs it really didn't matter though. A bullet from a high-powered rifle can still spoil a portion of shoulder with the same shot placement due to bruised, bloodshot meat.

    I was enthused about the shot placement and the cartridge's effectiveness. The small deer did hunker down and go into a mad run for a short distance but was really dead on her feet. About 20 years ago I shot a larger doe from about 20 yards with a .44 Magnum using a Sierra 240 grain JHP with a muzzle velocity of 1480 fps. The shot placement was exactly the same but on that occasion the deer ran a long distance (150+ yards), all of it through thick underbrush, giving me a merry time trailing her. Exit hole wasn't nearly as impressive. Maybe the hollow point didn't open up and just slipped through? I always wondered.

    From inside the confines of a small box stand, the .41 Magnum gave a throaty bark and the pungent odor of burned H110 immediately filled the stand. I didn't notice how loud it sounded at the time but, after field dressing the deer, I had a few more hours to hunt so got back in the stand. After sitting for an hour or so my left ear suddenly set up a constant ring for perhaps 5 minutes. After this subsided I noticed no more ill effects.


    Here's a link to the revolver used on Saturday.

    New Pistole: An Itch, Well Scratched.

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    So ends the "Bigger in Texas" myth!
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    Member Array JSutter's Avatar
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    Good job!

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    So ends the "Bigger in Texas" myth!
    Yeah, "bigger and better" generally doesn't hold true for whitetail here. This one was probably from the spring 2010 crop and she seemed small to me too until some of this year's crop of does came up resembling my rancher host's Jack Russell terrier in size.

    Well, not quite that small but you get the picture.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    So ends the "Bigger in Texas" myth!
    What myth? Look at that revolver!
    Rightwing likes this.

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    Good shooting!!!!

    Thanks for the write up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by USPnTX View Post
    Man I love the .41 magnum!! It is such a great round for hunting. Did you take that doe in the Hill Country?
    On the Coleman County side of the juncture of Panther Creek and the Colorado River less than a quarter mile from the creek. The ranch includes the juncture of those two streams.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array AZ Desertrat's Avatar
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    Awesome....and the .41 is my fav.....love my Blackhawk 6.5 inch.....
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    Nice shooting Bmc. Happy backstraps to ya! I gotta get a picture on here, I got a deer with the .44 Mag lever (reloads)... Good going with the Model 57 Sir, Its as hard as bowhunting...
    "You don't have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body." CS Lewis

    S&W .41 Mag - Colt DS - Ruger Single Six - Ruger Security Six - Buckmark-Beretta 21A - S&W 351PD 22 Mag- Spfld XD 9mm -- Plenty Of Long Guns--- Dry Powder and RCBS.

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