What a dilemma I have

This is a discussion on What a dilemma I have within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; First off before I start I want to point out that this is by no means meant to be a caliber war in any way. ...

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Thread: What a dilemma I have

  1. #1
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    What a dilemma I have

    First off before I start I want to point out that this is by no means meant to be a caliber war in any way. I have a very big soft spot for two cartridges, and i got to thinking hat if I had to settle for only one cartridge First is the .38 SPL and the S&W M10 4" no thanks to our very own bmcgilvray, thanks for showing me the light bmcgilvray. I really like this combo as the M10 just feels great in the hand and it is a great vehicle for the .38 SPL in its' many forms. As has been shown many times the simple yet elegant M10 is accurate and allows the .38 SPL to really stretch its' legs out. In many ways the .38 SPL and the S&W combo can in all reality probably accomplish 95% of what needs being done with a handgun. The economics of this cartridge is another big plus that just can't be ignored.

    Now here is where my dilemma really starts. Ever since I pulled the trigger on my fathers' S&W M58 .41 mag service revolver it was love at first trigger pull. After inheriting this fine revolver I ordered everthing to I needed to reload for it. I was eleted at how accurate it is with 8.0gr of Unique and a 215gr SWC, I wished I saved the target but unfortuneately I did not. However I never felt comfortable shooting full power loads in this fine gun as I want to take care of it and not shoot it loose. This year I finally purchased a Ruger BH .41 so I can use full power loads and not feel the least bit guilty as I know this revolver will gobble em' up and beg for more. When I was shooting this revolver I was again reminded just how splendid this cartridge is and was rewarded with some very fine groups again with Unique and a 215gr SWC. I did shoot some full power loads with 2400 and 210gr Sierra and Hornady JHP bullets. But I feel that my general purpose load using Unique will quite nicely for the majority of the time.

    It is a very good load giveing more of a heavy push and a loud deep boom instead of the wicked crack and abrubpt recoil of the 2400 loads. I get a big grin everytime I send one of big bullets down range, sometimes the bigger bores just have their place. It would be just down right awful if I ever had to choose which one to keep between the two.
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  3. #2
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    Well, my partner carried the M58 with moons and he was quite fond of it. I was shocked when I saw him a few years later carrying an auto-loader, so the department likely made him conform to the new standard. Dang, I do miss the revolver days in law enforcement. Maybe in 2-3 years from now LEO's will be carrying fully automatic weapons as their primary carry. Oh well, I suppose you can't stop progress.
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
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    Member Array Mr. Chitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 336A View Post
    I was eleted at how accurate it is with 8.0gr of Unique and a 215gr SWC, I wished I saved the target but unfortuneately I did not.
    I shoot that exact same load out of my 5.5" Ruger Redhawk. Great accuracy, chrono's right at 1100 fps and you can shoot it all you want and not be worn down from muzzle blast and recoil.

    215 grains of hard cast lead at 1100 FPS will do anything I need it to do here in the Arkansas Ozarks.

    I've been shooting 41's since back in the early 80's and love them.

  5. #4
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    Hey 336A;

    I just now read your post. You 've got a good S&W double action .41 Magnum in that Model 58. Those aren't very common. I used to look at new Smith & Wesson Model 58s in the catalogs when I was a young'un, figuring I could just about swing one. Never did though. Never thought I'd step on up to a Model 57. After going without .41 Magnum for over three decades I addressed the problem last fall. I've been playing with this one [ New Pistole: An Itch, Well Scratched. ] for most of a year now and the cartridge sure is fine. I've worked up a few different loads for it but no fine tuning of the loads. The cartridge seems to shoot well with any concoction I've put together so far though. In fact it shoots like a house afire! Wished I'd stuck to my guns 30 years ago and bought a Model 57 for hunter pistol silhouette competition rather than tripping down the .44 Magnum route.

    Naah... I can't say that. My Model 29 is a delightful revolver and we've spent a gob of quality time together. But the handling and recoil characteristics along with the fine accuracy of the 6-inch Model 57 .41 Magnum is a tough act to follow. Recoil is heavy, heavier than a .357 Magnum, but stops short of being brutal as a .44 Magnum with heavy handloads can be when large quantities of ammunition are consumed on a single outing.

    A 4-inch Model 58 would more civilized than a 4-inch Model 29 and handloading would add to its versatility. In my view that Model 58 would easily handle a diet of full-power .41 Magnum ammo and come back for more. I have to confess that, having acquired a .41 Magnum revolver, loading dies, and components, I'm thinking that a fixed sight N-Frame .41 Magnum is looking mighty appealing to me and I may have to root around until I can come up with one.

    Found one in near new condition with the merest hint of holster wear at a local gun show for $600 some months back. Was stupid for not snagging it.

    I carried the Model 57 deer hunting on a single afternoon hunt last season. Left the rifle at home and took only the revolver. The only deer I saw were 200 yards out so I came home empty handed. I'm going to try more often this season. I have two different handloads that could see hunting duty in the revolver. Last year's concoction with a 220 grain Speer half-jacketed SWC over H110 and a recent load using the Nosler 210 grain JHP also over H110.

    I've got a huge batch of 215 grain lead SWCs that are just begging to be launched over a charge of Unique but I haven't gotten around to poking them in some cases. Y'all are saying 8.0 grains? Sounds like a winner to me. I'll have to try it.

    Sure do wish you'd post some photos of your Model 58. They look much like a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Heavy Barrel on steroids. They ought to be one of the most popular guns in the Smith & Wesson line-up for the handloading fellow who wants a good general purpose revolver.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

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    I loved my .41 BH. More than enough power, very accurate, and no overkill in the recoil department. Unfortunately someone stole it. I used Blue Dot back before it was taboo but never had any issues with it. Yeah, if I could have one caliber only for any and all situations, the .41 Mag would be it.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    Member Array Mr. Chitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I've got a huge batch of 215 grain lead SWCs that are just begging to be launched over a charge of Unique but I haven't gotten around to poking them in some cases. Y'all are saying 8.0 grains? Sounds like a winner to me. I'll have to try it.
    My standard hard cast lead revolver loads using Unique are 357 Mag: 7.0 gr under a 158 gr HC SWC, 41 Mag: 8.0 gr under a 215 gr HC SWC, 44 Mag: 9.0 gr gr under a 240 gr HC SWC and 480 Ruger: 11.0 gr under a 325 gr HC SWC.

    All shoot between 1050 and 1100 FPS in their respective revolvers, 357 - 4" bbl, 41 Mag - 5.5" bbl, 44 Mag - 7.5" bbl and 480R - 7.5" bbl.

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    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    Sure do wish you'd post some photos of your Model 58. They look much like a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Heavy Barrel on steroids. They ought to be one of the most popular guns in the Smith & Wesson line-up for the handloading fellow who wants a good general purpose revolver.
    Here ya' go, not the best pics though these were taken few years back with a cheap camera.





    Here is one of yours truly just with dad before was heading to work.

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    That's great! The revolver, box, and a period box of Remington ammunition. It's almost as neat as the period photo of 336A with dad.

    About what year was that and what agency?
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “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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    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    Beautiful piece. Looks like a monster though. Wish I could get my hands on one to try it out.
    "Rock and load, lock and roll... what's it matter? FIRE!!"

    "Gun control means hitting your target every time."

    Please take everything I say with at least one grain of salt- I am a very sarcastic person with a very dry sense of humor.

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    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    About what year was that and what agency?
    I believe it was taken in Feb 76 just after I was born if not it coudn't have been much long after that. Dad worked for a small Village PD in Upsatae NY called Bainbridge. I do wish that that was a full box of Remington ammo too Instead it was full of empty cases.

    BTW, I recieved my new copy of handloading magazine yesterday. Brian Pearce wrote a pretty in depth article about Alliants new Power Pro 300MP powder. This powder is slower than H110/296, and Lil gun and the likes but it does not require the use of a magnum primer for ignition. The velocities achieved in the .41 mag and the extreme spreads were impressive (very small) to say the least accuracy was reported as being very good too. Same goes for the .327, 357, .44 mag, and the .454 Casull. I just might have to give this powder a try in the future.

    In his words as far as the .357, 41, and .44 magnum are concerned, this powder really puts "magnum" back in these cartridges. The data he provided with the article certainly substantiates that very well. The one caveat though is it does seem to prefer longer barrels.

  12. #11
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    Hey, thanks for the tip on the article on the new powder.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “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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    Member Array Rightwing's Avatar
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    Wow, what a great thread... I grew up not far from Bainbridge, and know the farm country, and Schenevus/Susquehanna watershed area well. Also a great fan of the .41 Mag. and shoot 210 gr JHP's over 21 grs of H110. Thought of selling the Model 57, but when I think that I only spent $240 for it in the early 90's, I know I would forever regret it... And like you, BMC, I feel the need to carry it into the deer woods lately. Good shooting, and hunting
    "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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    Hey Rightwing;

    I've got a hundred rounds of 210 grain Nosler JHPs over exactly 21 grains of H110 idling in the ammo locker, waiting to be used next month in pursuit of the whitetail.

    Well, I may burn up a bit of it at the range, limbering up.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “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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    Member Array Rightwing's Avatar
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    Short happy blood trails!!
    "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.

  16. #15
    Member Array 336A's Avatar
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    Ha small world ain't it Rightwing. I didn't grow up in Bainbridge myself, I grew up across the river in Deleware Co. and later a few miles North on Rt 7. I'm not quite as familar with all of the back roads as I used to be since joining the service out of High School. But I think I could remember them easy enough if I were to spend more time back there to get reaquinted. I still have a lot of family around there too as you could imagine.

    bmcgilvray, that sounds like a mighty fine load that ya' got there. Did you run over the chronograph by chance? I haven't loaded up any more full house magnums since my first range session with my Ruger BH. I'm going to stick with that 8.5gr Unique load for now as it seems to have a good deal of Whomp um' and a little more controlable too.

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