Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·


I've been running with a crazy meme for a while now: when I was 38, I felt justified in buying a .38 for no other reason than I was 38. When I was 40, I got my P239 in .40.

I've been a fan of the .41 Magnum since reading L. Neil Smith's The Probability Broach when I was a kid in the late '70s. I've owned a couple (a 4 5/8" Blackhawk that was a lot larger than it seemed and a 5 1/2" Redhawk that positively needed a gun carriage to bring on hikes), but I sold them off eventually. I've always liked shooting the S&W .41s, but never have been able to pick one up before - something always got in the way. Did a lot of handloading for the .41, though - it's the only way one can afford to shoot it.

Well, hey: now I'm 41. And I didn't have a .41 Magnum! It was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened. ;)

And it happened today - I traded my Hi-Power for a friend's no-dash 4" Model 57. It was made in 1980, still in the pinned and recessed run of guns. It came with smooth factory target stocks of a type that I've only seen before on presentation-grade engraved guns. These are very pleasant in my hands.



Condition, as you can see, is less than perfect. But where the blue isn't worn, it's deep and lovely. The gun has a great trigger and shot very well (though the 40 mph wind gusts buffeting me in the back made a one-hole 5-shot group at 10 yards impossible - I'm sure the gun will do it when I'm not fighting the wind).



I ran a variety of loads through it. I no longer had any handloads about (gave the last of them to a friend not long ago), so I was limited to the factory stuff that I still had around. Next week, I hope to have loaded up some .41 Special loads - aiming for 950 fps from the 4" tube with some 170-grainers, which should be extremely pleasant to shoot.



Here are some chrono data:

Cor-Bon 210-gr JHP M 1268/ES 41.41/SD 18.00
Winchester 175-gr STHP M 1254/ES 23.94/SD 9.48
Remington 210-gr JSP M 1298/ES 46.63/SD 19.00
Federal 250-gr Castcore M 1173/ES 55.86/SD 21.70
PMC 210-gr JSP M 1265/ES 32.72/SD 11.66
PMC 210-gr JHP M 12.43/ES 85.44/SD 31.82



I'm very pleased with this gun. Now this one I have to keep! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,399 Posts
Hello and Congradulations Erich!

What a fitting gift for your 41st birthday and a nice one indeed!

I have been a long time fan of the .41 Magnum Cartridge and S&W revolvers and have owned 2 .41 Magnums. My first handgun was a Model 56 and second a 6" M-57! Unfortunately, I own neither anymore, but my heart does start beating a little faster everytime I run across one!

I suspect that one day, I will run across another and have to do some furious trading as well!

Again, congradulations on your M-57!

Chris
 

·
Regulator,
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Eric,

Congratulations on your find! I've owned a number of .41's and always been happy with their performance.
Ruger's Blackhawk is a dandy little revolver, but my heart really races over the N-frame Smith's. My own M-57 is the twin of yours...a 4" no dash revolver in mint condition.
Don't appologize for honest wear on your new revolver. It's honest use, not abuse, from the looks of it.
By the way, thanks for the chrono data.
My general purpose load is 7.5 grains of W-W 231, a Winchester Large Pistol primer, and a cast 215 grain SWC.
I'm currently trying the same load under Leadhead's 230 grain KTSWC and it's proving a winner. Haven't chronographed it yet, but it's about 950-1,050 FPS. Really like the Leadheads Keith style bullets.
Enjoy your new companion.

Wes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Howdy folks,

Congradualtions as well Mr. Erich. Of course this thread is making me kick myself really hard for ever parting with my 4" model 57. But if I follow your logic, then before long, it may well be my year to find another one, lol.

Enjoy them guys, as I have always felt the m57 was an excellent magnum round and platform. I carried mine for about 5 years while working homicides/armed robberies, until my last Chief nearly had a heart attack when he found out what I was carrying. All I will say is I am confident I am typing today because of that excellent revolver and caliber.

twoguns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Happy birthday, kid. :)

I have a couple of 57-nuttin 4-inchers, and I love em. I HAD a beautiful nickeled specimen that I traded off to a friend for a Hi Power, and he gave me first dibs on getting it back. I had to pay him a small fortune, but it's back in my safe.

Anyway, have fun. Remember the golden .41 Rule: eight grains of Unique under a 210 cast goes where it's pointed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,579 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all you gentlement for the kind words, and for the load data. The .41 really is a "gun guy" cartridge, like the 6.5 Swede or the 28-ga. Funny how when you start talking guns with knowledgeable folks, they always respect those rounds.

Thanks for the load data, too. For the longest time I only used Unique (from 7.0 to 9.2 grains) under 215-gr SWCs in this round. Never could find a load that wasn't more accurate than me (this round spoils a reloader ;)). I switched to Blue Dot for the hotter stuff, but I don't remember what I was running in it - I'll have to look it up.

Oddly, I have absolutely no desire to load this one hot right now. I bought into a pile of those 170-grain truncated cone bullets intended for the .41 AE when a gun store closed out a few years back, and I intend to make myself a soft-shooting "fun gun" load with them. (I spent a half hour last night extrapolating loads from .44 Special loads with Unique, Bullseye, and Blue Dot - I'll probably stay away from BD because I've found that it works much more consistently at higher pressures than this will be.) And, FWIW, I think that this round running at 950 fps or so should be heck on wheels against an assailant - I might even have Gina (not a gunny) try some of them out.

Anyhow, if any of you gents have any ideas on what might consitute a good load for the 170-grainers with BE, Unique or BD (I don't remember which AA powders I have around, but those three Alliant powders are my revolver powders for the most part), please feel free to let me know.

Again, many thanks for the gratifying responses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Erich, for the lighter bullets I might be inclined to go with Titegroup, though I have no idea what kind of load you'd start with. As a guess, I'd probably start around 5.5 and work up, with a SWAG of 7.0 as a top end. (Sorta Wild A$$ Guess).

Here's one of the first targets I ever fired with my nickeled 57 using factory 210 JHPs at 25 feet, offhand with two hand hold. The gun is capable of much better than anything I can do.



I'm on my way out today for a nice, cool fall day of N frame shooting with a 4" Model 28, but I seriously considered the 57. As I have to be at work a bit after six in the morning, though, I don't want to have to do too much cleaning tonight.

Also, I've had good results with the Hornady XTP HPs and 2400. Don't remember the exact load offhand, but let's just say it might be a good choice for wild pig, followed by an open pit BBQ. Hmmmmmm, a new meaning for "BBQ gun."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
923 Posts
Leland- I'm sorry I let the .41 we talked about slip away. Just when I started to see light at the end of the tunnel, I get a call my duck blind fees are due. It never ends.... ::)

Gib
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
The .41 magnum is my favorite revolver caliber and has been for over 25 years. I looked for years for a 4" 57 or 58 and was unable to find one so I ended up buying the Ruger Redhawk. As a matter of fact I have three of them.

A 7.5" with a 2X Leupold Scope I use for Whitetail hunting here in Texas, a 5.5" that I use for just about everything else. I ran across another 5.5" that I decided to modify, so I cut the barrel to 4" and worked the whole gun over. It is now my field carry and hunting back up gun. I know they are not Smiths but here are mine.
http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f43/mike_seale/ThreeKings1.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,867 Posts
Please resize the photos to no larger than 640 x 480. The one above is 800 x 602. If you cannot resize, do not post the photo. You can post a link instead.

Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Please resize the photos to no larger than 640 x 480. The one above is 800 x 602. If you cannot resize, do not post the photo. You can post a link instead.

Thank you.
Steven,

Just my own stupidity, I forgot about the size difference. I did away with the photo and just left the link. My apoligies.

tex
 

·
Regulator,
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Tex,

If you can re-size those photo's and re-post I'm sure we'd appreciate it. I, for one, would like to take another gander at those nice Rugers!

Wes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,430 Posts
Like LelandRay, I am a 41 fan too! I shoot a well worn Model 58 S&W in IDPA and am perfectly willing to trade time to pick up my brass. It is a horrible thing to do but I do it anyway. I use Georgia Arms 41 Cowboy load and it has a 210 Keith LSWC at 825 fps by my pals chrono. It is accurate and relatively painless to shoot in large quantities. Not cheap but it makes little sense to me to pay for a match and then have unreliable reloads (a personal problem). Besides, it is building up my stockpile of 41 magnum cases. Welcome to the odd ball caliber family!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I have enjoyed the 41 mag for a long time. Would like one of the new scandium guns in 41mag. It is more shootable than the 44mag version but still be plenty powerful.
 

·
Regulator,
Joined
·
3,441 Posts
Smith10,

My brother in-law has a .41 Scandium framed pistol he purchased through me. Very lightweight at about 26 oz. With loads in the 1,000 FPS range it is shootable, but becomes quite a handful when using hotter loads. A great packin'pistol for sure...

Wes
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top