The .41 Remington Magnum
This inbetween powerhouse endures.
The .41 Remington Magnum is in many ways the handgun equivalent of the .280 Remington and 16 gauge, a cartridge regarded by a relatively few True Believers as a perfect combination of ballistics and recoil. Like the .280 and 16, the .41 refuses to die, but all three rounds lag far behind the popularity of the dominant cartridges in their categories, the .44 Remington Magnum, .270 Winchester and 12 gauge.
While most 21st-century shooters remember Elmer Keith as the father of the .41 Magnum, other notable handgunners also had a part in its 1964 introduction, including Bill Jordan and Skeeter Skelton. The .41 was originally conceived as the perfect law enforcement round, more effective than the .38 Special and .357 Magnum then used by most American police departments, but more controllable than the .44 Magnum, considered the world’s most powerful handgun cartridge even nine years after its introduction in 1955.
The public’s fascination with the power of the .44 affected the success of the .41. Even the so-called “police” load produced by Remington, a 210-grain cast bullet at 1,050 feet per second, produced about twice the recoil of the typical .38 Special service load. The “hunting” load was a 210-grain bullet at 1,500 fps, developing over 1,000 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, and nearly the same recoil as the 240-grain “Hi-Speed” load of the .44 Magnum.
By John Barsness
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