41 Rem Magnum Ammunition
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History of .41 Remington Magnum Ammunition
Designed by firearm icons, Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan and Skeeter Skelton; the .41 Remington Magnum was introduced to the shooting public in 1964. The intent was to address issues with the .357 Magnum, a cartridge that was common among law enforcement agencies. The designers wanted a more powerful cartridge to improve on the .357 Magnum's lackluster performance at the time. It should be noted that the .41 Magnum was developed before hollow point ammunition was commonly available. Most revolvers shot semiwadcutter or wadcutter ammunition in police applications.
Originally the .41 Magnum was loaded with a 200 grain semiwadcutter bullet that has a muzzle velocity of approximately 900 feet per second. This was what Elmer Keith had intended to present to the law enforcement community as an improvement over the .357 Magnum. Due to the popularity of high powered cartridges among handgun users across the board, Remington decided to increase the powder charge of the 200 grain bullet from 900 feet per second to 1150 feet per second. This caused a noticeable increase in recoil, something that Keith did not intend to have in the police load. Another issue came about in the decision by Smith and Wesson to chamber the .41 Magnum in their large N-frame Model 57 revolver. Thus making the size and weight of the handgun a negative among law enforcement officers, this, when added to the harsher recoil of the hotter load made the .41 Magnum a less than desirable cartridge.
Even though it was never wildly popular in law enforcement circles, the .41 Magnum did draw an appreciable following among hunters. When compared to the .44 Magnum, the .41 Magnum shoots flatter with less recoil than the .44 Mag. In several loadings, the .41 Mag. actually equals or exceeds the velocity and energy of its bigger cousin. Today, the .41 Magnum can be found in use by North American hunters pursuing deer and even small bear.
The .41 Magnum may never reach the same popularity among hunters as the .44 Magnum, but it has many great qualities that ensure it will remain an excellent choice for hunting in the years to come.
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