The .41 Special
By Chuck Hawks
This wildcat seems, at first blush, to be a reasonable proposition. It is nothing more than the .41 Remington Magnum case shortened to an overall length of 1.16". An attempt to reverse engineer a standard case from a magnum case. This is the exact opposite of the development of the .357 Magnum from the .38 Special case and the .44 Magnum from the .44 Special case.
The .41 Special ostensibly gives the .41 Magnum revolver owner a lower cost/power/pressure/recoil cartridge that can be fired in his magnum revolver, just as the .357 owner can shoot .38 Special ammunition or the .44 Magnum owner can shoot .44 Special ammo for practice. A worthy goal.
The targeted level of performance is presumably a 200-220 grain bullet at a MV of 1000-1100 fps. This "medium velocity" type of load is quite practical and can easily be achieved using either .41 Special or standard .41 Magnum brass.
Only . . . when you think about it, .41 Special cases are made from .41 Magnum brass. And any load that can be fired in the shortened .41 Special case can also be fired in the standard .41 Magnum case, for which the revolver was originally chambered. So no savings of any kind are involved, only more work to produce a totally redundant wildcat case for which your dies must be readjusted before it can be reloaded.
This probably explains why the .41 Special has not caught on.
Copyright 2005, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.