Smith & Wesson .41 Magnum Revolver

The Smith & Wesson Model 657 is a .41 Magnum revolver. This one has a 7.5" barrel, a cylinder with six chambers, and is drilled and tapped for mounting a scope. The trigger breaks like glass, and the grip fits my hand perfectly and easily deals with the recoil. Unloaded, the gun weighs 3.3 lbs.

Handloading: .41 Magnum

The .41 Magnum is right between the .357 Magnum and the .44 Magnum in terms of power and recoil. It seems like an ideal handgun hunting cartridge. I will be able to use it to hunt whitetail in Illinois (where hunting deer with rifles is prohibited), and I can take it along on hog hunts for backup.

Recoil isn't bad, even with the heavier loads. It is more of a slow push than a hard kick. It can produce bright muzzle flash and a loud report, especially with H110 and 170 gr. bullets.

I am looking at a Bushnell handgun scope, which should have enough eye relief that I can hold the gun at arm's length.

I purchased this handgun in 2006.

The 657 is an N-frame revolver.


This is a hunting sidearm, to be used on deer and hog, as well as for protection against black bear and even mountain lion.

My handloads are based onthe 265 gr. Beartooth WLN, which is a fairly heavy hardcast bullet with a .320" meplat. This should provide crushing penetration against any of these animals.

As a factory load, I feel really good about Winchester Supreme 240 gr. Platinum Tip Hollow Point. It is a very well constructed bullet, with plenty of weight for penetration.

Around the house for personal defense, I load this handgun with Speer 210 gr. Gold Dot Hollow Point ammunition.