.41 Magnum

Firearm: Smith & Wesson 657

I have a Smith & Wesson .41 Magnum revolver. Its intended purpose is for handgun hunting. Since factory ammunition is a bit expensive and difficult to find, I'll certainly be handloading.

Need: Turret


An expanding JHP or JSP in a medium weight, suitable for hunting deer and thin-skinned game. I really like Hornady's 210 grain XTP. I also like Remington's 210 grain soft points, but they are only available seasonally. With this weight bullet, H110 has the best velocity at the maximum charge, but Lil'Gun has better velocity at lower charges.

Bullet210gr Hornady XTP
Powder 20.5-22.5gr Lil'Gun
19.8-22.0gr H110
PrimerWolf Large Pistol
CrimpHeavy (Cannelure)


A hardcast Beartooth bullet with a wide meplat. In particular, the 265gr WLN. This promises to be much more effective against hog than an expanding bullet, and it should also be quite effective against deer. Plus, jacketed bullets in this caliber have been completely unavailable for months.

The fastest velocity is achieved using Lil'Gun, with H110/296 coming in at a close second.

BulletBeartooth 265gr WLN
Powder 20.0-21.3gr Lil'Gun
19.5-20.8gr H110
PrimerWolf Large Pistol
CrimpHeavy (Cannelure)

I read a comment that suggests I might have a higher point of impact with the heavier bullets due to the greater recoil.

I am going to have a custom bullet plug made for this bullet, since the seating die likes to mash down the edges. It only costs $12, and Lee says they can turn it around in 2-3 days. I will have two made so that my brother can also have one.


This is the load I will take to the range when friends want to shoot my revolver. This load produces an impressive muzzle flash, and the recoil is minimal.

Bullet170gr Sierra JHP
Powder23.5-26.5gr H110

Hodgdon H110: This powder produces some impressive velocities and has recoil, but the most impressive thing about this powder is the ball of fire that comes out of the muzzle, especially with light bullets.

VV-3N37: This makes for a nice, gentle load. It might be good for target loads to teach me not to flinch.

Hodgdon H4227: This powder has been discontinued. Hodgdon suggests IMR 4227 instead and claims that the same data can be used. "While it is not an Extreme Powder it will be more stable temperature wise then any flake or spherical powder."

Beartooth 265gr WLN: Though it is a long bullet, it fits perfectly in my Smith & Wesson revolver (which has a 1.674" long cylinder). This is partly due to the brass being well shorter than max. The meplat is .320" diameter.