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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Curious if anyone here has rechambered a 32-20 or 38 Special cylinder to shoot .41 Special ( or even 41 Mag) in a 38-40?

180gr bullet for a 38-40 would be typical, but 175s to a 240 are available.

I found that Colt had actually made at least one SAA up as a .41 Magnum. Who knew? Not me for sure!

Recent conversation on working six guns got me thinking.
A little more steel in the cylinder compared to a 44 Special. Might make a fun gun with a .40 caliber 240 gr bullet. Nice SD there for shooting through scary things.

41 Caliber : GT Bullets!, Fine Hand Cast Lead Bullets
 

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The first gun is an old model Ruger 357 flat top that I had Bowen convert to a dual cylinder 41 mag, 41 Special. It was his first model #5 conversion on an old model Ruger. The second gun is another old model 357 but with the rear sight protection ears that Andy Horvath converted to 41 Special for me even before the Bowen Gun. The final gun is a USFA Alan Harton converted to 41 Special. I love the round and have the Starline properly stamped brass for loading for it. Same lines as the 44 Special but a little more steel in the cylinder walls. I admit to being a 41 fan however.


 

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I found that Colt had actually made at least one SAA up as a .41 Magnum. Who knew?
According to Don Wilkerson, Colt made four SAAs chambered in .41 Magnum. All were blue.CC finished with 9" barrels. They are pictured in Wilkerson's first book on the 2nd Generation SAA. According to Wilkerson's "Handbook" on the 2nd Generation SAA one of the aforementioned four was exported and the author acquired the other three. Colt later requested these three be returned to the factory. Wilkerson notes the serial numbers of all four and that these SAAs were part of a US Government project. So there is one floating around out the somewhere.

I wish for a New Frontier chambered in .41 Magnum for whitetail hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I saw this one and some of your posts RB which piqued my interest.




and this "
Paco Kelly reworked a .357 Uberti SAA clone to a .41 Magnum many years back. He had no problems with it by his own reports, which should still
NOT
be regarded as an endorsement for converting a Colt."

Makes me think a Uberti 38-40 would be an heap and easy conversion. May be a Colt SAA after that?
 

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I should check first, but isn’t 38-40 using a .401 bullet? 41 Mag is .411. I seem to remember Keith was real big on the 41. I don’t think even a SAA in .357 could handle being converted to 41 Mag. The Single Actions in 41 or 44 Mag have more meat than the Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not me but from another author in a different post....

RJM52
"A few years ago I had a problem with a USFA Flat Top Target .22 and visited the factory in Hartford.

Once the problem was taken care of their chief gunsmith showed me the prototype of the Shooting Master which is basically a beefed up SAA with a modified Colt ACE rear adjustable sight. The calibers were going to be .327 Federal (Sparrowhawk), .357 Magnum and what was a .41 Special but they had a proprietary name for it (and I think .44 Special).

I asked about making the gun in .41 Magnum and he said it would work but .44 Magnum would not. They had built one and tested it and it had beat itself to death in short order. I would have ordered a .41 on the spot but was told they would not take the order until the barrels were in stock... By the time that happened they were out of business.

Couple of years later I lucked into a .357 Magnum Shooting Master and sent it off to David Clements for conversion to .41... An extra cylinder was obtained from Gary Grager who had been the sales director at USFA. David said he would chamber the gun for either caliber. I opted for .41 Special as it was the original USFA caliber...

Right now I'm running a 250 Keith at 1000 fps from a 5.5" barrel...does one need any more than that from a SAA...."

Then there was the 44 Mag that Brian Pierce had made up on a USFA 44 Special and shot....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
SamHamburger said:
I should check first, but isn’t 38-40 using a .401 bullet? 41 Mag is .411. I seem to remember Keith was real big on the 41. I don’t think even a SAA in .357 could handle being converted to 41 Mag. The Single Actions in 41 or 44 Mag have more meat than the Colt.
They do indeed differ slightly. Like the .41 Colt, 10mm bullets are also .401. But easy enough to size the .411s down. If I were to entertain a conversion I would want to use a 38-40 as the base gun and hand load either .41 Special brass or .41 magnum brass using the appropriate .401 bullet.

This might be a fun place to start :)

 

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Here's my 41... it's a 41colt with a bore that mic's between .408 & .410 which allows me to shoot hollow base 41colt in longs, heeled 41colt in short (or) long [none with tremendous accuracy beyond 15/20yards mind you] ALL through the original cylinder though; PLUS, with a swap for a reamed second cylinder I can utilize it as 41special.

This one has the heat treat Yahoody

My loads are using 215's & 237grain bullets either side of 1000fps too, like RJ... but I do have one heavy load developed with that same 237 chronographing 1250.. that's a special occasion serious-situation load though, not an everyday load to shoot by the bucket full. Bear load plain and simple.

Revolver Gun Firearm Trigger Gun accessory
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
rbrbrb said:
...….The final gun is a USFA Alan Harton converted to 41 Special. I love the round and have the Starline properly stamped brass for loading for it. Same lines as the 44 Special but a little more steel in the cylinder walls. I admit to being a 41 fan however.
Would you mid detailing what gun/caliber you started with and what was done? New barrel, rechambered cylinder? Thanks!
 

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I have a first gen SAA 41 colt that the bore measured like .411-.412. I did not want to mess with loading heel or hollow base bullets in 41 colt so took cylinder to my bros machine shop and CNC milled the chambers to 41 mag dia., but to 41 spl depth. she shoot like a dream with 180 grn. cast RNFP .411 at 4.5-5 grns trail boss. The gun was far from original as it was buffed quite a bit and nickle finish so i made it a bit more of a user/shooter then it would have been if stayed a 41 colt, at least for me. i cut a few boxes of 41 mag cases down to 41 spl OAL. thanks
 

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I have owned another mid frame sized old model 357 Ruger that John Gallagher converted to 41 magnum. The only thing it woulds not handle in the re-chambered factory cylinder was the long 250-265 grain LFN cast bullets. That is unless I loaded then in 41 Special brass. It makes for a nice platform for 220-250 grain bullets out of a mid sized gun. Shoot, Alan Harton and John Gallagher have both made 41 Specials out of old model single six Rugers before. Like the SAA in 41 that Colt made 4 of, they made a limited number of 41 mag Pythons as well. I visited with a former employee of their custom shop and he confirmed this and in fact I stumbled onto one of the 6" 41 caliber python barrels a few years ago but just never got around to buying the base gun to have the cylinder re-chambered to 41 Special. Jack Huntington bought the 41 python barrel from me.
 

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The first Bowen Colt was a .41Spl built for John Taffin almost 30yrs ago. I have wanted one ever since.

For years I have wanted to do a .38WCF and .401PowerMag convertible on the mid-frame Old Model Blackhawk. Have the base gun, extra cylinder and bought the two piece Power Custom SAA-style grip frame but never got beyond that. Lately, I've been planning on doing a .40 or .41 on one of my Uberti flat-tops. Forty one magnum cases can be run through a 10mm carbide sizer die and squeezed down to produce a pseudo-.401PowerMag but it leaves a bulge at the base. Of course, bullet availability is somewhat limited. My latest scheme is to just do a .41Spl with a custom, oversized and unfluted cylinder, 1860 grip frame and 5½" banded barrel on the standard flat-top and a .44Spl on the Bisley. Probably get the ball rolling on one or the other next year.
 

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Yahoody - My first thought on your idea of a SAA in 41 Special was 38-40 is so close why bother. This morning I was still curious. After pulling out one of my 38-40’s with a new case I think I can see your point. A nice heavy slug can be used in a cylinder that will have thicker walls than a 38-40, 44-40, 44 Special, or 45 Colt. I like it. If I try to do one it will have 357 cylinder opened for 41 and a 7.5 barrel bored to .410. I will not mark the barrel as 41 Special but 41 YAHOODY!
 

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The 41 Special intrigues me, but more for the novelty than the practicality. I love my 41 Maggies and a Special in a Colt would be cool. I don't think it will do anything my 44 Specials won't though. It's a project I've had on my mind ever since I saw the Taffin gun that Craig mentioned but its pretty far back on the burner.

I may be wrong, but I don't see using a 38-40 with its .401 bore as a good choice for a 41 Special. Yes you probably could size a .410 bullet down enough to work, but it will fall into a 41 case unless it too is sized down smaller. After all of that you will have a 38-40 :) You would indeed have a thicker chamber wall but a lot won't be gained in my opinion. My 38-40's easily exceed 1000 fps now. I'm just saying if I ever do a 41 Special Colt it will have a proper .410 bore.

I like my 38-40's too much to mess with them so it would be done on that .357 I never shoot. ;)

Dan
 

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In 1986, in response to an order from Colt, Uberti produced 65 revolvers as prototypes which were marked on the tops of the barrels "Made for Colt Firearms Hartford Conn". About half of these were .22s and the other half were .44 Magnum. There were three barrel lengths and at least two finishes (blue & color case and what may have been hard chrome).
Here are a few photos.
- Buckspen
Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Gun accessory
Material property
Gun Firearm Revolver Trigger Gun barrel
Firearm Gun Revolver Trigger Starting pistol
Gun Revolver Product Metal
 

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If all things were normal and the bore sizes were consistent being .401 for both 38 wcf and 41 colt i would not have messed with re chamber cyl to 41 spl. But Colt being Colt and back in the day the 41 colt bores could be bored on big side for use of the hollow base bullets. this old colt had a bore of .411 and that is a perfect match to 41 spl/mag diameter. all we had to do was open the chambers a bit to depth of 41 spl. hey now its another gun and load to mess around with. fun. i have a couple 38-40s the bores are closer to normal .401-.402. i notice it more so on the 41 colts i have seen the bores tend to be larger then 38 wcf. Yes, even though Colt interchanged them with 38 wcf/41Colt. I know its true for a time frame or two, but i dont think all were cut the same size over the years in production. i know of another 41 colt a friend has that is .406 dia. go figure ?? he is stuck with it for use as 41Colt or 38 wcf and dont want to change it anyway. Is a nicer gun them my refinished one is. its rather large for those two, but to small for 41 spl. unless you size bullets down.
 
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