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There has been a lot of palaver concerning the .41 Colt and similar calibers. Here for whatever its worth is some history of these experiments. Beginning in the 'Twenties and 'Thirties, gunsmith C.L. "Pop" Eimer began experimenting with high velocity, powerful handloads in revolvers. At the same time, in Memphis, some wealthy cotton men formed a hunting club in northern Mississippi, near the Mississippi River bottomland. These gents hunted on horseback and used handguns for hunting hogs.

Memphis gunsmith H.L. Highsmith made up several .40 caliber revolvers for these men. Eimer used the .401 Winchester Self Loading case as a start for his wildcat, but all the ones I have seen from Highsmith were based on the .303 Savage case. The guns used were either Colt SAA or New Service revovlers. The cylinders of the current S&W revolvers were generally considered too short for conversion, plus the difficulty in fitting barrels with the front locking lug.

Conversion of these guns entailed using a .38 Special, or later a .357 Magnum, cylinder and boring it out to the new chamer dimensions. Either a barrel from a .38-40 or a .41 Long Colt was installed. Cordra York, former owner of York Arms in Memphis, told me of having a New Service so customized. My gunsmith, Keith Warner, apprenticed under Ed Mason, and their shop was next to Mr. Highsmith's, and it was Keith from whom I obtained my cartridge specimen.

Here is the one round I have:



I have no idea of the loading data, other than it was a "healthy dose" of Hercules 2400 powder.

Bob Wright
 
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