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Thread: Smith and Wesson 57 41 mag

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Smith and Wesson 57 41 mag

    Recently I bought a S&W 57-1 41 mag with the long 8 3/8 barrel. Looking to find a good cast boolit load and need a mold recommendation. NOE has a few different styles in stock, keith, wfn, and a LFN style. In the past I have had better accuracy with WFN or LFN styles but that Keith boolit just looks right. This will be my first foray into the 41 magnum so just looking for some advice.
    I was a dog on a short chain.
    Now there's no chain.
    Jim Harrison

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Your timing could not have been better. My 57-1 with 4" barrel has been rather touchy on loads. Today I really made it sing.

    Federal LP primer
    11 grains 800x
    Arsenal 41-220 RF
    1.59" OAL

    2 1/2" CTC 6 shot group at 50 yards. 10 and 10.5 grain loads were right in there as well.

    I never had any luck with either Lee mold design. I would recommend the Arsenal 41-220 RF with 11 gr 800x or the NOE 412-220-SWC with 13 gr Bluedot.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Boy, did you open up a can of worms. Lol
    Quite a few .41 enthusiasts. I shot for years, and still do with the Lyman 410459. A couple weeks ago, I heated up my two double cavities and dropped about 660. That particular slugs resembles the slug that Elmer Keith designed, but Lyman changed a couple things and Elmer wouldn't claim their changes. Namely, the rounded grease grooves and also all three driving bands not being of equal width. Anyway, it is a great slug and casts well. We don't know if you like lighter weights or heavier. I have the Ranch Dog mould, and really like it. The slugs, all dressed up with grease and gas check, weigh in around 270 grains. With its tight ogive, stubby and flat front end, makes it coupled up about as short as one can get for that weight. I just bought a Ruger SBH Hunter, and this revolver is built like a tank. It will handle the heavies better than my 57. I have the SSK 300 grain gc mould, I bought on ebay a couple months back, but haven't cast or shot any of that particular style yet, but it should do well in the beefy Ruger. I had the lighter SSK pb that weighs at 297 grains sized and lubed. This slug shot very well in my model 57.
    Lucky for all of us, there are lots and lots of moulds for the .41. The .41 magnum is one great cartridge, and will not die.
    If a .410 magnum won't stop it, I wouldn't bet my life on a .429 magnum. Lol
    Last edited by littlejack; 03-31-2020 at 10:32 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    For many, many years I've used a 230 gr Keith bullet from a Saeco mold, you'll be hard pressed to find that mold but some of the commercial caster make that bullet, its a dandy. I've taken a lot of game with it including elk, bear & antelope. Another good bullet is the LBT 250 gr WFN, I also taken elk with that bullet but it's not as good at long range as the 230 gr slug. Lately I've been shooting a few deer with a Miha 217 gr HP & its a dandy in both my old model shorty & my 5.5" bisley.

    Dick

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    NOE has a several styles as does any of the custom makers.. but he has a Keith boolit that can be a solid, a cup point and a hp...solid is 230 ish depends on alloy and then goes down to 220 something as a hp. I just got one this week so just getting started. I like getting 3 boolits from one mold. If you like keiths… he has others of course. Keep an eye on Ebay as well as swapping and selling here on cast boolits. Mountain Mold will let you design your own and they are good and of course as Dick mentioned MIHA molds are very good

  6. #6
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    This is my favorite 41 mag mould, Saeco #411, tough to find and now days expensive when you do find it. I also shoot an LBT OWC 230 and a 275 SWC. Please note, the bullet holding the case up is another variation of the 41 Mag. SWC.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Nice bullet, nice mould.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    Once up to temp, that is likely the best behaved mould I own. All of my Saeco moulds tend to work well with minuscule reject rates. This one might reject 2 or 3 per 100 bullets, and I am fairly picky about bullet quality, not snail trails, not base indentations, no less than sharp shoulders. I do not mind rejecting.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto for myself.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I really like my H&G 8 cavity #258 220 grain Keith. 4" Blued Model 57-1. It shoots pretty much everything well and some better.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Purcell View Post
    I really like my H&G 8 cavity #258 220 grain Keith. 4" Blued Model 57-1. It shoots pretty much everything well and some better.
    Is this a true H&G brand mold? Do you mind sending me a handful of samples?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Nice thing about the .41 it is just hard to go wrong with any bullet or load...

    I have a "few" .41s and after a lot of shooting have decided that as far as the S&Ws go was going to keep the bullets 230 grains and under...250s and up have been dedicated to the single actions...

    If you want a Keith bullet, of the two already mentioned, I'd go the MP or NOE.

    The MP 220 Keith with pins for HP and Penta Point pins.... This the original 1960s Keith design with a smaller meplat than his later design. I have this mold and as is usual of MP molds, it is a work of art and casts great. In the Smiths I'm running 8, 9 and 10 grains of Unique for 950, 1100 and 1180 fps from a 4" barrel.


    The 230 NOE is the later Keith design with a larger meplat. I have purchased some bullets made from this mold design and they shoot great. With solid, cup point and HP pins one can do everything needed from a .41 in just one mold...

    https://noebulletmolds.com/site/prod...12-237-swc-bc2



    But if you want a heavy, my current favorite is the Accurate Molds 41-250L. Have been using it in a couple of heavy duty single actions and it has been a stellar performer...

    http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_...=41-250L-D.png

    If you have not seen this thread, everything .41 under one roof...you are most welcome to post over there....

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ad-Data-Center


    Bob

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you so much Bob and everyone else. Such a helpful bunch... its fun to think about reloading and casting gor a new cartridge.
    I was a dog on a short chain.
    Now there's no chain.
    Jim Harrison

  14. #14
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    megasupermagnum, yes it is an original H&G I bought in 1988. I had a four cavity Hensley I bought in 1978 in the Keith and the bullets were identical even with 10 years separating the manufacturing of the two molds. I would be happy to send you some but at the moment I am in the process of cleaning and reorganizing my shop but should be able to cast you some in a couple of weeks. P.M. me and we will work it out. All the best, Don.

  15. #15
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    Speaking from the perspective that this was in a .44 Mag SW MG, back when I was working with HS6 & 800X, I had a load for each pushing the RCBS 250K.

    I was already biased against the 800x because it meters poorly compared to HS6, but my next test was recoil.

    I placed three of each load staggered in the cylinder and filled the other three then open ones with the other load being careful to index my cylinder such that I knew which load was firing upon pulling the trigger.

    The 800 X lost.

    I did not place the 800 x on paper because the better metering, easier on the paws HS6 was now printing better than my stellar H110, 2400 and Unique loads I saw no room for 800 X to need to be investigated further.

    Velocities were comparable.

    So my love and admiration for HS6 was set right there.

    Some folks berate HS6 because it is a little dirty and while there is a bit of truth in that I also treat ALL my metallic brass to an inside flashole demurring, a lesson I learned while testing red dot in the 44 for shot loads. The practice cleaned those up significantly.

    Since my lesson with HS6 in the 44 I began using it in every magnum hand gun cartridge I run for that power regime: 357, 41, 44 and 480.

    Best regards

    Three44s
    Quit fretting about climate change. Itís how much stronger gravity is getting every day that is bothering me!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    There is nothing wrong with Unique or HS6. Even being a ball powder, HS6 is quite forgiving. What 800x has is the accuracy. Not every load, but once in a while it turns out something that makes you smile ear to ear. I have yet to get that with HS6 or Unique.

  17. #17
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    I've had the opposite experience with Unique...all my loads from 9mm and .38 Super to target/mid-range loads in the big boomers up to and including .500 S&W have been stellar....

  18. #18
    I just bought a new model 57. The cylinder throats were oversize so I sent it to S&W and they replaced the cylinder with one that is undersized. It's on its way back from Bowen Classic Arms as of today. My load is a 220 gr, gas checked semi wadcutter, (Accurate Molds). I use a starting load of Titegroup.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM52 View Post
    I've had the opposite experience with Unique...all my loads from 9mm and .38 Super to target/mid-range loads in the big boomers up to and including .500 S&W have been stellar....
    I wouldn't say opposite. I think Unique is the best I've found in 9mm. It is always a good option. Heck, even consistently bad performers for me like power pistol, have their proponents that get great results.

  20. #20
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    My recent do everything magnum load has been a 230 WFN with 18gr 2400. Has shot well in every 41 I have which is several. I also like 7gr of 231 and some 210-230gr class LSWC for general practice.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check