Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The Gun Safe

5 Best Defensive Bullets for the .41 Magnum Gun

The .41 Remington Magnum is the forgotten gun of the Magnum revolver cartridge world, with nowhere near the degree of popularity or ubiquity of the .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum.

Smith and Wesson Model 57. Image Credit: Creative Commons. .41 Magnum.
Smith and Wesson Model 57. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

As I’ve noted in a couple of previous articles – and to mix a couple of “juvenile” metaphors – the .41 Remington Magnum is the forgotten gun of the Magnum revolver cartridge world, with nowhere near the degree of popularity or ubiquity of the .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum.

However, the round still has a loyal cult following even 60 years after its inception. Among the .41’s biggest fans are large-bore handgun aficionados John Taffin of American Handgunner Magazine and my Facebook Friend Dennis West, both of whom consider the round to be highly underrated and underappreciated. I concur, and trying to find ammo in the caliber can be darn frustrating.

With that in mind, if you do happen to wield a .41 “Maggie” for either private citizen self-defense or official police duty, let’s see what your best combat loading choices are. 

Winchester Silvertip 175-Grain Jacketed Hollowpoint (JHP)

The controversial one-shot stop statistical studies authored by Cpl. Ed Sanow and retired Detroit PD Sgt. Evan Marshall of the late 1980s and early 1990s showed the Winchester Silvertip to be the best-performing defensive bullet in the caliber. Mind you, this is a so-called “80 percent load” (as is true of the .44 Magnum version of the Silvertip), i.e., not quite loaded to original full-power ballistics, therefore still packing plenty of power but reducing both (1) felt recoil and muzzle flip and (2) the likelihood of overpenetration in a bad guy’s torso and wasting energy whilst potentially endangering innocent bystanders. 

To put this peppy projectile in power perspective, those 80 percent ballistics still manage to generate a muzzle velocity of 1,250 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 607 foot-pounds.

Federal Power-Shok 210-Grain JHP

The manufacturer states that this load offers “Short barrel performance that goes the distance. Handgun hunters can get the reliability and accuracy they need at an affordable price with Federal Power-Shok loads. The rounds feature a powerful jacketed hollow-point bullet suited to a variety of big game.” However, this is not relegated to merely taking four-legged furry critters; LJ Bonham, in a July 2023 article for the Sky Above Us outdoorsman’s-oriented website assertively titled “The Best Magnum Revolver: .41 Remington Magnum,” designates the Power-Shok as a dual-purpose round, i.e. hunting and self-defense. 

Grizzly 265-Grain Lead Flat-Nose

This option would be waaaayyyyy overkill for home defense in an urban or suburban environment. It also would be relegated to revolvers only, as semiautomatic pistols in the caliber such as the Desert Eagle require jacketed ammo. Mr. Bonham designates this as a “hunting/bear defense” load, but think of it this way: if you’re deep in the backwoods or far away from law enforcement or any other sort of human backup, this load could just as easily protect you from any bipedal humanoid assailants as it could against man-hungry bruins. 

Remington 210 Grain HTP HP

Okay, now we’re back to one of LJ’s dual-purpose designees. And appropriately, this one bears the Remington name, just like the official full legal name of the cartridge in general. As described by MidwayUSA’s Product Overview: “Remington HTP ‘High Terminal Performance’ ammunition is designed with self-defense and hunting in mind. All HTP ammunition feature an appropriate expanding type bullet designed for the task at hand. Waterproof sealant is used on the primers and case mouths to ensure consistent performance from everyday carry or adverse conditions. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, in boxer primed, reloadable brass cases.”

Hornady Critical Defense 210-Grain XTP

As the manufacturer’s official info page states: “Handgun shooters looking for supreme accuracy and maximum knock down power have come to rely on Hornady Custom pistol ammo, loaded with either the famous Hornady XTP (Extreme Terminal Performance) bullet, our FMJ or FTX bullet … Every round of Hornady Custom ammunition is hand inspected before packaging to ensure the highest levels of quality control. At Hornady, we manufacture Custom ammunition to give shooters and hunters the advantage of hand-loaded accuracy in a factory load.”

I myself have shot this load through my personally owned Smith & Wesson Model 57 revolver and can vouch for the quality of the ammo.

Christian D. Orr is a Senior Defense Editor for 19FortyFive. He has 34 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.

From the Vault

‘You Really Oughta Go Home’: F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter Flew Under F-4 From Iran

A Second American Civil War? 

Something Is Terribly Wrong With Former President Trump

Written By

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).