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.41 Action Express: Wikis


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.41 Action Express
Type Handgun
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designer Evan Whildin
Designed 1986
Manufacturer Action Arms
Case type Rebated rim, straight wall
Bullet diameter .410 in (10.4 mm)
Neck diameter .434 in (11.0 mm)
Base diameter .435 in (11.0 mm)
Rim diameter .394 in (10.0 mm)
Rim thickness .045 in (1.1 mm)
Case length .866 in (22.0 mm)
Overall length 1.17 in (30 mm)
Rifling twist 16-18
Primer type Small pistol
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
170 gr (11 g) JHC 940 ft/s (290 m/s) 334 ft·lbf (453 J)
180 gr (12 g) HP 890 ft/s (270 m/s) 317 ft·lbf (430 J)
210 gr (14 g) XTP 797 ft/s (243 m/s) 296 ft·lbf (401 J)
Source: Hodgdon [1]

The .41 Action Express is a pistol cartridge developed in the 1980s to reproduce the performance of the .41 Magnum cartridge in semi-automatic pistols.[2]



The .41 Action Express (41 AE) was designed by Evan Whildin, vice president of Action Arms, in 1986.[3] It was based on the .41 Magnum case, cut down to fit in a 9 mm frame, and using a rebated rim. The .41 AE is a very attractive cartridge in many ways, as the rebated rim allows a simple barrel and magazine change to allow many 9 mm guns to be converted to .41 AE.

The powerful 10 mm Auto cartridge, which had been suffering from poor acceptance from its start in the early 1980s, was eventually accepted by the FBI in a reduced power, subsonic loading. Smith & Wesson then decided that the 10 mm Auto was too much cartridge for the reduced power loading, and that the .45 ACP sized guns that chambered it were too heavy and bulky; out of this came the .40 S&W, a shortened 10 mm Auto case, designed to fit in a 9 mm sized gun, with a reduced pressure loading that allowed a lighter, easier to shoot gun. Because most ammunition manufacturers backed the very similar .40 S&W, there was little use for the .41 AE and production of both firearms and the ammunition itself was soon phased out.


The .41 AE can be ballistically similar to the .40 S&W, to the point that many reloading manuals suggest using .40 S&W load data in the .41 AE. Original IMI factory cartridges are much hotter, pushing a 170gr bullet at 1215ft/s. The .41 AE uses 0.410-inch (10.4 mm) bullets, whereas the .40 S&W uses 0.400-inch (10.2 mm) bullets. However, as it lacks the backing of ammunition manufacturers in making .410 caliber bullets suited to semiautomatic pistols, the .41 AE has not achieved widespread popularity.[4] [5]

Firearms Chambered for 41 Action Express

There have been many firearms chambered for this cartridge. The potential for success for the 41 AE was sound, and for this reason, many major manufacturers offered firearms chambered at the factory for this round. Additionally, aftermarket conversion kits were available as well. With the ease of application in virtually any firearm chambered in 9mm, a large variety of models saw at least some .41 AE use.


Factory Chambered

Aftermarket Conversion


In 1988, IMI also developed a 9 mm Action Express, which was a .41 AE necked down to 9 mm. It offered a much larger case capacity than the standard 9 mm case, allowing velocities that matched that of the .357 Magnum when loaded with light bullets. This move anticipated the parallel development of the .357 SIG from the .40 S&W in 1994.

See also


  1. ^ ".41 Action Express (Pistol) data" from Hodgdon
  2. ^ Barnes, Frank C. (2006) [1965]. Skinner, Stan. ed. Cartridges of the World (11th Edition ed.). Iola, WI, USA: Gun Digest Books. pp. 330,338. ISBN 0-89689-297-2.  
  3. ^ Reload Bench
  4. ^ "SAAMI Pressures". Retrieved 2007-11-29.  
  5. ^ ".40 Smith & Wesson/.41 AE". Retrieved 2007-11-29.  

External links


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