.41 Action Express still made?


#1

Does anyone know if any company is still making .41 AE ammo?

I know that IMI, Fiocchi and CCI-Speer used to, but they no longer list the round on their websites.


#2

Fiocchi made 41 AE ammo? I have never heard this thing.
All 41 cases that I have seen and used here were made by IMI and imported by TFC company.
I think IMI still makes 41 AE ammunition


#3

Qual-Cart also makes the .41 AE.


#4

Fiocchi never made the .41 Action Express round, at least for commercial or military sale (I have learned not to say “never” because when you do, someone will show you a single round made by the work room as a prototype from some factory not known to have produced the rounds).

The only .41 Action Express rounds I know of, and I am not including reloading companies, and small companies that are primarily reloaders but make some new ammo on other people’s brass, are:

IMI (Israeli Military Industries)
Buffalo Core-Shot (on IMI Brass)
Magsafe (on IMI brass)
Quality Cartridge (QUALCART). I don’t know who makes their brass, but it has their own headstamp.
Speer (Brass made by IMI but with SPEER headstamp. The CCI Braqnch of Blount, now ATK, never made .41 AE).
Action Arms/Olsen Development Corp (The initial prototype lot of cartridges was made on R-P .41 Remington Magnum cases)
A-Zoom (now a part of the Lyman Group) - solid aluminum snap caps only, with A-Zoom headstamp).

Oddly, Starline has never made this case, or it has never appeared with their own headstamp or on their listings. Again, I don’t know who actually made Quality Cartridge’s brass.

The last catalog of Speer (Blount Inc. at that time) that the .41 AE appears in is 1997. It was dropped from the 1998 catalog.

IMI produced the .41AE until at least 2002. I do not have any listing after that for IMI, but my catalogs are very spotty for that company.

The last listing of this caliber from Magsafe that I have is their January 13, 1995 price list. I have a good run of price lists from that era, so I suspect that is close to the time they discontinued it.

It would appear that the ONLY source for this cartridge and/or brass is Quality Cartridge.

The .41 Action Express cartridge seems to have originated around 1987. I have a factory drawing from the Olsen Development Lab dated 6 January 1887, and it is my earliest dated reference to this cartridge. I have a July 1, 1987 Bulletin from Action Arms Ltd, of Philadelphia, the early importer of Israeli made sporting arms, like the Uzi Carbine, promising both ammunition and various conversion kits to convert the Colt .38 Super, the Browning HP 9mm, a pistol called the AT-84, which I believe was an Israeli-made CZ-75 clone, and the Uzi Carbine, by October 1987.

This bulletin credits Evan Whilden with the development of the cartridge, and Bob Olsen, of the Olsen Development Lab, with helping with the firearms development to use this cartridge. The goal was to have a .410 caliber cartridge that would propel a 200 grain bullet at 1000fps, and with a cartridge head that would fit a 9mm Parabellum (Luger) caliber breech-face. Clymer provided the first chambering reamers and gauges for the development process.

Just thought I’d fill in some of the blanks about this cartridge to round out the thread. I included Buffalo Core-Shot and Magsafe because they have been slightly more successful in marketiong their ammunition nationwide, and perhaps internationally as well, than most small companies.


#5

The only thing I would comment on there is the origin of the AT-84. I believe the adverts of the time creditted the Swiss for the AT-84. I never saw any Israeli connection.


#6

Jon - I think you are right. There have been so many clones of the CZ 75 that I have lost track of them, and since my comment was mostly about the ammo, I didn’t want to take the time to look up the pistol in my files - went by memory, always a dangerous thing for a 68 year old dummy like me to do. Sorry about that. I was going out to lunch for some Kung Pao chicken, and that always takes precedence over firearms research, and was late for the lunch date.


#7

John & Jon
I have a factory cut-a-way AT-84 which I purchased from Bob Olsen a few years ago (before he passed). It is in an “action arms ltd AT-84 PISTOL” plastic case. And is marked “Solothurn (cross) ITM (cross) SWITZERLAND” plus the serial number.
Bob said it was one of two made, and it has a factory inventory card dated “7/1/89”. It was the “SHOW GUN”.
As I understood it, from Bob, he was the lead developer in the .41 AE cartridge. However …
FYI one of the .41 AE prototypes I have, is made from .44 Mag. brass.


#8

Pete - are you sure your prototype round is .44 Mag brass? I have one from 41 Mag brass, as I described. Mine is a dummy. I wonder how they got it down to proper dimensions at the base and head. Turning it would make the brass to thin there, I would think. I shouldn’t say - never did any work that require more than case forming dies and neck-triming. I wouldn’t even know how to turn on a lathe. Still, seems like a damned poor choice to make a prototype .41 on.

Action Arms own literature credits Evan Whilden with the cartridge, and Olson with working with him to make the guns (or make guns into that caliber). I would have guessed they would have been right, but I wasn’t privileged to know Olson at all, and only met Whilden casually at a couple of SHOT Shows years ago. So, I don’t have any insider information. I can only parrot back factory literature.


#9

I used to see Evan fairly regularly on business at Action Arms and at area gunshows. All the early 9mmAE and .41AE rounds I got from him were on .41 Rem Mag brass. I never met, or even heard of Olsen, but the AA staff seemed pretty clear on Even being the developer of the AE rounds.


#10

Did a commercial production of 9 mm AE ammo exist?
I have a sample made by reforming a 41 AE case


#11

No, there was no commercial production of 9mmAE. I have seen loaded and dummy rounds with both .41AE and .41 Rem Mag headstamps. I have also seen JSP and truncated FMJ variations.


#12

The two prototype rounds I have are:
“R-P 41 REM MAG” headstamp, large, empty Boxer primer pocket & .391" rim .432 head, .424" mouth, .865" CL .404" bullet & 1.158" OAL plus autographed “Bob Olson”.
The other is headstamped “FC 44 REM MAG” with an empty Boxer primer pocket & .475" rim .453 head, .452" mouth, .956" CL .425" bullet & 1.267" OAL. Now I’m not sure this was/is a prototype, as I MAY have used that word incorrectly, but it is a .41 AE experimental. From Bob, but not autographed, it has a typical wide sloped extractor/rim undercut of the .41 AE.
If I could figure out how to use the photobucket site with my MAC I’d post a photo. Or I could just send one by e-mail?
Both of these examples have a typical truncated cone soft nose hollow point bullet with a GM jacket.

Jon, Bob was also responsible for the development of the Invicta series of cartridges and while working at Frankford Arsenal during War 2, developed the proof round for the .30 M1 Carbine and a blank (grenade) for the same weapon.


#13

Pete,
you can send the picture by e mail to me for example.I will post it for you.
I think this is a interesting sample


#14

From the dimensions you quote, I would not consider the round made on the .44 Magnum case to be a prototype of .41 AE or to be 41AE. The measurements are not even in the same ballpark. I would consider it a completely separate cartridge, although certainly, considering the provenance, one that was probably considered right along with what we know as .41 AE. It sounds in concept almost more like one of the various .40 caliber rounds based on the .45 auto or even the .45 Winchester magnum case.

I wish I had one! But, a .41 AE as we know the prototype and the factory produced ammo, it is not. Of course, the inventor could name two different cats with the same name, but…!

Again, not arguing the fact that Olson was a cartridge designer and had something to do with the project. Not even arguing that Pete is not completely correct, which he may be. Only saying what Factory Literature from Action Arms concerning the background of the cartridge and conversion kits says.

Many of these questions go back to the subject of one’s concept of the meaning of the word “development” or “developed”, I think, which I have argued with others about. It is an ongoing process that often involves many hands stirring the pot, but if trying to establish or credit a single developer, my vote, an opinion that I will not change, always goes with the man whose concept it originally was. That could have been Olson or Whilden - I don’t know because I never had any “in” with either man. The only primary-source documentation I have points to Whilden for the cartridge and Olson for the engineering of the arms for that cartridge. That is not to denigrate Olson at all. His reputation is one of a man who was an important figure in the arms industry in America in ways far more important than most of the relative market failures of the designs of “Wildey” guns in any caliber and the .41 AE concept (even though it is very sound and should not have been a failure. In may ways it makes more sense than the highly successful .40 S&W round).

Yes, I know some would argue that the Wildey guns were not failures. Well, I am a regular shooter and visit ranges often, and it has probably been ten years since I have seen a Wildey Magnum being used by anyone, other than being shown at the SHOT Show. When they were available and I was in the gun business, we sold a hundred convential, and often expensive .45 auto pistols, for every one Wildey, and perhaps a higher ratio of the 9mms, including even SIG P210s at 2,000 bucks and up per copy. Of course, the virtual discontinuance of the .41AE cartridge, and the fact that no major U.S. Maker ever made the cartridge, confirms its failure. Olson’s war-time achievements were of far mor importance than anything to do with these more recent short-lived firearms and cartridges.

Well, just some random thoughts around the subject. Again, don’t take me to have said there is no chance Olson was the .41AE main developer. I don’t know, don’t claim to know, and tend to favor primary-source documentation over anecdotal evidence, even when it comes from a highly reliable, knowledgeable source, such as Pete. Wish I knew as much about ammo as he does, and that is not sarcasm - it is a statement of fact.


#15

Thanks for the responses, gentlemen - you are a treasure trove of information!


#16

I have an early Samson (IMI) box and it uses the designation .41x22 on the end flaps and then under their logo on the back No. 41-40ARx22. Did they ever use 41x22 on a headstamp and what is the No. 41-40ARx22 all about? The Lot no is 1608-87. Loading listed is 200 gr FML-FN.


#17

Gary - to my knowledge, IMI never used the .41x22 designation on a headstamp. It is an interesting designation with the caliber in inch measurement and the case length in millimeters. Regarding the number on the back, below the IMI logo, I have to assume it is nothing more than IMI’s catalog number for the caliber and loading. My old blue and white box for the 200 grain FMJ loading shows the number as you have it - No. 41-40ARX22. However, the same format box for the 170 grain HP load shows the number as No. 41-34Bx22.

I have a later box of the pattern that makes the cardboard box look like a miniature wood crate, and for the 200 grain FMJ load the number is slightly changed to No. 41AE-40AR.

All of the headstamps for these boxes are “IMI .41AE”


#18

Hi John
All I know is Bob claimed to be the designer. It was in a conversation & as he apparently had either a leading or subordinate role in the development. He had a role & that is what he tried to convey to me. Note the “However…” in my original post.
I’ve not seen factory publications on this round or the weapon. Just what Bob said, and he didn’t say how much of a role he had, just that he was part of it.
I apparently took it to mean he developed it all by his lonesome.
So it seems I ASSUMED & now we both know what kind of trouble that got me into!
As to the 44 mag case variation. All I know is the source & wish I knew more.
Will send a photo to Pivi tomorrow & he can post it.
Thanks Pivi
keep your powder dry & see you at the CA show in June?
Best
Pete


#19

Pete - I think that we can both agree that both Whilden and Olson played important roles in the development of the .41AE cartridge/weapons system.

Also, I am well aware that I still prefer primary source information, in this case factory printed material, that a lot of factory stuff is hype, and not always historically accurate or complete.

I just found out that I cannot come to the La Palma show this year either. The “anti-cartridge show ghost” continues to haunt me this year. It is the same weekend as my Grand Daughter’s graduation from High School (boy, do I feel old), which is more important to me that any cartridge show. I will sure miss seeing all the guys though. I hope to get to the Lab in Tucson sometime this year - have some work to do there in research. I will try to allow enough time to travel about a bit. Would like to see you, Phil Butler, etc. The camraderie is better than the cartridges!


#20

This is the Pete’s 41 AE prototype