41 Colt S.A., aka 41 Long C.F., 41 Long Colt D.A

I did some more research this week on the 41 Long Colt and saw very little in the forum, and wanted to share it

There where 3 different case lengths in the history of the 41 Colt S.A., and 41 Long Colt D.A.

The original 41 Long Colt, or 41 Long Colt S.A. ( Single Action Revolver ) was
introduced in 1875 and was only made by Winchester. It had a case length of .767" - .768"
and a case rim diameter of .467" - .471" which made it easily confused with the later
41 Short Colt D.A. (Long Case).
I am hoping someone may have a picture of this item, I do not have a specimen

The 41 Colt D.A. ( Double-Action Revolver ) was introduced sometime between 1877
and 1880. After the introduction of the 41 Short Colt in 1884 the 41 Colt D.A. was renamed
the 41 Long Colt D.A…
The early outside lubricated cartridge had a case length of .926"-.955" until the introduction of the inside lubricated cartridge in 1896 when the case length was increased to 1.112-1.131" Both the outside lube and inside lube 41 long Colt D.A. have a case rim diameter on .427"=.436"

Early Outside lubricated 41 Long Colt D.A. by Peters below with .933" case.

Later Inside Lubricated 41 Colt D.A. by Remington below with 1.123" case.

Information from : a.) Manual of Pistol and revolver cartridges by Hans A. Erlmeier and Jakob H. Brandt , b.) Centerfire American and British Pistol and Revolver Cartridges by Henry P. White and Burton D. Munhall

Thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
David Call

Hello AmmoOne,
This is the image I have of the original .41 Long Colt by Winchester.

Does anyone have a image of the box for these cartridges that they could share?


[quote=“clarkbr”]Hello AmmoOne,
This is the image I have of the original .41 Long Colt by Winchester.

Does anyone have a image of the box for these cartridges that they could share?


Thank you for the photo, I am wondering if the rim diameter does the rim measure
is .467 to .471" as stated in the books I read and quoted.
I will check in a few books on a photo of the box. and post it if I find it.
Thank you
Dave Call

#1 CASE LENGTH .786" RIM .474"
#2 CASE LENGTH .785" RIM .465"
#3 CASE LENGTH .787" RIM .472"


After doing some comparison measurements it seems to me Colt, in designing the original 1875 version of the .41 long Colt, boxed themselves in. With its large .467 in. rim diameter there was likely no way it could have been used in the 1877 Colt double action revolver; rim to rim interference, or even interference with the cylinder bolt locking slots would have precluded such interchangeability. As it was, the .41 long Colt D.A. cartridge had its rim diameter reduced to the .432 in. dimension of the .38 long Colt. Jack

A wonderful subject that is right down my alley. You fella’s are touching base with a little known cartridge. A true anomaly is the history of the “original” 41 Long Colt Center fire. I’ve been performing extensive research for the past 5 years for a book that’s coming out this year on the 41 caliber pocket 5 shot revolvers of the 1870’s thru 1890’s. The rare cartridge that you have posted is the first 41 Long center fire cartridge manufactured in the U.S. What collectors refuse to except is that this pictured cartridge was manufactured “Exclusively” for the Colt New line 41 model 1 in rare center fire configuration. Also confirmed via research, the Forehand and Wadsworth model 1 pocket Bulldog in rare 41 Long center fire introduced in 1875. You will also be interested in knowing that the posted cartridge was originally loaded by Winchester with a 130 grain round nose lead bullet backed by a surprising “20” grains of black powder. Quite a respectable load I would say. US cartridge Company and UMC also introduced their version of the 41 Long Center fire listed for “COLT’S REVOLVERS” in late 1875 to early 1876. However, original early boxes are stamped 41 Long center fire. Their version has the heavier 160 grain blunt nose bullet with loads between 12-15 grains of black powder. The excellent point that Jack brought up regarding head diameter of the early 41 Long center fire( folded head case) is an easy problem to clear up. The Colt New Line is a five shot cylinder allowing for more cartridge head clearance. The later manufactured Colt Thunderer is a small framed six shot cylinder.The original 41 Long center fire will not chamber in this cylinder without the head of the cartridge hitting the ratchet. So much more to this story and so many transitions that took place in the cartridge from 1875 to 1895. I would like to end my post with a strong rebuttal to those who are swallowing the decades old impotent listing and “tagged in a derogatory fashion” to the earliest 41 short rim fire having only a 425 FPS rating… This is absolute, irresponsible, unsubstantiated baloney! The 41 rim fire short from the Remington- Elliot over/under 41 short rim fire derringer (and a long list of 41 caliber 5 shot pocket revolvers) will consistently achieve between 575-610 FPS from the original black powder load of 13 grains FFFG and 130 grain sharp tip lead bullet. The secret is using ammunition that is “NOT” 75 years old to conduct your test along with a specimen derringer that does “NOT” have excessive wear or worn out rifling that must be mic’d to confirm condition. Not eye balled. Just my opinion. Proved with a chronograph. Thanks much for making my day reading your posts!