.41 Short Colt


The items at hand: .41 Short @ .64" case length and .41 Short Double Action @ .77" case length. OALs about the same. Should both of these be considered “.41 Short Colt” for a designation? Am I correct to assume the “Short Double Action” (S.D.A. headstamp) is to indicate a later application of the same round and the case length difference is due to the use of outside lubrication on the shorter and inside lubrication on the longer of the two?




Need some photos and headstamps.

My W.R.A. Co. 41 S. DA is .630" CL and has an outside lubricated bullet.

My U.S. 41 Long DA is .940" CL and also has an outside lubricated bullet.

Sounds like you have an inside lubed version mid-way in CL. I’m no expert on these.

The inside lubed bullets are smaller in caliber and not usually suited for the older Colt DA revolvers.




On left: U.M.C .41 SHORT.
CL = .637
OAL= 1.089
Rim= .434
Base= .407
Bullet= .400

On right: PETERS .41 S.D.A.
CL = .769
OAL= 1.136
Rim= .432
Base= .406
Bullet= .405

What does one use to designate these two?




Interesting. And confusing. It appears the UMC 41 Short was the same as WRA Co 41 SDA, which was different than the Peters 41 SDA.

Where’s the 41 expert when we need him.???

I know what I would do. I’d catalog them exactly as the headstamp says.




Thanks, and once again we have cartridges that have multiple variables in case length and rim diameters for folks to figure out this many years later. (I’m thinking of the .45 Colt/S&W “Hybrid” which still don’t make much sense to me…)

Guy’s website article on the .41 Extra Short Colt indicates the .41 Short for single action had a larger rim than the .41 S.D.A. as the DA cylinder was smaller in diameter. Perhaps U.M.C. later reduced the rim to work in both?

Also, not being a wise man on this, does not the Peters .41 S.D.A. have an outside lubricated bullet on it? Then why the longer case if so? (Not asking you Ray so much as just askin’ any “.41 experts” who might know!)

These will remain listed as they have been (by headstamp) unless I get more learned on this. My current efforts are to go back through everything and “fix-up” the “not-so-sures”. Just shows me how little I know…



Took me awhile to come up with it and not sure this will eliminate the confusion. If I’m reading right, the original long was shorter than the short. From Pistol and Revolver Cartridges, White & Munhall, 1967.



Thank you very much for the info. Based on that, my “U.M.C. .41 SHORT.” is the “.41 Short Colt, D.A. (Short Case)” and my “PETERS .41 S.D.A.” is the ".41 Short Colt, D.A. (Long Case). That wasn’t so hard now, was it…?!? Those may have been simpler times, but ammuniton variations certainly were not! The evolution of the .41 might just win a prize for confusion potential with “short longs” and “long shorts”! Good thing back then boxes would often tell you what was healthy to stick them in.