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My new Herter's 401 PowerMag - pics and info :)

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by bac1023, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I started this thread back in the summer about a Herter's revolver on consignment at my local shop.

    As time passed and nobody bought it, I offered $100 less and the owner took it.

    The Herter's Powermag revolvers were built in West Germany by Sauer and Sohn (logo is on the barrel) from the early 1960's through about 1980, I believe. They were imported through Herter's of Minnesota. Rollmarks on the barrel's left side simply state "Herter's Waseca Minn. USA" and underneath that "Made in Western Germany". The right side is only marked "Herter's 401 Calibre".

    The revolver itself is very solid, though not nearly as nice looking as a Ruger Blackhawk or Super Blackhawk. The ugly grips and hammer, along with the massive front sight sort of take away from a SA revolver's naturally good looks. The action is basically that of a 3 screw Ruger and feels tight and precise. The bluing is thin and not quite up to par of Blackhawks of the same time period. Herter's offered revolvers in 357mag, 44mag, and this proprietary 401 PowerMag cartridge, which is very similar to a 41mag. The gun feels very comfortable in my hands, as most SA revolvers do. Like I said, the grips are pretty ugly and made of black plastic with a cheap looking silver Herter's medallion pressed into both sides. Back in the day, they were a cheaper alternative to a Blackhawk. I believe when Blackhawks were selling for $90, the Herter's was about $50. The cheap price was not indicative of the revolver's quality, which was solid.

    My gun was bought new in 1968 and according to the previous owner, was shot a total of 53 times. I can believe that, as it came with a 50 round box of ammo with 3 rounds missing. The rounds are as old as the gun, so I'm hoping they still fire. Either way, after the 47 rounds, I'm out of luck. Herter's was the only place that loaded ammo, I believe, and they are long out of business. I do think you can still get brass, however. :dunno:

    Surprisingly, I found some good info on this revolver from a few different sources online. Here are some cool links, along with a very informative PDF. :cool:

    Does anyone have one of these in any caliber? Does anyone have any experience with them. Obviously, they have been around for a long time.

    Please enjoy the pics. I'm hoping my carpet can make an ugly revolver look half decent. :animlol:

    As always, your thoughts and opinions are welcome. Thanks :)



  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    I have seen them around but never shot one. Rough but sturdy, a real Model Perfect.

    I wish they had gotten the DA version going but the combination of .41 Magnum and GCA 1968 killed it off.
    I have seen the occasional JP Sauer knockoff of K38 and it is a pretty nice looking gun.
  3. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM


    Does that bring back memories!! My dad had a 1965 (?) Herters Catalog with the .401 PowerMag in it. "Capable of Killing Any Animal on Earth" if I remember right....I drooled over that gun. I was a little disappointed when he got just a .41 Mag Ruger....after wasn't a .401.!!:supergrin:

    Nice looking gun to me and if you think it's "ugly" PLEASE don't modify it!! Sell it (to ME!!!!) and buy something else.

    PS....can you find ammo for it at Wal-Mart???:supergrin:
  4. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Very cool

    I guess it's not that ugly, it's just not as elegant looking as a Blachawk.
  5. dougader


    Apr 17, 2004
    You've been to the Single Actions website, so you know Lee Martin has at least one of these.

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire