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401 MAGNUM

Herter's Inc. was a shooting/hunting mail-order supply company located in Waseca, MN, that was in business from 1893 until it went bust in the 1980’s as an ultimate result of the Gun Control Act of 1968 that put a serious dent on Herter's mail-order firearms business. With the introduction of the .44 Magnum in the 1950s, America's case of "Magnumitis", festering for many years, suddenly erupted. It all started with Joplin, Missouri gunsmith "Pop" Eimer who started with the 401 WSL case in 1924 followed by Gordon C. Boser of Springville, NY, who did basically the same also with the 401 WSL case. A problem that scuttled many good cartridge ideas in the past was that the correct powders to achieve the envisioned ballistics were not invented yet, a situation that changed during the 1950’s. George Herter saw an opportunity for a wildcat that he had been playing with since the before the War, and in 1961 - 3 years before the .41 Magnum was unveiled - he introduced the "Herter's Famous Custom Grade Super .401 PowerMag Revolver". The cartridge was a .40 caliber magnum, with a 1.275" case, loaded to magnum level ballistics. Herter's did not actually manufacture the .401 Power Mag in the US; rather they contracted with German firm J. P. Sauer & Sohn, with cases manufactured for them by Norma. (Erlmeier, Brandt Ref. 384)