Super magnum

A super magnum is a longer and/or more powerful version of a "magnum" cartridge. Although the term "super magnum" typically refers to a handgun cartridge, created by lengthening an existing straight-case design, it can also refer to a rifle cartridge, such as the .17 Winchester Super Magnum (WSM). In this case, it simply denotes that it is of greater power than existing "magnums" of similar caliber, similar to other designations such as "Remington Ultra Magnum". The most widespread of these cartridges are the "SuperMag" family of super-magnum handgun cartridges that were proposed and tested by Elgin Gates in the 1970s.


Gates' SuperMags

Gates tested super magnum cartridges in 7mm, .357, .375, .41, .44, .45, .50, and .60 caliber. Gates' SuperMag cartridges are all 1.610 inches long—about 310 of an inch longer than a "standard" handgun magnum (i.e. .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, and .44 Magnum, which are all the same length)—and use the same bullets as the original magnum cartridges. The extra powder capacity can increase muzzle velocity up to 30–40% over the original magnum rounds.

In the 1980s, Dan Wesson Firearms began to produce revolvers chambered for the .357, .375, and .445 SuperMag cartridges. In 2000, they added .414 Supermag, and .460 Rowland.[1]

Other super magnums

There have been other cartridges that were created by extending the length of existing magnum cartridges. Some of these are:

Details and performance

.357 SuperMag

Based on the .357 Magnum cartridge, a revolver or single-shot pistol designed for the .357 SuperMag can also fire .357 Magnum, and .38 Special rounds. The .357 SuperMag is essentially the same cartridge as the later-named .357 Remington Maximum that was jointly developed circa 1982-1983 by Sturm, Ruger & Company and Remington, the .357 Max brass being only 0.005" shorter than the .357 SuperMag brass, but identical in all other dimensions. Ruger, as well as Dan Wesson, introduced revolvers in this cartridge, followed shortly later by Thompson/Center in their single-shot Contender.[1] Due to flame cutting of the top strap of revolvers when shooting cartridges loaded with 125 grain bullets, Ruger discontinued their revolver in this cartridge after a short production run. Dan Wesson provided a second barrel to customers, but this failed to address customer fears, and the cartridge remained popular only in the T/C Contender. Remington then dropped this cartridge from production, although brass is still manufactured for reloaders every few years.

.357 SuperMag
Dan Wesson eight-inch barrel
BulletLoadMV (ft/s)
RCBS #35-200FN 19.0 GRS. H42271468
19.0 GRS. WW2961489
Lyman #358627GC
(210 gr)
19.0 GRS. H42271495
19.0 GRS. WW2961526
Speer 180 FMJ 20.0 GRS. H42271371
Hornady 180 FMJ 20.0 GRS. H42271427
Speer 200 FMJ 19.0 GRS. H42271286

.375 SuperMag

Based on the .375 Winchester rifle cartridge, this custom round was meant to fit between the .357 and the .445, but is no longer produced. It had a tapered case that was prone to sticking in the cylinder after firing.

.375 SuperMag
Dan Wesson eight-inch barrel
BulletLoadMV (ft/s)
Hornady 220 FMJ 23.0 GRS. H1101267
22.0 GRS. H42271258
27.0 GRS. WW6801364

.414 SuperMag

Based on the .41 Magnum cartridge.[1]

.445 SuperMag

Based on the .44 Magnum cartridge, a revolver designed for the .445 SuperMag can fire the shorter .44 Magnum, .44 Special, and .44 Russian rounds.[1]

.445 SuperMag
Dan Wesson 10, 8 & 6 inch barrels
Bullet Load MV (ft/s)
Sierra 300 JFP 31.0 GRS. H110139513941295
34.0 GRS. WW680128412471191
NEI #295.429GC 30.0 GRS. H110151215021477
31.0 GRS. H110160815721498
34.0 GRS. WW680155414961442
SSK #310.429 31.0 GRS. H110154614941491
34.0 GRS. WW680157215211500
Hornady 265 FN 31.0 GRS. H110148614591310
Speer 240 FMJ 33.0 GRS. H110151615171387
31.0 GRS. H4227151414931326
38.0 GRS. WW680150414321353
Sierra 220 FMJ 34.0 GRS. H4227164816351541
35.0 GRS. H4227175917051561
36.0 GRS. H4227179317801640


  1. Taffin, John (2000). "Powerhouse Sixguns Of Dan Wesson". Guns Magazine. 30 (8).
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