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A forum to talk about Olympic style shooting, rifle or pistol, 10 meters to 50 meters, and whatever is in between. Hosted by Pilkguns.com
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 Post subject: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:25 pm
Posts: 4
Hello, I have recently decided to buy a pistol to practice bullseye shooting with the possibility of eventually competing. In reading through many different forums, the Model 41 keeps coming up as a solid performer for the money.
1. Am I on the right path or are there better choices of pistols in this price range?
2. Are there any major differences in the current production 41 and the older production guns?
3. Is the Perfomance Center a good choice over the standard version?
4. What barrel length is preferred, 5.5 or 7 inch?
Lastly, my old eyes dictate the use of an optical site. I've been using a rmr on other guns. Are all model 41 capable of mounting an optical sight of some sort without major modification to the gun?
Thank you for any and all input in advance.
Brian


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:09 pm
Posts: 124
losi b wrote:
Hello, I have recently decided to buy a pistol to practice bullseye shooting with the possibility of eventually competing. In reading through many different forums, the Model 41 keeps coming up as a solid performer for the money.
1. Am I on the right path or are there better choices of pistols in this price range?
2. Are there any major differences in the current production 41 and the older production guns?
3. Is the Perfomance Center a good choice over the standard version?
4. What barrel length is preferred, 5.5 or 7 inch?
Lastly, my old eyes dictate the use of an optical site. I've been using a rmr on other guns. Are all model 41 capable of mounting an optical sight of some sort without major modification to the gun?
Thank you for any and all input in advance.
Brian


The Model 41 is a great choice for a BE pistol. I have not found it very picky about ammo, but tend to use CCI SV 90% of the time. It has had its share of hiccups with some other brands, but not with CCI. My Walther GSP is even less picky - I haven't found anything it won't reliably shoot. I haven't used any current production 41's so can't comment. Mine is "A" serial number so 70's, which seems to be favored by many. I rarely use my 7" barrel (original to my pistol). Though it gives you the arguable advantage of a longer sight radius, that would be obviated by the use of a red dot. I believe most of the newer production 41's are drilled for a sight mount, but older ones are not. Someone with more specific knowledge may be able to comment as to dates that began to be the norm or you can ask S&W. I believe the Smith barrels require you add a sight rail using the mounting holes (later barrels). The Performance Center barrel has an integrated Picatinny rail. You can also get a barrel from Clark that has an integrated rail. I use their 5.5" with integrated rail and would recommend it. You might want to replace the stock grips if you prefer a more custom BE grip style. I'm happy with a Vitarbo. Finally, there are numerous other good options out there. Choosing one is a matter of personal preference....what works for you. No one here can tell you that, needless to say. Walther GSP and Hammerli 208 are two among those other options that I've liked and would opine would be great alternatives. But you be hard pressed to go wrong with any of them...its just what fits you best. The Hammerli is most similar to the 41 whereas the GSP has a magazine forward design (check your local laws as some states consider this an "assault weapon"). Parts for the Smith are cheaper than those for the Euro guns. Mags for instance are about $20-30 each for a factory 10 rd, whereas mags for a GSP or Hammerli if they are OEM and metal will run close to or over $100 each. Yep, they're mighty proud of those mags. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:38 am 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
I don't own a 'newer' 41, and I would have to look up the serial number on mine to determine it's vintage. But, IMO, much like a Colt Officers Match target revolver, the S&W 41 was designed and built for shooting holes in paper very accurately. The S&W barrel can be swapped out, drilled and tapped, or machined in other ways to meet one's needs. As such, I don't think someone can go wrong owning one.

Is the price commensurate with value? Well, that's another issue and one based on opinion. At $1600, the Benelli MP90S is nearly that price, the Pardini SPBE and FWB AW93 are about $600 more, and the Walther GSP is $200 within that price range. So, the 41 has some competition regarding price.

The older High Standards (made in Hartford, Connecticut) are a similar pistol, but no longer made. When I shot bullseye, the HS's were the pistol of choice because a misfire was easy to clear. I shot with my S&W 41, but clearing a misfire was challenging due to the design.

The High Standard pistols have the same grip angle as the 41 which is that of a Colt .45, but are easier to maintain. Hundreds of rounds can be fired through a HS before disassembly is required if a toothbrush is used to clean up the slide and breach. Also, like the 41, HS's (Victor, Citation, etc.) have an enclosed trigger which doesn't collect debris.

I suppose the above makes me sound more like a High Standard fanboy. Yes, I'll admit that.

p.s. an optical iris allows using iron sights for many years after reading glasses are needed.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 10:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:25 pm
Posts: 4
10M_Stan wrote:

p.s. an optical iris allows using iron sights for many years after reading glasses are needed.

Ok, I'm familiar with rmr or red dots. What is an optical iris?


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 11:57 am 
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Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 2:21 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Virginia
Here is one style: http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.a ... s&item=390

Image

And here is another: http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.a ... s&item=DOA

Image

Both attach to some set of glasses (prescription, or not).

There is also the eyepal (http://www.eyepalusa.com/index.php) which is a fixed (non-adjustable) optical iris also for use on shooting glasses or prescription glasses. It's a newer marketing approach to an old idea - some like it. Personally, I own a Gehmann - because it's German but if the Japanese made such a device that would be the one I would own.

As a note: the benefit of an adjustable iris is to open the size to the maximum possible with the benefit of an increased focus range.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:25 pm
Posts: 4
10M_Stan wrote:
Here is one style: http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.a ... s&item=390

Image

And here is another: http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.a ... s&item=DOA

Image

Both attach to some set of glasses (prescription, or not).

There is also the eyepal (http://www.eyepalusa.com/index.php) which is a fixed (non-adjustable) optical iris also for use on shooting glasses or prescription glasses. It's a newer marketing approach to an old idea - some like it. Personally, I own a Gehmann - because it's German but if the Japanese made such a device that would be the one I would own.

As a note: the benefit of an adjustable iris is to open the size to the maximum possible with the benefit of an increased focus range.

I do believe that you have single handedly improved my shooting in 1 post more than all of the instruction I have taken. Thank you very much sir.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:20 pm
Posts: 5092
Location: Scottsdale AZ
It's really simple: you MUST use the 5.5" barrel if you are shooting International (Olympic).

If you're using a Red Dot for Bullseye (Precision), it doesn't matter.

I've been using the same M41 for 35 years. Back to the factory once.

It is completely reliable (and accurate) with CCI Standard blue box.

There are plenty of used ones out there.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:25 pm
Posts: 4
Well, I found and bought a new 5.5 inch locally today for $1,120. Time to clean up my Buckmark Hunter and put it in the safe. What's the hot red dot setup?


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 12:02 am 
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Joined: Fri May 20, 2016 1:03 am
Posts: 94
losi b wrote:
Well, I found and bought a new 5.5 inch locally today for $1,120. Time to clean up my Buckmark Hunter and put it in the safe. What's the hot red dot setup?



I have a Burris FF3's (3 MOA) on several of mine. I like them for both cost and light weight. I see more Ultradot and Aimpoint H!'s used by the better shooters at the bullseye matches I attend. The H! is quite nice.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 3:21 pm
Posts: 211
Location: Gainesville, Florida
I still shoot my m41 7.375-in barrel for the EIC matches. I bet I've put a million rounds through that gun (wore out one firing pin) and the pistol (an early 70s A series) still shoots terrifically, but has alibis with the standard velocity ammo (I changed the extractor and fiddled with varying recoil spring weights, none of which helped). I found that it really likes the CCI 1200 fps (the 300 round packs) and that is what I now shoot. There used to be a gunsmith that cut back the 7-in barrels to 5.5 inches, which a lot of people liked.

My main shooting buddy has an A series 5.5-in barrel that began having alibi issues as well (usually failure to eject). He switched to a Clark barrel (the version with out the rear piece on which the rear sight is mounted) and has never looked back. High Standards are also terrific shooters. A good quality Victor can be easily set up for a red dot. Best, dipnet


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:11 am
Posts: 126
Location: Haymarket, VA
For the most part new ones have had function issues right out of the box. Your money is better spent getting a used one from a bullseye shooter.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:09 pm
Posts: 592
Location: Chesterfield Missouri
If you are having function problems with one of these guns, have someone who knows how, custom fit the ejector. Generally you can't get away with just installing a new one.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:53 pm
Posts: 293
The hot red dot set up?

In my opinion, that would be a Clark barrel with the integral grooves. It's not as "blocky" as a factory barrel, so the weight and balance aren't too bad, and gets it the line of sight closer to the bore. The Clark I had (not using the M41 much these days) was really, really accurate!

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:44 am
Posts: 240
I had a 41 made in 1978 early in my bullseye shooting, it had a fantastic trigger but I was plagued by occasional stovepipes, I installed a Volquartsen edge extractor which helped but still had occasional problems.

I've grown to absolutely love the 1911 platform and the 22 conversions. My advice to anyone getting into bullseye would be to get a Nelson or Marvel conversion.


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 Post subject: Re: New versus old 41?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:11 pm
Posts: 23
A contrarian view on the S&W 41.

I bought one made in 2006-8 that was not drilled and tapped for a rail from a really good bullseye shooter who moved to a Hammerli. I had continual jamming problems with it. I bought the Clark Optical Sight equipped barrel. It made it easier to mount a Burris Fast Fire and seemed to help the jamming issue but didn't solve it.

I talked to the Clark Custom people about my problem. They advised me that S&W made three different barrels and slides that they mixed and matched for best performance. The difference is the alignment of the bore centerline to the frame and to the slide centerline. They are supposed to be +/- a few thousandths of an inch. Not sure if this was BS or not but its their story and I'm sticking to it!!!!

I finally solved my ejection problem after comparing my gun to a half dozen club guns shot extensively without problems. I found that my gun had no notch in the ejector position at all while each of the others had a notch about 1/4" long and 1/16" deep. The purpose of this notch is to allow the extractor to pull the empty or loaded round completely out of the chamber area and kick it away from the extractor and out of the action. I found a new/old stock ejector-slide hold back with an good notch. Installed it and had no further problems. The problem was the empty being kicked out too soon and catching on the chamber edge. It would not eject a live round without a bunch of cursing and shaking.

A friend bought one new! His had a very "vestigial" notch and the same problem. We took the bad one from mine, filed the notch and solved his problem.

Not satisfying for $1200 worth of gun!

Accuracy? I compared 7" barrel, 5-1/2", Clark Custom at 50' off a firm rest. All shot CCI Std Velocity into a 0.4" group edge to edge. 10 shots minimum sometimes 20 into the same hole. By the way, the manual says standard velocity only. I looked at a lot of heavily used guns and found that the ejector area was peened over from using high velocity ammunition. That could be part of your problems too.

For about half the total investment, I found my best accuracy and shooting comes from a Ruger MK-II government model 6-7/8" barrel with a Burris FastFire sight, a Voquartsen trigger group replacement, and a Vorquartsen target grip. No jamming and no ammunition restrictions. NOT a Mark III or IV. Neither are as good. Have tested all extensively.

Dave


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