Info on the Smith & Wesson Model 41

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by 30EX, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. 30EX

    30EX Gold $$ Contributor

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    Anybody on this site really know about those auto's. Looking at buying one, should I buy new or buy old, Are the new ones better or worst?

    Someone set me straight, which one is the one I should own? I do like the 5" barrel.

    The X-Man
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb

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    Target guns get shot a lot. Buy new with a warranty.

    My 1980's model wasnt reliable. It wasnt any better when it came back from the S&W warranty service.
     
  3. 30EX

    30EX Gold $$ Contributor

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    My first choice was to buy new, is there any quality issues with the new ones?
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb

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  5. germanlongbow

    germanlongbow Scott M Bainbridge

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    I have a older 7 inch model. My nephew has a newer 5.5 model. Mine will outshoot his all day long. I'd buy an older one.
     
    vahena likes this.
  6. corsair4360

    corsair4360 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I love my Model 41 with the 5.5" barrel. It went back for warranty, due to failure to eject loaded rounds (when not fired). Needs frequent cleaning, but it shoots great. My 41 has a wonderful trigger which I have to be careful not to get double taps with when shooting. I shoot in an indoor league in the winter here. My 41 is a better shot than I am.
     
  7. powderbrake

    powderbrake Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have owned many Model 41's, as I used to collect them. I have not shot the new models, so I can only recommend the older models. I particularly like the pre A series models for the trigger and the general quality.

    Model 41's can tend to fail to eject when they are dirty. Keep them clean, and they like lots of oil (or Teflon grease). The barrel must be clean, as well as the frame rails. The trigger mechanism does not need to be cleaned much. It also needs oil, but is not easily disassembled, and unless you are proficient in pistolsmithing, don't disassemble past taking off the barrel and slide.

    They get dirty around the breech face, and the gunk can interfere with the extractor, so again, keep it clean. A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning the barrel, and the face of the slide.

    They may also prefer a particular brand of ammo, however I bought a few cases of Winchester Wildcat ammo many years ago, as it was the cheapest stuff on the market, and It shot fine in my 41's.

    The sights are better (larger)on the 5.5 barrels, but the 7 3/8 barrels have a wider rear aperture, and as your eyes get older, that helps.

    A little history for when they were built:

    SN 1401.... First gun 1957
    11,xxx...…...1958

    16,xxx...…..1959

    1959, introduced the 5" light weight barrel, ( they cut off the 7 3/8 barrels to make them) and the Model 46, (A 41 with a dull finish)

    25,000...…..1960/61

    70,xxx...…..1967

    A115,xxx......1968/69 A prefix guns started. These and the prior had loaded chamber indicators.

    A 486,xxx.... 1980 No they didn't make 486,000 model 41's, they serialized all the semi auto pistols in the same group which contained all the semi auto models of all calibers.

    Numbers without the A prefix and later letter and number combinations did not have the loaded chamber indicator. Note, the indicator does NOT make them shoot any better, it is only an attraction for collectors. I never collected later models so I am not up to date on current serial numbers.

    I understand your preference for the 5.5". It has great balance, and is every bit as accurate as the longer barreled ones.

    I like the 5.5 for Bullseye shooting, the 7 3/8 for bullseye and plinking. I have a 5" light weight which is an superb field gun, light and super accurate. It is a parts gun, with a later, post A Series frame and a 5" lightweight barrel.

    So, enjoy whatever 41 you get and keep it clean.
     
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  8. kberch

    kberch

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    Good Morning, I have been reading your post on S&W Model 41's. I have one to sell. The serial number is 97xxx and has the cocking indicator making it a 1967 gun. It has the 5&1/2 inch barrel. I bought it in 1992 with the intention of competing with it but then life happened ant that idea went out the window. Because it's too nice to hunt with it has been a "Safe Queen" pretty much ever since. The gun has a Aimpoint 1000 mounted on it but removing the Aimpoint gets you back to the iron sights with no problems. I have 2 mags and a lockable hard case to go along with the package. If you have any interest get back to me at george169@frontier.com or call 920-810-4964. I will add a picture. Thank's, Keith


    Someone set me straight, which one is the one I should own? I do like the 5" barrel.

    The X-Man[/QUOTE]
     

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  9. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    Buy an older one with the cocking indicator. If you can get a 7 3/8" Barrel with the Brake and the screw on cover and if you get one with the original box you will only make money on it in the future if things hold as they have been.

    My 1971 Model 41 with the 7 3/8" and 5" Bull will be passed on to my grand daughter.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  10. Steve Ladino

    Steve Ladino Silver $$ Contributor

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    During the early 80's several Army Reserve team members who were members of our club in Frederick Md. all shot the long 41's.
     
  11. riflewoman

    riflewoman Gold $$ Contributor

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    Old, new, short, long, they’re all decent. There were some issues in the late 80s and S&W stopped production for two years in 1992. So I’d avoid ones built in that late 1980s to 1992. Mine has an Clark aftermarket barrel, not that the original barrel was bad, but I didn’t want to drill the original to mount the dot.

    Any 41 is accurate enough. The real issue is most shooters don’t keep them clean enough.
     
  12. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    They also tend to like certain ammos over others, not for accuracy, but for consistent feeding.

    Buy one with the 5" Bull or the 8 3/8" with brake and then find the other barrel and buy it. The new long barrels don't have the break. There is also a sporter barrel for it, though they are kind of rare.

    You could also buy the new competition model and get a built in rail for a lot more money.

    Bob
     
  13. Peterom

    Peterom

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    Bought a 41 ~10 years ago and it shoots great; one of the members in the league I shot was a national Bull's eye champion and he said it would be his preferred gun over a Hammerli or something similar and the 41 cost ~1/2. I thought I was going to get into Bull's eye so I also got a set of grips to make it like a 1911.
     

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