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 Silver $$ 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 Silver $$ 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.
     
  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.
     
    bichettereds likes this.

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