Commemorative Pistol ?

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Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by Jon Math on 9/20/2017, 9:02 am

Time to upgrade and I have the opportunity to pick up a Smith 41 target pistol.  I’m slightly concerned that it started life as a commemorative pistol and the side of the slide is engraved with some garish gold leaf scroll work.  Does anyone know if these pistols are  normal pistols that are just picked off the line and engraved, or are they really just hunks of metal that resemble S&W41’s and are not fully functioning shooters?
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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by Wobbley on 9/20/2017, 10:31 am

If it is a 50th Anniversary Smith it is a factory.  It will shoot probably as well as a regular.  But they seem to have a 400 dollar premium.

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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by Froneck on 9/20/2017, 10:48 am

41 is a good shooter but some had problems. I at one time made 41 barrels for Floyd Aikman. It was over 20 years ago might be 30 years. I would leave 1/6" of material in the area that fitted the barrel in the frame. Floyd would then fit it to individual frames, he claimed that the poor accuracy and sometimes failure to feed was due to that dimension error in that spot. Don't know as I never worked on them and it was so long ago I forgot the details.

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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by zanemoseley on 9/20/2017, 12:09 pm

From my personal experience with 41's and what I've observed I don't feel they're a good choice for a serious bullseye pistol, especially with nice ones going for $1000 or more now. They far too often are plagued by stove pipes. I was talking to a shooter on the line at Columbia TN last month about why I got rid of my late 70's, he was shooting one. He said it was too bad I sold it as he did X, Y and Z to get his running right. Right after that conversation he had no less than 3 alibi's from stove pipes, he even had 4 or more kinds of ammo he was trying. He shot .22 for the entire 2700. I had not 1 alibi from my Nelson or 45.

I think a dedicated 1911 lower with a 22 conversion is the best option, Marvel conversions are all sub 1" at 50 yards, often closer to 1/2" for no extra fee. You're already shooting a 1911 most likely for CF & 45 it only makes sense to stick with the same platform for 22 also. Not to mention most bullseye shooters have at least some ability to work on 1911's so its on less platform to learn to work on.

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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by cdrt on 9/20/2017, 1:05 pm

Regarding stovepipes in the Model 41.  There are two different ejector/slide stop configurations.  I switched mine to the newer version and have not had any stovepipes since.
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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by Jon Math on 9/20/2017, 1:13 pm

I’m sort of a .22 LR specialist these days but when I do shoot CF matches it’s with a revolver.  I keep looking at Pardini and FWB but I cannot quite bring myself to buy one mainly just to shoot in a league once a week.  I’m not in love with the 41 either but I have a High Standard and I’m done nursing that antique so I’m kind of out of options. 
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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by Keyholed on 9/20/2017, 6:31 pm

Should be fine--check out smith-wessonforum (not smithandwessonforums) and ask them.

I think the 41 is nice, but it's very muzzle-heavy. I think reliability concerns come down to either spring issues or folks monkeying with them to get them to "run right".

I look at it this way--for cheap, you can have a Ruger, Browning, or S&W that'll be reliable with whatever quality ammo you decide to feed it.

For a grand, you can have a 41 that'll take a little more effort to be reliable--mostly in the form of needing to give it CCI SV or something else that's not a huge pain.

For the same money, you can build yourself a 1911-22 with a Nelson. After a little fiddling, it'll be as reliable as the Ruger. But as helpful as Larry is, you're still dealing with a Frankengun, and building one takes a lot of effort. I had horrid failures to feed and eject for a year that left me scratching my head. The solution? Going 1# heavier on the recoil spring. Have literally not had a stoppage since. Even switched to a thumb-high grip (thumb on the safety), and haven't had a problem.

For much bigger money, you can have something more exotic (potentially with some :effort: required for mounting optics), with additional ammo-choosiness. Or you can have a pistolsmith build you a 1911-22.

Each option is "balanced" as we say in games-playing. They're all different mixes of effort and cash.

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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by Rob9mmshooter on 9/20/2017, 7:41 pm

The first 22 I had to shoot Bullseye I purchased from Clark guns and it was at the time a lightly used Model 41.  I have the original Smith barrel with iron sights and a Clark barrel machined to mount a scope.  Both have been very reliable overall and I have shot at least 30,000 rounds through the Clark barrel with few issues.  It will misbehave with the wrong ammo or bad ammo but they all do.  One thing that is especially nice about the Smith is the way the barrel is held on.  It can be changed quickly and easily going from iron sights to a scope setup both already zeroed.  This also makes it easy to install a new barrel.  Since then I have bought a Marvel conversion, Nelson conversion, FWB AW93, and a Pardini.  I have them all except the Marvel which was stolen.  They all have their peculiarities and are all different in the way they balance and feel when you shoot them.  I think that they are all good competitive  Bullseye guns given proper care and feeding.

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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by troystaten on 9/20/2017, 8:37 pm

As far as I know the engraved ones are just regular 41's that have been blinged up, might be a good way to distract the other shooters;)  I have a model 41 and it shoots very well and I have had very very few issues with it and it seems like it likes just about any ammo.

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Re: Commemorative Pistol ?

Post by rgwellsjr on 9/22/2017, 12:15 pm

I've heard a lot about problems with the 41 but I've never experienced them first hand.  Bought mine new in 1981 but was out of the sport for a while.  Started again a few years ago and in that time have something like 2 alibis.

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