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Gun weight question

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Post by thessler on 1/20/2019, 6:33 am

Hi
I shoot a model 41 with a five inch heavy barrel, not very well but I'm working on it. I always kind of knew this is a heavy gun and made the assumption heavier would be more stable. Recently I have been shooting a lighter gun and shooting it much better even though it's of less quality.  I can hold the lighter gun with a quite a bit smaller wobble area. I basically got used the the lighter gun and the last few days went back to the 41 and I don't even want to shoot it, it seems too heavy and my groups open up.
So my basic question, is heavier more stable and I should just strengthen my arm ?
Or should I just abandon the 41 and get a high quality lighter gun ?
I'm no weakling , and I'm not lazy . If I should strengthen my arm I'll do it, just not sure if that's the propper course of action.
Thank you for any advice,  Tom

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Post by TonyH on 1/20/2019, 7:40 am

PM me when and where you abandon the 41.....Wink
Here are some weight references for you (I was curious too, so I weighed them):
Nelson Custom on a full length dust cover steel frame w/Matchdot II - 51.5 ozs.
Nelson Custom on a full length dust cover steel frame with irons - 41.8 ozs.
S&W Model 41 5.5" bbl. w/Vortex Crossfire - 49.9 ozs.
S&W Model 41 7" bbl. w/irons - 41.8 ozs.
Ruger Mark IV 22/45 w/irons - 33.9 ozs.
Cold Gold Cup NM w/Matchdot II 45ACP - 50 ozs.
Springfield Arm. RO w/irons 45ACP - 39 ozs

Quite the weight variation from heaviest to lightest and not sure it makes a hill o' beans difference to my score averages, which gun I shoot. 
I shoot the Nelson/Matchdot combo as my primary go to, with the SW41 5.5"/Vortex as the backup. Personally I like all that weight and it helps with recovery in the sustained fire strings, imo. Just got used to holding the weight. If you shoot a 1911 45 (for 2700's) with an optic, you are going to end up shooting a gun in the heavy range anyway......and once arm strength is built up, you can hold the lighter guns up forever and ever.SmileSmile
In the end, personal preference for most....I shoot them all without prejudice!
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Post by CR10X on 1/20/2019, 7:44 am

Yes, heavier can generally be more stable, but only up to a point for each person. 

Here is my perspective, I'm sure others will have their own opinions / examples, etc. 

A 5 inch M41 generally weighs almost the same as a 7 inch.  And you are going to be in the same ballpark when shooting the .45.  And if you are going to shoot dot sights; the weight may go up even more.

It takes some time to develop the the body (sensory feedback, muscle control, strength and endurance) no matter what your gross physical strength level is to get to the best consistent position and wobble for you.  

Some people will get there with more weight, some with less, but in general from a weight standpoint; I'd say most shooters I've seen will call the M41 5 inch open sight is in the middle, a Ruger 5 inch bull barrel MKII with a dot scope would be on the heavy side and a Buckmark open sight on the light side.   

Hope this gives some perspective.

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Post by jglenn21 on 1/20/2019, 8:03 am

Balance is very important to me.. a light muzzle jumps around for me..
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Post by thessler on 1/20/2019, 9:29 am

OK thanks guys. 
FYI my model forty one   5 inch barrel is significantly heavier than the 7 inch barrel. I shoot the 7 inch with open sights better than the five inch with a dot. I think largely due to the weight difference. 
I will continue on and work on my stance. Maybe it will start to feel lighter.
Thanks, Tom

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Post by Wobbley on 1/20/2019, 11:15 am

Build your strength.  Go to a gym and ask a trainer.  You can also train at home or office with these.  Don’t just hold them up move your arm from the shoulder in small circles with low weights.

https://www.amazon.com/GYMENIST-Weights-Adjustable-Swimming-Activities/dp/B073ZL51DP/ref=asc_df_B073ZL51DP/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312136861807&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=1361769400768756551&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9031348&hvtargid=pla-611699405745&psc=1
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Post by Bmitch996 on 1/20/2019, 1:10 pm

I don't shoot my M41 for the same reason, it's so heavy I find it to be a distraction.  With the 5.5" bbl and just iron sights I find myself thinking about how damn heavy it feels rather than concentrating on my shooting. When shooting my other 22s (Hammerli 215, Beretta 89 or HS Victor w/LSP bbl) I'm not thinking about the weight.  The HS Victor with the original bbl and weight is a boat anchor as well.  It's not a strength issue with me because I workout all the time.  The 89 feels about right to me heavy/solid but not excessively heavy and distracting.

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Post by troystaten on 1/20/2019, 4:20 pm

Sounds like you have the barrel you have for your 41 is the 5.5 inch barrel which is heavy.  S&W made a 5 inch field barrel which is lighter.  This barrel is not made anymore but sometimes they show up on E-bay.  This barrel in mint condition is a bit of a collectors item but one with some finish wear is not so bad.  You might also look at the 5 inch Clark barrel.

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Post by 285wannab on 1/20/2019, 5:24 pm

If you like the 41 one option is to get a 7 inch barrel and have it cut down to 5 inches.

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Post by jglenn21 on 1/20/2019, 6:12 pm

Which was all the 5" field barrel was
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Post by thessler on 1/20/2019, 7:26 pm

Actually I really don't like my 41, and thinking about a different gun. The only thing holding me back is what was pointed out earlier,  when I do get serious about shooting the colt 45 I'm going to need to deal with a heavy gun. I appreciate the advice I think I'll just stay the course. 
Thanks, Tom


Last edited by thessler on 1/20/2019, 7:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by gregbenner on 1/20/2019, 7:28 pm

Hmm, I don’t find the 41 heavy at all.  I just weighed a few of my 22s. all identically equipped with Rink grips, FF3 dot sight, and no magazine. Heaviest to lightest:

208s. 41.3,  AW93. 41.1,   MG2 40.5,  Model 41 with Clark 5 1/2’ ribbed barrel. 39.6,  Pardini. 39.3. (the 208 has the heaviest barrel weight available as does the Pardini).

Some of the issue might be the sight, some of them are really heavy.

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Post by troystaten on 1/20/2019, 7:43 pm

Curious as to why you don't like the 41.  If I was going to shoot something different the only upgrade I could think for me would be to go for a fancy Euro gun.

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Post by thessler on 1/20/2019, 9:48 pm

For starters I shouldn't call it heavy, but say I shoot a light gun better.
I cannot grip the gun the same way every time like I can my 1911. I know get new grips you say, but it's still heavy. I don't like the trigger, the trigger on my 1911 is much better. Lastly the only way the gun will shoot standard velocity is to lube the bullets. Otherwise it becomes very unreliable.  And yes it's been looked at and worked on. Basically I feel I'm fighting this gun to get good results. Where I can get good results easier with a lighter different gun.
Thanks, Tom

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Post by knightimac on 1/21/2019, 7:53 am

+1 on not liking the balance/weight of a model 41.  I shot one 20 years ago for several years and disliked the balance and weight.  I sold it and shot a Ruger MKII with upgrades.  Shot it much better and enjoyed shooting it.  I still have a Ruger as a backup and now shoot a Nelson on Caspian frame as my primary.
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Post by mikemyers on 1/21/2019, 9:21 am

My own solution to this problem was from three years ago.  Model 41 was way too heavy, during dry fire practice.  I had trouble just holding it up, let alone keeping it steady.  Improved somewhat over time, but not a lot.  So, I bought wrist weights from Bass Pro Shops, making the gun even heavier, and used THAT for dry fire practice for a while.  A few weeks later, I switched to where I'd dry fire practice with the wrist weight, then remove the wrist weight and continue my dry fire session.  Amazing - the Model 41 then felt like it was made of plastic.

Probably sounds pretty silly, but it worked very well for me.
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Post by SmokinNJokin on 1/21/2019, 10:04 am

I have a magazine that I filled with lead for dry fire practice, accomplishes the same thing. My guns are all as heavy as possible and they don't tire me in an all day 2700. Just had to train for it. The 7" 41 is very nose heavy though.

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Post by mikemyers on 1/21/2019, 10:55 am

SmokinNJokin wrote:I have a magazine that I filled with lead for dry fire practice, accomplishes the same thing. My guns are all as heavy as possible and they don't tire me in an all day 2700. Just had to train for it. The 7" 41 is very nose heavy though.
I like that idea much more than what I did.  I have an old magazine for Model 41 and 1911 45.  I think I'll start searching around for someone who can fill them with lead for me.  Much nicer than what I've been doing, and as you noted, accomplishes the same thing.   Thanks!!! 

...........now, how to find a way to fill them with lead........  Anybody here know someone who could do it?  The OP would benefit too.
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Post by Wobbley on 1/21/2019, 11:21 am

Mix up a batch of epoxy and small lead shot for shotgun shells, remove the innards from the magazine, degrease with acetone, and stuff in as much epoxy coated shot as you can.  Set aside until the epoxy sets.
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