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Smith and wesson 41 not accurate

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Slamfire
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Outthere
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Post by thessler Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:03 am

Hi
I have a smith and wesson 41 and basically it will not shoot a group. 
Yesterday I bench rested it at 50 ft and was happy to keep it in the black, pretty sure at 50 yards it would be ugly . Just to check my process I bench rested another gun with same ammo and it was fine .. This is an old used gun no warentee and it's not going back to smith and wesson. I cleaned the bore well and the lands and grooves look good to my eye, nothing jumps out a says here is the problem . I inspected the crown to the best of my ability,  strong light strong magnification and it looks perfect. The crown looks very  symmetrical , crisp and no burrs.
I'm pretty handy and can re crown it but I don't know if that would help. 
Is there such a thing as just a bad barrel that won't shoot,  no saving it ?
Maybe I'm missing something obvious , any thoughts greatly appreciated. 
Thanks , Tom

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Post by CrankyThunder Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:19 am

Were you using a proven ammo in that gun?  CCI SV?  

I guess what I would do is that I would take some Aerosol Wipe Out, let it foam the  barrel and let it set 30 mins.  Clean it out and then plug the barrel and fill it up with bore tech rimfire blend.  

That should get everything, lead, copper (if there is any), cobwebs, empty beer cans out of the barrel.  Right down to bare metal.  

Then I would clean it with a high tech CLP.  I use Ezzox and Gunzilla but they all are pretty good.  

Still wont shoot?  I would slug the barrel.  Bill Calfee has a good description in his book but what ya do is you pull a couple bullets from 22 cartridges and push them through the barrel using a cleaning rod with a jag with a blunt tip.  you can feel the tight and loose spots as it goes through the barrel and it should be tighter at the muzzle.  You can do some hand lapping to open up the breach end but I would see what the slugging tells you. 

Regards, 
Crankster
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Post by Outthere Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:47 am

Model 41's have been hit-and-miss for a long time now. 

I found it easier just to have the barrel re-lined. It's not all that expensive and it'll be perfect.

My 2 cents.
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Post by kc.crawford.7 Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:58 am

Alex Hamilton at 10 Ring Precision in Texas.  They reline barrels all the time.
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Post by Kp321 Sun Nov 29, 2020 10:31 am

I opted to go with a Clark barrel rather than the reline route. It’s a little more money but boy, does it shoot!  Available either with sights or optic ready. Great people to deal with too.

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Post by Slamfire Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:05 pm

thessler wrote:Hi
I have a smith and wesson 41 and basically it will not shoot a group. 
Yesterday I bench rested it at 50 ft and was happy to keep it in the black, pretty sure at 50 yards it would be ugly . Just to check my process I bench rested another gun with same ammo and it was fine .. This is an old used gun no warentee and it's not going back to smith and wesson. I cleaned the bore well and the lands and grooves look good to my eye, nothing jumps out a says here is the problem . I inspected the crown to the best of my ability,  strong light strong magnification and it looks perfect. The crown looks very  symmetrical , crisp and no burrs.
I'm pretty handy and can re crown it but I don't know if that would help. 
Is there such a thing as just a bad barrel that won't shoot,  no saving it ?
Maybe I'm missing something obvious , any thoughts greatly appreciated. 
Thanks , Tom

Replace the recoil spring and the mainspring, and if you can, the extractor spring. Then go shoot it again. While the recoil spring and extractor springs primarily effect function, a weak mainspring will cause inconsistent ignition and that will show up on target.   This is subtle,  almost universally ignored by the shooting community, but it is worth installing a new mainspring and seeing what happens. If it is indeed an old pistol, replace all springs before giving up on the barrel.

Then, send it off to Clark or Ten-X for barrel/chamber work.

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Post by bruce martindale Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:54 pm

Cleaning is relative. Did you clean with Kroil and a very tight patch/jag? Put some rpm into that rod when cleaning. Barrel may even get warm from friction. See what comes out. If patches are almost unstained, you're good. There were some 5.5" that were bad.

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Post by jjfitch Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:00 pm

Did it ever shoot "groups"?

Was this gun a "shooter" and now won't group? As mentioned above get the barrel squeaky clean. Lewis Lead remove or copper "Chore Boy" or  hardware store "bronze wool" wrapped around a bore brush. 

Starting with a squeaky clean barrel and using CCI-SV is where you should start analysis to determine if a new barrel or relining is necessary!

Smiles,
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Post by thessler Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:09 am

Actually doubt it ever shot groups but I'm not sure.  This was my first gun, I bought it two years ago and I never shot well. Everything I read said it's not the gun it's the shooter, I finally put it on the shelf and bought a new gun. Assuming I just don't get along with the gun. 
Just recently got it out to try to figure it out. 
Last night I scrubbed the bore , it looks like a mirror now. I also lapped the crown with some valve lapping compound and put a good size shim under the main spring. 
I will give it a go today,  if it's not acceptable it gets a liner.
Thanks to everyone for some good suggestions. 
Tom

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Post by jjfitch Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:42 am

thessler wrote:Actually doubt it ever shot groups but I'm not sure.  This was my first gun, I bought it two years ago and I never shot well. Everything I read said it's not the gun it's the shooter, I finally put it on the shelf and bought a new gun. Assuming I just don't get along with the gun. 
Just recently got it out to try to figure it out. 
Last night I scrubbed the bore , it looks like a mirror now. I also lapped the crown with some valve lapping compound and put a good size shim under the main spring. 
I will give it a go today,  if it's not acceptable it gets a liner.
Thanks to everyone for some good suggestions. 
Tom

Be sure to use ammo capable of excellent accuracy like CCI-SV or Ely!  

Smiles,
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Post by thessler Mon Nov 30, 2020 6:35 pm

Took it to the range today,, it is now making groups but still have problems. 
After spending a rediculas amount of time scrubbing the bore it helped, wasn't as clean as I thought it was. Also the shim under the main spring helped this amazed me, the gun was getting decent groups I pulled the shim out and the groups opened up. Put the shim back in. Shot CCI sv.
Now the problem,  I was shooting groups of six bench resting. Four would be real nice and tight and two would be 2 to 3 inches away and that's only at 50 feet. This didn't happen just once. The tight group showed holes small crisp and pretty much what you would expect.  The fliers would tear a big ragged whole in the papper. Pretty much looked like they went through sideways. 
So 2/3 of the group was pretty good 1/3 looked like the bullets were totally out of control. 
I feel I made very good progress,  but the barrel is basically useless as is. I'm guessing try re crowning.  Don't know where else to look.
Thank you for any advice , Tom

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Post by orpheoet Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:51 pm

Personally I'm of the opinion that with a .22 a clean CHAMBER is paramount. I get nervous when people start talking about aggressive cleaning of a .22 bore. The old adage that more barrels are ruined by cleaning than shooting pops into mind. If it were me I'd ask the best shooter I know to give it a try and see what kind of groups they can put together.
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Post by Slamfire Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:16 am

thessler wrote:
Now the problem,  I was shooting groups of six bench resting. Four would be real nice and tight and two would be 2 to 3 inches away and that's only at 50 feet. This didn't happen just once. The tight group showed holes small crisp and pretty much what you would expect.  The fliers would tear a big ragged whole in the papper. Pretty much looked like they went through sideways.

It is too bad that slugging a bore and measuring the bullet is so difficult. This thread has information as to SAAMI dimensions. https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/22-cal-lr-bore-diameter.652152/

If it is possible, and you can measure with calibrated equipment, it would be worth slugging the barrel and determining if you have an over sized bore.

And, replace the mainspring. As you learned, speed and power of a firing pin makes a big difference in accuracy.

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Post by WesG Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:58 pm

My A model 7-1/2" slugs .224, with very heavy lands. And looks like it has a bulge in the bore. I don't recall if I felt it when slugging. And the chamber is .228 IIRC. It grouped about 1-1/2" at 50 yds. My custom barrel made from a scrap of Lilja rimfire barrel with a Bentz chamber did about 1-1/4". Somewhat disappointing after all that work ;-)

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Post by Slamfire Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:15 pm

WesG wrote:My A model 7-1/2" slugs .224, with very heavy lands. And looks like it has a bulge in the bore. I don't recall if I felt it when slugging. And the chamber is .228 IIRC. It grouped about 1-1/2" at 50 yds. My custom barrel made from a scrap of Lilja rimfire barrel with a Bentz chamber did about 1-1/4". Somewhat disappointing after all that work ;-)
If you can see a shadow, that keeps its location as the barrel is rotated, that is, it rotates with the barrel, you have a bulge. Might have had a stuck bullet and the next one down kicked it out!

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Post by bruce martindale Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:25 pm

If you keyholed a few, your barrel may be oversize, or that ammo has random undersize bullets. Measure a bunch with a micrometer if you have one.

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