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M41 failure to feed

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Post by John McCormick 12/18/2021, 4:48 pm

I've recently begun experiencing continuous failures to feed in my older (pre-A) Model 41. At first I thought it was just a dirty chamber, but a thorough cleaning did not correct the problem. What happens is this: if I release the slide from the locked-back position, either via the slide lock or by tugging back and releasing the slide, the top round enters the chamber and stops about half-way. The round ends up parallel with the bore, basically going straight into the chamber, but stopping with about 1/2" or so hanging out. I've tried different magazines, same result. But if I lower the slide first, insert the magazine, and then pull the slide all the way back and release it, the top round chambers every time regardless of which magazine I'm using. The gun does not fail during strings of fire, only during the chambering of the top round from a fresh magazine. CCI SV ammunition, same as I've been using right along. No dings at the chamber mouth. I'm going to replace the recoil spring. What else should I be looking at?

John McCormick

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Post by xman 12/18/2021, 5:45 pm

Hmmmm ... that is a perplexing one.  Have you taken the bolt/rear slide out (bolt not removed from the carrier) and thoroughly cleaned it with your favorite cleaner(s)?

Just a wild a** guess.
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Post by Tripscape 12/18/2021, 7:57 pm

Try to clean the frame in the viciity of the mag release. I am guessing here is what happens - mag sits too high and you are hitting the top of the mag with slide.  However, when you have slide forward and loading the mag - you are forcing the mag to sit lower and all is peachy.

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Post by kc.crawford.7 12/19/2021, 7:28 am

Does ammo drop freely into the chamber all the way to the rim?  If not clean the chamber until you can do that and see if the problem goes away.
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Post by John McCormick 12/19/2021, 12:29 pm

Thanks for the responses. KC,: a CCI SV round would not drop into the chamber on its own. I gave the barrel a thorough cleaning (more than I usually do) and now the round will drop in with a distinct "ker-plunk". I'm going to try it again without changing anything else. But I did note that the recoil spring in the gun is 1/2" shorter than a new S&W replacement and 3/8" shorter than a Wolff 7# variable. Time to replace it?

John McCormick

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Post by troystaten 12/19/2021, 2:47 pm

I would trying shooting it again with just the chamber being cleaned.  If that does not work then change the spring.  Best to eliminate problems one at a time.  That being said it sounds like the spring might be in need of replacing as well but I will defer to KC on that one.

good luck.

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Post by John McCormick 12/19/2021, 5:45 pm

Thanks, that's the plan.

John McCormick

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Post by kc.crawford.7 12/20/2021, 7:10 am

John, just for future reference.  Use a .25-.27 cal bore brush in just the chamber to help keep it clean and lead free.  That is probably 90% plus of the functioning problems with a 41.
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Post by John McCormick 12/20/2021, 1:08 pm

kc.crawford.7 wrote:John, just for future reference.  Use a .25-.27 cal bore brush in just the chamber to help keep it clean and lead free.  That is probably 90% plus of the functioning problems with a 41.


Thanks, the cleaning did the trick. The first round feeds now reliably. Of course as I was shooting today, about fifty rounds in, I began to notice fired cases with sideways firing pin indentations: obviously a broken firing pin. I found later it had broken about 1/4" back from the tip, but that's easy enough to replace. Thanks again for the advice.

John McCormick

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Post by kc.crawford.7 12/20/2021, 2:17 pm

Glad I could help John.
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