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Smith & Wesson 41 pistol -- one opinion.

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Post by CO1Mtn 2/28/2022, 5:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

Greetings fellow shooters,

I want to give anyone reading this a heads-up about the Smith and Wesson model 41 pistol. I bought one of them new and for $1200, it does not perform anywhere near what it should. I'm getting stovepipes, failure to extract, and failure to go into battery. I've tried a few different brands of ammo, and it's very fussy about ammo. Only two brands that I have tried so far work at all. It won't even function with some brands. The reliability is very poor.

The sights also came crooked from the factory ( I bought it through gunbroker ), and even though I sent the pistol back to the factory, they simply said "could not duplicate problem" and sent it back.

Guys, I thought I was doing the right thing by buying an American made product, but the engineering is poor and this pistol is not a quality product. I'm hearing other reports of people having the same issues, too. For what it costs, this pistol should be a lot better. It's not even as good as a stock Ruger MKII. Please learn from my mistake, and others' mistakes, and avoid this pistol.

If anyone knows a good gunsmith I can send this to to get it working, please send me a message.

I am so frustrated with this pistol. And I might not buy any more S&W products again. This thing is a disgrace to American made products. European engineering must be better, because I don't hear about people having this type of trouble with Pardinis and Hammerlis. I used to always "buy American," but items like this one make me reconsider.


Last edited by james r chapman on 3/3/2022, 8:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Reflecting different opinions-admin)

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Post by chiz1180 3/8/2022, 4:17 pm

Try cleaning the chamber with a .243 brush. Seeing as none of the ammo dropped in, a dirty chamber is likely the culprit. Is the function different now then when you first bought it?
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Post by CO1Mtn 3/8/2022, 4:43 pm

Is this a good idea then?

polish

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Post by CO1Mtn 3/8/2022, 4:46 pm

I'll try the .234 brush.

When I first bought it, it would only work with lead nosed ammo, as it does today. It was more reliable when it was new than it is now. But I cleaned it after every day of shooting. I am going to try to widen out the chamber very slightly with polishing compound. I am going to put one of these brushes dipped with a little compound into a drill and try to polish it out. It might widen it a little. I'll plug the barrel with tissue paper so none of this compound gets into the barrel.

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Post by Wobbley 3/8/2022, 6:32 pm

CO1Mtn wrote:Is this a good idea then?

polish
I wouldn’t.  I’ll look up Roy Dunlaps book on gunsmithing for a chamber lap and his recommendation.
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Post by spursnguns 3/9/2022, 1:25 pm

CO1Mtn wrote:Is this a good idea then?
 Hello CO1Mtn,

Definitely not.  Instead, contact Dave Manson for the proper reamer.  If reamed correctly, you won't need to polish a thing.

Jim
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Post by CO1Mtn 3/9/2022, 2:57 pm

Is this the site?

https://mansonreamers.com/catalog/


I might be better off having a gunsmith do this. It looks like a big undertaking.

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Post by brdrgrd 3/9/2022, 3:22 pm

Try soaking some patches with Kroll Oil and place them in the chamber to soak overnight. Then try cleaning the chamber with your brass brush. The Kroll Oil will greatly help the removal any stuck on material.

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Post by CO1Mtn 3/9/2022, 4:40 pm

Ok, I'll have to pick up some Kroll oil. I did a detail clean tonight, but the ammo still isn't passing the plop test. I don't understand why the pistol left the factory with the chamber being too tight. Did they skip a machining step?

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Post by spursnguns 3/10/2022, 5:17 am

CO1Mtn wrote:Is this the site?

https://mansonreamers.com/catalog/

I might be better off having a gunsmith do this. It looks like a big undertaking.

Hello CO1Mtn,

Perhaps a gunsmith, Ten Ring Precision or KCs Kustom Creations, would be in order.  In the interim, yes, a good soaking in Kroil (a penetrating oil to get under the fouling) might be needed.

I have two M41s and a M46, all older, and they all function great with uber clean chambers.

Jim
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Post by -TT- 3/10/2022, 6:21 am

Do you have access to a borescope? Earlier in the thread you mentioned you used Armscor copper-plated ammo. If that plating flaked off and stuck to the forward forcing cone area, it may take some serious scrubbing to get it out. Such a restriction will easily explain all your failure to feed, go into battery, and light-strike issues.

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Post by TicTocer 3/10/2022, 8:28 am

Cleaning the chamber on a target 22 is mandatory. I use Hoppes No 9 on a0.25 caliber brass brush. Put a 90 in it to keep it off the grooves. Do it every 250 - 300 rounds.
The barrel is not as critical. Some do not do not clean them. I use rolled up small cotton patches soaked with No 9 and push it through with a wood skewer every brick. Push the patches until they come out clean.

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Post by CO1Mtn 3/10/2022, 2:12 pm

Thank you for all the advice. I gave the chamber a good cleaning. I suppose I'll just have to go to the range and try it out again, but I remember that it never functioned 100%.

I did find a local gunsmith in Williamsport who says he fixes 41s. He immediately guessed what was wrong with it before I even told him. He seemed quite confident that it wouldn't be a problem for him.

I like the idea about the bore scope. I wish I had one, but I don't. There are a lot of tools I wish I had, but if I bought them all, I'd run out of room! I will have to use a flashlight instead.
I shouldn't have shot copper plated ammo through this pistol, but I just wanted to see if it would work since none of the other ammo was working. It wasn't feeding right, but I did manage to get one or two to fire. People tell me the high velocity stuff isn't good for match pistols. I think they are not made for the fast recoil and it wears them out faster.

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Post by -TT- 3/10/2022, 2:48 pm

Borescopes are not too awfully expensive now. I have this one, pistol length: https://www.amazon.com/Borescope-Cleaning-Right-Angle-0-2-Inch-Diameter/dp/B08D67H7LZ

Regarding the never 100% thing, these pistols are tight from the factory and they do take a few hundred rounds to break in. Patience can be a virtue, here.

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Post by jim1K 3/11/2022, 6:04 am

Well I have new 41 with the letters UEH proceeding the numbers and it didn't even have lands and grooves going the length of the barrel. It never would cycle at all... The trigger was click, take up, and creep then fire, plus it key holed 8 shots in a row.. It sitting at S&W since Jan. 6th and I haven't heard a peep  and the person talked to is no longer with the company..... Jim


Last edited by jim1K on 3/12/2022, 3:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by jim1K 3/11/2022, 6:15 am

Here is a good one you can't even call customer service at S&W any more, the number doesn't work

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Post by Pinetree 3/11/2022, 6:16 am

They answered my email just yesterday, so I don't know what's up with that.


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Post by NukeMMC 3/11/2022, 6:40 am

CO1Mtn wrote:Thank you for all the advice. I gave the chamber a good cleaning. I suppose I'll just have to go to the range and try it out again, but I remember that it never functioned 100%.

I did find a local gunsmith in Williamsport who says he fixes 41s. He immediately guessed what was wrong with it before I even told him. He seemed quite confident that it wouldn't be a problem for him.

I like the idea about the bore scope. I wish I had one, but I don't. There are a lot of tools I wish I had, but if I bought them all, I'd run out of room! I will have to use a flashlight instead.
I shouldn't have shot copper plated ammo through this pistol, but I just wanted to see if it would work since none of the other ammo was working. It wasn't feeding right, but I did manage to get one or two to fire. People tell me the high velocity stuff isn't good for match pistols. I think they are not made for the fast recoil and it wears them out faster.
Not sure who your smith is in Williamsport (I used to live in Jersey Shore) but Dave Wells is a couple hours away in Nicholson.  He is a former Kimber gunsmith, but he is familiar with MANY platforms.  Give him a call and see if he does 41s.
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Post by Coupebuilder 3/11/2022, 6:44 am

As far as Customer Service, I contacted them with the issues for my UAK series 41 and had a fed ex tag in hand in 2 days. Will let you folks know how fasat they move on it.

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Post by jim1K 3/11/2022, 7:04 am

Mine has been there since Jan. 6th and I could talk to a live person till today at customer service  ..... Jim

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Post by FinallyShooting 3/12/2022, 12:40 pm

Just got a new one, took it out of the case, and flawlessly ran 100 rounds through it with excellent groupings.  The sights were only off by a bit which I'll adjust.  As for S&W customer support, it stinks, had an S&W 15-22 that jammed every seven or so shots.  Sent it to S&W, got it back in three weeks, with no difference... ended up selling it to a friend who fixed it, but I didn't want it.  Looking forward to putting a red dot on the 41, thinking about one with magnification.

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Post by NukeMMC 3/14/2022, 12:32 pm

Just ran my 41 fresh back from KC. It's a mid-90s UAK serial that had seen PLENTY of use.
He relined the barrel, did his slidestop/ejector mod and a trigger job. Pistol ran 50rds each of Eley Target, Eley Bullseye Pistol X and CCI SV without a hitch. Bullseye was most accurate, filled closely by CCI. Pistol easily held inside the Slow Fire 10 ring at 50ft with all 3. Quite a different shooting Pistol than my Victors, but now equally accurate.
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Post by Smokinbear 3/14/2022, 12:40 pm

Hey depending on where in Colorado u r if it’s near ft Collins have Chuck Holdt at Rocky mt. Shooter supply team the chamber. My 1970 a series had a tight chamber that was prone to alibis and now it’s perfect . More of a lurker than a poster but I have personally had similar issues and now I don’t. Hope this helps.    Bear
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Post by Pinetree 3/14/2022, 12:49 pm

So KC is up and running?

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Post by NukeMMC 3/14/2022, 1:41 pm

Pinetree wrote:So KC is up and running?

Not for a few months.  He is doing well, though.  Mine were the last couple guns before he went in.
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Post by CO1Mtn 3/14/2022, 3:44 pm

Smokinbear wrote:Hey depending on where in Colorado u r if it’s near ft Collins have Chuck Holdt at Rocky mt. Shooter supply team the chamber. My 1970 a series had a tight chamber that was prone to alibis and now it’s perfect . More of a lurker than a poster but I have personally had similar issues and now I don’t. Hope this helps.    Bear

Thank you for that info sir. But I PCSd out of Colorado and I am now in Pennsylvania. I really miss Colorado.

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