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Smith 41 inspection

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NukeMMC
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Post by inthebeech 5/12/2022, 6:44 am

I haven't owned anything other than my High Standard, my only rimfire, and am going to look at/purchase a 41 of some generation.
Any tips on what to focus on when trying to evaluate for home-gunsmithing, unusual wear, damage, versions that are preferred and how to identify them?...  All i know to look for is bolt face peening from excessive dry firing.  

In the event that the below couple of photos tell you anything, I'm including a link. I'm headed there anyway since my favorite peanut shop is in the same town and I'm running low.

https://www.gunsinternational.com/guns-for-sale-online/pistols/smith-wesson-pistols-model-41/smith-wesson-41-22-long-rifle.cfm?gun_id=101836644

Thanks,
Ed
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Post by BE Mike 5/12/2022, 7:48 am

The only comment I'll make is it seems way over priced. A few weeks ago, there was a similar used older S&W model 41 for sale here in Indiana. The seller wanted less than a grand.
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Post by inthebeech 5/12/2022, 7:52 am

Concur. I intend to offer considerably less or walk out.
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Post by BruceV 5/12/2022, 10:45 am

I wanted to get a model 41 for my wife.  I was told to stay away from the new ones.  The older models with an A prefix I was told was the way to go.

Everyone of them I saw was overpriced.

I ended up buying her a new Ruger Mark 4 Target.  Installed a Volquartsen Trigger kit, Volquartsen extractor and firing pin.  Bought a new Matchdot II and a Tandemkross mini rail, and Halo ring.  I ended up just a little over $1K.

And the gun shoots great, it's not a Pardini but it sure is capable of shooting great scores.

Just another way to go.

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Post by Wobbley 5/12/2022, 11:04 am

If it’s the one pictured it should be a decent pistol as it is an “A” prefix serial.  This places it as built in the 1970s.  As for offering at Cabelas, they will generally accept a bid of about 10% lower that the retail price, but not much lower than that.
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Post by inthebeech 5/12/2022, 1:37 pm

Thanks Wobbley.
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Post by NukeMMC 5/12/2022, 3:33 pm

I trust you're going to visit the Port Clinton Hotel for a cheesesteak and fries.

Should you desire, come on over to Harrisburg/Hershey and you can try my 41. 

Some stuff to look for:

Peening of bolt face into breech face:
Smith 41 inspection 51700936756_bbb123952a_c

Metal displacement on sides due to impact:
Smith 41 inspection 51700140902_e939e6696e_c

Smith 41 inspection 51700140332_2538eaf1c2_c

This pistol had poor accuracy (1.5" at 50ft OFF THE BENCH).  Based on the condition and performance, I figured the barrel was shot and sent it to KC Crawford.  He had it relined, fit the bolt to the slide correctly, did a trigger job, etc:

breech face:
Smith 41 inspection 51963017427_802148d161_c

Muzzle with new liner:
Smith 41 inspection 51964578650_d6c95c4629_c

Bolt face:
Smith 41 inspection 51964578655_865f1f56ae_c

Pistol now eats any decent target ammo.  Had some issues with Aguila Super Extra SV if I didn't clean some of the wax off of it, but it shoots Eley Bullseye Pistol, Target, CCI SV all quite well (10 rds in 1/2" or less at 50ft)
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Post by inthebeech 5/12/2022, 3:48 pm

Thanks for the tips.  Very helpful.  No,  I've never gone anywhere in Port Clinton other than the Peanut shop but I will now.
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Post by hg401 5/12/2022, 9:31 pm

As a point of reference:  https://simpsonltd.com/smith-wesson/?_bc_fsnf=1&Caliber=22+LR

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Post by bmize1 5/12/2022, 9:54 pm

I have an almost spotless pre A series I will sell for that and pay shipping…….

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Post by CO1Mtn 5/14/2022, 6:57 am

I paid $1284 for mine (new production) including tax.

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Post by inthebeech 5/14/2022, 7:04 am

Cabelas came down an impressive amount when I was there yesterday and it is 99+ % so I put it on hold.  

Thanks all for the help.
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Post by Drawman623 5/31/2022, 10:05 am

I’ve read numerous comments warning against the performance center version. In my own experience, I own 6 model 41’s that are A prefix or earlier. No disappointments. Recently I made a pawn shop find where they were asking $900 and I got the pistol for $600. It had been dropped and the rear blade took the hit. I caught the damage and leveraged for a discount.

Typically I look for finish wear to indicate previous use and I inspect for damage. Otherwise, to me, it’s about the period of production. Older the better.

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Post by Drawman623 5/31/2022, 10:09 am

I might add… for 5.5” bull bbl 41’s, inspect the barrel top strap. If textured the barrel is standard. If smooth with a couple set screws, you have an extendable front sight. Desirable. I know of two sellers who don’t know their 41’s have this feature. I bought the first. The other sale is still active but overpriced

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Post by Drawman623 5/31/2022, 10:15 am

A final thought; I check magazine followers. Steel is oldest and most reliable. It has a tear drop opening when looking down at the follower. Black plastic followers also work well. Most of the 41’s I have seen that generate negative comments have orange followers. My data is purely anecdotal and should not be used to avoid orange follower magazines…millions of which are feeding flawlessly…but realize the old metal follower mags may bring a premium and at least in the opinion of this shooter, are best.

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Post by Drawman623 5/31/2022, 11:11 am

A final thought; I check magazine followers. Steel is oldest and most reliable. It has a tear drop opening when looking down at the follower.  Black plastic followers also work well. Most of the 41’s I have seen that generate negative comments have orange followers. My data is purely anecdotal and should not be used to avoid orange follower magazines…millions of which are feeding flawlessly…but realize the old metal follower mags may bring a premium and at least in the opinion of this shooter, are best.

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