How to break-in a S&W Model 41


January 7, 2006, 11:27 PM
:) New pistol arrived at Cabella's this afternoon!! This will be our first pistol, as the family is going to start pistol shooting at the DSC in Detroit, MI... However, what steps or methods would you do if you had to reflect on past experience -- I appreciate the guidance (new to the forum, this is my first post) Regards, Leo

Cleaing -- key areas to watch for?
Products -- perhaps already discussed in other threads?
Break-in Shoot -- S&W suggest 300 mini mags -- frequency/cleaning/rate of fire?
Carry Case -- Bullseye case (used/new where to locate) or Pelican #1450 case?

I appreciate the help, looking forward to participation in this great group!

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January 8, 2006, 04:44 PM
1. Extractor area, breechface, feedramp and bore.
2. I use M-Pro 7 bore cleaning gel and Tetra Gun Grease for lubricant.
3.Mini-Mags are good.
300 rounds is a fair break in amount.
CCI ammunition in general seems to work best in these guns.
I clean my pistol after every time I shoot it, regardless of the number of rounds fired.
4.Any decent gun shop can find you one of these cases.
Brownells sells some excellent aluminum and hard shell type cases that would be suitable for a Model 41/

Have fun with your new pistol. I really enjoy shooting mine.

Highland Ranger
January 8, 2006, 06:29 PM
Nice choice . . .

Clean and lubricate the gun before firing for the first time. Kind of odd take down with the trigger guard but you get used to it.

Not sure if you have other firearms, but if not and this is your first time cleaning one, try one of the Otis kits - come with a DVD teaches you how to clean properly.

More damage done to guns from cleaning than shooting.

Lots of threads on here discussing cleaning products and such.

Consider the NRA pistol course if you have no experience shooting handguns . . . .

Enjoy and good luck!

January 8, 2006, 10:53 PM
Nice gun, Leo. I have owned 2 S&W M41's and will not part with my current one. Made the mistake of selling my original one when I stopped shooting Bullseye competition. The only break-in either of my guns got was a lite lube and then load it up with good ammo (CCI or Win) and go shooting. I usually shoot slow fire but occassionally NRA Timed Fire (5 shots in 20 sec's) and rarely Rapid Fire (5 shots in 10 sec's) since my emphasis is on accuracy. These days, I use Shooter's Choice Bore Cleaner to clean barrel and lube the M41 with FP-10 lube.

NOTE: To avoid damage to the critical muzzle crown, NEVER CLEAN BARREL FROM THE FRONT. ONLY clean the barrel from the rear. I suggest using stainless steel rod wiped clean with oily cloth before putting thru barrel.

Good shooting and be safe.

January 8, 2006, 11:20 PM
I appreciate the guidance, especially on the cleaning and lube supplies. Tonight I ordered two patchworms as the main bore tool, and I'll get a micro cloth for the exterior (plus q tips) :)

Our children had their first NRA junior pistol class on Friday and I'm looking forward to shooting with them over the next 2 months -- I shot 9mm brownings in the CDN infantry -- but I need to work on my civilian range manners and form (it's been 12 years.... yikes).

If you have time, I'm preparing my ammo order through midway and I'd appreciate you thoughts on the "menu" -- thanks in advance -- regards.

Break-in: CCI mini mag (40gr) 300x
Clean every 50 rounds

Accuracy/feed selection -- 10 round events: Clean between "brands" 5 for fouling... this may take some time.

Here's the menu: :rolleyes:
CCI Std velocity
CC! Green Tag
Eley Match EPS
Eley Pistol Standard
Eley Tennex Ulitimate
Lupa Pistol King
Wolf Match Target

5.5 inch barrel -- with luck, next weekend -- all the best!

January 8, 2006, 11:29 PM
S&W may have changed their recommendations but for years, the std rec for a 41 has been CCI Std Vel - definitely no high velocity!! That's a target gun, not a plinker. I own 2 and know of at least 7 others that thrive on the CCI or, of course, the even more expensive stuff (Tenex, etc.)...they never seem to care for the X22 et al.

January 9, 2006, 12:28 AM
Unless you are a Master Class pistol shooter with a scoped gun or plan to shoot your M41 from a machine rest, I doubt you will really see much difference in group size between ammo brands at this point. Remember, to clean the barrel from the rear, you have to remove the barrel assembly and replace it again after cleaning. Personally I would NOT want to be risking damage to my M41 by cleaning it every few rounds. I generally clean my gun after each shooting session, during which it may be fired 100-200 rounds. IMO .22's don't need as much cleaning as larger calibers anyway. Just a lite brushout of the barrel, lube the contact points, and wipe off the outside.

If it were me, I would buy 500 rounds each of CCI HV and CCI Std Vel, then start shooting. The HV may be helpful until the slide contact surfaces get burnished and smooth out. After that, use whichever ammo the gun functions best with. I have tried some of the other exotic (expensive) brands you list in Kimber and/or Anschutz .22 rifles but don't bother with them in the M41. But then I am nearing 67 years of age and can only put about 40 of 50 shots into a three inch 10 ring at 25 yds any more without a rest. The other 10 shots usually drift out into the 9 ring. Good luck with your M41.

Good shooting and be safe.

ps: I have used HV ammo in both my M41's over the years with no problems but did prefer std vel for match shooting "just in case" it might buy me one or two extra points in accuracy.

Standing Wolf
January 9, 2006, 12:54 AM
I'd recommend against using anything but standard velocity ammunition in a model 41. It will accept and handle it, probably very accurately, but the gun was designed for lighter ammunition.

Keep your magazines clean. Once or twice a year, you'll want to remove the trigger bar to clean and oil beneath it. Watch out for flying springs, and be careful not to bend anything. If your gun doesn't feed, fire, and extract perfectly, contact the good folks at about a replacement recoil spring: slightly lighter usually does the trick. Wherever you see worn bluing along the frame and slide is where you'll want to be sure to oil the gun. I always add a drop of oil to the firing pin and extractor before leaving for the range. Did I mention keeping your magazines clean? When you're ready to hang onto the gun in a serious way, aim your browser at: and for serious stocks.

Best of success, eh?

January 9, 2006, 08:34 AM
that it's unnecessary to clean the bore, and bore cleaning is what wears out .22s. I clean the breechface, etc. regularly but leave the bore alone. Mine is a 1970 A series 41 and a real honey.

January 9, 2006, 10:00 AM
I forgot to say that i use a Hoppe Bore Snake on my pistol and agree with cleaning from the breech to the muzzle.

As for using only standard velocity in a newer, I.E., produced after 1980 Model 41, poppycock!
These guns will handle high velocity ammunition just fine and if you own an older pistol and are concerned that High velocity might damage the pistol,,,,
Add a Wolff recoil spring and a Buffer Tech buffer because I have never seen HV ammunition blow the extractor off, shatter the breechface, crack the slide, crack the frame, or fold the firing pin on any Model 41.

Then again, the only repairs I have ever done to a Model 41 involved spring replacements and replacing one set of cracked grips that became cracked when the owner dropped the gun on concrete.
He didn't even break the sights, just the grips!

High Standards, Rugers, and Smiths all feed High Velocity ammunition just fine.

January 9, 2006, 12:42 PM
You don't really need to clean the bore, unless you start having problems chambering rounds. .22 ammo is either waxed or greased, and that will prevent any rust in the bore.

The only cleaning I do on mine is on the breech face, under the extracter, and I use a dental pick (gently) to remove the crud that packs up in the corner above the chamber, under the sight rail. After that, I wipe anything metal that I likely touched with my fingers. It takes me about 1 minute.

When you are doing accuracy testing, shoot 20 or 30 rounds of the new ammo, before you start shooting groups. the different kinds of lubes used on different ammo affects the accurracy: shooting 20 or 30 will remove the old lube, and replace i with the new lube.

January 9, 2006, 10:54 PM

I brought my 41 home tonight -- but no time to do a complete cleaning -- just a quick wipe to restore the luster == great advise on lube and ammo and this will be this weekend's project.

Interesting that S&W use a Remington test cartiage at the factory (they included the spent brass for ID purposes). Should be fun, and I'm glad I now live in a country where I can choose to shoot pistol -- because I wish. Choice is always appreciated when it's about to be lost.

I'll let you know how I make out after this weekend.

Regards, Leo

Standing Wolf
January 9, 2006, 11:01 PM
High Standards, Rugers, and Smiths all feed High Velocity ammunition just fine.

High Standards will, indeed, feed high velocity ammunition just fine; before long, however, the frame will crack, usually on the right side at the back or top of the cut out for the slide release lever.

The Smith & Wesson model 41 will handle high velocity ammunition just fine, too; unfortunately, it generally produces reduced accuracy, and will probably cause accelerated wear of the internal parts, as well.

That saidô, I doubt the model 41's frame would crack.

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