Smith & Wesson 41 - 5" or 7"


November 15, 2007, 03:36 AM
Hello all, first post here, but I've been reading up for a few months. I love the site - what a lot of great info from knowledgable folks!

I'm in the market for a S&W 41. I got a chance to shoot both the 5" & the 7" models at my local range and fell in love with the gun. My wife also really enjoyed shooting it which was a plus (of course, I won't actually tell her how much it is :what: :) ).

I think I prefer the 5" model as it feels a little easier to handle, probably due to the fact I've never owned a gun with a 7" barrel before.

I did have a few questions though. I'd like to mount a scope or red-dot. Do these weaver-style add-ons fit on both models, or just the long barrel? I believe all you have to do is remove the rear sight and use the existing holes. Do you need to have the barrel drilled & tapped?

If anyone has any recommendations on red-dots or scopes for the 41 I'd love to hear it too.

Many thanks!

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November 15, 2007, 05:20 AM
I've got an Ultradot on my Sig Trailside Competiton. Scope is highly recommended. You can purchase one from

I'd get the 5" purely for aesthetic reasons--the 7" looks kinda funny to me. If you're going to scope it, you wont be reaping the benefits of the extended sight radius anyways. also sells barrels w/ integral scope rails. Not cheap, but a high quality option for the 41.

Oh, and welcome to THR. :)

November 15, 2007, 07:29 AM
My wife and I have two Model 41s. Hers is a 5" "Optics Only" barrel model and mine is the 7" iron-sighted model. The shorter barrel is well-balanced with the red dot sight up top, and I am pleased with the balance of the longer gun with iron sights. The longer sight radius also increases the practical accuracy of the iron sights. S&W sells 41 barrels and sights as an accessory, and you can order the extra barrel from the S&W web site, so you can get both barrels for the same gun. I recommend finding a used Model 41 as you can save quite a bit of money.

The Ultra Dot is a good red dot sight. I believe all new 41s are drilled and tapped for a Weaver scope mount.

lil ski
November 15, 2007, 12:51 PM
I have a 5" and love it. I tried the 7" it was top notch too that being said I went with the 5" it is lighter and if you put a scope om it the sight radius doesn't matter. If you get a newer one (not sure the year they started) the slide is drilled and tapped for the scope mount from the factory. Getting a after market barrel is not an easy task Clark Custom has been out of them for a long time S&W makes all the barrels and they are way behind on them.

November 15, 2007, 01:55 PM
Fantastic! Thanks a lot guys. I really appreciate all the information.

I'll go ahead and place an order for a 5". I've never bought a red-dot before (I borrowed a friend's Neos with one). Is there a particular model you recommend as a good companion for a S&W41? I was looking at the Ultra-Dot L/T. Any thoughts?

November 15, 2007, 02:16 PM
I have the $125 black 1" tube Ultradot, and it's really a fantastic scope for the money. Actually, I like it so much I bought two, one black and one silver--the black one is on a Ruger 22/45 tack driver I traded to my buddy, the silver one is on the T-side. The 4 min dot is small enough to do serious shooting--just turn down the intensity a bit. On a clear, sunny day, I leave mine on five or six. Too bright, and the dot's glow makes it bigger than necessary. I regularly hit my 4" spinner at 50 yds. offhand w/ my T-side and Ultradot combo.

lil ski
November 15, 2007, 03:15 PM
Welcome to the 41 club. Not telling the wife the true price some is not a bad thing, some things are best left unsaid.........

November 15, 2007, 07:18 PM
Great thanks guys. Can't wait to get it and find out what a great gun it is and what a lousy shot I am :D

November 15, 2007, 07:24 PM
If anyone has any recommendations on red-dots or scopes for the 41 I'd love to hear it too.

I've got a Docter Optic red dot reflex on mine, using a standard Weaver #62 mount.

Makes for a nice combination.


November 17, 2007, 09:34 PM
hi, i have a tasco pro point plus PDP5 , with 4 point sizes -11 intensities...40mm optic - great for tired old eyes - both eyes open to focus thru and on target...5" barrel will do 1/2" at 15 yards even if i can't. makes shooting even more of a joy - wife loves it as well [maybe to much] i probably will not get it back now...i'll have to go back to shooting the high standard 106

November 17, 2007, 11:16 PM
IMHO, the 5 inch provides plenty of weight for balance (and it looks better).


Deer Hunter
November 18, 2007, 12:42 PM
I just got finished with a competetive shooting match at my school. Lots of different colleges arrived, all with different guns. For the most part, we were all using Morinis, Walthers (what I use), Hammerli, Match Guns, etc. Really funky looking guns that cost a lot of money. Well, while I was scoring targets for a women's sportgun relay, I noticed one of the girls was doing exceptoinally well with an S&W 41. It was the most beautiful 41 I've ever seen. I believe it was a 7" barrel. I was a bit surprised, seeing as how it was the only grip-magazine gun at the match.

2nd 41
December 3, 2007, 09:56 PM
Hi...My first post. I bought a 41 in 7" in the early 80's. Bought a 5" barrel to go along with it just for a change here and there. Really enjoyed the 7". Anyway sold the combo a few years ago. I recently renewed my interest in shooting and ordered a new 7" 41 today. (Hence my screen name). I plan to buy a 5" barrel as an option and scope it after reading this thread. Thanks guys. Frank

December 4, 2007, 07:31 AM
club matches back in the 90s with my 5" 41. I find that length is especially good for timed and rapid fire stages; comes back on target nicely. Lots of other shooters had 41s, mostly 5", many with dot sights, and did very well. Superb pistols IMHO.

2nd 41
December 4, 2007, 04:51 PM
Where can I buy a 5" barrel at a discounted price. Part #SKU: 311520000.
S&W wants $271+$8.50
Thanks, Frank

December 4, 2007, 04:59 PM
I see them on EBay (The great anti-gun Satin!) occasionally.

December 4, 2007, 06:59 PM
I was looking at the Ultra-Dot L/T. Any thoughts?

I have several...great choice.

December 4, 2007, 07:31 PM
As of recently, gun barrels were verboten on eBay. I picked up a 5" barrel that dropped right into my 41 frame without any issues. I found it at the barrel came with a keng type rear sight and the price was around $212 plus shipping.

December 4, 2007, 09:21 PM
Where can I buy a 5" barrel at a discounted price.

Do a search for Gil Hebard and call them for price and availability.


December 4, 2007, 10:13 PM
5" mdl 41 here!!!!!

Perfection. Absolute perfection. Shoots like a laser.

I was having a discussion with my VP a couple of days ago. He shot one while at VMI and fell in love.
He said that IF his wife will let him, he is going to buy one.

IF his wife lets him???????:what:

Luis Leon
December 5, 2007, 12:33 AM
Joe Hatley,

Try Numrich Arms, that is where I got mine a few years ago.


Good luck.


Luis Leon

2nd 41
December 5, 2007, 05:12 PM

2nd 41
December 6, 2007, 09:12 PM
Picked up my 41. Life is good. I sold my Sigs TrailSide & Mosquito to buy this. Life is real good.

Spring question please...I plan to shoot high Velocity 22s. Do I need to replace the spring with a heavier one.
SpdKlzU...don't mean to HiJack your thread...

December 7, 2007, 01:42 AM
No problem man, ask away :)

Picked it up tonight and tried it out tonight. Awesome gun, but it really does NOT like Federal Bulk ammo. I talked to the guys at the range and they stopped carrying cus it was failing in a lot of their .22's (rugers & 41's). They only carry CCI now for that reason. Too bad I have about 2500 rounds of the bulk stuff left over :)

I didn't get a chance to try my ultra dot L/T since my Weaver rail didn't arrive in time. But I can't wait to try it out again!

2nd 41
December 7, 2007, 07:53 AM
I'm planning to use Federal Champion HV. 525rd @ $9.99. I'll let you know how it goes.
You can sell your ammo to a friend...
Please report on the mount/scope set up. I'm going to order a 5" barrel and do the same.
Good luck with the'll love it for years.

December 7, 2007, 06:32 PM
Thought you guys might like some pictures :)

2nd 41
December 13, 2007, 08:51 PM
What is the difference between a Keng and Millet sight? I'm finding listings for 5" barrels with either sight.
The 5" barrels are not available at present

2nd 41
December 13, 2007, 08:59 PM
SpdKlzU.....Nice set up. Thanks for posting.
I just installed my L/T yesterday

And to everyone else...thanks for the posts. This thread has been valuable and the timing was perfect for me.

December 17, 2007, 03:52 AM
Hey guys, what ammo have you found to work the best in your 41's? Federal bulk packs (the cheap stuff) are completely hopeless for me with at least one round either failing to fire or eject.

I did just try a box of CCI mini-mags and they worked flawlessly! Any other brands out there that you've had success with? The mini-mags are a bit pricey, but it'll be worth it for the peace of mind (I had to remove the barrel on more than one occassion to get the stuck Federal rounds out).

Canuc Shooter
December 17, 2007, 06:47 AM
A few years back all I used was Federal Target ammo, had to switch to CCI standard velocity as the Federal stuff had far too many misfires. So far the CCI ammo has worked flawlessly. I've had my 41 for over 15 years...Love it.

December 17, 2007, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the reply. Sounds like I'm not alone. I found I was more consistent with the CCI's too... it may have just been me concentrating on shooting rather than wondering if this round is going to be another FTF/FTE.

I've heard good things about the Federal Gold series, but I'll probably stick with the Mini-Mags.

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