1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

S&W Model 41 .22 Cal.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sigbear, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. sigbear

    sigbear Member

    Jul 21, 2007
    I had a ruger MKIII for 2 years and got rid of it because it constantly jammed an was a pain in the ass to clean, so, I was looking at the S&W model 41, almost 4 times the cost of the ruger.

    How is the model 41 as far as reliability?

    How are they to take apart and clean?

    Are they worth 4X the cost of the ruger?

  2. .38 Special

    .38 Special Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Orange County, CA.
    They have a reputation for somewhat poor reliability and can be a little ammunition sensitive. I have had good luck with mine, but I'm putting $5 per box ammo through it. I wonder how many folks who report reliability problems are using bulk ammo from Wally World.

    They are very easy to field strip and it requires no tools.

    You can generally find them gently used for less than $900.

    Are they worth it? Well, I dunno. It was to me. The good trigger and accuracy are useful to the competitor. And of course it would be a first class plinker as well. But were it not for competition, I probably would not have bought it.


    ADKWOODSMAN Senior Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Adirondacks of NYS
    My 41 S&W .22lr will shoot anything. It started off as my bullseye gun and now I use it mostly for pin matches. It's a 1972 vintage.

    I've never seen one jam. The army marksman team was issued them.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS

    I sure never knew they were known for "somewhat poor reliability!" :what:

    I can't speak for the brand new ones, but:
    I shot them & gunsmithed them for 5th. Inf. AMU pistol team, and I gotta say, they just always worked.

    Next to the Rugers and High-Standards we had, there was no compairison.

    I have owned the one I shot in the service since 1970, and I simply can't remember it ever jamming even once.

    And it for sure has never broken down after a gazillion rounds.

    Two barrels, and target weight set

    Take-down is a simple as locking the slide open and pulling down on the trigger guard. The barrel lifts off, and the slide comes off the front of the rails.

  5. .38 Special

    .38 Special Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Orange County, CA.
    Thought it was relatively common knowledge. A cursory search of this site, RimFireCentral, or TargetTalk may be informative.
  6. cavman

    cavman Senior Member

    Dec 16, 2005
    My new in 2006 M41 was pretty ammo sensitive. It ate Eley and CCI Green Tag (expensive .22 ammo), but I found Dick's Federal Blue Target .22 to also work.

    In terms of reliablility, if I used one of the ammos that it liked, it always worked. I don't consider reliability and particular the same thing.

    I bought a 1974-made model and it ate a greater variety of ammo than the newer one bought in 2006.

    Both have been extremely reliable. I did have a Fail to Feed today, but that was due to the Federal Target round having an extra blob of lead overlapping the brass. That round would never fit in any .22 chamber.

    I bought my 2006 new from Waregunshop for $785 and the used 1974 off of Gunbroker for $675.
  7. Joel Jacobs

    Joel Jacobs New Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    After owning three Mdl 41s over the past 43 years and having fired tens of thousands of rounds (I shoot one almost daily). I can't remember the last time I had a failure to fire.

    Bulk ammo, cheap ammo, expensive, high speed, regular, it just loads 'em up and spits them out with itty-bitty groups in the target. I've hunted small game with one of mine for more than 40 years.

    Firearms that are not reliable don't last long in the competition game. The Mdl. 41 has been around for more than 50 years.

    If I had one that was not reliable I'd send it back to the factory for them to make it right.
  8. Onmilo

    Onmilo Senior Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    I have owned my Model 41 for many years.
    It doesn't choke on anything but CCI high velocity hollowpoints.
    The large nose cavity seems to make this ammo somewhat touchy in some semi auto handguns as my Walther PP doesn't work well with the stuff either.
    My 422 and 2214 shoot the CCI hollowpoints just fine however.
    On the same card, the Model 41 shoots best with CCI Pistol Match and Lapua Match ammunition.
    Does very well for hunting with Winchester Dynapoints of all things.
  9. kle

    kle Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    I've owned a 7" m-41 for about 9 months, and the guy who had it before me owned it for 15 years since buying it new; between us, we've put only about 3000 rounds through it. As long as I've had it, it's shot everything I fed it (which, granted, was only Walmart's Federal Bulk Pack #750, and the blue Federal Champion Target from Dick's), with no failures or hiccups...

    Except for one time this past week where a guy at the range had me try his 5.5" bull barrel on my frame, which wasn't fit to my slide and was causing cycling problems. He was amazed, though, that my 41 was the first he'd ever seen that actually ran reliably with bulk ammo.
  10. clang

    clang Member

    Nov 17, 2005
    I've got 2 model 41s, one is fairly reliable with all ammo - including the cheap Wally World Federal, and the other is much more sensative to the cheap stuff.

    Don't know much about the Ruger Mark IIIs, but the Ruger Mark IIs had a great reputation for reliability. I've owned a couple (still have one) and it will feed anything and go at least 1,000 rounds between cleaning.

    I've got an old Belgian Browning Challenger that also is very reliable.
  11. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Hello. Got one that I bought in the '80's. Shot lots with lots of different ammunition. No malfunctions so far...

  12. Ditto_95

    Ditto_95 Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    Central Kentucky
    IMO they are worth every penny. I have had seeveral and they never let me down.
    Buy one and see. You can always get your money back out of it.

Share This Page