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  #1  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:42 PM
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Default Old & New Model 41 Slides

I have a Model 41 I got waaaay back in 1964 and it needs a new slide. The old slides (#10097) are no longer available but S&W tells me the new, current slide (#31055) can be fitted to an old gun if the old gun is sent to them.

Does anybody know what the difference is between these slides and what's involved with fitting a new slide to an old gun?

Thanks in advance for any information.

Regards
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:14 PM
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Well for one thing the new M41's do not have a cocking indicator hole, and the other is that instead of roll marked logos, there is some sort of laser etching to take its place. Other than that, they look similar to me. I suppose it is possible to have tolerance differences between a gun made 47 years ago and current production.

I have never seen a slide break or wear out on a M41 - must have been shot quite a bit! I have put more than 15,000 rounds through my 1979 M41 and she keeps on perkin'.

I suppose if your gun was shot enough to wear the slide out, the rails might have worn to the point where a custom fitting is a must for proper functionality. Send it to them and let 'em do their thing! At least this way if you have any issues after the repair, you will have some recourse.

I am just curious...........why do you need a new slide anyway?

Chief38
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:02 PM
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Hello Chief38:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
I am just curious...........why do you need a new slide anyway?
My own negligence. Decades of releasing the slide via the slide stop instead of slingshotting it has rounded off the bottom corner of the slide and the bolt and it will no longer lock open or stay locked open reliably after the last shot.

I've temporarily fixed it by:

Installing a used bolt that's not rounded off as badly,
Dressing the aft surface of the stop so it makes contact up at its top - a little above the rounded off part of the slide
Dressing down the stop's own stop so the magazine follower can lift it up higher and
Bending the lifter tabs on the magazine followers up a little so they can lift the slide lock up a little more.

Have been toying with the notion of a permanent fix on the old slide by TIG'ing the rounded spot or by drilling and inserting a 3/32" music wire insert, but what I eventually do depends on the worst case scenario of having to replace the slide. Saw something on the Brian Enos site cautioning about cracking the slide if a replacement barrel is just installed without fitting, so was thinking maybe the only difference in slides might be the distance from the breechface to the front of the slide.

Anyway, that's my sad story. Thanks for your speedy reply.

Regards
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:47 PM
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The basic difference in the older and newer slides is the cut for the safety on the left side of the slide for the older ones. A new slide could be cut for the safety or the safety tip could be ground off. The interior of the back end of the slide is squared rather than rounded but doubt it has any effect as the cocking action is done by the bolt.

A couple of other points - the cocking indicator is in the frame, not the bolt, - and there are at least two reported slids breaking at the rail to body connection. Quality of the newer slides is variable with bolt to slide fit and apparent soft metal in some slides and barrels.

I would suggest you buy an older used slide in VG shape.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2011, 12:38 AM
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niemi24s,
it sounds like you are fairly handy from you description. Were it mine, I would buy another slide stop and see if you could modify it by welding a bit more metal on it, then shaping it to the deformed slide. It probably is the least expensive way to go and you might just be able to repair it well enough for the next 40 years. If it doesn't work, you have not screwed up the gun in any way, and you can then get another slide.

You might try this (it actually worked for me a couple of times)...........

If you can get past the operator that answers the phones at S&W and get connected to one of the Gunsmiths in the Custom Shop, they just might have an "new - old stock" slide laying around somewhere. If you beg hard enough, they might just be able to help you out. I have done this a few times and was pleasantly surprised! It doesn't cost you anything to try.

As a worst case scenario, send it in to the Factory and let them fit a new slide.

Good luck and let us know how you made out.

Regards,
Chief38
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:05 AM
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Hello TomBeck & Chief38:

Thank you very much for the information. If the biggest fitting problem is the notch for the safety - that's no problem at all. Had it on once, I think. And that was probably just to see what it did!

Edit: FYI, just got off the phone with S&W again and must have finally asked the right question. Was told the only visible differences between the old & new slides were: old has rolled marks, new has laser etched marks; old has a notch for the tab on the top of its safety, new has no notch for safety's tab (and all that needs to be done is remove the tab from the top of the old safety). Sound like a piece of cake to this kitchen table gun plumber!

Best Regards

Last edited by niemi24s; 03-10-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:20 PM
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niemi24s,

I do not know weather or not your M41 HAS THE COCKING INDICATOR in the rear, but if it does, you can either remove the mechanism that pushes the little pin out, OR if you are brave enough, you can drill a hole in the back of a new slide. If YOUR particular M41 does not have this feature, your in like Flinn!!

Chief38
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
niemi24s,

I do not know weather or not your M41 HAS THE COCKING INDICATOR in the rear, but if it does, you can either remove the mechanism that pushes the little pin out, OR if you are brave enough, you can drill a hole in the back of a new slide. If YOUR particular M41 does not have this feature, your in like Flinn!!

Chief38
The cocking indicator is in the frame, not the slide.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by civil1977 View Post
The cocking indicator is in the frame, not the slide.

Like this. Changing the slide will not effect it.
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2011, 08:06 PM
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civil1977 & sceva:

Not only are you correct, but being that I went to the Range last night and actually shot my M41 I feel like a knucklehead! Guess I had a brain fart when I replied to this one!!

Regards,
chief38
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
Guess I had a brain fart. . .
Even Beano won't stop mine!

FYI, took a nice flat pin punch to the bottom of the slide and after a hundred or so light hammer taps peened the downward-facing lip back up into the rounded area. This got rid of most of the rounded portion. Will let you know how it holds up during a 900 match this weekend.

This gun's never had a shock-buffer in it. Do you think one would slow the slide's forward speed (by softening the halt of the slide's rearward travel)?
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:35 PM
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niemi24s

HMMMMM,

I have never tried a shock buffer in a M41. I have tried one in one of my 1911 Gov't models years ago before I reloaded, and since I was shooting Military Hardball exclusively I wanted to try and soften the blow with one of those nylon protectors. As I recall, it was the only time that gun ever had any feeding problems. After removing the buffer, all was perfect once again. Soon after, I got into reloading and no longer have any concerns. If you do try one, don't do it for the first time when you shoot your match!

Good luck,
Chief38
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:24 AM
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Hello Chief38:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chief38 View Post
I have never tried a shock buffer in a M41. . . . . If you do try one, don't do it for the first time when you shoot your match! Good luck,
I've never tried a shock buffer in anything. I'll save any experimenting for after the match. I might have been born yesterday, but I've been up all night!

Best regards
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:40 PM
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If I'd have known I was going to mess up the slide I should have bought a spare one when I bought the gun. Just looked the S&W paperwork and a new slide back then would have been (hold on to your shorts) $12.00! And that's not a typo!!

And all the individual parts to build one from scratch (including 1 magazine) add up to $121. <sniff>

Regards
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:22 PM
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You must have really shot the s*** out of this M41. I estimate that I have put through no less than 15,000 rounds through mine over the years and it still works like new. Have you an idea of how many rounds yours has fired? Most of my friends also have M41's and while I can not give you a round count for theirs, I know they have seen a lot of action and I can honestly say they all still function fine.

Chief38
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niemi24s View Post
If I'd have known I was going to mess up the slide I should have bought a spare one when I bought the gun. Just looked the S&W paperwork and a new slide back then would have been (hold on to your shorts) $12.00! And that's not a typo!!

And all the individual parts to build one from scratch (including 1 magazine) add up to $121. <sniff>

Regards
I feel your pain. My first Model 41 bought new in the early 1960's was (IIRC) $110.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:03 PM
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I'd estimate I've put about 20,000 rounds through it, but don't forget the problem with the slide is no doubt of my own making - using the slide stop to release the slide instead of pulling the slide back and releasing it. At 5 rounds per magazine, that's 4,000 times the back of the slide stop scraped down along the bolt and adjacent slide rounding it off. And all those scrapings were unnecessary.

Regards
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:19 AM
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I always load 10 in the Mag. and only use the slide release about half the time, so I guess that has cut down on he wear a little. To be honest, I never really gave it much though regarding the wear, but now I will make it a point to pull the slide rearward to release it.

Chief38
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:51 PM
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When shooting NRA Conventional (Bullseye) the rules limit you to 5 rounds per magazine. Worked OK for the first 4 or so magazines at yesterday's match, but then the slide began failing to lock open again - slide started to get rounded over again. Here's the best I could do to show what it looks like:



Will peen it down again and try a shock buffer, thinking maybe reducing the jarring of the slide getting all the way back might help the slidestop stay up. I've nothing to lose in trying.

Best Regards
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Old 03-13-2011, 04:37 PM
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Default Old & New Model 41 Slide

For what ever it's worth my 41 I use to shoot bulls-eye with went full auto on me after approx 100,000 rounds that I purchased used. I live in Connecticut so I bought it up to Smith in Mass because they have a lifetime warranty except on competition guns so they charged me for the parts and no charge for the labor. The advantage of bringing the gun to Smith in person , you get to talk to the gunsmith who is going to work on you gun.
I would try asking them about their lifetime warranty and take it from there.

Last edited by Sebring Pop; 03-13-2011 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:10 PM
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Hello Sebring Pop:

The warranty statement on the paperwork (dated 1955) with my gun says ". . .free of charge for one year from date of registered purchase." and the purchase date was May or June of 1964. Except for an occasional pot-shot at a skunk, all it's ever been used for is competition.

I've never kept an up-to-date round count for the gun, so that 20,000 figure I gave is nothing more than an estimate. Not many rounds, but there was a period of about 30 years when it wasn't shot at all.

Anyhow, thanx for the info.

Regards
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:41 PM
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The previously mentioned fixes seem to be holding up OK, but I don't think they're going to last very long. Before getting a replacement slide (and slide stop) I thought I'd go out a limb and attempt to repair (sort of) the damaged area on the old slide using this scheme:



I realize there are undoubtedly better ways to repair it, but all I've got is a drill press. I plan on guiding a 6" long drill with a jig clamped to the slide - both held in a vise, of course.

Comments/suggestions will be welcomed.

Best Regards
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:14 PM
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Finally cranked up enough courage to drill the hole after rigging up a fixture to position the tip of the 6" long, 1/8" dia. drill. Drilled the hole about 7/16" deep and tapped in a piece of hard piano/music wire. Here's what it looks like before the excess wire is cut off:



I was surprised how easy the drill went into the slide - maybe due to a new can of Tap-Magic. Will see how it holds up during a little 900 indoor match this weekend.

Regards
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