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Old 01-07-2017, 12:28 AM
Forty1 Forty1 is offline
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Default Model 41 Failure to Eject, FTE & Stove Pipes

Hi all, I have an A# series model 41 that's driving me nuts and I'm hoping for some help. I have constant failures to eject & feed, and the spent casing is often stuck sitting sideways in the chamber. I've read through a lot of the other threads and used most of the suggestions.

SV Ammo: CCI , Federal target, Federal Champion, Aguila Super Extra SV, etc. - all with the same results. I tried 10 rounds of Remington high velocity the other day and had no problems.

New S&W Parts: extractor spring, plunger, firing pin spring, recoil spring, new S&W mag. As well as a new Volquartsen extractor.

I've cleaned everything well including the bolt. Extractor holds a cartridge and barrel passes the plop test. If I rack the slide back slowly while the hammer is back, I can feel some resistance where the slide and hammer meet, but I don't know if it's excessive. My next guess would be to try a Wolf recoil spring kit, but IMO, it should work with the factory parts designed for it. What am I missing here? Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:52 AM
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Not knowing the history of the gun, and / or specifically how you went about these remedy attempts ... and you say the High Velocity worked with no issues .... seems you have a recoil spring problem.

Have you actually field stripped it, all the way ?

You have the correct / matching slide / barrel components ... hinting that it may have been taken apart and re-assembled or had a barrel switch prior to you owning it ?

Check inner for spring interference marks the surrounding components or a mishapen / worn recoil spring.

You are then aware that the 41 / 46 were engineered to work with standard velocity rounds.

Also, check your ammo. Sometime the lead projectiles over the year accumulate a lead oxide that make the rounds difficult to use in even a revolver depending on the degree of degradation of the lead. (FYI in the 41 clone air guns old lead pellets cause a slew of similar problems )
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:34 AM
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My first suspect is the chamber. I would try cleaning and polishing to see if that doesn't resolve the problem. The fact that HV works reinforces my belief, plus you've tried everything else. The "plop test" doesn't take into consideration a rough chamber. Why it's rough could be a machining issue, cleaning issue or corrosion issue. Let's hope it's not the latter.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:52 AM
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If you want to use standard velocity ammo, would try a reduced power recoil spring. Sounds like the slide is not being allowed to come back far enough to complete the ejection process. (when you are using standard vel ammo)

A new OEM recoil spring measures approx. 5". The recoil spring in my model 41 measures 3.75". (I don't shoot HV ammo)
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom S. View Post
My first suspect is the chamber. I would try cleaning and polishing to see if that doesn't resolve the problem. The fact that HV works reinforces my belief, plus you've tried everything else. The "plop test" doesn't take into consideration a rough chamber. Why it's rough could be a machining issue, cleaning issue or corrosion issue. Let's hope it's not the latter.
I agree, chamber. I just put a Clark on mine and went through same thing.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:39 AM
Forty1 Forty1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by model3sw View Post
Not knowing the history of the gun, and / or specifically how you went about these remedy attempts ... and you say the High Velocity worked with no issues .... seems you have a recoil spring problem.

Have you actually field stripped it, all the way ?
Thanks for your input Model3sw. You're right, while I've had it a long time, I don't know it's previous history. The extractor replacement was pretty straightforward and I can't see having made any mistakes there. I've only done a basic field strip including the block, firing pin, extractor R&R. I have not completely disassembled the pistol.
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You have the correct / matching slide / barrel components ... hinting that it may have been taken apart and re-assembled or had a barrel switch prior to you owning it ?
Good question that I don't know the answer to. I sent it back to S&W about 20 years ago, but never heard anything out of the ordinary.

Quote:
Check inner for spring interference marks the surrounding components or a mishapen / worn recoil spring.
By inner spring do you mean the recoil spring? It's new and I don't see anything noticeable.
Quote:
You are then aware that the 41 / 46 were engineered to work with standard velocity rounds.

Also, check your ammo. Sometime the lead projectiles over the year accumulate a lead oxide that make the rounds difficult to use in even a revolver depending on the degree of degradation of the lead. (FYI in the 41 clone air guns old lead pellets cause a slew of similar problems )
Yes and I've only used SV ammo with the exception noted above. I think I've used enough different ammo recently to rule it out.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:48 AM
Forty1 Forty1 is offline
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Re: polishing the chamber. Is that something that should be done by a novice, any tips or instructions there?
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:18 AM
Bastogne71 Bastogne71 is offline
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Forty1,

Can you beg or borrow another barrel to try on your M41? If it functions with a different barrel you have determined the problem is with your barrel. Conversely, if the problem persists, you know it's the lower. This is a quick & easy way to eliminate some potential posibile problems.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:26 AM
Forty1 Forty1 is offline
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Good idea. I'll see if I can find one to try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastogne71 View Post
Forty1,

Can you beg or borrow another barrel to try on your M41? If it functions with a different barrel you have determined the problem is with your barrel. Conversely, if the problem persists, you know it's the lower. This is a quick & easy way to eliminate some potential posibile problems.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:02 PM
Toolguy Toolguy is offline
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On some rimfires, if they are dry fired it puts a dent in the barrel from the firing pin. Once the round is fired and the brass expands, the burr created in the back of the chamber can be enough to cause hard extraction. This is true of revolvers, semi autos, and any other rimfire. The easy fix is to run a chamber reamer in to trim off the burr. This can often cure other chamber problems at the same time.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:21 PM
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Years ago I bought a used 41 for league shooting. Then as my eyes aged I wanted a red dot for it so I bought a used 5-1/2 barrel and had a red dot mounted on it. It worked fine with CCI SV, Aguila SE, Wolf Match Target and Federal 711. Then it started acting up with all of them. I used the old bullseye trick of putting a thin line of oil on the top round and that corrected the problems. For about 3 years, then they started up again. One of the guys at the league suggested I measure the chamber. Sure enough it had grown. The tightest measurement was just over the loosest specified diameter according to the SAAMI specs. That means a new barrel. I wanted to put that off if I could in order to save a few bucks. I tried using grease on the top round instead of oil and that reduced the number of malfunctions but didn't eliminate them. This was the same chassis grease I had been using for general lubrication for years.

I was cleaning it after a match one day and couldn't find my little container of chassis grease so I decided to try Lubriplate 105A which I also had. Worked fine with no problems. Even without oiling or greasing the top round. My problem with that barrel seems to be solved since it ran an entire league without a hitch using the lighter grease.

Just a couple of things for you to check and/or try out in addition to what you have already done.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forty1 View Post
Re: polishing the chamber. Is that something that should be done by a novice, any tips or instructions there?
First step is to pick up some JB Bore Bright, available at Brownell's and Midway. Take a fired shell, drill a hole through the end and stick a round head bolt through, so the threaded portion sticks out the bottom of the shell. Run a nut up and tighten. Chuck up the threaded portion in a drill motor that either had variable speeds or a very slow setting, and coat the case with the polish, as well as the inside of the chamber using a Q-tip. Then insert the case and run at slow speed. Do not run for long, maybe 10 seconds tops, then clean and inspect the chamber. If you have a bore scope (Lyman makes a relatively inexpensive one), so much the better. Lacking a bore scope, use a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe and good light to inspect the chamber. Clean the case, and using fresh polish, repeat until the chamber looks shiny and well polished. If you see any irregularities in the chamber, like a ring, or worse yet, a burr on the outside edge, polishing may not help and a chamber reamer my be needed, but since the gun ejects with HV rounds, I doubt that is the issue. I really think it may just be dirt. These barrels were made with very tight tolerances and a little dirt could make a major problem. IIRC, someone posted they had to clean their barrel/chamber after as little as 400 rounds.

Some notes on drilling the casing. The idea is to get the hole as close to the center as possible, otherwise you will have to do the polishing by hand because the run out will make using a drill difficult. the best way to do this is start with a drill bit the same size (or as close as possible) to the inside dimension of the fired round. Use this drill bit to score the center of the case by running it slowly, and avoid drilling through. This will leave a slight indentation to help center the smaller drill for the bolt to pass through.

Another easier alternative is to use a .22 bore cleaning brush and wrap a cleaning patch around it. Then coat the patch with and chamber with polish and again, using a slow speed, run the brush inside the chamber. This method, IMHO, works OK for cleaning but isn't consistent enough for polishing, as the brush is too irregular, but it still might work. In fact on reflection, I would try this first, as if the problem is just dirt, this should address the issue.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:49 PM
Forty1 Forty1 is offline
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Lots of good info, thanks for the input! I'm going to try the barrel swap idea and see what happens. I don't know if this is the original barrel that came with the frame and it's possible it needs to be polished. I think I'll leave that to a pro if it comes to it.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forty1 View Post
Lots of good info, thanks for the input! I'm going to try the barrel swap idea and see what happens. I don't know if this is the original barrel that came with the frame and it's possible it needs to be polished. I think I'll leave that to a pro if it comes to it.
Good idea, keep us posted. I'm still sorting out my issue with my Clark barrel, can't get through a whole magazine, but the factory 7" performs as flawlessly as any 22lr can. If you get another barrel to try, with both off the gun, compare how a round feels going into the chamber on each. Don't forget to remove it.
The Clark is accurate when it works , I only put it on so I could mount a red dot. To the range next week to see if it's better.
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Last edited by FifthWheel; 01-07-2017 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:13 PM
Forty1 Forty1 is offline
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Not sure if these pics offer any more insight. On another note, if anyone knows of a good price on a new 7" S&W barrel in stock, shoot me a message.


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