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  #1  
Old 02-13-2010, 09:41 PM
alfonzo alfonzo is offline
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Default Model 41 lightweight field barrel.

Isn't it time that Smith and Wesson begins to manufacture
a lightweight field barrel, the original was 5 inches with adjustable sights.

Don't you think this would be a nice accessory for your Model 41?

It seems to me that the used 5 inch field barrels are all about gone or have found homes and the owners will not part with them.

These used barrels go for nearly $300.00 or more depending on condition.

It would be nice and a smart business move for Smith and Wesson to manufacture them to the same specifications as the old ones back 20-40 years ago.

The only difference is that they come drilled and tapped for scope mounting, and with nice adjustable sights just like the old ones.

I would bet they would sell more than just a few. Look how many Model 41's are out there, and lets face it the Model 41 is probably on the same status as the Colt 1911, and the Walther PPK.

If I had the resources I would contract with Smith and Wesson to manufacture 1,000 5 inch field barrels and sell them exclusively.

I kinda think in one year they would be all sold. Espicially if the price was around $200.00.

Just my thoughts,

Alfonzo
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:05 PM
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Those lightweight field barrels originally came about from the S&W factory figuring out a way to "recycle" standard 7" barrels that had defects at the muzzle end and didn't pass inspection.

I guess as maching became more reliable/consistient, the source for the field barrels eventually disappeared and the current heavy barrel style appeared.

I totally agree, it would be nice to see a special run happen.

The shorter barrels do handle better, but dang, the current 5 1/2" barrel just feels too heavy.
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:31 AM
ussbang ussbang is offline
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Default Field barrels

I thought there was some differences in the field barrels regarding if the fit the current 41s or not.

Do the 46 barrels interchange with the 41.

I would also like to have a field barrel. I would take my 41 out to plink rather than have the 7in club barreled gun be a safe sitter.
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Old 02-14-2010, 12:40 PM
alfonzo alfonzo is offline
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I am not an expert on the model 41, but I believe the model 46 and model 41 the barrels will interchange.

As for the light weight field barrel made from a 7 inch barrel that did not past muster in the accuracy test, has this ever been confirmed?

Also, I may be incorrect here, but I believe the older model 41 5 inch barrels had milled front sights, if that is the case there is no way they could be a shortened down 7 inch barrel.

Maybe an expert or someone who has a 5 inch barrel made in the late 50's era can tell us.

Also there were several variations in the 5 inch field barrel. With a ramped front sight, red ramp front sight, and target type front sight, unramped.

Also, my model 41 has a light weight field barrel which I purchased several years ago.

The rear sight has two white dots, which I have heard is a rather rare variation in itself.

al
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:25 PM
S&Wman S&Wman is offline
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S&W recently did a similar barrel option. About two years ago they offered the M41 "optics barrel". These were cut down 7" barrels and included the scope rail mounted.
The problem I saw was they were over priced but the even bigger problem was S&W wanted you to send them your 41 to have the optics barrel fitted. So now add another $60.00 for UPS Next Day Air rip-off.
So if they do it again they will require your M41 be sent in for fitting.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:14 AM
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Default Field barrel

I have an original 5" field barrel and just love it!
I agree, S&W should bring it back!

Tom
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2011, 12:51 AM
k22fan k22fan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alfonzo
I am not an expert on the model 41, but I believe the model 46 and model 41 the barrels will interchange.
Not all 41 and 46 barrels can be used on the other frame. I've read threads that go into detail and you probalbly can find one of them.

Quote:
As for the light weight field barrel made from a 7 inch barrel that did not past muster in the accuracy test, has this ever been confirmed?
This is the first time I've heard Field barrels were made from reject 7 3/8" barrels, however, in their earilier years Field barrels were cut down 7 3/8" barrels. The hole for the barrel weight was plugged two different ways which I've seen lead to arguments over whose Field barrel is original. Member Civil1977 generously e-mailed me an article on 41s and 46s from the 1991 Journal of the Smith & Wesson Collectors association which coves this. I can pass it on to you if you like.

Quote:
Also there were several variations in the 5 inch field barrel. With a ramped front sight, red ramp front sight, and target type front sight, unramped.

Also, my model 41 has a light weight field barrel which I purchased several years ago.

The rear sight has two white dots, which I have heard is a rather rare variation in itself.

al
I think you'll enjoy the article. PM me if you want it. Don't mistake me for an expert but the Field barrels I've handled that were 7 3/8" barrels shortened by S&W appeared to have their original patridge sight relocated the same as my 5.5" non-original Field barrel. I've seen a couple of latter Field barrels that were solid up front or in other words not cut downs. Both had red ramps and one had a revolver rear sight. My guess is the ones with revolver adjustable sights were the last ones produced. Whether the white dot blade in your Field barrel's sight is original is a good question. Older 7 3/8 and Field 41 barrels use tall revolver sight blades, so it could have been easily changed by an owner but I have not seen factory two dot blades for revolvers. I have however had my gunsmith touch sights with an end mill then add drops of white paint.

Last edited by k22fan; 03-17-2015 at 10:47 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:22 AM
k22fan k22fan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ussbang View Post
I thought there was some differences in the field barrels regarding if the fit the current 41s or not.

Do the 46 barrels interchange with the 41.

I would also like to have a field barrel. I would take my 41 out to plink rather than have the 7in club barreled gun be a safe sitter.
41 Field barrels interchange with other 41 barrels but not all 41 barrels go on all 46 pistols or vise versa, I forget which. If you search you'll find threads on interchanging 41 and 46 barrels.

As much as I love them, there is a very small market for 41s or any other expensive .22LR. Field barrels would in turn be a fragment of the small 41 market. I doubt there is enough demand to stimulate S&W's marketing department but there is an alternative. My gunsmith has shortened about a half dozen 7 3/8" barrels for customers. I have one and it looks better than originals because his polish is better and he cuts them at 5 1/2" which leaves full scallops on the lower front sides. Cuting them a 1/2" longer prevents them being sold as original which would be fraud. An original would be nice but I'm happy with mine.

Last edited by k22fan; 03-17-2015 at 10:47 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2011, 09:34 AM
TSQUARED TSQUARED is offline
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Check one of the action pistol or bullseye pistol forums. I do remeber that custom gunsmiths offered a reconfiguring of the standard S&W 41 barrels. One was Lou Lombardi in the Phoenix, AZ area (Falcon Machining) - alas he is no longer in business.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2011, 10:15 PM
TOM BECKWITH TOM BECKWITH is offline
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The subject of the 5" 41 bbls has been discussed several times in the past.

41/46 bbl interchange - the 41 and 46 bbls can be swapped on frames if the 41 or 46 slide is used with it. The 46 bbl can not be swapped to a 41 frame/slide due to the lack of an undercut for the wider slide rail on the 41. The 41 bbl can be put on the 46 frame/slide, but has an ugly gap.

Early 41 5" bbls were made as such -NOT 7 3/8" bbls cut. Later 5" bbls were made using 7" bbl bodys cut to length after they had been drilled for UB wgt. Actually 5" bbls ranged from 4 3/4" to 5 1/4" depending on the run and probably varied within runs. They can be found with both ramp and patridge front sites, red ramp, white outline rear, 3 dot F/R. The S&W 46 5" bbls had ramp and patridge fronts. Some came with a military dull finish.

Although some 5" bbls were possibly made due to "bad" 7 3/8" bbls, most were not. Note until the 7" bbl came out, the 5" bbls all had the little "Tit" on the front end. The later ones parallel with the 7" bbl mfg. were counter sunk as is the 5 1/2" bull bbl. and the 7" bbl.

Remember the S&W "RULE" - with S&W there are NO rules. Example - have you ever seen a factory 4 1/2" bull bbl with a red ramp - and on, and on-------
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2011, 10:20 PM
traub traub is offline
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At least 25 years ago I purchased a 7 1/2 Model 41 barrel from Gil Hebbard in Illinois. This barrel did not have the muzzle break, however, it still had the groove for the barrel weights.

When I received the barrel, I noticed that there was a tool mark in the rifling about 1 inch from the muzzle. I called Gil Hebbard and they told me they would exchange it for another barrel. The second barrel they sent me also had a tool mark in the rifling about 1 inch from the muzzle. Gil Hebbard is very reliable and I had no doubt that they sent me a different barrel.

I decided to call Smith & Wesson since I felt that this batch of barrels had these tool marks, and Smith & Wesson told me to send the barrel back to them and they would send me another one.

A few weeks after I sent the barrel back to Smith & Wesson I was called by customer service. They told me that they looked through their entire stock of 7 1/2 Model 41 barrels and that they all had the tool mark I described. They told me that when the barrels were being rifled, the cutter was probably worn which is what caused the tool mark, and that it shouldn't have affected the accuracy. They did however find a barrel from an older production run that did not have the tool mark, which is what they sent me.

A few months after this incident, Model 41 5 inch field barrels started to appear. It was obvious that they were 7 inch barrels that were cut back to 5 inches since they still had part of the groove that was originally intended for the barrel weights. The front sight was also a red ramp and was a separate piece and was not an integral part of the barrel. The original Model 41 field barrels did not have the groove for the barrel weights and the front sight was an integral part of the barrel.

I can't be sure, however, I think I may be responsible for these field barrels being made. This happened at about 25 years ago.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:07 AM
alfonzo alfonzo is offline
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That is just about the time I purchased three or four model 41 5 inch
field barrels directly from Smith and Wesson. Price was about $75.00 each.

I do remember that the front sights were not integral with the barrel
and were either glued or epoxy on the barrel.

al
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2011, 12:09 PM
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Lost Lake Lost Lake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traub View Post
At least 25 years ago I purchased a 7 1/2 Model 41 barrel from Gil Hebbard in Illinois. This barrel did not have the muzzle break, however, it still had the groove for the barrel weights.

When I received the barrel, I noticed that there was a tool mark in the rifling about 1 inch from the muzzle. I called Gil Hebbard and they told me they would exchange it for another barrel. The second barrel they sent me also had a tool mark in the rifling about 1 inch from the muzzle. Gil Hebbard is very reliable and I had no doubt that they sent me a different barrel.

I decided to call Smith & Wesson since I felt that this batch of barrels had these tool marks, and Smith & Wesson told me to send the barrel back to them and they would send me another one.

A few weeks after I sent the barrel back to Smith & Wesson I was called by customer service. They told me that they looked through their entire stock of 7 1/2 Model 41 barrels and that they all had the tool mark I described. They told me that when the barrels were being rifled, the cutter was probably worn which is what caused the tool mark, and that it shouldn't have affected the accuracy. They did however find a barrel from an older production run that did not have the tool mark, which is what they sent me.

A few months after this incident, Model 41 5 inch field barrels started to appear. It was obvious that they were 7 inch barrels that were cut back to 5 inches since they still had part of the groove that was originally intended for the barrel weights. The front sight was also a red ramp and was a separate piece and was not an integral part of the barrel. The original Model 41 field barrels did not have the groove for the barrel weights and the front sight was an integral part of the barrel.

I can't be sure, however, I think I may be responsible for these field barrels being made. This happened at about 25 years ago.
What a cool story!!!
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:53 PM
Kendo68 Kendo68 is offline
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Wow! There's enough info and variation here to make my head spin!

Can anyone help figure this one out...I happened upon one of the field barrels (came with a late 60's Model 41 w/efs barrel) and it has the plug, what appears to be cut/milled/turned front end with a crown and an integrated front sight. I really can't figure this out since why would it have an integral front sight, yet be cut?

Here are some pics (sorry about the size):







Thanks for any help!

Last edited by Kendo68; 07-20-2011 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:57 PM
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I think your barrel is factory cut. The plug you mentioned is actually the internal barrel weight which was just cut off when the barrel was shortened to 5". It's fairly common to see them like this and, along with the regular ampersand, it dates this barrel to 1970-1978 in my opinion.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:43 PM
Barrie Barrie is offline
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My 7" barrel for my m46 will NOT fit my M41 which has a 7&3/8" barrel on it at all. About the only thing so far that does change over that I have found is the factory grips and the magazines as well. I actually prefer the longer barrels for the balance of them and sighting ease as well. I really haven't found a need for any of the shorter barrels myself even on competitive shooting.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:03 PM
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Vectorxw8 Vectorxw8 is offline
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I have been told this is a very early example of the 5" field barrel cut down from a 7 3/8 barrel.
[IMG][/IMG]
The lazy & with the rounded rod threaded backward are the hallmarks of them.

[IMG][/IMG]
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1911, 22lr, bullseye, colt, gunsmith, m41, military, model 41, patridge, ppk, rrwo, scope, smith and wesson, walther

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