Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols > Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-17-2011, 10:56 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Model 41 Tuning

I'd like to get a good discussion going regarding tuning a Model 41 for accuracy and function. I realize these guns are wonderful as is, but what kind of things have been done to really tune the accuracy. I'd like to hear what you've had done and what the results were. Particularly interested head space adjustments.

I am a new 41 owner as of recently. Been to the range a couple of times with my 79 or 80 model, A-series, no cocking indicator and no idea what the round count may be. Still getting accustomed to things but have been doing some ammo testing off the bags. Pretty amazing results, but definitely getting what appear to be occasional flyers. 25 yards, 10 shots in a semi-touching 1 1/2" group, but an occasional outlier 2 or so inches from the group.

Ammo tested:
CCI SV - excellent function, good groups
CCI Green Tag - excellent function, best groups
Lapua Center X - didn't shoot enough to "normalize" the lube
Aguila Match - horrible function
Federal Premium Target (711B) - good groups, so so function

The flyers very well could be me, but boy, I thought I was concentrating on the shots and didn't expect the flyers. Could be the ammo as well. I've heard people improve their groups by weighing ammo.

I'm interested to know if the head space could have something to do with these results. I attempted to measure this and getting a reading around .060" which, if I've done this correctly seems a little big if an optimal match HS is quoted around .043"

Anyone measured head space on their 41? I'd like to know the procedure for doing this correctly.

Thanks for the feedback.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-18-2011, 12:34 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: BELTON, SC, USA
Posts: 1,082
Likes: 87
Liked 92 Times in 75 Posts
Default

Model 41 maintenance
https://picasaweb.google.com/1165907...gkL8u510B7_-g#
https://picasaweb.google.com/1165907...del41Assembly#

These are a starting point - lot of 41 knowledge on this site.
__________________
TOMBECK
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 09-18-2011, 01:13 PM
505Gibbs's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Suburban Deeeetroit
Posts: 641
Likes: 0
Liked 32 Times in 24 Posts
Default

Since its a blowback action you're 'stuck' with the barrel and chambering that you have other than changing barrels unless someone cuts a custom barrel such as Clark - don't know that they do however.

If you can gain access to a Ransom rest that would help you sort out the various ammo choices.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-18-2011, 06:15 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Pensacola,FL
Posts: 816
Likes: 758
Liked 194 Times in 104 Posts
Default

Mine had a NFG factory barrel . Had Alex Hamilton of 10 ring Precision reline with a Lothar Walther liner . Adjusted extractor , smoothed action / trigger to 2.5lbs . Also cut 2 coils off main spring & use a 6.5lb recoil spring . Gun now shoots . I can use any of the softer Euro match ammo with complete reliability . Best thing of all Aguila Std Vel ( the cheap stuff ) will stack 10 shots in .9" @ 50yds . 41 barrels , extractors & reliability have always been luck of the draw . Years past when asked were there any alibis on the line we'd shout " Yeah two Smith & Wesson " . Back then the High Std was the one to have . Only American pistol to win the Gold .
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-19-2011, 12:09 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Model 41 Tuning

Guys,

Thanks for the reply's.

Tom - Good information. You have cemented my decision to never drive a pin on my 41. I've detail stripped my SIG's, but this is a whole new ballgame. Hadn't seen that collection of information.

505Gibbs - Ransom rest would be the ticket. Wish I had access to one. The human factor is no doubt playing some role in my results.

BoatBum - Your are on to my line of thinking. Relining sounds like a surefire way to go. Not that my 41 is all that special, it would be nice to have the gun remain looking stock.

Seems that there are 3 primary places advertised on the internet that specialize in 41 work. Clark, 10ring and Heffron. From the reading I've done, and paying close attention to the comments by Jerry Keefer, who in my opinion has shared the most in-depth comments on 41 work. Seems that special attention to the head space is one very important element to superb accuracy. Additionally, reliability can be addressed by careful adjustment of the extractor camming action and even ejector length.

Have not seen much in the way of discussion on head space work and the results gained from doing that. Would like to keep this going to see if anyone has had this type of work done.

Thanks again all.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-20-2011, 12:06 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Citrus County, Florida
Posts: 1,923
Likes: 1
Liked 70 Times in 43 Posts
Default

Clark makes barrels using Lothar Walther blanks; the barrels without the rear extension and cut for optics reduce extraction/ejection problems to the vanishing point. They also give you a low sight mount.
The only other barrel maker that I know of made Bully Barrels they seem to be out of production, great barrels and sought after now.
Clark does trigger jobs although frankly I think the M41 trigger needs very little in the way of improvement.
I shoot mostly CCI-SV & Green Tag these two fit my requirements. For the best precision I have had good results with SK Jagd Pistol Match and the similar RWs Pistol Match.
I have not had good results with Eley Pistol Match but have not given it a fair shot it is so expensive that I cannot bring myself to shoot it.
__________________
Ipsis Rebus Dictantitbus
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-20-2011, 07:03 AM
Leonard's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 535
Likes: 20
Liked 75 Times in 31 Posts
Default

I put a Clark on my wife's 41 great barrel but it is still picky about what ammo it will function 100% with. I agree on trigger it needs nothing more than adjusted.
__________________
Len
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-20-2011, 12:33 PM
civil1977's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,123
Likes: 19
Liked 368 Times in 163 Posts
Default

Clark's website states that the "Barrels are machined from custom oversized Shilen blanks". I have one of their 5.5" Bullseye Optic barrels and its very accurate. The chamber seems tighter than the stock S&W barrels, which I would expect.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-20-2011, 06:39 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Model 41 Tuning

Thanks for the reply's guys.

I'm curious - what is considered good accuracy with the model 41 off a rest. I assume most folks don't have a Ransom, so as most of us do with sand bags.

Perhaps I'm just not a very good shot.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-20-2011, 10:12 PM
JKeefer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maidens, Va.
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSauer View Post
Thanks for the reply's guys.

I'm curious - what is considered good accuracy with the model 41 off a rest. I assume most folks don't have a Ransom, so as most of us do with sand bags.

Perhaps I'm just not a very good shot.
SS..
Really good .22s will drop down into a 1/2 inch or less at 50. Eley red box is the best, if you are serious about the best possible accuracy. The tightest shooting barrels I have found are those which are relined. Lothar Walther liners are superb... Machined barrels induce unnecessary stress. The 41 barrel configuration is heavily machined, thin at the underside, and heavy on the top and sides. Stress is unavoidable when the disparity in material is that great.. The liner, if installed properly, is free floating, or suspended, and stress free. Chambering should compliment the Eley cartridge, or the ammo you chose to shoot..Have reamers custom ground to the ammo specs..not SAAMI specs. No two manufacturers are mirror images of the other. Therefore two, three, or what ever number of different ammos, will not chamber the same.. .043 is considered a good over all headspace. I will go tighter on competitors who are mindfull of their ammo. This is a "very" brief outline of what makes 41s & .22s in general shoot well. The 41 is a great baseline to build a competition target pistol upon..
Good luck
Jerry
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-21-2011, 02:59 AM
Hamden's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Duckburg, Oregon
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Default

Jerry
At risk of thread drift, what do you think of this?
Barrel switching between a 1977ish "A" series and a 1959ish pre "A".

Dealing with 2 barrels each age (4 barrels total) that work fine on their respective pistol frame. Early barrel gun combination works fine. Later gun combination work fine. But put early barrels on later frame or vise versa, both wont feed. Barrels all seem to fit either frame just fine. No hangups in mounting at all. Magazines all work in either feeding gun, early or late. But they wont feed if they are in a mismatched age of barrel and frame.

77ish barrels=original 5.5" (relined by Alex Hamilton, D&T by Roddy Toyota) and more recent 7" (Millet sighted) cut to 5.5" from Gil Hebard. (The cut barrel has grouped 1/2" at 50 with 900B)
59ish barrels=field size, and 7 3/8 compensated type (don't use comp)

In other words, early barrel fits fine on later frame but won't feed. Later barrel on early frame-ditto. On their own frames they work perfect.

What I want to do is use the relined 1977 barrel on the 1959 frame.

Jack H
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09-21-2011, 08:25 AM
JKeefer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maidens, Va.
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamden View Post
Jerry
At risk of thread drift, what do you think of this?
Barrel switching between a 1977ish "A" series and a 1959ish pre "A".

Dealing with 2 barrels each age (4 barrels total) that work fine on their respective pistol frame. Early barrel gun combination works fine. Later gun combination work fine. But put early barrels on later frame or vise versa, both wont feed. Barrels all seem to fit either frame just fine. No hangups in mounting at all. Magazines all work in either feeding gun, early or late. But they wont feed if they are in a mismatched age of barrel and frame.

77ish barrels=original 5.5" (relined by Alex Hamilton, D&T by Roddy Toyota) and more recent 7" (Millet sighted) cut to 5.5" from Gil Hebard. (The cut barrel has grouped 1/2" at 50 with 900B)
59ish barrels=field size, and 7 3/8 compensated type (don't use comp)

In other words, early barrel fits fine on later frame but won't feed. Later barrel on early frame-ditto. On their own frames they work perfect.

What I want to do is use the relined 1977 barrel on the 1959 frame.

Jack H
Hello Jack;
The first thing I would check is extractor timing, and, or cam out.
The clearance and cam out radius cut for the extractor, varies from gun to gun, (barrel to barrel) and can have a significant influence on reliability. I am ashamed to admit, I struggled with this problem for years, before the "light came on".. .22 rifles almost universially, use a 45 degree angle to cam out the extractor, which is much easier to adjust and time, than a radius..I now convert every .22 pistol to the 45 degree slot. The next thing to check, is breechface counter bore alignment with the chamber. If it is off slightly, it will effect function.
Goodluck
Jerry
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-21-2011, 08:19 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Model 41 Tuning

Thread drift welcome - especially if it will extract nuggets from Jerry Keefer!

To keep this going I want to continue on the accuracy topic and the possibility of diagnosis of issues.

The targets I have printed show some promise of great accuracy with a few disturbing flyers. This was off sandbags at 25 yards, so still a potential for human error. Excluding flyers the groups would be in the 1" range with flyers out to 2.5".

In my mind I'm trying to piece together the contributors of the flyers. Ammo and shooter are two big ones, but is there anything with the description above that would indicate something specific with the gun and possibly things that can be ruled out. For example, if tight groups are possible can the barrel be ruled out? Are flyers caused by something like head space? I don't know, with all the possible variables, if this can be a true statement.

The reason I started this thread is to come to terms with the accuracy of my recently purchased, used, model 41. It doesn't seem to be the tack driver I expected and I'm trying to determine whether I accept the accuracy as a casual shooter or formulate a plan to have these issues resolved, what to have addressed and how much $$ it will take.

Only accurate guns are interesting, and the pursuit of accuracy is exhausting.

Thanks all.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-21-2011, 08:38 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: BELTON, SC, USA
Posts: 1,082
Likes: 87
Liked 92 Times in 75 Posts
Default

On Hamden's post, might consider keeping slides with bbls to see if they work with complete swap. Most of my time is with early 41s but definite changes in the slide fit and finish from early (A475000 and below) to later stuff?

Inspect the bbl for any hi/lo/bad spots
__________________
TOMBECK

Last edited by TOM BECKWITH; 09-21-2011 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Add
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:06 PM
Hamden's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Duckburg, Oregon
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSauer View Post
.............. great accuracy with a few disturbing flyers. This was off sandbags at 25 yards, so still a potential for human error. Excluding flyers the groups would be in the 1" range with flyers out to 2.5".

In my mind I'm trying to piece together the contributors of the flyers. Ammo and shooter are two big ones, but is there anything with the description above that would indicate something specific with the gun and possibly things that can be ruled out. .................
Off sandbags, technique, especially trigger control, are just as important as they are shooting offhand. That 1/2" group I mentioned above was arm rested across my pistol box. The next magazine shot was no where near as good. Sometimes you get the technique and trigger just perfect. Most of the time I don't.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:10 PM
Hamden's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Duckburg, Oregon
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOM BECKWITH View Post
On Hamden's post, might consider keeping slides with bbls to see if they work with complete swap. Most of my time is with early 41s but definite changes in the slide fit and finish from early (A475000 and below) to later stuff?

Inspect the bbl for any hi/lo/bad spots

Tom,
I'll try switching slides too. Right now I am waiting for a 41 Nill grip direct from Europe.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-21-2011, 09:17 PM
Hamden's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Duckburg, Oregon
Posts: 106
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Default

Jerry
I am not up to speed on "cam out". I might ask Roddy who is near. And I will check that alignment as best i know how. It can't be too much different than my High Standards which I know pretty well.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-22-2011, 07:05 AM
Leonard's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 535
Likes: 20
Liked 75 Times in 31 Posts
Default

Jerry

Can you explain the extractor tuning? I am aware of bending the extractor for a tighter or possibly longer grip on the case.

I have a couple of older 41's that are only 100% with Fioche 320 or some HVs which I do not want to use. CCI SVs are worthless. I recently put a Clark barrel on one of the guns and it acts exactly like the SW barrel so I assume the issue is with the slide?
__________________
Len
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-25-2011, 12:51 PM
JKeefer's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maidens, Va.
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard View Post
Jerry

Can you explain the extractor tuning? I am aware of bending the extractor for a tighter or possibly longer grip on the case.

I have a couple of older 41's that are only 100% with Fioche 320 or some HVs which I do not want to use. CCI SVs are worthless. I recently put a Clark barrel on one of the guns and it acts exactly like the SW barrel so I assume the issue is with the slide?
Heavy clouds and rain block my sattelite signal.. Sorry for the late reply..

Hamden;
Camout is a term that describes the effect upon the extractor by the radius machined into the breechface of the barrel. It pushes or cams the extractor away from the base of the cartridge at lock up..The timing of this action is often incorrect. The radius, if not matched exactly between the extractor and barrel can cause function issues. Often the extractor will deadhead against the radius at 11 or 12 oclock, looking down on the radius, and retard the closing of the breech. Instead to pushing the extractor out, it exerts force back against the plunger and spring. A sure source of light hits.. An angle, on the other hand, always exerts force 90 degrees to the direction of slide travel. It is very easy to time and control cam out, because you are working with a constant.
Leonard:
Not to any way discredit Austin Behlert, who published the technique of bending the extractor some years ago. I believe now, it is more productive to avoid bending. Bending aggrevates the cam out and timing issues mentioned above. The .22 rim provides a mere .023 edge for the extractor to grip and hold. The radius at the juncture of cartridge body and rim, varies greatly from one manufacturer to the other.. Often the reason why one functions when the other will not. The gap between the extractor and breechface should be held at minimum, and be 90 degrees to the breechface..with polisshed radii to allow smooth feeding. I have better success with a small flat on the tip, as opposed to a sharp, pointed extractor. It holds and stablizes the empty case better.. Also often overlooked, is the counterbore in the breechblock.. If the face is battered and worn, it may not be providing enough support to the empty case, causing even the best extractor to lose its grip.
On S&W barrels/ accuracy..
I have seen many stock bore diameters gage at .214/ .215 They may or may not shoot well.. I feel it is too tight for extreme accuracy. Bores this tight, cause too much surface disruption to the projectile. .216/.217 is far more desireable if precision B/E shooting is your pursuit.. I also feel that land width is too wide for super accuracy for the same reasons..

Good luck
Jerry
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-17-2012, 10:33 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 24
Likes: 1
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Looking for a 7-3/8 compensated barrel

Please email me with condition and price. Email to

upacreekk@earthlink.net

or call me at 360-912-1330

Thanks,

Kent
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-03-2013, 09:40 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Muskogee, Ok
Posts: 7
Likes: 3
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Has anyone ever tried to lap a 41? Did it Smooth it up? How did you do it? Thanks in advance!!!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
behlert, bullseye, cartridge, ejector, extractor, m41, millet, model 41, nill, sauer, sig arms, surefire, walther

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols Thread, Model 41 Tuning in Smith & Wesson Semi-Automatic Pistols; I'd like to get a good discussion going regarding tuning a Model 41 for accuracy and function. I realize these ...
LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://smith-wessonforum.com/smith-wesson-semi-auto-pistols/209593-model-41-tuning.html
Posted By For Type Date
S&w 41 shaving lead - RimfireCentral.com Forums This thread Refback 04-19-2012 11:03 PM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tuning Jigs gizamo S&W-Smithing 2 06-04-2011 07:47 AM
Older Model 48-4 tuning borabora22 S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 1 05-01-2011 02:43 PM
S&W trigger tuning PhysicsGuy S&W-Smithing 18 08-25-2010 10:54 PM
More on trigger tuning squiggy S&W-Smithing 8 02-08-2010 03:51 PM
Tuning a mod 52 magazine? Kevin G Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 2 04-01-2009 09:56 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:45 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2013
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)