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Old 05-04-2018, 07:24 PM
thessler thessler is offline
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Hi
I have been struggling with a new to me 41.
Using CCI sv ammo if I load 10 in the magazine the first two are guaranteed to stovepipe then I can usually get through the next eight, that's with the seven inch barrel. With the five inch it stovepipes whenever it wants.

I have tried the wolf spring pack, tried all three springs and it makes no difference. Replaced the extractor and checked it was grabbing the shell correctly. The chambers are spotless on both barrels, a bullet will fall all the way in with just gravity. Gun is properly lubed.
I'm out of ideas. I have been told try other ammo, but I'm not sold on that due to the fact I keep reading this is the standard ammo for this gun.
Any ideas greatly appreciated, Tom
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:52 PM
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How many different mags have you tried?

Graydog
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:01 PM
thessler thessler is offline
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Two, it doesn't seem to change things
By the way it will shoot HV ammo just fine, but it's my understanding the gun is designed for SV ammo

Last edited by thessler; 05-04-2018 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:13 PM
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It is designed to shoot any 22 ammo, but SV is the most accurate, how old is your 41.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:15 PM
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Yes the gun is designed for SV ammo. and you have shooting the right ones already. I would suggest getting a few new mags to start and see what happens. I would verify those were the correct poundage on the springs you put in it. I would also suggest taking the grips off and giving it a cleaning inside as well. They can get pretty gummed up sometimes. And if need be check the ejector for alignment which will also causes the same type of problem.

Last edited by Barrie; 05-04-2018 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 05-04-2018, 11:49 PM
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I have to use a shorter, lighter recoil spring for standard velocity ammunition. Perhaps you could try a lighter spring. Sounds like the slide is not opening fully.

Does the slide lock back after you fire the last round?
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Old 05-05-2018, 05:14 AM
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Thanks for the replys.
I bought the wolf spring kit wich gives the option of three different weights pluss the factory spring, so I have tried four different weight springs in it.
The gun has been completely stripped and is spotless, I put a half a drop of oil on every shiny or worn spot. It is much better than when I got it. When I got it it was pretty much useless unless you wanted to shoot HV ammo.
New extractor is catching the shell exactly where it's supposed to.
The only thing I haven't done is clean the inside of the magazine, didn't think of it. Will do this morning. The gun is a 1958. The slide does stay open after the last round.
Thanks Tom

Last edited by thessler; 05-05-2018 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 05-05-2018, 07:01 AM
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I think the clue here is that the first 2 rounds of a full magazine to stove-pipe when using SV ammo.

With a magazine inserted fully (with the slide forward) the round at the top of the mag is depressed by the bottom of the bolt.

When the slide moves rearward, the bottom of the bolt slides across the top round in the mag, until the slide/bolt has moved rearward enough to firstly;

a: eject the fired case, and then

b; allow the next round to slide up the bolt face under the extractor, ready to
be pushed forward into the breech.

Could be that the mag spring is exerting too much pressure upwards against the bottom of the bolt, which is slowing the bolt down too much for correct operation.

After a couple of rounds have been fired, the magazine spring has relaxed a little and is no longer pushing the next round up so much and dragging on the bottom of the bolt.

HV ammo has more power to thrust the slide rearward, overcoming some of this extra drag.

Check that the mag springs are not too strong.
Check that the mag springs are fitted correctly. ( it might be fitted upside-down)
Check the bottom surface of the bolt for roughness. maybe give it a bit of a polish.

These are simple machines, good luck.
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Old 05-05-2018, 07:51 AM
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Thanks
I just took both mags apart and gave a thorough cleaning, saw no obvious problems. The bolts bottom is perfect, no rough edges. I have actually been over the whole gun looking for rough edges and smoothed where appropriate.
I agree this is a simple machine and should work perfectly. I'll keep fooling with it until I figure it out.
Thanks, Tom
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Old 05-05-2018, 08:55 PM
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If all else fails place a drop of oil on the top bullet in the magazine before firing. Also make sure your slide rails are well oiled also. They will not hangup with oil on them.
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:40 AM
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Thanks for the reply
Shot it yesterday with someone else's magazine and it was working perfect, I thought problem solved but was still a little cautious. Sure enough next time I picked it up it fouled shot one, two, four and nine.
So three different magazines , two barrels, four different, recoil springs and two extractors I'm thinking reciever or slide problem.
Last night I stripped the gun and greased everywhere there was oil , the slide seems very smooth so I'll see what happens today.
I have read about the oil top bullet trick, but I'm really trying to get this gun to work perfect without having to do that.
Thanks, Tom
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Old 05-06-2018, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thessler View Post
Thanks for the reply
Shot it yesterday with someone else's magazine and it was working perfect, I thought problem solved but was still a little cautious. Sure enough next time I picked it up it fouled shot one, two, four and nine.
So three different magazines , two barrels, four different, recoil springs and two extractors I'm thinking reciever or slide problem.
Last night I stripped the gun and greased everywhere there was oil , the slide seems very smooth so I'll see what happens today.
I have read about the oil top bullet trick, but I'm really trying to get this gun to work perfect without having to do that.
Thanks, Tom
IMHO, FAULTY MAGAZINES ARE OFTEN THE CASE OF PROBLEMS LIKE YOURS. THE FACT THAT YOUR PISTOL FUNCTIONED PERFECTLY, WITH A BORROWED MAG, SUPPORTS MY OPINION. SPLURGE ON A BRAND NEW, FACTORY MAG, AND SEE IF THIS ALLEVIATES YOUR PROBLEM.....

BTW--SHOOTING HV .22LR AMMO, WILL NOT DAMAGE YOUR M41. I FIND THAT CCI MINI MAGS, FUNCTION BEST, AND ARE MOST ACCURATE, IN EVERY ONE OF MY RIMFIRES.....
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:32 AM
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Joe
I meant to say the borrowed magazine worked perfect, then the gun continued to foul with the same borrowed magazine.
Pretty sure I eliminated the magazine as the culprit, but I could be wrong.
Tom
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:26 PM
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Depending on the age of your pistol, mine is new, and to stop this I have to put a drop of oil on the brass just below the bullet on each first round that goes into the pistol. Don't put it on the bullet but the brass. You can also find advise and answers over on the Bullseye forum.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:26 PM
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Tom: You said in part; "Last night I stripped the gun and greased everywhere there was oil "

If you use grease that could increase your failure rate. Oil is what the slide/frame mating surfaces need. The oil on the top round in a magazine can also help. I know it is a pain, but worth trying. It is easier than clearing failures.

I'm also of the belief that only SV ammo should be used in a model 41. Why risk damage by using HV ammo that is less accurate? Someone is going to ask; What oil? My response is any CLP (I like break free) or the old stand by Marvel Mystery Oil. bob
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:14 PM
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Never use grease in a 41, just oil for lube only as it moves better thru the gun and will not cause hangups. I also suggest buying two new mags to verify what we already suspect which is your mags may be tired. Thats why I buy two every year so I never have this kind of problem.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:06 PM
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Reading this one with interest, Just bought a '70 Model 41. Had one about the same vintage years ago that did not run. Tried everything I could even took it to a Gunsmith, no joy. Sold it and bought a High Standard Supermatic. These are REALLY sensitive to magazines. I have two that run perfect, and two that just do not work, even after adjusting with a lip tool. I would try different new magazines see if that helps. Don't really know about the Model 41 mags, but with High Standard mags those that are not factory are junk. I know new Model 41 mags are available from S&W.
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:30 PM
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Thanks guys
Grease did not work.
Tried yet another magazine from someone else's gun , worked fine in theirs wouldn't work in mine.
It's interesting watching this thing, after I clear a foul or two it will eject the next shell maybe three inches. Then the next maybe six inches then a foot finally about three feet
Once it ejects three feet it's up and running, usually won't foul for the rest of the mag.
There has to be a clue in there somewhere.
Tom
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:22 PM
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Short distance ejections are cause by a slow slide.

So, looks like the slide is dragging.
Where or why is difficult to diagnose from this distance, but it would seem very likely that this is your reason.

Could be the spent case is tight coming out of the chamber.
Could be the bottom of the bolt dragging on the top of the mag ( or the next round )
Could be the slide dragging in the frame.
Could be the recoil spring too strong.

or, more likely, a combination of all of the above.

Are you sure the chamber(s) are clean ?

You do know that the extractor does NOT remove the spent case from the chamber, right ?

How about drop off the barrel and the slide.
Get your magazines and insert them into the frame, lock them in, and have a look at how and where they sit.
Do it with the next one.
Borrow a couple and see how they fit.

any clues ?

some sitting higher than others ?

Ok, if that all looks good and consistant, since you have quite a few spare springs, go ahead and choose ONE to experiment with.

Get your pliers or snips and remove 1 full coil.

Put this spring onto the guide rod.
Put the (just) cut end onto the guide rod first (shouldn't really matter which way it goes)

Assemble the gun and try it.

Still FTE ?

Cut off another full coil and try again.

Repeat until correct function is achieved.

If the slide does not strip and chamber the first round off a FULL magazine, you have cut too many coils off the spring. = start again.
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:21 AM
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Thanks
I clean the chamber daily, a round will drop in and out with only gravity.
I agree the slide is dragging, but not always. Sometimes the shell dribbles out and sometimes it fires out, and of course sometimes it doesn't come out. I put some clippers in the bag for today's trials, I have no problem cutting up a few springs, I am concerned about what happens when the gun is running right I may then have to weak of a spring in there to accommodate when the gun is not running right if that makes sense. I'm also going to bring some dykem blue, paint it on some parts and see if I can spot a hang up. Thanks for the help
Tom
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:19 AM
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Just a thought...have you checked how the slide is connecting with the hammer as it tries to cock it for the next shot? Does it work smoothly or is there a lot of resistance?
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:09 AM
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Yes, if the slide is dragging intermittently for some reason, then lightening the spring is not going to your answer.
It may mask the issue sometimes though.

You really need to figure out if and why the slide is dragging.

There are only a few places to look.

Slide / frame rails.
Slide cocking the hammer
Slide sliding over the top of the magazine.
Recoil spring guide rod.
Slide pushing the trigger bar down (sear disconnect)

You mentioned intermittent, once the slide is free, it is fine for the rest of the mag ?
Does the problem reoccur if a new full mag is inserted ?
If yes, and the problem reoccurs in the same manner, then it would appear to be the slide/bolt being slowed down by the friction of sliding over the top round in the mag.

What happens if you only load 5 or 6 rounds in each mag ?
Do you get any FTE ?

There will always be friction at that point, and that friction will be variable depending upon the number of rounds in the magazine / compression of the magazine spring.

This may or may not be the problem as there could be some restriction caused by something else, that when added to the bolt friction, tips the balance to a point of failure.

And yet with all of that, there may not even be a physical issue with the gun.......... you may just been unlucky enough to get a weak batch of SV ammo.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:34 PM
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OK just got back worked on it the whole time.
Ammo is ok, works fine in my friends 41.
Cutting the spring accomplished nothing , I kept making it smaller with no improvement untill it now won't go into battery. No big deal put another spring in. This is a friction problem, there aren't many parts to this but I have yet to spot it.
Tried again with five rounds and the first of the five is not even cocking the gun, so I'm thinking it's getting worse. That may not be so bad , it will show up at some point soon.
To eliminate magazine questions, I removed the mag interlock and shot it as a single shot with no magazine in the gun, same results. First shot didn't cock the gun next few stovepipe. I guess I will start focusing on cocking the hammer it feels smooth but who knows what it's doing at speed.
Thanks for the help, Tom

Last edited by thessler; 05-07-2018 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thessler View Post
OK just got back worked on it the whole time.
Ammo is ok, works fine in my friends 41.
Cutting the spring accomplished nothing , I kept making it smaller with no improvement untill it now won't go into battery. No big deal put another spring in. This is a friction problem, there aren't many parts to this but I have yet to spot it.
Tried again with five rounds and the first of the five is not even cocking the gun, so I'm thinking it's getting worse. That may not be so bad , it will show up at some point soon.
To eliminate magazine questions, I removed the mag interlock and shot it as a single shot with no magazine in the gun, same results. First shot didn't cock the gun next few stovepipe. I guess I will start focusing on cocking the hammer it feels smooth but who knows what it's doing at speed.
Thanks for the help, Tom
Well you just found out something important here. By shooting the gun with no mag in it you now know the slide is not binding on the mag.

I just thought of something. Can you try your friends slide on your gun? Maybe your slide has been bent or something like that.

If the problem happens with two different barrels then it is not a barrel problem.

Just a thought here, might be worth a try.

Graydog
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:10 AM
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I still suggest buying some new mags for it. You can't have too many of them anyways.
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Old 05-09-2018, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
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I still suggest buying some new mags for it. You can't have too many of them anyways.
This a bit off topic but Barrie clean out your message box I tried to send you a note and I can't.

Al
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:08 PM
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OK, sounds like a couple possibilities left...

Marlins .22's have a similar problem occasionally, and it's caused by too much oil
Science class...Pressure times heat times burnt gunpwder times oil = sticky glue.
Happens a lot when folks oil the barrel and don't let it drain out completely/air dry...
oil and burnt gunpowder quickly can gum up SV rounds.

So to remove two variables, clean the gun completely, wipe it down to DRY.
Including the chamber/barrel with dry patches.
Then do a cotton ball test.
Take a cotton ball, run it along the slide & rails, & all surfaces that contact each other
during the firing/extraction/ejection sequence. GO BOTH DIRECTIONS!

If you pull hairs off the cotton ball, you have a BURR!
And you know what to do with those...break out the files & sandpaper

If no hairs, then testfire the pistol. If it doesn't hang up while dry,
then it's the too much oil issue.

Hope it helps
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:19 PM
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You can also replace the original extractor (sometimes the issue on M41's) with a Volquartsen (about $11 bucks) which I find works better than the original part. Drops in and works great! Easy to install.

Volquartsen Exact Edge Extractor S&W Model 41 - MPN: VC41EE
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:30 PM
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Just to be clear.

The extractor DOES NOT pull the spent case out of the chamber.

Its ONLY job is to hold the spent case against the bolt face until the ejector can kick it out the ejection port.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:59 AM
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Thanks guys
I have already replaced the extractor it made no difference. Yesterday I removed the hammer and slide springs and used black in letting paste to cover the frame and the slide. This allowed me to see exactly where there is any high spots. I smoothed any high spots down real carefully. I can now point the muzzle down with no springs in the gun, and gravity will close the slide. It is very smooth with no slop. Put in a new ejector and a new magazine. Went to the range and the first round stovepipes every single time. Number two and three eject very weak and then the next six will be perfect. It's almost like the gun needs a few to warm up. Then you can feel the slide actually working better, but the first few are still weak. The gun without a doubt is working better then when I started but it's still not right. A few days ago I oiled up 100 bullets and it shot them all without a hitch, that's fine but it's a bandaid not a soulution.
Thanks for the continued interest, Tom
I forgot to mention, now every time it stovepipes the open side of the shell sticks out the left side. Before I installed the new ejector it stuck out the right side. This thing is fighting me all the way.

Last edited by thessler; 05-17-2018 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:23 AM
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So realistically, there are only two things that are different between the first shot of a full magazine and the subsequent second, third, forth etc. shots.

1; The temperature of the barrel / chamber.

as the chamber warms up, it should expand ever so slightly, thus giving slightly more clearance to the chambered round.

2; The upward pressure exerted by the loaded rounds pushing up on the bottom face of the bolt.

This pressure reduces as rounds are stripped out of the mag.


Every other function of the gun's mechanism is identical from the first to the second last shot of a mag.


You said that you replaced the ejector ?
Can you upload some photos ?

You mentioned that the fired cases are now being ejected/jammed differently.
This could be a clue, as I cannot see any reason that they would end up facing the opposite way. Impossible in fact, unless the ejecting round is somehow spinning 180 degrees whilst still inside the frame.
This point is very strange indeed!!

More likely that the spent round is being "ejected" (hitting) by something OTHER than the actual ejector, and/or the extractor is not holding the spent case firmly against the bolt face.


Does the slide still lock open after the last round is fired ?

Have you fitted a recoil buffer ? is the slide moving thru its entire stroke range?

Pulling the slide back, how far past the slide stop does the bolt face travel ?

The slide release lever needs to locate under the safety lever detent plate. Can you confirm this ?

Have you tried your slide on someone else's frame ?

Have you tried someone else's slide on your frame ?


I would put the gun down, grab a coffee, take a few very deep breaths and start your diagnosis again.

Absolutely confirm each and every item that has been suggested to be checked.
Double check and triple check before moving onto the next item.

do the "plop" test ( round into barrel chamber unaided )
do the "wobble" test (round being held against the bolt face with sufficient force )

It almost looks like you are getting lost in a whirl of trying a thousand things all at the same time.

Step back, re-focus and start again...... slowly

You did mention that after lubing 100 rounds, the pistol performed faultlessly ??

To me, this is simply indicating a tight chamber.
You did say that however, you checked the chamber and said that the rounds would drop in and out under gravity?

BUT, you also said that you tried a friends barrel, and the issue remained ?

So confusing.....

It still could just be a weak batch of ammo.

Have you tried some CCI SV's from a different production batch ?

If you have access to a chrono, maybe have a look and see what muzzle velocity you have with the ammo that you are using ?

Remember, these are very simple machines.
They only need a number of actions to happen in the right way and at the right time for it to operate correctly.

Don't give up !!

but,

If you cannot resolve this issue yourself, maybe you should just find a reputable Gun Smith who has extensive experience with the model 41 and have them check it out ( providing as much detail relating to your attempts to resolve the issue as possible )

Good luck !!!
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  #32  
Old 05-18-2018, 07:11 AM
thessler thessler is offline
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Wow alot to think about. I have been through just about everything suggested. I have tried my ammo in a friend's gun and it works fine so I'm taking that off the table. I am very mechanical inclined so rest assured ejector and everything else is installed propper. The reverse stovepipe is mind boggling. No I have not installed a buffer, not sure how that can help. Don't think it's magazine spring pressure because it happens whether there is 10 rounds in or five in it doesn't matter.
My latest thinking is the first mentioned, chamber temperature. I always felt the gun wants to warm up then it runs better. Yesterday I cleaned the chamber real well and a round would drop in with gravity. I shot one round took the barrel off and the round would not drop in, I thought that to be significant the chamber fouling after one shot. I'm not sure if that even helps with diagnosis due to the fact the first round aways stovepipes even with a spotless chamber.
I have read on other forums where guys took a match chamber reamer and reamed out there chamber. I do have a chamber reamer but it's not a match reamer , not sure know much size difference it would be . I really hate the thought of reaming it out if I'm wrong the barrel is junk.
, I will not send this to a gun smith , figuring this out is part of the learning process. As mentioned this is a simple machine , my focus now is on the chamber just not sure how to handle it.
Would anyone know does a 41 get a match chamber or standard chamber . I know bolt actions get match but I was wondering if an automatic would be a little looser due to the faster feeding ?
Thanks for the encouragement I'll keep at it, Tom
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  #33  
Old 05-18-2018, 08:58 AM
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Just because the ammo works in another gun, I would not rule it out. Consider buying a box of some other brand standard velocity.


No, I would not ream the chamber either.


Have you looked at the hammer spring? If the gun came to used, perhaps someone fiddled with it and spring is too stiff? Everyone jumps on the recoil spring, but the hammer spring also has an effect on slide operation.


Other than those, I'm running out of ideas that you haven't tried or addressed already.
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  #34  
Old 05-18-2018, 11:37 AM
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This may have been addressed before, but perhaps drag from pressure exerted by the magazine spring on the top few rounds in a fully loded magazine (because of contact between the bottom of the bolt and the top round in the mag during cycling) is reducing the velocity of the slide to the point where proper ejection is not possible?
This could explain why reliability improves as the magazine empties, and the spring tension on the top round is reduced.
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  #35  
Old 05-18-2018, 09:32 PM
thessler thessler is offline
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Hi
I have completely dismantled the gun twice, and all I can say about the hammer spring is it looks original. No way of testing it but I doubt if it's to strong and pushing to hard on the slide. The reason I'm sticking with the ammo is once the gun gets past the first couple of rounds it works fine. If I had a magazine that held one hundred I'm pretty sure after the first three the next 97 would work perfect. This is a huge improvement where a few weeks ago it would foul almost one in three. So I'm heading in the right direction just not quite there yet.
Even a half loaded magazine will act the same, in fact I have tried three different mags. It's the gun.
Thanks, Tom
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