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Old 09-23-2018, 05:26 PM
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Hi everyone. About 12 years ago I got married and moved out of NYC to the suburbs in lower CT. One of the first things I did was to purchase my first handgun, a Nickel plated Model 27 with a four inch barrel. I shot that once or twice a month for about three years, then purchased my first semi-auto pistol. Soon I had a stable of 1911 style pistols (mostly Wilson Supergrades) in 9mm and 45acp. I started going to the range twice a week and kept that up for seven years, getting progressively better and better, shooting like most people do at the range - sending a target out between 8 to 15 yards and trying to hit the center of the target.

I was starting to get pretty good at slow and steady bullseye type shooting. Then, about a year ago, the Range Officers suggested that I try shooting at the weekly plate match. Tactical shooting, something I had never done below - I went once and was hooked. Two guys. Two horizontal plate racks 14 yards away. The buzzer goes off and, starting from low ready with the safety on, the first guy to knock all their six plates (these are eight plates) down wins. Weekly attendance is between 40-50 guys grouped into beginner, intermediate, or expert.

It took about two months to move up from the beginner group to intermediate, six months later to expert. It's a tough room, quite a few PO's and vets. I moved up very fast, but had to switch from my 45acp to 9mm to be competitive in expert. I shoot my 45acp only on Ďbig boreí night, a 627 V-Comp on revolver night, but have to stay home when itís 22 rimfire night. Until now that is. I purchased two Model 41ís on Gunbroker last week plus a very old Colt Woodsman Match Target. They all arrived in great shape, but I did take them apart to clean and oil.

Anyways, I took my two 41ís to the range this morning. The first is a 5.5 inch heavy barrel from the 1960ís and is meant to be my plate gun. The auction pictures do not do it justice. I ran 200 CCI 40 grain standard velocity rounds thru it and it shot great. I adjusted the sites to lower POI by about an inch at ten yards.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/783193515

The second is a 5 inch Ďfield barrelí from the early 1970ís. This one had issues, itís a single shot pistol and I donít know why. The round would fire but the spent case would not eject. The cocking indicator would be sticking out the back of the slide but when I pulled the trigger, nothing. I would rack the slide, the spent case would eject and a new round would chamber. Then pull the trigger and the round would fire. But I had to manually rack the slide every time. The Hoping you guys can help. These are both old guns, so maybe the springs? The mags worked fine on the heavy barrel so this isnít mag related.
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/785671584
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:14 PM
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Another thing you can do is swap parts from one gun to the other.
Try the top ends from each gun to the other to see if something is wrong with the bottom end.

You should see a pattern very quickly. Is it the barrel or the slide or springs.

It shouldn't take you very long to see what is the problem part is, fixing it may be a bigger problem.

Graydog
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:20 PM
Barrie Barrie is offline
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Shortslide Welcome to the Forum. Yes it could be the springs in this gun or the extractor is tired or not placed correctly in the gun. If that is the case then a small tweek with Needle Nose Pliers may do the trick. I would also suggest taking the grips off of it for a real good cleaning as sometimes the dirt piles up behind the grips and can cause certain bad behavior as well. CCI-SV is the ammo to use in this gun and never use high Velocity ammo in it as well. They are one of the world's best target pistols money can buy and will give you many years of enjoyment as well.
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Old 09-23-2018, 10:00 PM
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Shortslide Welcome to the Forum. Yes it could be the springs in this gun or the extractor is tired or not placed correctly in the gun. If that is the case then a small tweek with Needle Nose Pliers may do the trick. I would also suggest taking the grips off of it for a real good cleaning as sometimes the dirt piles up behind the grips and can cause certain bad behavior as well. CCI-SV is the ammo to use in this gun and never use high Velocity ammo in it as well. They are one of the world's best target pistols money can buy and will give you many years of enjoyment as well.
Thanks! A senior member from the Colt forum spent about 45 minutes on the phone with me talking about Match Targets and especially about the Model 41. He told me the field barrel version in the shape mine is in was a very difficult combination to find - you just don't see the field barrel that much, in this shape anyways. He gave me auction guidance and now it's mine. Both pistols were spotless, my cleanup was really wiping of a tiny bit of crud, and finally pushing two patches down the barrel.

The 5.5 inch heavy barrel does look better than the GB pictures. I now own two old classics that I can shoot almost as accurately as I can with one of my Wilson Supergrades. I don't know how the extractor is supposed to look but I will first try swapping the barrels and see what that tells me. If it's a problem with the extractor, not sure what to do here, I first need to find a decent diagram and pictures of what it's supposed to look like.

Not sure if I described my issue correctly. I would fire a round.
Then pull the trigger and nothing would happen. The cocking indicator was still sticking out. I then pulled back the slide and out came the brass and a new round then was chambered. I did have four instances (out of 40 rounds total fired) where the next round fired. And two instances where the casing came part of the way out but then got stuck halfway out of the slide. So the pistol can work correctly. But the plan was always to shoot the 5.5 inch heavy barrel

Last issue. We start from low ready, so pistol at a 45% down angle. Safety on with round chambered. At the buzzer, raise the pistol, unclick the safety and start shooting. I was worn'd about the safety being impossible to disengage with your right thumb, as you would with a 1911 pistol. The guys on the colt forum even suggested the following:

Quote:
Tension on the safety lever can be modified by adjusting the safety spring plate under the grip panel. Adjustment of the bend in the step or polishing the tab on the back of the step may help. To make mine a bit lighter, I just loosened the screw in the plate about 1/4 of a turn.
So I loosened the screw about 1/4 turn with no effect. So I use my left thumb but then my left hand is out of position for a good two handed hold. Someone else suggested having a have a smith weld a speed safety extension on it. I suppose I could get a replacement thumb safety and have a smith weld the extension on and then install it - this so I would have the original.

One thing I never realized was that the top of the gun does not move, you fire and your sites stay right on target, other than the movement from recoil. I could also get the slide drilled and tapped and put an RMR on but I love shooting with Iron sites.

Is the 41 the best for speed tactical shooting? No because of the safety. By I wanted to show up at plate with a beautiful blued iron sited classic that is older than almost anyone in the room, and smoke the guy using his red dotted Volquartsen Scorpion. After shooting the heavy barrel at rapid fire today I think this is possible with a modification to the safety and alot of hard work
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Old 09-23-2018, 11:46 PM
Kp321 Kp321 is offline
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From your description of the problem, I would question of the cocking indicator is telling the truth. If the pistol fires and is truly recocked the empty would not be in the chamber. If the slide moves enough to recock the hammer the next round would try to feed from the magazine and would jam if the empty is still in the barrel.
I would suspect a very dirty or pitted chamber causing extraction problems.
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Old 09-25-2018, 03:57 PM
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The chamber was spotless, but last night I cleaned the chamber, breach face, extractor, everything I could reach with a field strip. I even looked at everything with my 10x coin collectors loop - no pitting or carbon deposits anywhere. I had both M41's apart and closely examined thier internals - I could see no difference between the two.

So I went to the range today and put another two hundred rounds thru the 5 inch field barrel and same problems as before. The first 100 were no different than my first range trip. Then I started to get two shot's at a time for each mag (so 8 single fires and two rounds in a row. Then each mags would have a three round string, the rest single shot. The last three mags I was able to fire 7 in rapid succession with the remaining three needing a manual slide rack to clear the empty out of the chamber.

Could it be that this pistol needs a few hundred rounds to get back into the swing of things? I will clean it again tonight and take it to the range on Thursday. Hopefully the pistol will pick up where it left off and give me seven flawless rounds out of the mag, then 8, then 9, then 10. Iif I don't see this happening, then it's off to my smith.
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Old 09-25-2018, 04:53 PM
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Put the 5.5" barrel on the 5" barrel frame and see if the same thing happens.
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Old 09-25-2018, 09:11 PM
Barrie Barrie is offline
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I suspect the springs are tired in this gun. For what they cost it would be cheap to rule out. Brownell's sells them. What ammo have you been shooting in these two pistols? That also can make a huge difference if its not CCI - SV 40Gr. Both are somewhat rare models of the M41, and you are lucky to have 2 of them. Good for you.
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Old 09-25-2018, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
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I suspect the springs are tired in this gun. For what they cost it would be cheap to rule out. Brownell's sells them. What ammo have you been shooting in these two pistols? That also can make a huge difference if its not CCI - SV 40Gr. Both are somewhat rare models of the M41, and you are lucky to have 2 of them. Good for you.
Thanks! I bought 10k rounds of the cci 40 grain standard velocity. These are not the only classic pistols I bought this month. Pictured below is a 98-99% three digit serial numbered 1938 colt woodsman match target. I would simply replace the large spring on the slide right? I can take a 1911 completely apart but I can't figure out how to take the Model 41's firing pin out - maybe that needs a replacement?

These were both in fantastic condition when I bought them, but maybe they each have 50k rounds through them, I don't know how to find potential signs of heavy use. But if used lightly, those springs would be fine. No harm in replacing the large spring so I will do that.

I think it would be cool to use one of these old classics to beat the guys at plate match who use a Volquartsen Scorpion. Old classic against a fantastic modern pistol.
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Old 09-26-2018, 03:26 AM
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Try actual bullseye pistol. You have the gun for it--the heavy barrel 41, presuming it's tapped for optics. The field barrel or the Woodsman would be better for steel, you want less mass up front. And you already have the ammo. Not giving indoor BE a shot would be a crime.

10-ring on a 50-foot slow fire target is .9", btw, just a little bit smaller than a quarter. You can hit it, so long as you don't try to hit it.
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Old 09-26-2018, 04:29 AM
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CONGRATULATIONS ON A GREAT BRACE OF VINTAGE M41s.....

IMHO, YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO TRY SOME INDOOR BULLSEYE SHOOTING........

YOU CERTAINLY HAVE THE TOOLS, AND APPEAR TO HAVE THE SKILLS TO BE COMPETITIVE.......
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Old 09-26-2018, 11:05 AM
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Try actual bullseye pistol. You have the gun for it--the heavy barrel 41, presuming it's tapped for optics. The field barrel or the Woodsman would be better for steel, you want less mass up front. And you already have the ammo. Not giving indoor BE a shot would be a crime.

10-ring on a 50-foot slow fire target is .9", btw, just a little bit smaller than a quarter. You can hit it, so long as you don't try to hit it.
Here is a typical target I have been shooting for the past three years. It was shot on Nov 24th 2017 with my full sized Wilson Combat 45acp Supergrade. Same thing every week, I would shoot at least four targets like this each Saturday morning. Top three targets (above each shoulder and the head) at ten yards and the torso at 15 yards. This using a two handed grip, one shot every two or three seconds when shooting at 15 yards. Slow and steady was all I did until 14 months ago. I had no idea what 'tactical' shooting was until, after much prodding from the range officers, I went to my first plate match.

Having never been to a 22 caliber bullseye match, I would suspect that shooting is done one handed. My heavy barrel will be drilled and tapped for optics, I may go whole hog and replace certain small parts with top end volquartsen items (extractors, or whatever others are doing). Unless someone tells me the small parts on the Model 41 are the best design possible for the platform. That's the point of me joining this forum. So that you guys make sure I don't do something stupid to these classic Model 41's. I understand that both could be considered collectable, people on other forums told me to not shoot the 1938 woodsman match target for instance. Or modify these Model 41's because in doing so, I would destroy their value in as collectors items. So maybe the field barrel will remain un-modified.

But I am a shooter not a collector, and normally shoot everything I own, often and a lot. For instance, I put 300 to 400 rounds through the pictured Supergrade a month, sometimes double that. Wilson Combat customer service told me that the average Supergrade owner puts maybe 100 rounds per month through their gun, with many of them relegating this fine shooting iron to the back of the safe, almost never shooting it. Me? I can't imagine spending almost $7,000 on a Modern Manufactured 45acp only to never shoot it. It has a blued slide - the case color hardened frame was done by Doug Turnbull. The last pic is my Supergrade wearing a cross cut mammoth tooth grips done by Challis Grips, those alone were about $2 and are surprisingly grippy. Not quite as good as the classic wooden grips, but good enough for target shooting, but a little slick for tactical shooting. The pictures do not do the grips justice.

When I sent this Supergrade back to Wilson so they could put a different set of sites on it, Wilson Customer Service told me that they love to see heavily used guns like mine. Their gunsmiths can tell when a pistol is heavily used and love to see that.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:17 PM
Wise_A Wise_A is offline
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Indeed it is one-handed. Two hands conceals a lot of mistakes. Ditto for centerfire--shooting a one-hole group is a bit trickier with teensy bullets.

My first Model 41's - range report-closeup-jpg

10 shots, 17 yards, 7 in the 10-ring. And no extra ones hiding behind the cartridges (pic is a partial of one I took of my pistol). The 9s and 8 were entirely my fault, I knew those shots were going bad and I took them anyway.

Stick with stock components on the 41. Nobody makes anything off-the-shelf that's a reasonable improvement--certainly not VQ, although they at least have the sense to stay in their lane and just sell their extractor for it. The big money is in tuning up less expensive target pistols. Other thing is, if you're missing a plate at 14 yards with a 41, the problem is not the gun.

If you're truly determined to spend money, there are a couple pistolsmiths that do nice work on 41 triggers.

Quote:
One thing I never realized was that the top of the gun does not move, you fire and your sites stay right on target, other than the movement from recoil. I could also get the slide drilled and tapped and put an RMR on but I love shooting with Iron sites.
It's a blowback-operated rimfire pistol. They're all like that. Barrel and sights are fixed. That's one of the reasons there's really maybe 1.5"-2.5" difference in group size between the Model 41 and a Ruger MkWhatever at 50 yards.

As for optics, no problem with an open red dot for the plates. Although I'd probably stick with the irons. Misses will universally be caused by poor trigger control or follow-through. A dot isn't any faster than iron sights.

If you get into bullseye, I'd take an $80 Bushnell TRS-25 over a Trijicon RMR or Leupold Delta Point any day. Micro RDS have stupid amounts of parallax.

Quote:
Is the 41 the best for speed tactical shooting? No because of the safety. By I wanted to show up at plate with a beautiful blued iron sited classic that is older than almost anyone in the room, and smoke the guy using his red dotted Volquartsen Scorpion.
I probably would have just started with a Nelson/Marvel 1911-22 conversion. Price is the same, you can get whatever RH-only safety you want. Although making everyone start from low ready with safeties on is dumb as hell. Holstered and safety on--yes. But the muzzles are already downrange, the only reason to have people engage safeties is to screw with guys using certain guns. If I wanted to be a real jerk, I'd bring a Glock .22 conversion or some other striker-fired .22 with no manual safety.

The guy with the VQ...meh. He could actually be good and just spent a bunch of money on a really tasteless pistol because he likes shooting. Or he could be cancer-tier, bought the expensive flashy pistol, and has no taste.

In any case, if he's doing well, it's not because of the safety. The Scorp is just a Ruger Mk pistol, and the safety on those is just as terrible as yours. Well, not quite, but close. That's the reason the whole "Scoprion" thing is really stupid. It's a $1500 pistol that you can replicate with the following:

(1) Buy Ruger Mk III, pref 5.5" slab barrel.
(2) Install VQ trigger kit.
(3) Buy lead tape, as used to weight golf clubs. Wrap around muzzle until desired balance achieved.

The lead tape does the same thing as th VQ compensator. That's all a .22 comp is--a flashy barrel weight.
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