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  #1  
Old 09-08-2020, 09:40 PM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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Default S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4

What do you all think about the SW model 41. I have a couple of questions:

-what difference can be expected between old vs current production in terms of trigger, accuracy etc

-How do the current model 41s stack up against the new Ruger MK IV target guns in terms of accuracy and overall quality etc

Just looking for thoughts, experience and general insights.

Never owned either a 41 or Ruger MK.

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:49 PM
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I have both a newer version of the Model 41 (shipped June 20, 2016) and a Ruger Mark IV.

In my opinion, the Model 41 is a much more refined target pistol. The factory trigger is a crisp 2.25 pounds.

The factory trigger on my Mark IV is a huge disappointment, especially when being compared to my Mark I and Mark II's.

Best of luck with your search and decision.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:21 PM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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I have several Rugers and 1 model 41
The older the Ruger the better the trigger
But none of them come close to a model 41
Trigger
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:34 PM
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Default What is the intended use?

The answer, or at least the direction to look, depends on your intended usage.
If it's general fun and informal shooting, you might be better off comparing the Ruger to a Browning Buckmark or S&W Victory. Basically, inexpensive pistols that reliably go "bang", with so-so triggers and accuracy. Good enough for goofing around with on the weekend with your kids, etc.
If for serious target shooting (i.e: precision bullseye) the above are all passable entry level guns.
The S&W 41 is honestly neither fish nor fowl. Expensive, and often problematic in terms of trigger and reliability. And, there is zero adjustment available in terms of premium trigger, sight picture, etc. They enjoy a reputation with guys who remember the good old days. But, their time in the winning circle is long gone, assuming you can even get one that can get through a match without jamming.
For that kind of money, and serious use, your best bet is to look at a real target pistol such as Pardini, Feinwerkbau aw93, older Hämmerli 208/208s, Morini CM 22, Walther GSP, etc.
You'll get better grip options, better accuracy, better sights, utter reliability, overall superior fit and ergonomics, (and did I say better accuracy?).
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:42 AM
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I paid $800 a few years ago for my Model 41. With the base and sight I'm at $1k. I bought the MK4 because I liked the new design. Of course the trigger didn't come close to the Model 41. So a trigger kit, base, and optic and I'm at $900. Accuracy isn't bad but the trigger isn't close to the Model 41.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:58 AM
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I have a cocking indicator vintage Model 41 thaqt I shoot sometimes,,

but,,,

when I want to plink 500 rounds, I get out my Ruger MK pistol with the VQ accurizing kit installed,,

Ruger MK IV & 22/45 | Volquartsen Firearms

I have the MKIII, but, I would imagine the MKIV is similar, the parts look the same,,

I have a 1.75 pound trigger on my MKIII,, with no creep, or overtravel.

Yea, the Ruger is a little "Klunky" compared to the Model 41,,
but,, BOY does the Ruger shoot.

I was hitting 6" diameter rocks at 150 yards with the MKIII today (2X scope)

For me, that is usually something that I need a rifle to do..
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:54 AM
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I own a Ruger MKI Target (6 7/8" tapered bbl.) , Ruger MKII Target (5" bull barrel) and 1974 era S&W model 41 with two different barrels.

I competed in indoor NRA Bullseye (Precision) Match with all three for many years . The Ruger's weren't bad and did well compared to the factory stock S&W 41. But... after sending the model 41 to Clark Custom Guns for a Target Trigger job , Reliability Package and some minor tuning ... The S&W now takes first place in the accuracy department . The Target Trigger Job done by a world class shop makes the biggest difference .

Do you get what you pay for ... In Spades and then some !
The model 41 is a true target pistol and Clark Custom knows how to work magic on them ... shooting it makes me smile !
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string View Post
The answer, or at least the direction to look, depends on your intended usage.
If it's general fun and informal shooting, you might be better off comparing the Ruger to a Browning Buckmark or S&W Victory. Basically, inexpensive pistols that reliably go "bang", with so-so triggers and accuracy. Good enough for goofing around with on the weekend with your kids, etc.
If for serious target shooting (i.e: precision bullseye) the above are all passable entry level guns.
The S&W 41 is honestly neither fish nor fowl. Expensive, and often problematic in terms of trigger and reliability. And, there is zero adjustment available in terms of premium trigger, sight picture, etc. They enjoy a reputation with guys who remember the good old days. But, their time in the winning circle is long gone, assuming you can even get one that can get through a match without jamming.
For that kind of money, and serious use, your best bet is to look at a real target pistol such as Pardini, Feinwerkbau aw93, older Hämmerli 208/208s, Morini CM 22, Walther GSP, etc.
You'll get better grip options, better accuracy, better sights, utter reliability, overall superior fit and ergonomics, (and did I say better accuracy?).
This is accurate.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:13 AM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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Thanks for the replies. Looks like the MK iv with a Volquartsen trigger upgrade shall fit the bill a bit better. I am looking to do some casual steel shooting, some ocasional drills, shooting w the kids etc. I would still like the gun to be real accurate. I do not do any 1 handed BE shooting. I tried some yesterday. Both 41 and Mk IV can be shot with both hands but the Ruger maybe better so. I liked the 6.88'' Hunter with fiber front sight the best.
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Old 09-09-2020, 12:55 PM
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Long before I would consider or accept a MkIII or MkIV, I would spend the same or a little more money for a clean MkII.

The MkIII gives you the ability to mount an optic without drilling the gun and it gives you the traditional push-button magazine release. The MkIV adds the easier field stripping.

However both of these come at a great cost... the horrific loaded chamber indicator, the awful magazine safety -AND- less quality across the board as we’ve seen from basically any/every/all gun makers in recent years. And I loathe the S&W 22-A series of pistols almost as much.

I would choose a pre-2000 S&W Model 41 over any Ruger, but know going in that it may be finicky. I would take any Ruger Mk-series over any Model 41 made in the last 20 years.

And I would choose a five dollar gift card to Tim Horton’s over absolutely any S&W Victory .22 pistol.
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Old 09-09-2020, 03:39 PM
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The older model 41 pistols definitely have a superior finish to the newer ones, but performance wise, based on my own experience they are about the same. Like Sevens, I am a big fan of the Ruger MKII pistol. I have always had a soft spot for American made target grade semi-auto .22 rimfire pistols. I own a 2007 year production model 41, a couple of target grade Ruger MKII pistols, and a Smith & Wesson Victory. The Ruger MKII's and the Smith & Wesson Victory have had some trigger/action upgrades. Most of my shooting is casual target/plinking. While I love my model 41, I actually prefer shooting either the MKII Rugers or the Smith & Wesson Victory. However, for me where the model 41 shines is when it comes time to clean the pistols. The model 41 is by far the easiest pistol to disassemble for cleaning that I have ever came across. I know that the Ruger MKIV takes down quite easily also, but I have just never owned one.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
Long before I would consider or accept a MkIII or MkIV, I would spend the same or a little more money for a clean MkII.

The MkIII gives you the ability to mount an optic without drilling the gun and it gives you the traditional push-button magazine release. The MkIV adds the easier field stripping.

However both of these come at a great cost... the horrific loaded chamber indicator, the awful magazine safety -AND- less quality across the board as we’ve seen from basically any/every/all gun makers in recent years. And I loathe the S&W 22-A series of pistols almost as much.

I would choose a pre-2000 S&W Model 41 over any Ruger, but know going in that it may be finicky. I would take any Ruger Mk-series over any Model 41 made in the last 20 years.

And I would choose a five dollar gift card to Tim Horton’s over absolutely any S&W Victory .22 pistol.
Totally agree. To me the MkII was the best Ruger pistol produced. The MkIII was the nanny gun, with unnecessary safety features. And the MkIV was made for idiots who couldn't figure out how to reassemble the previous Marks. And they promptly had a recall shortly after being introduced.

Also, the quality of all aforementioned guns come into play. The older, the better.

And Tim Horton's coffee is the best. Period.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:15 PM
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" And the MkIV was made for idiots who couldn't figure out how to reassemble the previous Marks."

That's quite a statement. You must already have enough friends. I have a MKI I've shot since I was a kid and a MKII from some time later. I cleaned and reassembled them just fine. But I would be an "idiot" if I didn't appreciate the ease of take down on the MKIV's I also own. The MKIV's are a fine example of engineering that keeps what's good and improves what's not so good.

As for triggers I would agree the MKII has a good enough out of the box trigger but as with all firearms if you want to shoot your best then a really good trigger is key. A Volquartsen trigger puts my suppressed MKIV at about 1.75lbs with no take up or overtravel. The great thing about the MKIV's is that the serial number is on the upper. That means you can send the lower to Volquartsen (or vendor of choice) without FFL if you want them to install it. I'm sure there are other good trigger choices but I only have experience with Volquartsen. Excellent trigger for about $140 or installed for $70 more.

I've not owned a S&W 41 but what I've read in this thread reflects the consensus I've seen reported over time.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:54 PM
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I like my 60’s 41.
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Old 09-09-2020, 11:20 PM
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Default Older/newer/41’s vs Roger Mk 4

I have seen good 41’s and bad 41’s of each old and new vintages. The Ruger is OK after you spend $300.00 in aftermarket trigger and grip upgrades, but I prefer the 41. I get the most accuracy by spending my dollars on “fancy“ ammunition. Garbage in Garbage out. It is not literally that simple , but It’s close. A 41 is a good place to start with premium ammunition until YOU can out shoot your pistol. That’s hard for most to do.
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Old 09-10-2020, 01:05 AM
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I have an original Ruger 22/45 Target, a Mark II Target, a Mark III Target, a Stainless Mark III Competition Slabside with a spare Stainless Mark II Comp Slabside Upper with 4x scope, and a Stainless Mark IV 6.88" fluted Hunter with a spare stainless 5.5" Target upper.

A VQ Mark II/III trigger kit is $60 on eBay from the VQCloseouts website. You can eliminate the LCI *** with a $15 blank steel insert, and remove the magazine disconnect BS with a Mark II bushing, or a custom Mark III bushing. Target grips start at @$30 on up. My most expensive set was $100 mint used.

A blued bull barrelled Target model plus a VQ trigger kit will outlast your grand kids. And if something happens to it, buy another. STILL money ahead.

I would not turn down a 41, but when I had the chance recently, I got the Mark IV Hunter with the spare upper and 14 new magazines. Other than the recoil spring assembly and the extractor, nothing really wears out on them. Both are less than a 5 minute swap.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhump1961 View Post
" And the MkIV was made for idiots who couldn't figure out how to reassemble the previous Marks."

That's quite a statement. You must already have enough friends. I have a MKI I've shot since I was a kid and a MKII from some time later. I cleaned and reassembled them just fine. But I would be an "idiot" if I didn't appreciate the ease of take down on the MKIV's I also own. The MKIV's are a fine example of engineering that keeps what's good and improves what's not so good.

As for triggers I would agree the MKII has a good enough out of the box trigger but as with all firearms if you want to shoot your best then a really good trigger is key. A Volquartsen trigger puts my suppressed MKIV at about 1.75lbs with no take up or overtravel. The great thing about the MKIV's is that the serial number is on the upper. That means you can send the lower to Volquartsen (or vendor of choice) without FFL if you want them to install it. I'm sure there are other good trigger choices but I only have experience with Volquartsen. Excellent trigger for about $140 or installed for $70 more.

I've not owned a S&W 41 but what I've read in this thread reflects the consensus I've seen reported over time.
I've owned a 80's vintage 41. Great target pistol. not much fun for anything else.

I have a collection of Mk1 and MkII Rugers and find them a joy to shoot.

I have 1 MkIII 22/45 I bought as a trainer for my wife when she showed interest in shooting 1911's. It's a nice shooter, but the nanny safety features are annoying.

The problem I have with the MkIV is that as soon as it came out it had a recall. I love Rugers as much as Smith revolvers, but the quality of both brands seems poor compared to the older models.

Also, I think that the MkIV ruined the classic looks of the previous Marks.

And finally, I got a really nice MkII in the box with papers for free when a very good friend of mine took it apart and couldn't get it back together. I did it for him, and he said keep it, I'll never get the hang of it.

I love him like a brother, but he's not mechanically inclined.

So he would be the target customer for a MkIV.
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Old 09-10-2020, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kleiss1 View Post
I like my 60’s 41.
I have my Dad's........they are great target gun. For field use give me a Smith 18 or 63.......... but a Ruger will fill the bill.
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Old 09-10-2020, 04:55 PM
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I've owned a 80's vintage 41. Great target pistol. not much fun for anything else.
Is your 41 unreliable or have some other problem that makes it less fun than a Ruger? I find being able to consistently hit what I am aiming at great fun!

But while a lot of fun my 41 is finicky and heavy. The finicky part means it jams more than I like with anything except CCI MiniMags but after giving up on trying to get the gun to work reliably with CCI std velocity that is not a big issue. There are times though when I bring my 22 Compact to the range instead because it is lighter and as reliable as a 22 gets even though less accurate.

I bought a 617 a few months ago that is getting a lot of range time right now. Not quite as accurate as my 41 but much more accurate than my 22 Compact.

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Old 09-10-2020, 05:01 PM
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I have gotten lucky with my 41, though I purchased two cases of CCI-SV, I have tried running Aguila SV in it and it really seems to love that ammo.

I have two items I can list that would make it NOT the best choice every single time... it is extremely heavy and it has excessively sharp edges at every angle of the trigger.

So it is not my best choice for sharing with new shooters that aren’t accustomed to holding a heavy handgun at arm’s length.

Beyond those items, it’s phenomenal and for about the last year, it’s the single gun that has digested about 95% of my rimfire shooting.
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lively View Post
Is your 41 unreliable or have some other problem that makes it less fun than a Ruger? I find being able to consistently hit what I am aiming at great fun!

But while a lot of fun my 41 is finicky and heavy. The finicky part means it jams more than I like with anything except CCI MiniMags but after giving up on trying to get the gun to work reliably with CCI std velocity that is not a big issue. There are times though when I bring my 22 Compact to the range instead because it is lighter and as reliable as a 22 gets even though less accurate.

I bought a 617 a few months ago that is getting a lot of range time right now. Not quite as accurate as my 41 but much more accurate than my 22 Compact.
To me the 41 is a dedicated Bullseye single hand shooting pistol. It was a good pistol for that. I never had any any ammo issues with it.

When I stopped shooting Bullseye I sod it and my 52 , again, great target pistol. that's about it.

I enjoy the Rugers for target practice as well as plinking.

Plus, I like the looks of the Mark I and II.
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Old 09-13-2020, 03:14 PM
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Thanks for the good comments. Went to my LGS to pick a MK IV 5.5'' threaded barrel and that was sold right from under me standing there...the cases were mostly empty but something new had come in that moment and was just put in the case...wow a MK II looks unfired, 1 mag, no box, made in 1999 50th anniversary with 50th anniversary roll mark. Nicely fitted all round and it feels very old school. The sights are fine but sharp and narrow, more precise and better than the Mk IV I think, the trigger was way better too. This gun feel a lot more like a vintage Smith. Curious serial number maybe due to the commemorative: 222-777-xx. I am glad I have it although it's 2 months out from pick up thanks to these silly NJ rules. I spent less on it than on my weekly Costco run.
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:27 PM
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This one is fun...thought I'd throw it up just because. Not the best pic...
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:18 PM
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This one is fun...thought I'd throw it up just because. Not the best pic...
Talk about fun,, we need someone to put up a video of the crank fired Ruger MK,,,


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Old 09-14-2020, 06:14 PM
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There is one on display at my favorite gun show. Show only, for seeing and chatting about, it is not for sale.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:47 PM
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Thanks for the good comments. Went to my LGS to pick a MK IV 5.5'' threaded barrel and that was sold right from under me standing there...the cases were mostly empty but something new had come in that moment and was just put in the case...wow a MK II looks unfired, 1 mag, no box, made in 1999 50th anniversary with 50th anniversary roll mark. Nicely fitted all round and it feels very old school. The sights are fine but sharp and narrow, more precise and better than the Mk IV I think, the trigger was way better too. This gun feel a lot more like a vintage Smith. Curious serial number maybe due to the commemorative: 222-777-xx. I am glad I have it although it's 2 months out from pick up thanks to these silly NJ rules. I spent less on it than on my weekly Costco run.
Back in 1999, I bought two of those 50th Anniversary MKII pistols, and gave one to each son. They're very nice...old school, as you said.
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:53 PM
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Got a MKII 22/45 from my step brother's fathers estate a month back. Didn't take long till I was getting good groups at 25yds. Waiting on my Volquartsen parts to come and can't wait to see how it does after. Still undecided on whether to get it drilled and tapped for a mount, or go with a rear sight mount and red dot.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:53 AM
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I've owned a 80's vintage 41. Great target pistol. not much fun for anything else.

I have a collection of Mk1 and MkII Rugers and find them a joy to shoot.

I have 1 MkIII 22/45 I bought as a trainer for my wife when she showed interest in shooting 1911's. It's a nice shooter, but the nanny safety features are annoying.

The problem I have with the MkIV is that as soon as it came out it had a recall. I love Rugers as much as Smith revolvers, but the quality of both brands seems poor compared to the older models.

Also, I think that the MkIV ruined the classic looks of the previous Marks.

And finally, I got a really nice MkII in the box with papers for free when a very good friend of mine took it apart and couldn't get it back together. I did it for him, and he said keep it, I'll never get the hang of it.

I love him like a brother, but he's not mechanically inclined.

So he would be the target customer for a MkIV.

OK. I'm with you that with a little practice the early MK's aren't too big a deal to reassemble. But it was enough of an issue to enough customers and Ruger apparently heard enough negative feedback that they were motivated to make changes and have sold a ton of the MKIV's as a result. Your position is that they ruined the classic looks of the previous models but I would say they did a good job keeping the lines with the exception of the front pivot pin. One could say that the older versions worked fine and they did...but bringing the pistol into the 21st century with not only the field strip changes but the improvements on all of the controls provides the platform needed to appeal to the new generation of buyers. Ruger was smart to do it.

I am very fond of my MKI and MKII and they aren't going anywhere but it is MHO that the MKIV is an improvement in terms of engineering. As for the recall and quality I see all gun makers suffer recalls. I don't see a decline in the quality of materials or workmanship in the MKIV. YMMV.

You obviously have much more experience than I do as I have never shot competition or owned the guns you reference so I respect your opinion. I just took issue with the "idiot" implication. The gun community needs lots of new members at any level of participation. This country continues to have to fight to keep the right.

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Old 09-15-2020, 09:01 AM
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Got a MKII 22/45 from my step brother's fathers estate a month back. Didn't take long till I was getting good groups at 25yds. Waiting on my Volquartsen parts to come and can't wait to see how it does after. Still undecided on whether to get it drilled and tapped for a mount, or go with a rear sight mount and red dot.
I would go with the rear sight mount and red dot of those two options. The rear sight mount will be plenty strong enough since it won't be subjected to the stress of a moving slide. I would hesitate to drill into a nice older gun.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:11 AM
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I would go with the rear sight mount and red dot of those two options. The rear sight mount will be plenty strong enough since it won't be subjected to the stress of a moving slide. I would hesitate to drill into a nice older gun.
That was my thought for the rear sight option. I'll probably wait till next year for any red. Shoot her with the new parts first and get that set up.

Still researching which red dot I want. Just bought 2 Romeo5's to replace the trs25's on my gp 100 and pc carbine. But those maybe a bit big for the MKII
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:45 PM
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Thanks for the good comments. Went to my LGS to pick a MK IV 5.5'' threaded barrel and that was sold right from under me standing there...the cases were mostly empty but something new had come in that moment and was just put in the case...wow a MK II looks unfired, 1 mag, no box, made in 1999 50th anniversary with 50th anniversary roll mark. Nicely fitted all round and it feels very old school. The sights are fine but sharp and narrow, more precise and better than the Mk IV I think, the trigger was way better too. This gun feel a lot more like a vintage Smith. Curious serial number maybe due to the commemorative: 222-777-xx. I am glad I have it although it's 2 months out from pick up thanks to these silly NJ rules. I spent less on it than on my weekly Costco run.
Again, I'm prejudiced against the MkIV, but I think you will be happier with the MkII. Nice find, enjoy it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:58 PM
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OK. I'm with you that with a little practice the early MK's aren't too big a deal to reassemble. But it was enough of an issue to enough customers and Ruger apparently heard enough negative feedback that they were motivated to make changes and have sold a ton of the MKIV's as a result. Your position is that they ruined the classic looks of the previous models but I would say they did a good job keeping the lines with the exception of the front pivot pin. One could say that the older versions worked fine and they did...but bringing the pistol into the 21st century with not only the field strip changes but the improvements on all of the controls provides the platform needed to appeal to the new generation of buyers. Ruger was smart to do it.

I am very fond of my MKI and MKII and they aren't going anywhere but it is MHO that the MKIV is an improvement in terms of engineering. As for the recall and quality I see all gun makers suffer recalls. I don't see a decline in the quality of materials or workmanship in the MKIV. YMMV.

You obviously have much more experience than I do as I have never shot competition or owned the guns you reference so I respect your opinion. I just took issue with the "idiot" implication. The gun community needs lots of new members at any level of participation. This country continues to have to fight to keep the right.
Oh I agree, we need more people in the shooting community.

I've seen a lot of 1st timers in the LGS I go to lately. They're concerned and I don't blame them.

And I'm willing to answer questions and help a newbie in any way.



Above all, we need to get the new gun owners to join the NRA. Most new guns usually come with a membership application, usually at a discounted rate.

Our future depends on it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:05 PM
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I've had both. The M41 is at least 2x more expensive than the Mark IV. It's hardly not twice better than the MarkIV IMO.
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:20 PM
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I've had both. The M41 is at least 2x more expensive than the Mark IV. It's hardly not twice better than the MarkIV IMO.
You lost me: Meaning it's at least 2x more better than the MKII?
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Old 09-15-2020, 02:57 PM
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The law of diminishing returns in firearms isn’t new and you aren’t wowing the crowd with this wordsmith’d shocking reveal.

I’d rather own a 41 than a Ruger Mark IV.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:26 PM
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I’d rather own a 41 than a Ruger Mark IV.
I'd rather own 2 Mark IV's
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:50 PM
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And four Ruger SR-1911's over a Wilson, sure. That's expected. That's fine also, choices are wonderful.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:37 PM
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FWIW, I'll add a few different perspectives, but some are "a bit dated." I was shooting bullseye in the early 80's, and the 41 I had was THE single most reliable semi-auto I've ever owned. If someone had said "you have to bet your life the pistol won't jam on the next mag, now pick the one you want," it would have been the 41 without hesitation.

At the All-Army Championships, I finished the timed and rapid-fire phases at one point, only to find that my extractor had broken sometime that morning! It still functioned flawlessly!! (Aside: A High Standard shooter was stationed to my left in Timed Fire -- 5 shots in 20 seconds.) With unerring precision, he managed to bounce 3 out of 5 of his empties off the top of my pistol, *between the sights,* as I was shooting for score... Man, you talk about an opportunity to work on maintaining concentration despite distractions... that was it!

Over the years, I owned serial 41's which came and went as interests changed and finances contracted/expanded. However, I never had one that gave me any reliability troubles at all, and I really don't recall any friends having problems with them, either. Of course, all mine were the "OLDER" 41's. I have no experience with post-80's 41's; most of mine dated from the mid 70's or earlier, so this is based purely on personal preference (and possibly a little prejudice toward the good old guns...)
The new ones I see in the gun stores now leave me cold. They just don't seem to have the aura of fine quality of the older guns. Hopefully they perform just as well...

It's just a personal preference, but the new style lettering on the new 41's (don't know when it started) makes me want to hurl. So, when I finally got into owning another 41 again it was, of course, an older one.

Don't discount a 41 with the 5" Lightweight Field Barrel as a trail/hunting gun. I got into a big community of squirrels near a swamp one time -- like commuters coming home from work, they all just started appearing from across the creek and heading to their squirrel condo's on my side. I had my 41 5" LW and match ammo and was picking them off of trees as far as 50-60 yards. I don't think I ever even got a shot closer than 40 yards. This was iron-sighted, of course, and back when I could see. I had a "slenderized" set of 41 grips that were much like 1911 grips, and carried it in a GI 1911 flap holster to protect it. No trouble at all. Today, the turn-key approach would be a set of Herrett's "Nationals," which replicate the 1911's feel (with your choice of flat or arched mainspring housing!)

(BTW, I did learn that an exceedingly fine 34-1, 4" makes a fantastic trail/small game gun that's much lighter, more compact and less hassle than the 41 if you're gonna carry it often.)

While in college, in the mid-late 80's, I tried to make a sow's ear ... er, I mean, a Ruger Mark II, 5.5" bull bbl, ajustable rear sight ... into a good, budget-friendly bullseye pistol... twice. I never could get a decent trigger job done at that time, and that was the irredeemable failure of that otherwise excellent pistol.

The Ruger's issue rear sight was "busy" and distracting to the eye for pure bullseye shooting, so I coughed up the bucks for a better rear sight with a target rear blade and more precise adjustments. Mechanical accuracy was superb, on both Rugers. Just shooting irons off sandbags at 50 yards on the standard Slow Fire target, they would easily clean the 10 ring with plenty of room to spare and good X-counts. Again, iron-sighted. Lord knows WHAT they would have done from a proper machine rest! And, that was with Winchester Super X or CCI Mini Mags, whichever was handy (back before Winchester's .22 ammo QC went into the sewer.)

The fatal flaw being a relatively poor trigger, I never considered either Ruger really good enough for the level of competition I was at. They were really fine pistols, otherwise, and totally reliable in my experience.

I evolved into a rifle shooter, and got my Distinguished Rifleman badge as one of the EARLY AR-15 shooters, back when we were looked down on and harassed by the M1A folks. (I started with the M1A, but the AR stock fit so much better that even my prone slow fire 600 yard scores were significantly better with the AR.)

I waited several years, and finally decided to go back and get Pistol Distinguished. It had been 18 years since I'd last fired a Bullseye match.

I got a Kidd-built Beretta 92 (which is just like shooting a little target rifle -- it's SOOOO much easier to shoot well than the 1911's I'd been shooting.) What a work of art!! And, of course, I got another old 41, which again proved fine for the task.

In Ransom rest testing, I found that my 41 bbl didn't much like either of my 2 lots of Eley which were left over from Rifle Silhouette. In the spirit of keeping an open mind, I put a magazine of Win. Super-X in, and it put 10 rounds in a single hole at 50 yards!!

This was the good quality, older Winchester. I'd reflexively bought a case at $1.50 a box when (haaaaawk... ptuie!) Bill Clinton got elected "Resident," and still had most of it left. I left the original target on the backer, stapled a fresh center over it, and shot another 10-shot group. The hole in the bottom target MIGHT have gotten a little bigger -- can't remember.

I wound up shooting 5, ten-shot groups like that, and my ammo quest was done. It kept all 50 rds in a phenomenal group, and that case of Super-X was the ammo I wound up using to go Distinguished. Still had a good bit of it left, too, when I legged out!

After a 3-month train-up -- mostly focusing on my timing in the sustained fire portion, as my Slow Fire scores were already good, I went Distinguished in 3 leg matches. Goal met, the Kidd Beretta 92 and the 41 went away shortly thereafter.

Of late, I started thinking about .22 target pistols, got nostalgic, and traded for a nice, older 41 with a 5" LW field barrel. Man, the prices have exploded since the 80's/90's, or so it seems! As with the others, it is beautifully finished, extremely reliable, and very accurate. I'm thinking this one's gonna wind up being a "keeper."

Hope this "vintage" perspective from a certified "old guy" is of interest to
some of the younger folks, who didn't get to experience the 41's in the way we did.

Best to all of you,
John

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Old 09-15-2020, 10:28 PM
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Excellent story, John! About the only thing that my brain can’t compute is why you kick guns outta the safe when a particular “quest” for which they were needed has been finished.

Oh well, I suppose I get tied up with some guns and simply couldn’t send them away.
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Old 09-15-2020, 10:51 PM
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Never shot a 41. Got a 22/45 Mk III for my son. Never had any major difficulties with break down or reassembly. I bought a MK IV target during the past year. I can't imagine what's not to like about it's take down method. Pure pleasure. The trigger was terrible out of the box. I ordered and installed the V kit and now a beautiful 2.5 lb trigger. I love it now. It's way more accurate than I am.

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Old 09-16-2020, 04:34 AM
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"Excellent story, John! About the only thing that my brain can’t compute is why you kick guns outta the safe when a particular “quest” for which they were needed has been finished."

Thanks, Sevens, I'm glad you enjoyed it! The only guns I get sentimental about are family heirlooms or presents from friends/family. A few stay forever based on their extreme merit -- i.e., they shoot so well they can't be replaced, and they serve a purpose. Otherwise, for new ones to come in, old ones have to go out... mostly!
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:21 AM
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" The only guns I get sentimental about are family heirlooms or presents from friends/family. A few stay forever based on their extreme merit -- i.e., they shoot so well they can't be replaced, and they serve a purpose. Otherwise, for new ones to come in, old ones have to go out... mostly!
John
I feel the same way. Since I did not come from a family of gun owners I have no heirlooms.

A couple of years ago I sold the the first gun I owned, a Browning HiPower I bought in 1984. A few of my friends thought I was nuts for selling pretty gun that was every bit as reliable as any Glock I have owned but I do not have any regrets. I have modern handguns that may not be blued steel and walnut but are lighter, more accurate, higher capacity and are easier to shoot. I don't need the money but having a bunch of guns I don't have a use for feels more like a burden than something I enjoy. I am not a minimalist but there is a lot to be said for traveling light as you go through life.

But I still have the M41 i bought in the mid 90s. Mine has not been as reliable as yours was, is heavy like all M41s, will not run 100% with CCI std velocity and had to go back to the factory right after I bought it due to the slide locking up. But even with MiniMags it is still the most accurate handgun I own and has a great trigger.

I have thought about replacing it with a Mark4 so I could have a semiauto plinker that is not so picky about ammo. But I cannot get past the Ruger's stock trigger and don't think buying one and replacing the trigger just to get back to the trigger pull I have on my M41 makes sense.
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:59 PM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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"...having a bunch of guns I don't have a use for feels more like a burden than something I enjoy. I am not a minimalist but there is a lot to be said for traveling light as you go through life." (Dave Lively)

Well Said!!! I heartily agree! The older I've gotten, the more this has
come to appeal to me.
Take care,
John
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:07 PM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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Originally Posted by 1775usmarine View Post
That was my thought for the rear sight option. I'll probably wait till next year for any red. Shoot her with the new parts first and get that set up.

Still researching which red dot I want. Just bought 2 Romeo5's to replace the trs25's on my gp 100 and pc carbine. But those maybe a bit big for the MKII
I have no regrets on a sight mount with a Vortex Venom on my Mark IV tactical...it was way too busy with pic rails top and bottom so they are now in the parts box.....no it doesn't have a target trigger.....but I don't compete in matches.....and shooting suppressed is way fun
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:31 PM
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I have a Ruger Mk I T678, a Ruger MK II T512, a pair of early High Standard Model 107 Victors, and a new S&W Model 41.

Here's my take on them - and the Ruger Mk III and Mk IV that I don't own.

The Rugers:

The Mk I, and in particular the target models were very accurate pistols and particularly at their price point. The Mk I didn't have an automatic bolt hold open, but the slide could be locked back manually with the safety after the last round was fired.

The Ruger Mk II added an automatic bolt hold open as well as a separate slide release and scallops on the rear of the receiver to give you a better grip to retract the bolt. The Mk II is widely regarded as the peak of the Ruger Mk .22 LR pistol evolution. I agree with that as it had everything you needed and nothing you didn't.

The Mk III was apparently designed by a committee of Ruger attorneys who added useless things like a loaded chamber indicator and a magazine disconnect.

To be fair, they did drill and tap the receiver for an optic, which is a plus. They also moved the magazine release up on the grip behind and below the trigger in the "normal" location. That however was a mixed bag. If you had a Mk II or late Mk I, your magazines didn't fit the new Mk III. Worse, if a new shooter inserts the magazine in the base of the Mk III backwards, he or she can get it jammed in there to the point it will not come out without some gunsmith intervention.

The Mk IV retains the lawyer features, and changes the way the receiver attaches to the frame. That makes it easier for people to field strip it, but it wasn't a hard process before, unless you only cleaned in once every year or two and forgot how it was done. Even then, it's comes back to you after a minute or so. To be fair then the Mk IV makes field stripping "easier".

The cost of that however is a receiver to frame connection that over time will leave the frame to slide fit looser than is the case with the Mk I-III.

It also doesn't do anything thing good for the classic lines of the pistol. I guess if you are one of the folks who likes threaded muzzles, suppressors and tactical do-dads on your pistols you might not mind.

The triggers on all of them Mk I - IV are not bad, but they leave a lot to be desired if you want to use it for target purposes. They can all be improved significantly with an aftermarket trigger, like the Volquartzen hammer, trigger and sear package. They will greatly improve the trigger, but it won't come close to matching the S&W 41 or the High Standard 107 Victor.

The S&W Model 41

Old versus new? I think the new Model 41s have fared better than many other pistols that have been around. The polish declined around 1990, but I have not complaints about the finish on my recent Model 41.

Fit however can be an issue. I carefully inspected the one I *thought* I was buying only to have it switched out for one still in the box. When I first got it to the range, I discovered the safety was so poorly fitted you could barely get it to move. So fit is a **** shoot and be sure you carefully inspect and function test the one you actually buy.

The High Standard Victor.

The early Victors have a much better finish than the later Victors, so it's worth your time to understand the roll marks and timelines involved.

Back in the day when a Ruger Mk I Target cost around $100, the S&W Model 41 cost around $200 and the High Standard Victor cost around $240, and the High Standards were a little harder to find. The triggers on the Victor are slightly better, and are easily adjustable.

Otherwise the preference for one or the other is largely subjective and is based on how well each fits your hand. I prefer the Victor over the Model 41, but I like the Model 41 just fine.

------

Someone commented above that the Model 41 is basically obsolete and that the Hammerli, Feinwerkbau, and Pardini pistols are where it's at for a true competitor. That's probably true, but none of them speak to me the way a Victor or a Model 41 do.

In terms of rank order of preference I'd list them this way top to bottom:

High Standard 107 Victor
S&W Model 41
Ruger Mk I T678
Ruger Mk II T512

Note here that my preference for the Mk I over the Mk II is based on the heavy tapered barrel, which - for me- balances better than the 5" bull barrel on the T512. Both weigh the same. That said I shoot both of them equally well.

However, when I pick up the S&W 41 or the High Standard Victor, my scores will pick up by about 15 points over the course of a match. That's due to better ergonomics and the better triggers.

Similarly, I prefer the 7" Model 41 to the 5 1/2 Model 41. For me it balances better.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:15 PM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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I have 'em all - the 41, two slant-grip HS space guns, Ruger target models of all vintages (including the Mark IV), and even a Colt Match Target Woodsman. The 41 is a nice one, but the two that stand out for me on reliability and accuracy are these:


HS Supermatic Citation - 8" barrel



Ruger Mk II Government Target

The secret to a good trigger on the more recent Ruger target models is having an overtravel stop. I've found that a trigger shoe positioned correctly will do the trick. The Mark I models had an internal overtravel adjustment that took some trouble to get to and adjust correctly. The newer models just need a lot of shooting for the trigger to smooth out with no creep, and the trigger shoe is a quick and easy solution to overtravel. Here's a trigger shoe that I installed on my Mark IV right after I got it:



It turns out that the Mark II Government shown above combines absolute reliability with incredible accuracy. I love the 41, but oh you kid with the Ruger.

Works for me!

John
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:31 PM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
I have 'em all - the 41, two slant-grip HS space guns, Ruger target models of all vintages (including the Mark IV), and even a Colt Match Target Woodsman. The 41 is a nice one, but the two that stand out for me on reliability and accuracy are these:


HS Supermatic Citation - 8" barrel



Ruger Mk II Government Target

The secret to a good trigger on the more recent Ruger target models is having an overtravel stop. I've found that a trigger shoe positioned correctly will do the trick. The Mark I models had an internal overtravel adjustment that took some trouble to get to and adjust correctly. The newer models just need a lot of shooting for the trigger to smooth out with no creep, and the trigger shoe is a quick and easy solution to overtravel. Here's a trigger shoe that I installed on my Mark IV right after I got it:



It turns out that the Mark II Government shown above combines absolute reliability with incredible accuracy. I love the 41, but oh you kid with the Ruger.

Works for me!

John
LOVE that Ruger Government, a Southport made gun.

Also the High Standard, a "space gun" for sure, made in the Nutmeg State.

Back when Connecticut was the major gun manufacturer in the Nation.

Sadly, no more.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:59 PM
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S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4 S&W Model 41 old vs new and vs Ruger Mk 4  
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Back in my youth when I started bullseye shooting weekly with my club, all I had was a High Standard HD-Military that I bought for $40. I forget my average, but it was in the low 200's.

When a deal came up for a 41 for $95 I bought it and my average climbed to about 260. I was happy.

After marriage and kids and a demanding job I stopped competitive shooting, so I no longer needed the 41. In 1976 I traded it for a $145 Blackhawk .45 Colt 1976 commemorative.

Since then I have added a Ruger std, Mk 1,2 ,3 and 4 to the collection. Sure, the 2 is best, but I like the 4 best of all. (and I never had a re-assembly problem - heck they can be shot for 10 years before needing to be cleaned).

Anywhoot, my memory of the 41 was very clear, and I wish I never sold it, but dollar for dollar I'll take a Mark any day. If I was still competing, my opinion would be different.
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