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  #1  
Old 01-12-2021, 11:57 AM
Houndog Houndog is offline
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Default S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one

With the price of ammo being what it is, I've been thinking about getting a good quality .22. Been considering a number of alternatives, including the venerable S&W 41.

Looking for some feedback. I assume they are extremely accurate. What about reliability? Shootability? Preferred barrel length? If I buy used, anything I should watch out for?

Also, in researching prices I'm finding that used ones in good condition can be $14-1500. Yet, I've found at least one dealer that's offering a new model 41 for $1100. This is obviously somewhat confusing. Are the older ones simply considered higher quality/more accurate and therefore more desirable? Is it a collectability thing?
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:04 PM
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I cannot tell you about new vs old, but I've owned both a 5" and 7" version from ca. 1977-1980, and never had a single problem with either. Some report a sensitivity to the ammo chosen, but mine ate Remington Gold, Winchester bulk pak and CCI SV all equally well. And yes, they are accurate, shooting better than me even when I was competing in bullseye matches back then.
Get one and have fun. Pick up a few extra magazines as well.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:05 PM
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Default New Model 41 Padded Case

Just bought one and will pick it up Friday when I can get it from jail. My question is this: can anybody recommend a padded case for it. I want to use it when going to the the range instead of the plastic case it came with. Thanks.
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:16 PM
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I've had my Model 41 for about 40 years and shot it extensively in Bullseye competition for about 20 years before upgrading to a Walther GSP. They are unquestionably fine guns, as evidenced by the fact that they're probably the most commonly seen gun on the line in Bullseye matches except for perhaps the entry-level Ruger, which is a fine gun in its own right, just not at the same level.

They are, of course, very accurate but can be a bit fussy about ammo. Some of them, thankfully including the one I own, will run with just about everything; others will have problems with many brands of ammo. Most folks I know seem to have good luck with CCI SV and I've heard the gun is "designed" to use that ammo, but frankly I don't know what that means. My experience is that it's a good idea to keep them very clean if you're looking for reliability.

The triggers are quite good and somewhat adjustable, but they don't begin to compare with the near-infinitely adjustable two-stage triggers on the high-end European guns. But of course you can buy two very nice 41s for the price of a Walther or Pardini. You'll hear that the 41 is the finest target pistol ever made, which is simply not true, but they're probably the best US-made target pistol.

You should be able to find a used specimen in very good condition for under a grand, and $1400 is an unreasonably high price. I see you're in Boston - there's a well-known LGS not too many miles north of you that currently has three on their used gun list at $900, which seems to be the going price in our neck of the woods.

I have both the long and short barrels - I set the long barrel up for gallery pistol (so I could use the optional barrel weights if I wanted) with a red dot sight and left the short barrel with open sights for general plinking. I think you should try to find an example of each and judge for yourself which feels best in your hand. The longer barrel would provide a longer sight radius if you intend to use open sights.

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Old 01-12-2021, 12:52 PM
wetdog1911 wetdog1911 is offline
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Prior to the early 1990s the M41s were pretty much hand assembled/fitted by one gunsmith from start to finish. Sadly, that is no longer the case due to cost cutting manufacturing changes. A quick visual check would be laser engraving rather than roll stamped markings on the pistol and less polishing for the finish.

This did not happen all at once, but over a few years time, but, 1990 is a decent date for the before and after changes. Mine is a 1990 manufacture, roll stamped, with the frame highly polished, but the bbl much less so. Still, it has run like a champ for over 30 years and has from the git. A internet 'buds' 1991 M41 has the laser engraving and did take some fiddling to get it to 100%.

It doesn't surprise me in the least that older (pre 1990), pistols are bringing more than brand new models. The attention to detail in building the older ones compared to just assembling parts now, is almost like night and day.

Rob
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:00 PM
Houndog Houndog is offline
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Thanks for the comments.

Thought maybe that was the case with older guns. Don't want to get off topic, but my understanding is the S&W in general is not what it used to be. Even the Performance Center guns, which were quite good 20 years ago seem to have gone down hill.

Flyfish - moved to Colorado about a year ago, so no longer in Boston. Is LGS Four Seasons? Carl has gotten an awful lot of my money over the last 20 years? Of course, shipping is always a possibility.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:14 PM
Barbarosa99 Barbarosa99 is offline
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I purchased a PC 5” last spring, absolutely love it. No problems at all, very accurate.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:14 PM
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The Performance Center built unquestionably the finest firearms in the history of S&W going back to the Registered Magnum, but the Performance Center was phased out around 2011.

Today the “PC” name lives on but guns produced after 2012 were not hand fitted by elite craftsmen in a separate facility. Today the logo only indicates different features, sometimes merely visual (and gaudy) at increased prices. There is no improvement in quality on a post-2011 “PC” gun and for dead sure certain, S&W has followed basically the entire industry with a nosedive in quality.

S&W has outsourced all quality control to the buyer now.
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Old 01-12-2021, 01:43 PM
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Not trying to insult anyone who recently bought a S&W, PC or otherwise. I'm sure there are some fine PC guns, but I think QC is less rigorous, and the affection some of us old guys have for our 20 year old guns is not just nostalgia.

Personally, I own a PC 945 that I will never part with. Also have a SW1911 with a serial number under 1000, which I think has a Briley barrel. And then there's my Gen. 1 SW610 with a 6" barrel. Perhaps the most accurate pistol I own. Bought used and the prior owner must have had some trigger work done on it because the trigger is spectacular.
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:01 PM
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I have two that I have been shooting for the last 25 years or so.

As many have said, the Model 41s are quite accurate

As to ammunition even though mine are only 298 serial numbers apart, they both have different ammunition that they love as well as different ammunition that they do not like. Once you figure that out they are very reliable

Both of mine left the factory with the 7 3/8" barrels with the removeable V-Comps. One of mine has a red dot on it and I have a spare 5" barrel should I desire the shorter tube.

I have a batch of Factory magazines, both the older 10 round versions and the newer 12 round magazines. All the mags work perfectly in either Model 41.
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:16 PM
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I started shooting bullseye when I joined a club in 1971. Used a High Standard H-D Military for a while and got a basic handicap. In 1972 I bought a 7 3/8" Model 41 for 100 bucks. It was built in 1967. Improved my score and it ran 100% with any ammo.

Then came marriage and kids and a demanding job, so I had no time to compete any more. When I saw a deal on a Single Action Army .45 Colt I traded the Smith.

I always sorta wished I hadn't let the 41 go, but truthfully I probably wouldn't have shot it much any more. At my age I can't see the target and sights simultaneously, so I'm just a plinker now. The semi .22 I like the best of all ever is my new Ruger Mark 4 SS Target. I have a Reflex sight mounted on it and I can (almost) do as well as with the 41. Of course its with a 2-hand hold and if I deliberate too long I wiggle a bit....LOL.

Anywhoot, if I were in your position I'd buy a Mark 4 Bull AND a Mark 4 Fluted long barrel target, and still come in under the cost of a 41. As far as accuracy, either one is better than I am, and the reliability is 100%.
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Old 01-12-2021, 02:46 PM
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Default S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one

I dont shoot competitively but do have a couple M41s that I enjoy immensely. Very accurate and (knock on wood) have both run flawlessly with bulk ammo (I shoot a lot of Federal stuff). And I mix in both vintage and new magazines with no issues.

7 3/8 from 1971 .....



And a 5 model from 1965 .....

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Old 01-12-2021, 03:19 PM
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I shot NRA Bullseye indoor competition during the 1970's . We had a shooting league and shot every Wednesday night .
The 5" heavy barrel always seemed to get higher scores than the 7 3/8" barrel ... the pistol is fitted for both and has the sweetest Clark Custom Guns Target trigger Job ... worth every penny ! Picked up a few prizes and trophies with that rig . It always amazed me how the longer barrel moved around more than the shorter heavier barrel ...but shooting one handed, the short heavy bbl won out every time .
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Old 01-12-2021, 03:40 PM
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dont overlook a high standard victor(Connecticut made only) or trophy or citation.
many dealers/younger shooters dont know what they are and they can be had well under $1000
great guns
good luck either way
Larry inReno
Ohio state pistol team 1973-4
team shot 41's
i shot a HS
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:25 PM
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My early Mod-41. Definitely one of my favorite shooters and I'e never had any problems with it.

S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one-s-w41-jpg

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Old 01-12-2021, 05:51 PM
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Houndog - Yes, Four Seasons. I used to live in Mass and left a lot of money with Carl as well, mostly on older S&W revolvers and I'm glad I did - prices on those are really getting crazy. www.fsguns.com/used
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherwood49 View Post
Just bought one and will pick it up Friday when I can get it from jail. My question is this: can anybody recommend a padded case for it. I want to use it when going to the the range instead of the plastic case it came with. Thanks.
Boyt.Available with and without a side pocket.
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Old 01-12-2021, 06:14 PM
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I'm waiting on my 1985 5.5" heavy barrel version, which I hope to be able to pick up on Saturday. A range report will be quickly forthcoming. My first semi-auto S&W.
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:14 PM
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Flyfish - figured it had to be Four Seasons. Sadly gun shops near Boston are few and far between, and when you said north of Boston there really weren't a lot of choices. Don't think I've ever been in there when it wasn't packed, including at 10 or 11 on a weekday.

Not much of a revolver guy personally, but I did make a nice chunk of chain when I sold a couple of AR's/AK's prior to leaving MA.

Glad to hear most people like their 41's. I know they've been making them for many years, and people keep buying them, so they must have something going for them. Have also found a couple on Gunbroker that seem pretty reasonable (if they don't get bid up), so I'm definitely going to consider getting a used one. Hoping that, since they've always been relatively pricey compared to other pistols and their potential customers are more likely to be serious shooters they'll have been relatively well taken care of. And with a .22 I'm going to assume that, as long as someone hasn't put 80,000-100,000 rounds through it, the barrel won't be shot out.

Have also been considering a Sig Trailside, which would probably be cheaper, but I know some people have had problems with parts breaking.

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Old 01-13-2021, 12:11 AM
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I have a couple M41's 62' and 80 vintage and H/S's and Ruger MKII's. The 62' was shot at weekly matches for many years and probably > 25,000 rounds. Looks and shoots like new!

They all shoot to point of aim and are suitable for most pistol games. Each can be made to be 100% reliable with any ammo. Most issues with these are shooter induced due to maintenance or negligence. And each has it's "personality"!

M41's can be ammo sensitive. Easy fix!
H/S's can have magazine issues. Easy Fix!
Rugers are Rugers but need trigger work! Easy fix!

I have shot identical scores with each but the Ruger required intensive trigger work. Precision pistol requires sight alignment and trigger control! It's the Indian and not the arrow!

Get the M41 of your choice. 5" models rule in my neighborhood matches.
H/S's are going up in value! Love mine!
My Rugers had some very hard to find Herret's grips that fit my hands like gloves! I gave mine to my son!

If you are planning on competition by sure to understand your natural point of aim! And use this when making your choice of a Precision Pistol.

Lots of guys are going to Nelson 22 conversions and putting them on their favorite 1911's. Mine is on a dedicated Fusion receiver. Equal to the others and feels, well, like a 1911!

Serious shooters won't waist their time an anything but CCI/SV or Ely ammo!

Smiles,

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Old 01-13-2021, 12:19 AM
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I have a 41 from the late 60's. I love it. I hate it. I love it..... I hate it.... I love it......

Yeah, it depends. When it's good, it's really good. When it's bad it's really bad. Fortunately, it's good most of the time. I use it for Bullseye at 25 and 50 yards. When it's cold and wet we go inside and shoot 50 ft Bullseye. The gun is way more accurate than I am. I am NOT equipment limited, unless it's the equipment between my ears.

The gun is very sensitive to cleanliness, proper lube and the right ammo. If it's freshly cleaned it will be cranky for a while. Just like your dog who isn't happy right after getting a bath. After a few rounds it settles in. Lube needs to be light oil with a dab of grease on the slide where the hammer contacts and where the slide rubs under the barrel. Ammo? CCI SV doesn't work although it's commonly recommended. Mine likes Eley Target, the greasy stuff. SK Standard is greasy and close behind but not 100%. By the way, keep the magazines clean.

I bought it with a 7 3/8" muzzle brake barrel and a 5" field barrel. Over the years I added a 5 1/2" heavy and a 7". Both of those are drilled and tapped and wear red dots. I couldn't bear to drill and tap the originals. All the barrels work equally well and are accurate.

So just like your dog. Keep her clean, feed her right and be nice to her. She'll be good most of the time, but once in a while she's gonna pee on the floor.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:30 AM
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Default Bought my 41 about 5 years ago

After seeing the older ones going for the same price as new and needing drill and tapping for scopes I bought a new one. Needed a recoil spring g. Hangs to become 100% reliable. Very accurate and a good step up accurate and trigger from the Browning Buckmark I was using.
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Old 01-13-2021, 01:42 AM
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Mine is from '89. It is accurate, excellent trigger, but is ammo picky. CCI SV works well. Aguila isn't too bad. I get a lot of failures to eject with others. I will never get rid of it.
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:43 PM
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I shot a 7 1/2 M41 on a ROTC pistol team in the mid 60s. Ran 200 to 300 rounds in practice 5 days a week. Absolutely flawless performance but it needed to be cleaned and then ten rounds put through it. The team were National ROTC champions in 1965. I never should have sold that one and will probably buy another vintage one soon
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Old 01-13-2021, 11:50 PM
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I see you have been a forum member for a number of years, so I'm assuming you have already read a number of previous threads on the 41. I have owned several of them and have not had an issue with any of them, but others have not been as fortunate. My first two were manufactured in the 1980's, and my current pistol was made in 2007. The older pistols were better finished but my later pistol functions just as well, just a more matte finish. There are a lot of other very good pistols that can be bought for almost half the price of the model 41, but owning and shooting a model 41 is well worth the investment, for most of us. Read as much as you can on this forum about the model 41 and have fun looking for yours.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:41 AM
Dave Lively Dave Lively is offline
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I bought my 41 new in the mid nineties and it is one of the finicky ones. With the commonly recommended CCI standard velocity ammo it ejects the empty but does not pick up a new round about once or twice per box of 50. But it is as reliable as a 22 can be with MiniMags even though they are not quite as accurate.

As I get older I have less and less tolerance for guns that are finicky. But the 41 shoots so well I keep it around. Since MinMags also work well in my less picky 22s that is the only 22 ammo I buy now even though it is more expensive than the bulk pack stuff. Glad I bought a case right before 2020 hit and still have a lot left.
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Old 01-14-2021, 12:45 PM
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wproct - Yes, I've been a forum member for years, but not exactly a speed poster. Suspect I joined when I bought my first Smith & Wesson, an SW1911, which I still have and has always been extremely accurate and 100% reliable. In fact, mine has a serial no. under 1000 and I believe has a Briley barrel.

Yes, I've done some reading on the 41's which is what got me interested. Pretty clear that they are the most accurate American made .22 and of very high quality. Also, like the fact that the grip angle is pretty similar to a 1911, since I've always just liked how they handle.

I realize that for the price of a used 41 I could just buy a Ruger Mark IV and have some money left over, but I just can't warm up to the Ruger.
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Old 01-14-2021, 01:38 PM
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S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one S&W 41 - Anyone own one/have trigger time with one  
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The model 41 is indeed a fine weapon and will serve you well. I would also ditto the suggestion to check out the High Standard military model 107 Citation. Equally as good a shooter with possibly a better trigger. Look at Simpson LTD for guns available without the bid craziness of GB
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  #29  
Old 01-14-2021, 05:42 PM
Troystat Troystat is offline
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I have an older one with a 7.375" barrel and it is a joy to shoot, some 41's seem to be problem children but mine has no issues. I also have an extra 5.5 barrel and a 5 inch "field" barrel each makes the gun feel different. I have also shot a 41 with a Clark barrel and it was a tack driver. I shoot mine with iron sights one handed and it I point it at the x ring it is an x. Most of the hard core bulleye shooters are using Euro guns like Pardini's but the 41 is a nice pistol.
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  #30  
Old 01-14-2021, 07:06 PM
ggibson511960 ggibson511960 is offline
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Your basic question about old vs. new can be summed up with a few observations. Its design has never changed except for the superfluous cocking indicator, laminated wood stocks and drilled and tapped frame for optics. Its strengths and weaknesses haven't changed. The safety is virtually inoperable. It's way more accurate than most of us. It's sometimes finicky about ammo. It is the same milled steel pistol is was decades ago and its price has escalated accordingly as compared to Rugers, Buckmarks, etc. In the extraordinary circumstance that something goes wrong with it, there are superb gunsmiths to fix, vs. the throwaway technology of some other pistols. Buy the best one you can find. There is no way to be disappointed.
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  #31  
Old 01-14-2021, 10:18 PM
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armorer951 armorer951 is online now
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I bought one in 2014, right before I retired. Always wanted one but could never afford a good quality model 41.
It's an example from 1976. Fortunately, it works as intended with all it's original parts except the recoil spring, has a 2.5 pound trigger pull, not fussy about ammo brands, and shoots incredible groups (CCI) ....even for me. Couldn't be happier. Who needs a rifle?
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  #32  
Old 01-14-2021, 10:25 PM
diyj98 diyj98 is online now
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I've owned several 41's over the years. All were well built and had fantastic triggers. I really never got better accuracy off the bench than with my better Rugers. The Rugers needed trigger work and still weren't in the class trigger wise with the 41's though. I also never worried about shooting high velocity or junk ammo in the Rugers like I did with the 41's. Everyone needs to experience a 41 at least once in their life.
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  #33  
Old 01-17-2021, 07:55 PM
Domino1 Domino1 is offline
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Top Gun Supply has all three models in stock if you want a new one.

Smith and Wesson Model 41 For Sale - Top Gun Supply

They are on sale too!

Last edited by Domino1; 01-17-2021 at 07:57 PM.
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  #34  
Old 01-17-2021, 09:37 PM
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In my last two years as a Marine (1962-63) I used a High Standard [if memory serves me correctly for a change] for competition, and also when I got back into the game in 1976. Was able to buy a Model 41 that year; the best investment I ever made! I've attached photos of the customized Model 41 I currently have advertised for sale because I somehow became old and no longer compete. I'll miss it, as I miss competition!
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  #35  
Old 01-17-2021, 10:12 PM
Marlin57M Marlin57M is offline
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I shoot a late 90s production 41 in bullseye League. Upgrades include Rink grips, Volquartsen extractor and Ultradot red dot sight. I have both 5.5 and 7 barrels. I shoot Aquila and CCI standard velocity ammo without any problems and almost 100% reliability. Love the trigger. The only problem - I cant blame gun for a bad score
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