I'll bring the ammo and pizza if...

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Clickbait!

Does anyone in the Massachusetts area have a Smith and wesson 41 who can tell me about what your experience with the firearm has been like?

I'd also love to find an opportunity to try one out and will be happy to bring ammo and pizza.

(Admins, I moved this from the general discussion)
 

JRT

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Save your pizza and beer money and buy one. The SW41 is a standard in 22 target shooting. I've seen a lot of league championships taken with the 41 against guys who invested much more in Pardini and similar stuff. I bought mine in the late 80s, you would kill to pay what I payed back then.
 
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Thanks I noticed that. I'll give them a call to confirm if they're the 5 or 7 inchers. Four seasons has a handful as well. Does Patriot Arms have a test range? If so I'll be making a drive over.
 

jpm

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neither has a test range.

I recently got an early 60s model 41 with the 7 3/8 barrel and its amazing. Eats any ammo I feed it, standard/high velocity, mini-mags, etc. Crazy accurate, I was hitting a plate @ 75yds offhand with it. Fantastic trigger too. Where in MA are you?
 
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That's pretty amazing. I'm in Boston proper. I've been to the four rental spots around here recently and nobody had it as a rental - Mass Firearms, Manchester Firing Line, Original Bob's and Belmont Firing Range. If anyone has seen one in a rental fleet somewhere I'd be happy to drive out as well.

neither has a test range.

I recently got an early 60s model 41 with the 7 3/8 barrel and its amazing. Eats any ammo I feed it, standard/high velocity, mini-mags, etc. Crazy accurate, I was hitting a plate @ 75yds offhand with it. Fantastic trigger too. Where in MA are you?
 
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Awesome - thanks for that detail. I've handled the 5.5 up at kittery and liked it but they don't do used handgun transfers into MA. When you were buying the SW41, did you consider other models, like the MkIV or a volquartsen variant? How did you select the SW41?

Patriot posted a pic of one of the 41s they're selling. Looks to be a modern vintage 5.5"
 
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If you looking for a quality target pistol that will still be still be popular and hold value years from now this is the one to get.
Parts are readily available even for the old ones. Magazines aren't overly expensive.
Love mine. it is from the 50's and I still shoot it all the time.
 

silversquirrel

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Dont worry about it holding value. You will never want to sell it!
The S&W barrels are very high quality and accurate, but these guys sell some modified ones... Clark Match Barrel for the S&W® 41
I use the original 5" heavy barrel for Iron sight shooting, and have an older Clark flat top for a vortex red dot.
 

jpm

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I use the original 5" heavy barrel for Iron sight shooting, and have an older Clark flat top for a vortex red dot.
There's two different 5" barrels. The 5.5" barrel is the heavy bull barrel, the 5" is not heavy and meant for mounting an optic on.

So there's basically 4 varieties you may come across:
The original 7 3/8" with false muzzle that you can attach a compensator to.
The 7" no false muzzle variety that came about in the early 80s I believe and is what you find on the current models
and the 2 different 5"ish barrels described above.
 
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Interesting, I had no idea a non bull barrel existed in a five inch range. I'm very partial tpothe 5.5" bull barrel.


There's two different 5" barrels. The 5.5" barrel is the heavy bull barrel, the 5" is not heavy and meant for mounting an optic on.

So there's basically 4 varieties you may come across:
The original 7 3/8" with false muzzle that you can attach a compensator to.
The 7" no false muzzle variety that came about in the early 80s I believe and is what you find on the current models
and the 2 different 5"ish barrels described above.
 
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You guys are making a hard push to get me off the fence. I love what I'm hearing here. Thank you for your take on this.

I don't have one, but I've been an active bullseye competitor for about 30 years.
They're very popular with a lot of shooters, I don't think you'd go wrong with one.
 

MP-In-The-Wind

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I've got one...and (of course) love it! It would be one of the last guns that I would get rid of....
I'm a member of Hopkinton and would let you give it a try...PM me.
 

67ray

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A lot of them are turning up on the used market. Bullseye teams are starting to wane which may be the reason.

I recommend you spend some time at your club's bullseye shoots. You will find many people willing to let you try their gun no pizza no ammo req'd.
 
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Various great folks of NES reached out to let me try "flights" of 22s. I got a chance to compare rugers II/IV and various grip angles, 617, SW victorys, SW22s, and of course the M41 against each-other. In exchange, rather than bring pizza and Ammo I brought the other thing that complements firearms... alcohol. (to be enjoyed after shooting of course). Thanks for helping this n00b get on his feet. This is a great community.

My takeaways surprised me. I ultimately found my preferences to be extraordinarily subjective. My day job is quantitative, and I am a professional hair splitter, and the differences between platforms in function was a matter of optimization rather than giant leaps.

Accuracy:
I was expecting a great variance in grouping from .22 platform to platform, but all of the variants named above were very accurate, and exceeded my shooting ability. I grouped about 2-3" at 15. I know I'm far more accurate with a .22 than a 9mm for example, and was expecting some margin of accuracy between each .22 platform. Clearly this was not the case.

Comfort:
I found that in general I liked the mechanical leverage afforded by the wood grip on the M41, followed by a preference for the 22/45 grip angle of a ruger, followed by the "slab sided" flat grip of the Victory or SW22a. I don't like the grip angle of the "traditional" ruger as much, however.

Trigger Feel:
The SW41 had an exceptionally crisp trigger. The others all had great triggers. One owner expressed some creep in the Victory trigger which I just could not feel on my own.

Emotional Appeal - absolute subjectivity:
1. The classic lines, blueing and material contrast on the 41 speaks to me. It's just darn good looking.
2. The SW22a-1 with wood grips looks kind of like a space gun and I like the integrated aesthetic of the rail and slab-sided bull barrel.
3. To me the Rugers in general are pretty utilitarian. Maybe the Hunter with wood grips looks classy but does not tug on my heart-strings like the 41.
4. The victory does not look good to me, but I can't deny that it shoots really well.

I think this is actually a pretty important factor, as it'll affect my desire to shoot the gun, and therefore train with it.

Bigger Picture - Priority and what I want:
- I think my biggest priority in getting into firearms is the fun factor. I've not gone through a whole lot of .22 but I think I'd say about 1,500 rounds between rentals and stuff, and I'm at a point where I don't feel like it's as fun to shoot a .22 than a 9.
- This is a bit of a dilemma, basically its "should I just not care about getting a "good" 22 and get a "good" 9? or sholud I treat getting a good 22 with more importance from a rational level. Based on my interests, I don't think I'll compete in Bullseye but will want to do local action shooting events frequently.
- This is not to say I don't believe it will still help my shooting. I am sure there's much more to learn on the platform so I need a .22, but maybe it may benefit me to put less $ into the .22 and more into the 9 for more smiles (listen to the mindful penis vs the rational brain).

Cost
I've scoured all the shops. I'm comparing used vs new based on what's generally available.
SW41 - around 800 used for a good example.
MkIV - about 450-600 new, i can't find used ones easily - the gap here allows me to pay for a good portion of a 9
Victory - can only find new around 350. - there's enough of a gap here to get a decent 9
SW22a - found a used one for 200. - there's enough of a gap here to fund the majority of a used p320 x-five

Decision TBD... but more importantly, THANKS FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THIS DECISION!
 
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appraiser

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I have a Ruger MK IV, I bought it for the sole purpose of being to shoot more for less money.

I would take my nephew to the range and blow thru a couple of hundred dollars of WWB at a time between 9 and 40, occasionally I would let him shoot my 1911 or snubby.

The Ruger paid for itself in 3 range trips just in ammo savings.

Unless you are going to start reloading, shooting a lot of 9, even WWB FMJ can eat up a chunk of change... shoot enough to stay proficient, but don't go wiping your backside with 50 dollar bills when you can shoot 22LR for next to nothing and still have fun and build your skills.

JMHO, YMMV

Your first 22 should be a gun you are going to keep forever
 
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In my opinion, the SW22a is not at the level of quality of the other guns you are considering. I think the Victory and the Ruger Mk IV are a better value even at about twice the price. As usual, this opinion is worth what you are paying for it, and I mean no disrespect to people who are happy with their 22a models.
 

fencer

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I am a mostly recreational shooter. Yes I have been to plates and pins matches, and I had a lot of fun, but I really like just going for an informal range session and dinging steel or dinging away at the dueling tree with my son. we will start of at 10 yards then move it back.
My job just makes matches difficult to attend with regularity, and when I do get an hour or two of trigger time, I really like being able to get a lot of shooting done. Most of my range time is spent shooting my carry guns. I shoot them until my draw, presentation and reloads become second nature. I also enojoy bringing some range toys and will often bring a HD gun or hand cannon just for fun.

What I am getting at is, I would make a good carry gun my first purchase, then add a target or competition gun if you find that is what interests you. I hope that my schedule allows some USPSA in the future, but I want to be as proficient as possible with my carry guns and just running drills on the plinking range is crazy fun, and instills confidence when carrying in public. You might also consider a 320 compact for a decent carry gun, and in the future, buy the X5 frame and slide. It is one of the beauties of the 320 platform. One fire control unit can be used in dozens of configurations.
I would not really recommend a micro pistol for your first carry gun.
 

hmg

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I don't have one, but have been looking at one for bullseye as an upgrade to my Ruger Mark II target. My take (IMO) is as follows:
  • It's a great target pistol. You could spend 3-4x as much and find a european pistol that is slightly better, but that's a lot to spend for very little gain.
  • It's a target pistol. It's not designed for casual plinking. You can use it for that, but probably not ideal if you're not counting points and Xs.
  • It's a taget pistol (again), intended to be used with target quality ammunition and not the cheapest .22s from Walmart. And standard velocity only. Most who shoot it find what works the best and stick with that one load.
  • Things I've read suggest more recent ones have more problems. I suppose that's not limited to the M41.
Based on your post #24, I'd say buy the Ruger or a Browning Buckmark. More than enough accuracy for the purposes you described. Much more tolerant of ammo choice (and reliable with a range of ammo). If you're "at a point where I don't feel like it's as fun to shoot a .22 than a 9" then you won't appreciate the M41 over those other pistols (not intended as criticism, we each have different priorities). Most of the newer Rugers and Brownings are easy to add a red dot sight to.

I'd also suggest considering a used Victory if you can shoot it first. I've heard stories that suggest there's a great deal of variability in their reliability. As the saying goes: "When they're good, they're very, very good. And when they're bad they're horrid."

Buy a Mark IV, put a Sig Romeo 5 red dot on it, and you'll be so happy you'll buy me pizza.
 
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So.... where should I send that pizza? After some reflecting I realize I'll just not use the 41 to it's potential and found a good deal on a mark iv target that I think I will enjoy for many years. I don't intend to be a bullseye shooter but will improve my fundamentals on the platform.
 
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