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Smith 41 speed-shooting reliability

model 41 steel challenge reliability

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#1 AgentSmith

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

I'm curious what others have done to make their Smith 41's jam free during speed shooting. I'm doing a lot of experimenting but I still get a couple of stovepipes during every Steel Challenge match.

Thanks

AS

#2 RIPPED1

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:19 PM

The last time I had any issues with my 41, I cleaned it and it ran good afterwords. It seems to like to be clean.
What are you running for ammo?

#3 Alan550

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:18 AM

Clean is the ticket! I carry a bronze "toothbrush" for the breech face and barrel face and a Bore Snake to use between stages. Works like a charm! Feed the "snake" up through the mag well and it will clean the feed ramp in the process.

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#4 horseman

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 07:13 AM

Shoot CCI mini-mags. I have never had a .22 that was very ammo sensitive, rifle or pistol. I was determined to get my 1980 41 to run on bulk ammo. I like Federal. I changed everything in the slide, springs, extractor, etc. Tried very light and cut recoil springs. I took it to a gun smith for a deluxe chamber polishing etc. Nothing worked. It runs better on standard velocity CCI but not great. I was, and am defeated. Runs like a champ on mini-mags and will not run at all on anything else.

#5 toothguy

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:00 AM

I'm curious what others have done to make their Smith 41's jam free during speed shooting. I'm doing a lot of experimenting but I still get a couple of stovepipes during every Steel Challenge match.

Thanks

AS


I read somewhere that the 41's were designed to run on the CCI standard velocity. I buy the standard velocity just to shoot in the 41 and have not had any issues. I use a plastic chamber brush and a can of compressed air to keep clean. Not to much lube in the chamber area or it seems to collect crud (5w-20w synthetic oil on the rails). I bought some 12 round mags with the orange plastic followers. A friend that was having feeding issues had no more problems with the 12 rounders. Wolf sells 3 springs for the slide I use the lightest one and I also use a buffer. I have also used a small bullet shaped polish point with jewelers rouge to polish the feed ramp like a mirror.
The drive to want to win is only an asset when it pushes you to practice better/more and develop your mental game. When you let it make decisions for you in a match it is never your friend. It will sing the siren song of shooting beyond your skill sets with predictable unpleasant results. The skills you bring that day are the only skills you have. No amount of desire will change that. Shoot your own game. Let the results sort themselves out after the match. My bet is that not only will you do better but you will enjoy the sport more. Rick Korzep.

#6 kend

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:11 PM

I run CCI Standard with a lighter recoil spring (from the Wolff tuning kit we sell), clean and oiled and never had a problem. Numerous SC matches along with a little practice and no issues.

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#7 Got Juice?

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 02:45 PM

I built my own extractor plunger and a slight overbore to the tunnel. Combined with a higher rate spring, this 46 will throw brass to Mars.

Stovepipes? FTE? Not anymore.
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#8 Steve RA

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:07 PM

I had an older one I used for Team Challenge and it seemed to run on about anything, was most accurate with the CCI SGB which I don't know if they make anymore. At least, I haven't seen any in stores.


Looked up on CCI site and they do still manufacture SGBs. I just haven't seen any in stores in this area for quite awhile.

Edited by Steve RA, 01 January 2013 - 05:56 PM.

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#9 AgentSmith

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Here are the things I've tried so far:
*Shoot only CCI standard velocity ammo.
*Scrub the gun clean before shooting.
*Oil the top bullet in each mag (suggestion from Clark's Custom Guns
*Switched to 6.5 pound mainspring.

None of these things have made a difference. I still have a stovepipe every 40 rounds or so.

A few questions:
*Horseman, are you using a buffer with the high-velocity ammo? That's the first time I've heard someone suggest mini-mags, though I'm willing to give it a try.
*Toothguy, what is the tool you used to polish the feed ramp? Did you have FTEs before you started doing this?

One thing I was considering was trying this barrel form Clarks that has no top strap over the ejection port.
http://www.clarkcust...om/22pts.htm#sw

I have noticed that one of the mags has more FTEs than the others, though it's not the only one that has had issues. Anything in particular I should look for on the magazines? Any advice on how to "tune" a magazine?

#10 toothguy

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:01 PM

http://guntalk-onlin...maintenance.htm

You might look at the extractor tension or try some of the orange follower 12 round mags. If you use high velocity ammo I would run a buffer and use a heavier spring. The polishing tip I used was a Dremel bullet shaped fabric wheel with fine polishing compound. Just polish the ramp be careful not to round the bottom chamber edge. The 41 chamber is tight to achieve high accuracy try shooting it without oil on the bullets, any build up will cause extraction issues. Also try to clean off excess waxy lube used on some .22 ammo.

Edited by toothguy, 31 December 2012 - 11:15 PM.

The drive to want to win is only an asset when it pushes you to practice better/more and develop your mental game. When you let it make decisions for you in a match it is never your friend. It will sing the siren song of shooting beyond your skill sets with predictable unpleasant results. The skills you bring that day are the only skills you have. No amount of desire will change that. Shoot your own game. Let the results sort themselves out after the match. My bet is that not only will you do better but you will enjoy the sport more. Rick Korzep.

#11 MustangGreg66

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

I got lucky and bought my S&W 41 in a package deal with a standard 5.5" barrel and a Clark Customs 5.5 STC style barrel, though it's an older version with a weaver (wider spaced notches) instead of picatinny rail. I love the Clark barrel. I've shot CCI Std Velocity through it, use the buffer as well and have tried all three wolf springs and it seemed to work with all of them so I just use the stock spring. The only issue I have with the Clark barrel is my chamber is so tight, it won't extract live rounds, the extractor always slips off so I end up shooting the last round out.
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#12 horseman

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:30 AM

Yes, I use a buffer but really can't see that HV would hurt anything. I only have about 20K through mine most without a buffer. :)

#13 AlamoShooter

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:43 AM

I used a 41 in STC for many years with an optic . the very first thing we do is cut off the rear sight hood. That lets you clear a jamb much faster and keeps most of them from starting.
Check the top of the slide & bottom of the barrel , it must be slick. on some gun-barrel combinations the fit is too tight and the slide drags on the bottom of the barrel.

The most common cause of a 41 jambing is the left thumb slowing the slide down. as the speed gets up the thumb drifts into the slide, but its so slick the shooter does not feel it.
CCI are the best choice. I run the min-mag when I want faster transitions = the extra bump pushes the gun into the next target.
I like the CCI standards for the 2" targets in the combo event.

one of my 41s has shot in at least 15 STC nat & 9 SC world events - so it has a few rounds on it.
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#14 Jaxshooter

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

I am with Kend. I keep my 41 clean and oiled with the light recoil spring. I shoot CCI Standard Velocity bullets or SK Pistol Match. If you shoot hot rounds like Mini Mags the gun won't last long, they were designed to run standard velocity match ammo. I also have a very stiff brissled toothbrush and a .22 bronze brush bent at a 90 degree angle to clean the chamber. I have never needed to use either one during a SC match. My gun has a Clark STC barrel that has a tighter chamber than the factory barrel and I have no problems with it.
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#15 AgentSmith

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

Jax, did you choose the STC (no top strap) over the Clark barrel with the top strap to improve reliability?





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