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  #1  
Old 02-27-2010, 03:08 PM
dcmdon
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New or Used Model 41?



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All,

I've been shooting a Ruger Mk II for 20 years and love the gun. I'm over 40 though and have been gradually buying some of the guns that I've always lusted after.

Well, the 41 is one of them. I remember the first time I shot one in the 80s and had to console myself that I had just beaten the owner of the 41 in a bullseye match.

I've noticed that there isn't much or any difference in the price between new ones and used ones.

I'm not in any rush, and I'm not going to worry about a couple of hundred dollars one way or the other.

So, if you were shopping, what would you be looking for as far as age?

I live near the S&W factory and have seen the great guns they are building now. Far superior to what they turned out in the 70s and 80s. After the era of hand fitting, but before the era of CNC machining stations. So, if one option is to buy a new gun and send it off to have the trigger done, I'm open to that.

One question re the new guns. The old 41s have the deepest, most beautiful bluing. Are the new guns a match or is it more of a brushed finish?

This is a gun I will have for the rest of my life. Enlighten me. If you say the 1960 to 1968 guns with SN from 123454 to 234344 are best then I'm interested in hearing why.

Thanks.

Don
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2010, 03:33 PM
mikengracie

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There are plenty of searches that address your question.
Its usually because of used prices buy new. The new one are
shooters. I notice no difference in fit and finish. But I am more function over form.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:06 PM
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My experience has been, older is better. I bought my last new Model 41 about five years ago. The barrel was terrible. The rifling was rough and uneven. If you can find one in stock and look it over carefully, a new one may be just fine. If you special order one, it's a crap shoot. You don't know what you're going to get.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:11 PM
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This is a gun I will have for the rest of my life. Enlighten me.

Your questions are good ones, Don. They've been asked (and answered) here many times. As mikengracie says, there is plenty of entertaining enlightenment for you here on the this forum right at your fingertips, if you'll search the threads. As long as you're in no hurry, why not?
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  #5  
Old 02-27-2010, 04:44 PM
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Personally I would love to have one of the older ones that have the cocking indicator, the removable muzzle break and barrel weights.... to me they just look better.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:25 PM
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I have an early A series 41, and a 2008 I bought new. As far as fit, finish, trigger, accuracy, and overall quality, flip a coin. I would be happy with either. The older one wears a 5 1/2" barrel, and that feels a bit better to me. YMMV. The only real difference is the bluing, which is matte on the new one, and nice gloss blue on the older one.
You live near the Houlton, Maine factory? I would try to pick one up there. It would be easy to take it back for modifications if you wanted. I'm from Presque Isle originally myself, but live in southern Maine now. Good luck, and come back with some pictures!
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:58 PM
white house
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I've had old and new. The "new" ones in the box since after 1989 disappointed me. It wasn't until 2008 I found a NIB SW 41 that worked every time with match or standard velocity ammunition. The ones that worked were from 1982, 1997, and 2008. After 12 purchases or so I even had trouble with an original 1958 or 1959 in function.

All 41s will shoot straight. Not all will function reliably. My experience is that finding a reliable 41 is the ONLY MISSION in life. Once you have found a RELIABLE FUNCTIONING 41 you will never need to look elsewhere for anything. It is the ONE GUN to own if all you can have is ONE GUN. It is more accurate and deadly than most rifles.

My input is this. If you find a WORKING RELIABLE 41 in ANY year of manufacture then it is worth more than the family jewels. If you are looking to purchase a RELIABLE 41 better get it now NIB and forget the polish and old memories of the old ones with old springs, parts, abuse or use, or whatever.

Buy NIB NOW before it's too late to buy one that WORKS.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:17 PM
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I wouldn't hesitate to get either one. Mine is a '70-'71 vintage, and the bluing is just gorgeous. I was lucky enough to have someone that wanted to trade it to me. If it had been brand new I couldn't have been happier. I've got the long barrel, and since it's an older one maybe I should get a new short barrelled one to keep everything in balance
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:30 PM
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If you find a WORKING RELIABLE 41 in ANY year of manufacture then it is worth more than the family jewels. If you are looking to purchase a RELIABLE 41 better get it now NIB and forget the polish and old memories of the old ones with old springs, parts, abuse or use, or whatever.


I agree with White House. Find a 41 that functions flawlessly. There's no greater satisfaction in rimfire target shooting. The good news is that most 41s of any vintage will fill the bill. If you happen to reel in one that doesn't, just sell it and keep looking.
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Old 02-28-2010, 03:15 PM
dcmdon
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Thank you all for your advice. Based on it and some searching as others have suggested, I'm going to keep my eyes open for the elusive unfired old gun.

If I get tired of waiting, I'll buy new and not look back.

Re living near the factory, I live about 50 miles from S&W in Springfield MA. Are the 41s not made there?

One more question. Is the S&W Performance Center a reasonable place to have trigger work done on 41s? I've had a couple of revolvers touched up by them and they did an excellent job. Of course the fact that I shot IDPA with one of the PC guys and hand delivered them to him didn't hurt.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:28 PM
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The model 41 has been made in Houlton, Maine for some time now.
I don't think you need a totally unfired one, but one that has been fired very little then sat in the safe would be just as good IMO, and should be less costly. I know of a couple like that that were acquired for about $500 each. They run fine with CCI SV, just like both of mine.
Good luck in your search. We look forward to the pictures!
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:26 PM
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I don't think that the finish is as good on the newer ones and they have laminated grips, as I recall. I would still probably buy a newer one because they are D&T for a Weaver rail. If you are going to use a red dot sight, and you probably will, get one already D&T.
I bought an older one and had to buy a new barrel that was already D&T, from Gil Hebard, because I refused to let a gunsmith butcher my original barrel.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2HB View Post
I don't think that the finish is as good on the newer ones and they have laminated grips, as I recall. I would still probably buy a newer one because they are D&T for a Weaver rail. If you are going to use a red dot sight, and you probably will, get one already D&T.
I bought an older one and had to buy a new barrel that was already D&T, from Gil Hebard, because I refused to let a gunsmith butcher my original barrel.
Mine is new but I have seen quite a few used older ones in the LGS and they seem to always keep a new one in stock. From comparing them the bluing is much better on the old ones. Also, all the new ones they have had for the last couple years have ad laminated grips.

Not to say the blue job is bad on the new ones it is just more of a brushed look than a polished blue and same with the grips, the laminated are very nice with lots of grain but they are laminated and some don't like that look, including me.

For me personally I knew I was going to put a ton of ammo through this gun, so new was the way for me. If it was going to see limited duty I would have bought used just for the looks.

Stallard
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:44 PM
white house
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcmdon View Post
Thank you all for your advice. Based on it and some searching as others have suggested, I'm going to keep my eyes open for the elusive unfired old gun.

If I get tired of waiting, I'll buy new and not look back.

Re living near the factory, I live about 50 miles from S&W in Springfield MA. Are the 41s not made there?

One more question. Is the S&W Performance Center a reasonable place to have trigger work done on 41s? I've had a couple of revolvers touched up by them and they did an excellent job. Of course the fact that I shot IDPA with one of the PC guys and hand delivered them to him didn't hurt.
You won't need a trigger job. The 41 is perfect in trigger and always has been.

It is always perfect in accuracy.

You just want one that feeds and fires and ejects every time.

That is your mission. Find one that works everytime and it will become YOUR favorite. No other pistol has the accuracy or trigger. It is balanced like a .45 1911. Keep THAT in mind. The 1911 is an extremely accurate military pistol of the same weight and feel. If you like .45s (like me) you will love, even more, your 41.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2010, 09:02 PM
dcmdon
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Thanks for the advice. When I started this thread I said I have recently been buying the guns I've always wanted.

One of my recent purchases was a Les Baer Custom Premier II .45. I've always wanted a Baer and its now my favorite centerfire pistol. If it balances like that, I'll be very happy.

Don
p.s. one of the other ones is a M11/9. Rude crude bullet hose that is sure to put a grin on any man or boy's face. . . . until they get the ammo bill. Can't wait for the lage .22 conversion kit.
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