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Old 12-17-2017, 01:11 AM
Amanda4461
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Back from the M41 Lead Mine



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Took another day and 300 rounds of Wolf MT to test out the 1958 model 41 at 50 yards. The previous owner mailed it to me after having cleaned and oiled it, which was a first for me when buying a used pistol. Since I like to take them apart and see the condition of things, I pulled on my Carson magnifier headset and turned on its little led headlight to see what I could find. I have 20:15 vision, as long as I measure it about 6 feet away. The Carson getup is a wonderful help for doing fine detail work on pistols with small springy things that jump out at ya, especially when you are farsighted. It comes with various Diopter lenses for magnification.
Right off the bat I found the Firing Pin corroded and pitted. I am glad I ordered a new one and a couple of springs from S&W. This pistol is 59 years old, so it has earned some firing pin erosion. Everything else, even the extractor, appeared clean and in proper order. Then I found the Lead Mine. I have never owned a weapon with a muzzle compensator (brake or whatever) before. When I saw this one attached to the end of the barrel, I thought that it looked out of place, as it was obviously made out of Aluminum, anodized black or painted, and the pistol is a high polish blue. I also wondered how it could affect muzzle lift much at all, since the slots in it were so small. The Carson headset showed me that the compensator had been filled up with lead over the last few decades. The venting slots were barely open. I used a small flat blade screwdriver and my brass drift hammer and chipped chunks of lead out of the compensator for 30 minutes, finally getting down to aluminum and using a small set of hobby flat files to take the final lead off of the vent's angled surfaces. While I have read that studies show a decrease in accuracy using the compensator, the 41 will hold the X-ring at 50 yards as-is, with the clogged compensator. I am anxious to see how it does with a clean compensator. Maybe it will even have reduced muzzle flip, now that I have dug out the lead from the small mine on the end of the barrel.
I don't yet know about the accuracy impact the compensator has, but I can see from the hour+ it took me to get it clean why so many toss them on Ebay. YMMV-
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:10 PM
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irishbob

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Cleaning mine awaits me

I think for a .22 pistol these are more for show than for results. I bought a 1961 Ruger Mark I that had a very cool Ruger original comp on it. My goodness the time spent soaking it in Kroil and chipping away with the brass punch....I'd never buy one again but they look pretty I guess on it.
Curious to see how it shoots with and without. I have a feeeling the lesser-accuracy is an urban legend.
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:28 PM
Amanda4461
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M41 without the compensator

irishbob-
I tried the M41 today without the dreaded compensator. I shot 200 rounds of Wolf MT without the comp, and then put the newly cleaned comp on and shot another 200 rounds. Comparing my groups, on average they are about equal. I think I would have to use a Ransom Rest to tell any difference. My problem with the M41 without the comp is one of appearance. I just think the False Muzzle makes the pistol look butt-ugly. Granted, I would like the comp more if it was steel and matched the high-polish Blue of the M41, but even as it is, an Anodized hunk of black, not blued metal, I don't see it being a hindrance to me unless I let it get as dirty as it was when I first shot it. Even then, the pistol grouped very well at 50 yards. Well enough for me to know any misses were my fault. I'll keep it clean and keep it fixed firmly in place, where it belongs. I have a line on a machinist willing to duplicate it in polished steel. We shall see
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