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In the process of finding my new Bullseye gun I came across an 80% (or less) gun thats begging for a new home (cheap!). It currently has a scarred up finish, buggered up screw heads, long barrel and weight, and battered grips - but - the rifling is sharp and bright, action is smooooth and the trigger is perfect: someboby probably fired thousands of rounds through this early model and used it hard.
So what to do? I'd love to put it into action again - with some modifications, of course. The big question: has there been any history of cutting down a Model 41 to make it into a field gun? Something with new finish, Herrett Flat Housing Trainer grips, a shortened barrel and....?
Old pictures, catalogs, etc. of examples would be very welcome.
Thanks.
 

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Bruce in WV said:
...The big question: has there been any history of cutting down a Model 41 to make it into a field gun?..
Falcon Machine used to cut the 7" Smith 41 barrel shorter to make a lighter weight match pistol than the factory short model 41. So, it is possible to chop it and still get good function.
 

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S&W used to offer a 5" field barrel with a ramp front sight. This was the same profile as the standard 7" barrel just shortened to 5". From what I have been able to find out these 5" field barrels started out as an accident. Seems S&W had a batch of 7" barrels in which the rifling near the muzzle was messed up. To save the cost of the barrels they supposedly shortened them to 5", crowned the muzzle and added a Ramp Front Sight. Later on another production run of the 5" field barrels were made, but to my knowledge they have not been produced for years.

I had a 5" field barrel for my S&W Model 41 about 12 years ago. I found the barrel used, and picked it up for my wife to shoot. We mounted a Tasco PDP2 Red Dot Sight on it, and my wife loved the lighter weight with the optical sight.

I have seen the 5" field barrels from time to time at gun shows, but do not have a photo of one.

Larry
 

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If I recall correctly Loveless used to make a field gun with the S&W 41 as a base, has been some years now but seems an article appeared in Gun Digest. Will look thru my library and see if I can locate it.
 

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Some decades ago, one of the gun rags ran an article centered on such a conversion. Biggest thing which impressed me was cutting away the slide and back of the frame to allow thumb cocking of the hammer.

Looked really neat, but too much work for me, and I wondered about the loss of mass from the slide.

Conversion showed in the magazine reportedly pleased the owner and worked great with the ammo selected, but I'd not do that to a 41.
 

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WAAAY back when, Mel Tappan recc'nd the 5 1/2" 41 as the perfect field gun. I couldn't agree more. That thing is a pleasure to shoot and carry. It is way more accurate than I am and much more easy to carry than my Ruger MKI long Bull BBl that I got on my 13 th Christmas 44 years ago.

Instead of cutting the bbl down, why not look for another bbl? There are replacement bbls avail, and they fit right in. Don't have the links, but have seen them here. Try a search.

The 41 rules as both a target/field gun. Good snag!

Rob
 

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Larry

Smith offers a light 5" barrel with the rib cut off at the chamber. They call it their "optics barrel". You can look at one on the Smith and Wesson web site.

In my opinion a cut down Model 41 is a very desirable pistol and should hold it's value.

You can take a pair of grips and narrow them down, but be careful as they cover the rear of the pistol and if you grind through them at the back you can see the mainspring.

I had one of these in the 70's and really liked it for fishing and hunting.
 
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