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I've done a quick search, but still not sure on this.

Besides being cheaper, are there any other advantages to buying a used 41 over new? Were older 41's built to a higher standard? What design changes (cocking indicator, etc) have been made over the years? Are there more plastic/synthetic parts in the new ones? Is there any difference between old/new regarding ease of disassembly/reassembly?

Thanks for your help...
 

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Are there more plastic/synthetic parts in the new ones?
I'm not going to wade into the new vs. old debate, but the new one I got about a month ago has no plastic or polymer parts at all that I can see when field-stripping it. The grips are wood (walnut, I think) and everything else is blued steel. Definitely an old-fashioned gun. And field-stripping is a piece of cake, no tools required. The trigger guard is a hinged latch that locks the barrel to the frame. You pull the guard down and just lift off the barrel (although mine took a little force the first few times, and be careful you don't pinch yourself relatching the trigger guard). You then remove the slide just by pushing it back until it slips off the track. And unlike my Buckmark, the sight rail is attached to the barrel, not the frame, so you don't have to sight it in again after each cleaning.

It's a great bullseye gun. I shot mine with one sandbag under the barrel a couple weeks ago. 75 feet at a slow fire target, ten rounds: 100 points with nine X's. I can live with that. ;)
 

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New or Old?? Have had them since the mid '70's, all bbl lengths and wgts.

Enjoyed the ability to swap bbls without ever having to think about functioning as their tolerance allowance was close enough that the bbls were truly interchangeable.

ALL mfrs have the same nut to crack on production costs. Yes, CNC has really helped in that area in holding costs down but unfortunately the feedback I have gathered from the net, this forum included, is that the interchangeability feature isn't what it used to be. S&W even sez to send it to them to have a different bbl fitted. This may be a non issue for most but somehow, when looking at the older ones, A series and before, the overall quality and blue lustre just isn't there. Another thing is the feeding/digesting issue. If it doesn't run with your bulk fodder and you mention that to Smith, they say to use the CCI green stuff. I have bought Wildcat by the case for indoor league use and mine and everyother shooter on the line using the 41 very, very seldom had feed/function problems. We shot the cheapest stuff Kmart had on sale - dating myself there and only on rare occasion did we give up points for an alibi.

My experience has been for the cost of a new one, I would much prefer to wait for a similar deal to crop up at a gun show on an old one - if for nothing else for the appreciation aspect.

Don't get me wrong, the 41 would be my choice over ANYthing now offered if I had to buy new. One other caveat is that the 5.5" hvy can usually be shot offhand more accurately than the 7" and that has everything to do with the shooter's sight perspective and not quality of bbl or sights.

Well, you asked the "Old vs New" question and you now have my opinion. YMMV but whatever, enjoy the 41. You'd have to spend 1.5 - 2x as much to get a 20% improvement in quality or accuracy.
 

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I bought a used one a few years ago for $450. It was a good deal at the time, but I don't think that is any better than the new ones. I think that the real old ones had more hand polishing and hand fitting to them. My barrel wasn't D&T so I purchased an extra barrel from Gil Hebard and it fit without any modifications. I use my 41 with a Red Dot sight so I needed a D&T barrel. For the cost of a gunsmith to modify my original barrel, I felt it was prudent to just buy an extra one. If you are going to use a Red Dot sight, get a newer model 41 with a D&T barrel.
 

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I got my first M41 used because I found a good deal on it. There are a lot of M41's around that have been very well cared for - after all who would not take good care of an expensive pistol like a M41? If you can wait, you might find one as I did at a bargain price.

Are the old ones any better? Every time S&W makes a change, everyone bemoans the drop in quality and claims the older one are so much better. Think about it. In twenty years, your new M41 will be one of the old ones made when "they really knew how to make them".
 

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my 41 is USED.

i bought it cuz it was LNIB. the only issue was that the previous owner apprently scratched the side of the slide with something like 40 grit sand paper or that it had something scrap against it during transport.. The neat thing (for me) was that there were 2 of them with the same damage. Also, the other one had a box, shorter bbl but no paperwork.

if i had more $$ i would have got both. but for $400.00 it was a really good deal too good to pass up.
 

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Mo' definitve info follows - perhaps

I LIFTED THIS FROM TARGET TALK. He said it better than I did previously:

Joined: 14 Aug 2007
Posts: 43

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:40 pm Post subject:

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The older 41s are much better. They used to test each barrel individually using a fixture on a 100 yd. indoor range. They would scrap any barrel which couldn't shoot inside an inch at that distance. A side by side comparison with a new model from the Houlton factory will make the amount of hand work on the older ones self evident. In fact, a side by side comparison with a Hammerli-Walther Olympia would be more appropriate. I have always suspected the design of the 41 was based on the older Hammerli design with considerable input from outside sources such as the AMU gunsmiths. I do believe the first ones went to the AMU.
If you can, search for an older 41 with the cocking indicator, muzzle brake (even if you don't use it), and possibly the barrel weights. The really old ones also do not have relief cuts in the receiver behind the trigger, just like a 1911 compared to a 1911a1.
Check around! If you commit to look for a month a so at online auction sites or gun collector/dealers you can find an old one for about the price of a new one. It will retain its value better than a new one.

PS: The Clark match barrels for M41 are really good and deliver the promised performance. They get blanks from S & W and do their own chambering and crowning, and machine sight/scope cuts. The latter allows for a lower scope and lighter weight. The reliability seems to be enhanced as well.

JAT here: Just one caveat to above cut and paste. The muzzle brake from my reading and personal testing with Ransom Rest will give noticeability larger groups. My testing done at 50 yds. Same bbl, same day, just w & w/o brake. They are also a pill to keep clean but they sure do look sexy...............
 

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I LIFTED THIS FROM TARGET TALK. He said it better than I did previously:

Joined: 14 Aug 2007
Posts: 43

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:40 pm Post subject:

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"The older 41s are much better. They used to test each barrel individually using a fixture on a 100 yd. indoor range. They would scrap any barrel which couldn't shoot inside an inch at that distance. "

Sorry, but I have to call BS on this. I'd sure like to see proof thet S&W tested a 50 yard max target .22 barrel, each and every one, at 100 yards and rejected any that did not beat a scoped rifles at that distance. With a Lothar liner and a match chamber & ammo, one can expect at best an inch to an inch & a half at fifty yards, not 1/2" or less. If someone can prove otherwise, I'd like to see it. Brad
 

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I just bought a 41 today from Cabela's I haven't shot it yet but it looks exactly like one I had about eight years ago. If it shoots like the one I have before then I will be happy. I think that the fit and finish look very good on the new ones. I will have this one till I die I am sure. I kicked myself in the arse ever since I got rid of the first one and its taken forever to get enough mad money to buy another. There are a few guns you should just never trade or get rid of. :bthumb:
 

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I bought mine in late 1993 and is the first of the "new" style. The differences are remarkable in appearance as the early ones were more highly polished and the serial numbers on the frame on the new ones are laser etched rather than stamped. Along the way the later one lost the cartridge loaded indicator.

I wanted the last of the older guns but missed it by a few months. But the new one is very accurate and absolutely no slouch. The new ones are assembled on an individually basis, one gunsmith per gun for the full assembly. These Model 41 gunsmiths (only a handfull of S&W employees) only build Model 41's and are responsible for the gun when finished, even after test firing. This is as close to the way older guns were made as anywhere in the industry today. You'll pay twice the cost for anything any better made or that shoots any better and that is all metal. This S&W assembly line was featured in a recent Shotgun News article and the writer came away very impressed. S&W has no problem selling every one they make and few languish on the distributor's or dealer's shelves.

I would have liked to have owned an earlier version (I love highly polished old fashion looking guns like my Belgium Browning Challenger or my Colt Match Target) and may get one some day but as a shooter my later Model 41 does just fine, thank you.

LDBennett
 

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Sorry, but I have to call BS on this. I'd sure like to see proof thet S&W tested a 50 yard max target .22 barrel, each and every one, at 100 yards and rejected any that did not beat a scoped rifles at that distance. With a Lothar liner and a match chamber & ammo, one can expect at best an inch to an inch & a half at fifty yards, not 1/2" or less. If someone can prove otherwise, I'd like to see it. Brad
I suppose that it is possible, but they would be throwing away a hell of a lot of barrels.

I have to go with Brad on this one....:t
 

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41 New vs used

I don't know the answer but I just purchased a used 41 (1982) with a 7" (w/rail) and a 5 1/2" heavy barrel with box and all paperwork and paid $850. the gun is excellent and I thought the price was ok
 
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