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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have a spring replacement schedule for the model 41? I've started seeing the occasional misfire (1 in 100, but it fires if turned and rechambered) with CCI Standard Velocity which, up until now, has been 100% reliable. The gun has 2000 or so rounds through it with no changes.
Maybe a detail strip and clean is also in order?
 

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There's no way the springs could be a problem at 2,000 rounds. I'd recommend giving the gun a thorough cleaning.

Here's a trick I've discovered: let the magazines and rear end of the slide soak in a jar of cleaning solution overnight before you clean the gun. I use Hoppe's No. 9, but have no doubt any good cleaning agent would work as well. I cover the top of the jar with a sheet of plastic wrap and a rubber band. Six or eight ounces of cleaning stuff lasts about a year. It looks filthy, but still does the job.

Once a year or so, I field-strip every pistol, let it soak overnight in a sealed plastic container of mineral spirits, then scrub it thoroughly with bronze- and Nylon-bristled brushes, dry it off with paper towels, and clean it as usual with Hoppe's No. 9, then oil it liberally and wipe off the excess.
 

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My 41 had about 10,000 rounds through it when I replaced the recoil spring with a new one from Wolff. I didn't have a problem with it, just changed the spring because I ordered new springs for several guns including the 41.
I never changed the hammer spring.

I find deposits on the breech face of the barrel and receiver after several hundred rounds. I use a bronze "tooth brush" type brush to clean those areas.
I also fashioned a scraper from a peice of 12 gauge electrical wire and use that where the cartridge head fits in the slide, under the extractor and where the feed ramp meets the barrel breech. The barrel breech face also gets a build up that can resist a brushing.

Any deposits that keep the slide from full contact with the barrel breech can result in misfires.

If you're cleaning the bore with a brush you're getting the deposits that can keep the cartridge from chambering fully which can be a cause for the problem you described.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You guys are correct. Where the cartridge head fits in the slide and especially under the extractor in that area, was a bunch of gunk. It definately would've held the cartridge away from the firing pin. I gently used a dental pick to loosen the gunk and a nylon brush with Hoppes #9 to get it cleaned up. Same with all faces of the parts in that area although the remainder of the build-ups were no where near as significant.
Thanks for the pointers -- cleaning is definately easier than replacing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I now keep a baggie of toothpicks in the gun box. Thanks!

It's been 2+ months since my original posting. About six weeks after that, my 41 lost its extractor hook for the second time in less than a year. Since my earlier posting was about misfires, it doesn't seem likely that the two are related but, nonetheless, I thought I'd mention it here as an update.

I shipped the gun back to S&W a couple of days ago (using the UPS shipping label they sent me by snail mail that took eight days to get to my little backwater of a town called Phoenix AZ) and will now wait to see what they decide it needs. [I'm the original owner so their "forever" warranty should apply. That was a selling point strongly in their favor.]

--
Ed Skinner, [email protected], http://www.flat5.net/ (shooting notes)
and http://conventionalpistol.blogspot.com/ (shooting blog)
 

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Ed,
Sorry to hear your gun needed repairs. As for spring replacement; I change my recoil spring every 5K rounds. At .90 cents each, they aren't a big ticket item. FWIW, I change the recoil spring more as a precautionary measure. Something akin to changing the oil in my car on a regular basis.
I wish I could go 5K between cleanings but alas no. I have to clean the chamber and face every 3-400 rounds or the gun starts to act up. Must be the Aguila SV. :)
-Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Steve, I think that's good preventative maintenance.

I'm pretty new at this and still learning what can go wrong and, in some cases, how to prevent it or at least recognize what's wrong when it happens. My 1911, for example, has started throwing brass almost straight up instead of out to the right. After bending my brass catcher over slightly to try and catch it, I realized it had been quite a while since I put in the current recoil spring. Checking my log I found that the current spring has been in there somewhat over 1000 rounds and, from others, I had heard they replace it (this is the 1911 now, not the 41) every 1000 rounds. Bingo!

Back on the 41, I'll be curious to see what S&W does outside of the extractor hook. I'm hopeful they will give it a good hard look and maybe find some other things to perfect or replace, recoil spring included. That'll be good information, too.

Undoubtedly I'll post what I hear from S&W on my blog (http://conventionalpistol.blogspot.com). I frequent this forum a lot -- lots of good information and help here -- so I'll probably post something here, too, for anyone interested.

I'm taking my wife to the airport this morning and will be too late to compete in the "Arizona State Championship" Bullseye competition that is going on today. (Taking my gunbox in the trunk to the airport doesn't sound like a good idea, either.) But I will be going to the range to see who is there and to watch.
 
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