S&W 41: What it likes to eat

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by waizen, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. waizen

    waizen Member

    I've noticed that my Smith & Wesson Model 41 is somewhat picky as to the ammo it likes. I tried some Federal ammo (I forgot which one exactly but I know it was lead) that I got on sale at WalMart. That crap missfired most every round...no exageration.

    Then, I tried CCI Minimag, copper plated, and it was fine.

    I tried that same earlier crap in my Remington 597 plinker rifle and it worked great.

    Okay, so my S&W 41 is a bit more precision-built than the 597, with closer tolerances; I can understand that.

    My question is, do any of you S&W 41 owners out there have a favorite round for your '41? What have you found that works the best for that gun for you? I'm sure different rounds have a profound difference in that gun, as opposed to many other 22 cal longrifle guns. I'm especially interested in accuracy, since I do target shooting with my '41.


  2. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas

  3. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    in good hands, your 41 will outshoot the rifle, with any ammo, almost, and at any range!
    Try Eley pistol Match, or Federal 900-B, or anything else with a 1030 FPS, or, hopefully, a bit less MV.
    I'll bet you get excited!
  4. Tom

    Tom Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    I have 2 barrels for my M41, a 5 1/2" HB and a 5" light one that I greatly prefer. Both barrels are very accurate and reliable with anything I try. I like the inexpensive Federal Match stuff. Some of the match/standard speed stuff is too light to function the heavy slide of the 41. That stuff functions in my Ruger MK II Competition, though.
  5. Mark

    Mark New Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    You do need to run premium ammo in your 41. I don't know how to explain this other than to describe "promotional" ammo.
    CCI Blazer, Winchester Wildcat, Remington Thunderbolt, etc., etc., are examples of promotional ammo. The issues with this type of ammo are among other things, the thinness of the casing. Rounds get kind of a rough ride in a semi auto, and coupled with the match tolerances of your 41, just don't feed reliably. It seems a shame you have to pay a premium for the part of the cartridge that gets swept up, but in a 41, you do.

    Once you find a premium cartridge you 41 likes, expect to be amazed. By premium, I don't mean the .22's that sell for 25 cents a shot, but good quality ammo. Don't get frustrated here, just remember the fun is finding out.
  6. 45Smashemflat

    45Smashemflat Active Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Food for thought - try the Wolf match ammo as well. I don't have a 41, but my other 22's really like it. (Kimber, Ruger, Marlin, etc)
  7. waizen

    waizen Member

    Thank you to everyone who responded. All great insights.

    You're right, Mark. Much of the fun is in the finding out and that is where I am at with this sport--trying to find out how to get the most out of my shooting. I know, practice, practice, practice is the most important element. But, besides that, fine-tuning your tools is part of it, too.

    I want to keep my '41 as stock as possible and besides keeping it in great shape, the only thing I can think of to improve on it is the choice of ammo. Never mind my originally mentioned issue with jamming, the thought occured to me about the ultimage round for this particular brand and model of gun.

    So, out of all the good quality rounds out there, is there one in particular that stands out as being a favorite of the '41? No doubt I'm nit-picking here, but I was just wondering.

    You know, Tom, you just said something interesting here: the issue of a light-weight casing. I didn't even think of that. Of course, it could have been the fact that the original crap that was giving me the trouble was lead. Since I switched to copper, no more jams. But, maybe a combination of factors.

    Anyway, I've jotted down all your suggestions of ammo and will be getting a sampling of each of them for testing.

    Anyway, thanks to all who responded
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  8. Tom

    Tom Member

    Nov 18, 2004
    I wasn't referring to the casing, but the power of the load itself. Some ammo is loaded for revolvers and bolt guns. If the impulse generated by the recoil is light in a fixed breach gun, no big deal. But stuff like the Russian target ammo, and some RWS standard speed hollow points, that are beautifully accurate in my CZ-452 bolt gun, won't cycle the M41. Ammo loaded for semi-auto target guns is loaded a little hotter to ensure proper function.

    I weighed the reciprocating mass of a S&W 41 and Ruger MK II. The Ruger bolt was 1.5 oz. lighter. That means that it will function with lower impulse ammo than will the M41. Some ammo I tried wouldn't cycle the 41 but worked (barely) in the MK II.

    Most of the plated bullet ammo I see is high speed stuff. That is loaded to a significantly higher impulse than standard speed stuff. It should cycle your 41 with minimal problem.

    If it keeps giving problems cycling, call the factory. It may need to go back for a little work. When I got mine, it gave me problems. I didn't send it back; I just smoothed things at the interfaces. It now works fine with anything with a little impulse. I could play with the recoil spring, but then it would beat itself excessively with high speed stuff.
  9. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    You're looking for 290-310 MPS ammo; if the 41 won't run on this, the gun's broke; lubricate it, or fix it!
    Tom, as an aside, WTF would you run high speed ammo, in a target pistol?
    It's neither accurate, nor prudent, and will darned sure beat the gun up, as you stated!
    Copper, vs lead, same answer; if you are having problems with unplated bullets, that plating 'resolves', fix the gun!
    I shoot a couple of Win 52's, a couple of Hi-Standards, and a Stevens 44 1/2, all of which see no more than an occasional 'dry patch', through a season; all deliver results beyond my ability.
    If the plated vs unplated thing is truly a firearm, rather than shooter,issue, you need a barrel, not a change in ammo!
  10. Gunny45

    Gunny45 New Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Upstate, NY
    I tried many, many different types of ammo when I got my 41 and found that it really likes the Federal Gold Match, but I feel GM is expensive for .22 ammo.
    I shoot a .22 for two reasons: it is cheap and it is fun.
    So I set out to find an ammo that had the same formula as the Gold Match. I found that Federal Target, 40 gr solid bullet is almost exactly the same. This is the Federal part 714 target ammo (it will say 714 on the lower right hand corner of the box flap). There is one other Federal target formula that I know of but it doesn't work like the 714 does. And the 714 is less expensive than the Gold Match. I get mine from Ammoman.com where UPS shipping is free. Good luck.
  11. vietnam1947

    vietnam1947 New Member

    May 18, 2008
    I am glade I found this site, I just bought a S & W 41 and a box of Remington 22 Golden Bullet LR 36gr vol 1280fps, it had a lot of fail to Eject, and misfires, or stove pipes. I then gave up and bought some WWinchester Western 22LR 36gr HP Vol 1220fps, oh ya I got Misfires, Stove pipes, and Failure to eject. I will now go and get some of the suggested above and some others to test, I will clean pistol between each test so to have a true value of the ammo. I know that each pistol likes its own brand to shoot well and fire better groups. Thanks for the fourm, Fred
    Last edited: May 18, 2008
  12. vietnam1947

    vietnam1947 New Member

    May 18, 2008
    I called S & W this morning and talk to the range master and he told me they only use CCI Mini Mag and Federal Champion on the range, he told me that the cheap ammo just does not cycle the S & W mdl 41 and they do have alot of duds, SO I WENT TO THE RANGE WITH CCI PISTOL MATCH L,RN, AND SHOOT A 7/8 INCH GROUN 5 RDS 5 TIMES AT TARGET. I am happy with that load, also tried CCI Stinger 1640 fps and they only held a 1 3/8 group shooting 5 rds 5 targets, ok but will try to find some Federal champion ammo. Folks thanks for all the info you put out will try do do the damy, Fred PS: I am shooting 25 yards with Bushnell Throphy Red/Green Dot
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  13. 300 H&H

    300 H&H Active Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    41 Smith's will shoot the ammo as good as it can be shot.;):D Cann't think of a better rig to sort out ammo with. I have the 5 1/2" Heavy and a 7 1/2". The long tube wears a Gillmore red dot, the shorter one the stock open sights. In the 25 years I have been shooting it, has never set me down. If I had to sell all but one of my hand guns it's the one I would keep. Mine really likes Eley pistol match, but only rarely doees it get it! Wolf match target rifle ammo works well too and is somewhat cheaper. Had some trouble with the 7 1/2 as it was able to touch the top strap under the rear sight against the top of the bolt. Caused it to stovepipe untill I discovered the problem. Great handguns! Best reguards Kirk
  14. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Kirk, if I need to test ammo, the High Standards,or the Smith, are the rule; if it won't shoot there, it just won't shoot!
    Funny, my old bitch, Brandy, gets the same respect; she is as sweet as honey, to me, but sometimes simply cannot get along with a 'newbie'; wanna guess how this story ends?
  15. bobkk

    bobkk Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    E Tn.
    My A prefix Sn. Shoots CCI standard velocity good. Wolf match target won't extract from it. PMC st. vel shoot good but can't find it. Midsouth has CCI st. vel for about six dollars for a 100 box. Win Dyna Points are good for cheaper ammo.
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