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S&W 41 experts - I finally found the PERFECT model - questions

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by bac1023, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. bac1023

    bac1023

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    As some of you know, I've been putting it off for a long while, but I finally found the perfect Smith & Wesson model 41. I have struggled for years with the idea of spending that much on a rimfire, but it looks like I'm finally going to do it next month. I just can't pass this one up.

    Its a 5" (or 5.5"?) heavy barrel model from the mid 1960's, I believe. I'm sure some Smith fans get tired of me saying this, but its absolutely mint in the box with all the papers, cleaning rod, etc. Its even got the wax paper. I'm not sure it was ever even fired. I've seen many nice 41's over the years, but this is the first one this old in this condition. Its beautiful to say the least. The bluing is flawless and there is not a mark on the gun. The target grips are notorious for getting banged up around the edges, but these look to be 98% or better. Its really the best vintage 41 I've ever seen, no lie. Its got everything I want. I wanted a heavy barrel model for sure (this pistol has some heft). They gave me a snap cap to use and the trigger is just amazing. The sights are great and the 5"-5.5" barrel has the perfect balanced look and feel to it.

    This has got to be one of my best finds ever. Yes, I've had many other great finds (especially when it comes to Smith & Wessons), but this is truly exceptional. If somebody would have asked me what my dream model 41 would have been in the parking lot of the shop before I walked in, I would have described this EXACT pistol. That's pretty amazing.

    I can't wait to get my hands on it in the very near future. The 41 is one of the best pistols Smith ever built and also one of the best rimfire pistols ever built by anybody, as far as I'm concerned. :supergrin:

    As for my personal thoughts on S&W autos, the 952 will always be my favorite. However, the 52 and 41 have got to be the highest quality target autos to ever be produced by the company. That big void in my collection left by the 41 is about to be filled. :cool:

    Now that I'm done rambling, I do have two questions...

    1. What is the exact length of the barrel? Was it 5" or 5.5"? I didn't have a ruler handy to check while I was there.

    2. What is the year of manufacture? Its a straight serial number (46xxx). I know the heavy barrel started in 1963 and I know the "A" serial number prefix started in 1970, so it must be between those years.

    Any help is greatly appreciated. :wavey:

    Thanks!
     
  2. pennlineman

    pennlineman

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    The BBL would be 5.5" They also made some with 7" and some early examples with a 7 3/8". I can't help you much with the date. The semiautomatics started with serial number 1001 in 1954 and continued up to serial number 115001 in 1970. When, as you mentioned, the A prefix began.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013

  3. G26S239

    G26S239 NRA Patron

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    Congrats bac. I look forward to the pics.
     
  4. 4 glocks

    4 glocks

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    Nice find.

    I have one from the 1970's. It's one fine gun, and a tack driver as well.

    "The 41 is one of the best pistols Smith ever built and also one of the best rimfire pistols ever built by anybody"
    I would have to agree with you on that.
     
  5. B_RAD

    B_RAD

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  6. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

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    bac,

    First of all. . . CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!
    You have picked a marvelous pistol!!! Can't wait to see the pics!!

    I know NOTHING about the serial numbers.
    The barrel lengths were 5-1/2" bull barrel and 7" for the 'thin' barrel.
    I don't ever recall a 7-3/8" barrel. I just don't remember! :dunno:


    The ONLY thing that I don't like about the mdl 41, is that (bleep-ety, bleep-ety, bleep-ety) magazine safety!!!!! :steamed:


    Again, congrats on the find!!!!!!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  7. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Yes I am

    It's not like it's confirmed to be unfired, so I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. :)
     
  8. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Thanks :)

    I look forward to picking it up...
     
  9. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    Sounds like a really wonderful acquisition. As you said the heavyweight 5-1/2" barrel was introduced in 1963 and in 1965 the 5-1/2" with the extendable front sight was introduced. Supica's wonderful book does not seem to suggest whether that was an addition or a change, so I can't quite figure out if both were available at the same time or not; not much help in dating the pistol then.
     
  10. JohnnyE

    JohnnyE

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    You have got one fine pistol! I have had the pleasure of owning and shooting an Model 41 for over 30 years. It never gets tiring. Other than having some oil dry in the firing pin channel causing light strikes (that took 30 years to develop), it has been flawless! I think I'm gonna take mine to the range this weekend.
     
  11. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Very cool :cool:
     
  12. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Thanks Bruce

    Yeah, I always have a hell of a time trying to date Smith & Wessons. They made so many variations of some of their models.
     
  13. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    That's a beautiful pistol. Congratulations.
     
  14. ratf51

    ratf51

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    I think I may have posted this before: Will this madness never end!? :faint: :supergrin:

    (Oh, BTW, congrats! Great find!)
     
  15. ratf51

    ratf51

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    Yeah, in high school there was girl whose last name was Wesson, I never got the opportunity to date her; though after graduation I did go out with a girl whose last name was Smith. It is difficult to find that name combination in unattached females. :rofl: :supergrin:
     
  16. CajunBass

    CajunBass Silver Member

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    Congratulations. Enjoy it. :supergrin:
     
  17. bac1023

    bac1023

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    :rofl:
     
  18. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I found these serial numbers after a Google search.

    It doesn't help much, but judging from the range of numbers in the 1960's, mine is probably pretty close to 1963 when the heavy barrel was introduced. Its certainly not from the later 60's.

    I'm not sure why the 1960's numbers are so vague. :dunno:

     
  19. Tony Rumore

    Tony Rumore

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    I had a mint 70's vintage one with a 5.5" barrel and I was quite disappointed with the accuracy. I tried about 50 different kinds of ammo including all the high dollar stuff, and nothing impressed me. My Baby Automag outshot the thing day in and day out, and by a significant margin.

    Tony

    P.S. A Baby Automag is not an Auto Mag II.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  20. bac1023

    bac1023

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    That's interesting Tony.

    I'm quite familar with the Baby Auto Mag and always liked them. I should have bought one years ago when they were reasonable. There was one on GB a week or two ago. The seller was asking a few grand for it.