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View Full Version : Which S&W 41 model is more accurate?


Reboot
01-05-2011, 11:17 PM
Is the Smith & Wesson Model 41 with the 7" barrel more accurate than the model with the 5" barrel? I understand that with the additional 2" you'll get better velocity and you have a longer sight radius but with the additional weight in the 5" barrel (opposed to the longer but much more slender 7" barrel) would that make it due to soaking up recoil better?

I could be totally wrong but I'm not 100% sure that the 5" barrel is heavier but it just looks much heavier with the weighted barrel. I love mine and it works great whenever I shoot it but I've always wondered if I should have gotten the longer barrel.

bjl333
01-05-2011, 11:32 PM
My pops has both barrels and I can't say if one is more accurate then the other. Maybe I'll have to do a comparison one day. I love the 41 !!!

Reboot
01-05-2011, 11:44 PM
I agree and I love my 41. If you ever do get around to doing that comparison please let me know your results. If the 7" turns out to be more accurate then I'd probably have to consider buying the conversion barrel. At least they make it easy to swap.

dodge
01-06-2011, 11:05 AM
i own & chose a seven inch due to being more accurate over longer distances. typically longer barrel length always wins, unless dealing with center fire rifles. extra powder makes up for lack of barrel length. with 22lr ammo. it's better to be long & don't feel it's barrel heavy at all; especially with fully loaded magazine. for the money, it's nearly impossible to compete with a well taken care of s&w model 41, but can't even comment on 5" as i haven't considered or fired that model. have had a chance every now & then, but i like mine, so why bother.......every owner seems to really love their 41

it's difficult to get my wife to give it up if it's out though. no pun intended, ha.....
seriously, it's her very favorite pistol, she's 126ish @ 5' 7", when healthy & loves the model 41 with seven inch barrel. calls it her 'james bond' gun :D

regardless, of what you get, ie. barrel length, you'll have to be a better shooter to get similar results compared to longer barrel. so, might actually be better for your training to 'have' to be more accurate. what's the intended purpose; target? i'd go with the seven

hope this helps

Tank 57
01-06-2011, 2:55 PM
Also love my 41.Got the 7 inch barrel for longer sight radius.Is only 1 Oz. heavier than 5.5 inch.I think it would be hard to find much difference in accuracy.More a matter of personal preference.Hands down,one of my all time favorite guns.Everyone who tries it,loves it.

GM4spd
01-06-2011, 3:16 PM
The only difference in accuracy is how well you see the sights---they
should be the same,outstanding! Pete

cudakidd
01-06-2011, 8:43 PM
why just one barrel length? Barrels can be swapped in less then a minute. I have three extra barrels plus the two on my toys!!!

http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4301.jpg

RandyD
01-07-2011, 6:11 PM
I have owned my Model 41 since 1982 and it is my favorite pistol. As I understand it, the Model 41 was produced for Bullseye Pistol Competition and the two barrels (7 inch and 5.5 inch) were designed for different courses of fire. The 7 inch barrel, which has a longer sight radius, was designed for more accurate fire at the 50 yard slow fire stage. The 5.5 inch barrel, which has a heavier muzzle, was designed for a quicker recovery at the 25 yard timed and rapid fire stages. A barrel on a Model 41 can be changed in seconds. With the use of red dot sights, the advantage of having a longer sight radius is no longer necessary.

tkrrox
01-09-2011, 9:31 PM
not trying to thread crap, but i haven't seen many with a barrel like on mine...anyone know anything about a compensated barrel?

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r162/tkrrox/004-2.jpg

AleksT
01-10-2011, 7:39 AM
I have owned my Model 41 since 1982 and it is my favorite pistol. As I understand it, the Model 41 was produced for Bullseye Pistol Competition and the two barrels (7 inch and 5.5 inch) were designed for different courses of fire. The 7 inch barrel, which has a longer sight radius, was designed for more accurate fire at the 50 yard slow fire stage. The 5.5 inch barrel, which has a heavier muzzle, was designed for a quicker recovery at the 25 yard timed and rapid fire stages. A barrel on a Model 41 can be changed in seconds. With the use of red dot sights, the advantage of having a longer sight radius is no longer necessary.

Thanks for your responses everyone. While I really love my 41 (in 5.5" barrel) when I bought it they didn't have (nor was I aware of at the time) the 7" barreled model. I don't shoot it that often but when I do it's usually for bullseye/target shooting so. The above explanation helps reinforce what I already suspected about the barrels so that's a good thing.

Now I think I'll have to save up my pennies and get a 7" barrel - you know just because we *can* swap them out so easily. I really should shoot this thing MUCH more often then I do now (seldom).

tkrrox - I've never seen that type of barrel on a Smith 41 before. Does it really do much? Being a .22lr I'd figure a compensator really isn't necessary.

I think I'll dust off the Smith and take her out for a range visit this Saturday.

AleksT
01-10-2011, 7:42 AM
why just one barrel length? Barrels can be swapped in less then a minute. I have three extra barrels plus the two on my toys!!!

http://i384.photobucket.com/albums/oo284/cudakidd/CIMG4301.jpg

cudakidd - I like that you have 5 barrels for 2 gun. Now there's some options! With the current generation (and I'm sure others coming) of mini-red dot sights are you considering swapping out yours on top? It does look pretty cool with that larger optic on top but one of those minis just seem to be a more effective way to go in the long run.

The one thing I hate about buying optics (like red dots) is that in a few years technology has moved on and now I have an outdated device that I want to replace and update. I'm trying to just love the iron sights since they almost never go out of style. lol.

tkrrox
01-10-2011, 3:56 PM
Thanks for your responses everyone. While I really love my 41 (in 5.5" barrel) when I bought it they didn't have (nor was I aware of at the time) the 7" barreled model. I don't shoot it that often but when I do it's usually for bullseye/target shooting so. The above explanation helps reinforce what I already suspected about the barrels so that's a good thing.

Now I think I'll have to save up my pennies and get a 7" barrel - you know just because we *can* swap them out so easily. I really should shoot this thing MUCH more often then I do now (seldom).

tkrrox - I've never seen that type of barrel on a Smith 41 before. Does it really do much? Being a .22lr I'd figure a compensator really isn't necessary.

I think I'll dust off the Smith and take her out for a range visit this Saturday.

no idea i've never shot one without...it was given to me by my father...

beerman
01-10-2011, 5:01 PM
I own one of each barrel style (as stated in a previous M41 post) I've only had them both a few months.I picked them both up here in the private sales section. My thought was to shoot them both and sell off the one I like least.They both shoot amazing. I tend to like the long barrel a little more.But these are both such guns I'm keeping both.I think its a matter of preferance.

wu_dot_com
01-11-2011, 8:16 AM
Is the Smith & Wesson Model 41 with the 7" barrel more accurate than the model with the 5" barrel? I understand that with the additional 2" you'll get better velocity and you have a longer sight radius but with the additional weight in the 5" barrel (opposed to the longer but much more slender 7" barrel) would that make it due to soaking up recoil better?

I could be totally wrong but I'm not 100% sure that the 5" barrel is heavier but it just looks much heavier with the weighted barrel. I love mine and it works great whenever I shoot it but I've always wondered if I should have gotten the longer barrel.

the 5" and 7" are the same weight, there are no weight difference. the CG of 7" is more forward than the 5".

the 2" difference will not make a practical impact to your shooting. you can only tell the added accuracy benefit of the 7" barrel when shooting from rest to a target over 50 yards.

however, people generally shoot more accurately with the 7" barrel using iron sight because it have longer sight radius. if you are using optics like red dot, shooting targets under 50 yds, there will not be an accuracy difference.

the 7" barrel tend to be a bit front heavy, while the 5" is more balance natural. so depends on how well your hands conform to the stock grip, some people may shoot better with one over another. on the other hand, if you buy aftermarket grips from nills or rinks that fits your hand, the front heavy bias will be eliminated.

last, each barrel have its own factory tested accuracy. the little number stamped under the barrel is factory tested groups w/ rest, w/ CCI SV, @ 100 yds. mine have a 6 on it, which means it have a 6" spread at 100 yds. if i remember correctly, anything over 10 will be scrap, and there are some that have 1-3s. anything higher than a 5 does not necessary mean that the barrel is bad, but rather the barrel doesn't do particularly well with that batch of CCI SV.

rdubya
01-12-2011, 1:56 PM
Using Federal Target Grade ammo ($14.87 for 325 @ Wally World) I can hit golf balls at 75 yards pretty much all day long with the 7" barrel. On target at 50' 10 round group with 7" will be under a dime, 5" just over a dime. 7" seems just a tad bit more accurate for me, I really haven't tried any other type ammo because the Federal functions in all of my other .22's except for the Kimber conversion (CCI MiniMags only). 5" has a #6, 7" has a #5.
YMMV.

wu_dot_com
01-12-2011, 2:07 PM
according to the internet wisdom, there seems to be a general consensus that wolf match grade .22 is one of the most accurate ammo to be used with a M41. never tried it myself since i can never find any wolf match .22.

does anyone have similar experience?

BigRich
01-12-2011, 9:54 PM
Back in the old days the common wisdom was that the model 41 barrel compensators were not all that good. They reduced accuracy due to muzzle turbulence and lead build up. It would interesting to see if this is/still true. This was also the reported case with High Standard comps. They sure look racy. They are also a valuable accessory for collectors.

railroader
01-13-2011, 5:20 AM
not trying to thread crap, but i haven't seen many with a barrel like on mine...anyone know anything about a compensated barrel?

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r162/tkrrox/004-2.jpg
I have the same pistol. There was a false muzzle made for that model. It fit's on the end of the barrel instead of the comp. I use false muzzle instead of the comp on mine because the comp gets leaded up. Here's a pic of a false muzzle from gunbroker. Mark

http://pics.gunbroker.com/GB/194586000/194586201/pix336145464.jpg

tkrrox
01-13-2011, 5:44 AM
I have the same pistol. There was a false muzzle made for that model. It fit's on the end of the barrel instead of the comp. I use false muzzle instead of the comp on mine because the comp gets leaded up. Here's a pic of a false muzzle from gunbroker. Mark

http://pics.gunbroker.com/GB/194586000/194586201/pix336145464.jpg

i noticed the same thing...i does build up with debris...i will look for that...did you notice any affect in accuracy either way?