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Hello. On Sept. 9th, 1980, I traded a Colt Combat Commander at a now long-gone gunshop for a NIB S&W Model 41 w/7 3/8" bbl. I didn't care for the Colt and the gunshop owner couldn't sell the Model 41 so a trade was struck.

I shot the gun sporadically over the years and around 1982, I gave it to gunsmith, Lou Williamson, to prepare the frame, slide and guts to be hardchromed by Armalloy, Inc, out of Ft. Worth, TX.

To the best of my recollection, the gun's never malfunctioned or done anything other than what it is supposed to do: fire each shot and be capable of extreme mechanical accuracy.


I've not shot this pistol as much as I should have, but it has been of great service off and on throughout the years.

This is the one I go to when my shooting needs a little "tune up." When I somehow get a bad habit ingrained, this is what I work it out with and do so by shooting pure slow-fire bullesye with it. Though fun, for me it is also "work" in that I do not enjoy shooting .22 rimfire. With ammunition it likes, this one is scary accurate, which is a good thing except that it leaves me no excuses for this flyer or that or just a plain sloppy group.

A few years after I got it, I bought a 5 1/2" barrel for it, thinking that perhaps that would "make" me shoot it more. I was assured that it would snap right in place. Just lock the slide back, remove the original barrel, and replace it with this one. Well, (Insert Elmer Fudd laugh here), it did just that..........after quite a bit of careful stoning to the bottom of the barrel...and I still didn't use the gun as much as I should.

Still, I am fond of the old thing. It has served to bring me back in line with basic handgun marksmanship protocol on more than a few instances, but it is usually not a "fun" gun; it seems to have become my "teacher", a firm task master.

If memory serves, I've used it on critters a time or two, but certainly not much (if any) more than that. I recall shooting 29 bullfrogs through the ear thingy on the side of their heads one night for a big mess of fried frog legs the next day and on that outting or maybe another, I did away with a rather hideous water mocassin. The first shot killed him, but I gave him the rest of the magazine just because it felt good. It put nine squirrels in the pot one morning and I think that's about it.

Now days, it just goes to the range when I've not been doing as well as I should.

A CZ-Kadet and a Kimber (Ciener) .22 conversion have taken a bit of the (way too light) load off of the Model 41, but I still shoot it now and then.

I've read that some of the current Model 41's are causing some problems. I do not have a feel for how widespread this is or isn't, but if you run across one in decent shape at a decent price, I think you might find them worthwhile.

This is one that I have not nor have any intentions of removing the magazine disconnect.

Best.
 
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Mr. Camp-
I've long been a fan of quality self-loading rimfires, namely the Ruger MKI/MKII line (no experience with the MKIII yet.........) and the S&W 41.
I have a Ruger 22/45 myself, with a 5.5" Bull Barrel, I did a bit of trigger work on it, polished the bolt, and upgraded the sights to a setup a little easier to draw a fine bead with, rather than the blocky target sights it was originally equipped with.
Its used much the same way as your 41 is.

I started out buying it with the intent of mounting a red-dot sight on it, and using it as a plinker. After about 3 years of monotonous accuracy from a Red Dot sight and a B-square mount, I decided to go back to open sights. It has really put the challenge back into shooting it.
Here is a picture of it with another old friend, a Cold Steel Voyager.
 

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Hello, and thanks for your post. A very good friend of mine has the Ruger 22/45 and it shoots like the proverbial "house on fire." It wouldn't surprise me one wit if it doesn't group as tight as my old Model 41.

Best.
 

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I've recently been tempted by the MkIII Ruger Hunter. Seems like every gun shop I visit has one calling my name. The Siren Song is getting stronger. Feels good with nice balance. Priced around $400.00.

I would think this one would be a good Task Master as well.

Anyone shot one yet?

Mr. Camp, your 41 is beautiful!

Regards,

Steve
 
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sgphoto-
Do a little research before you purchase one.
I've never fired, let alone handled one yet, but when they were first introduced there were some problems with the Loaded Chamber Indicator causing accidental discharges. The last word I heard was that they (Ruger) were going to a two-piece LCI design to prevent the accidental discharges.

Check out www.markii.org for more info on this. I was/am a member over there, but I've become more interested in other platforms, mainly ARs and full-size centerfire pistols. Lots of good info there, and IIRC, a member there was the first to experience and duplicate a A/D due to the Loaded Chamber Indicator on the MKIII.

Mr. Camp-
I agree the Ruger MKIs and IIs are fine shooters. Mine can shoot better than I can make it, I'm sure. I like an accurate firearm that I can consistently make hits with as much as the next guy, but with a red-dot sight, it just becomes monotonous. Also, my children are getting to the age where they enjoy going for walks in the woods, and are developing an interest in all things outdoors, including shooting and hunting.

The one pictured was easily capable of shooting walnuts, crabapples and chestnuts out of trees, and has accounted for the untimely demise of more than a few nusaince groundhogs, rabbits and squirrels from the garden.
 

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Thanks for the info and Ruger 22 group forum. I'll check them out.

I have read of the A/D possibilities that you mentioned. In a few instances, the loaded chamber indicator has been banged, bumped, and slammed to try and replicate the a/d, and nothing happened. In other attempts it did.

I do think that loaded chamber indicators are often a mixed-bag attempt at safety and political correctness.

While I applaud efforts to make guns "safer", I was taught to always assume any gun was loaded until I checked it for myself. To rely on a "LCI" is an attempt to make the gun responsible for safety, not the shooter. Blaming the gun, not the person holding it, is akin to finding a car guilty of drunk driving.

Sir, what Ruger .22 would you recommend? I had a Ruger .22 Bull Barrel nearly thirty years ago, but an ex-wife wound up with it and I've not had a Ruger auto loader since then.

Thanks for your information. I appreciate your comments.

Regards,

Steve
 

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Hi Stephen,

Thank you for the excellent article and photo!

I wish that through my collecting years, I could have found an older M41, but alas, they were always priced out of my reach!

I've owned more than a few of the Ruger MKII's and now only own one 4" standard barrel MKll. On a good day, it is a "one holer".

Chris
 
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Boy! I am glad I am not alone in the world of .22 shooters! I have two single actions and I have just built a LW Lower end for my .22 Colt Conversion Kit which is ready to test fire. I normally do not testfire the guns I build, but these little guys are very different from the .45ACP's that I like to play with.
It is a discipline thing with me, too. It forces me to ignore the built in flinch from 50+ years of shooting .45 autos and re-build that hand and arm for more big boomer shooting.
I bought a Ruger .22 a few years ago for my grandson, who is now 9years old. It was a Bill Ruger Special and came in a nice red box. I do not own any Rugers due to political reasons, but I think they are great for teaching young men to shoot safely. I have had several and one of them had a red dot scope on it, I tuned it up and even checkered it! It was so boring I traded it for something at a gun shop. It was a very accurate gun and sometimes I wish I had kept it around. Oh well.............

Great write up, Steve!
 

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I've got a Model 41 with the 5.5 inch heavy barrel purchased new in 1980. Have a total of eight factory mags for it. I used to shoot informal bullseye with several friends of mine and the 41 was the pistol I used most often.

Buried in the safe is a cased Browning Medalist with all accessories including three mags. An elegant looking pistol with its European Walnut target grips and forend. But it just didn't fit my hand as well as the Model 41.

Another safe queen is a Colt 3rd Issue Woodsman six inch target model (not the slab sided Match Target). This is more of a high grade hunting or plinking pistol than a true target gun like the two others. But it will hold its own at 25 yards with Remington standard velocity target grade ammo.

I've many other .22 LR handguns. Walther PP, Walther P22, Colt .22 LR Conversion Unit mounted on a Colt 70 Series GM frame, S&W M422, Beretta M21A Bobcat.

Revolvers include Colt New Frontier Scout, Colt Diamondback, Ruger Single Six Convertible, S&W Model 17 K-22, and a perfect jewel of a S&W Model 34-1 .22/32 Kit Gun.

You can never have too many good quality .22 rimfire handguns IMHO.


Roadster
 
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This lower end was a second from Caspian Arms a while back. It looked like a third! It took a long time to clean it up and I did a little checkering on the front stap and trigger guard for fun. It is one of the ones that I had finished with Duracote as an experiment to se how this stuff looked and worked. Too soon to tell. It looks OK but does not feel very hard. We will see!
 

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When I shot .22 seriously, the armorer issued 41s and High-Standards. For me, at least, the HS was a better performer. Once I had to buy my own iron I settled on a Ruger because it was more affordable. It was a good general purpose pistol (altho not as good a target gun as either of the others). Naturally, I sold it. For a while I had a Colt Huntsman. That was pretty good, so, of course, I sold that, too. I also sold a neat package -- a Colt Super .38 with a spare 9mm barrel and a .22 conversion. I ended up with a Pachmayr upper unit for my HPs. I am not selling that. Why is it that the guns I buy cause me no trouble, while the ones I sold keep me up at night?
 
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Sir, what Ruger .22 would you recommend? I had a Ruger .22 Bull Barrel nearly thirty years ago, but an ex-wife wound up with it and I've not had a Ruger auto loader since then.

Thanks for your information. I appreciate your comments.

Regards,

Steve
Steve- I agree on all accounts regarding firearms safety. I was brought up to handle every gun as if it was loaded, regardless if it was or not. Even with the "advancements" of Loaded Chamber Indicators, "Safe Action" and Double Action Only pistols, the best safety remains firmly planted between your ears. Finger off the trigger and muzzle in a safe direction unless you are actually firing the gun.

I would say any of the Ruger 22 autoloaders would be a safe bet. My Dad has a MKII we (my brother, sister and I) bought him a few years ago for christmas to replace a MKI he had to sell when I was a child and the family fell upon hard times. Mine is a "KP512" 22/45 model.
Both handguns are 5.5" Bull Barrels. The only real differences are mine is stainless, his is blued, and the grip frames. I would have rather had a standard MKII "Luger-Style" grip, as I find that they point easier for me, but my brother was in a pinch and needed money, and I bought it on the agreement that if I ever wanted to sell it, he would be first on the list to buy it.

They all share the same action, and I cant tell a bit of difference in accuracy between the target-style Bull barrels, and a few friends' taper-barrel models when they are equipped with red-dot sights. I wouldn't be afraid of any accuracy problems from any MKI, II, or III, but I would try to handle as many different grip/barrel configurations as possible before I made a purchase.

Good Luck with deciding- they're all great in my book.
Travis.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hello. I appreciate all of the replies. I didn't realize we had quite so many rimfire shooters!

Capt. Eagle, that is a nice shooter you built there.

Best.
 
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