Most Common Problems of Smith and Wesson Model 41 and Their Solutions

The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is one of the best rimfire handguns on the market. Though the Model 41 gun has some issues, it is also a popular choice among national-level athletes for target shooting because of its high accuracy.

The most common issues with the Smith & Wesson Model 41 are the failure to fire, the failure to extract, the failure to eject, the slide issue, the locked gun issue, the magazine issue, and the dryfiring issue.

The solutions to the issues presented will be discussed in this article. A thorough reading of the entire article will provide a clear understanding of Smith & Wesson Model 41 problems and their solutions.

Features & Specifications of Smith and Wesson Model 41:

  • Grip                                : Wood Target and Custom Wood Target
  • Product weight              : 42.6, 44.8 and 46.4 ounces
  • Safety                             : Thumb Safety
  • Product length               : 10.5 and 12 inches
  • Magazine capacity         : 10+1
  • Barrel length                  : 5.5 and 7inches               
  • Barrel Material               : Carbon Steel
  • Slide Material                 : Carbon Steel
Common Smith and Wesson Model 41 Problems and Solutions
Smith and Wesson Model 41

Common Smith and Wesson Model 41 Problems and Solutions

Quick Overview of the Problems and Solutions

Failure to FireTroubleshoot. Change the ammo.
Slide Lock ProblemCall Smith & Wesson.
Locked GunTroubleshoot.
Failure to ExtractTroubleshoot. Call Smith & Wesson.
Failure to EjectChange the ammo. Troubleshoot.
Magazine ProblemCall Smith & Wesson.

1. Failure to Fire:

The Smith & Wesson Model 41 gun has a misfiring problem. This is a problem that many people are having with this particular gun.

This problem might be caused by the use of improper ammunition or a malfunction of the gun itself. Also, the gun’s firing pin may be damaged.

Additionally, it may occur due to a dirty gun and the lack of sufficient lubrication in the gun.

The Fix:

To resolve the problem, thoroughly clean the gun. In addition, the gun must be lubricated every few days.

Switch out your ammunition. People have specifically complained about this problem when using the CCI, Federal, and Remington Golden Bullet.

Winchester ammunition is the best option for preventing the Model 41 gun’s failure to fire.

2. Slide Lock Problem:

The Model 41 gun has an issue with its slide. Many times, the slide gets stacked while firing. This do not allow the slide to move forward and chamber the next round.

By removing the barrel assembly, any tension or binding is eliminated, allowing the slide to advance.

The Fix: 

In this case, calling Smith & Wesson may be the only option to troubleshoot the issue.

3. Locked Gun:

Many users have encountered trigger problems with these Model 41 guns by Smith & Wesson.

If the hammer falls after firing an empty chamber, re-cock the pistol by pulling the slide back is extremely difficult.

The possible reason may be that dirt may accumulate rapidly under a .22 extractor. If there is dirt underneath that, the gun might get locked.

The Fix:

To fix the problem, unload the gun and then pull the trigger. Keep your finger off the trigger while you cycle the slide with your free hand. If cycling is simple, check the disconnector.

4. Failure to Extract:

Some users have complained about the failure to extract of their Model 41 guns.

The cartridge doesn’t always leave the chamber after being fired. Most of the time, this is caused by a worn extractor, which is the small arm that grabs the case, or a worn case on the cartridge itself.

The Fix:

To solve the issue, examine the extractor carefully. If dirt has developed underneath the extractor, it must be thoroughly cleaned.

It is also recommended that you contact Smith & Wesson directly if your extractor is broken.

5. Failure to Eject:

Users have reported that their Model 41 guns sometimes begin to stovepipe rather than feed into the chamber of the barrel.

The possible reason for this problem is the use of improper ammunition. Lack of routine maintenance and proper lubrication could also be contributing factors.

The Fix:

To fix the problem, stop using ammo that is incompatible with your Model 41 handgun.

Also, you should switch up your ammunition. Many people have had this problem with Remington Golden Bullets, CCI Clean Bullets, and Federal Bullets, so you should better avoid them.

Additionally, you must ensure that your firearm is lubricated before firing.

6. Magazine Problem:

Since 1957, Smith & Wesson has manufactured Model 41 firearms. Therefore, many people have been using it for a very long time.

People who own the most up-to-date Model 41 firearm but have to use the older Model 41 magazine have experienced problems with their magazines.

When the slide is open, it is impossible to fully insert older magazines into the gun. To fully insert these magazines, the slide must be closed before inserting the magazine. It makes no difference whether the rounds are loaded or not.

The Fix:

Call Smith & Wesson directly to fix the problem. They will troubleshoot the problem.

User Feedback on Smith and Wesson Model 41

The Model 41 was introduced as what Smith & Wesson claimed to be the perfect rimfire target pistol. Users have different thoughts regarding this model.

A user stated that his Smith 41 is the most attractive and accurate. The only .22 handgun he ever possessed. It feels excellent in his hand, and shooting is quite gentle.

Another user addressed the disadvantages of the S&W 421, stating that it is pricey and out of production, difficult to silence, mags can be expensive, and it is ammo-sensitive.

One user stated that he loves all aspects of the 41 S&W and there are none that he dislikes.

I believe that, the Model 41 is incredibly simple, yet exceptionally well-made, and is a fantastic choice due to its features such as easy-to-change barrels. The vast majority of consumers are satisfied with this product because it is accurate and simple to use. However, they have also complained about its price.

Top 3 Alternative Guns of Smith and Wesson Model 41

Volquartsen Black Mamba

In many respects, the Volquartsen Black Mamba and the Smith & Wesson Model 41 are remarkably similar. Also, the quality control of Volquartsen seems to be better than that of S&W. They offer more readily available options such as compensators, bolts, fire control groups, sights, etc.

Ruger MK IV Target

If you plan on shooting common, low-cost ammo, then the Ruger is an excellent pick. It has a non-slip hold thanks to removable grip panels and an ergonomically angled grip for a firm grasp. When compared to the S&W 41, the Ruger is a much more affordable and viable option.

Colt Woodsman

The Colt Woodsman is a semi-automatic sporting firearm .22 Long Rifle. The grip angles are the defining characteristics. The Colt is more accurate than the S&W 41 and is an excellent substitute for the S&W 41.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When did Smith & Wesson introduce the Model 41 to the market?

In 1957, Smith & Wesson introduced the Model 41 to the market.

Can we use both 5.5-inch and 7-inch barrels in a single Smith & Wesson Model 41 frame?

Yes, you can use both 5.5-inch and 7-inch barrels due to the switch barrel design features.

What is the Smith & Wesson Model 41 Performance Center variant?

The Smith & Wesson Model 41 Performance Center variant is a limited-edition, specially customized firearm for skilled shooters.

How many rounds does the magazine of a Smith & Wesson Model 41 hold?

A Smith & Wesson Model 41 holds 10 rounds in a magazine.

What type of ammunition does the Smith & Wesson Model 41 use?

The Smith & Wesson Model 41 uses rimfire ammunition.


This article will assist you in identifying the causes of Smith & Wesson Model 41 problems. Additionally, you will be able to resolve the issue with the Model 41 gun.

In conclusion, the Model 41 is simple yet well-made and has easily-replaceable barrels. This device is accurate and simple to operate, therefore the majority of consumers are satisfied with the Model 41.  

    1. I purchased my 41 July 2021,
      When in use the safety would move into safe mode, sometimes when firing the recommended .22 CCI cartridge the slide would sometimes not finish the cycle.
      I experienced lock-ups, yesterday after a perfectly clean and lubricated job on the 41, and having for the first time decided to replace the 5.5 barrel for a new $800, 7-inch barrel my beautiful model 41 is well and truly locked up. I’m really disappointed with the 41, maybe after a thousand rounds maybe I will have a beautiful use on the range.

      1. I purchased a sw 41 pc new and have 400 rounds down the barrell, I am getting misfires failure to extract and stove pipes, I am so disappointed after paying 2700 euros I use the recommended cci target .22 bullets
        Regards John

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