Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    Well it is still pretty cold here in Pittsburgh (22F and windy) but I wanted to try out a new S&W model 41 that I recently purchased so I took it and a Beretta model 89 that I own out to the range for some comparison.

    I natuarally atarted with the new S&W 41 pistol and ran about 250 rounds down range. Wow, what a disappointment! I had multiple failures of every description - stovepipes, failures to feed failure to fire, failure to eject, you name it. Accuracy was ok for standing handheld shooting at 25 yards on a cold windy day, with some shivering involved.

    OK I thought maybe it was the cold but I hoped not, so I got out my Beretta 89 and ran about the same number through it with one failure to fire and even reloading it twice would not get a detonation, so I don't think it was the pistol. That may also be the case with the failures of that type in the 41, but did not account for the other problems I had.

    Has anyone else had problems with a 41 in cold weather vs warm? I think I may have to send this thing back to S&W, cause it doesn't work well at all.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    From looking at the targets alone it appears that the Model 41 is the more accurate of the two.

    I don't own a Model 41, but 25 years ago I was using one in Bullseye competetition. My first question is: What ammo were you using? And I will also add the warning to you that you should be using standard velocity ammo only. No high speed like CCI Mini-mag or Remington Thunderbolt. And Winchester T22 used to average 2 misfires per 100 rounds.

    Give the gun a good cleaning and try a few different kinds of ammo. Pay special attention to your grip and make sure you're locked at wrist and elbow.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    Quote Originally Posted by Brick View Post
    From looking at the targets alone it appears that the Model 41 is the more accurate of the two.

    I don't own a Model 41, but 25 years ago I was using one in Bullseye competetition. My first question is: What ammo were you using? And I will also add the warning to you that you should be using standard velocity ammo only. No high speed like CCI Mini-mag or Remington Thunderbolt. And Winchester T22 used to average 2 misfires per 100 rounds.

    Give the gun a good cleaning and try a few different kinds of ammo. Pay special attention to your grip and make sure you're locked at wrist and elbow.
    The 41's target does look a little better but it was the one I shot early and the Beretta was shot last and I was starting to get a little cold so that could account for some of the difference.

    I was not aware that the 41 would only shoot standard velocity ammo reliably. I was shooting a variety of ammo, but no standard seed stuff. I am a little disappointed that it may not digest hivel ammo, I also have a High Standard S101 and a Ruger Mark III and along with the Beretta 89 all of them are very reliable with just about any ammo. I might have to ditch the 41 if that is the problem.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    What kind of lube were you using?

    It is possible that the very cold weather (and wind chill factor) could have had an effect upon the ammo, the pistol and the lubricant used. A few questions: Did you clean and lube the 41 after you bought it? Was this cleaning and lube performed within 30 days prior to your range outing?

    I suspect the 41 might not be broken in. By the pictures, it looks cherry. Before you go trading or selling away (what I believe to be) a fine target gun, give her a workout...
    Join the groups protecting your rights from the fools trying to take them from you!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    I was not aware that the 41 would only shoot standard velocity ammo reliably. I was shooting a variety of ammo, but no standard seed stuff. I am a little disappointed that it may not digest hivel ammo, I also have a High Standard S101 and a Ruger Mark III and along with the Beretta 89 all of them are very reliable with just about any ammo. I might have to ditch the 41 if that is the problem.
    It's not that the 41 won't shoot the HV stuff; it just does better with SV. Standard velocity ammo, in general, is more accurate in just about any target pistol. I suppose that there are exceptions to that but...if you were to go to a Bullseye pistol match and walk down the line during the .22 stages, you would find that the vast majority of shooters - certainly the serious competitors - are shooting standard velocity ammo.
    The S&W 41 is not my favorite target pistol (the H-S Victor is) but it is a fine gun and like other finely tuned target guns, a bit tempermental about what it likes to shoot.
    Pete
    “Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games.”Hemingway ...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    Well I picked up some various target and standard / low velocity ammo to try in my new S&W 41 after it's initial disappointing performance. Today I took it to the range with some Remington Subsonic (boxed), Winchester Dynapoint Target (bulk), CCI Standard velocity (boxed) and some Federal Target grade performance (bulk). Again freehand shooting at 25 yards at the same targets as before, although it was much warmer today and less windy. I fired about 200 rounds of each and all of these types of ammo worked without problem other than four failures to fire of the Remington SubSonic but I attribute that to the ammo rather than the pistol. I reloaded those rounds into the S&W pistol and a Ruger Mark III four times and none of those four rounds would fire, so they were duds - no fault of the pistols.

    The targets look acceptable and although I wish the S&W 41 was more flexible in the ammo it will digest I am happy with it now and will keep it for the time being. Next time I will take it out and compare it to the Ruger Mark III and my old High Standard Supermatic S-101.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    I wouldn't shoot Remington .22s in my pistols on a bet. Try some good dedicated target ammo.The CCI is good. Try some of their Green tag also. The Federal is very good in my guns. You may not want to feed the 41 expensive ammo but it might be worth trying a box each of something from Eley, RWS, Lapua, Fiocchi. Just to see. Aquila makes a nice SV .22.
    Whenever I have bought a new .22, I have tested at least a dozen different types of .22s in the gun.
    Pete
    “Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports ... all others are games.”Hemingway ...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    Pete's got some good choices for you although, I believe the CCI Green Tag is high velocity.

    I have been using Aguila Standard Velocity in my High Standard M107 for a long time with very few problems.

    Good luck with the gun, it really is a fine piece.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    I was talking to the gunsmith at my local shop a couple of weeks ago, and he was telling me that cold weather had a very adverse effect on .22 ammo. His comment was that it became very unreliable, and it would be like shooting a different gun. He defined cold weather as being in the low 20s on down. I do not say whether he is right or not, just passing the info on for your consideration. I have not had the inclination to test it out myself.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: .22 Pistol shootout - Beretta 89 vs S&W 41

    Sorry guys but if this gun will only perform with $8 / box of 50 ammo then it is gone. My High Standard S101 and Beretta 89 eat virtually any ammo and I have won quite a few bullseye matches with the HS S101. The 41 seems to be a nice gun and I will give it a chance but I do not think it will outperform either the HS S101 or the Beretta. I don't shoot any really serious competition any more so if the ammo I usually use does not do the trick then it's heave ho.

    Today after I sighted this 41 in I was easily able to hit cans and pieces of clay pidgeons out at 90 to 100 feet, using these ammo types, which is good for me.

    I can reload 9mm and even buy it sometimes for less than $9 / 50 and I am sure as sh*t not paying that for .22lr unless there's big money in it.

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