.22 Bullseye Pistols
While NRA matches often include center-fire handguns, most bullseye shooting is conducted with a .22. In these competitions, accuracy and precision are more important than speed. Here are the most popular bullseye competition pistols, according to a poll conducted by Larry’s Guns.
First Place: Smith and Wesson Model 41
The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is a semi-automatic pistol developed by Smith & Wesson after World War II as a competitive target pistol. It was designed with a 105 degree grip angle, the same as the Colt M1911 pistol, to maintain a consistent grip angle during training and competition.
Two prototypes, numbered X-41 and X-42, were produced in 1947 and improved in the years that followed. In 1957, the Model 41 was made available to the public when Smith & Wesson built 679 units. Production increased to 9,875 the very next year. Various short and long barrels were produced during its lifetime. In 1992, the Model 41 was dropped from production. In 1994, Smith & Wesson returned it to production as the Model 41 (New Model). The photo depicts the author’s gun with custom hand stocks from Vitarbo.
Weight: 5.5-inch barrel (2.56 lbs.); 7-inch barrel (2.62 lbs.)
Magazine Capacity: 10