Originally Posted by Sniper03
My opinion I would keep the Model 19 2.5". And buy something else that I wanted when the $$$ were available. And as you said the 19 2.5 is no longer being made. I also would check out gun broker for the values of both.
Not that the 686 is a bad weapon because it is not. But also if you notice your Model 19 has a small pin up by the barrel. The barrel is threaded on to your receiver. And crush fit on the 686. That was just one of the things that I wished they had not done on some of the new models. In fact when they first started production I have seen some of the receivers crack at the barrel due to stress put on it when the pressed (Crush Fit) the barrel into the receiver. Probably would never happen on the one you are considering but it has happened in the past.
May just have been a manufacturing issue at that time and I am sure they got it corrected.
The M19-7 doesn't have a pinned barrel. The M19-4 was the last model to have the P&R. The issue with the M19 series is the forcing cone and the top strap.
The K Frame began as a .38-frame gun for the military and police. One of the weaknesses in the K-Frame is in the cut on the bottom of the barrel throat/forcing cone. This cut is to accommodate the cylinder swing. The cut presents a weak area and is acerbated by the use of light weight (read: shorter) bullets.
Here's the Cliff Notes version.
A M19 cylinder is made long enough to accommodate the full charge 158 gr bullet. When loaded with the shorter 125 gr jacketed bullet there is a longer distance required for it to reach the forcing cone. This extra time allows the hot gases to mix with the rich oxygen in the air and escapes around the bullet in the cylinder. Unlike the 158 that reaches the rifling as the base of the bullet leaves the case mouth, the 125 gas enters the barrel prior to the bullet reaching the rifling. I won't go into the physics but with the short bullet, the lion's share of gas is at the bottom, or weak point of the barrel's throat. This hot gas plasma will superheat the cone along with the blast of unburnt powder and erosion ensues. This plasma also preforms what is known as flame cutting of the frame.
When buying a M19, or any revolver for that matter, check for this light bullet issue, The good news is if you find a used 19 in great condition, feed it with modern, heavier bullets which offer equal or better performance over a broader range of velocities. I like the SWC designs developed by Elmer Keith. I stay away from jacketed rounds.