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Old 05-29-2008, 11:11 PM   #1
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Default Smith & Wesson Model 19

I'm in the market for a S & W model 19, 6" barrel. Anyone have any advise on what to look out for? I've also seen the price on these vary quite a bit and outside of the normal condition subjects is there anything in particular that makes one more valuable then the other? Nickel seems to bring less money and I'm aware of a rare snub nose in the very early production but neither apply to me. Any input is welcome. Thanks guys!

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Old 05-29-2008, 11:27 PM   #2
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Just make sure it locks up and it's in good condition. Model 19s are great guns. I have a 4" blued, bought it for $299 in 2006. Police trade in, very little wear.

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Old 05-29-2008, 11:30 PM   #3
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You're, probably, not going to like hearing this; but, if you plan on making that new Model 19 into a 357 magnum SHOOTER, then, you'd be much better off with a Model 27, or 28, or a new Model 686.

If all you want it for is a collection, or principally as a 38 special revolver, that would be OK. Just as long as you're aware that stiff loads, or a steady diet of 357 magnum cartridges will easily ruin a Model 19.

(Ask me how I know!)
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Old 05-30-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by G21.45 View Post
You're, probably, not going to like hearing this; but, if you plan on making that new Model 19 into a 357 magnum SHOOTER, then, you'd be much better off with a Model 27, or 28, or a new Model 686.

If all you want it for is a collection, or principally as a 38 special revolver, that would be OK. Just as long as you're aware that stiff loads, or a steady diet of 357 magnum cartridges will easily ruin a Model 19.

(Ask me how I know!)
Not sure I would agree with "easily ruin a Model 19". I have a 6 inch I have shot since 1969 with almost nothing but magnum loads. Its still tight and and very accurate. While I have seen some with split forcing cones and worn parts I have not seen any other failures of the frame. I have 5 in my collection and have only re barreled one 19-3 out of need. It was a police training gun and spent 15 years on the training range. Its log book showed 12,000 rounds of 357 magnum and 43,000 rounds of 38 special ammo put through it. That is a a good gun in anyone's book. Internal parts are easy to get and install. All in all a model 19 is a great gun easily to work on and worth getting. But then that is just my experience.
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:09 PM   #5
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I agree, just look for indexing problems and the previous advice was sound. The M27/M28 are excellent revolvers in their own right, in .357 you can get the odd one or two that don't index quite as well as they should (designed for the larger calibres). You will not go far wrong with the M19, been around a long time and still does the business........

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Old 05-30-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advise. I'm not planning on feeding it magnum loads all the time. It will probably see more 38s then anything but I like being able to to choose. I'm getting it for target and possibly to hunt with, which is why I need the 6" barrel, minimum length to hunt in NC.
Anyone have an idea what a good price for one is? I'm seeing anywhere from $300-$550 I don't need a new one but I don't want a total piece either. I'm thinking $400.....any comments?

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Old 05-30-2008, 07:42 PM   #7
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Not sure I would agree with "easily ruin a Model 19". I have a 6 inch I have shot since 1969 with almost nothing but magnum loads. Its still tight and and very accurate. While I have seen some with split forcing cones and worn parts I have not seen any other failures of the frame. I have 5 in my collection and have only re barreled one 19-3 out of need. It was a police training gun and spent 15 years on the training range. Its log book showed 12,000 rounds of 357 magnum and 43,000 rounds of 38 special ammo put through it. That is a a good gun in anyone's book. Internal parts are easy to get and install. All in all a model 19 is a great gun easily to work on and worth getting. But then that is just my experience.
That's NOT what a senior gunsmith at Smith & Wesson told me when the factory replaced mine. Split forcing cones are a well-known problem on S&W Model 19's. So well-known, in fact, that they were taken out of production.

The factory never blinked after I sent mine in; they just gave me a credit for the current purchase price of a brand new L frame which they strongly suggested that I move up to. I'm now shooting the Model 686 that I bought with that credit.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:21 PM   #8
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+1 G21. The K-frames were initially intended for .32/.38 pressures. Improvements in metallurgy allowed them to be chambered in .357. They work in .357 but not forever. Magnums will cause flame cutting on the top strap and battering of the crane that leads to end shake.

19's and 66's are fine if you keep the magnum diet down to 50-100 rounds/year.

The L-frames are more robust and hold up to a steady diet of mags. Look at the 586 (blued) or 686 (stainless).

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Old 05-31-2008, 07:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G21.45 View Post
You're, probably, not going to like hearing this; but, if you plan on making that new Model 19 into a 357 magnum SHOOTER, then, you'd be much better off with a Model 27, or 28, or a new Model 686.

If all you want it for is a collection, or principally as a 38 special revolver, that would be OK. Just as long as you're aware that stiff loads, or a steady diet of 357 magnum cartridges will easily ruin a Model 19.

(Ask me how I know!)
just curious how you know? you posed that question/dare as if theres a good story to tell.
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:27 PM   #10
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just curious how you know? you posed that question/dare as if theres a good story to tell.
Well, you'll know when you're no longer able to rotate or index the cylinder because it'll be jammed up against whatever is left of the forcing cone!

This event hit me particularly hard because it happened on a Model 19 that Austin Behlert had beautifully custom-built for my collection. Like the gunsmith at S&W told me; 'We'll be glad to replace the gun for you; but, you're going to have to eat all that custom work!'

Ouch!





(If someone, anyone, had just told me to stay away from magnum loads I might, still, have that Model 19 today!)
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