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Smith & Wesson Model 19


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Old 06-01-2008, 08:14 PM   #11
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The model 19 is an excellent for Home defense , CCW with a short barrel and target/informal shooting where 38's and limited use with light magnums will be the ammunition of choice .

S&W brought out the L frame for a steady diet of Magnum shooting in the early 80's for those that wanted a more robust frame to practice with their self defense magnum loads for Law enforcement/defensive use yet didn't need all of the strength of the model 27-28's N frames which are/were better suited for the constant beating of heavy bullets with hunting type maximum loads with the heavy weight bullets .

You also have to consider in the fact that factory loads have been backed off quite a bit from almost 30 years ago .

Hunting loads with 158 gr bullets back then were Chronographed at over 1,300-1,400 fps and 125 grain bullets at 1,600+ fps from 6 inch barrels . Today you'll find that most defensive light weight bullet loads are now designed for 4 inch barrels and a velocity of about 1,300-1,400 fps maximum and the heavy hunting bullet loads down to 1,100-1,300 fps maximum .

38 special loads run under 1,000 fps even down to a lowly 800 fps for heavy bullets and target shooting designed 148 gr hollow based wadcutters , +p at right around 1,000 to 1,100 and +p+ loads at perhaps 1,100-1,200 fps .

For your intended purposes I would go with a 4 inch barreled 19 and skip hunting with it , if limited hunting was definately going to be a future use I would go with an L frame , if I were going to become a dedicated handgun hunter I think I would skip S&W completely and go with a Ruger Redhawk in 44 magnum topped with a 2x handgun scope .
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Old 06-01-2008, 11:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by spittinfire View Post
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!
The first handgun I ever shot many years ago was a stainless M19 in .357Mag with a 1-3/4" barrel. It impressed the hell out of me because I didn't have any experience and I managed to put all 5 shots into a 6" target at an indoor range. The gun didn't belong to me, but I would buy one in a heart beat if one was available!
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:54 PM   #13
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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.
Again and as a I said "in my experience".. My senior gunsmith friend at S&W name is swede named Joyce Johnson. Who is yours and maybe we can get them to give a collaborated statement? That would be way cool!
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:34 PM   #14
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Again and as a I said "in my experience".. My senior gunsmith friend at S&W name is swede named Joyce Johnson. Who is yours and maybe we can get them to give a collaborated statement? That would be way cool!
Not mad at me, are ya?

The smith I've worked with for more than 2 decades at S&W is Olimpio Vitorino; and, I very much doubt that Joyce Johnson is, or ever was, his senior.

'Vito' may have retired in the last 2 or 3 years; I don't know. I haven't spoken to him, recently; and, last time we talked, I do remember that he was seriously thinking about it.

(Lighten up. This ain't life or death!)
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:39 PM   #15
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Default Never mad at a resoponse

I am never mad at a response because I am not perfect at all and I try so hard.

I'll get in touch with Joyce and see if he knows your man and maybe get his take on the 19. I do know he said to me a while back that if the powders we have available now were available back then, the Model 19 would probably not have been replaced in production so fast or have as many problems. Burning temps, pressures and caustic chemical reactions were powder caused problems even in the big guns. I wore out a Ruger Super Blackhawk with erosion and a split forcing cone back in the 70s with my standard 28grains of H110 and Sierra 180 hollowpoints. He never said the model 19 was a perfect gun but did say it is a good gun with some limitations requiring common sense. I simply agree with him.

Joyce has been with S&W for a long time and has a degree in metallurgy but I have never asked him his official S&W position. I just know he is my go too guy for parts and technical info and his gun knowledge astounds me.

Yep I like the Rugers even after that expereince and the bigger L frame S&Ws a lot too but my model 19s are still great guns too me and have not given me any problems.

You have a great day! And as far as I am concerned I have gained another friend!
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Old 06-02-2008, 05:59 PM   #16
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You have!
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:37 AM   #17
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Now that, is way cool!

I have a new friend and he packs a big gun too I bet!

You take care!
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:38 PM   #18
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Default Model 19

I have a Model 19 4"; nowhere on it does it say it is a 19 but it is; bought it used with a Berns-Martin break through holster; has been my nightstand gun for years and used to travel with me a lot. Have many handguns but dout that any are better made than that old Smith(maybe a17 which is also unmarked0. Steady diet of .357 probably not but a hell of a gun anyway.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:37 AM   #19
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I have a 19-4 Combat special that I picked up about 15 years ago. By far the best .357 made. Does it have limitations? Yes, 158gr bullets. It was designed for a 158gr bullet, nothing lighter. If you feed a Model 19 158gr .357magnum cartridges, you will never have an issue. I tried .38 specials years ago and hated the fact that the POI dropped from POA after 15 yards, I gave them to my wife for her Titan .38sp snubby. Here is a pic:
Smith & Wesson Model 19 - Revolver Handguns

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Old 06-05-2008, 10:18 PM   #20
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Very nice Model 19!

I almost shorted my keyboard out drooling over wanting another Model 19 project gun.

You are right with the 158 grain load recommendation by S&W. The 125 gain loads burn more powder and that is what eats the Model 19 forcing cone. Its the volume, temperature, and erosion factor on the carbon steel used in the 19's barrel. I have more info on that coming from my S&W friend on the 19.
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