Smith & Wesson Model 19

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by spittinfire, May 29, 2008.

  1. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    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!
     
  2. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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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.
     

  3. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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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!) ;)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  4. npbwbass

    npbwbass New Member

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    a different experience

    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.
     
  5. Boris

    Boris New Member

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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........:)
     
  6. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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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?
     
  7. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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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. ;)
     
  8. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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).
     
  9. poolshark13

    poolshark13 New Member

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    just curious how you know? you posed that question/dare as if theres a good story to tell.
     
  10. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    :) 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! :eek:





    (If someone, anyone, had just told me to stay away from magnum loads I might, still, have that Model 19 today!)
     
  11. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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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 .
     
  12. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    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!
     
  13. npbwbass

    npbwbass New Member

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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!
     
  14. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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    :rolleyes: 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!) ;)
     
  15. npbwbass

    npbwbass New Member

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    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!
     
  16. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

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  17. npbwbass

    npbwbass New Member

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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!
     
  18. bogey

    bogey New Member

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    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.
     
  19. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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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:
    [​IMG]

    JP
     
  20. npbwbass

    npbwbass New Member

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    Difficulty posting this...

    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.