S&W Model 19 advice

S&W Model 19 advice

This is a discussion on S&W Model 19 advice within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, Revo guys. Picked up a presumably unfired-since-leaving-factory 6" 19-5. I want to keep this in as good a condition as possible while being able ...

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Thread: S&W Model 19 advice

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    S&W Model 19 advice

    Ok, Revo guys. Picked up a presumably unfired-since-leaving-factory 6" 19-5. I want to keep this in as good a condition as possible while being able to shoot it often. I've read the K frames are more susceptible to various issues using heavy 357 mag loads. I plan to shoot 38 special as often as possible, but what factory 357 loads are a good choice for magnum shooting while keeping timing and cylinder damage to a minimum over time?

    This is the gun I'm referring to.

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    Iíve shot everything from soft shooting 38spl wad cutters to full house buffalo stomping 357s through my Model 19s with never a problem so take that beauty out and shoot it to your hearts content, it can take it.
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    They say a steady diet of hellfire 125gr thunder loads is hard on them. Once in a while is fine. It is a 357 magnum and you can treat it as such.

    Beautiful pistol. I had the nickel version of that and stupidly sold it.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    I have a 19-5 that I bought new in the 1980s. I haven't got a high round count of magnum loads through mine in practice but I do agree with msgt/ret. Shoot that gun. Yours looks pretty sweet. Congrats on a great find.

    My avatar is my 6" Model 19-5.
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    New Member Array chemcal's Avatar
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    Mdl 19: shoot 1150 ft/s for the rest of your life; makes major
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    The main 'issue' that I've heard about is erosion or cracking of the forcing cone, and it seems that hot 125 gr. bullets are the worst. I suspect the problem is way overblown.

    If you're wanting to preserve it as a collector piece, baby it, but heck, if it's going to be a shooter, take it out and shoot it and don't worry about it.

    [ETA: "...or cracking...". Thanks, for the input, @forester58 .]
    Last edited by Kilowatt3; November 24th, 2019 at 01:38 PM. Reason: "...or cracking..."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    The main 'issue' that I've heard about is erosion of the forcing cone, and it seems that hot 125 gr. bullets are the worst. I suspect the problem is way overblown.

    If you're wanting to preserve it as a collector piece, baby it, but heck, if it's going to be a shooter, take it out and shoot it and don't worry about it.
    It's not slated to be a collector piece, and it's killing me that it hasn't been shot! My focus is shooting it as much as I can and not having to worry about major issues popping up before I can wear the blue off of it.
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    VIP Member Array forester58's Avatar
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    The issue with hot 125 grain loads was that flat spot on the bottom of the forcing cone. The forcing cone is only as strong as the thinnest part which on a model 19 is that flat spot. It was not erosion of the cone but, rather cracking on that thin spot. Having said all that I believe it would take one heck of a lot of shooting those specifically hot 125's to do any damage to that gun. I myself would not worry about it and most of your shooting will probably be with something other than hot loaded 125's.
    As much as I love S&W revolvers the 19 was not designed from the ground up as a 357 magnum revolver but,rather a 38 special reamed out for 357 magnum. That is the reason they started building the model 66 and then 686. For extensive magnum shooting I would get one of those or a GP100 but, like I said the 19 you have is an awesome handgun in its own right. I would just shoot it.
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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Just avoid thousands of 110's and 125's and it will last 3 lifetimes. Though I have never personally seen a problem. The internet has stories...................
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    Just avoid thousands of 110's and 125's and it will last 3 lifetimes. Though I have never personally seen a problem. The internet has stories...................
    I agree but, S&W replaced the 19 with a stronger gun and Ruger replaced the six series with a stronger gun. Maybe it was just an arms race for perceived consumer confidence, who knows.
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    Nice catch!
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    Another thing to remember is when your 19 was built (if I have my dates correct) the SAAMI max pressure for 357 magnum was 43,500 psi and today it is 35,000 psi. S&W were the ones who petitioned SAAMI to lower that max pressure around 1995 I believe. I am unsure whether they did that to protect their guns that were failing or because that is about the time smaller revolvers made of lighter materials were really starting to be offered that would not hold up to 43,500 psi ? When you read about people hunting bears with 357 magnum "back in the day" remember is was a significantly hotter cartridge back then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by forester58 View Post
    Another thing to remember is when your 19 was built (if I have my dates correct) the SAAMI max pressure for 357 magnum was 43,500 psi and today it is 35,000 psi. S&W were the ones who petitioned SAAMI to lower that max pressure around 1995 I believe. I am unsure whether they did that to protect their guns that were failing or because that is about the time smaller revolvers made of lighter materials were really starting to be offered that would not hold up to 43,500 psi ? When you read about people hunting bears with 357 magnum "back in the day" remember is was a significantly hotter cartridge back then.
    Interesting, and I did not know this.

    FYI, the production date of this one was 1984.
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    I'm already thinking ahead to a 4" blued model, and as of now, the 586, 27, 28, or even another 19 are on the list.
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    I have a 19-4. Had it since 1978. Replaced a POS Ruger security six. I have no idea of how many thousand rounds I've put through it. I do know they all but a small number of .38 specials have been full house rounds. It has no signs of any of the supposed problems stories are told about.

    Shoot that puppy and don't worry about it.

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