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View Full Version : Smith & Wesson .357 Mag, Model 19-3


ELIXIR
04-24-2011, 7:02 PM
Hello My fellow CalGunners!

I bought a Smith & Wesson .357 Mag Model 19-3 , blue finish, back in 2007 at a local gun show. I've always wondered whats the history of these revolvers, are they rare? hard to find? Is it a revolver to keep?
Certain info of that sort.
Surprisingly its in very good condition, keeping in mind that its a really old piece.The finish looks great, a few small scratches, doesn't change the look really. The barrel does look a bit discolored, I'm assuming its from all the firing that it has been through, the barrel gets hot and eventually changed color, just a bit.
Got a trigger job done on it, its super smooth now. A really soothing hammer click. The gun smith also did some work on the cylinder, sights, etc. I also changed the cheap rubber grips it had to some Badger Wooden Grips (black). I liked them so I bought them!
Originally bought it for $400. Its a bit hard to believe that this revolver was manufactured in 1971, for the fact that its in a great condition. But I guess You would have to decide yourselves.:cool2:

erik_26
04-24-2011, 7:18 PM
Are you asking for the value or telling us a story?

Value is very subjective. It is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

I believe gunbroker.com is the firearm equivalent as Kelly blue book.

shafferds
04-24-2011, 7:23 PM
I'd say you can get btwn 500 - 600 depending on condition. Those K frames are going up in value cause they are not made anymore.

ELIXIR
04-24-2011, 7:26 PM
Just want to know what CalGunners think of this certain piece. But I also wanted to describe it a bit, and mention what has been done to it. Value, like you said is what people are willing to pay for it.

PIC will be uploaded soon.

Shafferds- Thanks , that's the type of info I want to know.

003
04-24-2011, 7:51 PM
PHOBIA-357
You sure know how to hurt a guy, "keeping in mind that its a really old piece". I carried one of those as a young cop, it seems like just a few years back. A great law enforcement duty weapon. Take good care of it and it will always be there for you when needed. I still have mine, and it goes to the range once or twice a year.

If you are interested in learning a bit of history about how and why the model 19 was developed, google the name Bill Jordan, a well know, (in his day) border patrol agent. He was one of the movers that convinced S&W to put the .357 in a K frame. Prior to the model 19, all S&W .357's were in the larger N frame.

Also, if you can find a copy of his book - - "No second place winners", do yourself a favor and grab it. . A great read from an old time law enforcement officer who has seen the elephant on more that one occasion.

and...........no more "old" comments...................

Dark Mod
04-24-2011, 7:53 PM
Thats definatley a keeper, its an excellent weapon with alot of law enforcement history

BigDogatPlay
04-24-2011, 8:56 PM
I've had three different examples of that length of Model 19 over the years. First two were blue, both 19-3's. Current one is a 19-4 nickel. I carried Model 19's more on the job than anything else. I swear by them. Yours is definitely a keeper. Barrel pinned and chambers counter bored (like they should be still, IMO) ended when 19's went from -4 to -5, so that adds a bit of value. $450 and up is where I put them these days.

+1 on Bill Jordan's book. I have an autographed copy on my shelf. Some of his techniques and equipment are a bit dated, but the fundamentals remain the same. His imprint is on the K frame magnums, and always will be.

ELIXIR
04-24-2011, 9:27 PM
I appreciate all that has been said by my fellow CalGunners. I wasn't fully aware of all the great history this piece possesses. All comments and opinions are welcome. Thank You!!

Mickey D
04-24-2011, 10:18 PM
I love seeing members of our younger generation enjoying revolvers. So many are into the black autos/glocks these days.

You have a great revolver that will serve you for many years if you take care of it. Value in CA would be $400-$550 in the current condition in my opinion.

I bought a 98% 4" Model 15-3 (again... very old c.1971 -same gun as yours only in .38 spl) for $525 last week.

Enjoy, they are fun to shoot.

Ron-Solo
04-24-2011, 10:57 PM
They are great guns. Keep it and you won't be sorry. I carried the stainless version, the Model 66 with a 4" barrel dote ten years before my department went to the Beretta 92f. I also have a 4" Model 15 that was my original issue in 1978 and it was used when I got it. It is still a great shooter. :)

Fishslayer
04-25-2011, 12:00 AM
The K frame M19 was the first K frame .357 Magnum. If that's a 3" barrel you have something very desirable.

The P & R (Pinned barrel, Recessed cylinder) models went away on 80-82. The P&R models are generally more desirable & most consider them of better quality.

The K frame isn't really up to a steady diet of Big Dog magnum loads. Bill Jordan said ".38s for practice, .357s for business." This led to the L frame 586 & 686 around '80 or so. Heavier than the K but lighter than the N frame M27 & M28-2

If I'm not mistaken the proper stocks would be the no diamond Magna style or Large Targets.

Lots of real experts on the S&W forum who would lOVE to see a pic of that gun. Can't say that I would ever let that one go if I got ahold of it. ;)

erik_26
04-25-2011, 4:44 AM
Great picture. Thats a gun worth keeping and passing down some day to your kids.

Can't buy anything here
04-25-2011, 6:09 AM
I love 19s....picked this up unfired 19-4 from Elliot Salter for $285 about 7 years ago. Probably one of the last guns he sold before losing his FFL. I'd still love to get my hands on a snub version...:)

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e249/sipowicz/smith_grips1.jpg

movie zombie
04-25-2011, 7:14 AM
i have a 19-3 snub i bought june, 2008.........your grips would look good on it. think i may have to change mine out!

mz

den888
04-25-2011, 7:50 AM
Wonderful revolvers, congrats!

Bongos
04-25-2011, 3:12 PM
Been seeing used S&W 357 mag revolvers (19,66,686,etc) pop up at local shops for $550-$600, I'm sure a great value would be in the $400-$500 range

BigDogatPlay
04-25-2011, 4:31 PM
The K frame M19 was the first K frame .357 Magnum. If that's a 3" barrel you have something very desirable.

66's were done in 3 inch, are rare and extremely desirable. 19's were not ever done to that length as a factory offering to my knowledge. 2.5, 4 and 6 unless there were custom builds.

The P & R (Pinned barrel, Recessed cylinder) models went away on 80-82.

1982.

If I'm not mistaken the proper stocks would be the no diamond Magna style or Large Targets.

Correct grips for that vintage are pretty much always going to be round butt Magna as shown below. Later guns often came with factory finger grooved. Occasionally a snub Model 19 turns up with a square butt they could be ordered as an option that way. Or, in some cases, people have re-barreled a square butt frame with the snub barrel. Those look really odd with oversized square butt target grips.

http://picturearchive.auctionarms.com/2738214347/8469772/b134b2bccc48c898ef34d22648289de8.jpg

beerman
04-25-2011, 5:37 PM
Godd%#n I luv K frame SMITHS!.you really need to just shoot one to fall in luv with'em. I've recently picked up a M14 and M15 in the past 6 months. Still looking for a nice 19.That 70s gun is the last of the great American hand crafted guns. They will never be made like that again....get'em while you can.

Andy Taylor
04-25-2011, 6:12 PM
M19's did come from the factory with 3" barrels, however I believe the last ones were in the late 60's and are even less common than the 3" M66's.

Thanks for the really old comment as that gun is from the year I was born. :eek:

Seriously a 40 year old S&W revolver is not that old. They will out last your grandchildren and then some. I own several S&Ws (& Colts) that are older than that.

Bill Jordan sent a letter to S&W to convince them to build the (in his opinion, as well as many other's) perfect police service revolver. I don't have the exact quote in front of me but it went something like this:

It should be built on the K frame and chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge. Have adjustable sights, and a shroud to protect the ejector rod should some miscreant accidentally bump his head on the underside of the barrel.

That letter lead to what we know as the model 19 and later model 66.

rob145
04-25-2011, 7:06 PM
I love mine!http://i859.photobucket.com/albums/ab156/lopz1/DSCN0932.jpg

Fishslayer
04-25-2011, 8:22 PM
That's a beauty. I've got big mitts & my palm tingles just thinkin' about touching off a cylinder of full house loads with a round butt snubbie. ;)

Correct grips for that vintage are pretty much always going to be round butt Magna as shown below. Later guns often came with factory finger grooved. Occasionally a snub Model 19 turns up with a square butt they could be ordered as an option that way. Or, in some cases, people have re-barreled a square butt frame with the snub barrel. Those look really odd with oversized square butt target grips.

http://picturearchive.auctionarms.com/2738214347/8469772/b134b2bccc48c898ef34d22648289de8.jpg

Khanan
04-25-2011, 8:38 PM
I grew up firing one of these things. The thing was so damn accurate. I wish it was still around. I have guns from the same time period as that but not this gun.