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Question about Model 19 in .357

26484 Views 31 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Rob Ron
Got to shoot one at the range today.

While I am an Auto (1911 & clones) fan, I have been thinking more and more that I should get a wheelgun.

1. I can
2. User Friendly for the wife, who is not mechaniclly inclined. She knows how to drop the mag, and clear the chamber, but would be confuddled by any sort of Jam, Misfeed or Stovepipe.
3. Did I mention I can?

Anyway, an older Marine who has been giving me pointers, and letting me try his various pistols, has one and I like it.

What would one be worth, and what are any problems I should be on the lookout for?

5 inch barrell in .357 is what he had. I am negotiable one inch either way, but would like .357 as a potent caliber that can easily be downloaded for practice with 38spl.
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I've had a M-66 which is the stainless version of the M-19 for a couple of decades. They are a great gun and I can't think of much that goes wrong with them. The last major problems I heard of was of the frame stretching from the hot 357 loads common up to the late 1950s or so. I'm not sure of a decent price, recently I've seen them range from $250 to $350 regardless of condition. I think local factors are much more of a price determination than condition.
thumper723 said:
5 inch barrell in .357 is what he had.
If it really was a 5 incher, it was modified..... S&W offered the 19 in 2, 4, & 6 inch barrels. The two-incher was also offered in a round butt.

They also offered target hammers, target triggers, and target sights. To tell them apart, the target hammer & trigger were wider than standard, and the target sights had a white outline rear and a red insert front.

I prefer the earlier guns..... the 19, the 19-2, and the 19-3, with pinned barrels and recessed cylinders. The later models are okay as well, I guess.

Get with someone who really knows revolvers and have him (or her) demonstrate timing, lockup, axial play, cylinder gap, and forcing cone wear. Too hard to explain with words, really easy to show with a gun in hand. Those are the things you need to check on a used wheelgun, as well as the usual (bluing wear, buggered screwheads, dings & scratches).

A decent 19 will set you back about $350 where I live.
It's a 4-inch. I was including the cylinder in the length earlier. My bad (not that up to speed with wheelguns)
That would be an excellent gun! :wink:
I'm keeping the feelers out for one. If anybody knows of one for reasonable $ keep me in mind.
i just inheritted a model 19 -- 6". i was thinking about taking it with me this fall while deer hunting. i have 2 questions.
1. best bullet weight , (158 hp i'd guess)
2. velocity? 1200ish???

i wouldn't shot at angthing over 40 yrds. anything farther than that gets the .45-70.
The .357 is pretty light for a deer round - I start with a .44 Mag and go up from there. With that said, for a shot under 40 yards, it'll do the job if it's well placed and has the right bullet.

I've been satisfied with the 240 grain Hornady XTP in my .44, so I suppose the 158 grain XTP would be a logical choice.

For the most part, the 180 grain bullets have to be seated a little farther out if you don't want a reduced powder charge - and the S&W 19 doesn't have the long cylinder of the Rugers.

A hard cast would certainly give the penetration, but would also likely pass through with a small exit would on a good broadside, making trailing very difficult. It's pretty much your choice, but avoid the self-defense ammo - it's not well-suited for 4-legged critters.
Be careful of the bullet selection..... most hollowpoints are too fragile. If you hit a rib on the way in, the bullet will likely fragment, and you'll have minimal damage to the lungs/heart. The XTP is a hollowpoint of sorts, in that it opens easily, even at moderate velocity in soft tissue, but the base of the XTP is really tough, so the bullet will pretty much hold together and penetrate, even after it has opened, and even if it hits bone.

If you're stuck with 4227, go ahead, but I believe you can get the same velocity with a lower pressure using blue dot. Hodgdon H110 is another option to keep the pressure down and still get the velocity. However, a 19 is a pretty fragile gun for full-house .357's. It won't take too many of them to "shoot loose". If you really want to shoot monster .357's, I'd recommend a Ruger Blackhawk.... or, if you're stuck on a DA, get a GP-100. Neither is a refined as a Smith, but either one of them is a whole bunch stronger.
i don't plan on shooting tons of heavy loads in it. just enough to place a good heart/lung shot. i'll stick mostly to light/medium loads using dewc's. just punching holes. i already use blue dot for several other loads, so i guess i'll use it for this too. i would like to have something that can handle heavy loads better, but for now this is what i have.
A .357 will be fine for deer hunting as long as you hunt with it properly. Some say you have to use a .44 mag, but plenty of deer were taken with a .357 in the 20 year period between the introduction of the .357 and the .44 mag. Pretend it's a bow. If you use bow hunting skills and ranges, the .357 will work just fine. If you want to hunt at longer ranges, between 50-100 yards, I'd suggest getting a .44 or better yet, a .41 mag.

Regarding another post, yes, the Rugers are stronger than a S&W, but how strong does it have to be? If S&Ws couldn't handle the load, they would not have sold a gazillion of them. I have Rugers, Colts, and S&Ws, all in .357, and they all work just fine. Colts today are pretty much out of the picture. The price of a Colt is a great deal more than they are worth. Kind of like a dead singer. Suddenly his records sell like crazy when he dies. The Rugers are tanks. They will out last several generations of children/grandchildren. You will need a trigger job however. The S&W are a lot smoother, especially the triggers, and many folks just shoot better with them because of that. The old problems they had with the K-frames has been worked out years ago. Also, most shooters will put two to three times more .38s through them than full house .357 loads. It has more to do with economics than anything else!

Bottom line, You cannot go wrong with a good .357. I would not buy anything made south of the border. I like S&W double actions the best, but that's just my opinion, not worth very much. I have one 19 and one 66. They are both fine guns and I know you will enjoy which ever one you get. You may wind up shooting it a lot more than your 1911.

By the way, DO NOT get a Ruger single action .357 (or any other caliber for that matter). I'm warning you now. If you do, the Single Action Virus will attack you, and you WILL NOT want to shoot your 1911, or any other pistol for fun anymore. You will feel obligated to practice with your carry gun, but everything esle will collect dust. Single actions are just more fun to shoot, easier to maintain, and will spoil you in a hurry. Bisleys are the worst. Be ye so warned.
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Bill, what an excellent first post! Welcome aboard!!! :D
Thank you Sir.
Just giving you a hard time. Welcome to the forum :) .
When you were talking about problems with the early 66's. I have a 66-1 and 66-2, both 4" that I got from an estate. Anything I should have checked. Both are new/unfired in the box. Thanks. I'm new to this forum, but really appreciate all the information


If you are going to shoot a heavy diet of .357s through your K-frame 66 I'd suggest the heavier 158-gr loads. The 125s are great man stoppers and are fine to keep in your gun for self defense, but the fast burning powder is rougher on the gun. The slower burning powders will be fine in the 66 and you won't have any problems.
Thanks for the information. I normally shoot all 38 wad cutter during practice and then finish with 12 .357 loads. My normal carry load is the federal hydra shocks. My favorite is a 2 1/2 that is the same vintage. Hope you and yours all have a Merry Christmas.

Hold up. What do you mean the faster burning powders are rougher on the gun?
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